Marseille was our final port of call, but the opportunities for a photo shoot in the pretty area of the old port were marred by the grey drizzle. We made the most of things and picked up some last minute gifts from a local market and then sought refuge in a cafe overlooking the harbour. Steve succumbed to the pleasures of a hot chocolate which was thick enough to stand a spoon in, coupled with a chocolate fondant, lavishly decorated with whipped cream. Some of you may not yet be aware of the fact that when you're on holiday abroad there operates a clever phenomenon whereby any excess of calories consumed miraculously disappear during the "Holiday Calorie Conversion Process". Known as the HCCP, this little documented process happens automatically at the airport when you pass through the metal detector gate at customs, and it is sometimes aided by the use of that large magic wand they wave across your body to help rid you of the last few stubborn holiday calories. Voila! You leave the country weighing exactly the same as when you arrived.
|It's so good to know that this contains zero calories.|
|By the time we got back on board the sun appeared, making it ideal for my French themed shoot. I had planned this outfit for today with meticulous attention to detail, but Steve made me ditch the string of onions and black beret.|
Chanel trousers: gift. Striped top: Primark. Shoes: Vans. Belt: eBay.
As we moved around the deck I could see the Captain of the ship appear. Notice this sudden alertness in my eyes.
|Steve didn't know that the cogs were turning as I hatched a plan...|
|There are two glass lifts which service the centre of the ship offering you wonderful views, so that afternoon I rode the lift and took some shots of the public areas.|
|The lower floor is the Diamond bar and lounge from where there are a series of diamond staircases for all aspiring Hollywood starlets to pose. Ahem, well maybe not just starlets.|
|We had a day at sea between leaving Malta and docking in Barcelona. We could see Sardinia in the distance some 20 miles away at lunchtime. The day for most seemed to be about chilling out, or in my case trying on frocks for yet another busy evening. This black dress may be conservative by my normal (flashy) standards and that's because I offered three choices to Steve and he chose this one (we clearly are the typical case of opposites attract). For a change I wore my silver sandals and the gold and silver necklace to add a bit of bling.|
Dress: Laura Ashley (charity shop). Silver sandals and clutch: TK Maxx. Necklace: Magpie Vintage. Watch and rings: charity shop.
|No matter what pose you choose, these glittery steps add real glamour.|
|Early morning as we come into port. Notice the obligatory silk pyjamas for morning balcony shots.|
|Soft grey light as dawn breaks - all the more romantic when viewed from the ship.|
|Oh how I shall miss this new day, new port lifestyle.|
Sailing along the coastline as we leave Marseille to head off for the final leg to Genoa. Sob, sniffle, sob.
|The French flavour continued as we were treated to the Can-Can by the entertainment troupe. The theatre was packed every night and today's influx of French guests loved this offering.|
|On the last night I had a choice of four dresses which I hadn't yet worn. After much chopping and changing I decided to go with the Bollywood number. I think this peach colour is good for my skin and hair colouring. On top of that I just love beads and sparkle!|
Dress and shawl: Enjoy Clothing. Shoes: Primark. Yellow ring: Martin James. Sparkle ring: charity shop.
This was our final night with the friends we had made. We had a brilliant time from start to finish and I really couldn't recommend this type of holiday enough. I know cruising has a staid image, but the guests were all sorts of ages enjoying all sorts of entertainment. The nightclub was open into the wee, small hours, as was the casino. There were too many bars and lounges for us to find and visit within a week. Eating could be a 24 hour occupation if you chose, and there were children's clubs, fitness classes, dancing classes, a gymnasium, a health and beauty spa, a shopping mall, icecream parlour, pizza joint, library, internet cafe - oh the list went on and on. Do it all, or do none at all and just go on a cruise to rest. But I urge you to try it, just once - you may have a ball. Arrivederci, Captain Maresca, we might see you again one day!
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb