Final port of call, Marseille

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...

Yes, here I am with Captain Giuseppe Maresca of MSC Preziosa. I didn't tell him I'd be featuring him on my blog. I think he just assumed I was an adoring guest. He asked how we'd enjoyed the cruise and if we would travel with the company again. He possessed the cool charm which comes from intelligence and position.

The following day was Valentine's day. Now some women may get roses, but I was lucky enough to get a rose gold Michael Kors watch. Yes, my husband spoils me, I know. The rose gold knot bangle was what he bought me last year as we came through Singapore airport on our way back from New Zealand. Yes, I know, he spoils me.

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.

On the top of the ship is another swimming pool with yet more bars, a disco and nightclub beyond. Steve and I never managed to get that far in the evenings. Dinner was followed by a show in the huge theatre, a quick whizz through the casino and into the Green Sax lounge for drinks and dancing. Everyone seemed to find there own niche and this was ours.

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!

Linking with
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb 


Next stop Malta, then across the Med to Barcelona.

Here we are coming into Valletta, Malta. It was a beautiful sunny morning, ideal for a trip out and about. We watched the docking procedure from our balcony and then went off on a sightseeing tour around the island on an open topped bus.

This lift is a great location for snaps, but only if you manage to keep the door open to stop the background blurring as you whizz off!

Skirt: Boden. Sweater: Uniqlo. Blouse: charity shop. Sandals: New Zealand. Handbag: Rome. Watch: charity shop.

The ship was huge. We didn't see all of it by any means, but what we did see was pretty impressive.

Another evening, another outfit. This skirt is much prettier than it seems - it's got a sheer, but shiny sparkly overskirt, and the underskirt finishes at mid thigh. I like this racy combination, as it's not too obvious and yet feels really girly. These shoes ended up being my go-to shoes for almost the entire cruise. They seemed to work with so many ensembles, and I just adore them.

Skirt: TK Maxx. Blouse: charity shop. Shoes: Primark. Clutch: TK Maxx. Turquoise bangle: gift. Turquoise ring: old. Watch: charity shop. Silver ring: charity shop.

Our day in Barcelona

Today was Steve's day. And being a huge football fan that meant a trip to the stadium aka Camp Nou.  We hopped on another open topped bus and headed off.

I'm not much of a football fan myself, but seeing all of the trophies, dressing rooms, commentary box and stadium was quite enlightening - I think I get it now what all the excitement is about. Apologies if I've included too many of these snaps, but I just wanted to give the flavour of the moment.

Jacket: Vero Moda. Trousers: H&M. Shoes: Office. Waistcoat: Uniqlo. Silver ring:charity shop.

The bus tour took us past some of the Gaudi buildings. The city has so many important buildings created by the artist - I think you could easily spend a week just visiting these alone.

Tonight was another gala evening. My ballgown had suffered a malfunction when I was packing but after a bit of work, I finally managed to fix it ready for this dressing up occasion.

I liked using the lift as my own private photo set. The lighting was great even without a flash.


Looking back at this photograph I think I maybe could have worn a stronger/brighter lipstick. This peachy tone seemed fine but it does look a bit washed out now.
Dress: eBay. Shoes: Primark. Necklace: Magpie Vintage. Watch: charity shop. Yellow ring: Martin James. Sparkly ring: charity shop. Clutch: Santa Cruz.

I couldn't help adding this photo of Steve in his James Bond suit. Scrubs up well, doesn't he? (I worry he may get more fan mail than me though, hahaha.)

On Sunday I'll be showing the last post of the final leg of our trip. Hope you will join me for the final round up.

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