On a Stern View

Fortunately, we enjoy cruising. Unfortunately, we discovered it later in life.

I think of cruising as a traveling hotel. The ship hauls us around from port to port, yet we only go through one unpacking-packing cycle.

To celebrate our 30th anniversary in 2007, we had a fabulous 12-day cruise of Italy and Croatia. Simply one of the best vacations ever, but not our first cruise. It was on this trip where I discovered one of my highlights of cruising: that first glimpse of a new port as soon as I awaken in the morning. Simply, what does this new port look like?

On that cruise, our cabin was on the back of the ship. At the first stop, the ship had to anchor in the bay, thus tender visitors to the town. Fortunately, that first view on that day was high on the Wow factor – looking across the water to the small town with its colorful buildings pressed up against the hills of the Italian coast visually saying Benvenuto a Portofino!


Enjoy each of the short videos capturing Portofino’s beauty.


47 thoughts on “On a Stern View

  1. I’ve only been on two cruises in my life. The first, I had a whole set of plans made – and promptly jettisoned them when given the chance to escort Grace Lee Whitney on the cruise. After that, the view was pretty much the same thing every day, but I was having a GREAT time! ;)
    The second time, I actually got to do sightseeing and such with the wife-to-be. The only hiccup on that cruise was on our way out of Florida. We were on what appeared to be a liquid highway, ships going out stretched out in front and behind us, ships coming back to Florida off to port. With all these huge ships lit up like Christmas trees, and my wife and a whole slew of strangers standing around me, I made a comment about all those juicy U-boat targets out there in the water. 8O
    To this day, I have no idea where everybody went, but I was suddenly alone with my wife…… :D

    • John,
      I know your Grace Lee Whitney experience is a wonderful highlight in your life. Of course, your U-boat target comment cracks me up. Oh my … Thanks for sharing as I’m still chuckling.

    • Spiced,
      You strike me as the type who would enjoy cruising. Cruises are offered throughout the world, so take your pick. Checkout the itineraries at some of the big cruise companies as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Princess. Heck, looking at possibilities is fun in itself. Thanks for visiting.

  2. I enjoy hearing about your experiences on cruises. You have a positive note. My wife and I are scared of not seeing the shoreline, so cruises are out for sure, so I will relish your pics and chats about them. We are such afraidy cats I am not sure we would leave the lower 48 states. My brother in law had a fantastic cruise from Seattle to Alaska by the way.

    • Randel,
      An important question: Would you and your wife go if you could see the shoreline? I say that because that can be accomplished with an Alaskan cruise because of the general tracks: north bound, south bound, and loop. The first two are out … but the Vancouver to Vancouver typically stays within the inside passage. So, most of the time, there’s shoreline on both sides! Something to keep in mind. Thanks for visiting and sharing.

  3. I’m glad you posted this blog! I remember you telling me a while ago you’d write about Portofino. I love cruises….. once you cruise, you never go back! Have you ever been to Australia? That’s one of my dream places to go….

    • Java,
      Wow … what a memory! I had this ready for some time, when sometimes getting the post active is a matter of timing. Sorry to say, we haven’t been to Australia, but we have friends who are flying to Australia to cruise sometime in the next 6-9 months. Nonetheless, we would like to visit the Land Down Under, too. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Around the same time you visited Portofino, one of my friends visited, too. He loved it. He didn’t do a cruise, but he still managed to find his bliss there. Since I can’t swim, I’m not a boat person, but this destination looks gorgeous.

    • TBM.
      Bummer that she won’t go. We didn’t go on our first cruise until being married for 20+ years. Actually, neither one of us had the urge because we limited cruising to the Caribbean. But then friends invited us to join them for an Alaskan cruise … pow! Our perception quickly changed!!! Needless to say, we’ve cruised since that trip … and the one in this post was 5 years ago (2007). Thanks for visiting.

  5. So beautiful dear Frank, fascinating me always…Portofino, has a song and very old one, my mom was singing this song… reminded me now. Thank you, have a nice day and Congratulations for you both. Blessing and Happiness, love, nia

  6. Portofino looks AMAZING! Though I love boats, I don’t think I would enjoy a cruise…or really any ‘all-inclusive’ type vacation. I mean…what if I got off the boat in some port, met people I liked and wanted to hang out for a few days..or a month? ;)

    • Alex,
      Ah ha … you must be more of a freelance traveler. :) … thus in that case, I agree that cruises are for you. After all, if they say the ship leaves port at 5 pm, it leaves at 5 pm. Nonetheless, I’m not surprised you enjoyed the scenes from Portofino. Thanks for commenting.

  7. I’ve never been on a cruise. After reading your words and watching both videos it has me thinking maybe one day this might be a great way to see some of the places I’ve only dreamed about. I can imagine how exciting it would be to wake up in the morning like a kid at Christmas to see a new port with new travel adventures for the day. :+)

    • Paradise,
      This cruise was wonderful … 12-days of just Italy and Croatia! For another post about this trip, see my reply to Starla for the link. … and glad to note that you too appreciate a different view each morning! Thanks for visiting within your busy schedule.

  8. What a beautiful city! And it must have been a truly magical experience for you both. What a special way to celebrate a major anniversary, Frank. I can definitely see the advantage to enjoying the amenities of the cruise ship, using it as home base while taking in lovely days walking and exploring. The videos are lovely. I love the soft pastel shades of the houses. It really is anothe world! Debra

  9. My parents loved cruising and took many wonderful and exotic trips, I think they took this one. They always came back with wonderful pictures and tales.

    I on the other hand am not terribly enamored of it. But then I have only been once and the company wasn’t good. So I am trying not to judge. I wan’t to take a cruise down the Amazon, that is my dream cruise.

    • Lynn,
      How odd that Margie and I posted Portofino on the same day! So between the two posts, you got a good taste for the setting. :) Hope you make it … PS: And you would be that far from Cinque Terra!!! Thanks for commenting.

  10. First six months of my marriage we sailed from one place to another..it was a merchant navy ship and we used to sail for longer time but getting up to see a new port,new country was so much fun…
    loved the video

  11. Frank, this is such a coincidence that we both posted similar photos from bello Portofino! I enjoyed the videos you posted very much. Lynn, you would love it here. There are so many blooming colorful flowers all around too! A truly beautiful town on the coast of Italy…and yes Cinque Terre is just a little further up the coast! More beauty! Thanks for stopping by my blog!!

    • Margie,
      Yes, so odd that we posted the same day. Maybe that Cincinnati connection created some vibes! :) I will enjoy your blog as I’m not that far off the boat. My mother never got US citizenship. I still have aunts and first cousins in Tuscany. My dad was first generation born here. My two sides are from each side of Lucca. And to top it off, I was born in Trieste. Hence reasons why I subscribed to your blog. Thanks for visiting.

  12. Beautiful stuff. I have to confess I’m a bit of a misanthrope so the cruise thing never quite appealed to me. Maybe it’s the horror stories of the GI bugs hitting a ship. I realize it’s somewhat irrational, but I guess I have another 30 years of traveling to do so a cruise may someday be in our future.

    • Mike,
      Welcome first-time commenter and thanks for following the trail. :) Well, the cruises with the bugs do make the news, but the those with successful journeys don’t. Although there are many more successes, one doesn’t know when you start … just like boarding a plane. But successful cruises are a wonderful vacation! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you return.

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