Oh, we're not talking the QE2 or anything big and posh, we were never made of money. No, I'm talking your middle-of-the-road cruise ships, the kind of cruise ships that anyone could go on and just have one hell of a good time! Because I've never had a bad cruise, and we've done a few.
|The Thomson Topaz - Gone, but never forgotten!|
Anyway, apart from ordering whatever ridiculous drink we could think of, and rearranging the animal fruit sculptures on the piano in the main bar so that a couple of them suddenly turned very rude thanks to the careful re-positioning of a slice of kiwi and a couple of grapes, we also saw some incredible places, such as Rome, Barcelona and Monte Carlo, a place where I'm sure the locals go into hiding when they know a cruise ship is about to dock because when we were there it seemed devoid of anyone who wasn't wearing shorts and had a camera hanging from their neck, but the price of an ice cream at the Cafe de Paris was quite reasonable, I thought, although I'd have hated to see the bill for a T-Bone Steak and chips!
Like I said before, these cruises we've been on haven't been posh. They weren't overly expensive and they weren't full of people trying too hard to overdress for dinner, pretending that meeting the captain could only be topped by George Clooney turning up and handing round the free cocktails. Take passenger and crew talent night for example. When the compere introduced some bloke from the boiler room, who was probably going to murder something by Elvis, I can't remember, explaining that he worked in the bowels of the ship, someone from the crowd piped up "that's where our cabin is!" Yep. The QE2 it was not! But fabulous fun it most certainly was, with the best bunch of people, even if some of them did possibly enjoy themselves just a little too much. One bloke we met - who could always be found on any of the trips to the various cities we visited at the bar closest to the dock - made such good use of the all-inclusive facilites that he spent a whole evening saying goodbye to everyone when we still had two days of the cruise left!
But that all-inclusive option is a must for me on a cruise because, apart from all the soft drinks, tea and coffee you drink during the day, I used to start my alcohol intake at around 7pm, with a lovely pre-dinner cocktail in the bar at the top of the ship, where the bartenders would always make me something they'd recommend and then I'd have to have another one, just to make sure. That was then followed by wine with dinner, more cocktails during the entertainment, and then a few nightcaps back up in the bar we started out in all those hours ago. Never actually felt drunk though, funnily enough, but that's maybe because of the amount of food you can pack away on a cruise - the only holiday where you can eat dinner, pop over to the midnight buffet for a snack, then have an English breakfast at 3am beofre grabbing a couple of hours sleep and waking up to another plate of bacon and eggs! Heaven! However, it's the kind of holiday where you need a holiday to get over it. After the last cruise we went on I remember arriving home and falling asleep infront of 'Deal or no Deal' before I'd even had a chance to unpack!
You see, I don't know what it is, but people just seem to have less inhibitions on a cruise holiday. Even my husband who actually got up one evening, without being asked, to perform The Timewarp, when usually getting him up to go anywhere other than the bar would have taken a mammoth effort. Mind you, I wasn't so happy with him when he disappeared one night (well, it was actually 2 am) claiming he was going to buy some cigarettes from the bar and didn't come back for almost an hour, causing me to think a barrage of irrational (due to the excess alcohol intake, I suspect) thoughts of him falling overboard, meaning I had to comb the ship looking for him for my own peace of mind, only to find him sat in the piano bar calmly sipping a whisky and chatting away to the barman! I should have been angry, but I just sat down and ordered a brandy before the all-inclusive option ran out at 3am.
We've experienced everything on a cruise from incredible entertainment to trips out that we'll never forget, we've met fantastic people and never laughed so much - usually at passenger and crew entertainment night, that never fails...
|The Ocean Village - been on that one too!|
But, from the Thomson Topaz to the Ocean Village, those cruise holidays are holidays I will never forget, and I live in hope that we haven't experienced our last cruise holiday because I'd hate to think that I'd never again watch 'Ready, Steady, Cook' whilst in the middle of the Mediterranean or drink a Long Island Iced Tea and then proceed to find absolutely anything that anybody said to me incredibly funny for the rest of the night, even if it wasn't, or fall asleep infront of The Matrix (I know! Me, falling asleep infront of a Keanu Reeves movie! Who'd have thought??!) in the ship's cinema on one of those afternoon's when the weather wasn't playing ball.
I want to do all that and more all over again, because ask me what my holiday of choice would be and it would always be a cruise. Hands down, no contest.
Now, incase our Euromillions numbers come up tonight, I might just start looking for that all important cocktail dress... and while we're on the subject of cruises, I think I feel an idea for another book coming on...