Recent Posts

Antwerp Day Trip

Antwerp Day Trip

In my last post I wrote about my trip to Amsterdam on a mini cruise with the ladies of my family, on the second day of the trip we stopped in Antwerp. I mentioned that I did not fall in love with Amsterdam, but the […]

Amsterdam Pit Stop

Amsterdam Pit Stop

Last week, I hopped on a ship at the London Cruise Terminal and sailed away to Amsterdam & Antwerp for a long weekend for my nanna’s birthday. If you’ve read my blog before, you might know that last year I went on my first cruise […]

Columbus Maiden Voyage with Cruise and Maritime

Columbus Maiden Voyage with Cruise and Maritime

At the beginning of June, I set sail on the Columbus ship with Cruise and Maritime Voyages to celebrate my nans birthday. A cruise is the perfect option for taking my nan on holiday as the ship is easy to navigate when using a wheelchair with wide walkways, lifts, easy ramps and disabled toilets. Last year we travelled with CMV to Norway on the Magellan and this year for our trip we were onboard the Columbus for its first trip with the company.

The Columbus ship was a lot larger than our previous trip. It’s incredibly grand and has a luxurious feel. CMV ships are a lot smaller and have a ‘homely’ feel compared to larger cruise lines such as Celebrity cruises and P&O. I’ve personally never used another cruise company, but the ships I’ve been on are big enough and have everything you could need for your trip. Onboard the Columbus there are 2 swimming pools, hot tubs, a show lounge, a couple of restaurants, multiple bars, a dome club, library, games room and spa. There’s always something to do on board and always always always some food to eat. Our cabin was spacious and always clean with plenty of room for two. The areas around the ship were always cleaned and refreshed, ready for someone to take a seat at the bar or a table in the restaurant. The entertainment on board was extrodianarly entertaining every evening, full of talent and ambition. The acrobatic act on the last night was incredible to watch. There was also an extra show on the last evening as a celebration to the first voyage which was great fun. I much prefer the layout of this shipped compared to CMV’s Magellan due to the locations of where the restaurants and bars were, especially when navigating a wheelchair. On the Columbus, the show lounge, bars and restaurant are all along one floor, whereas in the Magellan we had to change floors depending on where we needed to go. There was always plenty of seating available inside and out and everything was well organised.

Our time on the Columbus maiden voyage did have a few teething problems. Firstly, a technical error meant many key cards were not working properly on the first day so we couldn’t access the rooms and spent over an hour queuing in reception and walking up and down corridors back and forward to the room trying to gain access with new key cards. The staff did however take over and walk to room for me and sort it out whilst I had a little relax in reception as I was getting flustered! (Edit – since writing this, CMV have advised that all the keycards have been changed so there’s no issues!) Another issue was accessing Amsterdam when we arrived in port and took a long time to resolve meaning the hours were pushed back for when we were able to get off the boat and when we left. For us this wasn’t too much of a big deal, but others had excursions booked for set times which they were likely to miss. The biggest issue we encountered was the dinner service. Dinner service on 2 out of the 3 nights took over 2 hours from start to finish. As out dining time was half 8, it meant we hadn’t finished eating until long gone 10 o’clock. This caused a lot of frustration for a lot of people on the table around us. By the third night, the dinner service was perfect. All of these issues are easily fixable for the next time the cruise departed again so I would most definitely not worry about these issues when booking another cruise on the Columbus.

Formal dinner

Whilst there was a lot of problems, the employees on board to Columbus ship couldn’t have been more apologetic and helpful if they tried. There was always bound to be a few teething problems, a new ship meant a lot of new staff who hadn’t worked on a cruise ship before, and expierence staff who were battling with new systems and operations. This did not ruin the trip for us at all. Staff were continuously friendly, smiling, eager to please the and diffuse negative situations as much as they could. I understand that people were unhappy with the service being less than they expected but some cruisers were uncessarily rude. It’s not the water boys fault that your dinner is late, or receptions fault that the ship was not better prepared for knowing how to access the ports. All staff were willing to answer to your every request to keep guests happy. I could not fault them.

Food cmv

Last year on our ship, our wonderful dinner waiter named Joe left a lasting impact on us as he was so friendly and entertaining. We saw Joe on board, though he was not working our table, but to our surprise he recognised us and said hello with a little catch up. Joe had been on many many cruises in the last 9 months and seen thousands of new faces. The rest of the employees are much like Joe, eager to assist you in anything you may need. Our new waiter, Komang, was able to deliver us a perfect dinner service on our last night which made up for the slightly terribly service the previous nights. Although service was slow, there was no way you could fault the food produced by the chefs. Cruise dining is a great experience with 5 delicious, delicate courses available every night. Our last night was topped off with a celebratory bottle of wine and birthday cake for my nan. I’d dine on board that ship every night if I could… I highly recommend the fish if you ever go on a CMV cruise because every time it came out perfect.

Nans birthday

Overall, I had an incredible time onboard and would love to sail away again in the future. With a shorter cruise, there isn’t much time to really get a feel for the ship so extra time on board would be great to,explore more. I highly recommend using Cruise and Maritime Voyages as they have lots of destinations to choose from and plenty of deals like buy one and get one free! If you want a stylish surrounding, good food, friendly staff, an entertaining evening, comfy beds and strong cheap drinks then look no further.

