Travel and the ocean are my happy places rolled into one, I can’t have one without the other. I love to visit new places and, of course, go back to familiar haunts, there really is nothing more rewarding than exploring a foreign land, but I have to say that my time aboard is probably the most precious and nothing can beat the tranquility of a transatlantic crossing – even if there is a fierce storm brewing outside! I know, it may not be tranquil for everyone, but it is for me!
Sea days are my absolute happy place and the further away I am from land, the better. Of course, I enjoy arriving in port and seeing land for the first time after having been at the mercy of the ocean for several days, but I certainly wouldn’t wish those sea days away. They are the only days when I get any rest and relaxation. Full stop.
One of my favourite ships is P&O Cruises Oceana (I am a huge P&O Cruises fan, if you didn’t know that already), I have sailed on her 7 or 8 times now and she always offers me something special. I remember on one cruise, I made my way up to the Pennant Bar, pulled out a chair and I just sat there. There wasn’t another soul in sight and the colours in the sky were absolutely beautiful. It was a priceless moment and it’s those moments that let me simply enjoying being nowhere and doing absolutely nothing. No matter which ship you are on, be it small or mega, you can always find a spot to escape, if you just want a few moments alone to think about nothing other than where you are at that exact moment in time. I suppose you can do this on a land holiday, but would it really be the same? I don’t think so. My happy place on Ventura is aft on Deck 18, I can watch the ships wake and just enjoy the sound of the ocean, and on Oriana it would also be aft, doing the exact same thing from one of her tiered decks. I wouldn’t trade those spots on those ships for all of the money in the world because there are some things that money simply cannot buy.
My next cruise is in February, a 35 night Caribbean and USA voyage with P&O Cruises (on Oceana) from Southampton, and I can’t wait. Not only am I going back to some fabulous islands, including Tortola, Jamaica and St Lucia, but I am also going to explore new lands (including New Orleans which I am beyond excited about) and I can have my collection of sea days again – there and back! If I remember correctly we have 3 days at sea, a call to Madeira and then 5 days at sea before we reach St Kitts. Absolute heaven! I don’t care if it is blowing a gale and pouring with rain outside to begin with, I am so looking forward to once again being at sea. Just so I don’t tempt fate, I will also add that I would like some sunshine at some point on our crossing. One doesn’t really want to arrive in the Caribbean without having been slightly kissed by the sun.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: José Antonio Gil Martínez, andy muir and azuaje.