2018 was an incredible year for me in terms of travel. Planned or not, I’ve visited more countries and travelled further than ever before, all thanks to my love of cruising!
I’ve put together my first Youtube video explaining a little bit about some of my cruise highlights of 2018, and have invited some of my fellow cruise bloggers to share their highlights with you.
Check out the Vlog*!
*Take a shot everytime I describe the Caribbean as ‘magical’
Visiting Singapore with Sapphire Princess
We departed from Singapore on our Southeast Asia cruise and it’s safe to say I fell in love with the city! It’s so vibrant and busy, but everywhere is pristine and it feels like a very safe city.
Some of the highlights were Gardens By The Bay and shopping in Orchard Road!
- Eating Gluten Free in Singapore
- How To Get Around Singapore On A Budget
- 72 Hours in Singapore
- Flying Singapore Airlines Gluten Free!
Sailing the Caribbean
Myself and my parents spent 28 days sailing around the Caribbean on P&O Adonia (now Azamara Pursuit) – it was an amazing experience all round but some of the highlights were swimming with turtles in Barbados, eating lobster on Grenada and seeing the sun go down in Antigua.
Maya Beach, Thailand
I haven’t got round to writing a blog post about this yet, mainly because it’s an excursion that isn’t available any more (well, not legally anyway!)
We took a speedboat from Phuket to Maya Beach on Phi Phi Leh – the scenery was absolutely stunning but it was a good lesson on how deceiving instagram is – the beach was bursting with crowds all trying to get the perfect shot…myself included!
Sailing the British Isles with Royal Princess
We sailed on Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess for my dad’s birthday, sailing around the British Isles visiting Guernsey, Dublin, Belfast, Cobh, Glasgow Edinburgh, Invergordon and Le Havre.
There was somewhat of a Titanic theme on this cruise – seeing the final departure point in Cobh was very emotional, as was the Titanic museum in Belfast.
Danielle sailed the world!
First up is Danielle, who you may know as CruiseMiss – Danielle had fulfilled something definitely on my bucket list, sailing on a World Cruise!
If I had to pick one cruise experience from 2018 that stands out the most for me, it would have to be the 108-night World Cruise I embarked upon with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.
I don’t think there’s any other cruise experience in the world that can beat circumnavigating the globe and every day brought something new and exciting. I visited destinations I thought I’d only ever dream of and I got to experience incredible new cultures, foods, traditions and regions. It’s a travel experience that I will never forget.
Highlights were: holding a koala in Brisbane, eating traditional Indian Thali in Mumbai, visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda complex in Yangon (which must be seen to truly be believed), seeing the Great Pyramids of Giza, transiting the Panama Canal and exploring the ancient Red Rose City in Petra.
Spending so long on a ship was my idea of heaven, although I know it’s not for everyone. I didn’t want to leave when Black Watch sailed back into Southampton in April 2018, I wanted to go and do it all over again. I’m already looking into booking a cruise from southampton for next year!
I’m now looking forward to what adventures 2019 will bring.
Gavin & Luke had a Game of Thrones moment!
Next up sharing their top highlight are Gavin & Luke from Holidays At Sea – these guys visited the gorgeous city of Dubrovnik! I visited this place years ago before Game of Thrones was a thing – I’m sure it must be exciting for fans of the show to see the familiar locations!
Looking back over the last 12 months, it’s been someone a bit sparse on the cruise front. With just 2 cruises under our belt – P&O Oceana in May and Cunard Line Queen Mary 2 in November.
The highlight of this year is so easy to pick – it’s a destination we have been looking forward to visit for a while and was always going to the highlight of our P&O Oceana cruise – it’s the southern Croatian city if Dubrovnik.
This was the first time we can remember getting up and grabbing a seat near the exit so we could get off the ship and start exploring as soon as we could!
As soon as they announced the gangway was open, we hot footed it to the bus that P&O had arranged and made our way to Dubrovnik old town. Our first place to visit was the cable car. It was hot and there was a long queue but it was really worth the wait. From the summit you get an amazing view of the Old Town and Lokrum Island.
We had some alcoholic refreshments while sitting in the shade away from the blistering hot sun, looking down to the old town we knew exactly what we wanted to do next – walk the walls!
Heading back down and making our way through Pile Gate, we made our way to the start of the walk. We are huge Games of Thrones fans so while walking the walls we were trying to spot some of the filming locations, and once our wall walk had finished, we continued exploring old town – walking through the limestone paved streets taking in the sights and sounds that this amazing place had to offer.
Dubrovnik was hot, it was very busy but we loved it! We’d looked forward to visiting this port and it really didn’t disappoint. Heading back to the ship with blistered feet – one thing was for sure, we will be going back to Dubrovnik as the 1 days just wasn’t long enough!
