If you are reading this article, you love cruising. You are counting down the days until the industry resumes operations. It’s fun to think about favorite ports you have visited.
These are the ones I would return to in a heartbeat.
In no particular order, they are:
- Malta. It’s been called one of the most visually beautiful harbors to experience as your ship approaches the city of Valetta. You are in the Mediterranean. You think you know what towns and cities to expect. Suddenly you see a low-rise city, laid out on a grid system. It’s beautiful to behold. There’s history. Caravaggio paintings. Important in history for many reasons, St. Paul is probably their most famous tourist.
- New York City. It’s been called the center of the universe. The skyline is breathtaking. You pass the Statue of Liberty. You sail under the Verrazano Bridge. It’s a city of superlatives. Fine dining. Broadway theater. World class museums. Central Park. There’s never enough time to explore. You need several visits.
- The Azores. It’s in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Columbus stopped there. Our ship stopped in Ponta Delgada. The Azores have been called “an emerging tourist destination.” This group of islands, part of Portugal, hasn’t been spoiled or overrun with tourists. Walking through the town toward the beach is a pleasant experience. Sidewalk cafes. Fresh seafood.
- Bermuda. It’s perfect on so many levels. Pink sand beaches. Turquoise waters. It gets a lot of tourists. It can be expensive. They have managed to preserve the charm of what makes the island enduringly popular. It has that British vibe, when you see the policeman directing traffic immaculately clad in Bermuda shorts and tall socks. On one visit we wandered into a courtroom, sat and watched the proceedings.
- Dubrovnik. It’s impossibly beautiful. A walled city where every square inch seems to have been restored. It’s largely a pedestrian only walled city. The stone streets seem worm smooth by millions of tourists. The architecture and foliage take your breath away.
- Lisbon. We love it. like the “goldilocks” fable, it’s not too big, not too small. It’s just right. The streets are paved in small round stones. Painted ceramic tiles are everywhere. The foliage is magnificent. We took a short train ride to a small beach town, sat in a sidewalk café, ordered a seafood tower and washed it down with local wine.
- Barcelona. It’s been discovered. It still has its charms. The architecture is stunning. Las Ramblas is great for people watching. It’s paella for lunch and tapas for a grazing dinner. The Spanish seem to like eating late and stopping at several places for these “small plates” washed down with local wine. The Mercado de la Boqueria, is their famous food market. It’s a great place to dine at a counter or cafe, pickup food for a picnic or people watch.
- San Francisco. There is so much to like. The hilly streets. The cable cars. The Golden Gate Bridge. Union Square. Sourdough bread. Fresh seafood. The Napa Valley is a short drive away, meaning the world class local wine is in abundance.
- Monaco. Monte Carlo is famous. It’s been said the Principality is smaller than New York’s Central Park. On our visit, the ship docked at the furthest pier imaginable, but hopefully they fixed that problem. Big yachts. People watching. It’s the gateway to the French Riviera. It’s easy to get to Nice, Cannes and St. Tropez.
- Fort Lauderdale. It’s been called “The Venice of America.” Lots of canals. Houses with docks at the end of their lawns. plenty of fresh seafood. Famous beaches. Good shopping on historic Las Olas Boulevard.
You likely have favorite ports too. Just thinking about them has gotten me ready for another cruise!
Cover Photo: Golden Gate Bridge ©Dennis Cox/WorldViews (Official photographer of All Things Cruise)