Setting sail on April 14th, Ovation of the Seas, the third in Royal Caribbean’s ground-breaking Quantum Class fleet, will bring Royal Caribbean’s typical sense of fun and adventure to the shores of Europe before she heads to Asia. Along with bionic bartenders, the fabulous FlowRider and the incredible North Star observation capsule, which soars over 300ft in the air and over the side of the ship, guests can do everything from skydiving in the spectactular RipCord by iFLY simulator to driving bumper cars and high wire circus training at SeaPlex, the largest entertainment complex at sea.
Of the 18 restaurants on board, I’m delighted to see the return of Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, the restaurant I adored on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, as well as Jamie’s Italian and the stunning ‘Silk’. For the younger guests (oh, who am I kidding – for all of us), there’ll be DreamWorks characters from Madagascar, Shrek and Kung Fu Panda featuring in the kids’ clubs, character dining and of course plenty of opportunities for those all important selfies.
To celebrate the launch of Ovation of the Seas, I’m going to be joining in the fun by taking part in a brand new project which will be mapping her journey on Royal Caribbean’s Instagram feed. Across 27 posts over the next five week, the Instagram pictures, featuring images from influencers hand-picked from all across Europe, will come together to form one final image featuring a bird’s eye view of the ship along with all her European stops.
For my own part, I’ll be celebrating the fact that Ovation of the Seas will be visiting Paris. Are you ready? Step of the ship with me. Let’s head into Paris and take a walk…
In the city of patisserie, we obviously need to start with breakfast. We’ll head straight to Poilâne, for the warm, flaky buttery croissants, or maybe even a pain au chocolat, then it’s just a stroll to the glorious Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.
After that, we’ll wander north, through the cobbles of Le Marais; smell the roses in the beautiful public gardens of Les Jardins de Rosiers – Joseph-Migneret:
…and then eat ice creams while lying on the grass and watching the clouds in the lovely Place des Vosges.
If you’re feeling that it’s time for a bit of culture, we’ll hop onto the metro and head to the Musée du Louvre. It’s always best to leave a visit to the Louvre until the afternoon, so first, it’s time for lunch, and where better than Bistrot Victoires – the classic Parisian bistro. After steak frites and profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce, we’ll go (smart people enter the Louvre via the Carousel shopping centre, never the pyramid!) and dit bonjour to the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
Back to the metro now, and it’s time to hit the shops, but not just any old shops – we’ll head to Boulevard Haussmann for a wander around les grands magasins – Printempts and Galeries Lafayette (including a couple of important purchases in the glorious food heaven that is Galeries Lafayette Gourmet of course – we’ll need these for later).
Clutching our bags, it’s time to return to the Metro one last time for a visit to the Eiffel Tower. We need to hurry, the sun is starting to set. We catch our first glimpse through the trees:
Here, we’ll settle ourselves in front of L’Ecole Militaire at the Champ du Mars, pour our bubbles into plastic glasses, and wait excitedly until the five minutes every hour when the tower comes alive with shimmer and sparkle.
As we head back to the ship, you’ll catch my eye and smile. The perfect Parisian day.
Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas will be sailing to France from Southampton, as well as Spain and Belgium, for a very limited period in April and May 2016 – make sure you’re on board!