Sporting memories from a none-sporting fan...

When I think about my time at sea, the best memories are not always of the amazing destinations I visited. They are of the people I met from all over the world and the experiences we shared together.

One of my favourite memories is the 2010 World Cup. At the time I was working onboard Oasis of the Seas and every game created an electric atmosphere among the crew and guests, that will forever remain in my memory. I come from a very sporting family but I have never been into sport myself. However when I was surrounded with crew members from 97 different countries all supporting their countries, I too became passionate.

During a cruise to Bermuda I went for a bike ride and noticed crowds of people outside one of the island's golf courses. I went to see what everyone was looking at and saw it was the US Open Championships. The likes of Colin Montgomery were just a fence away from me. I remember thinking how special it would be to take this cruise and couple it with a major event like this.

Cruise lines continue to jump on the idea of combining a cruise with a major sporting event. I can definitely see why these cruises have become so popular and they offer guests an exclusive experience for a non-exclusive price.

From The Grand Prix to The British Open...

From the Monaco Grand Prix to The Ashes, the cruise lines have it covered. Two fantastic experiences in one, you can enjoy an incredible cruise as-well as the sporting event you have always dreamed of going to. People are often put off going to an event in another country because of flights, accommodation and the overall cost, which is why combining it with a cruise creates a hassle-free, valuable experience.

Here are my top picks:

Monaco F1 Grand Prix, Monaco

A place that defines luxury, Monaco is an extravagant playground of prime restaurants, glamorous yachts and celebrity hot-spots.

An indulging cruise combined with this anticipated event is a match made in heaven. Enjoy the thrill of screaming fans and racing tyres joined with elegant wine bars, charming harbours and a lavish nightlife.

Luxury line Azamara Club Cruises are offering an 8 night Grand Prix Voyage that includes two full days and an overnight in Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix. Other stops include Portofino, Saint-Tropez and Cannes.

After four years, Star Clippers are returning to the F1 scene with a 7 night sailing from Cannes calling at Corsica, Lerici and Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix.

2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil

The event that not only football fanatics are waiting for, but the whole world is anticipating. The 2014 FIFA World Cup is set to be the most memorable sporting event of 2014. Held in the vibrant city of Rio De Janeiro it is expected to attract sporting fans from all over the world.

Lasting a total of 30 days the World Cup sees football teams from around the world compete to take the title of world’s best team. Attracting lots of competitiveness, excitement and a buzzing atmosphere, Rio is the perfect place for it to be held.

There is no where else in the world like Rio De Janeiro with a backdrop of souring mountains combined with towering buildings that line the dramatic beaches. Home to colourful carnivals, exotic cuisine and breathtaking explorations, this city should definitely be one you tick off your wish list.

MSC Cruises are offering two sailings on MSC Divina to and from the World Cup this year. The first an 18 night cruise from Miami and the second a 19 night sailing from Rio De Janeiro.

For those unable to venture across the pond to experience the excitement first hand then P&O Cruises and Cunard have ensured you you won't miss a kick, goal or save as they promise to broadcast live coverage onboard their ships.

The British Open, United Kingdom

The pinnacle of summer tournaments, The British Open sees the world’s best golfers come together to compete on our renowned golf courses. Known as UK’s most spectated event, the iconic St Andrews golf course comes alive with famous golfers, celebrities and enthusiastic spectators.

Azamara Club Cruises have an amazing cruise in July that includes the British Open. Sail during the peak of summer around the iconic British Isles and have the opportunity to play golf at seven renowned courses as-well as watch part of the British Open. Departing Southampton on July 4th 2015 you will sail to the most captivating destinations Britain has to offer including Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Guernsey and Isle Of Skye.

Melbourne Cup, Melbourne

Named 'the race that stops a nation' this thoroughbred horse race held early November is one of Australia’s most significant sporting events. Attracting people from all over the world these famous races take place over three days and offer a phenomenal social experience. From the sophisticated women dressed in spectacular dresses to the groups of tourists enjoying placing bets, the atmosphere is sensational.

Melbourne is an urban jungle of culture, art, fashion and fun Australian locals. An energetic city that invites you to explore its souring architecture, water-side restaurants and vibrant theaters - combining a visit here with the Melbourne Cup is a fantastic opportunity.

This year sees the 45th anniversary of this event and more cruise lines are starting to delve into this part of the world. Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises are just a few of the lines that sail to Australia. P&O Cruises Australia are sending Pacific Jewel on two Melbourne Cup cruises that will include a behind the scene tour of Flemington Race Track.

Pleasing Her + Pleasing Him = Perfect Couple...

Picture yourself sipping an exotic cocktail on the top deck of a state of the art cruise ship before you dock next to one of the most anticipated events of the year…it is a match made in heaven.

With more people realising that cruising gives you the golden ticket to the best sporting events in the world and the exceptional benefits of combining the two, these cruises rapidly sell out. There has never been a better time to combine your two favourite things, she is happy with the cruise and he is happy watching his favourite sport live..winners all around!


By Sally Grimes