2018 – The Big Trip

Yes, this is the year of the Big Trip, or “Bigger Trip” depending how well we are acquainted. Six weeks, 4 days visiting my good friends in South Florida, 14 days on the Norwegian Star crossing the Atlantic Ocean and about 24 days traveling in France and Italy. But more about that later. This is about the cruise!

“Crusin’- on a Sunday afternoon” plus 13 additional days. Yes, 14 days, with 4 good friends, 2,000 strangers, often sailing though what was referred to as moderate to rough seas.

What a marvelous experience. We possibly traced the return trade and exploration trips of Christopher Columbus and the others who came before us. Over the last two weeks, I have often imagined how brave, exciting and terrible those cruises must have been.

For us, this has been a rather luxurious experience filled with good entertainment, pleasant service and of course, an abundance of food (and beverages).

Some think 14 days is too long and others would never even consider a cruise. For me, cruising becomes a floating home away from home. We quickly fall into our regular routines of morning coffee and toast, reading, walking, visiting with friends. Evenings we can enjoy pleasant dinners with out having to do the dishes and a bonus known as the “unlimited beverage package”

I was able to read three complete novels, enjoy long soaks in the spa and most days, log miles on the promenade deck. And did I mention the Unlimited Beverage Package!

At night I was rocked to sleep by the “moderate” roll of the ocean. I wonder if a regular bed will ever be enough going forward. We all should be so gently rocked to sleep.

Ports of Call:

Azores- Ponta Delgado
If you saw the movie Jumanji, Welcome to the Jungle, you can imagine the vast poly-volcanic craters that exist on these islands which form an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic Ocean; green, lush, warm and proudly Portuguese. As I understand it, the tourists and milk cows vie for the top economic contributions of this island.

This is truly a beautiful place with dramatic landscapes and friendly people.

Long on my bucket list, we opted for a bus tour to see as much as possible in our limited time. Now I have learned I was actually wanting a trip through Portugal, small seaside villages and tastings port in Porto. What do we have if not constant additions and corrections to that bucket list.


Cadiz, Spain
This is the oldest continually inhabited city in Western Europe and home port to the Spanish Navy. We opted for visiting the nearby resort town of Sanlucar which is a summer tourist destination famous for Manzanilla (Fino Sherry) and prawns. Bill’s professor at UC Davis visited the fine restaurant of Casa Bigote 56 years ago and Bill has had this on his bucket list ever since. Fresh Seafood and local wines. Truly a memorable experience.

Malaga, Spain
With a population of over 500,00, this coastal town has much to offer. Along the coast you will find hillsides of beautiful, whitewash homes, picturesque ocean views and not far from Malaga we found some amazing caves to tour.

Alicante, Spain
This town, located on the Costa Blanca, is uniquely remarkable with the most notable feature of the city, the Castle of Santa Bárbara, siting high above the city, and the port of Alicante. This could be a city worth a second and third visit!

And finally, the Norwegian Star bring us to our final port, Barcelona. But that, my friends, will be another story. It is late andthis internet connection is painfully slow. I hope you enjoyed these ports of call.

Happy Trails

3 thoughts on “2018 – The Big Trip

  1. We have cruised those ports in Spain and the Med several times. Recently had a weeks holiday in Malaga too. Easy for us from the U.K. cruising from Southampton or only 2 hours flight to Malaga.


  2. Thanks for sharing your ports of experiences, and of course the unlimited beverages! I’m even thinking about working on a cruise-rocking-bed for homes!

    Liked by 1 person

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