Earlier this month we found our sea legs and stepped aboard the Thomson Spirit for an overnight cruise from Newcastle to Harwich -- admittedly not the most exotic of itineraries, but lots of fun nonetheless, and ideal for anyone who fancies a taster cruise before investing in something longer.
A tour of the ship and facilities was first on the agenda. Despite being a large resort ship, Spirit maintains a cosy feel and is actually very navigable (and I say that as someone who has quite a poor sense of direction). Tour stops included the Oceans Health Club on the top deck, an outdoor sports area for basketball, volleyball and tennis, and the glitzy Broadway Show Lounge, epicentre of onboard entertainment.
After the tour, we made the most of the sunshine (a rarity this year) and watched some afternoon cabaret at the outside Lido Bar, before heading to the trendy Horizons bar for pre-dinner drinks. What followed was a scrumptious seafood dinner at The Compass Rose Restaurant and some serious shape-throwing at the High Spirits bar.
After a good night’s sleep -- the sea air and gentle sway of the ship had us out like a light -- it was time to get up, eat some breakfast and head for home.
I think what really stood out for us on the sailing was the great mix of people. The staff were ever-helpful and smiling, and guests ranged from young couples and families to girls on hens dos and more senior folk -- completely dispelling the adage that cruising is only for the older generation.
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