“I MUST admit, when we first heard we would be going on a cruise to the Portuguese Islands with the matrics, my excitement quickly turned to a nervous cringe. I think I’ll blame it on what I’ve seen in the movies … lots of old people playing bingo, cramped spaces or just the mere possibility of us hitting and iceberg … eish.
Either way, “cruising” made me very nervous. However, I will admit, throughout the course of our five days at sea, we discovered many reasons why life on the ocean, or at least aboard the MSC Sinfonia, was fun. After a long and painful wait in queues, the 2015 matrics finally boarded the MSC cruise liner from Durban to the Portuguese Islands. The wait was worth it though. Durban’s sunny weather created a perfect, spotless setting for our departure. Once on board all we heard were choruses of “oooh” and “aaaah” as our eyes were met by sweeping, golden staircases and curves of shiny walnut burl-wooden countertops.
Turning in all directions, we took in all the details. It was spectacular. On walking to our cabins, we saw the difference in detail of the lounges and restaurants as we passed them, each one seemingly more glamourous than the one before. What an impressive ship this was.
We could tell you about the mouth-watering, Mediterranean-inspired five-course dinners aboard the MSC Sinfonia, or about the 24-hour Italian feasts of freshly baked pizza and hotdogs and hamburgers. We could go on about the awesome pool chairs in the pool area on deck 12, that come with a convenient sun-shade attached. We could even suggest indulging in a thick, creamy double-chocolate ice cream at the ice cream bar.
If that conjures up a little guilt, we could recommend working the calories off at the gym overlooking the azure water. And if that all sounds a little tiring, we could propose unwinding with a 20-minute Turkish bath in the MSC Aurea Spa. We could list the all-day activities that range from dancing lessons and live music at the Manhattan Bar on deck six to doing the Salsa with people on the pool deck, and don’t forget the unforgettable shows. We could, but we won’t. You need to see it to believe it.
The excursions to the Portuguese Islands were our favourite part of the trip. The island contained a beautiful silk-sand beach where we had the opportunity to dip in the warm, crystalline ocean water and stroll around the island that is about six kilometres long, and about an hour’s walk all the way around on the sand.
There were more than enough beach activities to keep us busy, from soccer, touch rugby, volleyball, skiing and tubing or just lazing around in the sun.
It felt great to just unwind from the past year’s hard work. We had a fantastic time and made many great memories.
We are truly thankful for the opportunity to go on this amazing cruise and we would just like to extend a great big thank you to Mr Swart and the board for giving us this opportunity.
Wembley College, we love you.” - Dewald Wolmarans.