When non-cruising people make the remark that cruising is ‘boring’, they may be referring to the days when the boat is sailing / moving and passengers are literally at sea the entire day or two. This is often called “Sea Days”.
In my 12-night Mediterranean Cruise with Celebrity Cruises on board the Celebrity Constellation, there were a total of 4 Sea Days.
And in my experience, Sea Days are far…way, way FAR from being boring.
I liken these extremely indulgent days to how Charlie must have felt like being inside the Chocolate Factory, (as you can get lost with the sheer number of things to do and explore in the ship), and also as to how Bruce Bogtrotter (of Matilda) must feel like upon entering a food buffet.
And as much as I’ll be first in line to explore new places and different ports, I’ve really come to enjoy sea days so much that ok, dare I say it?
I think I’m in love with sea days more than ‘port days’.
If you’re an indulgent creature like me or just someone who definitely needs some chill and relax time, do read what happens on a typical sea day.
*There’s a Sea Day video at the end of the post!*
08:00 – The Luxury of Sleeping In
I rouse a little from my sleep and check the time. I decide to skip early breakfast as I love a good sleep-in, especially in the stateroom’s amazing bed. I contemplate on seriously ordering a Reverie Dream mattress (it’s really given me one of the soundest sleeps!) exclusive to Celebrity Cruises, and imagine my husband Zombie’s flabbergasted reaction. I glance at Celebrity Today, Celebrity Cruise’s daily ‘newsletter’ that outlines the activities planned out for the day and I slowly drift back to sleep.
10:00 – Rise and Shine!
I draw back the stateroom’s curtains and there’s 59 shades of sparkling blue.
Good Morning!!! Now I’m alive, alert, awake and enthusiastic! What they say is right, everything you need for a great day is sun, saltwater, and the sea.
I waltz out of my stateroom feeling like Bruce Almighty (I’ve got the po-wah!)
10:30 – Late breakfast / Brunch
I grab a quick late breakfast at the Oceanview Cafe, my favourite daytime restaurant at Celebrity Constellation. They have a late breakfast slot for late risers from 10:00 am to 11:30am. I’m relieved to see there are a also quite a number of late ‘breakkers like me.
11:00 – How to Make the Perfect Steak
I make my way to Celebrity Theatre where Celebrity Constellation’s Executive Chef Andy Bouchard and Chef Tiny (yes, you read that right) have a live demonstration on how to make the perfect steak. Sea days are filled with tons of activities to choose from and there are a number of classes / sessions (cooking, arts, craft, exercise, wellness, etc).
I’ve never ever tried to make a steak (as I don’t normally eat beef) but I know my husband loves a good steak so I make the effort to learn.
As I take down notes, the smell of sizzling porterhouse, butter and herbs waft through the theatre. I look around me and everyone has the same dreamy expression. (dreaming of getting to taste the steaks, no doubt!)
Soon, a waiter walks to the stage, gets the platter of freshly cooked steak and goes to every seat so the audience can get a whiff of what a perfect steak smells like.
I take my designated whiff and resist the urge to wrestle the plate out of his hands. I dash out of the theatre before I make a scene. Besides, there’s another session to attend!
12:00 – Hair Makeover Show / Talk
The renowned Canyon Ranch Spa (The Spa line for all Celebrity Cruises ships) constantly offers talks about health and wellness during sea days. This particular topic was very intriguing: “Extreme Makeover Hair Show”. It wasn’t just me who was intrigued as the seats of Reflections Lounge were pretty full.
Expecting an exciting demonstration or at least seeing something along the lines of a “makeover”, we were all surprised to see that it was mostly a powerpoint text presentation about how to care for your hair.
Sad to say, I saw a number of people from the audience walk out during the talk. It was overall still an informative talk, it was just very misleading to have a catchy title. However this still inspired me as I made a mental note to check out the Canyon Ranch Spa in the afternoon.
12:30 – Buffet Lunch at Oceanview Cafe
Surprisingly despite my late breakfast, I still have a healthy appetite for lunch at the Oceanview Cafe. I LOVE this cafe. I know most people dread buffets especially in cruises. Buffets seem to give cruises an unhealthy reputation but I beg to disagree. I like having control over what I eat and I love a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
Oceanview Cafe serves all types and kinds of food every single day (Pasta, Deli, Roasts, Salads, Soups, Asian, Vegetarian, Sandwiches,) It’s endless!
They also serve different main meals everyday so entering the cafe is always exciting for me. And apart from having generous dessert stations (there were at least 4!) they also have an ice cream bar. With cookies.
