Cruising the bright, brash America way: Comedian Ellie Taylor heads to St Lucia
For a brief moment, I thought I was in Las Vegas as I watched a succession of glass lifts transporting guests to the vast casino.
But I wasn’t in some neon-lit strip in the middle of the desert – I was on board the Carnival Valor cruise ship as it sailed from Barbados to St Lucia.
Caribbean queen: Ellie Taylor took a trip on the the impressive Carnival Valor
I had joined the vessel for an overnight trip (other passengers were enjoying a full seven-night Caribbean cruise).
So with time being short, I was determined to make the most of it.
My first stop was that casino. It was all so glamorous inside, if a little brash and very American – there was lots of red, white and blue everywhere.
Cruise convert: Ellie Taylor on the red carpet
After wandering around the blackjack tables and slot machines for a while, I decided the casino was all too hectic. So what does a woman do when she wants to relax? Head for the spa, of course. I had a wonderful massage and emerged feeling well and truly pampered.
This was my first cruise, and like many rookies I was a little unsure what to expect.
One of the first things that struck me was how much there was to do on board. Most of the activities were organised, but others were spontaneous.
For example, out on one of the decks in the evening there was a blast of music and lots of people around me got up and started dancing.
As a comedian, it would have been interesting to have gone to the Carnival Valor’s comedy club to check out the competition, but instead I fell into conversation with some of the ship’s staff about life at sea. The real pleasure of cruising is arriving at a new destination.
It was wonderful waking up the next morning just as we sailed into St Lucia. I wandered on to my balcony at 6am and watched the sun rise over the island – a serene and beautiful moment.
We had the whole day to explore St Lucia, so I headed up to glorious Pigeon Island and relaxed on the beach. Later in the day someone even chopped the top off a coconut so I could drink from it – another first! I’ve definitely become a cruise convert.
Ellie Taylor presents BBC3’s Snog, Marry, Avoid. You can see more of her cruise on Give Me A Break, Virgin’s online TV show – visit youtube.com/virginholidays.
Virgin Holidays Cruises (virginholidayscruises.co.uk, 0844 488 3084) offers a ten-night Barbados stay-andcruise holiday including three nights on an all-inclusive basis at the Savannah Beach Hotel, and seven nights on the Carnival Valor from Barbados visiting St Lucia, St Kitts, St Maarten, Puerto Rico and St Thomas. Prices start at £1,499pp including full-board on the cruise, transfers and return flights from Gatwick.
Source: Mail Online