Volume- a 'One Word Sunday' Challenge

VOLUMEJust a small section of the incredible 8000 pipes being used in the construction of the organ of La Sagrada Familia, in favourite cruise port Barcelona - due for completion bu 2026: the centennial of Antonio Gaudí's passing away. it will be awesome in the true sense when 8000 pipes fill this unique acoustic space with sound...

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MSC Bellissima - #BEAUTYATSEA

lissima - the literal translation from the Italian means Beautiful; so a very confident name for an enormous, great big new ship. We wanted to find out if she deserved such a compliment so were thrilled be able to join Bellissima for a short section of her Inaugural cruise from Southampton to Genoa - embarking in Barcelona for just two nights aboard.

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MSC OPERA - A MOTHER & DAUGHTER MINI-BREAK

My daughter and I were looking for a short break away when we fell across an absolute bargain 5 night section of a repositioning cruise on MSC Opera, the following weekend. After upgrading to an Aurea Suite (of which more later) and upgrading the all inclusive drinks package to Premium it was still cheaper than a pampering weekend for two at a spa in the UK! We added two Easyjet flights ourselves as there were no MSC flights available and we were ready to go!

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Hidden Gems of the UK - DOVER our guest blog for the HIDDEN GEMS series

DOVER... The majority of visitors to Dover arrive through the frankly uninspiring Ferry Port on the Eastern side of Dover Harbour, drive off the ferry and get out of Dover as fast as they can Others arrive at the Western Docks by cruise ship and are herded onto a coach trip to see the sights of London!  So while most of these arriving passengers will have spotted the famous white cliffs from the sea and some may even have noticed the famous Dover Castle perched high above the port they are missing out on some real hidden gems. There is a lot more to Britains oldest port than white cliffs so make time on your visit for a little portExplore.…

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Sitka, Alaska - and why its worth finding a cruise itinerary that includes it...

Sitka, on the Pacific Coast of Barenof Island in Alaska, is one of the more unusual ports to see featured on an Alaskan itinerary. Originally built by Russian traders in the early 1800’s it has a very different feel to the wild west, gold rush mining towns that form most of the other ports of call in the area and is definitely worth a visit if you get the chance!

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Is there such a thing as a Perfect Port?

As I spend my life writing about cruising and what do to ashore in port I am often asked, “Which is the best port, which one is your favourite?” I can't really answer because of course, I don’t have one! It is impossible, there are so many wonderful places that you can visit on a cruise that one individual port in the whole world won't stand out above all others. But the question got me thinking... I decided that there are definitely a few things that would go together to make my perfect port - see if you agree…

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Worst excursion and most stressful day ashore ever!

I wanted to share my thoughts on our ‘worst ever’ port excursion as we learnt some important lessons from it, both about the questions you should ask when booking a shore excursion and also about what we took ashore with us that day. We were visiting Laem Chabang in Thailand on a Princess Cruise, which is what we call a ‘FOR’ port - a large industrial port ‘FOR’ Bangkok which is actually 125km away…

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Missing Paradise but with added goats..

Although we had a plan for each port,  it wasn’t as detailed as we would normally expect to have! So on this particular morning our plan was simple… leave ship, get taxi to the fictional Honoré, in reality a pretty village called Deshaies on the north coast of Basse-Terre, a forty kilometre, one hour drive to the north coast of the island. Sorted!

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Stormy solent delayed arrival

The 07.00 wake up call from the Captain was a surprise as we expected him to say that we were in dock rather than that were were just entering the Solent for the second time, heading for a different terminal than the one we had left from. It really is amazing that the wind could have been that strong and yet it really wasn't rough enough to even wake us up! Even the Red Funnel Ferry tucked herself in our wind shadow for a bit of protection as we crept slowly into the Solent.

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