Monday, 6 January 2014

Catching up with last year!! The Cruise Part I.

Looking back, we seem to have had such a busy year in 2013, with so many days literally sailing by without a post! I want to return now to those days and catch up first with the fantastic cruise that we enjoyed in May. I apologise for the fact that the next few posts will have little to do with the Charente, but I promise that we will return there before long! I hope that meanwhile you enjoy the break as much as we did.

Our May holiday began in Carcassonne and the surrounding area with friends, and then we went on to Barcelona, where we  met up with our very good friend Gunter, who had arranged the cruise for us.  He had sent us an email earlier in the year, to say that the ship he was working on as Hotel Director (second in command only to the captain!), would be based in Barcelona during the summer months and would we like to join him??!!  Now, how could we possibly say "no" to an offer like that!?  To cut a long story short, he met us at the dockside on Sunday morning 19 May, where we found ourselves quickly taken through the customs and security procedures and whisked upwards by lift to our magnificent top deck double deluxe stateroom (with balcony!)  on the Royal Caribbean liner, Liberty of the Seas.
A few facts about the ship that may interest some of you :-
Registry: Bahamas
Built: Kvaerner Masa-Yards, Turku Finland 
Maiden Voyage: May 19, 2007 
Gross Tonnage: 154,407 GRT
Length: 1,112 feet
Width: 185 feet
Draft: 28 feet
Speed: 21.6 knots cruising speed 
No of Decks: 15 passenger decks 
No of Elevators: 14 passenger elevators 
Guest Capacity: 3,634 guests (double occupancy) 
Guest Capacity: 4,375 guests (total) 
No of Crew: 1,360 crew 

All in all, those statistics spell massive!!; we had never experienced anything like it. The guest capacity represents the equivalent of 10 large European hotels!
A view of the liner taken from a ferry, when we stopped off a few days later in Villefranche.

Below are some photos of our suite.
Our bedroom
The lounge
En suite with full bath and shower!
Our private balcony.
A large bowl of fruit and a bottle of bubbly greeted us as we walked through the door!
Rainstorms over Barcelona as we set sail from the quayside.
and also out at sea!
The Blue bridge - well mostly blue, but at times it changed to all the colours of the rainbow.
The main dining room.
The main reception desk. To describe the décor as lavish is an understatement!
The Royal Promenade.
Leaving port in the late afternoon that day, we sailed overnight, to find on waking up on our second day, we were docked at Toulon on the south coast of France, near Marseilles! We did not leave the liner here as we felt this was a place close enough that we could drive to when we wanted; also because the weather was quite cool for May, we decided to spend the day exploring the ship, and great excitement that night of dinner at the captain's table.  Watch this space to see  part II of the cruise.

65 comments:

  1. Can only think of one word to describe this!!! WOW!!! Have a grand day! Cathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha Cathy, it really was WOW, we were very spoilt. Keep well Diane

      Delete
  2. OMG, that looks like there’s room for a whole town on board ship.

    Your quarters are very luxurious, my own house isn’t that grand!
    The problem must be that, when you are decanted at some port or other, it takes ages for everyone to get off and any tourist place will suddenly be swamped with passengers off a single cruise.

    I think I might just prefer a smaller ship. On the other hand, that might just be sour grapes, because I could never afford this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Friko we could never afford it either, we are lucky to have a fantastic long time friend. The organisation of getting people on and off was amazing and there were no delays anywhere. What we did find difficult, was only having one day at a place we thought was interesting. Apart from two organised short trips we did our own thing which was better and cheaper. Have a good week Diane

      Delete
  3. That ship looks amazing, looking forward to reading about the rest of the trip. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen, it was interesting to see how the other half live and to be able to experience it for a few days :-) Take care Diane

      Delete
  4. A bit too much of everything for me, but I did like that private balcony, and your rooms looked quite roomy for a cruise ship. Glad you enjoyed yourself though. But, as I say, I much prefer to be out in the middle of our fields even if they are muddy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vera I agree with your comment but we did find it interesting to see how the other half live. It was an experience of a life time and one we are never likely to do once. Enjoy your mud, I like it too :-) Diane

      Delete
  5. You lucky woman!:)
    It looks fantastic!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gunn it was an experience that we will never forget but maybe one would not do again even if we could afford it :-) Have a great week. Diane

      Delete
  6. Glad you enjoyed your trip..Wanted to get here to wish you a Happy New Year..May we all have a great year..
    xoCarolyn/Rosebud

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and hope that you have a great 2014. Take care Diane