And all of that : meals, desserts, cookies, ice cream and calories – are ALL complimentary and part of the basic cruise package.
13:30 – Captain’s Club Party
The night before, I received an invite from Celebrity Cruise’s Captains Club to join their afternoon party with the officers. We make our way to Reflections Lounge and it was nice to see the Captain himself, Nikolas Christodoulakis and his officers mingling with guests and just having a friendly chat.
The party also announced and celebrated a few couples on board (guests) who are celebrating their XX / Nth cruise with Celebrity Cruises. Some of them have racked up so many cruises I wonder if they actually live on board for months and just ship-hop? What a life it must be!
Our captain is very engaging , and towards the end of the cruise, will prove to be the ultimate funnyman commentator as well! He is originally from Crete Island and started his career at sea in 1993 with Celebrity.
14:00 (or thereabouts) – Dilemma
Cafe Al Bacio is a really great spot to go to after lunch or to have afternoon tea. Those yellow chairs are highly coveted and in all the days we hung out there, we could never find a vacant yellow chair. The one time I got to sit on them (on our last day), it was easy to know why! Those chairs were so comfortable, and positioned facing the sea, it can be the perfect siesta spot!
But it’s also at Cafe Al Bacio where I am constantly in a dilemma, not knowing whether to choose gelato, gelato cookie sandwiches, or the sumptuous cakes (which are complimentary by the way!)
We try the gelato and the cake, which are a perfect combination. This practice of just “quickly swinging by” Cafe Al Bacio soon becomes a daily naughty (but nevertheless yummy) habit.
15:00 – Excursions Desk
We swing by the excursions desk to confirm some details for our excursions in Turkey.
15:30 – A Life Changing Hair Appointment
I had a hair treatment booked at the Canyon Ranch Spa. The hair treatment itself was so relaxing and soothing – a very thorough shampoo using a clarifying formula from Moroccan Oil folllowed by a very soothing scalp massage using the Moroccan Oil hair treatment.
But what was more life changing and enlightening in this session was my talk with Michael, the hair therapist. He noticed that I was losing a lot of hair and that it isn’t normal to be losing that much for my age. And instead of recommending me this and that topical hair product, Michael asked me if I normally use a microwave at home. Um, yes.
He straight up told me to ditch it. “Eat your meals fresh from the stove”, he advised. He informed me of the hazards of microwave and told me that they are even banned in Russia due to the health hazards.
We started talking about health, because I’m a conflicted health-foodie. (You can read more of my battle here.) But anyway, Michael, who comes from South Africa and is self taught on all the health practices he knows, told me of the wonders of Iodine. Living in the ship because of what he does, he needs to make healthier choices because it’s not good to be sick onboard. He takes Iodine drops daily and he told me that his immune system has never been stronger.
Michael also told me that they have a volunteer program on board, if there are certain guests that are grieving or going through personal problems and need someone to talk to, crew on board can volunteer to spend a day with them in the port. It was just a new initiative from Celebrity Cruises and I told him he is perfect for the role. He has a very calming and zen way of talking and in my 1-hour hair treatment I definitely learned so much.
16:30 – Trivia!
With a revitalised hair (and mind), I head to the Reflections lounge as it’s now time for trivia! I love a good trivia, and this also proves to be a great opportunity to get to know other guests as we usually form a team. All the couples we met and teamed up with and even the solo travellers were very cool, and adorable if I may say so.
Host: What gifts do you receive on the fifth day of Christmas?
*room is in a quiet buzz*
One of the women in our team,very excitedly: “It’s FIVE. GOLD. RINGS!”
I motion the “silence” sign, with a finger to my lips, my eyes wide. Yes, we all are competitive in trivia!
And she repeats for me to write the answer down: “Five gold rings!”
Her husband: “Oh shush, Helen! We don’t want to be giving the answers away!”
I look around us, we need not have worried as our competition were oblivious!
I love love trivia afternoons (and mornings too). The prizes range from keychains to water bottles, but it’s the camaraderie of the game and getting to know other guests that matter.
17:30 – Shopping / Browsing
The Emporium is Celebrity Constellation’s shopping gallery. It’s filled with Duty Free items and brands like Rolex, Diane Von Furstenberg, Kate Spade, etc.
I browse their cosmetics section. Estee Lauder foundations were really priced very well , and no tax too!
18:30 – Formal Dinner
Out of the 12 nights on board, there are 3 formal evenings and tonight is one of them. It was really lovely to see the ladies in long gowns or cocktail dresses, and the gentlemen looking very dapper in suits or coat and ties.
The formal evenings give off a very “Titanic-esque” vibe. Especially with the very grand San Marino restaurant’s interiors.
