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Just to make you all jealous

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Here is a pic of our cruise ship, stopped off in Corfu at the moment 90 degrees, phew!

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Pic didn't work.

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Ah but... look who I met the other week

I like her shirt. :super::sheep:

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Sorry the link didn't work

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After waving goodbye to her family at the airport, Zilla Van Den Born, 25, went to extraordinary lengths to fool her friends into thinking she was travelling through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos by mocking up photographs of exotic food and tourist attractions. 
Little did they know Ms Van Den Born, from Amsterdam, was actually sat on her sofa.
To carry out her ruse, she had faked Skype calls to her parents under Christmas lights and a Thai umbrella, while also sending texts in the middle of the night to add to her credibility.
My goal was to prove how common and easy it is to distort reality. I did this to show people that we filter and manipulate what we show on social media
Zilla Van Den Born
The backpack of lies was all part of her university graduation project, to show how social media does not always reflect reality.
She said: "My goal was to prove how common and easy it is to distort reality.
"I did this to show people that we filter and manipulate what we show on social media." 
Amazingly, pictures of the Dutch student snorkelling in turquoise water with tropical fish around her were taken at a local swimming pool and then digitally altered at home. 
Ms Van Den Born even photoshopped herself onto tuk tuks, beautiful beaches and luxury resorts in the 42 days she spent hidden in her Amsterdam apartment with her boyfriend - the only person in the know.
The freelance graphic designer also took photos of tropical aquariums at Amsterdam's Artis Zoo, went to a butterfly garden, bought exotic Asian souvenirs at a market and cooked up Thai meals in her own kitchen.
She even spent time in tanning booths to get a healthy holiday glow and sent postcards, which no-one noticed were stamped with Dutch postmarks.
"We create an online ideal world which reality can no longer match up to," she added.
"Everybody knows that pictures of models are manipulated but we often overlook the fact that we manipulate reality in our own lives as well.
"A picture is perhaps one of the most layered and contradictory objects that we can see around us.
"It represents the reality, but also falsehood. It is a fact, but also an opinion. It is technology, but also an art form."
The fake holiday was only discovered when she revealed all to her family and friends and filmed their shocked reaction.
To chronicle her adventure, Ms Van Den Born has now put together a book called 'Sjezus say, Zilla' - 'Oh God, Zilla' in English - to give readers the chance to see her pictures before and after they were edited.
Readers can scan the pages with the augmented reality app 'Layar' to see the before and after versions.
Ms Van Den Born revealed her fascination behind the project.
"There is a constant battle going on between the two considerations: the photographed object being as beautiful as possible and it telling the truth," she added.
"What a picture really shows is not the exact situation as it really was, but what it represents. 
"This ambiguous relationship with reality makes photography so fascinating to me. It raises questions about the representative power of pictures and reality itself."
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I'm back, I find it a bit hard to post pics on here but here's a picture taken from our balcony as we sailed out of Gibraltar,




This was our ship, couldn't get it all in!




And this was some of the awful food we had to eat.





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Welcome back @tonyhateley!

Cheers mate, they had to drag me off the ship kicking and screaming but I'm back and raring to go.

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Cheers mate, they had to drag me off the ship kicking and screaming but I'm back and raring to go.

Raring to go? Go where? Bl**dy h*ll,you've only just got back! :rollonfloorlaughing:

Seriously,glad you had a good time and good to have you back.

You'd better catch up with posting and give us all the details cos @GrannyPie will be on the warpath otherwise(and I'm in the firing line) :biggrin:

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Nice to have you back with us @tonyhateley.Glad you enjoyed your time away.Can we have more info please? :thumbsup:



Well @GrannyPie what would you like to know? I could write pages about it. The whole experience was brilliant we saw places we have only dreamt of previously. The ship is enormous and holds 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew. We arrived at the ship parked alongside and our keys were taken off us, the luggage taken out of the boot and someone took the car to a secure compound until we returned. From there we were shown to a departure lounge and given a coloured boarding card, after about 10 minutes our colour was called and we make our way to check in. They took our pictures, checked our passports and gave us a cruise card. There is no cash on board the cruise card is used to pay for anything you buy and it is also used to get into your cabin. Once on board we went straight to the buffet and had a lovely salad lunch while we waited for our cabin to be made available. All the food on board is free unless you want to go to one of the select Michelin star restaurants for which there is a small cover charge around £15-£30 per person depending on the venue. There are several restaurants on board, for our evening meals we used the Meridian dining room which is a freedom dining venue, which meant we could dine at a time to suit us. The other dining rooms are fixed times 6.30pm or 8.30pm. All the food in the restaurants was fine dining, we had a 5 course meal on the nights we dined in the dining room on other nights we sometimes used a the buffet and on one occasion we went to Sindhu which is a Michelin star Indian/British fusion restaurant, that was fabulous.


Every night has a dress code, there are a lot of smart casual nights which as it suggests the dress code was smart trousers and perhaps a open necked shirt or smart tee shirt for men and for ladies smart separates or trousers. Then they had smart jacket required nights where a jacket had to be worn but not necessarily a tie for men and women could wear a cocktail dress or similar. The poshest night was the formal night, we had three formal nights in our 17 night cruise, on these nights the ladies wore an elegant evening gown while most men wore a tuxedo and bow tie or a lounge suite and tie was acceptable. I never thought I would ever wear a tuxedo, we are not dressy up kind of people but I must say we really enjoyed it for a change. It all sounds very posh but in fact most of the people are very down to earth and just like us really.


