While voyages to this region were on pause for a long time after the onset of Covid, cruises to Asia are finally restarting once again. Among the standout itineraries for 2023 are sailings that visit some of the countrysides of Japan; peaceful cruises that visit temples and tranquil beaches in Thailand and Indonesia; and voyages that focus on the region’s biggest cities, including Taipei, Hanoi, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
In fact, Galzy says he loved his time in Asia so much, he decided to move to Bali, where he’s lived for the past six years.
What is the most scenic port you’ve ever sailed into?
The French city of Bordeaux is among “the most scenic, beautiful ports I have had the pleasure of sailing into,” Galzy says. With its Gothic and Romanesque buildings sitting right on the water’s edge, not to mention the region’s plentiful chateaux and vineyards, cruisers will want to ensure they’re on-deck to take in the vista while docking in the city, which itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Which part of the ship has the best views?
When looking for the best views on board, first-timer cruisers might be tempted to go all the way to the top deck. But, according to Galzy, it’s the opposite. “The heart of the ship offers the best views,” he says. On lower, more central decks you can look out over the waterline, and you have a better chance of spotting sea life like jumping dolphins – considered a good omen among sailors. The heart of Galzy’s ship, Seven Seas Splendor, is home to his General Manager’s office and reception, but it also houses the ship’s sweeping atrium, a cocktail lounge, passenger-favourite restaurant Pacific Rim, and an infinity pool off the aft deck for uninterrupted views of the vessel’s wake, ocean, and sunset.
What’s your best packing tip for long trips at sea?
Strategic packing can be vital to enjoying a cruise. Passengers should focus on packing their clothes in a way to avoid wrinkles, according to Galzy, and bring “a good book to read poolside or before bedtime.”
Avoiding wrinkles is key when packing for a cruise, as irons aren’t allowed in staterooms (and the cost of laundering and pressing clothes can be exorbitant). Savvy cruisers know to unpack as soon as they arrive on board as well as to bring wrinkle-release spray to avoid looking rumpled. Some frequent cruisers also bring over-the-door organisers in order to maximise closet and storage space. Other essential items to bring on a cruise include a refillable water bottle, a rain jacket, and a travel plug adapter.
And don’t worry if you forget your book or don’t have room for a chunky tome in your suitcase: many cruise ships come with lending libraries where passengers can find a wide range of reading material, from thrillers to historical biographies and travel books on upcoming destinations.
What cruise excursion should every cruiser should do at least once?
Although some veteran cruisers skip shore excursions to enjoy ship amenities like the spa or pools with fewer crowds present, some tours are unmissable, according to Galzy. One that every passenger should take? “Al-Khazneh [also known as the Treasury building], located in Petra, Jordan, which was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007,” he says. “I recommend arriving at the temple ‘Indiana Jones’ style – on horseback!”