To heaven and back

To heaven and back

equinox at night

Before my recent holiday aboard the luxurious Celebrity Equinox, I never realised that there could be so much to do and experience, and I didn’t realise that you could have such a varied holiday onboard a ship! Cruising is traditionally something that the elderly do, and I won’t pretend that they weren’t there in there droves, but really, cruising is for everyone, because it offers a little bit of everything. Celebrity Equinox was impressive, not only in it’s design and stunning features but in the high level of service in all of the onboard facilities including Theatres, A Casino, A Shopping Centre selling everything from expensive jewellery to clothes and accessories, A Spa, A Gym, 10 Restaurants, A Library, A Basketball Court and even a Nightclub! Cruising is definitely becoming more popular, and appealing to younger people which is great.

The pool area on board the Celebrity Equinox:

swimming pool

Library:

ship library

French Fine Dining Restaurant Murano:

Murano Restaurant

The Lawn Club:

lawn club

I visited the Caribbean islands of: St Thomas, St Kitts, Barbados, Dominica, and St Maarten. Upon first glance perhaps these islands seemed quite similar in that they had white sands, a crystal clear blue sea and luscious foliage but infact character-wise they were very different. The island of St Thomas had the most beautiful beach I’d ever seen (Magan’s Bay), St Kitts wasn’t as beautiful as St Thomas but had something very special: These absolutely adorable monkeys called Green Vervet Monkeys and I was lucky enough to hold one. He was the cutest thing I’d ever seen!

vervet monkey

Barbados was a beautiful, colourful, well developed island with lots of fancy restaurants, hotels and private yachts everywhere. Obviously a very popular destination!

St Maarten was gorgeous, and very interesting, with a Dutch and French Side to the island. There were a lot of stunning properties on the island. A classy place!

Aside from holding the baby vervey monkey, I also held a baby alligator, which felt like holding a handbag actually! and I went zip lining in the jungle in St Kitts, River Tubing in the rainforest in Dominica and for an Airboat ride in the Florida Everglades. So much fun!

Me in the stunning library

tori cruise 40

I hope that you will consider going on a cruise, as there are lots of great cruise lines, offering different facilities and itinerary’s, going to destinations all over the world. You can go for an adventurous holiday to the Galapagas Islands, a sightseeing holiday to Alaska or a sun loving holiday to the Bahamas. It’s so varied you can’t fail to find a little of everything you love. My boyfriend and I were extremely impressed with Celebrity cruises and we hope to cruise with them again (perhaps to the Mediterraenean this time).

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RELUCTANTLY I have returned

RELUCTANTLY I have returned

I will not pretend to be particularly happy about the fact that I am no longer being pampered on board a beautiful, elegant cruise ship that catered to all of my wants and needs, and I won’t attempt to insult your intelligence by lying to you either:
I have just returned from a memorable, beautiful, wonderful holiday as adventurous as it was relaxing and I absolutely loved every moment of it!
My boyfriend and I, after our disastrous journey to Mexico last year was given complimentary return tickets to any Virgin Atlantic destination and after at first trying to book to go to South Africa (but couldn’t match the flights), we decided to do something else that we’d never done before: Go on a cruise. And not just any old cruise to the med, but a Caribbean cruise. Caribbean holidays are my favourite kind, and my boyfriends too as there’s just nothing quite like swimming in the warm and crystal clear blue Caribbean sea with the sun kissing you all over. Nothing quite like it at all. I’d so far been to 4 Caribbean islands, including Mexico, Trinidad, Tobago and Jamaica. My boyfriend has been to a few more then me including Antigua and Barbados but neither of us had been to St Kitts, Dominica, St Thomas or St Maarten, and I had never been to Barbados! so when we saw a cruise going to those destinations from Fort Lauderdale, Florida we naturally jumped at the chance!
We didn’t really know what to expect of the whole cruise thing but I tried to go for the best cruise line for the kind of experience we wanted to have which was basically “modern luxury minus any children or drunken louts” so when I came across a cruise line called Celebrity I was pretty much decided that we would sail with them. They had a fleet of beautifully designed and almost completely brand spanking new ships but the ship that fit our itinerary was called the Equinox. Ironically enough Celebrity’s motto was indeed “Modern Luxury” and though they weren’t technically an “Adults only” ship they didn’t have any discernible facilities for children so we knew that we were onto a winner.

When we boarded the ship we were indeed extremely impressed with the look of it, the sheer SIZE of it – for it was truly gigantic, and we were impressed with all of the available facilities on board. Unfortunately, as we had chosen “grown up” facilities however, it had attracted very grown up passengers, i.e GRANNY’s. At first it bothered us a little as being only 31, and my boyfriend 40, we weren’t particularly overwhelmed with the prospect of spending 10 days on the high sea’s with thousands of old age pensioners but as the cruise progressed I found I didn’t really mind it much at all. At least they were polite, friendly and mostly sober – not yelling and falling over like drunken louts. The ship itself had a lot to offer, providing a variety of facilities and activities including a basketball court, ping pong table, a night club, spa, gym, 2 theatres and various swimming pools and even a glass blowing show, all aboard this magnificent floating vessel. Just sitting outside on our balcony watching the ocean was a joy, and of course dining at all of the amazing restaurants on the ship but really nothing compared to the experience of going to all of the different islands, sightseeing, going on excursions and visiting the beautiful beaches. So, if you haven’t done a cruise before, I highly recommend it. There are different types of ships, going to different destinations all over the world and offering different experiences and facilities, and I can honestly say that holidaying in this way is the most enjoyable and varied way of holidaying. You get to see and experience so much more. I had an amazing time and I was truly sad to leave and to have to return to this cold and grey country (sorry England, London in particular), but it’s true!