Around the World – and back again!

A week has quickly passed since we arrived back home and we have been forced to go back to cold, hard reality. So with some housework, shopping and cooking behind me now, I think back to our wonderful vacation which we were so lucky to have and I can’t help but daydream of the days we spent with nothing on our minds except relaxing and looking at the vast expanse of ocean all around, whilst we waited to arrive in another exciting port.

So if you haven’t cruised before, or maybe not done a long one like we just did, what are the pros and cons of cruising?

The pros:
• Unpack once
• Comfortable accommodation
• Excellent staff
• New and exciting ports
• Great food – 24/7
• Choice of restaurants
• Varied activities
• Do nothing
• Choice of exercise activities including great gym

The cons:
• Can’t avoid the sea days – some people do get bored (we love them)
• Stays in port are usually only for one day

Okay, so trying to see a place like New York in a day is obviously not going to happen, but the good thing is that you get an idea of places you want to visit again and knowing the layout makes it easier to get around with a plan next time. So the only real con that I could think of can be turned into a positive!

We had a wonderful time and here are some of the things that will stay in our memories:

Our home away from home - very comfortable and lots of storage.

Our home away from home – very comfortable and lots of storage.

and the man responsible for keeping our cabin looking that way for 104 nights.  He came twice a day, every day...

and the man responsible for keeping our cabin looking that way for 104 nights. He came three times a day, every day…

The beautiful Sea Princess

The beautiful Sea Princess

Lots to see and do.  We liked the martini demos

Lots to see and do. We liked the martini demos

Food, glorious food...

Food, glorious food…

Our waiters in the dining room.  No matter what asked for, the word "no"was not in his vocabulary

Our waiters in the dining room. No matter what we asked for, the word “no” was not in their vocabulary

Meeting new friends...

Meeting new friends…and lots of laughs

These are the couples we  dined with each night

These are the couples we dined with each night

Two of the three pools on the ship

Two of the three pools on the ship

What's not to love about waiters in white gloves serving afternoon tea

What’s not to love about waiters in white gloves serving afternoon tea

Just imagine - a warm, balmy night, movies under the stars on the big screen with a soda and fresh popcorn!

Just imagine – a warm, balmy night, movies under the stars on the big screen with a soda and fresh popcorn!

Such exciting destinations

Such exciting destinations

Excellent local guides - so proud to share knowledge

Excellent local guides – so proud of their country and to share their culture

Exotic drinks in exotic places

Exotic drinks in exotic locations

Who could fail to be impressed when a whole town comes to say goodbye!  Fond memories of Cobh, Ireland....

Who could fail to be impressed when a whole town comes out to say goodbye! Fond memories of Cobh, Ireland….

So what does the future hold? Obviously more cruises in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future. We would definitely do another world cruise even if some of the ports were the same, but maybe the next vacation will be to Canada, Alaska and North America. However with a daughter getting married next year, we will need to work around that, as well as some vague plans (at this stage) to move house.

We have also realised that our world trip did not go exactly as planned. We thought that by going to so many countries, we would be able to narrow down the ones we wanted to visit again. Unfortunately not – with only a couple of exceptions we would gladly go back to most of them so it does make it hard to decide where to go next.

As I scrapbook some of our photos and find a place for our souvenirs (not easy!), I would like to say thank you to everyone who stopped by and took the time to read about our trip. These posts were really only started so that friends and family would know where we were and the fact that so many others followed along and actually liked what I wrote is quite humbling.

So I hope you will continue to drop by from time to time and see what we do next. In between crafting and caring for animal welfare, weddings and house plans, we will also be researching the next trip. I’m excited already just thinking about where in the world it will be!

More Days at Sea…

Tue, July 23

Saturday and Sunday we had rough seas with waves about 4-5 metres which we enjoyed, especially at night – it’s a nice way to go to sleep feeling the motion of the seas. However the stabilizers do their work very well most of the time. Yesterday the sea was calmer but we were in dense fog. At 11.30am we passed within 14 nautical miles of the Titanic.

We are still enjoying our days at sea and as we venture further into the Atlantic, the weather has improved and the fog has cleared. Today the sea is a steel blue/grey colour and the waves would be about 1 metre high. Very smooth on board. Plenty of activities are available, and I am now a very confident line dancer … although my latest goal has just been to finish the book I was reading!

Yesterday morning we went on the Ultimate Ship Tour, with 12 other passengers. During this 3-hour tour, we were taken to the ship’s engine control room, medical centre, print shop, laundry facilities, photo lab, bridge, galley, medical centre and other areas reserved for the crew. Staff, including the captain, took time to speak to us and explain the workings of the ship which was a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the Sea Princess.

We were not allowed to take cameras with us, but we were accompanied by the ship’s photographer, who took several photos, and this afternoon we had a bag delivered to our stateroom, containing 4 photos, photo frame and a ship apron and two towelling robes embroidered with “Sea Princess”. The print shop gave us each some personal stationery as well, so we had some “show and tell” to take with us to dinner last night!

At Sea

Thur, June 6

We have now had four sea days since leaving Langkawi and it is quite scary how one day leads into another when we are not really doing much!

Still keeping to some sort of exercise regime with the excellent gym as well as line dancing and Zumba.  Alex is in a trivia team and we try to get the day started with a visit to the pool and walk the stairs as much as possible instead of taking the lift.

Craft activities are on every day which I have enjoyed very much as well.  So far I have done origami and have made gift boxes, bags and baskets, a bookmark and dimensional art.  I would never have thought of using pistachio shells to make a flower for decoration, so I am getting lots of new ideas. 

The lady who does all these wonderful projects is an American lady, Shirley and her husband, Dale.  They have been teaching craft on ships for the past 20 years!  She had to bring all her own supplies and manages to teach us something new in about an hour or so.  A couple of the projects have been carried over to Day 2.  A great concept and they do such a wonderful job.     

I think I have only had two cocktails and one breakfast of pancakes, maple syrup and bacon so doing well so far.  The food is excellent.

Yesterday we had a piracy drill which basically meant that we had to all go to our cabins when we heard the ship’s bell, and wait there with the door propped open and curtains closed until instructed.  I have noticed extra security around the decks and the fire hoses and LRAD (long range audio device I think) at the ready in case any unknown craft approaches us.

Last night we passed Cape Comorin on the southern most point of India. Today we continue up the west coast of India and tonight we will pass the coast line of Goa as we make our way to Mumbai.

Image

Dinning room (800x530)

Sea Princess ship photos 009

Sea Princess ship photos 010

Sea Princess ship photos 011

Sea Princess ship photos 012

Calling all Pollywogs!

Thurs, May 30

Pollywogs we are not, as we have crossed the Equator before;   however we did go to the Crossing of the Equator ceremony to see King Neptune passing sentence on the ‘’accused”.  They were then suitably covered in flour and pasta by the staff and one unlucky passenger was ‘’operated’’ on behind towels to remove his ‘’funny bone’’.

Lots of fun and received yet another personalised Crossing of the Equator certificate as proof that King Neptune has sanctioned our safe passage and we are allowed to continue our journey.

Crossing the Equator (2)Crossing the Equator (8)