We work in an industry where we help people live their dreams and build new memories so here are 10 of my cruise memories. They are all as excursions from cruise lines or things I have done from the ports of call.
1. Sydney Harbour
At about 05.30am on a November morning, we got up early on the day of disembarkation from an enjoyable Celebrity cruise to brave the cool breeze to witness the sail into Sydney. It was still dark when we got on deck, the dressing gowns from the cabin and coffee from the Oceanview Café provided warmth, but low and behold slowly in the distance to our left the iconic Sydney Opera House and then the Harbour Bridge came into view.
Awesome! Just brilliant; as a youngster, I saw pictures and had a dream, all satisfied when I saw that morning!
2. Swimming in the Great Barrier Reef
This is a natural phenomenon a place of clear warm water, loads of fish and coral. What an excellent day.
I have to say, that we are only custodians of this world and we need to ensure it’s saved for our children and their children’s children.
3. Panama Canal
I wrote an article previously for this website, an amazing feat of engineering.
Occasionally I go to Stratford on Avon and stand on the bridge over the locks opposite Bancroft Gardens and marvel at the way they work. This is just the same but on a much bigger scale moving massive ships and saving many days travel time to get from the Pacific to Atlantic Oceans.
It’s amazing to see the Pelicans sat by the lock gates waiting for the sea and free water to mix so they can go fishing!
Many years ago I was due to go here on holiday but had to cancel, and now I have been lucky enough to go back twice on cruises.
In those days it would have been a ferry and then the donkeys up to the village, but now it’s nice to head up to Fira by cable car from the tender dock and sit in a bar overlooking the caldera of the old volcano with the cruise ships in the bay.
5. Gardens by the Bay – Singapore
This is a city which has changed significantly over the last 40 years.
These gardens comprise 2 domes with different themes and the Supertree Grove plus gardens all in the centre of a major city, and it is filled with over 1,000,000 plants.
An amazing place to walk around and marvel at the flora.
6. Alcatraz – San Francisco Bay
Those words alone are enough?
It starts with the ferry across and the walk and tour through the prison itself and for me ends when they close the cell gates with a loud bang. Never to be forgotten.
7. Diamond Head Honolulu
Hawaii is that little gem in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it is volcanic and if you visit the other islands you can see the latest lava flows.
But as you head out of Waikiki you reach Diamond Head, an extinct volcano. Head through the road tunnel into the caldera, park and then make that hike up to the viewing point.
Amazing views makes me want to do it again!
8. The Big Buddha Lantau Island Hong Kong
The Buddha itself is an amazing thing to see even though it is relatively modern having been completed in 1993, however, to get there you take a cable car journey, about 30 minutes. There are 2 choices, Standard or Crystal – take the Crystal it has a ‘glass’ floor and you get some amazing views over the mountains as you head up to the village along the side of the airport.
Not for the faint hearted but an excellent memory.
9. Naples and the Amalfi Coast
There is so much to do here, you can marvel at the view of Vesuvius, visit Herculaneum or Pompeii but for me you need to take a trip from Sorrento on a little local ferry boat to Positano.
A beautiful town nestled in a small bay and built up the hillside. Not sure whether it is just the town or the little boat to get there with the spray as it wanders its way around the coast.
10. Sailing into Venice
Over the last few years there have been some changes to the ships going into Venice, due to the environmental impact on the squares and canals so there are now fewer ships and only smaller ships.
We sailed in at 10am, we were lucky we had an overnight stay on the ship as well so plenty of time to see the city. A balcony cabin so we were not crowded out and the views and crowds were amazing.
I have been a couple of times and love this city, but seeing from the ship as we serenely sailed around to the port was enthralling.
These are my memories today, and every time we cruise or holiday we add new ones to the list and sometimes our memories are jogged by just listening to our customers. So tomorrow or the next day my top 10 may well be different!