Would you like to go on a cruise?

What a question! I bet anyone would answer, “Of course, I’d like to go on a cruise, if I could.”

Well, prepare to sail with me on a voyage of discovery where we will be introduced to spectacular vistas, visit new sites with historical significance, experience new cultures and fresh perspectives.

Are you ready? For fourteen days we will live on the ship for a memorable Baltic Sea cruise. Of course, when I travel I always bring my Kindle, loaded with new books to read.

We sail from Southampton, England, a port on the English Channel, located at about two hours from Heathrow Airport, London. The cruise line guarantees a stress-free vacation–as much as possible. No need to rent a car or call a taxi to drive to the port. Usually agents from the cruise line receive you at the airport and lead you to a bus. Once you entrust your luggage to the bus driver, they are safe. You will find them on the ship at the door of your state room.

In spite of an uncomfortable long night in the plane, our traveling companions present a  smile of joyful anticipation and stare at the window to catch a glimpse of the British countryside.

Soon we arrive at the terminal where our ship is docked. During check-in, we receive two plastic cards that become our ID cards aboard, room keys and credit cards. Nothing beats the exhilaration we feel while striding along the jet-bridge, the gangway, leading to the ship. Boarding the ship is my favorite moment, the beginning of the cruise.

When all crew and passengers are on-board, we attend the Passenger Muster Drill and learn the basics of safety on a ship and emergency evacuation, after which the ship departs while a band plays on the top deck. I love watching the ship moving away from the dock and starts its journey.

Visiting the old city of Bruges and sailing through the many canals.

During the Baltic Sea cruise, our first day stop is in Belgium with an excursion to the historic old city of Bruges.

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