So, let me be honest. Spending the day on a boat with 142 other people, half of them children, wasn't exactly my idea of fun. Still, these things had to be done. I arrived at Marina Botafoch just before the 9.30am boarding (parking wasn't an issue at the hour, despite it being the height of Summer).
I checked with the crew - the catamaran "Ibiza Star" was booked to capacity. Great. Still the staff seemed friendly enough and that cheered me somewhat. Thirty minutes later we were all aboard and I looked around the 25mtr (12metre wide) catamaran & marvelled. There was space aplenty. Setting off, sails set, we were treated to a commentary about Dalt Vila (Upper Town, built high above Ibiza Town), Playa d'en Bossa (the islands longest beach) and moving away from Ibiza itself, Es Vedra in the hazy distance.
The day, whilst breathtakingly hot, was muggy, overcast but didn't dampen spirits one bit. Chilled Spanish music accompanied us across the waves and a small cheery team of onboard children's entertainers painted the kiddie-winks faces with pirate symbols. Water and soft drinks were freely available throughout. The staff politely deterred an eager German group asking for beer. It was 10am. Beer, wines, champagne and Sangria would be served freely at lunch. Thank goodness on both counts.
After a two hour cruise, sails were dropped, engines started and we glided into the bay of Espalmador. Perfect clear blue waters greeted us and we glided by the mega-yachts moored, ferrying their cargo to the shore. Closer and closer we moved to the perfect white sands until finally, we touched them. Oh, lovely! The Ibiza Star and sister catamaran, the Formentera Star are two of only a handful of yachts permitted to 'land' on Espalmador.
Welcome to paradise! The island is exquisite. The sands a light golden white, the waters so clear I could see the fish beneath the surface. Again, despite the time of year, the beach whilst not deserted certainly wasn't crowded, space and peace aplenty. The onboard entertainment crew took the children off on a pirates adventure to find the treasure whilst parents and singles like moi, relaxed. For two hours there was nothing to do but marvel and indulge. Sunshine, sea, sand and yes, more than a few very sexy bodies passing by.
Returning to the Ibiza Star, the promised wines, champagne, beers and Sangria were waiting. Thirty minutes of drinking, changing out of swimsuits and the Captain rang the ships bell - lunch was served! Sausages, pork chops, chicken, freshly cooked fish, salads galore, pan y alioli awaited the starving hordes, staff serving to help the considerable queue. No-one was going to starve by any measure. (Note: the fresh grilled fish warranted a second helping - cheers Chef!)
Then we were off again towards Formentera. A small problem with the anchor but the crew, all multi-talented it seemed (the Capitan & professional cameraman helping with lunch, the entertainment crew standing in as deck hands) resolved it speedily and we were invited to an afternoon swim off the coast of Formentera. Then fresh watermelon, pineapple and honeydew melon were served, whilst a bottle of Heirbas (island liquor) and brandy were offered. Good humour abounded and I rather wished I wasn't 'on duty'.
Finally time to head home and looking around me at those aboard, everyone from the children to the grandparents seemed content; the day a success.
It's definitely great value (children under twelve, 1/2 price) and the fee includes all of the above - drinks, lunch, snacks, entertainment.
Tip: The Capitan, pictured above, is wonderful. Sitting at the helm, looking serious and focused, come lunchtime it transpired he was friendly and really enjoyed sharing the experience with his guests. His attitude pretty much summed up the entire crew.
To make a booking, please do contact the Cruceros team directly - also ask what days are good if your children speak German, Italian etc as the staff cater for this, making sure no-one is left out.
The latest issue of our weekly magazine...
Our Ibiza Virgins series returns with a look into beach clubs.
The 7th edition of the Pintxa festival begins this Thursday in San Antonio.
Group hug anyone?