2016 – Year in review

I started this, as I always do, thinking that it’s been a relatively quiet year, but as I started to delve deeper into the past 12 months it quickly became clear that the year has been anything but!

2016 has been a year of highs and lows, both globally, nationally and personally.  There are a great deal of moments filled with joy, but equally sadness.  I guess as they say, c’est la vie!

Let’s have a canter through the year that was 2016.

The start of the year was highlighted by an amazing trip to Miami and cruise on Celebrity Reflection around the Western Caribbean.  I’ve always loved Miami and its culture, so I always love spending time there.  I think the highlight was seeing and experiencing the culture of Little Havana.

Celebrity Reflection is a truly beautiful ship and an amazing space to spend time in as your sail across the Caribbean. She has a great contemporary design with some very well laid out spaces.  For me the highlight is the stunning atrium which leads to several interesting venues, including the signature Martini Bar.

The week after coming back from Miami it was road trip time, where a group of us travelled to North Somerset and spent a long weekend in Watchet.  A classic British harbour town, Watchet is a small picturesque town to base yourselves if you want to explore the Exmoor National Park.  Exmoor itself is stunning, with miles and miles of secluded open space and forest, great for rambling about.

May came round very quickly, as did the inauguration of the world’s largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas. I travelled on her maiden voyage to Rotterdam, a beautiful city with some amazing architecture.  Harmony is a brilliant ship with something for everyone, but four days was only enough to scratch the surface of what she has to offer.  For me the highlight of her updated design was the Ultimate Abyss, a 10 story helter-skelter style slide, the video of which can be seen below. I think a further visit is required in the future around the Caribbean!

A novel and exciting experience of the year was being interviewed by the lovely Julie Peasgood in June, where we talked all things cruise and travel for TV Cruise Channel.  The interview can be seen below.

My summer can only be summarised in one word – packing! Having decided to move house earlier in the year I spent most of the summer trying to sort out a lot of crap.  Amidst this I spent a fair bit of time visiting a number of ships in Southampton, including AidaPrima,  Caribbean Princess and MSC Splendida.

October came and it was time to move house to Winchester in Hampshire.  This was of course a very stressful process, and represents the end of a very difficult era for me involving significant amount of loss in my life.  I’m now ready to embrace life and move forward.

2016 has also been a year of collaboration, working closely with a number of blogging colleagues, as well as an ongoing collaboration with Meet Me on Board.  I look forward to continuing to work with everyone in 2017!

The end of the year has been framed by my first Christmas in the new house, giving me a chance to reflect on everything that has happened both in recent times and the past few years of my life.

So here we are, at the end of another year.  I count my blessings every day and look forward to 2017 and the challenges & opportunities it will bring.

 

All the best to you all for the New Year!

Marcus