Hello Cruise – A weekend sea break

I love a bargain. After keeping a watchful eye on weekend cruise prices, sales hit. I grabbed a deal, exactly the one I was looking for. It would be my first cruise experience, and the well-timed weekend comedy cruise by P&O wouldn’t hurt my leave balance.

Checked-in and onboard, we headed straight to the buffet for lunch. There were a lot of options catering to all tastes and I can see why some people prefer cruises to other getaways…the free food! Well, you don’t have to pay for it (Well, sort of).

From lunch
From lunch

It was a clear winter’s day and leaving Sydney Harbour, we were treated to the most wonderful sunset.

I had heard people get sick on board a lot (from the ship rocking but also outbreaks of gastro), fortunately the rocking didn’t affect me. It was only after my first cocktail on board that I realised the movement, or maybe I was simply tipsy.

As this was a comedy cruise, there were a few comedy gigs lined up and a special 11 o’clock adults only session (which was rather tame). Cruise parties also seem to be a big thing, but unfortunately we had to give them a miss as we weren’t prepared with special outfits. I considered attending the all white party in full black, or the Gatsby party and I could have gone in shorts, just to make a statement!

There were an awful lot of other activities in the schedule with everything from bingo, abseiling, movies and art auctions but I wasn’t on the cruise for that! Well, who in the right mind would buy art while cruising? That would be disastrous, at least in my opinion. Gym was a good choice and the early morning boot camp sessions.

Food is always a hit with everyone, especially those who want to try all restaurants, paid and not. To my surprise, there were three paying restaurants and one sit down restaurant which is included in cabin price (and the hardest to eat at without a reservation!). We managed to get two dinners booked at the free restaurant and also have a quieter breakfast. We even managed to spot a dancing whale and a large heard of dolphins (so cute). By the way, the free coffee onboard is the worst thing ever. Go buy one at the cafe. Having to sanitise your hands every time you get to a restaurant didn’t make for a great start to a meal.

My routine for the weekend was to head to breakfast early followed by a couple of rounds around the ship admiring the sea and gorgeous views, take a few photos and have a mid-morning cocktail (why not?).

It was during my walks that I realised we were not travelling towards open sea, but sailing close to shore following the coast north. You couldn’t see land but at times you could make out the mountains and spot an occasional freight ship. I wonder if the rocking would have been greater if we were in deeper waters.

Cruise path
Cruise path

From lunch on, whole ship seems to get busier, probably because everyone’s now wide open ready for more action from free food to cocktails, bingo to casino, comedy shows to parties! The vibe was relaxed, comforting, and we-are-having-a-jolly-good-time-but-donk-sink-the-ship!

It was three nights of smooth sailing, heading back to Sydney without any issues,  I decided that I could certainly do another cruise, that are fun, relaxing, with  enjoyable views; you can attend set activities and have a good time. P&O also offered $1 deposit for other cruise bookings on board, which I did consider.

Overnight, weather must have changed dramatically so that when we returned, Sydney was in heavy fog. The fog was so heavy, that despite docking right next to Harbour Bridge, we still couldn’t see all of the bridge. See the photo.

I can certainly guarantee that I will go on another cruise as I thoroughly enjoyed my first one. I wish for more smooth sailing again, but longer at sea next time. Until then…

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