How about going on a cruise trip?! The first answer when my friend asked, where to go on our next vacation?  It was both on our bucket list, so right on the spot we plan about sharing the responsibility to make this dream into a reality!! Talking about being excited! Hahaha… and so we agreed on, she will book for the cruise trip and I’ll take care of the plane ticket and we will apply for the visa together.  It was a very impulsive decision and we didn’t realize the processing time of our visa…Imagine while filling up the form it clearly mentioned 15 days visa processing, and guess what??? WE DONT HAVE 15 DAYS!!! The ship is about to sail soon…and it’s not refundable… after a day of stressful waiting and hoping for a miracle… we got a text from VFS (a processing visa agency), It’s really a roller-coaster emotions till we got our visa.  And the miracle happened, we got our passport with a Schengen visa stamp on it! Hello Spain here we come!!!  In a span of 2 weeks, this was finalized. (since we have the vacation date and the visa was released earlier than we expected). Lesson learned, get everything in check first before finalizing a trip destination.


So we finally decided to do the Mediterranean cruise which will start in Barcelona. The cruise route? Barcelona, Spain;  Marseille, France; Genoa, Italy; Valletta, Malta; Palma De Mallorca, Spain and the final leg is to sail back to Barcelona.  Our flight is to Madrid why? because the airline that I’m working for doesn’t have a flight to Barcelona yet at that time, and yes! We were able to book a staff rate ticket..what a privilege to have which cost us a very little penny!!. We planned an itinerary to explore Madrid and Barcelona to find out what does it have to offer. It’s going to be an amazing journey from start to finished. A piece of advice try to book your train ticket ahead, one of our biggest mistakes was purchasing the ticket on the spot and it was quite expensive!!! We’ve always wanted to take the train going to Barcelona from Madrid and to get the most of our experience to tell down the road. Riding the train in Europe is user-friendly essential transportation to get from places to places with amazing scenery. 


I have a lot in my mind to tell but I know I have to make it short and sweet. Where does it begin? I have seen footage about boat cruises on youtube. It’s one thing to see it on the internet versus watching the boat in front of you. It feels surreal how amazing the boat looks and well-engineered. I’ve never experienced this and it’s my very first time to have my foot on a boat. As we got to the port and check-in there were unexpected surprises, we were caught off guard. They decided to take our passport away and to be handed back after the trip..it was a very unusual experience having the feeling of detain. The rule was to forfeit your passport and exchange it with some sort of identification information laminated with a lanyard onto your neck. To make matters worse, I didn’t want to make a big deal about it. As soon we entered the boat we got the pleasure warm welcomed by the staff and formally introduced to us and they took us to our proper cabin room.  


The room we stayed on came with a full luxurious queen-size bed, a couch, a tv, a bathroom, and a balcony overview of the sea. Feels like 5* hotel, I told my friend prior to booking this room “it’s going to be our first cruise trip, let’s go big or go home” I know! I know! it’s a little bit pricey compare to the inside room but, it’s hella worth it!! And for cleanliness?! No complaint here, because they do clean the room and change the beddings and towels twice a day! It feels like an all-inclusive trip on the sea as opposed to a beach front… The most part that I love is waking up in the morning with a breathtaking view outside and the smell of the fresh ocean. It’s a great feeling hearing the ocean waves and the splash of the mist!!


The Main deck inside look massive…I don’t know how to described it. Picture it like a mall, hotel, restaurant and casino crammed in together. It’s an overwhelmed feeling I must say. There are so many things to do, there’s a pool at the top deck, a gym, a library, a lot of bars, a souvenir shop, casino, an opera house, honestly, we don’t have that enough time to explore the whole ship as we are tired exploring different cities during the day. What we enjoyed was the dinner, where you have to dress a bit appropriate dress to impress, of course, watching a musical play every night and have some cocktail drinks after as we pay for the unlimited drinks for the whole trip. We met a very nice and accomodating Indonesian bartender, he was a very good entertainer very open easy-going. Every night they have a dinner theme costume (eg. gala night, ‘60 ‘70 ‘80, Italy night) so we have to prepare 6 special costumes for this trip aside from casual clothes that you have to wear every day. 

Sometimes you feel the movements of the boat it all depends on the waves, I’ve also been warned about the seasickness where it’s not a pleasant feeling. Thank goodness it didn’t really bother me at all.


We tried both the a la carte and eat all you can restaurant but, we prefer the a la carte better, why? Because no lining up to worry about and the amount selections of variety can’t compare. But of course there’s a catch which is a bit higher on a budget if you don’t mind the hassle.  There is a table ready for us with the same group of people every night, a good idea right?!! Gaining new friends and learning about life-based on their stories. They have good food and they are generous with it. (or maybe because we have a Filipino server assigned in our table..it’s a big bonus to have..hahaha!!).  The only good thing in eat all you can restaurant is the timing! It is open from morning till night (11 pm) so anytime you feel hungry you know where to go.

The places that we’ve been visited every dock of the ship is again another story to tell. Maybe another blog for that?! hahaha…Overall it’s a wonderful beautiful experience that everyone should try it once in a lifetime. It’s very hard to describe it, you’ll know once you get the idea what I’m talking about. Put it this way, I cant wait to go on a cruise trip AGAIN!!!

Marife Cerdena

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