It’s that time of year again – time to look back on where 2014 has taken me during my cruise travels!

I’ve been on two cruises this year – one with MSC to the Canary Islands and Morocco and another with Holland America which left from Venice and visited an incredible 7 different countries!

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The first cruise was on board the MSC Armonia in February. It was a 7 night cruise and we joined the ship in sunny Tenerife.
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One of the ports of call that I really enjoyed (but hadn’t really expected to) was Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The weather was beautiful, the scenery was stunning and we did a lot of walking before finding an adorable cafe to have a late lunch. It was bliss.
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We also visited Fuertaventura and I didn’t know what to expect having never been before. We found a lovely little island with lovely beaches and some incredible sand dunes.
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We also visited Lanzarote, the home of many brilliant family holidays when I was a child. It was my boyfriends first trip to Lanzarote so we hired a car for the day, drove to Timanfaya National Park and learned loads about this rugged volcanic island.
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We also visited Morocco for the first time when our ship called in at Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city. We explored the Hassan II Mosque, the third largest mosque in the world and then wandered the streets before finding the bustling Old Medina and wandering through the small streets in and out of shops. It was a great introduction to the country and I’d love to return to Morocco and explore more of its towns and cities.
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In August I went on a cruise ship, but I didn’t actually sail anywhere! I was invited on board Silversea’s Silver Cloud for a few glasses of champagne, a ship tour and a wonderful dinner in Le Champagne. You may remember me raving about Le Champagne restaurant from my South-East Asian cruise with Silversea and it was just as fantastic this time around.
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In September I embarked upon an amazing cruise with Holland America on board the MS Nieuw Amsterdam. We were joining the ship in Venice so we decided to treat ourselves to a few perfect days there before getting on board. Venice is a city I absolutely adore and I’m certain I’ll never tire of visiting.
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One of our first stops was Dubrovnik, a place I’ve been lucky enough to have visited many times. Thomas had never been before so he definitely wanted to walk the city walls which was great until it started POURING and we both got soaked.
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Another of our destinations was beautiful Florence. I loved returning to Florence and exploring the city again. It’s a great destination for a city break and I’d love to return for a few days and explore properly.
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We all love a good towel fold animal, right?!
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We also docked in Marseille, a new city for me. Unfortunately on the day we visited there was torrential downpours and thunder and lighting so other than a visit to the Cathedral and a stroll around the Old Town in between showers we didn’t see much. From what little I did see though I really liked and it’s really high on my list of places to return to soon. Even just for the beautiful French architecture…
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We also docked in Naples where we took the train to Pompeii and then onwards to picture perfect Sorrento. That was one of my favourite days of the cruise by far.
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Fancy cocktails in Tamarind restaurant – my absolute favourite restaurant on board MS Nieuw Amsterdam.
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Our ship also stopped in Barcelona, one of my favourite cities in Europe. It was our second time in Barcelona in just a few months so we just had a relaxing day wandering the streets in the Bari Gotic.
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We also stopped in Monaco from where we hopped on a train to Villefranche-sur-Mer, my favourite little town on the Cote d’Azur. We ate delicious chocolate-filled crepes, took in the views and wandered the steep streets before returning to Monaco for the afternoon.
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We enjoyed this beautiful sunset while eating dinner in Tamarind restaurant on board just as we were departing from Corfu, Greece.
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And we sailed past active volcano Stromboli, off the coast of Italy, and even saw lava shooting out from the top!
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