Have you ever been on a cruise?
My answer was “no” until just recently when I set foot on a cruise ship for the very first time.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but I’ve gotta say – dipping your toe into the cruising world with a short cruise is definitely the way to go.
We boarded P&O Cruises’ Pacific Eden on a Friday afternoon, ready for our 3-night comedy themed cruise. Yep! P&O offers short themed cruises and you can take your pick of comedy or food and wine.
(They must have known I was in need of a good laugh!)
We had a jam packed itinerary and got to experience just about everything the cruise had to offer, so I thought I’d break down my favourite things into categories for you…
We stayed in a balcony room which was plenty big enough for the two of us (my husband and I) and very comfortable.
I loved having the balcony to enjoy some fresh air and watch the beautiful ocean. Seriously nothing more relaxing than that!
Who knew there were so many dining options on board one ship?!
For breakfast, we dined at Waterfront Restaurant, where you can order off the menu and enjoy your first meal of the day at a relaxed pace.
On the first night, our group enjoyed dinner at Chef’s Table – a private dining room experience hosted by the Executive Chef. A 7-course degustation with matching wines, it really was a spectacular way to begin our cruise. Highly recommended!
Again, there is seriously so much to do on a cruise – I had no idea!
One of the highlights for me was pushing myself way outside of my comfort zone (and fear of heights) by going zip lining.
My legs were shaking as I climbed the stairs and I was a little hesitant to leap off the ledge, but once I did – WOOOOOOOO! What a rush!
My legs were still shaking as I climbed back down the stairs on the other side of the ship, but my smile was so big and I was so proud of myself!
On the complete flip side, there’s also the incredible Elemis Spa where I got to have all my stress massaged away.
Personally, I think on any holiday if you can squeeze in some pampering, that’s a very good thing to do!
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment at sea – there’s a cinema, live music, bars and nightclubs, a casino and bingo, just to name a few.
On the comedy cruise, you also get to enjoy several shows while you’re on board featuring some of Australia’s best comedians.
The comedians on our cruise were Bob Downe (AKA Mark Trevorrow), Danny McGinlay, Josh Earl, Jarred Fell and Kehau Jackson.
We attended a comedy workshop with Danny McGinlay and watched the Comedy Cruise Gala – an up close and personal chat with the comedians as well as adults only shows in the Sit Down Comedy Club.
Then there was the Comedy Gong Show – a chance for passengers on the cruise to take to the stage and show off their comedy skills. Kudos to everyone who stood up there and made us laugh… BRAVE!
OK! I think that just about covers my few days at sea.
P&O says it’s “the fastest way to slow down” – and I couldn’t agree more. As a first time cruiser, I can definitely see the appeal of a cruising holiday (especially for those who only want to unpack once, want to travel with friends, and for families) and we’ve said that we’re keen to take a longer cruise in the future.
My top tips for cruising in style:
- Consider the activities you might be taking part in and pack accordingly. I knew we had some nice dinners to attend, as well as a Gatsby themed party and even some zip lining, so I made sure to pack an outfit for every occasion.
- Board early and book the restaurants you want to dine at – and make that the first thing you do. On our cruise, I was told that the restaurants that require bookings were at capacity within the first hour of boarding. You can’t book before you board, so keep that in mind if you’re a foodie who wants to experience all of the dining options.
- Next, unpack. Everything. This was a great tip from one of my fabulous followers and I have to say, it felt great to unpack and know this was my little home away from home for the next few days. It also meant I knew where everything was and could get ready at a moment’s notice.
- Pack a steamer. My friend Kelly who was also travelling with us packed a steamer and it was a lifesaver! Easier to use and smaller to store than having to call for an iron and ironing board. Plus I hate to iron!
- Also worth packing? A portable Bluetooth speaker. Again, Kelly came to the rescue with this nifty little device and we used it while getting ready in our cabins and took it with us while enjoying cocktails on the deck.
- If you’re in need of a holiday – book it! There’s never a perfect opportunity to take time out of our busy schedules and relax, but truthfully? There’s nothing more important than to do exactly that.
So go on – book that holiday (or at least start the conversation and begin planning it).
P&O is offering a record season of 12 cruises from Adelaide in 2019, including two seven-night round-trip cruises to Tassie.
Book yours now: www.pocruises.com.au
(We travelled as guests of P&O. All opinions are my own.)