By Steph - Cruise with Amber
While we’re all land locked at the moment, we can still plan our dream cruises and reminisce about our most memorable voyages. I don’t know about you, but at the moment, i’m in need of a big dose of vitamin sea.
With this in mind, I thought i’d ask some experienced cruisers and cruise bloggers to tell me about their most memorable dream cruises and share some favourite photos taken on their many voyages. From once in a lifetime experiences on board ship, to unique destinations, and not forgetting the special people we cruise with or meet on the way. It’s certainly inspired me. There are some great dream cruises here. I can’t wait to get back cruising.
As far as dream cruises go, my most memorable was....
Cruising the Pacific from Honolulu to Osaka in October 2002 to as part of a WW2 Pacific theatre of war veterans cruise. We called at Midway Island, Guam, Saipan, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal (scenic cruising) Iwo Jima (cruise by) Okinawa, Hiroshima and Osaka. I sailed with my late grandfather and it was a special cruise. It was also 23 nights long – the longest cruise we have sailed on.
What makes cruise holidays so special? The feeling of escapism from the real world. Being at sea is where I’ve felt the most calm and relaxed.
Our most memorable cruise was on Pacific Princess, sailing to the Adriatic & Greece in November 2017. Classic ‘old world’ geography, rich in cultural history.
What makes cruise holidays so special? It’s the opportunity to engage with a multitude of other cultures (while only unpacking once).
My most memorable cruise is probably the first cruise I took with my husband, on Celebrity Millennium. He was working as a Guest Entertainer and I was able to join him from Hong Kong for a week. We had so much fun, there were a few other Guest Ents on board who we got on with really well and just had a ball trying all the restaurants and doing the Silent Disco!
That said, we also had an amazing time on Regent Voyager…wow, what a stunning ship and gorgeous stateroom…
But then, the Christmas I spent with my family on Rhapsody of the Seas was pretty awesome too…and that time I hosted a 200 pax Elvis Impersonator group on Independence of the Seas was one I’ll never forget either…!
What makes cruise holidays so special? I think the convenience, variety and value for money has to be the key advantage of cruising. Only unpack once, but visit several ports/countries. Everything is done for you, you’re never far from your cabin if you need something, or fancy a nap.
More dream cruises...
All of my cruises are special in one way or another but my most memorable one will be the Norwegian Encore Christening cruise. I had never been on a christening cruise and this was very special. Seeing the godmother Kelly Clarkson christen it, the mini concert she put on, the sail away fireworks celebration, getting to meet the NCL CEO just to name a few. I was literally in heaven.
What makes cruise holidays so special The ability to unpack your luggage only once and to see multiple places and countries. The convenience of that alone sets it apart for me. When going on a land vacation for instance that is where you will be at for the duration of your trip.
My most memorable cruise so far is my first Caribbean cruise. It was a cruise aboard Ventura and it was one of our Honeymoons; we had a beach based ‘mini’ moon straight after our wedding, then then following Winter we went to the Caribbean.
It was lovely because we were spoilt. Now we spoil ourselves by returning and reliving it each year! We’ve treated ourselves to an aft suite for our 8th Wedding Anniversary.
What makes cruise holidays so special? I love everything about cruising, the fresh sea air, the ability to completely turn off from the outside world. The excellent service, the wonderful places we visit in such a relaxed, sophisticated way!
My husband is more or less on call 24/7 in his work and cruise holidays are perfect to enforce him to completely turn off, no sneaky wifi to join, no work at all! There is nowhere else in the world where every night you can enjoy canapés pre dinner, go for pre dinner drinks, eat a delicious gourmet meal with fabulous service, then stroll to the theatre and head back to your cabin, all with a different backdrop of scenery, all whilst feeling incredibly safe. Cruising is fabulous.
Our most memorable cruise was the first cruise we went on together which was two days after we got engaged. It was a nice celebration for us and wonderful to be “just us” before family and friends showered us with congratulatory phone calls, emails and cards when we arrived home. (Which was also great to arrive home to.)
What makes cruise holidays so special? There’s a relaxation that comes with cruise holidays that we don’t experience in the same way with all-land adventures. We love that we can “set it and forget it” until the trip kind of thing. We pretty much book a cruise then simply board and enjoy. It’s a nice treat for us, because our other trips involve more planning.
Our most memorable cruise? It’s very hard to pick just one! We have done four completely unique (i.e. unrepeatable) cruises; which were the Maiden Voyages of all three Cunard “Queens” (2004, 2007 and 2010), as well as the unforgettable Titanic Memorial Cruise in 2012.
Another one that stands out for me is our 7-night Galapagos expedition (2017) – there is no other place like it on the planet, also expeditions in the Arctic (2008) and the Antarctic (2006) are something special. It’s so wonderful to be able to say “I was there.”
What makes cruise holidays so special? Waking up in a new place every day; the chance to see wonderful wildlife (whales, dolphins, flying fish) and all the glitz and glamour of the formal evenings. Also the fabulous food and entertainment on board.
Our most memorable cruise was our first experience to Norway and a great introduction into the world of cruising. Norway can be too expensive to visit independently so calling into different ports by ship was the ideal way to see the country. The fjords were breathtaking and the smaller Saga ship was able to navigate the narrower passages.
What makes cruise holidays so special? I find cruising restful; you hardly have to think. The opportunity to visit a variety of places with an interesting choice of activities for ‘sea days’. I guess I should mention …food, food, food! Anyone who has been on a cruise will know what I mean!
My most memorable cruise was sailing out of Venice with my Grandmother on her 96th Birthday with Windstar Cruises. It was her 50th cruise. My children were 12 and 15 at the time and so lucky to spend that time with their Great-Grandmother.
What makes cruise holidays so special? I think it’s the ability to see several destinations in the span of just a week without having to pack and unpack. While you cannot get a true sense of a place by spending a few hours in port, you can get enough of a taste of it to know if it is somewhere you want to visit again in the future.
And me? What's my dream cruise?
As far as dream cruises go, mine has to be our cruise aboard P&O’s Britannia in 2018 to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary. We booked an aft suite and had a wraparound balcony which was spectacular. It was perfect because it allowed us to get the full benefit of the Mediterranean weather and a perfect place to watch some out-of-this-world sunrises . It really was a dream cruise.
It was our kids’ first ever cruise and the time and place where they officially caught the cruising bug. It was wonderful to re-visit many of the ports we covered on our first cruise (such as Barcelona, Florence, Cartagena and Rome) and to get a chance to see how the Sagrada Familia had progressed since our last visit in 2005.
What makes cruise holidays so special? Above all it’s the view and ambience of a ship’s wake. No other holiday on earth will give you a view like that whilst sipping a cocktail, taking a quick dip in the pool or enjoying a morning coffee on the balcony. It’s no secret that an aft balcony is my ‘go-to’ cabin choice. I have so many other reasons why cruising is so special, but you can read more about that here: Why Cruise?