Cruises and chocolate – probably two of my favourite things after you count my husband and kids, and last weekend I got to enjoy a taste of both when Carnival Cruises took my family plus their other blogger ambassadors to Cadbury World!
A grey and drizzly day in Birmingham may not seem like it would be anything like being on a luxury cruise ship in the Med (as we will be next summer!) but you’d be surprised. There were quite a few parallels!
Our day at Cadbury World started off at a Santa show where my kids saw the big guy do some magic and give them a cuddly toy treat on the way out, then we were off to the 4D cinema for a Chocolate Adventure production. This cinematic show came complete with smells, sounds and movement and was so real that it had us reaching for the virtual chocolate bars as if they were right in front of us! My favourite part of that experience was being in the moving seats as the screen showed us climbing a rollercoaster and the seat shuddered with each twist and turn as if we were really riding it!
Next summer onboard Carnival’s newest ship, Vista we will also be able to experience a 4D cinematic adventure at their Thrill Theatre. We will be amongst the movie goers to be part of the action at the multi dimensional screenings – there are approximately eleven different shows running that are 15-20 minutes in length. The theatre combines a high definition 3D projection system with elements such as squirting water and bubbles and we may find our legs tickled, air blown on our necks and seat movement too with their original special effects! With the 3D glasses they provide, it will be a truly immersive movie going experience – and I just love going to the movies, especially an IMAX!!
After our 4D cinema at Cadbury World, we enjoyed a coffee in the restaurant whilst the kids played on the climbing frames and slides in the play area then we went off to the panto! Having been on several cruises in the past, one of the things I know I am looking forward to is the kids club facilities onboard Vista. Camp Ocean is their children’s programme running activities and purpose built areas for children from age 2 up to the dedicated space they have in Club O2 for the 15-17 year old teenagers! My children due to a 5 year age gap between them always end up in separate areas but they easily make new friends and enjoy the activities on offer such as video gaming consoles, dance parties, late night movie screenings and arts and crafts. My husband and I find that we regularly have the chance to enjoy a coffee or a pint together in the various bars and cafes onboard whilst our children are well looked after and entertained elsewhere. They always say they can’t wait until kids club opens so they can go back to their new mates and we find that we can enjoy some couples time – which rarely happens on a land based holiday!
The Cadbury World panto this year is Sleeping Beauty and we got a great seat in the marquee to enjoy the action! There was boo-ing of the evil queen and cheering for everyone else whilst all the kids enjoyed shouting out “It’s behind you!” whenever the ghost appeared! Other than a panto, most stage productions are a passive event that you watch and appreciate, but Carnival have thought outside the box on this one too and onboard Vista, will have their very own theatre production company Playlist Productions. We’ll be able to watch them perform 3-4 times whilst we are on our 8 night cruise in August and what makes this company different is the blend of high energy live performances with special effects and staging on towering LED screens creating a full blown musical theatre production at sea! When was the last time you got up and danced at the theatre? This is what Carnival aims for us all to be doing through Playlist Productions’ spectacular staging as pro singers and dancers rock the place!
Some of the events that Playlist Productions perform include a show called ‘80s Pop to the Max‘ which is a day-glo and Spandex treat of music hits from the 80s featuring pop-rock from the likes of Duran Duran and Cyndi Lauper to the smooth soul of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson! There is also ‘Disco Fever‘, some 70s tracks to dance the night away to and ‘The Brits‘ – a tribute to British bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who! We may not be able to catch these exact shows on our cruise – the line up of 9 different shows is performed across the whole Carnival fleet, but we are sure to get one or two shows on our cruise to have us grooving in our seats! On Vista, the shows will be carried out in the Liquid Lounge… Sounds like a ‘party’ kind of a venue!
Carnival has 24 ships in its fleet and works to deliver a varied and exciting entertainment package on all of them. They have recently announced their 2016 Carnival LIVE line up of big name live acts such as Journey; Gladys Knight and KC & The Sunshine Band! These are for ships that will be docked in 8 US homeports, so not on Vista when we are sailing, but if you love live acts and cruising holidays, it’s worth checking out this entertainment option! Carnival LIVE listings and ships can be found at the Carnival website.
Back at Cadbury World after our pantomime and lunch, we went onto the main exhibition tour which took us through the Aztec jungle, told us the Cadbury story and treated us to a ride on Cadabra, their in house ride before allowing us to watch the chocolate making in action!
Throughout the tour we were given chocolate bars to munch on the way round, but I brought loads home as we couldn’t eat it all! We visited the Cadbury shop too whilst were were there and stocked up on some Christmas stocking fillers – the kids were excited at all the sweet stuff on sale, so I daren’t even tell them about ‘Cherry On Top‘ which is a ‘sweets and more’ candy store on Vista. There they will be able to eat pick ‘n’ mix to their heart’s content plus try ice-cream at the in-house parlour with a choice of toppings to make it their way! I’m certainly glad that I’ll be able to drop them back off at Camp Ocean again after they eat it so they can run off some of that sugar-rush energy!!
We left Cadbury World that day excited, tired but happy and having had a wonderful day as a family. It is exactly how I imagine we will be after our experience onboard Vista next year, which we are all looking forward to. From Cadbury World I went home with enough chocolate to see us well into the New Year, who doesn’t love a bit of chocolate as a treat? They have a similar approach on Vista – you are treated to a chocolate on your pillow every night whilst onboard when the room porter prepares your bed for the night!
Thank you Carnival for such a lovely day and for all the chocolate!
2015-2016 Blog Ambassador: JuggleMum is proud to be an official ambassador for Carnival Cruise Lines and to bring you exclusive news and information about their newest ship – Carnival Vista. Carnival is ‘The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®’ operating 24 ships. Learn more at their website
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