Friday, 17 April 2015

V is for...Vila, Vanuatu

We've been lucky enough, as a family, to go on a couple of cruises over the past 5 years all of which we have LOVED LOVED LOVED.

Four years ago we went on the Pacific Dawn. It was a 12 night cruise which included Port Vila, Vanuatu. We'd seen images on this port from the various web cams attached to some of the cruise ships and had always noticed the markets lining the street right at the dock. We couldn't wait to see it for ourselves!

Vila was everything we imaged and more! The markets were BUSY and you had to keep on your toes or else you'd be skittled by a taxi or mini bus. It was hot hot hot but made it even more enjoyable when we went snorkeling. We were lucky with our mini bus driver who suggested going to a place called Hideaway Island - I think this ended up being our most favourite day of the whole cruise! The snorkeling was amazing and the island was so peaceful - makes a difference from the markets and the 1,800 cruise passengers!

It was something we all enjoyed and we all agreed we deserved! We all work hard (as I am sure you do!) so it was nice to be able to leave all the stress and drama and hard work of every day life behind for a few weeks and just enjoy being together. One of the BEST things of a cruise is that no one has to cook or clean or make beds or go grocery shopping, you unpack once and then do as you please. Which is exactly what we did!

The ocean is so vast and makes for a great place to unwind and destress. Having a cuppa up on the Lido deck first thing in the morning makes for a perfect start to, what more than likely, will be a perfect day. If you're worried about seasickness, like we were, I recommend Avomine. We all took it and some of us suffer terrible motion sickness and, with the exception of one person who decided not to take his avomine, none of us were sick in the slightest. We did have pretty calm seas, so were lucky in that respect, but having seen the affects of not taking a pill each even to taking one I'd say it was money well spent! The tablets were about $13 for a pack of 30.

Cruising is great value for money and a great way to see a bit more of the world without the trouble of airports and lost luggage. We've decided at Rainbow Designs that we're going to go cruising as often as we can, when time and money allows, to ensure we don't burn out or get too bogged down in the day to day running of a business. On this particular holiday, seeing as we were all away, I enlisted the help of a Virtual Assistant (VA) to look after Rainbow Designs. While this meant the business could remain open and making (a little bit of) money it meant that the gifts I make (lolly & chocolate boxes etc) were temporarily out of stock. This didn't prove too much of a drama as I still had my gorgeous Gift Hampers available but I did have a couple of customers not read the updated delivery schedule and we disappointed there was a delay with their order. I knew it wouldn't be smooth sailing (excuse the pun!) while I was away but all things considered it went ok and gave me a better idea on how to do things when/if we're all away again. I also realised that it is so important to have a plan in place for when I am unavailable, whether through holidays or illness, to ensure the continued, smooth, running of Rainbow Designs happens.

We've also decided that Vila is our most favourite port so far (with Wala a close second) so hope to be able to do another cruise in the not too distant future (fingers & toes crossed) with Vila on the itinerary.

We booked our cruise online through OzCruising who also provided us with lanyards (you hang your cruise card on this - it's your money & cabin door key so VERY important!) - we would recommend them and will definitely be using them again for our next cruise(s).

What's your favourite holiday destination? Have you ever been on a cruise?

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