Welcome to part four of the Sunday feature on my blog The Officer Wife Series Travel & Cruise Tips Q & A. As you know I travel the world on a cruise ship with my husband, who is an officer on a cruise ship. This is why I thought this would be a fun Sunday feature with my friends that also are officer wives.
This week we will feature Jade. She is from the USA and she travels with her husband onboard, most of the year. Jade loves to read, explore new places and is an is an expert in travel and cruising.
LET’S SEE WHAT TRAVEL AND CRUISE TIPS JADE HAS FOR YOU
What is your favourite place in the world?
I get asked this question a lot!!! And honestly, I don’t think I have ever responded with the same answer twice. Why? Because its hard to determine what makes a place your favourite.
Is it the people you were with? The delicious lunch you had? Or the moment you were able to check off that one thing you have been wanting to see on your bucket list?
With that said, I think the city of Istanbul is one of my favourites because from the minute you arrive sailing down the Bosphorus your breath is taken away. You SEE the minarets from all the mosques lining the waterfront.
You HEAR the call to prayer when the clock strikes 12, and you can SMELL the delicious cuisine from the restaurants nearby. Not to mention the sights of the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia are beyond belief.
What is your favourite cruise?
I would have to say without a doubt that the Grand Mediterranean cruise is by far one of the best cruises that is offered. Sailing out of Venice and ending in Barcelona, the Grand Med offers stops in Athens, Santorini and Mykonos for Greece.
In Italy, you can see Rome, Florence, Pisa and Naples and at the time we were doing the cruise it also made stops in Istanbul and Kusadasi in Turkey.
I remember completing that cruise thinking I have seen more in the past two weeks than most people see in their lifetime. It’s definitely a port heavy cruise but if it’s the world you’re interested in seeing that’s the best one out there.
What is your favourite part of cruising?
I think it’s a given that one of the best things about cruising is only having to unpack and pack once with the joy of seeing so many places in one go.
Not to mention everything you need in the comfort of a beautiful cruise ship. It is always so nice to come back from a day out exploring to a nice, refreshed room and a tasty meal in one of the ships dining venues.
How many countries have you been to?
I just recently counted and I believe I am at 63. But interesting enough, last year we had a very busy travelling itinerary and I visited 38 countries alone.
We started out in the United States travelling to the Caribbean, spent some time in Europe, crossed the Suez Canal to Africa and then flew to Asia. Funny enough, the one area we really didn’t cover is where we have started off 2018, Australia and New Zealand.
What are the beauty products that you cannot travel without?
Dry Shampoo!! I once spent a day in Japan looking for some, and although I did find a bottle that said Dry Shampoo, it wasn’t the same and from that day on I vowed to never leave home without it.
My other two must-haves are Face wipes (when you’re off on a long day exploring in the heat) and lipstick (my favourite colour is MAC Pretty Please which I have been using for almost 15 years).
Apart from those items, I’m not really picky about products. Obviously, I pack the essentials and over time I have figured out what brands work for me and what ones to avoid.
Do you have any packing tips?
You would think that I would be a professional packer by now but I am the worst. I start off with every intention to pack minimal and very neatly but let’s be honest, as I start looking through the closet I throw in things that I really don’t need but think MAYBE I will want to wear it in a particular place.
This usually leads me to cross my fingers when I arrive at the airline check-in desk and it’s time to weigh my bag….
Do you have any travel tips?
Stay calm. There have been countless times where I have missed flights, flights have been cancelled, bags have gotten lost, sat next to the most annoying person on the plane or just have had some encounter with a mean airline person where you want to scream and then pretty much cry.
In the past few years, I have come to terms with the fact that these things are going to happen and I just try to stay relaxed and calm. There is always someone out there who is probably having a worst off day than you, so try to let things go and in the end, it will all work out and most importantly you get to where you need to go.
Do you keep healthy or eat what you like when travelling onboard?
My husband is Italian and normally works with other Italians, so trying to sit down and have a salad while they are all eating a delicious bowl of pasta is impossible. So the answer to your question is no.
But I am selective with my eating. Meaning, if I know that I’m going out to lunch, I might have a very light breakfast. Or if we’re going out for dinner and I know there are lots of things that I am going to enjoy, I might skip lunch.
I know this type of diet doesn’t work for everyone, but when you are on a cruise ship for a long time, the food gets repetitive and you tend to become a little more selective when it comes what you want to eat.
Do you exercise when onboard, if so what you do to keep fit?
For the first 7 years onboard I hardly ever went to the gym. Actually, there were periods of time that I never even made it to the deck where the gym was located.
The beginning of every contract, I had every intention to go to the gym and then, of course, I never went. Just recently, I think because I turned 30 and realized I should probably get back to exercising, I now go to the gym regularly and I have to say I love it. Let’s be honest, no one ever finishes a work out feeling bad that they went.
What do you do with your time onboard?
It always varies. One thing though is that I am always reading. I love sitting down with a coffee and reading a book. I had someone come up to me one time and ask me, “why I am on a cruise if all I do is read.” Well, I wanted to say its none of your business but instead, I nicely smiled and said: “its what I enjoy.”
Needless to say it really just depends. There are some itineraries where I go ashore a lot; shopping, out for lunch or off to explore. There are some itineraries where I have friends onboard, so we spend a lot of our time together. And of course, there are times where I might be a bit bored. But you can’t complain too much when you have the ocean surrounding you and adventure at your fingertips.
I hope you enjoyed reading part four of the Officer Wife Series with Jade. She offered some great cruise tips and next week you can read more Q & A’s with another officer wife.
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Love Lucy x