Party Ship Athena

This year we decided to take a short cruise to see in the new year, so choose to sail aboard the MV Athena, a Classic International Cruises ship which spends the northern summer sailing European waters and the southern summer based in Australia, with most of its cruises beginning and ending at the port of Fremantle, Western Australia.

Athena is not a large ship, accommodating just 550 passengers. It’s relatively compact size actually works to its advantage as you do get to know many of your fellow passengers, and you especially get to know the crew members who look after you.

Being a smaller vessel means that it is more friendlier than your normal run-of-the-mill large cruise ship as it has a certain comfortable casualness about it.

The purpose of choosing this three-day New Year’s cruise was to do something different, simply because I usually work over the Christmas/New Year period, and my early morning starts to work on breakfast radio usually means that I rarely do get to see the start of a New Year.

As the first dinner service started, and those, like me, who had chosen the later service hits the bars and entertainment venues, the party mood started quite early.

Most people had spruced themselves up for the occasion and there was a sense of revelry in the air, particularly as the first sitting diners began to make their way into the bars, and the entertainers began to crank up.

Dinner was a little more festive than usual, with most people donning the party hats that had been left on the tables, and there was a real buzz in the air as passengers and crew began to get into the party spirit.

Straight after dinner we headed to the pool deck where a band was playing a repertoire of popular hits, and a few hardy souls began dancing.

It wasn’t long before more people swamped the dance floor and the band picked up the pace a notch. As we got closer to midnight crew handed out streamers and poppers, whilst others were distributing the champagne.

It was a really switched on crowd by this stage as practically everybody on board gathered on the pool deck; off duty crew dressed up in their civvies joined the passengers as our cruise director led to countdown to midnight. At the stroke of 12 it was complete but joyous mayhem as streamers were thrown to cover the crowd and poppers exploded. People were shaking hands and kissing, strangers introducing themselves to each other, on and off duty crew letting their hair down, toasts being made, champagne downed, bagpipes blaring a rousing version of Auld Lang Syne, and then the band bursting into a really hot long set of classic hits which had everyone singing, dancing and generally being rowdy in a rather pleasant and celebratory way with no animosity of angst, simply good spirits.

The party continued as strangers got to know each other, and good tidings were shared. It went late into the night and was just a plain old good time, as could be attested by breakfast the next day being attended by just a hardy few.

As a party ship the Athena ticked all the boxes, and lived up to its reputation to produce a memorable and totally enjoyable New Year’s celebration.

2 comments to Party Ship Athena

  • Iain Brunton aka BrigadierBrunton

    Anything on superstar Virgo grumpy.
    Also can kids of under 21 yrs of age can they drink on board ?.
    Thanks Steve

  • Hi Iain, No problem, I’ll do a story about Superstar Virgo for you, so you can get an understanding on what you missed out on. Re: drinking. In Australian waters anyone over 18 is legally allowed to drink alcohol. There are no rules in international waters, so crew would use their discretion there and you would assume that anyone aged under 18 would be travelling with parents or adult supervision anyway. In places like the U.S. the drinking age is 21 so cruise lines would usually obey those regulations. In Europe it is common for children to have a glass of wine with dinner, often it is watered down, so if children are dining with parents they may allowed to be served.

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