First cruise with P&O review

I ventured out on my first cruise with my mother as a birthday present. Here’s my experience and my top tips that I took away from the trip.

Our cruise was around the Greek Islands with P&O cruises on the Oceana ship at mid-June time.

It’s hard to miss the size of a full cruise ship. The P&O Oceana is a Sun-class cruise that holds up to 2272 people with 11 floors to explore. The size standing next to it at port just took my breath away, but nothing prepared me for what the interior was like. I was in awe of the dĂ©cor and it literally felt like a three story building when you step into the foyer. You almost completely forget you are on a ship until you venture out on to the deck where there’s enough room to share sun bathing space with all the other sun worshippers on board. There was even a small shopping mall inside with several shops! I was a regular at the jewelry store that stocked local finds wherever we docked. They had all of the latest designs at amazingly affordable prices.


I would definitely recommend paying an extra £100 pp for a twin bed room for a port window, especially if you’re nervous about sea sickness and also for a first time cruise. I wanted to be able to see the sights when we were moving or docked, even if it was just sea for two of the days in a row! My mother is a natural at sea and rarely ever gets sea sick, but having felt it myself before. I didn’t chance it and packed sea/motion sickness tablets with me just in case. Thankfully I did because the seas were quite rocky for two of the nights!


There’s an all day buffet available that serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner and always has something different each day. My favorite was the occasional BBQ they had outside when we were at sea and even included entertainment by the pools whilst you feasted! For the last night we indulged and paid extra for a Italian dinner at CafĂ© Jadin.


Sports and Spa

I highly recommend adding on the option of a realigning Pilates class or relaxing yoga class followed by a spa package whilst you’re cruising away. I adds a luxury touch to your cruise experience and I took advantage of the spa exclusive packages when they had a talk where we were able to trial all of the stocked Elemis products.

Themed Dinners

Every night is a different themed night and adds a splash of fun to your evening dinners. For the black tie night, we glammed up and chose to share a table to meet others on the ship. We met some wonderful people and shared the tastiest food! I think people are almost forced to be overtly friendly not only because you’re stuck with them for the whole trip but also the crew on the ship that you interact with everyday always have their customer service A game. So it highly influencing, but makes for a wonderful atmosphere. It made it a lot easier being on a floating island for a few days!


Top tips for next time

It’s easy to over pack for all of the themed nights and exploration attire. But if you can, board from a port rather than taking a plane out. This way you have a lot more or even limitless luggage allowance, always check with your agent first!

I couldn’t live without sunscreen and my facial mist from Garnier with SPF 30 in it. The sun was out every day (except for Mykonos! Which I vow I will give another chance!) and it was a lot easier to burn when you’re sunbathing at sea.

Pre book excursions in advance. You can take advantage of the savings and even if the excursion doesn’t go ahead on the day, you get the money refunded back to you.

If you can, bring some bottles of your own water or take advantage of the water bottle package on the first night. Although there is a water dispenser you are able to use at the buffet, due to hygiene reasons, you should not use this to refill your bottles! Hygiene is important on board and hand sanitizers are available at the entrance of all food areas. Tummy bugs are easily spread in a close environment, so don’t chance it!


Spending can get away from you sometimes as drinks are extras and hitting the on board boutiques makes you feel like you’re not spending any money when you just sign your room number! Everything is charged at the end of your cruise and you get the long bill to pay either by card or cash.

There are many other great tips and helpful advice about on board tipping digressions and health and safety, including emergency information and drills. Always be in the know of these and it will make your cruise more relaxing.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at sea and at the Greek islands of Mykonos, Athens, Sarande and Katakolon! I would definitely have loved to explore Malta more than just the airport and port next time, but I’m already looking at a Caribbean cruise for my next trip! Cruises are a great way of getting a feel and quick overview of different locations. It was a great insight of the Greek islands and now I know which islands I would like to go back to holiday at for longer, like Sarande and it’s cosy village! With the wonderful crew service and daily activities, I can see why it’s a potential retirement plan!

First cruise with P&O review

Current obsession: Cheap eating! 5 top tips for saving money on your grocery shop

Hello 2017! Happy year year everyone and thank you for tuning in once again. So here’s my current obsession that I’ve been getting a little crazy about this month: Saving money by shopping savvy on your grocery shop!

Whilst everyone is getting on the ‘new year new me’ gym wagon. I’ve been there and got the tshirt, you can check out my fun gym post here. Instead I have been thinking of ways I can be more savvy with my savings and knuckle down on my finances by saving a few pennies on my grocery shop. If you’re anything like me and find yourself without a penny at the end of the month, saving a few pounds a month on your grocery shop will add up. These few top tips might help!

