Our alarm went off at 9am and it would not be an exaggeration to say that we jumped out of bed! We weren’t due to check out until 11am but we were far too excited and ended up being ready early. We packed everything up and our transfer picked us up bang on time.
When we got dropped off at the port, we could not believe the size of our ship! It was even bigger than we’d imagined. Check in was a dream and before we knew it, we were onboard – enjoying our first lunch on the top deck. We had agreed that we wouldn’t return to Venice – firstly because our first visit had been too perfect to ever beat and secondly because we have so many other places that we want to see together (our list just keeps on growing). Getting ready to leave should therefore have been sad, but for us it was purely exciting!!! Lunch was buffet style and it was seriously difficult to narrow down what we wanted to eat. Everything looked amazing! I went for turkey and feta cheese salad in the end with a spoonful of paella, while Darren had a beef burger with some freshly carved chicken on the side. After, we walked around the deck in awe of our surroundings and we finally checked into our stateroom. We were so pleased with how big it was and loved gazing out of the window. Unpacking was completely stress free too – Darren didn’t even go mad when he saw the amount of shoes I’d actually packed! Next we had our safety check then the night was ours to enjoy. We headed to ‘R Cocktail Bar’ and we were instantly struck by how kind the guests and staff were. One lady was admiring my jewellery before telling me how beautiful she thought it was. I had never been so proud of my left hand (thanks to my engagement ring, my wedding ring and my friendship bracelet – which was a thoughtful present from my best friend Chaz on the morning of my wedding!). I was also complimented on my dress several times which did wonders for my confidence. Soon, we set sail! We grabbed a spot on the top deck and watched in utter amazement as we left Venice. The views were absolutely incredible and we couldn’t even feel the ship moving which was a relief. Ed Sheeran songs played as we sailed which made it all the more special. The best part was waving to people on other cruise ships, water taxis and water buses passing by. We hadn’t even left the Grand Canal before Darren turned to me and said “I can already say I’d do this again, it’s amazing”. I couldn’t have agreed more! Then he had me in fits of giggles as he told me how tempted he was to stick his fingers up and call the other people ‘boat wankers’! Luckily he didn’t and instead he fetched us ice cold beers from a portable bar that was moving around the deck. Soon we went back to our stateroom to get ready for our evening meal in Giovanni’s (the al la carte Italian restaurant). We went on to devour eight impeccable courses between us and had to head back to our stateroom for a lie down afterwards! I was soooo full! After we’d sorted ourselves out, we headed to ‘Schooner Bar’ for cocktails and then the ‘Shall We Dance?’ ballroom for a game show. Finally we went to Deck 11 to dance the night away in the over 18s Viking Crown Nightclub. We fell into bed way later than planned but we didn’t care – the morning couldn’t come soon enough! We were so excited to wake up in Croatia!
The first thing we did this morning was dress into our matching Game of Thrones t-shirts! We looked a right pair!!! Then we ordered breakfast in bed for our first morning on the ship. The guy that delivered our food handed the tray to me and said “I’ll hold the door”. Then he clocked our t-shirts and added “HODOR!”. We laughed at the Game of Thrones reference and got even more excited for the tour we’d booked. After we’d eaten, we watched the ship dock in Dubrovnik. It looked stunningly beautiful and was so picturesque! Soon it was time to disembark and meet our private tour guide Neno. He was absolutely lovely and took us right to the top of Dubrovnik for an awesome panoramic view of the city first, then took us around all the different Game of Thrones filming locations. He showed us photos and told us stories about all the scenes that had been shot there. There were way to many to write about but if I had to narrow down my favourites they would definitely be the location of the purple wedding/the King Joffrey death scene, the steps from Cersei’s Walk of Shame and of course the Iron Throne! All three were absolutely amazing to see. After our tour, Neno left us to enjoy free time in the city. We were tired from walking around in the hottest part of the day so after a little shopping, we relaxed under a tree in a shaded bar looking out onto the waters. Finally Neno drove us back to our port and we boarded our ship, heading to the top deck to sunbathe. I fetched Darren a giant can of Fosters from the bar (gaining major wife points!) before we went to get ready for our evening meal in the al la carte steakhouse Chops Grille. We both ordered steak – mine was an 8oz fillet and tasted amazing. It was cooked to perfection and I can’t imagine ever tasting another steak as good! Darren bossed a 16oz T-bone beast and still had room for dessert with me! He had chocolate pudding and I got vanilla cheesecake. We went back to our stateroom and had a glass of bubbly in bed with a movie afterwards. Being sensible was hard but we had an alarm set for 6am to watch the sunrise over Montenegro – so it was sure to be worthwhile!