I should explain.
One of the funnest things about being a blogger is the sheer range of events and trips I get to attend. Whether it's a trip away, a day at the races, a restaurant review or a press day, I get to enjoy some really unique and interesting things. I'm also lucky enough to be able to do a lot of these in the company of friends I've made through blogging. How lucky is that?
A few weeks ago the lovely folk at Royal Caribbean asked me if I'd like to head down to Southampton to spend a day aboard one of their ships, the Navigator of the Seas. We'd be able to tour the ship, try out the facilities, look around the rooms and enjoy a spot of lunch on board before the ship headed off on a cruise. So we'd get to go on the ship, just not depart with it!
Being both a nut for the sea and naturally nosey, and when I heard the divine Charlie, Katy and Charley were signed up too, I was both on board, and reading to get on board. I was also excited because I've never been on a cruise but a couple of my friends love it and are always telling me how great cruises are - this daytrip would give me the ideal chance to have a look around before choosing whether or not the cruise life was for me!
Which is how I found myself at Waterloo at 7.20am on a Sunday, awaiting the lovely Katy for our journey south! Unfortunately Charley couldn't attend as she was poorly, but we sent her plenty of messages on Whats App so she could still join in. With Katy for company the journey flew by and we were soon at the port ready to meet up with Charlie, check in, and board the ship!
Being bloggers, we naturally had to take a shoe pic (or seven). This is in one of the many lifts which transport you around the ship - it is BIG. We were all rather taken with the days of the week signs in each lift!
Going up, looking down.
The central atrium was so pretty and glam - many of the shared spaces reminded me of Las Vegas. After glimpsing the centre of the ship we wanted to go out on deck - the day had dawned grey, misty and rainy, but by the time we boarded the skies were blue and the sun was beaming down.
We then spent a good few hours clocking up a bazillion steps (my fitbit was oh-so-happy) touring the many facilities on board. I swear, you could spend a month on board and not get bored or be wanting new options! Utterly spoiled for choice.
From an arcade filled with machines and activities...
....to a serene, quiet library.
A game of roulette in the casino...
...to enacting movie moments with your silly friends.
Going for a trip up the climbing wall...
...to working off some of the cocktails and treats with a workout class.
Working out where next your route might take you...
...to feeling the burn in the top-of-the-range gym.
...or perusing the many and varied pieces of art and memorablia on board.
Trying your luck on the skeeball...
...or the slot machines in the casino.
Watching a performance in the enormous theatre...
....or enjoying the many pools up on deck.
Braving the choppy waters and learning to surf on Flowrider...
...or enjoying bubbling waters of another kind entirely at the spa (I almost stayed here when we happened upon it - gorgeous facilities).
I don't think you could get bored while at sea! Thank heavens there's a timetable to keep everything (*pun klaxon*) shipshape.
After all that (and some mini-golf too, which I was clearly enjoying far too much as I took very few photos of it!) we went off to tour the rooms. We saw suites, interior cabins, familt rooms, exterior cabins, and really got a feel for the different accommodations. Everything was finished nicely and there were lots of little extras you could opt for to choose the room you'd most enjoy. One suite even had a grand piano, which I was just tickled by. That's living, baby!
As we toured the ship so many rooms were set up for anniversaries, birthdays, and honeymoons - super cute.
Some of the suites had lovely dining areas where you could dine á deux or with a smaller party if you wanted too. I am a sucker for a suite and love having the chance to have a little privacy away from crowds (ever the ambivert!) so this really appealed, and I loved the finish & styling of these rooms.
The interior cabins were smaller but quite ingenious in their design - every nook and cranny had been utilised to ensure you had lots of space for storage and getting ready. With the room above you even get two and a half Charlies!
Full shot of an interior room.
This king bed was in one of the family rooms. These rooms were fabulous, with a room for parents, a twin room for kids, and a couchbed in the living space too, as well as two bathrooms and a huge balcony with loungers and sitting space. It was like a little flat - on a ship!
I liked how many of the rooms and suites had sitting areas - I love when rooms give you somewhere to sit other than the bed!
We said farewell to the team and disembarked before the ship set off for its cruise - I felt rather blue getting off and did consider stowing away for a few moments! I really enjoyed the visit and it has definitely opened my eyes to cruising as a possible holiday choice - now I just have to convince Matthew, or a few girlfriends, that they want to come too!
Disclaimer, as ever: I was invited to attend a day visit onboard the Navigator of the Seas by Royal Caribbean, and was hosted by their PR team on the day. As the ship was getting ready to set sail I like to think we got a pretty fair glimpse of proceedings! Thank you very much to Royal Caribbean for having us; all opinions within this post are, as always, my own.