First Time Cruise Marina Sports, Spa and Beach in Nydri, Lefkada:
Trying a cruise for the first time, I was keen to make the most of the shore excursions. After two days of substantial trips though, it was time to step back a bit, especially as I had a facial booked at the spa on board the Seabourn Odyssey and it was Marina Sports Day. My day of rest coincided with our stop at Lefkada, a Greek island which is part of the Eptanisa group, seven islands in the Ionian Sea in Western Greece. Nydri where we anchored, is a small town, with just 800 inhabitants a few miles from the capital, also called Lefkada. There were a number of shore excursions on offer, but I was quite grateful to have a day with nothing in particular planned when I could just explore a bit by myself. Especially as the weather was so wonderful.
Having chatted to some of the other passengers on board the Odyssey, I learnt that everyone had their own preference. For some the shore excursions were too organised – they preferred to explore independently. Others, like me, chose a mixture of excursions and independent travel. And, some of the people I met booked a shore excursion in every port, spending an hour or so the evening before listening to the informal talk by Peter Damisch, the onboard ‘conversationalist’ who provides more of an insight into the voyage and each destination. There is no right or wrong way – the level of organised activity you choose is left very much to you.
We’d already anchored when my breakfast arrived – and as I wasn’t in too much of a rush, I decided to breakfast on the private balcony of my cabin. How blissful.
It was one of those perfectly sunny days so I was glad my facial was booked early Although I haven’t been on a full cruise before, I have been on short cruise experiences and my impression of the spa facilities on each ship has always been good. So I was very keen to try the spa on the Odyssey. Apart from a full range of treatments, the ship has a Hydropool, steam room and sauna – and a rather charming relaxation lounge and a balcony where you can escape. There is a hairdressing salon too, and a small but very well equipped gym.
I asked my therapist to pick a facial for me, she recommended a pro collagen quartz lift facial from Elemis. It’s a very gentle anti-ageing treatment which is intended to reawaken skin cells and get the skin to firm up. It has both a short and a long-term effect, the serums work instantly to help revitalise the skin, while in theory the moisturisers and masks work over a longer period of time. I was particularly happy that I left without that ‘red-face’ effect you get from some facials and that my skin really did feel softer and looked brighter. As you have to book your spa treatments in advance, I’d recommend picking an early morning or late afternoon timeslot so you can make the most of the other activities on board.
Once that was done, we went to have a look at Marina Day. The Odyssey has a small deck which can be opened out to allow passengers to ‘play’ in the water directly from the Ship. Sadly, you can’t swim here (apparently, it’s against the regulations). But, there are plenty of other water sports to try, including kayaking, banana boats and more.
I wasn’t really prepared for this one and it was a very popular event. If you want to have a go, I’d suggest signing up early – and if I ever get the opportunity to go on another Seabourn cruise I will definitely be there. It really did look fun!
After a poolside lunch, it was time to take the tender across to Nydri on the island of Lefkada. It was good, for a change, just to walk for a bit through the town and relax sitting on the beach. I paddled a little, while some of my friends went for a swim.
Had we been feeling a little less lazy we could have explored Lefkada a bit and headed for the Dimossari Waterfalls, about 4km from the tender pier, or to the village of Poros, where there is an ancient castle and olive mill built in the 4th-century bc. But, what was particularly nice about this stop was that not a single other cruise ship was in sight. It was peaceful and even without trying to travel, felt authentic and unspoilt.
Back on board the ship, I was happy to just sit on my balcony and watch the world go by for an hour or so till it was time for dinner.Once again we’d chosen to try the main restaurant, where there was a Thomas Keller menu.
Mind you – I quite enjoyed my pre-dinner glass of champagne.
Another spotless menu of hand rolled English pea ‘agnolotti’ with shave speck and black truffle soubise followed by fillet of king salmon with a citrus panade, creamed arrowleaf spinach and red rice porridge and a frangipane tarte to finish.
Some of my companions ordered from the main menu – the crispy soft shell crab did look particularly appetising.
For me, it was a relaxing day. I loved having absolutely nowhere particular to be, other than the morning spa appointment. And, there was nothing, absolutely nothing, to spoil things.
Even the sunset was perfect
Disclosure: I travelled as a guest of Seabourn Cruises – for more information check their website
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