TRAVEL GUIDE Cruising 1 Our cruise: Long and short

The length of time you select to join a cruise will offer you various elements to your experience writes MICHAEL FERRANTE

Times have changed for Melanie Anderson, whose first experience of the high seas was a voyage from her birthplace in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) to her new home in Western Australia many years ago.

“It was far from enjoyable,” she recalls. “We (the family) were on one of those old passenger liners and I was sick for the entire trip.”

Fast forward to now and she’s a self-confessed “cruise junkie” with a host of different boating experiences under her belt — from canal, houseboat and Kimberley expedition holidays to sailing on a gulet (a two-masted or three-masted wooden sailing vessel in Turkey) and giant cruise ships.

“In the last few years my partner Harry and I have been on cruises to Hawaii, the Mediterranean, New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands and just recently New Zealand,” she says.

The ships they have sailed on include the Ruby Princess, Sea Princess, Pride of America, and the Radiance of the Seas.

“We have found many advantages to cruising not the least of which is the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world and we have met many interesting characters this way.”

For Dave and Diane White their 40-night-plus Sea Princess cruise in 2016 was an especially emotional one. 

The voyage from Fremantle, through the Suez Canal to the Middle East evoked memories of Dave’s father Frederick and what he must have endured as he sailed off to fight in World War II aged 19. 

Dave and Diane then went on to Europe, Russia, Scandinavia and England as part of that cruise. 

The couple love cruises so much they have booked three cruises back-to-back later this year. 

“We’ve made lifelong friends and on our very first cruise in 1998 we met a couple from the UK who we are still great friends with,” Diane says. 

Garry and Val Carter are seasoned cruisers, having embarked on their first cruise in 1959, back when washbasins in the cabin were a luxury and toilets and showers were shared.

Since retiring, Garry and Val have done several epic cruises including several from Southampton in the UK to Fremantle — the longest was via the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and the Pacific for 54 days. 

Their cruises include a 16-day transatlantic voyage taking in the Norwegian fjords, Iceland and Prince Christian Sound, finishing in New York.

Garry, 81, says their most memorable, though, was to the Baltics in 2007 then on to Scandinavia, and being bathed in 24-hour sunshine in the northern summer. 

“To this day we have made many lifelong friends who we still keep in contact with and catch up with when we are in the same city,” he says. 

“Obviously as we are now getting older, cruises make it even more comfortable for us to continue to travel and see the world.” 

We thank the travellers who took the time to share their adventures from the cruise deck for this guide. 

There was such a strong response for information, so keep a lookout for more stories and pictures from the high seas in my regular cruising column.

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