As my husband had already been in Europe for three weeks prior to our holiday, he wasn’t exhibiting the same time zone confusion that my stupid body was. I would have liked a long leisurely sleep in but I settled for ordering a pot of tea instead and settling down to write up the first part of my trip. The intent was to do this daily but that went out the window very fast - there was too much to see and do so now I will have to rely on my memory.
Today was the port of Bari and I really can’t say much about it as we didn’t get off the ship at all. Once my husband woke up we went to La Palmeraie for breakfast. This was fast becoming a favourite place. I had scrambled eggs and he had waffles. Both were delicious! Sadly my husband ate the waffles before I had a chance to photograph them - he reports that they were very tasty.
Following that we walked through the open decks, checking out the kids aquatic area and deciding our boys would have loved it, and then we made our way up to the One Pool via the external stairs.
As we walked the staff were just finishing putting out the deck chairs and I was heartily amused to see they were using every available space including two loungers that had a splendid view of….a wall! We immediately decided that this was the naughty corner and you got sent there for chair hogging.
Up in the One Pool I took a quick snap of part of the breakfast buffet (which we never ended up trying) and then we ordered coffee and mimosas and settled back with our books for a while - BLISS!
Whilst we were there we had a lovely view of the ship sailing along the Italian coast. Bari is a normal Italian city but I enjoyed seeing the blend of older structures with the new. There was a light house that captured my fascination for a while and I was very impressed with the concrete structures that they used for the breakwater. It looked like a child giant had lined up all their jacks then abandoned them. I later also enjoyed watching a ferry being unloaded and then reloaded with a large number of huge trucks - first disgorging an endless stream of them then one by one new ones driving up the ramp and vanishing! I also noted the buses lined up at the port. From what I could see there, there were a huge number of buses put on for tours and it all looked very organised. Later as we sailed away, I was astonished to see how much sediment was churned up as we left the port. It makes you realise how powerful the thrusters on these huge ships must need to be.
As I said, we chose not to get off the ship but our friends H&M took a bike tour which they said was a lot of fun and very very interesting. Note to self for if we visit again.
I loved the staircases but I'm such a klutz that I was sincerely afraid that I would be distracted by all the bling and take a tumble down them!
As we looked round the shops I was astonished and delighted to find an identical stuffed toy to one my youngest son had loved and lost back in New Zealand. Meowey must have got lost and found her way onto our ship! So we rescued (i.e. bought) her so she could come home with us again. :p
We also visited the excursions office and found an interesting excursion for our at sea day.
After our lunch we took a walk around the buffet. It was HUGE and very extensive. It was also very busy so I didn't take photos except for this one:
Then it was time to relax at the One Pool - the private pool and sun area for yacht Club guests.
Later we had afternoon tea in the One Lounge - again a private area set aside just for Yacht Club guests. The ship was huge - 4,500 passengers - but in this private enclave we never felt crowded and never had any trouble finding a prime spot to sit or plenty of attentive service.
To be honest, I have had better high teas. It was nice though not as light as others I have had. Plus I am a huge fan of savouries and this was more sweet focussed. They did have genuine clotted cream which was very nice.
Then it was time to get ready for dinner. I was very very grateful the rest of our itinerary was going to be active because if I continued to eat like this they would have had to have rolled me off the ship! As it happens, both my husband and I ate heartily and walked endless hours and came home lighter than we left.