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Aboard the Azamara Journey – Part Four

Az the World Turns

Our last ports-of-call: Dublin, Dartmouth, Guernsey, Southampton

Dublin

Dublin

Dublin, a delightful city. People are free and generous with their sense of humor. You can tell they like to laugh. We took a morning walking tour of town given by a Dubliner named Claire. We visited various highlights including the immense and gorgeously landscaped Stevens Park. Throughout town we pass statues and monuments memorializing famous Irish literary figures such as James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. The museums are free, there’s the National Library where one can do genealogy research, and there is great shopping. In fact, Dublin is the only stop on this cruise where I’ve purchased anything: two plaid wool scarves and two wool winter hats. We had a midnight departure so Peter & I went ashore after dinner. We came across excellent bands playing in the streets and handsome happy youth everywhere.

Dublin at Night

Dublin at Night

Dartmouth, a city of history. This is where the Crusades embarked, as well as the Pilgrims departed for the new world. Peter & I opted for the guided tour of the Royal Naval Academy where all British naval officers are trained. Our guide, Mike, is a local maritime history professor. This tour was a virtual crash-course in British maritime history; it’s war battles, admirals and heroes…though don’t test me! After the tour Peter and I walked around the picturesque town, shops and waterfront of Dartmouth. The houses are built straight up the hillsides from the River Dart, reminiscent of my hometown of Sausalito.

Royal Naval Academy in Dartmouth

Royal Naval Academy in Dartmouth

St. Peter Port, Guernsey, a tax haven for the mega-rich. What a beautiful island this is, green, clean, landscaped, beautiful homes, and like all our stops this cruise, it is steeped in a rich history and maintains a proud independent culture. Our guide says the residents are sometimes called donkeys because of their stubbornness. I did notice postcards with images of kicking donkeys and wondered why since the only animals I saw were the namesake tan and white Guernsey cows, and the odd free roaming chicken. Our tour stopped at the Little Chapel, a miniature church made out of broken tile donated by Wedgwood. We also visited a handful of German bunkers left over from the occupation during WWII. Nowadays one must be a millionaire to live here as houses start around half a million pounds for non-natives…slightly less for the locals.

Mosaic Chapel in Guernsey

Mosaic Chapel in Guernsey

Southampton, a maritime city and the end of our Azamara cruise. As one who has never been to the United Kingdom, it’s been a great “sampler” having now visited Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, and Guernsey. Which was my favorite destination? Well, besides the ship itself I’ll have to say I loved them all…now I want to revisit each of them and delve deeper into the smaller towns and the beautiful countryside.

Aboard The Azamara Journey – Part Three

The pace of port visits is picking up on this cruise onboard the Azamara Journey. We’re visiting a new port, strike that, a new world every day now.

Liverpool is not at all what I expected. It’s alive, modern and vibrant. Liverpool has a mix of history and ultra-modernity that works. It also has one of the most beautifully designed waterfronts I’ve visited by sea. There’s a lovely pier dotted with modern museums, such as the Tate Liverpool, and historical buildings, as well as interpretive signage and even bicycles to rent by the hour.

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Aboard The Azamara Journey – Part Two


Located just outside the city of Edinburgh, one crosses over one of the two Forth Road bridges to reach the only kingdom in Scotland, the Kingdom of Fife.

There, on top of a green hill (all hills are green in Scotland even though it’s the middle of August) resides the renowned local chef, Jenny Thomson, along with her husband Kenneth and two young children. The house is an 18th-century stone manse set among the most gorgeous gardens.

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Aboard The Azamara Journey: Part One


Land ahoy! Our first stop on this British Isles cruise is Edinburgh, the ancestral home of my husband’s paternal great great greats. We spent a day and a half crossing the North Sea from Copenhagen, the ancestral home of MY paternal great grandparents. Every serious cruise should start with a blue water crossing to remind us that we are AT SEA, not sitting and sleeping in a land-based hotel…no lily-livered land-lovers us!


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Fragrances of Cruises Past

Az The World Turns - Written by Bonnie MacLaird

I am somewhat sentimental about my past travels. And for me fragrances trigger my “scentimental” memories. Passing through my day-to-day life, certain scents will trigger memories of a cruise line scent and I’m back in time experiencing life onboard with whichever line I associate with that scent. For example, many years ago onboard Seabourn Cruise Line it was a specific Tiffany & Co. soap. But it is also their brand of cleaning products. There’s an elevator at a high-end restaurant in Sausalito I frequent with the identical smell as the elevators on Seabourn. While riding to the second floor of this bayside restaurant my mind invariably returns to and imagines I’m going to dinner at The Restaurant. I remember the maitre d’ greeting us and escorting me to our table.

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