5 top tips to save money on food and grocery healthy eating money savvy lifestyle blog blogger rinniboo UK Manchester

1. Brands brands brands!

I’m a self confessed brand snob and I will prefer a bag of Birds Eye petite pois over the supermarkets own. Which is fair enough because their grades are a lot higher (if you know how they’re picked, they are in fact, a lot fresher! Which means tastier!) So to counteract that I tend to buy them when they have a special offer on. Afterall peas are handy to have in the freezer for any burns and scalds that can happen in the house as well as on the plate!

Sometimes even the supermarkets own brands are super tasty! I’ve found Tesco cheese are the best!

5 top tips to save money on food and grocery healthy eating money savvy lifestyle blog blogger rinniboo UK Manchester
2. It’s still fresh!

‘Best before’ and ‘sell by’ dates are general guidelines that the supermarket has to adhere to as a regulation of their stock. That doesn’t meant it’s necessarily inedible! Sure some stuff can go off a little faster due to faults in the packaging etc, but some things are still good for a few more days. My general rule is: if it smells funny, don’t chance it! (Especially when it comes to chicken!) And if it’s fruit or a fresh produce but the package has expanded, it’s probably gone foul and I’d avoid it.

5 top tips to save money on food and grocery healthy eating money savvy lifestyle blog blogger rinniboo UK Manchester 3. Supermarket crazy reduction hours

Each supermarket will have a time when they have to put a final reduction price onto produce that they have to quickly get rid of before they have to officially remove them from their shelves. Asda even price everything at a measly 10p! I’ve managed to bag a steak and fries meal for two for less than ÂŁ3 each with this crazy offer. That’s saving almost over ÂŁ40 compared to eating out!

Here are some of my favourite supermarkets and their final reduction times:

  •  Asda – 7pm Everything 10p!
  • Tesco – 8pm Final reductions up to 75%+ off
  • M&S – 9pm get in there fast!
  • Co-op – 7pm for the cheapest before it’s removed from the shelves!

5 top tips to save money on food and grocery healthy eating money savvy lifestyle blog blogger rinniboo UK Manchester 5 top tips to save money on food and grocery healthy eating money savvy lifestyle blog blogger rinniboo UK Manchester

4. Reduce food waste

I’ve touched on the subject in my post about being more sustainable here. It’s not only great for your purse but also better for the planet if you plan your meals properly and only buy what you need. You’ll literally be throwing money away if you bin food!

5 top tips to save money on food and grocery healthy eating money savvy lifestyle blog blogger rinniboo UK Manchester

5. Ask for a doggie bag

When you’ve finished your meal at a restaurant and still have enough on your table for another meal, don’t be afraid to ask for it to be packed up so you can take it home with you! The chef with appreciate not having his hard work go to waste and you’ll have another great meal to enjoy again without you having to cook as much! Just pop it in the oven, heat it in a pan or shove it in the microwave.

Struggle with the grocery shop? Do not fear! You can get recipes and the exact amounts of food needed to make them from Hello Fresh. It seems like an ingenious idea for the days when you can’t decide what to eat, so I was thinking of trying it out. Have you tried it before? Let me know how you found it! Get 28.75% off your online purchases there with TopCashback anytime, and I know they give out some vouchers here and there with selected retailers.

What do you think of my top tips on saving money when doing your grocery shop? Do you have any great ones to add to the list? Let me know or leave a comment in the box below!

Eat savvy.


Current obsession: Cheap eating! 5 top tips for saving money on your grocery shop

Cat Cafe Manchester

When I found out that Cat Café Manchester was opening in Manchester I jumped for joy! So I made it my mission to go to the first opening day to check it out for myself. Here’s what I thought of it.

I have a slight bias to cats as I have one of my own called Misty that you may have seen in some of my vlogs. So I personally think the more furry friends the better! It’s a bonus when you don’t even need to feed and clean their toilets!

First Impressions

Walking up to the Cat CafĂ© Manchester I saw a clean and modern looking entrance room. The main door is secure with a doorbell. I was greeted by an enthusiastic team member that explained that the sold out 50% of entry tickets meant that I had to wait until a space was free. Unfortunately, they couldn’t give an accurate estimate as anyone could stay as long as they wanted. Thankfully, there was only a couple in front of me in the line, and it seemed quite quiet. So I waited for about 30 mins, watching the que add up in numbers as more and more people poured in! Finally, I was called up and they explained the house rules and offered me slippers or shoe covers to wear inside the cafe. I chose the slippers, signed the form, and made my way into the cafe.

