The Carnival Sunshine
Posted on August 11, 2013
Hello! I’m back!
I’ve been on holiday and that’s why I’ve been a bit rubbish at updating my blog, Facebook and twitter…sorry! I’m home now, so I will promise to take my social networking very seriously once again…. 😉
Where did I go? (You may or may not ask.) Well myself, Mr P, super-son, twinkle 1 and twinkle 2 spent 12 wonderful nights aboard the newly revamped Carnival Sunshine Cruise Ship. We saw Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, France, Spain and…well sort of Germany. Sort of Germany? Let me explain…
The ship left from Venice, Italy and having booked our flights through Carnival, we were given (the not so wonderful thing when you are travelling with 3 kids) connecting flights. We were to fly Heathrow to Munich (Germany) and Munich to Venice.
We awoke at 4am on the morning of our holiday, we were picked up at 5am, driven to the airport and despite busy check-in queues, managed to fit in breakfast (food is always important) and a mooch around Duty Free (shopping is always important) before our flight left. All was going well! Well sort of. Despite packing for practically every eventuality in my hand luggage, I had not packed any kind of lollipop or boiled sweet to aid my kids with the ear popping caused by the changes in air pressure. Cue 20 minutes of surround sound crying on take-off and 20 minutes of surround sound screaming as we started our descent. We were ‘that’ family that everyone tuts and sighs at and (not so) secretly hopes are not going to be at their final destination….
Well we arrived into Munich at completely the other end of the airport from our connecting flight. We all needed to visit the bathroom and I had to find a shop that sold lollipops. We also needed to go through passport control and get to our gate in time. Cue a very frantic 45 minutes that involved a lot of running (not so great in a long summer dress with 3 very tired winey kids in tow).
But we did it, we got to the gate in time….
In time to hear the announcement that our flight had been cancelled.
Mr P (who is good at running) scooped up twinkle 2 (who was having a tantrum as she didn’t want to run anymore) and he legged it to the Lufthansa service desk (that we were all be directed to.) I walked with super-son and twinkle 1, who were constantly (and I mean constantly) asking me ‘why has our flight been cancelled? Are we going to miss the boat? Why can’t we go on that plane? How are we going to get there? Why has our flight been cancelled? Are we going to miss the boat? Etc etc…
Mr P had managed to get himself to quite near the front of their queue, and Lufthansa (to their credit) were already handing out bottles of water and chocolate biscuits to all of us (as I said, food is very important!)
We VERY fortunately were booked on the next flight to Venice. 5 hours later. That meant 5 hours to kill (not literally) in Munich Airport. So, armed with our €10 per person food vouchers that my quick thinking husband had asked for, we set about stopping to eat baked pretzels.
Then we ate pizza.
(No picture…my hands were too greasy).
Then we ate more baked pretzels.
(No picture…I was too full to lift up the camera).
Just under 5 hours of eating later, we made our way to the gate. Despite a VERY tempting offer from Lufthansa to give up our seats for €250 per person (yes €1250 for our family) and fly to Verona and then take a cab to Venice instead, we chose to take the flight (it was now overbooked and they needed people to take this offer).
We boarded the plane.
Before you worry, I now had lollipops.
We made it to Venice. The kids still cried and screamed on the flight. Something to do with being hungry/wanting to run around/someone stole someone’s pen…I can’t really remember.
We made it to our transfer and most importantly, we made it to our ship! And what a ship it was! Now I’m sure most people would want to hear about the 3 amazing water slides, or the mini golf, or rope course or waterfall swimming pool, or fantastic shows, or the comedy club, or the piano bar, or American candy shop, or adults only Serenity decks complete with pods and double-bed sun loungers, or unbelievably brilliant totally made our holiday work for our family KIDS CLUB…but no….this is me….I want to talk about THE FOOD!!!!!
Traditionally people do go on cruise ships to eat because you can eat all day if you want to (I want to)! The Carnival Sunshine was no different. Buffets of cooked breakfasts, pancakes, pastries, fruits and cereals for breakfast. A choice of burgers, burritos, tacos, salad bar, pasta dishes, stir-fry dishes, hot dogs, grilled sandwiches, pizzas (available 24 hours a day baby!!!!) as well as a full buffet for lunch! And I’ve not even mentioned the dessert table. Peanut butter pudding, red velvet cookies, cheesecake brownies, lime meringue pie….to name but a few of the dishes I simply had to (for research purposes) taste test.
Now where are the pictures of these delicious treats you may (or may not ask). Well I could come up with some excuse about dropping my camera overboard and Mr P jumping in to rescue it, whilst being chased by a shark….but I’d be telling an untruth. You see…basically….I forgot. I was too busy eating to remember. Funnily enough, I remembered to take a few pictures of the food at dinner time (which coincidentally was usually when I had a cocktail…does this mean cocktails improve my memory??)
Dinner was either a relaxed affair in the Lido (buffet area), or a more formal night in the Main Dining Room or one of the three speciality restaurants. Our favourite restaurant was Ji Ji’s – the Asian restaurant. The food was exquisite and beautifully presented. I’m embarrassed to say that I was so full, I had to cancel my dessert!
Here are my beautifully presented spring rolls: (those green balls are wasabi pearls!)
And here is how the fortune cookies and fruit rolls were presented:
A truly stunning meal!
For me though, excluding when we went to Ji Ji’s, desserts were my favourite part of any meal (surprise surprise!) Standouts for me, included the largest piece of delicious cheesecake ever known to man:
And the dessert that has quite a cult following on the ship – the chocolate melting cake:
Yum yum yum yum yum!
I can’t let my foodie Carnival story go by without sharing pictures of two of the ports that we stopped off at – Izmir in Turkey and Naples in Italy. In Izmir, we visited the Bazaar and in particular the food section:
The market really was a feast for all of the senses!
In Naples, Italy, I picked up some fabulous pasta:
Some Peppa Pig crisps (to the delight of my twinkles!):
And some of the most delicious ice cream I have ever tasted in my life:
(By the way, I have no idea what flavour I got. I think it was kinder chocolate. My Italian is very limited.)
So there you have it. I’m back! My 12 day eating extravaganza is now over. I have a new competition coming this week and some more projects coming soon. And I am absolutely delighted to tell you that from September, you will be able to buy your Bake With Suzy baking kits in Hobbycraft!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yipppeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!
I’m off to do some more unpacking and washing….in the meantime, I’ll leave you with a picture of our favourite towel animal from the cruise (it’s a cruise thing!)
Be back soon