First Time Onboard

October 7, 2015

Hi – I’m Steph, and as the newest member of the marketing team at DFDS, part of my induction included a tour of both KING and PRINCESS Seaways while they were docked at North Shields. Having never been on either ship before I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was very pleasantly surprised, especially by the amount of things to do onboard. By the time I was back at my desk I was booking up for a real sailing experience; Newcastle to Amsterdam and back.

When it came to actually going on the trip, I had just got back from 10 days in America, so I was jetlagged and if I’m honest, not looking forward to more travelling! I just wanted to get onboard, as hassle free as possible. Check in took a matter of minutes and we went straight through to board the ship, welcomed by plenty of staff to point us in the right direction to our cabin.

We had been told the ship was full, but it really didn’t seem that way, thankfully. I remember being really surprised by how much space there was, both in public areas and the cabin itself – time to relax!

The first thing we did was book a reservation slot for the 7 Seas buffet, as I’d heard it’s a popular choice. As a big seafood fan I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to eat there. Afterwards, we went outside to enjoy the view as the ship sailed along the Tyne, and out into the open sea. My parents even waved us off from Tynemouth pier and took our photo as we sailed past.

Back inside we hit the buffet and everything I’d heard was true, the seafood was amazing. Prawns, mussels, crayfish and more,I piled my plate high! If you don’t like seafood don’t worry, the other meal choices were endless, and all delicious. I lost track of how many times we went back for more.

Afterwards we went into the Columbus Club, I’d had my eye on the cocktail menu ever since my tour of the ship a few weeks ago. I spent the evening working my way through the menu, and listening to the live music. The walk back to our cabin showed me everything else we could do onboard, the casino, ORCA centre, the Explorers Steakhouse and the Italian restaurant – but they would have to wait for our return journey.

Arriving in Amsterdam after breakfast was very straightforward, the transfers took us straight into the heart of the city, where we spent three days exploring and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. More on our time in Amsterdam later…

During the return journey I was determined not to miss anything onboard. I spent some time chatting to Rachel in the ORCA centre, learning about the marine life they frequently spot from the observation deck, shopping in the onboard shop, and enjoying a cold one in Navigators pub.

The highlight of the return trip for me had to be Explorer’s Steakhouse. The steak itself was unbelievable, one of the best I’ve ever had, and our waiter Ernie couldn’t do enough to make sure we enjoyed the whole dining experience. We left with that relaxed, contented feeling you get after a seriously good meal.

After an intense couple of weeks travelling, it was a nice change to feel like the journey was an actual part of the holiday. I can’t believe I hadn’t taken advantage of the ease and affordability of doing this before, and will undoubtedly be doing it again.

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