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Spectacular ports: Cruise ship captains share their favorite views

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Not everyone’s a fan of cruising.

The rigid schedules imposed by the ships usually have you sailing into port in the morning then back on board by early evening, giving you just a few hours to explore some of the world’s greatest destinations — but plenty of time to gamble away your kid’s college fund at the onboard casino.

The plus side?

Nothing beats the feeling you get while standing on the ship’s top deck as you sail into a new port, taking in mind-blowing views of places like Malta’s ancient city of Valletta or Sydney’s famed natural harbor.

Which is why we can’t help but envy cruise ship captains, who get to check out some of the world’s most beautiful harbors from the bridge as they steer their mega ships into port.

So which views really stand out?

Cruise line Royal Caribbean asked the captains of its 23 ships to share their favorite ports to cruise into.

Check out the above gallery for their picks.