The best cruise destinations and our cruise bucket list

The best cruise destinations and our cruise bucket list

Since our first cruise we fell in love with cruising. We were surprised by just how much we all loved it.  For us it proved to be a real holiday that the whole family could enjoy. After our first cruise we booked a second that departed just 6 weeks after our return. This year we had two cruises booked but owing to the current pandemic one has been cancelled and the other well, watch this space. The cancellation of our summer cruise is a real shame as it was an itinerary that we were so looking forward to. Hopefully there will be more opportunities in the future but for now it is plainly the best decision. So in the absence of cruising I have put together a bucket list of fantastic cruise destinations we have and hope to visit one day.

Dream cruise destinations 

I will start with places we are yet to cruise but would love to. 

Baltic cruise

It was this cruise we were due to embark upon. We had treated ourselves to an upgraded deluxe balcony room. One thing we learnt form cruising Norway is that there can be some amazing scenery and we had hoped the route this cruise was to take would offer up some great views for us to admire from our balcony.

This cruise was due to depart from Southampton and sail to Warnemunde in Germany first. I love Germany, having studied German for many years and been many times I was very excited to return. Warnemunde is just a 10 minute drive from the historic and beautifully picturesque town of Rostock that looks picture perfect. I was so keen to visit here and walk amongst the old European buildings and German culture. Other destinations on our route included Tallinn, somewhere that would be a real treat to experience as it is not your typical holiday destination. The same applies for Helsinki and Copenhangen where we also due to dock. A two day stop in St Petersburg was also on the itinerary and it was probably here I was most excited to visit. The chances of us embarking on a family holiday to Russia are very slim but getting a 48 hour experience of this Russian city felt a real privilege. It has always fascinated me and I was so very excited about this port. There is so much history and culture to see and experience I couldn’t wait to soak it up and show it to my children. I am very disappointed we won’t get to experience this. Another stop on the route was Stockholm. I have heard nothing but amazing reviews of Stockholm – well other than the cost of things. We had already booked a trip to an ice bar and a wonder round the old town, which we were greatly looking forward to.

This cruise, or indeed the destinations on this cruise, deserve a post of their own and I could go on and on about the research I had already undertaken. The itinerary offers up so much variety and so many different experiences that it firmly deserves a spot on our bucket list and I so hope we get to embark on it one day. 

Northern Lights 

The northern lights have always fascinated me. I suspect reading Philip Paulman’s Dark Materials trilogy in my teen years had something to do with it. That said as I have aged my interest in it has grown with me. I remember talking with a couple we met on a cruise who had done a northern lights cruise (the thing about cruises is you’ll always end up talking to someone who has done all kinds of incredible cruises) and they really sold it to me. The cruise they did involved two ships as they sailed into the real depths of the frozen north – the second ship was a back-up rescue ship. Yes really. Now as exciting as that sounds it might not be my first choice for a family cruise. I would be more likely to book a northern lights cruise around say Norway, Iceland, or Alaska. Having cruised to Norway before I would absolutely return.

The northern lights, or the Aurora Borealis, are  a majestic natural phenomenon that illuminate the sky. To do them justice I have taken an extract from the northern lights centre

‘the displays appear in many colours although pale green and pink are the most common. Shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet have been reported. The lights appear in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow.’

What a sight it would be.

What is more when you cruise a route that takes you to experience this wonderful spectacle you get to visit some incredible towns and countries on your way. Itineraries can include stops that allow you to visit Norway’s infamous Trolls Road, Iceland’s capital Reykjavik or the breathtaking taking fjords, icebergs and wildlife adventures of Alaska. Alaska and Canada is another cruise destination I would absolutely love to visit and had grand ideas to add it to our holiday plans for for 2021 but given the exceptional circumstances we’re in this is currently under review.

Northern lights - cruise bucket list.
Photo Credit CruiseandMaritime.com

Panama Canal

I once watched a documentary about a cruise ship passing through the Panama Canal and I was sold. It showed the guests lining the decks watching as the Captain carefully navigated through (the very) narrow waters. It is generally considered a ‘bucket list’ cruise and I can see why. It is a man made waterway that connects the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean that guarantees gorgeous scenery on either side of the ship. What is more a lot of itineraries often include stops in the Western Caribbean, Costa Rica or Cuba – bucket list material yet again. If you travel between November and April you’ll miss the rainy season and get to soak up some winter sun too. 

Castaway Cay

So this may not be your traditional cruise destination goals but for those with kids this one is definitely for you.

Castaway Cay is Disney’s very own island in the Bahamas – does it get much more perfect that that? You’ll access it via a Disney cruise liner, essentially Mecca for children, and adults alike. It has pristine beaches, beautiful waters and glorious white sand. There is a supervised kids club on the island for parents needing a bit of down time in the adult only Serenity Bay or if they wish to partake in the Castaway Cay 5k. There is a designated family fun beach full of games, music, water sports, BBQs,  a snorkelling lagoon and a 2400 square foot water play area to name just a few of the things to do on this magical island. I would absolutely love to be able to take my children to experience this little slice of Paradise. 


Royal Caribbean also have a private island in the Bahamas known as CocoCay and this looks incredible too. So much so they have trademarked it Perfect Day at CocoCay. There is so much to do on the island from gorgeous chill out spots to adrenaline filled water rides and ziplinning. It looks to be an absolutely incredible and jam packed perfect day for the whole family, see what I did there?

Cruises from experience

I will just briefly touch on some of the fantastic experiences that we have had and why they are worth embarking on. 

Norway

As mentioned our first cruise was a Norwegian Fjords cruise. We had just spent the summer in Spain and thought this would be a totally different holiday experience. We cruised early September and had fabulous weather. On our last day in Bergen we sunbathed in beautiful 23 degree sunshine as the sail away party was in full swing. The fjords were breathtaking and the views incredible. The country was clean and friendly, albeit expensive. It was only a week long cruise sailing from the UK but it was incredible. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anybody.

The Caribbean 

What a truly unforgettable experience this was. It was everything I hope it would be and so much more. I have long been fascinated by the Caribbean and it’s vibrant culture, I suspect growing up in Bristol and spending summers going to St Paul’s festival has something to do with this. You can read all about our Caribbean experience by following the links below. It was an unforgettable holiday that I am incredibly thankful to have experienced.

Other posts you might like

Alternativel you can watch our cruises on our YoutTube channel HERE

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There are so many amazing cruise destinations its hard to know where to start. Here is a list of some of the must see cruise destinations and cruise itineraries along with our bucket list cruises. #cruises #cruisedestinations #cruiseitinerary

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