Ygritte birdwatching cat café manchester review rachael yeung rinniboo visit launch opening food food blogger blog fblogger lblogger lifestyle caturday

Cat Café Manchester

The cafe works with a three door system, so I went through a further two doors and a small gate around the cafe door. The new furnished cafe was a beautiful sight to see, with a brilliant range of seating areas and a full two walls of ceiling to floor windows. The atmosphere was bright and calm and I was greeted with two resident cats having a clean and play!

All drinks are included in the time spent, and you only pay for time you stay. Food such as paninis and cakes are an extra cost. I had a white chocolate and berry muffin that was so yummy! It’s ÂŁ12 an hour and cakes are around the ÂŁ2.50 mark. It’s a bargain compared to the London cat cafe that I went to!

The resident cats

The resident Norwegian forest cat Ygritte, wanted to make friends with everyone! She came up and sat next to me, so I grabbed a cat toy and started playing with her. She was definitely a favourite! Alasan the Mainecoon also had a big personality and went to sleep in his favourite hammock! There is a total of 10 resident cats at the Cat Cafe Manchester; Alasan the Mainecoon, Harvey and Fluffy the Ragdolls, Joel the Russian blue, Keira and Snowy the Bengals, Georgia and Bert the Birbam cross breeds and Ygritte the Norwegian forest cat.

Thankfully I managed to see most of the cats, but soon it was cat nap time. So after spending about 45mins in the cafe and a latte, I decided they were all resting and made my way out.

The concerns

Many of the frequently asked questions are answered on the website but here are the most common:

Are the cats rescues?

No, they are pedigree or semi-pedigree. Their reasons for this is because most rescue cats have had a hard start in life, so forcing them to be in a busy environment isn’t the best. They do however support their local cat shelters by donating to the RSPCA and the Cats Protection charities.

What’s the point in a cat cafe?

It’s targeted at cat and animal lovers, and novelty seekers. But it’s also brilliant for the people that cannot have cats in the house, or don’t have the time to take care of them.

Are children allowed?

Yes, but they must be 10 years+ as they will need to know how to treat the cats with respect.

Do they have any events?

Yes! They have plenty of events on in September, from cat yoga to film night. Check out the website for all of the details!

Do they care about the welfare of the cats?

Yes! The cat’s wellbeing is their number one priority, they go over the hygiene and rules with every person; Do not chase the cats, no flash photography, do not bother the cats when they are sleeping. Shoe covers or slippers are worn and you must sterilise your hands before you enter.

My closing thoughts

Overall the experience was great, and I would definitely visit again! The wait was not too long in the line as I went at a quiet time. Even if I didn’t get a chance to go in, I could always peek through the large windows! I was worried about whether the people would follow the rules or not, as some people insisted on stroking Alasan when he just wanted to sleep. However, people finally got the message when the cats get their fangs out!! I would like them to adapt some of the ways that Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium works, and give the cats a break in the middle of the week. Hopefully they have time to be super attentive to the subtle cats change in behaviours when they are ill, and be able to keep track of all of them. The team members there have been with the cats long before the opening to get them settled, so they are quite accustomed to each other.

Cat CafĂ© Manchester is the first of it’s franchise open 7 days a week 9am – 6pm. Located in Manchester Northen Quarter, 103 High St, Manchester M4 1HQ. Book online or over the phone in advance to guarantee your spot!

Just purrfect!



Note: This review is not endorsed or sponsored in anyway and all opinions are my own.
Cat Cafe Manchester

Mango and Chia seed pudding

I tried out Indulgexplore mango and chia seed pudding recipe and had it as a filling breakfast! Here’s how it all panned out:

It was my first time trying chia seeds and it was pretty pleasant. I liked the crunchy texture it added to the pudding, and although it didn’t have much of a taste, it was like the healthy alternatives to hundreds and thousands.

Chia Bia 100 Natural Whole Chia Seed
Chia Bia 100 Natural Whole Chia Seed

There’s great nutrients packed into this tiny dessert, here’s some fun facts:

Chia seeds are a reasonably new ‘super food‘ that’s trending, so the heath benefits are yet to be fully explored. They can be incorporated into your meals by sprinkling over cereal, yogurt, smoothie, energy bar, bread, and into hot water to make a tea. They are rich in lots of vitamins B vitamins thiamine niacin calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc which is making them so popular. After soaking them, they produce a gel like substance that can be used to substitute egg and oil in cakes.

I did find a slight ‘warning’ on the package and was told that it is a novel food and no more than 15g should be consumed a day. I also heard it should not be consumed raw, as the nutrients need to be soaked out for your body to process.

Mango has around 44% and 11% of your RDA vitamin C and folate – although high in sugar, it’s has a fantastic taste.

The oats contain a great source of fibre, so that’s why it fills you up for longer, compared to filling up with carbohydrates instead.

Eat happy!


Mango and Chia seed pudding