Land ahoy! And back from a cruise to the beautiful white beaches of the Whitsundays. I have now successfully crossed off yet another item on that notorious bucket list of mine.
#16 on the list is to go on a cruise. Having never been on one before, I was interested to see how I would like the sailors life. And it’s safe to say I most definitely did – give me a Captain’s Hat and I could have sailed those oceans for the rest of my life! (If only it was that easy)
I guess as a kid I always did love the water, so my love for sailing shouldn’t really come as a surprise.
My parents must have dreaded letting tiny, little me in any body of water for the very fact that it would take a whole lot of cohersing and the promise of a strawberry ice-cream to convince me to get out.
Nowadays, I’ve learnt to get out before my skin wrinkles and takes form of a prune – but I’ve yet to lose my admiration for the sparkling blue ocean and it’s beautiful unknown depths.
I guess I’ve always been intrigued by the ocean; by the fact that in some places we’ve yet to touch the bottom. I have always wondered what secrets the ocean must hold, secrets we haven’t (and may never) find. It’s that frightening, exhilarating sort of love for water. The fact that it can look so calm, but hold some of the greatest dangers known has always encapulated my imagination.
So a cruise, as I discovered, put me right in my element.
Leaving from the port of Brisbane we embarked upon the Princess Dawn for a week-long celebration of a special birthday.
Standing on the back deck of the cruise ship as it broke past the boundaries of the river mouth and out to sea was one of my favourite moments. The expanse of the ocean around me stretched out in every direction. It was magnificent.
I think I fell in love with cruising right from that very moment.
It wasn’t long before I found myself soaking up the last moments of afternoon sun with a wine in hand, and I remember thinking that I’d never felt so relaxed in my life before. Call it a side effect of the ocean. Or maybe it was the wine? Either way, I was happy!
If there’s one thing that came in abundance during the cruise – it was most definitely food and drink. With more than eight-hundred staff, there was never an opportunity to be without a wine in hand. And I’ve never done so much eating in my entire life! After a week of being waited on with three-course meals, I’ve come to be rather disappointed to go back to fending for myself for just the one course here on land.
There were so many on board activities to keep us occupied on sea days, but nothing could beat the serenity of the gorgeous white sand beaches that bordered upon the vibrant corals of the Great Barrier Reef on our land days.
The blue skies that dipped down to playfully touch even bluer waters made for the most beautiful view of what could only be described as paradise.
I was sold. And I seriously considered not boarding back onto the boat and living off coconuts for the rest of my life (just for a moment).
Eventually though, we had to start the journey back home – and begrudgingly, I did board back onto the Princess Dawn with a little protest.
But I was lucky enough to be able to climb up to the top of the Crows Nest and watch us sail away from Airlie Beach at sunset – and that, asides from being worth re-boarding for, is something I will never forget.
Between the Great Gatsby Parties and the Bianco White Nights where turning up in regular holiday clothes just didn’t cut it, you could have placed bets on finding me up on the back deck.
The sun lounges up there became my favourite spot to read and snooze. By the end of the week, I came back at least three shades darker from all the vitamin D!
I thoroughly loved my cruise, so much so, I’ve even planned another one for next year – to Vanuatu this time!
It was the perfect getaway, and just the right amount of time away to come back feeling like new.
Now I just have to figure out how to stop feeling like solid ground is still bobbing up and down beneath my feet!
#16: go on a cruise – check!