EPIC Cruise trip, Day 1 – Arrival

Just a short explanation before you read into this.

6am start and we begin our trip at Heathrow, Terminal  5, as we had to fly to Barcelona where the ship was docked. I only took a few pics here and there as I was still in my ‘I’m not a morning person’ state although I was a little excited to see what’s so different about this terminal compared to the other four.

Interior

One thing I immediately noticed is that you can tell this place was designed to be a little more modern and ‘classy’. What I mean by that is that just from the exterior, you can see the terminal has a lot of glass walls. And when you walk inside, again a lot of the shops and restaurants are walled with glass giving it a newer look.

I tried to look for a McDonalds but there were none… anywhere! L Most of the dining places inside will be a slight step up from your usual eat-ins with some less-well known restaurants. The one’s you might know are ones like Giraffe, Wagamamas, Starbucks, Pret-a-Manger, etc. But there will be a few more lying around that you (or at least I) won’t have heard of (Itsu?!?). Generally, Heathrow terminals usually have some nice fancy places to eat but I’m referring to the more affordable typical restaurants and cafes.

Itsu. Affordable? Well this is sushi…

Expensive offspring.

The long wait, as per usual with getting there an hour or two early…

Once we were on the flight, I pretty much K-O’d for most of it. Woke up to have a short bite to eat and then just felt sleepy for the rest of the journey. Managed to take a few pics though. ^^

Cloud wave.

Spain.

When we arrived, we we’re immediately hit with a wall of heat leaving the aeroplane before going back into the relieving air-conditioning of the airport for an hour before taking a 20 minute bus journey to the docked ship. Once we got there, my god. The size of the ship was, ot say the least, EPIC! Sure, it’s currently the third-largest cruise ship in the world but when you’re standing right in front of it, you can’t help but feel a little insignificant compared to it.

Floating Hotel.

Port

Boarding.

Once inside, we had a drink at the bar shortly before we went for a meal at one of the on-board restaurants that you don’t have to pay for called Taste. I wasn’t expecting much, being one of the free dine-in places, but the meal was actually very good.

The Atrium bar – You can get a sticker on your room card to have free soft drinks throughout your stay if you pay a fixed price now

My starter was salmon tartare, toast-shaped crouton and a small helping of yellow-dill sauce.

Salmon Tartare

Salmon (which I presume was smoked) was smooth and salty, with pieces of cucumber and avocado in the patty. I only found out the crouton was toast when I bit into it to find it was a lot more solid than I expected. xD

Main course was the chef’s special, seafood paella. Seeing as I hadn’t tasted proper paella in over 4 years, I went for this dish! And to be honest, it wasn’t amazing but still good.

Seafood (and Chicken) paella?? Maybe I’m starting to get old…

Prawns were soft and tender. Squid was also good, i.e. not chewy as hell. Mussels were also cooked well although they weren’t seasoned. I could swear I bit into something that felt like chicken meat! O.O
Anyhow, overall was a decent paella but better ones can be found in Barcelona. 😛

Dessert was a cinnamon baked apple pie. As I’m not a fan of sweet things, so I was a bit unsure of this one. But once I took my first bite, I was inclined to finish it.

Cinnamon Apple Pie with whipped cream

Crust pastry was nutty in texture. Apple filling was sweet and ever so slightly sour, but even then, the cream that accompanied it was no sweeter than the apple. The fragrant cinnamon was definitely significant, but not so much that the dish would be overpowered with it.

The Dolce Trio – Classical performers to sooth our ears

We walked around a bit after that to discover the ship. One thing I noticed while walking around the 3 bottom public decks were the amount of electric grand pianos there were. They were scattered around the place for performers to use at various times of the day. There was one inside the Taste restaurant we just ate at, one next to the Atrium bar, a couple more above on the upper 2 floors, as well as two inside the Headliner’s place (didn’t see if those were acoustic or not, assumed digital grand). The sound on them is very nice, although I wish I could’ve played them get a feel of the keys. All of them seem to be Baldwin Concertmasters, in sizes of grand or mini-grand.

Sing us a song, you’re the piano man!

dat piano.

There are many commodities on sale around the ship. Cigars, alcohol, jewellery, you name it!

Goodbye sun!

Once we were done with walking around the ship, we decided to end our evening with the Blue Man Group. I’ve seen them a good few years ago on a school trip although I was more than happy to see them again. It’s a shame we couldn’t take any photos or videos otherwise I would’ve posted some awesome shots of the show.

Poster of the blue men.

EPIC Theater

Okay, that’s day 1 over with. *phew*

Time to see what day 2 on the ship has in store for us. We will be visiting a Steakhouse for dinner in the evening. 😀

EDIT: here are your links

Photo album – just follow the tags to orientate yourself as to which day it is

A little warning that for my youtube videos, I was the camera man for Cloverfield so dun hate.

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