Life as a blogger can have its glamourous moments…discover what I got up to on my day aboard the MSC Preziosa for Blog Camp On Board!
It’s been ages since I’ve done a post going ‘behind the scenes’ of my life as a blogger. This is partly because I am just a complete and utter foodie and I ALWAYS have a recipe post I’m just desperate to share with you, which naturally takes precedence (actually I have a whole spreadsheet of recipes I am desperate to share with you…but there’s only so fast this girl can get them photographed, written and up on the blog!).
The other reason is, if I am totally honest, this blogging lark isn’t always quite as glamourous as it’s cracked up to be. Often my days are spent doing rather mundane things…and I am not sure anyone wants to read a post where I talk about proof reading, dealing with my overflowing inbox or updating my accounts spreadsheet!
However, every now and again, blogging actually does have a touch of glam and Wednesday was definitely one of those days, because I got to attend a rather swanky blogging conference called Blog Camp On Board, run by those fabulous people at Foodies100, on board an actual cruise ship – squeal!
OK, so we didn’t actually go anywhere (Blogging Goals for 2018, clearly), but we did get to spend a rather wonderful day in the very glitzy surroundings of the MSC Preziosa, whilst it was docked in Southampton.
Our day began learning about MSC Cruises and the MSC Preziosa in particular, followed by a guided tour and the opportunity to see some of the highlights of the ship, such as the many lounges and dining rooms (I fear if I ever went on a cruise I would come home the size and shape of a teletubby), luxurious spa and pool areas, giant waterslide and dazzling crystal staircase, where each step is worth around 10,000 euros – for real!
MSC cruises really pride themselves on creating a wonderful holiday for all the family with dawn till dusk kids clubs and entertainment, dedicated children’s areas – including an actual Lego room! (Can you imagine? I’d never get my kids out!), as well as lots of activities the whole family can enjoy together.
Our tour was followed by lunch in one of the opulent dining rooms on board the ship and the chance to experience some of the lovely food the MSC Preziosa has to offer…including a rather delicious fillet of red mullet. (Fish seemed somehow just the right thing to eat on board a ship!)
After lunch, we had the opportunity to attend blogging seminars on topics such as podcasting, food photography and working with brands. I particularly enjoyed the seminar on food photography by Sandhya Harihara of Sandhya’s Kitchen.
My food photography has improved leaps and bounds since I first started blogging, but I know there is still much more to learn and I am in awe of Sandhya’s photography…so learning exactly what she uses and how she sets up a shoot was fascinating. And rather encouraging to see she doesn’t use lots of fancy equipment and expensive kit.
I was fascinated to see her clever use white and black foam boards to get just the right amount of light and shadow in her shot and how particular she is over her choices of backgrounds and props. But my favourite tip of the day actually came during the Q&A, from my friend Mel Knibb of Le Coin de Mel, whose ingenious tip for avoiding reflections of yourself in shiny cutlery is to cut a hole in a large white foam board just big enough to poke the lens of the camera through and shoot through that…and hey presto, no annoying reflection!
The day was also a wonderful opportunity to catch up with lots of lovely blogging chums – several of whom I had never actually met in the flesh, as well as making lots of new blogging friends too! Special shout-out goes to Keri Allan of Ladies What Travel and Jane Batt of Practically Perfect Mums, who I met at lunch…not only did we have a truly lovely time getting to know each other, but they also both decided I looked like Keira Knightly – made my day! 😀
My thanks go to Sally Whittle and her team at Foodies100 who worked so hard to put together a fabulously glamourous and indulgent day and the team at MSC Cruises for hosting such a large group of bloggers and putting up with our need to photograph absolutely EVERYTHING!!
The day has certainly changed my perception of cruises – my assumption has always been that they are mainly aimed at older people, but MSC’s ships are clearly designed to appeal to the whole family…now there just remains to convince Mr G!
If you fancy a trip on one of MSC’s cruise ships you can join the MSC Preziosa or the MSC Magnifica at Southampton for a European cruise, or fly out to join a whole host of cruises further afield. For more details, check out the MSC website.
And if you are wondering where the lovely recipes have gone, don’t worry – there are plenty of them coming up…I have a whole spreadsheet of them to get through, remember…and do let me know if you want that post all about doing my accounts and clearing out my inbox won’t you 😉
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