It’s taken me nearly a year to write this blog post about ‘The Best Cruise Of My Life’ because the experience was so mind-blowing that I just couldn’t find a way to put it into words. Being a traditional type of cruiser, I am always in awe of the ships’ Captain and Godmother. Call me old fashioned, but I love that side of things. So when Elizabeth Hill, Godmother of Independence of the Seas, commented on my Facebook page, I was thrilled. Elizabeth is such a lovely lady and she agreed to a telephone interview for my blog. We soon became friends and I helped Elizabeth create a blog of her own.
We had talked about doing a cruise together. Then I received a message from Elizabeth to say she had confirmed the date she would be cruising and would love for us to join her. I was absolutely beyond excited! To be cruising on a ship with the Godmother was the most amazing experience I could imagine. And that’s exactly what it was, but better than I could have imagined.
There were nine of us in total and we all enjoyed dinner together in the main dining room.
Our cruise itinerary was the Norwegian Fjords. We sailed from Southampton and stopped at Bergen Geiranger, Alesund, Skjolden, and Stavanger.
One of the benefits we enjoyed onboard was access to the Concierge Lounge. This is a dedicated area for top tier loyalty members and VIPs. Elizabeth was kind enough to extend the invitation to the entire group so we enjoyed a complimentary pre-dinner drink and appetizers, with stunning views.
Joshua enjoyed his Independence on the seas and would help himself to a chilled glass of water.
We were invited to a special ice show presentation.
We arrived at our first port of call, Bergen and joined a walking tour led by Cruise Director Craig Freeman. They were a little too fast on their feet for our group, so we dropped back and found our way to the lovely little fish market. The gentlemen of the group were struggling a bit with the walking (not that they would admit it), so we headed back to the ship.
Joshua entertains Elizabeth with some of his magic.
Day 3 saw our arrival into the Norwegian Fjords. I set my alarm for 4 am and made my way to the helipad, as I wanted to experience every minute of it. Anyone contemplating on doing the same, please note that I didn’t see a thing for the first hour, including other passengers.
As the light came up, the towering Fjords appeared. It was an unforgettable moment of ultimate beauty and tranquility, despite being battered by the wind.
Around 5 am a few other passengers appeared.
By 6 am we were well into the heart of the fjordland, and so it was time for me to pop back to the cabin.
Joshua enjoying the view from the comfort of his bed. As soon as Adventure Ocean was open, I dropped Josh off and went to explore Gerainger.
I will share more about the ports and the cruise itself on another post, but for now, there is so much to share about cruising with the Godmother!
One afternoon, Elizabeth invited us to her Grand Suite to enjoy a glass of champagne as we sailed off from Alesund.
We enjoyed a lovely send off too.
Here is a photo of “Mother and I”, on a formal night.
Cruise ship royalty, Godmother Elizabeth Hill with her husband Edward, rightly taking to their thrones in the concierge lounge.
There’s nothing like a good old quiz after dinner to get everyone together. Elizabeth and I in the Star Lounge enjoying the fun.
At The Request Of The Captain
We were having the time of our lives which became even better when we received this invitation.
It had never even crossed my mind that we would receive an invitation like this. I wish my Mum could have captured the look of sheer amazement on my face at the time.
Working in Royal Caribbean’s call centre 8 years prior, I could never have dreamed something like this would happen.
The exquisite food and wine in Chops Grille were perfectly complemented by our host and Master. Although Captain Iv was keen to get to know us, we were more interested in hearing his funny and fascinating stories as we quizzed him on his life at sea.
Elizabeth’s daughter, without whom none of us would have been there (Alicia nominated her Mum for a competition to be the ships’ Godmother), is an opera singer. The most spellbinding moment of the evening came at the end of our meal. Alicia stood up and gave an impromptu tableside performance of the famous aria from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.
The excitement didn’t end there. Captain Iv had offered us all the opportunity to visit the bridge. When we arrived, the Captain presented Joshua with his very own model Independence of the Seas.
I can’t put into words how grateful I am for such a wonderful opportunity. One that I shared with my son who, I hope, realises what a lucky little lad he is. This truly was the best cruise of my life!
You might like to read my interview with Elizabeth Hill Godmother of Independence of the Seas