Each time we drive to Southampton, we see them. Huge, majestic and so far out of reach in every way. The luxury cruise ships that have graced the Quays over the past sixteen years have been magnificent. I’ve taken three trips over the sea in my life so far – one on the Red Funnel to the Isle of Wight, the second on The Pride of Bilboa to France for an overnight trip with work; both leaving from Southampton, and thirdly on the Disney Wonder for a Bahamas honeymoon cruise. This weekend we were welcomed onboard my fourth ship – The Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean decided to invite a few bloggers onboard for the day to experience what The Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas [Jensen loved that his middle name, Indiana was the same as the Ship’s nickname, “Indy”] had to offer. Did we love it?
Take a look…
I kind of felt as though this was my spiritual home when I saw that there was a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlour on the ship. Jensen and I could see ourselves being here for breakfast, lunch…and dessert after dinner. I mean, that’s what cruises are for, surely?
Then we were told that there was a Ben & Jerry’s stateroom! We headed down there but we won’t spoil the surprise. It’s moo-arvellous. After touring quite a few enormous suites where my boys found it fascinating that there were toilets with telephones in them – and a bath in one of them [Lyoto didn’t see the point when there was a whole sea to wash in] and wanted to sit on the verandahs all morning, until they discovered that there was actual ice cream for them on the pool deck.
We took a tour by the enormous dining room with its glittering chandeliers and stemware. It was quite possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever dreamed of dining – and all I could think of was the scene in Titanic where Rose comes down the staircase to see Jack in his tuxedo at the bottom. Probably not the best thought to pop into my head on a huge ship in Southampton docks [we were at Berth 101, so a little way down the quay], but still. Jensen found himself a seat and said he would take me to dinner there and we could drink with real grown up glasses.
We saw an ice rink, huge portholes, arcades and kids clubs – but nothing compared to the pool deck for our boys. The self serve ice cream machine was the best thing ever.
After our tummies were full with swirly ice cream, we took a wander down the ship to see the Flow Rider and the spa area. There were guests with cocktails everywhere and it made me nostalgic for our honeymoon where each day we enjoyed a Disney cocktail of the day.
Soon it was time for lunch and we headed to my husband’s idea of dining heaven, Johnny Rocket’s. We were originally seated inside a 1950s diner, but we switched to outside the restaurant because the view from a ship is just the most breathtaking, no matter where you are. The air, the breeze – it’s paradise even in dock.
So, truly, my husband would take a cruise just for the burgers each day I’m sure – and the milkshakes are delicious. But then the dancing began. Oh, the dancing. Cast members from the restaurant came out to dance to the Bee Gees and my boys just couldn’t resist. They were up and joining in – and making memories. Just how a holiday should be.
Hero was so full and out of puff that he fell asleep after dinner, as our bigger boys made their way to the pool at last!
Let’s just say that it wasn’t the warmest day on deck – but after the initial shock of the cool water, they were away. That is, until they discovered the hot tubs – then they were alternating between the two and shrieking with laughter.
I sat poolside with Hero nestled in a wrap on his lounger – and thanked my stars I’d bought my mom-bag with me. If you’re after a bag that can do it all, this is it – my Amilie bag from Minene. You have no idea how much I had in this bag. Seriously. I was like Mary Poppins. Even Spongebob found a place easily.
Hattie and I absolutely love the children’s brand Minene they have some really gorgeous things. We really love these muslin bibs by Minene, they come in some really pretty prints and are so useful! If you haven’t heard of Minene you should really check them out they do such a great variety of products and clothes and are really high quality.
These muslin bibs are pure cotton and they are quickly becoming a firm favourite of both mine and Hattie’s. You can never have enough bibs! We love the prints and how colourful they are but also how absorbent they are. They are perfect for dribbling, teething babies and Ice lollies !
This frog bath support has to be one of the cutest baby items I have seen. I wish Blythe had had one! Its so comfy for Otis and just looks adorable, it matches his froggy sponge. They come in a variety of colours and shapes and are seriously cute. If you are expecting a baby we would really recommend getting one of these as a bath support or as a present for a friend. They are quite unusual and a bit different to the basic baby bath support. Perfect for a newborn, practical and adorable which is what every new mum wants.
I have had these great soft storage baskets for Blythe’s room since she was a few months old, they are so pretty and come in a variety of patterns for boys and girls, I have gone for the polka dot and floral pink prints to match Blythe’s girly bedroom. They are really practical because they can be washed in the washing machine which is always useful with small children. She also loves to carry the small baskets around and fill them with her favourite toys. If your looking for toy storage or decorating a nursery or playroom I would really recommend investing in these. The large ones are super spacious with room for lots of toys. I use the smaller ones for books but they would also be good for storing nappies or cotton wool.
Minene have brought out some gorgeous new Nappy bags which we really love, I have gone for the black one, which goes wth everything. It is really simple and classic and Is dad friendly because its not too girly, which means Joe doesn’t mind using it too. It comes with a changing mat and a clutch insert and is really easy to attach to the pram with it’s attachable, extendable straps. They have a variety of colours to suit everyone and are a really great nappy bag. I tend to alternate between this and my Gucci nappy bag depending on my outfit or where we are going. My Gucci bag can be really heavy and this one is much lighter and easier to manage with a wriggly toddler.
Love M xxx
You may have noticed that Minene have been a little quite of late, less tweets, facebook updates and blog! Well there is a reason… we have just finished launching some fabulous new products for SS2014 and AW2015 at the Harrogate Nursery Fair.
The show was only for trade customers, however we thought we would give you a look at the stand and some of the gorgeous new products that will be headed your way very soon!!
We were able to show off our amazing new Pushchair Accessories range, these included Reversible Liner & Strap sets, which will be in stock from mid May. We have beautiful florals, pretty polka dots, cheeky checks and stripes on offer!
The new Ella Changing Bag was also on show, seen above in the vibrant Red, our new Changing Bags had a lot of positive comments! Like the Layla Changing Bag, it can be worn as a backpack, shoulder bag or attached to the stroller. It has gorgeous colourful lining and a range of useful goodies inside.
That is enough for today…check out our next blog for the new storage, baby bath supports and the award winning Mi 1st Booster 🙂
Have a lovely weekend xx