Wednesday 20 March 2019

Cruising for (dress) success

When it comes to getaways, my favourite still has to be a cruise holiday. 
Preferably onboard our favourite ship, The Independence of the Seas.

The appeal of a cruise holiday is as multifaceted as the guests on board each ship.
Some love the feeling of being in a floating luxury hotel, others love the cuisine, for many it's the chance to wake up in a new country or port almost every day. Yes there are many different features and aspects that appeal to holiday makers-my favourites however are the formal evenings and long days at sea spent around the pool and just taking in the ship.

The destinations on a cruise will more often than not decide your onboard wardrobe.
Lets face it, if you're heading to Norway and the Fjords, walking around the deck in a bikini and sarong may not be the greatest of ideas and a Parka and wooly mittens would be regarded with suspicion if travelling round the Med mid Summer.

Shopping around for what to wear may seem problematic and getting quality clothing that you'll be able to use from one holiday to the next can seem daunting, but don't be put off. Websites such as Fashion World have something to suit the occasion and location. This is a chance for you to shine and dress how you want to dress not how you feel you should dress.

It's also worth taking notice of the themed nights offered during your cruise too - some common theme evenings include White Evening, 70's Disco Night and Americana night when you'll see people everything from cheerleading uniform to Star Spangled everything!

Here's my Top 3 Tips on preparing your wardrobe for a cruise Holiday;
  • If you see it and like it, get it. You're going on holiday and no one should make you feel down about what you want to wear. It's a chance to embrace colours and styles you may normally shy away from. Let yourself look and feel great. If you always wanted a neon pink bikini but didn't think you'd ever get the opportunity to wear one, now's your chance.
  • Dress appropriately for the destinations. Do some homework in to temperatures and terrain of any ports you may be visiting. Flip flops and a sleeveless top are fine at the beach or walking around the deck, but some destinations can get chilly and old cities and ports tend to have cobbled streets. Stubbed toes and goose pimples can soon take the shine off an excursion.
  • If you've never been to a formal evening, don't feel you have to dress conservatively or in a stuffy manner. The evenings are as much about fun as the are the food, and are not full length sleeves and ankle length dresses. You should feel like a million dollars in your favourite number so don't feel you have to go with pearls, pastels or . Wear sequins, or something backless, or even with a split in it, but whatever you wear relax and sparkle like you're the centre of attention.
I've been checking out some new clothes for a potential cruise (more about this coming soon!) and think I've found some perfect items for shore excursions.

I love the colours in this and it looks so comfortable for walking around and exploring old cities or new destinations.

Some destinations require full sleeves due to religious or local culture. I'd certainly not want to upset anyone so something along the lines of this Peplum shirt is perfect!

I love these Palazzo Trousers! Walking around can get a bit hot so these look like I'll be able to stay cool and comfortable.

I LOVE dressing for the formal and informal evenings and wearing something new and just that little bit extra special and flamboyant. Something you may not have a reason to wear at home apart from at the 'Once-in-a-Blue-Moon' Black Tie function. When onboard and someone comes up and compliments you on what you are wearing or asks 'Where did you get that dress?' you know you're doing something right, and your confidence soars. 

Accessories can really add an extra element to any dining experience however and I've seen this gorgeous little Rose Gold bag to compliment an outfit.

Have you ever had issues when shopping for cruise clothes or have you any funny stories about things that have happened to you whilst on a cruise? I'd love to hear about them and you can post your comments below!


Thursday 14 March 2019

Grown Up Holiday time....

Travelling with small children can be hard work. Even with the best laid plans in place, a toddler sized spanner can be thrown in the works and everything can rapidly go askew. 

With this in mind, we decided we needed an adult's only break, albeit a short one, as sometimes family holidays aren't much of a holiday for the adults.

Ok so call me selfish but 9 times out of 10 we get back from a family break and feel we need another holiday to get over the holiday. And I'm pretty sure we're not alone in that.

Once we'd arranged potential dates (thanks Mum!) we could concentrate on destinations...
Jon and I love travel, but despite having been all over Europe and the US, neither of us have really been much further afield. So we decided that one option could be to head East. Far East. 

After an evening of googling and YouTube videos, we finally settled on the idea of Thailand. Usually we'd find it difficult to get time away from work, but now we both work remotely this gives us much more freedom to travel - we read a proton mail review which gave us a lot of faith in working securely from our laptops while abroad so that's one hurdle down.

Neither of us have been but we've heard and read some tremendous things about it. It sounds like just the destination for us to recharge our batteries and take a break from nappies and tantrums and demands to go on rides...again...and again...and again.

We both have friends who have been and it comes highly recommended, but where to stay when we are there? There are dozens of fabulous looking resorts and hotels however we like the idea of  a home away from home, somewhere private but luxurious...which is where comes in handy!

Thailand offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, but go to the wrong destination and we could miss out. After several discussions with friends we have decided on the island of Ko Samui. There are over 250 villas listed for Ko Samui on Villa Finder each with there own merits and reasons to choose. So far we've shortlisted 4 of them and it's going to be hard to choose which one to go for if we decide to take the plunge.

Ko Samui is a relatively small island with a small (approx 63,000) population. With average temperatures of 27c between May and August it's hot, but not too hot for us to walk around.

It also boasts some of the top 5 things Jon and I have wanted to see on our travels for a long time.

1) Big Buddha Temple. 

Jon has been wanting to see this since he was a child.
The Big Buddha Temple sits to the North East of Ko Samui on a small island called Ko Phan which is linked to Ko Samui via causeway. The golden statue itself is over 12 meters tall and can even be seen from the air as you approach Ko Samui!

2) Secret Buddha Garden

This secret garden of statues is located in the hills of the interior of Ko Samui. A place of peace and tranquility to reflect and find solace-just what every busy parent needs!
This relatively new tourist attraction take you away from the beach and markets to forested hills and a cooler environment-a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of modern living. I'd read about it sometime ago and it's been at the back of my mind to visit 'one day' ever since.

3) Wat Plai Laem.

 Another Buddhist temple, but one featuring Guanyin the Goddess of Mercy instead of Buddha. The 18 armed statue of her sits atop a colourful and very ornate temple located not far from Big Buddha to the North of the island.

4) Koh Tao-Turtle Island

Surrounded by beautiful crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches, this is the ideal spot to relax beneath the Sun and unwind. A hugely popular destination for scuba divers with lessons available this small island is a tropical paradise.

5) Ang Thong National Marine Park.

 On the bucket list of many travellers, Ang Thong gained popularity when mentioned in the novel 'The Beach' by Alex Garland. Located in an archipelago of approximately 42 islands, Ang Thong has a host of activities and sights to explore. From the outstanding flora and fauna to the inland lagoon (Emerald Lake) and coral reef we'd not run out of things to do or see.

Flights are available from Heathrow daily and parking at the airport is bookable in advance. Flights and package deals are very reasonable especially when booked in advance so it is a very tempting destination to say the least. 

If we do decide to say 'Sawasdee!' to Thailand we'll be packing our bags and filling you in on our grown up holiday!

Have you been to Thailand? We'd love to hear your thoughts and tips!

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