Our Sovereign Sojourn – By Kathy May & Lucy Mcgregor

Itinerary: Barcelona to Livorno

Pullmantur Sovereign

Following a very efficient, clean and quick flight from Stansted, and a short twenty minute drive to Barcelona port, we checked-in and got on board just after 1pm.

Our first experience of Sovereign was a buffet-style lunch in the main dining room. It was very nice and the service was very attentive. After refuelling ourselves with the excellent options available, it was finally time to see our cabin; a large ocean view room which was very clean, and surprisingly modern for a ship of her age.

The sailaway party was superb, as a Spanish-based cruise line they really do know how to celebrate. As dinner came and went, we just about mustered up enough energy to enjoy a coffee in Café San Marco and have a brief look around the shops before heading off to bed.

Day 2 - Sea Day

Pullmantur - Wu Restaurant

The following day we had plenty of opportunity to explore Sovereign and get a real taste for what a Pullmantur cruise is like. We enjoyed a tasty buffet breakfast (be warned, the Spanish don’t have the same passion for queuing as us Brits, so don’t be afraid to dive on in!) followed by a drink in the Spinnaker Piano Bar. The crew later put on a lively lunch, featuring a ‘dance off’ which was great fun, then we treated ourselves to a nail treatment in the spa.

It wasn’t long before we were taking advantage of the all-inclusive drinks. There are a surprising amount of options, including branded drinks, and the staff seem to relish learning each guest’s favourite tipple and serving it up with a smile.

In the evening we went to the Captain’s Cocktail Party. Champagne and canapés were offered as we were introduced to the ship’s various heads of department. It was great to see how much the staff were appreciated and the occasion ended with a flag parade representing the 30 different nationalities of crew onboard.

Later, we had dinner at the speciality ‘Wu’ restaurant. This exotic Asian-fusion restaurant is supplementary to Pullmantur’s otherwise all-inclusive offering but was only €25 each and included a bottle of wine! We couldn’t fault the staff, food, presentation or ambience and were surprised that the restaurant wasn’t full to the brim.

Day 3 - Naples

Pompeii

We headed out on the English-speaking tour of Naples and Pompeii (additional English excursions are added to itineraries depending on demand). Pompeii was fantastic and an absolute must on this trip.

Back on the ship, there was time for a dip in the Jacuzzi before dinner in the main restaurant where it was Cocktail Party theme. The pool deck had been transformed into a tropical beach paradise; tables laid out with amazing symmetrical fruit displays, cakes, fruit skewers and ice carvings. Make sure you fuel up at dinner however as true to Mediterranean lifestyles; the party wasn’t due to get going until 12.45am! We couldn’t stay up quite that late, so instead joined in with the salsa dancing before heading off to bed.

Day 4 - Rome

Colosseum - Rome

We had an early start for our 90 minute transfer from Civitavecchia Port to Rome, where we spent the day sightseeing. While the driver mainly spoke Spanish during the journey, a fellow passenger kindly informed us (in English) that the pick-up time was at 4.30.

Whilst a day is not really long enough to truly appreciate Rome, it was great to see the major sights including the Colosseum, Piazza Venezia and Trevi Fountain. Back on the Ship that evening, dinner was great once again with salmon, veal, pork and lots of other things on the menu.

Day 5 - Livorno

Check-out was at 11am and our taxi transfer arrived on time to take us from Livorno to Pisa airport. Pisa airport is small but does have some nice shops to help you pass the time before your flight.

We had a great experience with Pullmantur. Sovereign has a real party atmosphere and is definitely aimed at young couples or families. The language never really affected our day to day activities on the ship. One thing is for certain though; cruising with Pullmantur means totally giving yourself to the Spanish culture and taking everything as it comes.