This was our first formal night and we were led to what I reckon has to be the best seat in the house:
Well I’m sure the other seats are lovely too but for the first time in my life, I ate rather slowly. I’m normally a fast eater but it would be a crime not to linger over your meals with this kind of view! In fact, that dazed expression I have really sums up the dining experience in San Marco.
And while the menu changes everyday, there’s also the “Celebrity Favourites” menu available for folks who prefer the classic favourites such as Grilled New York Sirloin Steak and Broiled Atlantic Salmon. The salmon soon becomes my favourite especially when I learned that you can ask them to pan fry the salmon instead of being broiled.
There is also the option to mix and match entrees, salads mains and desserts from the ‘Celebrity Favourites’ menu and the day’s menu.
21:00 -Nightly Entertainment at Celebrity Theatre
There’s entertainment every night at the Celebrity Theatre. Tonight the show is called “iHollywood” – a sort of song and dance montage about the icons and history of Hollywood from Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, to Marilyn Monroe and Marvel Action movies.
Some evenings there are comedy and impersonation acts, and sometimes musical productions. It’s never a boring evening at Celebrity Constellation as the performances vary every night.
22:30 – Dance Party!
There’s always something happening at the Reflections lounge after dark. Tonight, it’s a Latin dance party headed by Celebrity Constellations’ lovely dancers and DJ Duo 1 Kolombo. They really knew how to get everyone working and twerkin’ on the dance floor, it was such a fun evening!
I got to bed after midnight, wondering if days like these, where the biggest struggle is choosing between a gelato cookie sandwich and a slice of red velvet cake can ever be real.
Sea days are what daydreams are made of. It’s there for one to pull out from the “happy memory box” to use during the doldrums of long winter nights.
Have a look at some of the fun one can get up to during sea days in a cruise:
You are of course, forgiven for thinking that what you just read is a day in the life of an indulgent sloth, but I’m sure you now understand why I find sea days quite magical. It’s pure luxury of time and choices. Every hour there’s an activity for everyone its just a matter of choosing which one to attend!
Have you been on a cruise before? Did you like the sea days? Where would we find YOU on a sea day?
Fact Box and Disclaimer:
I cruised as a guest of Celebrity Cruises , but all opinions and thoughts of this post are mine. There is no obligation to write or reflect the review in a favourable light.
Fares for the Celebrity Cruises ANZAC Commemorative Mediterranean Cruise start from $1899 a person, twin share, for an inside stateroom, excluding airfares to/from Rome. BOOK your cruise HERE.
Angie Silver (@SilverSpoonLDN) says
It’s great how they put on so many activities for you! My family used to love going to the quizzes when we went on cruises.
Lots of love,
Jean Holy Smithereens says
Hi Angie, indeed they’ve really created a well-balanced program for the sea days so guests are always busy / entertained 🙂
Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid says
It looks like a lot of fun! I think I’d have to divide my time between the spa and the gelato station. Certainly with so much to do on the ship, I don’t think I’d want to get off… unless it was bumpy, of course! Was your sailing all smooth?
Jean Holy Smithereens says
Hi Sammie, yes lots of fun to be had! (but never too much!) Oh we were lucky it was not bumpy at all! I brought seasickness tablets just in case but didn’t end up having to use them. The Mediterranean sea was indeed very well behaved during the 12 days and we had unimaginable perfect weather too!
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
Ooooh, I didnt think I would ever cruise again after my last experience, but you sure have captured some of the awesome things about this mode of transport. Especially love the convo you had with Michael at the day spa, I had heard that microwaves are pretty horrendous to our health, I have one, but dont really use it for cooking, more to heat those pillow things. Anyways…. Looks like you be having a swell time at sea. 🙂
Jean Holy Smithereens says
I’ve been quite bad with microwaves, as it’s hard to cook exactly for 2 so I end up reheating. But I’ve been trying to make an effort to use the stove to reheat now. It really is more work and energy but I suppose healthier. Haven’t done a complete study of this yet! Oh what aspect of cruising didn’t you like?
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
They put so much effort in those sea days don’t they (and thank god!). I’m amazed by the microwave comment. I wonder if it is true? We don’t use it much, only for reheating which we don’t do much. I might try it for a week. I take tablets for my hair though!
Jean Holy Smithereens says
Yes a whole lot of effort indeed, and the energy of the Activities crew are amazing. Yes, that microwave got me freaked out, and got me researching too. Looks like there is some truth to it but it’s not overly publicised. It’s sometimes inevitable though. Oh what tablets are those? I might need them!