Now that Christmas is over I can finally turn my thoughts to holidays again. I am lucky to live on an island where the summer months are delightful, the waters are warm (usually) and sailing, swimming, and surfing are all popular pastimes, so I usually creep away somewhere warmer during the winter.
This year, for the first time, I have opted to try cruising I am not sure if I’m going to like it as I’m an inveterate people watcher from cafe tables in Southern Spain and Italy, bistros in France and Konditori in Denmark and Sweden, but I feel it’s time I had a change.
Not only am I going on a cruise-ship but I’m going to the Spice Islands of the Caribbean so I shall not have the usual pleasure of traipsing around ruins and wrecked churches, guide-book in hand, feet encased is stolid walking shoes. But everyone tells me I will love it, so I’m giving it a go.
I have travelled the ocean before, but always on a cargo ship, one of the big ones that are the length of 3 football pitches, around which a walk makes a perfect workout before, or after a meal. I have always enjoyed them, but then feeling part of a working ship seems so much better than being a passenger on a cruise ship.
Sure, we dressed up in the evening, but so did the crew who changed from oily overalls into pristine whites to mingle with the six passengers in the bar. No entertainment but we made our own, pockets of conversation with the mixed crew from South Africa, Philippines, Angola, UK and South America, Trivial Pursuit, watching the latest DVDs together, or just spending longer over the magnificent meals: cargo ship food is always good I’ve found without encouraging too much gluttony.
And then there were the Sunday barbecues on the deck, dress-down for captain and crew when the flamboyant shirts and shorts made an appearance and we all relaxed.
I think I shall miss all that as I polish up my hat and smarten my glad rags. On the other hand I may find it the best thing since sliced bread. Who knows?
Photos from my last cargo ship trip on display here.