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Our Virgin Voyages’ cruise rocks on in Italy

Day 4 (Part 2)

After the morning’s cruise training session (an in depth review of some major cruise brands plus the huge potential of river cruising), we disembark and head to the Tuscan seaside town of Forte dei Marmi via a complimentary bus service. 

We gaze at views of majestic mountain ranges on the 30-minute journey before arriving at this trendy resort known for its high fashion boutiques, Michelin-star restaurants and glam beach clubs. 

We window shop at Armani, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, wander through the bustling local market and admire the architecture including a red 18th-century fort which stands in the main square. 

Once used to defend the coast against the Turks it was then used to store precious Carrara marble hence the town’s name, Forte dei Marmi, (Marble Fort). 

Back on board, we hear how other agents had explored Pisa, chill out playing board games then watch in awe as our captain and crew maneuver Valiant Lady out of the narrow port and begin the journey to our next stop, Port of Ajaccio in Corsica.

In the evening we dine at Razzle Dazzle, an amazing vegan/vegetarian restaurant which serves up mushroom ‘tartare’, roasted cauliflower and vegan cheesecake. The menu includes ‘naughty’ options for those who want meat or seafood. The food is exquisite and the atmosphere chilled and relaxed. 

Other agents eat at The Test Kitchen, a laboratory-like eatery akin to a Heston Blumenthal-esque experience with a tasting menu, incredible flavours and attentive service.

After dinner we listen to a live blues and rock-inspired live band with covers from Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin and other rock stars. We then head down to deck 7 for a cheeky ice cream before bedtime.

That’s the thing with this cruise – you can take it or leave it as much as you want. This can be the ship that rocks, or the ship that gently rocks you to sleep.

Day 5

We awake to find the ship docking at the Port of Ajaccio, Napoleon’s hometown. The charming harbour is dotted with piers and jetties lined with palm trees and a backdrop of quaint squares and gently undulating hills in the distance.

We head up to the galley for some pancakes and eggs before enjoying this morning’s Seminar at Sea. Today, influencer Hayley Sparks is talking about being confident and using social media for personal branding, while digital marketing guru, Charles Bentley, coaches agents how to increase engagement. 

Meanwhile, NJT cruise gurus Gemma Outram and Duncan Croucher coach consultants on how to make more group cruise bookings and co-founder Steve Witt gives a session on breaking down barriers to building your business.

Soon it will be time to disembark for our day’s excursion. We have from 8am to 5pm to explore Corsica before we will once again embark and move on to our next port of call: Ibiza, the party capital of the Med.

Check in tomorrow for part 6

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