      Delete
  7. Isn't it wonderful to have to 'suffer' luxury -- especially with the luxury is a gift from a good friend! Thanks for posting the pictures -- I've often wondered what those massive ships looked like inside. We once sailed from Barcelona to Majorca -- on a friends sailing yacht that was cramped and though it had three bedrooms, the beds were very uncomfortable and narrowed into the hull so there were four feet where only two really fit! The holiday turned out to be an absolute disaster and I've not been back to Spain since...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was comfort in the extreme for us. Now I have never tried a yacht..... Hope you are well, have a good week. Diane

      Delete
  8. This looks like an amazing holiday. I would love to go on a cruise one day.
    It is cold, rainy and grey in London, so looking at these pictures has lifted my spirits somewhat.

    Take care Diane.

    Red

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad it has lifted your spirits, writing about it lifted mine as well. Grey and dismal here as well. Have a good week Diane

      Delete
  9. Αγαπητή μου Diane
    Χρόνια πολλά, καλή κι ευλογημένη χρονιά, με υγεία και πολλά ταξίδια!
    Τι υπέροχες φωτογραφίες!!!
    Τι ωραίο διαμέρισμα!!! Δεν έχω κάνει ποτέ κρουαζιέρα και χαίρομαι που την ζω μέσα από τις φωτογραφίες σου!
    Σου στέλνω πολλούς φιλικούς χαιρετισμούς!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Magda I hope you can enjoy the cruise through my eyes. Happy New Year to you. Diane

      Delete
  10. What an exciting cruise, the pictures are gorgeous Diane! I would love to go on a cruise. When we moved back to Italy from the States we came with the Michelangelo. I had so much fun, it took two weeks at the time to cross the Atlantic. Now the ships have improved, from what I see in your pictures. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Francesca I think that being on the ship for two weeks without sight of land maybe a bit more that I could handle, but it must have been an interesting trip never the less. Happy New Year to you as well. Diane

      Delete
  11. WoW! Your suite looks fabulous! I can't wait to see part 2! I've been catching up and loved your La Rochelle posts - especially the Ile de Re. We had a great holiday there a few years ago. I loved St Martins and La Flotte. There are some amazing little towns on the Island. Happy New Year to you and yours Diane xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane it really was a wow trip, and a life time memory. I would love to spend more time at Ile de Re our trip was much too short. All the very best for 2014 Diane xx

      Delete
  12. WOW!!!! I would start calling you Princess Di, but suppose that would be even fancier and Very private. Such an amazing gift from a friend. I too would find it a bit opulent but could probably suffer a bit to find out. ;) So happy you had the opportunity to do this and look forward to the rest of the voyage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha Gaelyn it was worth suffering to see how the other half live! You should have seen the occupants of the Royal Suite, her diamond ring almost blinded me!!! Not sure we would enjoy another cruise but this was quite special and we were extremely spoilt. Diane

      Delete
  13. Dear Diane, I believe this is an experience one should try once in a lifetime if you are lucky to have it. I must confess when I went on a cruise after a couple of days I started to get bored and needed to feel the earth under my feet:) Big hugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pamela we were bugged by the fact that when we came to a place we liked one day there was not enough. Never the less we did enjoy the trip and it was interesting in many ways as so different to our normal way of life. Hugs Diane

      Delete
  14. What a luxurious trip! Your photos might convince me to take a cruise!!

    Wishing you a wonderful new year!

    Bises,
    Genie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Genie if you go I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did. We were very spoilt, it may not have been quite the same if we had travelled under different conditions. Hope that 2014 is a fantastic year for you. Diane

      Delete
  15. Hallo Dianne. Awesomeness...it's the only word I can think off.would love to do this one day!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liesl we met a fantastic couple from the Fourways area near Joburg that have their own small game farm. They helped to make the holiday extra special for us. Have a good 2014 Diane

      Delete
  16. i hv nvr been on a cruise even tho we have quite plenty here...it must have so much fun and i like that they hv the private balcony too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lena it was quite an experience especially as we were so spoilt while there. Keep well Diane

      Delete
  17. It looks beautiful, Diane, but it's one thing I will never do. I love the water, to swim and all, but a cruise ship seems claustrophobic to me. Glad you enjoyed it and had a good time sightseeing and all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pam I hate being I closed places but this ship is so large it is just like being in a massive hotel. It was a great trip and one we are both glad we got to experience. Have a good Friday Diane

      Delete
  18. Dear Diane, Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year.
    The ship looks magnificent!!!
    Blessings, Catherine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Catherine, the ship was amazing, Have a good day Diane.

