We’re now over half way on our 104 night World Cruise with Princess Cruises, aboard Sea Princess. And looking back to our very first day seems so long ago.
Our welcome aboard was kind of rockstar and any doubts we might have had about cruising (this is our very first) were batted to the sidelines as we entered our Stateroom …
- Why spend three and a half months at sea?
- First Ever Cruise
- 1. The Ease of Cruising
- 2. The Ship
- 3. Fabulous Amenities
- 4. Entertainment
- 5. Enrichment lectures
- 6. Daily activities
- 7. Destinations and Tours
- 8. The People
- 9. The Food
- 10. Come Back New
Why spend three and a half months at sea?
But prior to departing we had asked ourselves some searching questions.
What reasons are there for leaving work, kith and kin, or comfortable daily routine to up and off on a world cruise?
Why not just do a 2 week cruise?
What might we expect on a world cruise, and were we really about to embark on the trip of a lifetime?
First Ever Cruise
Well this is our very first cruise, and seasoned cruisers we’ve spoken to have been surprised that we agreed to a world cruise as our maiden voyage.
“What if you don’t like it? What if you fall out with each other? What if you get cabin fever? Wouldn’t it have been better to do a shorter cruise first? Why a world cruise?” These have been just some of the questions we’ve been asked …
to which we reply …
But why not a world cruise?
And our kids said to us : Go! YOLO! (you only live once!)
And after nearly 6 weeks cruising, here are some of the reasons we believe that a Princess Cruises world cruise offers a unique experience to see the world and reasons why we’ll probably ‘Come Back New,’ just as you could too 🙂
1. The Ease of Cruising
- You only have to unpack once.
- You’re waited on hand and foot.
- No housework, no cooking to do.
- The food is fabulous.
- You have time to catch up on things you haven’t had time for, like reading, or pastimes you enjoy and leisure pursuits.
- You have minimal visa worries – the ship takes care of (most) visas, and you don’t have to go through passport control when getting on and off the ship.
- There are plenty of exercise options: The walking deck, a well equipped gym, yoga, pilates, spinning, Thai Chi, Zumba, dancing, and stretching or abs classes.
- You don’t need to plan your own trips and tours if you don’t want to because there’s a shore excursion and advisory desk on board.
- You don’t have to catch planes.
- You have no currency concerns – you use your cruise card to swipe for anything which isn’t included on board, and when you go ashore if you need currency there’s generally an ATM near reception dispensing US$ or AUD$.
- Cruising allows you to immerse yourself quickly in different cultures.
- There’s a resident Doctor and support medical staff on board so you can rest assured if you have health concerns (don’t forget your travel health insurance cover).
- There’s a shop that sells all the small things you might need on a daily basis; from hair shampoo to suncream, to toothpaste to chocolate and lollies, to water bottles – oh, and we were given umbrellas in our staterooom in the unlikely event of rainy day shore excursions.
2. The Ship
- The ship is like a floating hotel carrying you from one amazing destination to the next with varying amounts of sea days between ports of call.
- The heart of the ship is the Atrium which is spread over 4 levels. This is a busy and happening hub where there’s always something going on. It’s a grand, theatrical place with glass lifts and palm trees. You might find a pianist playing hit standards, or a retail promotion, or a fashion show, or an opera singer, or a fruit carving demonstration in full swing.
- There are a variety of cabins and staterooms. We have a comfortable stateroom with a balcony and the cabin itself is more than adequate. There’s plenty of storage, and it’s lovely to sit out at night and watch a sunset or throw the doors open in the morning and watch a new destination come into view.
- If you’re interested in facts, I wrote about some weird, wonderful and enlightening Sea Princess facts and stats in this post: Two Days to Go!)
3. Fabulous Amenities
- The amenities and services on board are luxurious and comprehensive.
- Some of the things we love and enjoy include the modern well equipped gym, the luxury adults-only deck The Sanctuary (above), the pool decks and hot tubs.
- The spa, retail shops and boutique (at reasonable prices), theatres, casino, the promenade deck (under cover), restaurants and bars, library, internet cafe and there’s even a laundromat on each accommodation deck.
- There’s non-stop high quality entertainment on offer with a variety of performers and acts.
