Happy Friday, friends, and cheers to the weekend ahead! To those of you in the path of Hurricane Florence, we are thinking about you and praying for your safety and well-being!!
Last week I shared our Travel Diary from Week 1 of our cruise through the British Isles, and today I’m back with the second half of the trip. It was a 12-day cruise, with nine ports, so I’ve got tons to share in the coming weeks!
But these Travel Diaries are just a quick look at each day so you can see how the itinerary fits together, and get an idea of what I packed. I hope it’s helpful if you’re considering similar trips of your own. Oh, and you can find our exact Princess Cruise here.
Catch up on week 1 here.
Day 8 / Glasgow, Scotland
By day eight with no break, our pace definitely slowed…and turns out Glasgow was the perfect city to take it easy. We started at the University and gaped at the Harry Potter-style architecture, then wandered to the Botanic Gardens, before settling in for a long lunch at the cutest cafe, Kember Jones.
From there, we hit up our new favorite store, Oliver Bonas, before spending the rest of the afternoon at Champagne Central. Yes, that’s really a place and it’s magical. We were back on the ship by 6p, and in pajamas eating room service peanut butter and jelly by 6:30p.
Day 9 / At Sea
As much as I love seeing all the ports, sea days are secretly my favorite part about cruising! A full day of relaxation and enjoying all the amenities of the ship! (I’m working on a post about those!)
We slept in, ordered more room service (it’s free on Princess!), caught up on work, then headed to the spa. That evening we gussied up for our second Formal Night of the trip.
Day 10 / Orkney Islands, Scotland
Feeling rested and energized, we watched from our balcony as the Royal Princess arrived in the Orkney Islands…the northern most part of Scotland, and completely remote. Our half-day excursion stopped at the Cliffs of Yesnaby and the Standing Stones of Stenness, both of which left us speechless…and instantly smitten with the Scottish coastline.
Once back in Kirkwall (the port city), we wandered the little village and had a delicious lunch…and more scones. From there, I headed back to the ship to work, and Mr. SP joined up with friends for a quick 9-holes on a local golf course.
That evening, we decided to keep it low key and all met on the top deck of the ship for pizza and Movies Under the Stars.
Day 11 / Invergordon, Scotland
Here we are on Day 11 of a trip through Scotland and Ireland, and had yet to see a castle! Well, Dunrobin Castle more than made up for that, and was pretty much all the castle I ever need to see! We were even greeted with bagpipes!
The grounds and rooms are impeccably maintained, and even has a delicious cafe with amazing baked goods. Mr. SP’s day was made when they allowed him to play the Steinway grand piano. It was also a good thing I’d added my packable down jacket, because it was especially chilly that day!
That night, we all met at the ship’s top-notch steakhouse, the Crown Grill.
Slip-On Sneakers (so comfy for walking!! size down half)
Day 12 / Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh has been top of my list of places to visit for some time, so I was excited we had an extra-long day in port here. (Most days we get 8-10 hours, but it totally varies each day.) We took a 30-minute bus to the heart of the city, and from there explored as many neighborhoods as time allowed.
We stumbled on the coziest Scottish pub, complete with worn tartan arm chairs and possibly the best fish and chips, and had a long lunch surrounded by locals. We’ve learned that there’s no way to see everything in day, so we try to balance seeing as much as we can, with actually enjoying the vibe of a city.
That night was a casual gathering at Alfredo’s Pizzeria on the ship.
Day 13 / At Sea
Another blissful day at sea…we worked, exercised, and even played pickle-ball and ping-pong on the top deck. That night we had an early dinner, followed by the new Princess show, The Secret Silk. The original musical was created in collaboration with Stephen Schwartz, the Oscar, Tony, and Grammy award-winning composer of Wicked, Pippin, and Godspell. (I outfit-repeated my go-to little black dress.)
Day 14 / Honfleur, France
Our cruise ended with a beautiful day in France! The ship docked at LaHavre, and half of our group set out for Paris (2.5 hours away), while the rest of us decided on exploring the quant sea-side villages in Northern France.
I can tell you one day is not near enough for the charming countryside of Normandie, and I’ve already added it to our travel wish list! We spent the morning in Honfleur, which is pretty much a Disney fairytale, exploring the narrow cobbled streets, and eating crepes on the marina.
We arrived back at the ship after lunch, and decided to hop on another excursion to make the most of our time in France…and traveled to the Benedictine Castle for a tour and private cocktail class!
That night we said our tearful goodbyes to our Princess family. I can’t believe I don’t have a group shot of us…I know there’s one somewhere though!
Day 15 / Home
We woke extra-early to catch the bus from Southampton back to London Heathrow (Princess can arrange all transfers), and were on a flight home by 11am. I wore pretty much the same outfit as going, but swapped the white tank for a black one. If you don’t have these joggers yet, you don’t know what you’re missing!
Whew, that was a lot more than I’d planned to share in one post! But don’t worry, I’ll still share full posts on the main ports (these are just iPhone snaps, there’s so much more to see!), along with some fully-styled posts on formal nights, how we spend days at sea, etc.
Many of you noticed last week how many shoes I packed…true, it was a bit excessive! But between rain, hiking, city tours, and evening events, I wanted to be prepared! I definitely could have pared them down a bit (see what I did there?), but who am I to ignore extra room in the suitcase!
For the record, we only checked two bags (each under the weight limit, thankyouverymuch), and carried on one small bag. Would you be interested in an official packing post? (See what’s in my carry-on bag for long flights here.)
And just when we have our land legs back, we’re actually flying out tomorrow for another cruise!! This time, it’s a family affair planned by Mama Sugarplum and my step-dad (aka, Big Daddy)! The timing of the two trips was unplanned, but I’m grateful for the opportunity for both.
So follow along on my Instagram as I travel Alaska with Mama Sugarplum and family!! Bon voyage, lovebugs!