The cabins were very comfortable you could either choose two single beds or a queen size bed. There was a fridge, a television with sky sports, sky news, bbc world and some interactive channels where we could order room service if we wished or check our on board account. There was a shower room and a dressing table in our cabin and we had a balcony with two loungers and a table for drinks etc. Every morning and every night our room steward would come and make up our beds and tidy the room.


As I said the food was free but drinks were charged for, a bottle of house wine with dinner would be around £13 we often had this and because we could drink the whole bottle in one sitting they saved it for the following night for us. Beer cost around £3.50 a pint, there were several decent ales in bottles on board to choose from Old Thumper, Pedigree, Hobgoblin, Speckled Hen etc. On draught was John Smiths, Boddingtons and the usual Stella and other lagers. A vast array of cocktails were also available. There were lots of bars on board our favourite was the Planet Bar which was situated right at the back of the ship and we spent many a pleasant evening sitting drinking and watching the ocean from the rear of the ship. There was also an English pub type bar called Brodies which had a casino attached. All the drinks were ordered from waiters who were everywhere hovering ready to take your order. We could also take drinks aboard within reason to drink in our cabin so we took two boxes of wine and a bottle of gin, we spent a lot of time on our balcony just reading and sipping our cool drinks. You can have drinks in the bars, beside the pool, on sunloungers etc. There were several swimming pools on board, our favourite was the "endless pool" which was a small pool at the front of the ship which generated a current and when you swim against it you don't get anywhere so it's good exercise and you can swim as much as you like.


There was a huge gym at the front of the ship with a massive selection of fitness equipment, rolling roads, exercise bikes, rowing machines, we liked the rolling roads which can be set to whatever pace you feel comfortable with and you can walk or jog on it and watch the screen which tells you your heart rate, how fast you are walking/running the distance you have covered etc., or can set to the television where you can watch the news or sky sports etc., there was also a plug for ear phones to listen to the radio or ipod.


One of the swimming pools had a huge screen over it which showed the latest blockbuster films, we spent a few nights relaxing on sunloungers under the stars watching films, as my wife remarked she never thought she would be sitting in the middle of the Adriatic sea at 8pm, off the coast Albania watching a film!


The ports of call were fantastic and there were a choice of excursions that could be bought if you wished or you could make your own way ashore (free shuttle buses from the port were supplied) and explore the local town. We had an excursion in Venice which gave us a motor launch from the ship to St. Marks Square where a guide showed us the main sites and then we were taken to the gondolas for a gondola ride along the canals which was great, it was remarkably quiet when we got off the Grand Canal and onto the smaller canals, we just glided along between the tall buildings. The gondoliers have to have a 10 year training course before they are allowed to ply their trade and the boats cost £30,000, they are beautifully carved and very ornate. After the gondola ride we were allowed some free time to explore Venice on our own before we met up to be taken back to the ship on the motor launch. The excursion was expensive at around £96 but we enjoyed every minute and we were assured of getting back to the ship safely and on time because if you go on your own and are delayed it won't wait for you.


Dubrovnik was lovely we did our our tour of the small town and walked the medieval walls with some fantastic views of the surrounding area.


Corfu was beautiful, again we decided to do our our little tour with the help of a printed guide supplied by the ship, this was one of our favourite places of the cruise the people were so friendly and spoke good english, the signs were all readable english as well and we thought we would love to go back one day and spend more time there. All the ports calls were for a day and we had to be back on board for a certain time.


Messina in Sicily we had an excursion to a nearby seaside resort by bus where we could spend some time sunbathing on a private part of the beach reserved for the cruise passengers with complimentary sun beds and sun shades. We did some swimming in the lovely warm sea.


Gibralta we took a taxi tour up to the top of the rock and had a tour around St. Michael's cave which was full of lovely stalatites and stalagmites which had been formed over centuries.


The other two ports were Malta and Cadiz in Spain, again both were really lovely. Malta was very British of course and it people were awarded the George Cross for gallantry during the second world war, there were very tall buildings and narrow streets with shops and bars and some lovely beaches. Cadiz was very Spanish with Tapas bars and paella being eaten at pavement cafes.


On board there was always lots to do ranging from bingo, to talent shows, karaoki, craft classes, exercise classes, port talks, musical shows, comedians, ventriloquists, cabaret singers etc. There are lots of quiet areas for those who want it, a library, shops, lounges, bars etc.


We booked the cruise about a year before we wanted to go and were given £500 to spend on board, this was loaded onto our cruise card, as I said everything you buy on board is taken from your cruise card, including automatic tips, so you don't have to worry about tipping waiters, cabin stewards etc., They take around £3 per day per person for tips, unless you want to tip yourself in which case you can. Our on board spend went mainly on the excursion and drink, we also bought a few souvenirs and gifts for the grandchildren on board. We also had free secure parking at Southampton included in the price. It is an expensive holiday but when you consider all the food is free, plus entertainment etc. and all the beautiful places you are taken to it is good value. The staff are excellent and can't do enough to make your holiday a special one.


Hopefully that's enough detail for you @GrannyPie, get @super_ram to treat you.

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Sounds fantastic @tony hateley, glad you had a wonderful time. Will you be at The Lane, on Saturday?



No sorry @magpiejue you will have to make do with Doug again, he says he's enjoying watching Fword reserves. :joker:


We are catching up with our two eldest Grandchildren this weekend and their delightful mother won't allow them to go to a match even though they would love to as George has told them all about it. I think she thinks there is a lot of trouble at football matches, she doesn't realise it's all old folk at Notts nodding off. Plus she probably does it to spite me.

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Your cruise sounded really memorable but please don't give granny any ideas. :angel:

Thanks for sharing.

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