Up until fairly recently the term ‘cruise’ simply meant an amazing holiday aboard a giant floating hotel that was completely and utterly out of any price range we could spend for a holiday. Friends of mine have been on numerous cruises and have raved about them.
The sights, the food, the entertainment, everything you could possibly need, in one place.
I won’t lie, it is something that I have been dying to try. I am not the greatest lover of planes, though will never pass up the opportnity to fly somewhere on holiday. But there is something great about going down to Southampton, popping onto a ship and that is it. No spending hours and hours at an airport and getting up at stupid o’clock.
In the cruising world, it is a leisurely check in service. Times for your embarkation are printed onto your tickets, so no silly waiting around. Luggage is taken off you and delivered to you cabin.
What more could you ask for?
Recently, my Dad made enquiries about the P&O cruise ship tours that become available when ships come into port. For a very reasonable price of £25.00 per head, you can have a guided tour plus a three course meal onboard a ship while it is in ‘turn around’ mode. An amazing opportunity for those like me who have only ever seen a ship in glossy magazines.
So on the 30th April, I, Sam and my Mum and Dad pootled off down to Southampton for an eye opening day on the P&O Britannia- a ship which my Dad has been longing to visit for quite some time.
I went with no expectations and came back filled with excitement.
Our tour guide was indeed a man of the seas. He had spent years working on ships of all shapes and sizes and he knew his stuff. What I liked most about him was his honesty. He made no apologies for the advice he gave, and proceeded to give us both the pros and cons of the Britannia.
There was lots to think about and take onboard (get it?!)
As the day progressed, new holiday makers were beginning to board the ship ready for sailing in the late afternoon.
Of course it was tempting to be a stow away, but security was tight (and rightly so) plus we had been electronically scanned in.
On our journey back home after a day at sea (ish) I reflected on the following:
How on earth do those ships not sink with all the weight they’re carrying?
Is it actually possible to never see some of the passngers whilst you are onboard for a holiday?
Where does all the waste go?
Where do all the crew stay?
How long does it take to walk around the ship?
How many tons of food can be stored?
Where is all the food and drink stored?
Are there really enough lifeboats for every single person to fit in in an emergency?
Yes admittedly some of my thoughts may have started to wander along to things unpleasant but, healthy and safety doesn’t disappear at sea.
I was very glad to have done the tour.
In fact it had put my mind at ease.
The reason for this is that I am going on a cruise this year!
Yes, a real one.
In August my Mum turns 60 and we wanted to surprise her with an amazing birthday present. What better way than to organise a huge family holiday doing something that none of us have ever done before. Cruising!
So now having had a taste of what’s to come we are all incredibly excited!
Mum now knows of her surprise (cue lots of planning and organising of spa treatments etc!) and is thoroughly looking forward to it.
August will be here before we know it.
I wonder if any of you have spent time at sea. Any tips, tricks or recommendations out there? I’d love to know what they are!