There were four restaurants onboard - the Plantation (self service and open 24 hours per day), the Waterfront (open for breakfast and dinner also self service), La Luna on deck (open lunch and dinner with an extra charge) and The Bistro for which James Martin the TV Chef creates the menu (open for dinner only with an extra charge, silver service). We booked a table in The Bistro for 7 p.m. to celebrate the first day of our holiday.
There were numerous bars on the ship too - Blue Bar (5 p.m. - 1 a.m), Connexions (4 p.m. - 1p.m.), The Oval (10 a.m. - 1 a.m.), Splash (on deck 9 a.m. - close), Sunweaver Ice Cream Parlour (10 a.m. - midnight), Plantations Bar (11.30 a.m. - midnight) and Bayside Club ( 10 p.m. - until late).
There was also a theatre - The Marquee - which put on shows twice nightly, as well as entertainment in Connexions Bar and The Oval.
So you can see from the above we were never short of entertainment or somewhere to eat and drink - which is why we both gained in excess of 7lbs each!
We spent some time exploring the ship for which we needed a map. Even by the end of the cruise I still managed to walk round in circles!
One of the swimming pools on Deck 12 taken from Deck 14.
We found a lounger on deck and did a little sunbathing until lunchtime, not too much as we didn't want to get burned the first day, then went for some lunch. There was a great selection of food and we ate far too much. We then made our way up to deck 12 and found a table where we had a drink and watched the Strong Man competition and Champagne Hoopla which was great fun. I tried to persuade MWM to take part but he wasn't feeling very energetic!
By this time we were tired so we went back to our suite and sat on the loungers on the balcony watching the sea and had a little nap. By the time we awoke it was time to shower and change for our meal at The Bistro.
Our friends had been on this cruise and recommended The Bistro and their description of it and the food was spot on.
From an extensive menu we chose the following:
Me: Sliced Parma Ham, pecorino cheese and Savoy cabbage salad with truffle oil/ Line caught cod with braised puy lentils, pancetta, Parmentier potatoes and noilly prat shallots with a selection of vegetables/ Pineapple and rosemary tart tatin with vanilla bean ice cream.
MWM: Deep fried smoked haddock fishcakes with hollandaise sauce/Roast breast of corn-fed chicken with creamed leeks and pancetta and a selection of vegetables/Iced caramel parfait with peppermint crisp.
Does that sound delicious? It was, and guess what - it only cost us £12.50 each!
You're not allowed to take your own alcohol on board, so we had ordered a pack of wine - six bottles of a mixture of White, Red and a sparkling Rose to keep in our cabin fridge, which you are allowed to take to the restaurants to enjoy with your meal. You can also take them into the bars. The wine wasn't being delivered to our cabin until the following day so we ordered one off the menu at The Bistro - very nice it was too!
After dinner we went to the Marquee where we saw a magician/comedian called Manuel Martinez who was extremely funny. Click on his name to watch him on Youtube. He was Cuban but spoke very good English but somehow his accent made everything he said funny. He flew back to England a few days later to appear on 'Britain's Got Talent' and apparently got through to the next round, so we should see him again when the show airs.
The Connexions Bar was our next stop as there was another comedian on - Martin Beaumont, he was so good we stayed after his performance and took part in the quiz until he did his second show at 11 p.m., which was totally different to the first one.
By the time the show had finished we were ready for bed - well it was 12.30 a.m. and we'd been up since 6 a.m., so that's where we went next.
Join me again for our first stop - Tortola.