This is definitely a cliched post! I would bet that nearly every cruise blogger out there has written a post about their favorite ports – I know that personally, I have participated in collaborations about ports of call. But I have never written about them on my own little space on the internet; so here it is, my top five cruise ports!
1. New York
Okay, so I do have a confession to make…I was enamored by NYC long before it entered my life as a cruise port. New York is my favorite city in the world! I have visited it three times and actually wrote a destination guide about it, which you can read here. But I have also experienced it as a cruise port. My first ever ship set sail from NYC and a sail away from this iconic port is certainly a sight to behold. Not only is the iconic skyline of the big apple silhouetted against the bright blue sky. But you also sail past the statue of liberty! Although I must profess to getting the giggles when the predominately American inhabitants of my ship started singing some sort of patriotic song to Lady Liberty.
My top tip for this port of call is; To go to the top of the Rockefeller Centre at night. I will admit that is a bit tricky if this is only a port of call for you. But if you can squeeze in a pre-cruise or post-cruise stay; it is one of the best views in the world. There is nothing quite like late nights and city lights. Especially in the city that never sleeps.
For years I had asked to go to Italy, all the way through my teen years I was absolutely obsessed. Then finally it happened! We booked a cruise that departed from Venice and I fell absolutely head over heels. A sail away from Venice is so spectacular that it vies with NYC…Yes, it is that amazing. To sail directly past Pizza San Marco is breathtaking. Plus, Venice departures are usually pretty late on an evening; meaning that you sail out just as dusk is beginning to settle over this magical city.
That’s the thing about Venice it truly is magical. I know everyone who reads this blog will be used to me being sarcastic. But when it comes to Venice I am being deadly serious; it is a magical, mythical, fairy-tale playground for adults. If you ever have the privilege of calling here you will leave in complete awe. Even the simple things catch you by surprise. For example I knew there were no roads, no cars, that even the police came in a boat. But I was still caught completely by surprise when I saw a builder in a boat. It truly is another world completely. If you want to take a tiny step into that fantasy world, you can read my Venice destination guide here.
My top tip for this port of call is: Make sure you go up the bell tower in Pizza San Marco. It gives you a stunning view of the city. Don’t worry it has a lift, you don’t have to literally climb up it.
This iconic Greek island is plastered on holiday brochures worldwide. It is definitely somewhere that is on the travel bucket list of most people. I have been lucky enough to anchor there twice and let me tell you something…IT NEVER GETS OLD! I could look at that view all day long. Santorini is a destination that will leave you lusting to return long after you have touched down at home. In fact, I recently watched the new Mama Mia film and all I could think was: I want to go back to Santorini immediately! I will say though this port is not one to be braved if you have mobility issues, this hilly volcanic island definitely provides you with a good leg work out (In the interests of full disclosure it will make jelly of your legs)
My top tip for this port of call is: make sure you see the sunset. The sun going down over the caldera is a sheer explosion of beauty. It is so perfect that it almost doesn’t look real…
Staying with the theme of stunning Greek islands, this party island is also a thing of sheer beauty! Best experienced under bright blue skies and blazing sun this sapphire of the Mediterranean will enthrall you in every way possible. Mykonos is truly a place to get lost (which is good for me since I am pretty much always lost hence the blog name) getting lost is the only way in which you will experience every inch of its winding streets. A maze of white washed pavements will lead you blissfully through this paradise. As well as providing the perfect Instagram.
My top tip for this port of call is: Take time to grab a Gyro by the sea. This simple Greek food will leave you wanting more long after you have flown home.
5. Santa Margherita
I actually experienced this gem of the Italian Rivera completely by accident! When I was on Crown Princess in 2018 we were meant to call at Genoa but mid-voyage we were found we were unable to. Santa Margherita was our oh so charming replacement port. It was somewhat of an undiscovered beauty; going largely ignored next to its famous neighbor, Portofino. But if you can find a ship that calls at this tender port I would wholeheartedly recommend it.
My top tip for this port of call is: If its Sunday take time to explore the local market stalls, they make beautiful Italian pastries. Also, take a long hard look at the beautiful architecture – It is not all as it seems. It took me a good hour to realise that the details of buildings where painted on as oppose to being part of their structures. Now that is some serious craftsmanship!
If you could plan your dream itinerary and hand pick your ports of call, what five would you pick? Drop me a comment below. So we can lust after beautiful ports of call together.