Want to read more of our Seminar at Seas’ diary from onboard Virgin Voyages’ Valiant Lady? Click here for Part One.
Renowned for being the playground for the rich and famous, we look in awe as we glide past the super yachts in Cannes harbour.
Huge, sleek, sprawling motorboats with helicopters ferry well-heeled visitors in and out of the town as if they were taxis – oh how the other half live!
We’re taken to shore in the ships’ lifeboats and take a brief paddle in the sea before hopping on a local bus for a circular tour of this famous town that’s the star of the French Riviera, renowned for glitz and glamour and the infamous film festival.
Once a tiny fishing village, the bustling town now has a real buzz with grand palace hotels, big brand boutiques and fashionable bars and restaurants.
That said, we were all surprised at the relaxed atmosphere in Cannes – instead of being pretentious and over-priced, the shoreline cafes were great value.
Some smart travel consultants hired ebikes and travelled around the resort in style, easily making it up 4km steep inclines with ease. Others took the train for just a few euros into Monaco. It’s up to you what you do when you leave the ship.
After another paddle on the sandy shoreline, it was back on board to sample a whole variety of lunch options from quick grab-and-go stations serving sushi and fruit selections to full table service gourmet meals.
To work off lunch we headed to the gym then the social club for some downtime playing classic arcade and board games. Hearing cool tunes playing from the alfresco lounge outside, we then grabbed a drink and sat listening to a live band.
This time for dinner we decided to try The Test Kitchen where the food is the entertainment and the chefs at work create real theatre. Each dish is a sensory overload of taste, smell and vision.
After dinner the party took on a whole new level – a Virgin level – with The Duel Reality circus show.
Based on Romeo and Juliet it pitches two high energy teams against each other in a sporting arena with different sides of the audience supporting each team. The teams’ skills and strength on display were incredible.
We left the theatre on a high and, let’s just say, for many the party continued into the early hours.
Day 3: Tuesday Morning
Still on a high from the night before, we grab fresh coffee and head to Deck 17 for some Open-Heart Slow-Flow yoga at sunrise. We balance, eyes on the horizon, adopting various poses, with the sun rising in the distance.
The morning’s Seminar at Sea session kicked off after a hearty, healthy and freshly cooked breakfast with travel consultants lapping up all the information and tips on how to navigate, what can be, the complicated cruise sector.
Out of over 100 consultants, only half have been on a cruise before but already we see they’re hooked.
“I’ve never been on a cruise and it’s amazing,” says Nong. “ From the food to the atmosphere and the fact you go to sleep and wake up in a new destination. I am really excited to learn more about selling cruises and we’ve got so much expertise here to tap into. “
After a morning of learning, we continue to explore Virgin’s incredible ship.
Our next port of call is Carrara, the northern Italian coast, where we are due to arrive tomorrow morning.