12 January 2015

Cruise Control

Leaving Southampton//Lifesaver//Making Waves//Sunbathing//Amazing Towel Folding
Late last year my mum sold her London flat and one of the first things she booked was a cruise for me, the boyf, and my stepdad. We had always said that if we won the lottery we would love to go on a cruise so this was our way of testing the waters (excuse the pun). 

We could only coordinate certain dates so ended up booking a P&O cruise calling at Morocco, Spain and Portugal. Sounded good to us even though the weather wouldn't be great in November.

Buildings//Hassan II Mosque//Floor Tiles
Casablanca The reason I wanted to go on this cruise in particular was to see Casablanca. I was sorely disappointed with the town and wouldn't recommend it for the ultimate Moroccan experience. The Hassan II Mosque is incredible - it's the fifth largest mosque in the world apparently (according to some website or another). The rest of the town was just a bit meh! The souk was nothing spectacular and it just seemed really dusty and dirty with not much going on. Not a huge fan I'm afraid. 
Agadir Our second Moroccan port was, in my opinion, not all that much better than Casablanca. However, everyone else seemed to enjoy it more. I guess you could consider it more westernised but I wasn't convinced. On walking to the souk we got accosted by a real creep who tried to lure us into a park. I got so pissed off I just staring swearing in the street like a nutcase! Kind of ruined my day. We did get a nice tagine and lamp shade though so can't complain too much. 

Shortly after getting back from our trip one of my good friends went to Marrakech and absolutely loved it. I definitely wouldn't rule out Morocco in future but absolutely everybody on the boat would agree that Casablanca is one to miss. 

Pina Colada//Vodka Cranberry//Bellini and Gin&Tonic
In between ports we had a great time drinking. Not so fun was the bill at the end of the trip!
Catholic Imagery//Town Square//Fish Market//Crash!
Cadiz This was most people's favourite port of the trip. It was a really pretty, sleepy Spanish town that was a welcome break after our adventures in Morocco. I have a weird fascination with Catholic imagery so absolutely loved all of the paintings above the doorways and in the churches. The fish market in the town centre was a real treat as well. I imagine Cadiz would be a great place to visit in summer as there's a fab beach too. Loved it!
Beautiful Buildings//The Bridge & Jesus//Square//Hanging Flowers//Hillside//Bridge
Lisbon This was my favourite port for two reasons: the view of the city I got when I looked out of the windows in the morning was incredible, and we got to eat dinner which, after having to be back on the boat by about 6pm on other days, was a real treat. The view from the boat was amazing as Lisbon is sat on a steep hill which meant I was hit with a wall of colourful buildings. I loved it. 

Climbing the hills was intense but actually quite nice as it felt like we were really exploring which we hadn't done so much in the other places. The fact that we could stay until 10pm was rare too and I was so excited! I love exploring places by night as I feel that you can get a real feel for a place in the dark. It rained as we nibbled on some typical Portuguese dishes in a lovely restaurant. Perfection. 
Church//Town Hall
La Coruna I would potentially have enjoyed this pretty town a bit more if it wasn't absolutely pissing down when we visited. The buildings were beautiful but all we wanted to do was get a coffee and watch the world go by (which we did and managed to find the world's cheapest coffee shop). 

Overall the cruise was...interesting. I can't say I'm a convert to the cruise way of life but I can certainly see the appeal. Seeing a variety of places without the hassle of checking in and out of hostels or hotels was nice and the choice of food and entertainment was good but I do like exploring places for longer than a few hours. Plus I was sick on the first two days so felt as though I wasted a bit of my holiday feeling like shite. 

If you are going on a cruise I would definitely recommend researching the places you are visiting extensively before you go as your time is so limited you may find you waste it. 

Have you been on a cruise? Where did you go and what did you think?

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