- From comedians to speed painters, from tribute shows to opera and when in port there are sometimes folkloric acts invited on board too. Below are the Fab Four! A Beatles tribute act who were great – standing ovation and two encores!
We love the extravagant production shows with accomplished singers and dancers from around the world.
5. Enrichment lectures
On our trip so far we’ve really enjoyed lectures in positive psychology, opera, horse whispering, destinations and history. I enjoyed the Mindful lectures …
There was a fantastic running commentary by our destination guru, Hutch, throughout our day cruising through the Suez Canal which made the event even more memorable and informative.
6. Daily activities
Each day there are a range of organised daily activities on offer and events to watch such as the fruit carving demonstration below – that’s Becky below, one of the dancers during the first leg of the cruise.
- There’s something of interest for everyone, such as;
- Common interest groups, bridge, Mahjong, card games, art and crafts, line dancing, stretch and ab classes, zumba classes, Tai Chi, and at an extra cost yoga, spinning and exercise classes.
- There’s dancing – from tea dances to ballroom dances to late night disco, and there is a continuous dance calender with both live and pre-recorded music, and it’s possible to dance the night away if you want to.
- And let’s not forget the daily Wake Show (Princess Cruises answer to breakfast TV) and the Princess Patter a daily newsletter which is delivered to your Stateroom each night.
7. Destinations and Tours
A world cruise takes you to some of the most magical, mystical, iconic and diverse destinations you can imagine. We are visiting 5 continents, 27 countries and 39 different destinations on this 2016 Sea Princess World Cruise. It’s amazing.
- There’s a comprehensive tour programme and you’ll be able to choose from a variety of ship’s shore excursions including culture, food, adventure, photographic, scenic, art or wine (or you can choose to do your own thing).
- The Princess policy is to create ‘meaningful travellers’ aiming to help people have an enriching and meaningful experience both on board and on shore, both from a travel and cultural perspective. We had the opportunity to explore Peterhof Palace in St Petersburg (above) and The Lost City of Petra, below – tow of the places which were top of our bucket list.
We’ve loved the ship’s shore excursions so far – they’ve been well organised and taken us to some incredible places in a short span of time. Plus, on a ship’s tour they fast track you to the front of queus in places like the Vatican where you could otherwise wait in line for hours.
Tip: If you’re on a ship’s tour and it’s late back for any reason, the ship is unlikely to leave without you! On an unaccompanied tour … make sure you are back on time unless you want to be waving from the shore.
8. The People
You just don’t know who you’re going to meet on a world cruise, and you’re taken out of your comfort zone to mix with and get together with other people. Below we’re with lovely new friends, on a Wadi tour in Oman – There’s Ross and Vanessa, and our guide Mohammed.
We’ve met some adventurous octogenarians, humorous baby boomers, joyful youngsters and wonderful guides, and we dine with four delightful people in the formal dining room whom we might not ever have been introduced to onshore.
You’ll find that there are probably many new friends to make on a 104 night cruise.
9. The Food
What can I say – there are so many dining experiences on offer from an extensive buffet, to a pizzeria, to a cordon bleu steakhouse, to a bakery, to a formal dining room, to a poolside barbecue.
There’s the formal dining room below – that’s Ram one of our waiters and Jim one of our dining companions.
There are Aussie barbecue nights, Pub Nights and Specialty Brunches. We think the food is always fresh and fabulous with lots of different choices, and of course there are the formal-dress-up nights on which most people get into their finery (below.)
10. Come Back New
The Princess tagline invites you to Come Back New. And when we first got onboard we actually thought we’d probably just come back fatter.
But not so.
We might actually come back fitter!
For we’re doing more exercise than at home, we’re engaged in various daily activities, we enjoy having hot tub sessions on deck as the sun sets, we’ve enjoyed rejuvenating massages and we have time to read or attend enrichment lectures.
Already we’re feeling a difference both mentally and physically and at the end of 104 nights on board Sea Princess, I fully expect that we will be changed in some significant way and without a doubt, Come Back New.
Watch this space!
Maybe you’d like to check out the World Cruise Options with Princess Cruises, of whom I am a guest, but all opinions are my own.
Want to read all my World Cruise Stories? You can find a choice of over 50 I wrote while on the cruise, here: Cruise Tips.
Check out This VIDEO of our cruise :