In Holidays, Travel & Adventure

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 …

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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?

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And we’re off! The wonderful sailaway from Sydney! We were just a ‘little’ bit excited at this stage!

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.

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“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 πŸ™‚


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.

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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.

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  • 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

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  • The amenities and services on board are luxurious and comprehensive.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

4. Entertainment

  • 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!

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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 CanalΒ  which made the event even more memorable and informative.

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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.

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  • 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).

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  • The Princess policy is to createΒ ‘meaningful travellers’ aiming to help people have an enriching and meaningful experience Β 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.Β 

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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, Β on a Wadi tour in Oman – There’s Ross and Vanessa, and our guide Mohammed.

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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.

We’ve met (and had the privilege of interviewing) some amazing crew, and we’ve found that the crew are all outgoing, smiling, and eager to assist in whatever way they can.

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.

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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.)

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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!

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For we’re doing more exercise than at home, we’re engaged in various daily activities, we enjoy having Β 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!
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Maybe you’d like to check out the World Cruise Options withΒ Princess Cruises,Β ofΒ 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 Β of our cruise :

Have you been on a World Cruise – would you like to go on one? Where would you go?

10 Reasons to go on a World Cruise

If you’re looking for a cruise, try searching on Cruise Direct, below …


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Showing 32 comments
  • Life Images by Jill

    I was up in the wilds of the Kimberley when you posted this post Jo, so I’m really glad I’ve been able to see it now. What an amazing adventure. We’ve never been on a cruise, but I think it is definitely an option after following your blog posts of your cruise. What’s next on your travel agenda Jo?

    • Johanna

      I think everyone should try a cruise just once, Jill. It’s such an exciting, easy, interesting, relaxing, tranquil way to see the world. Hope you get to do one πŸ™‚ My travel agenda? England next πŸ™‚

  • Lesley Gleeson

    It is wonderful to read of your adventures and I now think we will try to do a world cruise one day. The ports sound so varied and interesting and the long stretches at sea must be so relaxing. The Suez Canal is somewhere I have dreamed of seeing since I was small. My husband and I went on our first cruise, with Princess, to New Zealand earlier this year and it was simply wonderful in all ways. I look forward to reading your continuing blogs!

    • Johanna

      Thank you Lesley – so glad you’re enjoying following our cruising adventures! Yes, the ports have been very varied and interesting and the stretches at sea are relaxing πŸ™‚ Hope you get to do another cruise soon πŸ™‚

  • Maureen Cairney

    My Husband and I sailed out of Sydney along with you, but only did the short leg to Dubai. After reading of the whole experience we will definitely do the full world cruise one day.

    • Johanna

      That’s great Maureen. We are loving it πŸ™‚

  • Debra

    Wow, what a wonderful cruise you guys are doing and what an adventure, I look forward to reading your blogs and drooling over the photos. My husband and I did our first cruise in January this year on Sapphire Princess, flew to Singapore and cruised to Penang, Langkawi & Kuala Lumpur it was fabulous, particularly the upgrade to the Penthouse Suite (amazing). The only downfall was it wasn’t long enough, but we just wanted to test the waters as my husband gets a little sea sick, must say it was smooth sailing all the way, didn’t even know we were on a ship at times. Anyway we are hooked and I am now trying to research a cruise next year to incorporate my 60th birthday & our 30th wedding anniversary around July/August. Enjoy the rest of your cruise the memories will be life long.

    • Johanna

      It is an adventure Debra πŸ™‚ So glad you enjoyed your first cruise and are thinking of doing another for your 60th and 30th wedding anniversary! Congratulations – that’s wonderful πŸ™‚

  • Natalie Mortimer

    Fantastic! Would love to do a world cruise, one day perhaps. We got off Sea Princess in Sydney when you got on at the beginning of your world cruise. Say a big hi to Becky, one of the photographers, she was the best. Lovely to see Becky the dancer still on the ship, she is a bundle of energy and lots of fun. Your blog is amazing and so very glad I found it. Keep enjoying and yes, come back new!

