5 Days escapism aboard the…..
Feeling a little beat up from the hum drum daily life of London, it took me all of 2 seconds to jump on Sky scanner and find the cheapest flights toBarcelona when a friend offered me a discounted 5 day cruise on board the liberty of the Seas.
One of the many perks to having worked on cruise ships in the past and being the social butterfly that I am with continuing to stay in touch with friends on cruise ships is the option to get a discount cruise on a ‘stand by’ rate. Which basically means you go on ‘stand by’ on the ship manifest so that if there is a spare cabin on board for the particular cruise in which is about the embark and set sail, you can get signed into that cabin for a severely discounted rate – Score!
Royal Caribbeans’ Liberty of the Seas is one of the biggest ships in the world – 15 decks high, swimming pools, theatre, ice skating ring and a rock climbing wall to name only a few of its many many features. Having so much to do on board meant the the next 5 days were going be a Monica Geller ‘Organised fun’ type of holiday. Between the ports, my friends and the ship, I had scheduling down to a fine art.
Day one: Embarkation day/Barcelona.
Struggling to readjust to having got up at 3.40am for a taxi to the airport back in the UK, I touched down at Barcelona-El Prat airport,Spain around 9.30am and collected my luggage in record time. After being mocked by the cruise ship handlers at the airport for asking if I could go on the airport/cruise ship transfer as a ‘Stand by guest’, I found a cab and €32 later I was at the port terminal. Elated to see my friend I went through the signup process and a quick catch up later we were sipping on sangria surrounded by the rest of my friends and the cast. It was so nice to have that many friends all together, friends from different contracts,jobs and times in my life. Being a performer it is quite often the case that you are with a cast for a period of time – making strong bonds and ties, to then sadly be faced with possibly never seeing them again due to distance once the contract ends.
Jenny, Dale, Myself and the gang 🙂
Day Two: Rome
They say that if you throw a coin in the Trevi fountain you will return to Rome – turns out its true. I guess having thrown a coin in back on a rainy night in 2010. while on tour with Disney, had secured in bringing me right back to almost the very same spot, and made me remember why I thought it was such an amazing city in the first place. So much history and beauty scattered amongst modern day society and culture provides for a great vacation with something for everyone. Rome is one of my favourite European cities and being a fan of Roman mythology, everywhere you turn is a reminder of what a great and powerful city it was and still is today.
Day three: La Spazia
Knowing nothing about this port as it was the first time the ship and cast had been there we were eager to get off the ship and explore. Normally once hitting up the same port several times you often just try to find cheap or free wifi in the location you are as internet on board can be costly, but having never been there before La Spazia was our Oyster. La Spazia is a couple of hours train journey away from Pisa but we found excitement in exploring a quaint fishing village, which was a short train journey from the port. We had time to visit only one of the 5 villages/towns close by but we thought it was best to take the time to experience and enjoy the sights of this stunning oasis and enjoy the mouth watering food it had to offer.
Day Four: Sea day
Having a day at sea would normally be the day where you have a nice sleep in and relax,but no! This was the one day I had to fit in all of the on board activities and we managed to succeed in doing everything bar the swimming pool. Activities including the Rock climbing wall, Cinema, Mini Golf, Arcade, eating every meal and then-some in whatever on board restaurants we hadn’t eaten in as well as ice skating. Turns out I’m quite a pro and me and my friend Bianca tore up the ice ring putting all the 8 year olds to shame. This was also the day for the professional skaters to do their thing in their show. Once seeing their show I felt like the 8 Year old haha,
Day five: Cannes
Cannes was the hottest day of the cruise and my first spot to see was the Iconic movie première location. Turns out it was somewhat disappointing – there was a red carpet…but it was lined with tire marks and dirty boot prints from people driving fork lift trucks and moving barriers around trying to get ready for whatever feature film was being launched there next. Shopping in Cannes reminded me of Julia Roberts trying to buy a dress in Pretty woman – I felt like I couldn’t afford anything,and looked like a cheap hooker/escort….Well maybe I didn’t feel like a hooker or escort but thought I would throw that in for dramatic effect. That night back on the ship was also the night that the cast performed Saturday Night Fever. A bit dubious to see a musical at sea, I have to say it was just as strong if not stronger then a lot of the Number 1 UK tours that I had seen back home. With the huge fly/hanging space and hydros the set had no problem coming in for scene changes and made transitions effortless as well as providing a great layer to the show, without breaking the narrative. The light and sound system on board were top notch and everything went off without a hitch. Great dance and vocals from the cast – many of whom had West end, Broadway and/or touring credits made for an amazing show. The ensemble added so much extra to the show providing great dance scenes and partner work. Sadly I think the audience did not appreciate how much effort and hard work went into it. The cast member playing Stefanie Mangano, was for me the epitome of a triple threat – a great dancer, actress and singer and really stood out. Unfortunately the European cliental of the audience couldn’t sit through the entire production without talking loudly to family members,getting up for drinks and just general fidgeting.
All in all is was probably the best vacation I have ever had and I am so thankful for my friends for making it such a memorable holiday 🙂