Cruising on the High Seas

I'M not sure I'm cut out for the high life. My better half was enthusiastically reading out the details of a cruise advertised in the Sunday papers.

It went half way round the world and lasted over three months. The best cabins cost £33,000 ($61,000) EACH. You could get an inside cabin, a snip at about £8,000 per person.

I refrained from raining on his parade, currently taking place in la-la land, to point out that we had slightly less than £66,000 to spend on a holiday - about £65,990 less to be exact.

I showed little interest as he read out all the amenities on board this deluxe liner - 10 bars, casino, two theatres, restaurants, swimming pool, spa, nightly top class entertainment. Library.

My ears pricked up. "A library? How brilliant!"
"You sad bastard," the man said witheringly. "You may as well take a tent and spend three months camping in Exeter Library." Sounds like heaven to me.

Maybe I am a sad bastard. I'm sure a high falutin' cruise would be just dandy, and had I several thousand to spare, I might consider it. But, if truth were told, I don't think I could get that excited about being stuck on a floating hotel, no matter how plush.

I'm not sure what I expect of a posh cruise, my ideas of life on the high seas having been gleaned solely from films like Titanic, the Poseidon Adventure, Doctor at Sea and Carry On Cruising. I half expect to hit a iceberg upside down while shouting, "Oooo, matron!"

I imagine some nubile young lovely's bra pinging off as she plays quoits on deck while a Leslie Phillips-alike says: "I say, ding, dong ..." in a suggestive voice and I, with my rug tucked round my legs, tut-tut in a deckchair.

I imagine dinner at the captain's table, dressed up to the nines doing my best Hyacinth Bucket impression, kicking the dearly beloved under the table as he slurps his soup and saying things like, "Of course, at home we dine off Royal Doulton china every day and outside we have room for a pony."

Then afterwards we'll be herded with cattle prods to a ship's cabaret to listen to a balding man on an organ singing "My Way" very badly while a group of former members of Hot Gossip twirl and bedazzle us with their glittery costumes, sequins flying off at every angle.

In steerage will be the "common people" who are all living it up doing Irish jigs and drinking copious amounts of whiskey while we posh people are treated to a lecture on The Danger of Streptococci In Pea Soup by James Robertson Justice.

I fear having to make a stampede for insufficient lifeboats while a man with a gun shouts, "Women and children first!" At least I know my better half wouldn't slip into my best frock and high heels in an attempt to jump the queue - not unless he was already in them..... (that was a joke, by the way. Cerise is just not his colour).

No, I don't really fancy a posh cruise.

Not unless there's a library.


  1. Oh, I don't know, Irish jigs and copious amounts of whisky sounds pretty good to me. But what did you say the poor people were doing? ;-)

  2. These big ships move too slowly. What you need is one of those Hawaii-Five-0 canoes rowed by burly native oarsmen. They'd give you the ride of your life.

  3. I've met far too many people who've been on cruises and hated it! The worst ones sound like old fashioned Butlins on sea with brats running chaos and greedy people trying to bankrupt the 24hr eat all you can buffets and meals.

    I'd rather join you in the library!

  4. If you do decide on a cruise I want to come with you, you'd be so much fun I can tell! :)

    I've been on a Med cruise and I have to say I enjoyed it, not stuffy at all and the scenery changed every day. :)

  5. I used to work as a port rep for a cruise ship which was a grand title for checking people on board. As a result there is no way I'd go on a cruise now! Utterly sympathise, Table. Stick to dry land and libraries.

  6. My ex won a cruise as part of his targets for the year. I worked for the same large IT company as him and so off we went 400 and partners on a cruise around the Caribbean. Carnival line was the name of the company. Never again. Blue collar workers from the States all getting pissed out of their heads, passing balloons between beasts and bums to each other, puke on the ship. It was shite! The Caribbean is beautiful though so it was worth it for that. And you had to take a second set of formal clothes for dinner in the evening. What an experience on a floating hotel where you can't get away from the greedy pigs eating and drinking the ship dry!

  7. I've never been on a cruise. My sister just returned from a cruise to Alaska, however, and the highlight of her trip? Seeing Palin speak.

    I almost threw up. God, she saw whales and icebergs and PALIN was the highlight?

    Good hell...

  8. I have never been on a cruise and assume it is all about eating and moving from one meal to the next and having drinks in between. It would be utterly wasted on me with my gastric band, because i can eat a thimble full. What else is there to do? Watch people overeat and get drunk? Not my idea of a holiday. I'd rather bake cupcakes at your house and have some good Irish breakfast tea with it. Or a scone with cream and raspberry jam and a cup of tea. Now that's a treat.

  9. The library is the only bit that interests me. Unless I got to sit up in the crow's nest and look out for icebergs.

  10. I'd much rather pay a skipper and hire a little boat of my own. What fun that would be!

  11. Yup - the idea of being stuck on board with the bored is my idea of hell. I'm sure it would cost a lot less to take a pill that mimicked the sounds and smells of a cruise, whilst you lie in your own bed, with your own pillows and duvet, slurping on choc liquers.

  12. At least you'd get copious amounts of ice in your drinks (ha ha). My parents used to love cruising in the good old days, when cruise ships were very small and maintained all the old-fashioned traditions. On their maiden voyage they crossed the Bay of Biscay in a storm, the ship was rollinga round and all the plates in the restaurant were smashed, as well as all the duty-free. My Dad was the only one for breakfast that morning!! Surprisingly it did not put them off and they went on to have several cruises after that!!!

  13. You just tell me when that Exeter Library cruise is coming up and I'll be there. Reserve me a berth in fiction, first half of the alphabet, would you?

  14. My idea of a perfect crusie would be just like your better half's - reading about it in the posh advertising brochure - it wont get any better than that. After a couple of hours dreaming and choosing the cabin or suite, choose the itinerary, cost it out and then decide to stay at home. Now, look at all that money you've saved by deciding not to go. Now you can go to Waterstones and buy a library!