      Delete
  19. What a wonderful experience...you have to grab them when they come along!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fly I agree, if a chance like this appears then take with both hands. It is an experience we are never likely to have again. Hope all is well with you two. Diane

      Delete
  20. The shots of the storm over Barcelona are absolutely beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  21. It looks beautiful, Diane!
    Greetings, from Holland

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and greetings to you as well. Have a good day. Diane

      Delete
  22. Thanks for sharing your experience to us readers and it's really great to see the wonderful things and places that you have seen. Cruising is expensive but worth the money. I enjoyed my corryvreckan cruising so muc that I would love to go back again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne thanks for your visit and comment, much appreciate. I hope you manage to get another cruise sometime soon. Take care and have a good weekend Diane

      Delete
  23. Merci pour ce partage. Une très belle expérience.
    Très bonne année à toi aussi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merci pour votre commentaire Naji. Bon week-end Diane

      Delete
  24. I am so impressed with that ship. We have cruised first class down into the Caribbean, but never on as luxurious a ship as yours. I can't get over your balcony and how beautifully appointed your stateroom is. My husband longs to visit Barcelona. Maybe we'll get there one day. I shall send him your post as an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sam it was all very impressive, this ship is very special and we were lucky to have such a good friend. Hope that you manage to inspire your husband :-) Keep well Diane

      Delete
  25. I never could get used to the idea of a cruise -- I hate the idea of not being able to get off!!! Silly, right? Your cruise looks lovely with splendid accommodations... it is tempting and sailing to all the great ports must be a blast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deana I could never do a cruise that was at sea for days as some people do. We sailed only at night and then we were in dock in different places during the day. It was then up to us if we wanted to get off the ship or not. Problem then was, if it was a place we liked one day in port was too short. For all that we had a great time and enjoyed every minute of it. Diane

      Delete
  26. Replies
    1. Hi May, thanks for your visit and comment. It was a fantastic cruise :-) Have a good day Diane

      Delete
  27. Fabulous! I have enjoyed Part 1 and Part 2 and will now look forward to Part III :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Denise it was the most amazing experience. Trouble is we would never enjoy another cruise because we were so spoilt on this one :-) Diane

      Delete
  28. Glad to see you back. Wow It pays to have friends in High places. Am I right in thinking you didn't have to pay for this cruise?
    The ship looks amazing but as others have said too many people. Although I know they are good at getting thousands of people on and off quickly as we were on a cruise to Alaska some years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane B it really did not seem like too many people, the ship is so huge. We never had a queue at any time for anything. It was a tremendous experience and we paid a minimal amount. Keep well Diane

      Delete
  29. Sadly the one thing I have never done is go on a cruise like this although it is something I would have love to do. What a beautiful ship. Almost like a home away from home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joan we would never have thought about a cruise, generally it would have been too expensive for us. This was an amazing offer and one we not only appreciated but thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Hope all is well over there. Diane

      Delete
  30. Hi Diane, that's a really beautiful ship and lots of fun. I love to go on cruise tour cos it was so much fun and the food is wonderful. I went once in our Asia country Star Cruise for a 3 nights cruise from Singapore to Langkawi Island, we enjoyed it very much.

    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amelia the ship was stunning. The food was amazing and we were very spoilt eating at a different restaurant every night. Because we were with a VIP we had the best of everything! Good day Diane

      Delete
  31. My eyes are feasting on this beautiful journey of yours. Lovely captures and I love your new header!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rose the ship was extraordinary and we had a few days to feel like royalty. It was very special. Hope you are better, Diane

      Delete
  32. Hi Diane .. I've loved seeing the photos .. and I'd not wanted to do a cruise (ever) .. but seeing this - I just might accept an offer should one ever be made!!

    Great photography .. and certainly gave us a glimpse of exotic life! So pleased you had the opportunity to go along .. and spend some time with Gunter ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary we had never even entertained the idea of a cruise but the offer was far too tempting to refuse :-) There is no way we could have done a trip like this with out our friend, but if you did ever get an offer, then jump at it like we did. It was interesting and we saw places that we would probably not see otherwise. Have a great weekend Diane

      Delete
  33. Wonderfull ship, and series fotos.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and pass a comment. Every comment is appreciated and I try to reply to each and every one. All comments are verification free but will come to me for approval first :-)) No Anonymous Users!

Please not that if you are on Google + and I do not pass comments on your blog, I am sorry but many blogs I cannot get into any more. I tried plus and found some people could not comment on my blog so I cancelled it!