Cruising floats my boat

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CRUISING: Gone are the days when it was a luxury for the rich.


THE Princess and I have just returned from a cruise on one of the great Cunard ships – Queen Victoria.
Cruising isn’t for everybody, but in recent times, we have developed a fondness for this form of travel. Pampered and cosseted for two weeks, with the finest food and drink on tap, great entertainment in the theatre, a selection of bars and lounges to choose from, and a spa, library, casino and ballroom at your disposal – along with interesting ports of call – what’s not to like?
We still take regular trips to other locations, but cruising is very definitely included in our travel portfolio from now on.
However there are certain aspects of these floating hotels that I am wary of, and I would give a precautionary heads-up to any would be cruisers out there.
First of all the stateroom toilets – and please note, you no longer occupy cabins these days, but staterooms no less – which still scare the heck out of me even though I know what to expect.
There is no flushing in the normal way, but when pressing the appropriate button, stand well back. There is a roar like a train entering a tunnel, and the contents are sucked out at break neck speed. It’s like a massive Dyson with attitude, and you certainly do not want to still be seated when this operation is carried out or you will be deposited into the bowels (a very apt term) of the ship, never to be seen again.
And if you want to enjoy a low key birthday on board – tell no one!
Otherwise there you are finishing your Steak au Poivre with an eye on the yummy Macadamia and Ricotta Crème Brûlée to follow, when a gaggle of Filipino waiters converge on your table bearing a large muffin with a single candle and start singing at the top of their lungs.
“Happy borday ta yaw – Happy borday ta yaw . . .”
But they don’t know your name. “Happy borday dear . . . bordaaaaayyy . . . Then as if they have suddenly remembered an urgent appointment elsewhere: “Happybordaytayaw”
The whole ship now knows it’s your borday!
Our cruise was part of Cunard’s 175th year celebrations. Gone are the days when it was a luxury only afforded by the rich and famous; now even low bred nobodies like me can enjoy the experience.


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