    • Johanna

      Will say Hi to Becky for you Natalie! And thanks so much for your lovely words about Lifestyle Fifty πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • Kathy

    We have been cruise converts for the last 3 years cruising the Greek Islands, then Scandinavia and then to New Zealand.
    My mother turned 90 this year and to celebrate we enjoyed a 13 day cruise to the South Pacific, an area we’d not visited previously.
    We both loved it and it certainly gave my mum a special experience for a special birthday.
    She managed all the ports of call including the tendered shore trips but I think the highlight for mum was swimming with the coloured fish in the beautiful waters off the Isle of Pines.
    What memories we have!

    • Johanna

      What a lovely story about your Mother, Kathy! How fantastic that she was fit enough to enjoy everything including the ports of call excursions πŸ™‚

  • Marilyn & Gilbert Pinto.

    Hello Johanna & David! 9th. August 2.55 P. M.
    My wife Marilyn & myself Gilbert Pinto went on The Sea Princess for 42 days taking in all the destinations, a lunar eclipse then China & Japan which was wonderful indeed. You are perfectly correct with the description of various countries, cultures, fantastic food, entertainment, friendly staff but most of all there are no gratuities which could add considerably to to all the ways a person has spoiled themselves. Our previous cruises were with Holland America & we paid the gratuities because we did not want the staff in the lower rungs who look forward to tips to be deprived on those 6/8 maybe more cruises. We were over the moon with our 1st.” Sea Princess Cruise” which was outstanding & apart from recommending the Princess Cruise Line to anybody whether it is a short or long cruise, be assured that they are with capable & experienced individuals. We are booked for a cruise from Seattle to Sydney for 24 days with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (8th. Oct. to 2nd. Nov. 2016) & look forward to the similar cruise you are on at present. We hope to be celebrating our “golden wedding anniversary” next year on 25th. Sep. 2017 which would fall beyond the world cruise of 102 days from Melbourne, cruising with the Princess Cruise Line at present is our next priority. Thank you for your down to earth experience, which we were able to recapture memories of our on board experiences.There was only thing we missed, it was having a priest/pastor, & a rabbi on board which Holland America had. We hope you enjoy the rest of your cruise.

    • Johanna

      Hi Marilyn and Gilbert, we so enjoyed reading about your experiences and also your tips and suggestions. Thank you so much for taking the time to add your comments. Here’s hoping you thoroughly enjoy your future cruises and Happy Golden Wedding Anniversary – Congratulations!

  • Tania

    Hi Jo. I’ve loved keeping up with your journey – talk about living vicariously through your travels – been fantastic. My husband and I are setting off on our first cruise (New Zealand) in December and I am so looking forward to it. Seems as though cruising is really taking off for many reasons – only one lot of unpacking, everything provided and seeing some amazing sights along the way to name a few. I do have a question for you though in relation to such a long cruise – while I don’t expect exactness I was just wondering how much of a shock all the ‘extra cost items’ would be – especially during 104 days. Did you have an idea yourself and did you plan accordingly? Have you been able to keep within whatever your budget was?

    • Johanna

      Hi Tania, I’m so glad you’re enjoying our adventure, even if it is remotely πŸ™‚ I really hope you have a wonderful cruise in New Zealand in December – hope to see some pics from it – Facebook maybe? Regarding your onboard account – all I can suggest is keep track of it – it’s easy – you can get printouts whenever you like – buy a coffee card if you like coffee and a drinks package perhaps if you enjoy wine or beer. But just keep track of what you spend on that ‘lovely cruise card’!! Wait for the sales on clothes, souvenirs, and jewellery too.

