Today was our last day of sailing on board Rhapsody of the Seas and our last full day of our honeymoon adventure. It was also our most relaxing day yet and the first time that we’d actually had nothing to do or nowhere to be (unless you count having to collect our hundreds of photo shoot snaps from the gallery!).
We chilled out on the top deck, sunbathing in the beautiful weather and sipping ice cold lager. We made the absolute most of our last taste of paradise before the hard hit of reality – by filling the Coca Cola flasks from our staterooms with prosecco and disaronno (I’ll let you guess who had what!). I had a salad in the sunshine while Darren went inside to find out more information about the cruises we can book for next summer. We are definitely going again – we just can’t decide which one to go for! I went to have my hair put up in the salon and although it was a lovely experience, it was the most expensive hair up I’ve ever had! Darren nearly fainted (and not because of how nice it was)!!! We sat out in the sunshine for as long as we could, before heading to our stateroom to pack. Then we got ready for an evening at the Chef’s Table which we’d already booked as a treat for the last night of the cruise. It was to be our last night as honeymooners and also two weeks to the day that we married, so it had to be special! Thankfully the whole night was exceptionally perfect and we loved every minute of it. We were based in a beautifully decorated dining room with a huge, decadent table in the centre. We enjoyed a champagne reception with three other couples and our waiter before taking our seats. The first thing we all noticed was that we had eight glasses each placed out in front of us – one for champagne, one for water and the other six for wines that the chef himself had personally selected to compliment each course. We were the youngest couple and clearly the least experienced in fine dining but the others couldn’t have been kinder to us. They made us feel so welcome and we chatted through the night, getting to know each other whilst eating incredible food and sipping wines from all over the world (namely New Zealand, the USA, Germany, France and Portugal). After sampling a selection of freshly baked breads, our appetiser arrived. It was called Scallop Carpaccio and was served with yuzu vinaigrette and crispy quinoa. The chef came out to explain each course to us which was a brilliant touch. It was tasty but had such a strange texture – I tried my best not to laugh at Darren who was wincing as it went down. Luckily it was quickly followed by a deliciously tasty smoked tomato soup, served with garlic focaccia croutons and parmesan. Next up was the Maine lobster salad with hearts of palm, pineapple, cilantro and vanilla dressing. The whole combination was immense. I could have eaten plates of it and Darren totally agreed. As we were starting to fill up, the next course arrived! It was black truffle tagliatelle with butter, parmesan and nutmeg – the nicest pasta dish we’d ever had and we don’t normally like creamy sauces! Darren had to prompt me to stop eating because I was going to wipe the dish clean and we still had our main to go! For that, you could choose between roasted fish or steak, but we both opted for the latter – grilled fillet Mignon with truffe potato puree, asparagus and bordelaise sauce. It was literally mouthwatering! For dessert we had salted caramel chocolate cake with gelato as well as a selection of shortbreads and truffles. It was gorgeous but we struggled to finish. We had actually never been so full. The overall experience was sensational and we would love to do it again! Afterwards we had one more drink in the centrum whilst watching the entertainment and listening to music together. Then we decided to head to bed. Although we knew that falling asleep meant ending our perfect night, we were happy – because every day, every memory and every moment of our first holiday as husband and wife had been truly amazing.
To kick start the last leg of our honeymoon adventure, we treated ourselves to Eggs Benedict and croissants on Deck 9 whilst looking out onto the sea! Then we disembarked.. for the last time. It felt bittersweet to see Venice again. Our driver was there waiting for us in an incredibly slick black Mercedes that definitely softened the blow of having to leave. Darren’s face lit up in astonishment as he told me that it must be worth over £80,000. I was impressed for a few minutes, until it hit me that our perfect trip was all over and I started to cry. Darren was so lovely and comforted me through my soppy moment, promising that we’d look at more breaks as soon as we arrived home – which obviously cheered me up no end. In the airport, we grabbed a lunch box together before finding out that our flight home was delayed. To pass the time until the plane arrived, we spent hours playing silly games and kept the laughter going. The flight went by soon enough and before we knew it, we were picking our car up from the Manchester Airport Crowne Plaza Hotel – right where it all started. As the receptionist handed us our keys, he thanked Darren before turning to me and saying “Bye, Mrs Phillipson”. That definitely made me smile! We drove home and finished off our break with a Chinese takeaway and a couple of drinks – and of course we had a toast to the best holiday we’ve shared and the most precious memories we’ve made.
Hope you all enjoyed reading as much as we enjoyed living it.