For more detail about what we got up to in Dubrovnik and to watch our Dubrovnik cable car video, head over to https://holidaysatsea.co.uk/exploring-dubrovnik.
Sailing in to New York, New York!
Next up, Danny from The Cruising Baker had the incredible experience of sailing into New York – I love the city so while I’m still on the fence over a transatlantic, sailing into the Big Apple sounds magical!
A massive 2018 cruise highlight for me came with the opportunity to turn a long-held dream into reality. Long before I even embarked on my first cruise, I had envisioned a list of must-do cruises in my life. For some time, the top spot has been occupied by the iconic Transatlantic Voyage by Cunard. With arguably the most spontaneous cruise booking I’ve ever made, August 2018 saw my family and I jet off to New York for a city break like no other, before boarding Queen Mary 2 for what soon became one of my all-time favourite voyages.
What made this particularly special was that just 24 hours before flying out, I finally submitted my PhD thesis after an extreme amount of hard work and dedication! Being able to celebrate with my family whilst adding a major tick to my bucket list was truly incredible and something I will never forget. Queen Mary 2 is so very special and there really isn’t another ship to match her glory – it was everything I had ever dreamed and I’m sure will stay in my Top 10 cruising highlights for evermore.
A Blissful Transatlantic
Another cruiser who took a translatlantic voyage this year was Jessalynn from The Nerdy Traveler.
I was lucky enough in 2018 to have a lot of cruising adventures, so in a way it’s hard to pick just one highlight. But actually, one experience really stands out among the others: My April 2018 transatlantic cruise on the brand-new Norwegian Bliss.
I met up with the Bliss in Southampton where she picked up her first group of paying passengers. I’d never sailed on a ship’s inaugural cruise, which motivated me to book this trip. I also wanted to check out Norwegian’s studio cabins, which provide an intriguing option for those traveling by themselves. (As a travel agent, I specialize in finding affordable trips for solo travelers!)
I just can’t say enough good things about the Bliss and my experience on her inaugural sailing. The ship had tons of things to do, which was especially important given that we had a whopping nine days at sea! Although I was traveling by myself, I never got bored or lonely – in fact, I made some friends during this cruise that I stay in touch with to this day.
The Bliss now sails an intriguing mix of Caribbean, Alaska, and Panama Canal cruises throughout the year. I definitely recommend checking this awesome ship out!
Sailing new Horizons
Sorry, there’s been some terribly punny titles! This one’s apt though, as Sanna sailed on Carnival’s newest ship!
Hi, I’m Sanna Vegancruiser! My 2018 cruise highlight was experiencing the brand new Carnival Horizon.
Carnival Horizon was built in Italy this spring, but before sailing to her US home, she spent just over a month on the Mediterranean. I knew I had to catch her and I’m so glad I did, as I have NEVER had as much fun on a cruise ship. No wonder the Carnival brand tagline is Choose Fun!
It’s always special being on a brand new ship with the best staff, entertainment and facilities and Horizon sure had all of the above. Unlike her older sisters (which can be a bit wild in decor and dated, little like Costa’s ships) Horizon and her younger sister Vista are modern & sleek ships.
I loved the Dr. Seuss themed water park, the free-to-use adult only Sundeck and the excellent range of alternative restaurant venues which had no extra charge. Plus the MDR catered beautifully to my dietary needs during our sailing.
Entertainment was great and I felt it was geared at us younger cruisers. Quizzes included Harry Potter and for all the Geeks to test their knowledge. Proper stand-up comedy every night. I was especially impressed by the range of musical styles & the quality of the musicians. Horizon had a Latin American band in the Havana Bar, a country duo in the brewery, rock & pop hits from the 80s to the present day in the Plaza. And I must mention the fabulously camp Eden in the Piano Bar who had our jaws on the floor with his cheeky rendition of an explicit Tenacious D song.
Some people are terribly snooty about Carnival but they wouldn’t be the world largest cruise line if there wasn’t demand for fun, non-traditional, relaxed cruising. I sure felt at home – our Carnival Comfort bedding rivalled Princess Luxury beds too!
Oh, and much love for the Carnival Hub App and their excellent value onboard Wifi for less than 6USD per day. Perfect for us social media addicts.
Cruising with Kids Highlights!
I’ve only ever cruised as an adult, but cruising with kids is a whole other adventure! Sarah from Cruising With Kids has put together their own highights post, including sailing on Norwegian Bliss, an inaugural cruise on Symphony of the Seas and seeing the beautiful Geiranger Fjord. Check that blog post out here!
What’s been your cruise or travel highlight of 2018? Let me know in the comments below or on social media!#