When I take a look at some of the cruise ports that I have had a chance to visit I have some mixed feelings. There are some which I would return to in a heartbeat, while others that I do not care ever to visit again. Of course, there are plenty that land somewhere in the middle as well. If I was nearby, I might consider another visit, but I would not go out of my way.
When it comes to cruising, I am far from an expert, having just travelled aboard four different cruise ships. The ships include three Holland America Line ship, including MS Statendam, MS Volendam and MS Nieuw Amsterdam, and one Princess ship, the Sun Princess.
What I lack in the number of cruises I do make up for a little in the number of days cruising and the destinations. To date, I have spent 93 days onboard cruising ships, opting for my first ever cruise to be 28 days. Over this time I have visited 40 different ports and crossed both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
Cruise Ports To Revisit
Of all the ports that I have visited while cruising there are five that I would love the chance to revisit. Of course, I would like to revisit these ports to explore the area more. But each of them also has much more to offer for an extended stay as well I believe.
My first ever cruise departed from San Diego, and the fourth port of call was Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala. Initially, I had booked what sounded like a fairly comprehensive tour of the area. However, maybe due to poor organisation, it was only last minute they realised we would be in port on Good Friday. As a result, all tours were cancelled and the only option offered was a bus transfer to Antigua for a reasonably high price, with minimum availability.
For me, the day was spent between the rather small port area and the ship. However, since the visit, I have remotely connected with some people from Guatemala and Antigua especially. I took some time to look at the area and what is around and I think it is somewhere that will definitely be on my list to explore in the future. The aspects that very much capture my attention is the Spanish architecture along with the natural surroundings.
The island of Faial in the Azores is not a big island covering around 173 square kilometres. The city of Horta is the primary town on the island with almost half of the 15,000 population that live on the island. The marina in Horta is a prime stopping point for yachts crossing the Atlantic Ocean for much the same reason why cruise ships stop here. It is one of the first more significant spots before reaching the European Coast some 1750 km further.
I took a tour of the island, or at least a small part of the island while visiting Horta. However, with countryside like you see in the picture above I think the island while small in size has a lot to offer. I would love to see some more of the natural beauty of the island, while also exploring some of the small villages.
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Cruising to Hawaii from Australia is far from the easiest way to visit the island state of The United States of America. However, if you are inclined to travel on a Transpacific cruise, it is almost certainly on the itinerary, with a couple of exceptions. So it was after departing Long Beach, and a full four days at sea the cruise arrived in Hawaii.
The first port in Hawaii was Hilo, which did not capture me all that much due in part to the poor weather. Maybe I would have had similar feelings about Honolulu if the weather had been inclement. But with a beautiful sunny day, I took a tour to visit and hike Diamond Head Crater. From here you get one fantastic view over the city of Honolulu, which is what you can see in the photograph above.
It does not take much looking to find quite a few reasons why you would want to visit Oahu. Having been here, I know for sure that I want to return. But just a quick look at the tag #Oahu on Instagram gives another 4 million + reasons. From waterfalls to waves, hills and hikes and beaches all just waiting to be explored. Maybe not for the first time, but for the first time by me.
Dubrovnik in Croatia was the second last port on my cruise through the Mediterranean. I am happy that I opted to take a tour which visited the Old City of Dubrovnik as this is a fantastic city. It was one of the locations that always made me think, why do people not explore more. With five cruise ships in port and hundreds, if not thousands of tourists here, all sticking to the one main street. You could go one or two streets either way, and there was no one around, and so much to see.
I would love to return to Dubrovnik to spend more than an hour exploring this beautiful old city. But also Croatia as a country I believe has a lot to offer if you go looking. Some of the photos I have seen from towns like Split and Hvar are amazing. But again it is the natural beauty of the countryside that also captures my attention.
Lisbon was the first of two overnight cruise ports on my Transatlantic / Mediterranean cruise. So I got to spend a little more time in the city than in many other ports. I explored the town with two other people from the cruise ship who had been in the town before and that made it easier. But even so, in a little over 30 hours in the port, there is still only so much you can see.
When I look back at my time in Lisbon, there is just so much more I did not get to see. There were also many things that made me fall in love with Lisbon and would encourage me to return and explore more of the area in and around Lisbon. I would even look at spending some more time and getting out into the countryside and others cities and towns throughout Portugal.
Time To Plan
The one thing that I have found is that you never get to travel anywhere if you don’t plan. Having a plan for your trip will make it a much more likely thing that you will undertake the trip. But at the same time, a planned trip does not happen without action.
So there is some planning and some action I will need to take. But at the same time, I doubt that I would be considering visiting all of these destinations in the same trip. Although you never quite know what will happen.
I would love to hear what cruise ports or even destinations that you have visited and would like to visit again. Why not leave a comment below or get in touch via one of my social media profiles.