28 DAYS AT SEA
The journey began in Dubai and finished 28 days later in Lisbon. Highlights for me were a day at Petra and the slow crawl through the Suez Canal. These are both sites that as a solo traveler you just don't get to add to a solo itinerary. There were stops along the way at Corfu, Cephalonia, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Venice, Ancona, Messina, Salerno and Barcelona before disembarking in Lisbon. My fellow passengers were venturing on, some disembarking in at Southhampton, but the majority heading back to New Zealand and Australia.
Cruising is not my typical mode of travel, and certainly as a solo traveler you might wonder why I chose to be one of 2000 guests on a transatlantic crossing, when I'm best known for doing my own thing, usually off the beaten track. There is a perfectly good answer. I was still recovering from two major knee replacement surgeries and reasoned that 28 days at sea, with someone making my bed every day, someone else doing the cooking, plenty of on board entertainment, a gym and all that walking space around decks was exactly what the doctor ordered for a full recovery before arriving in Europe for my usual 3-5 month adventures there.
Booking so late, as I did, meant a balcony room was not an option. No problems! I loved being cocooned in my inside room; the size of it more than big enough for two, so as a solo traveler I had space, and then some, to spare. Princess beds have a reputation and I have to say, in all my travels, the Quuen size bed sure is high up on the list of comfort.
Cruising with a whole lot of strangers gives you the opportuniy to mix and mingle if you so desire or its easy to lose yourself both on and off the ship doing your own thing, at your own pace. For example on the day we arrived at Salerno, where I had been before I hopped a fast taxi boat around to Poisitano to meet friends for lunch. They were on a ship that had docked in Naples for the day and they arrived to me by train. On the surface it may have looked in the too hard basket for most, and all other planned off-shore activiies were staying close to Salerno, but I remind you that I am a solo traveler and learned anything is possible if you put your mind to it. When doing something like this, it's always a good idea to take your passport and visa with you, the ship's forward itinerary, and to know where airports align with where the ship will be stopping next, in case of dramas you can't always plan for. SUch dramas no longer phase me. I like to think of these moments as unplanned adventures. And, they always are!