It seems a long time ago that we boarded the Seven Seas Navigator in Darwin Australia, in pouring rain, and yet it also seems just like yesterday! But we are on day 46 of this cruise and due to debark in Civitavecchia (Rome) the day after tomorrow and head for home.

We have spent the past almost 7 weeks with around 350 people who are doing the world cruise, with others joining and leaving on the individual segments of the trip. The main group will finish in about 20 days time in Miami, but we are leaving early as I had been sent to the Voyager in Auckland for the 26th January.

And so we can reflect on this cruise which has seen us travel through 4 continents – Australasia, Asia, Africa and Europe, experiencing a multitude of cultures, menus and sites. From the rain in Darwin to the dragons of Komodo Island, the sultry heat of Bali, the volcanic islands of Thailand, the history of Malaya, the chaos that is Colombo Sri Lanka and the mysteries and delights of 5 days in India. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are modern tinsel towns resting on the income of oil, but struggling to find a new identity as holiday resorts with artificial style. The Crowne Plaza beach resort in Oman was so good we even checked the prices for a possible holiday, and we were swept across the desert dunes at Wadi Rum in Jordan, and transited the enlarged Suez Canal to reach Haifa. A daylong trip to the Dead Sea and the fortress of Masada was exhausting but full of wonder and fun as we first explored the ruins atop the monolithic mountain and then floated in the thick saline that constitutes the lowest part of planet earth!

Cyprus and Greece offered opportunities to taste the joys of a Mediterranean menu again and gaze of ruins of centuries past. And so to the Strait of Messina and onward to Rome airport for the blessedly short flight back to Malaga. It’s been a busy time with lectures (22) and cabaret shows (8), and Julie has entertained with the card making sessions. We have been asked to do the ‘world’ next year, and whilst we cannot do it all we plan to join the Navigator in Australia and do most of it….I reckon that it means 40+ lectures and many shows! But we have more cruises to do before then….if we can stay strong and fit!