” The Sea Rebel “
It was in Athens, Greece I finally began the last part of my voyage around the world. In the port of Piraeus, I boarded my 3rd cruise ship during this journey – the Princess Cruise Lines Ship the Sea Princess. At 77,499 GT she was far larger than the Pacific Princess at 30,277 GT (which I was on for 107 days) or the Louis Olympia at 37,584 GT (which I was on for 4 days). There are advantages and disadvantages to both bigger and smaller ships. Having now gone on 22 cruises including two of the three biggest cruise ships in the world the NCL’s Norwegian Epic at 155,873 GT (in 2011) and Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas (also in 2011) at an even more astounding 225,282 GT I feel safe in saying that while the larger ships give you many more choices they lose that feeling on intimacy and importance that you have on the smaller ships. Just in case you were wondering, the RMS Titanic was 46,328 GRT when she sank in on the 14th of April in 1912.
I would be spending 50 more days on the Sea Princess before she would dock in San Pedro, CA and I would be back home to Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley and my Home in Rosemead, CA. Still, it was a great relief not be packing and unpacking my luggage until I reached home. Many of those days I would hear the Dierks Bentley song “Home” playing in my head. It gave me comfort and pleasure as I knew that at long last I was returning to see my family and friends and as the song says “the place that I was born”.
There was still much more for me to see before my ship got home. First the sights and sounds of many ports in Europe: Mytilene, Istanbul (my 3rd time in Turkey on this trip), Naples Cititavecchia, Livorno, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Cadiz, Lisbon, Cobh, Dublin, Greenock, Le Havre, Dover, Rotterdam, Copenhagen and Oslo. Nor did I always just stay in these ports for example from La Hevre I went on to visit Paris and from Rotterdam I went on to visit Amsterdam. In England, due to the lack of time, I stayed in Dover so I still have yet to go to London (but it’s on my bucket list). In Oslo, I ate lunch at a TGI Fridays (and it turned out to be my last meal in Europe). The Sea Princess was supposed to go to Torshavn (in the Faroe Islands) but we could not land because of the rough seas (just like the Pacific Princess at Easter Island).
It was eight straight sea days crossing the Atlantic till we reached New York City (on July 25th) and sailed by the Statue of Liberty. It had been a long time since I had been In the United States (the Pacific Princess had left Florida on Jan. 27, 2013) and while it was great to be back at the U.S.A. – New York is not California.
My 204-day adventure was still not over. A planned stop at Antigua was aborted because of a hurricane but replaced by an unscheduled stop in Curacao. We also stopped in Aruba (where I had been in 2011) and Puntarentas in Costa Rica (my 4th time there). The Sea Princess finally sailed into San Pedro on August 10, 2013 just as planned, my trip around the world finally done. I had visited 48 foreign countries along the way and traveled more miles than I can calculate.
It is often said that it is the people you meet that is the best part of any journey. The reason that you hear that is because it so true. More than the places that I visited it is the people I met along the way that I will remember most. The song that is playing in my head today is “Compass” by Lady Antebellum for it too gives me comfort and pleasure and has me smiling as well.
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