I always wished to go to England by ship, so this year the opportunity arose. My friend Pam and I, both widowed, left Sydney on the 28th of February, for the most fantastic time of our lives. 48 days of fun and food, on the Arcadia.
We travelled from Sydney via New Zealand, cruising the Bay of Islands, then a day each at Akaroa, Dunedin, Wellington, Picton and Auckland. Then on to Samoa stopping at Apia and Pago Pago. Next stop was Honolulu, then on to beautiful San Francisco. 2 days there was very exciting, visited Alcatraz and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. Next day travelled down the West Coast of America to Mexico, to the lovely port of Huatulco, where we were retreated to a traditional dance and lunch, sampling the grasshoppers.
Next day was a highlight going through the Panama Canal. Taking most of the day was just amazing. Our next call was through a Curacao. Another beautiful island with a Dutch influence. All buildings are brightly painted, which is quite dazzling. The island is under the protection of UNESCO. We sampled their famous liqueur, and visited some exotic coastal resorts. Then on to Barbados also visiting some beautiful coastal resorts etc.
Our final port of call was Porte Degado. Portuguese owned another yet beautiful island. Very old cobble streets, no footpaths. The fields through the island are fenced with miles and miles of black rock walls, as the island is all volcanic. A vast contrast to the rich green hills, visited a tea plantation and thermal springs, then time for shopping.
We had quite a number of Sea days between ports. People say that it is boring, but believe me it is far from it. We loved every minute of our time on board; there was so much to do. The entertainment staff was second to none, so funny and friendly keeping us going endlessly. There was a great show on every night.
You could learn to play cards, play bingo, tap dance, line dance, and ballroom dancing, learn beading, learn Spanish, and so much more. My favourite was the pub quizzes where much fun was had. A choir was organised between the guests who gave us some beautiful concerts. We did indulge ourselves occasionally in the spa and beauty salon, and made use of the gym and exercise classes to try to keep ourselves in order.
We finally arrived in South Hampton, after 45 wonderful days.
A big thanks to Martyn, from Maverick Travel, for organising everything for us.