Press Night at Revolution Southend

Press Night at Revolution Southend

To all my fellow Essex food lovers and party go-ers, this one is for you. If you’ve been living under a rock, you won’t know that Revolution has opened it’s doors in Southend-on-Sea. Revolution, aka Vodka Revolution, aka Vodka Revs, aka Revs is one of my […]

10 Tips for First Time Buyers

10 Tips for First Time Buyers

In December 2015, my boyfriend and I purchased our very own first home. At the age of 21, I feel like this is a great achievement and I am fortunate to be in the position that I am. Buying your own home, whether it is […]

Personalised Gifts with Imagise

Personalised Gifts with Imagise

Is there anything better than a personalised gift that will remind you of a special moment for the rest of your life? Personalised items are my favourite as you can make them incredibility unique and individual.

I was contacted by Imagise to see if I’d be interested in any of their personalised products and was impressed with the individual items on offer. From their personalised gifts section, I chose a Large Slate Heart Decoration and 120 piece A4 Jigsaw as I though they would make interesting personalised gift ideas. I’ve never seen personalised slate items before with photos so I was really intrigued to see how it would look. Imagise also offer rectangular slate, mouse mats, phone covers and tablet cases.

When I opened the package I was absolutely over the moon with how the products looked. The items were well packaged with the jigsaw in a personalised box and the slate heart in an extra Jiffy bag for some added protection. Although I knew where the items had come from, I actually like it when companies add business leaflets or cards into the package so I can keep them handy for my next order (and I will most definitely be ordering again!)

Jigsaw of dogs

I picked a photo of my 2 dogs for the jigsaw as I love them both very much and the old boy will not be with us much longer so I thought it would make a nice keepsake and something fun to do! I haven’t completed a jigsaw in so long but I cannot wait to do this one. I might even frame it once I’ve put it all together. There’s a photo on the box so you know what you are putting together! The pieces are sturdy and feel as though they won’t rip or tear during use. They fit together well and once put together look great. The colouring of the photos are clear and bright and true to the original photo.

Slate heart

The other item I got, the slate heart, I am honestly so in love with and I will be ordering it for future presents as I think it makes an incredible unique gift for someone you love. I chose to get one as my best friends engagement gift. She’s the type of girl who has everything she already wants and can buy everything she needs so I wanted to get something that would be a memorable keepsake. I was so surprised how well the pictures are transferred onto the slate and the pictures merge together beautifully. I think the slate heart will be a perfect item to hang in their home to remember the moment they got engaged. I just hope she loves it as much as I do!

If you love the look of these items, you can create your own over at the Imagise website. It’s super easy to use and you can add whatever photos, text and shapes you like in an array of colours. Everything is completely customisable!

 

 

 

This post has been written in collaboration with Imagise. Both items mentioned in this review were gifted by the company however all views are my own and an honest account of the brand.

Top tips for a trip to Disneyland Paris

Top tips for a trip to Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris could be one of the most magical places on earth and a perfect holiday destination for both children and adults alike. I’ve been to Disneyland Paris multiple times as a child and have recently gone back as an adult. There are some obvious […]

Vienna House Magic Circus Hotel Review

Vienna House Magic Circus Hotel Review

If you’ve seen my recent social media activity, you’ll know that I’ve just arrived home from a long weekend trip to the one and only, Disneyland Paris. Disneyland Paris is a dream destination in itself, but it is also a great alternative to other Disney […]

Tropical Trend for 2017

Tropical Trend for 2017

Tropical is all over the homeware scene right now and its clear why, it looks blooming fabulous in every room. Whether you are adding a subtle tropical print towel, or go wild with an entire wallpaper, it’s a great way to introduce a bit of colour and vibrancy into your home. The Queensgate Retail Park in Harlow, Essex has welcomed the arrival of the the exotic tropic trend with statement pieces, bold colours and Amazonian inspired prints, ready for the spring and summer season. An exotic print and bright colours always reminds me of being on holidays which is a great tone to bring into your home because I love a good sunny trip abroad.

‘Your home should be a story of what you are, and a collection of what you love’ Make Berkus

Some of my favourite homeware shops are based on the Queensgate Retail Park such as Homesense and Laura Ashley. I recently visited the Chelmsford Homesense store and picked up a bright yellow Pineapple ornament which is perfectly fitting with this trend. The Harlow store has on offer a Gold version which is stylish and sleek for the price of £16.99. Homesense is perfect for getting some bargain buys to add items which are on trend to your home without breaking the bank, meaning you can change it up each season. Continuing with the popular gold trend, Laura Ashley have a small feather trinket dish for the price of £10 which would be perfect for any girls dressing table.

tropical trend

One of my favourite ways to incorporate the tropical trend into your home is in the bedroom. Who wouldn’t love a palm leaf bed set from Next? Next also have on offer some Palm Tree Wallpaper which I adore! I don’t think my boyfriend would be too happy about it though. Next wallpaper is great quality, as are many of their other homeware products. It’s always a place I like to swoon over for homeware inspiration.

I love shopping at retail parks like Queensgate where you can pick up products in different shops, all within a short vicinity of eachother. There are 15 lifestyle and homeware outlets to choose from as well as food and drink options so you can make a real day of it! Is there anything better than shopping til’ you dropping and then heading to Pizza Hut for an unlimited lunch time buffet? I don’t think so!

Will you be incorporating the tropical trend into your home this season or do you prefer sticking to a more traditional look?

 

 

 

This post was written in collaboration with Queensgate Retail Park however all opinions are my own. 

#ChelmsfordLoves Homesense

#ChelmsfordLoves Homesense

If you love all things homeware, then you need to be heading to your local Homesense store for some household bargains. If like me, you love cushions, throws, unnecessary accessories such as a giant pineapple and novelty shot glasses, then you will have a fabulous […]