I have embarked on upwards of 25 cruises now and they have all offered wonderful experiences. Each one in some way being different from the last. I do have a few special memories though, experiences that really stick in my mind as being something rather special and something that I will certainly never forget. Let me share them with you…
The first time I spotted dolphins from the ship. That was incredible! I was on the Promenade Deck on P&O Cruises Ventura and there they were, right alongside. They were eager to show us their tricks and seemed overjoyed that they had something (the ship) to play with for a few minutes. I have seen dolphins many times since and sighting them never gets boring. They are right with you, in their natural habitat and all they want to do is show off for a few minutes and then be on their way. I am convinced that the more you clap and cheer, the more they play! Such an intelligent species.
Seeing the Northern Lights in Alta, Norway, is right near the top of my special experiences list. I also think it was probably one of the luckiest ones too as we caught them on our first night. The day was spent visiting huskies and exploring, but after a brief stop at the ship to eat and add more layers it was off to hunt the Aurora Borealis into the early hours of the morning. The journey from the ship was approximately 40 minutes and our location was a golf course which seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. The entire area was in complete darkness, it was rather eerie but the snow glistened under the moon light and gave it a softer atmosphere – eventually! I set my camera and tripod up and waited patiently in sub-zero temperatures.
Within less than an hour they appeared. It was phenomenal! I have to admit, you can’t really see the green colour via the naked eye, it looks more like a thick white whisp going across the sky, but when you look through your camera it is absolutely breath-taking! The oohs and ahhs could be heard in surround sound. I think in all we had about 3 hours of this visual treat before all went quiet again and the time to head back to the ship rolled around. It was quite nice turning up at the ship in the early hours of the morning, too!
During my Caribbean cruise in 2013 we had a partial Panama Canal transit, what an experience it was. I have to say that if you get the opportunity to do a cruise that includes a full or partial transit then you must do it! It’s one of those things that I could tell you all about, but in reality you need to experience it for yourself to fully appreciate it. I also enjoyed my Kiel Canal transit in June 2014. Quite different from the Panama Canal, but just as exciting and beautifully scenic.
I could probably turn this post into a book, there are so many things that make me smile when I think about my cruise experiences. Visiting Savoca in Sicily, which is where they shot some of the footage for the Godfather movie. Racing through the rugged terrain in a 4X4 in Jamaica. Seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa for the first time – they are all things that everyone should experience at least once!
If you enjoyed this post, then take a look at Danielle’s thoughts on what makes a perfect cruise holiday!
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Timo Horstschafer