      • Tania

        Thanks Jo. I had thought that we would get a coffee card although probably won’t go for a drinks package – I don’t drink enough to justify the cost. I’ll wait for the sales re: clothes etc – saw on another of your articles some photos of some very nice clothing that seemed to be reasonably priced – so I’ll grab something when it’s on sale. Thanks for the advice – I will definitely keep track of the spending. Enjoy Peru…(so envious – hahaha)

        • Johanna

          Hi Tania, yes the clothes sales are a great way to stock up if you’re running low on outfits or causal gear, and the boutique is not expensive. The designer lines are pricier, but are well-thought-out for cruising.

  • kim

    I love visiting bridge cam when a ship is in port, it is real time, and I feel as though I am there. What would you have packed in hindsight?

    • Johanna

      Hi Kim, I’ll be doing a what to pack post soon on the blog, but for now there is one thing I would have packed that I didn’t and that is shorts. I packed capri pants and cut-offs, but a pair of baggy shorts would have been really handy.

  • Annabel Candy

    Hotties! You two are looking divine there in your finery – and in all the pics. Happy sailing πŸ™‚ x A

    • Johanna

      Thanks Annabel! I can hardly believe we’re on the home stretch.

  • Kim

    I am loving sharing your journey, my husband and I will be going on a 75 day voyage next year around the pacific, which takes in 9 countries on a Princess ship. I can’t wait. Meanwhile I will read your adventures and dream about mine until the time comes. Feeling nervous and excited, so it’s nice to hear what others have to say.

    • Johanna

      Thank you Kim! I’m so happy that you’re travelling along with me πŸ™‚ And I hope it makes you even more excited, but also reassures you not to be nervous too πŸ™‚

  • Ingrid Rickersey

    Yes there is not much not to like about cruising, especially for older people, as you can do as much or as little as you want.
    Ans yes I always find that you never put on weight travelling because you are always on the go … Bonus

    • Johanna

      So true, Ingrid! So much to do and always on the go!

  • Janet aka Middle Aged Mama

    Oh you are making me so homesick for a cruise (or is that cruise sick? No, that doesn’t sound right either!). I’ve been on 5 and we are planning #6 for next year to celebrate my BIG birthday, and I can’t wait! Don’t think it will be a world cruise though πŸ™

    • Johanna

      Hi Janet, yes, I think the Dictionary should have a word – cruisesick! But so glad you’re thinking of celebrating your next BIG birthday on a cruise – wonder where you are thinking of going?

  • Kathy Marris

    I think you have made a very convincing argument for doing a world cruise Jo. It sounds and looks as though you have been having a blast. We have just booked a cruise around the Mediterranean for next year and we are also thinking about doing a Hawaiian Island and French Polynesia cruise the year after. We are both cruise converts for sure and like you say it is and easy and relaxing way to see some of the world. πŸ™‚

    • Johanna

      Thanks Kathy! Looks as if you have some exciting cruises on the horizon! That’s great πŸ™‚

  • budget jan

    We’ve certainly seen some lovely smiles from you and you husband in photos on the blog Jo. I think you definitely look more relaxed. I would have loved the expert commentary on the trip through the Suez Canal and seeing Petra in Jordan. I would definitely need a smaller time framed cruise first to see how I liked being inside on a ship though. I’ve been on some fairly big vessels – but not as big as the Sea Princess – and as soon as I go indoors I start feeling ill. I don’t think it is seasickness, although that could be a factor. I’m thinking I wouldn’t feel like that inside the Sea Princess though. I would also love the production shows. My grandmother loved cruising in her later years and fronted up every night to listen to the “musicians” play – it was such a large part of her on-board enjoyment. I would feel very much as if I was following in her footsteps if I were to do so as well! I can’t wait to see what you get up to on your homeward bound leg of the trip.

    • Johanna

      Hi Jan, loved the story about your grandmother πŸ™‚ and thank you for your lovely words. So glad you’re enjoying following along, and continue to do so. Who knows, maybe you will cruise one day and love it. We thought we might get cabin fever, but the Sea Princess is welcoming and open and easy to get around, and we haven’t felt confined at all.

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