Never thought we'd go on a cruise. But it's so cheap. Maybe too cheap? The papers had a story last week about yobs booking up and creating havoc. Their ringleaders were put in the brig and then dropped ashore to go to jail. A friend who also knows about these things says that the captains on the Channel ferries deal with drunks aboard by switching off the stabilisers, so everyone sits down. I am not looking forward to the Bay of Biscay in any case, but without stabilisers it might be very sicky.
We are heading off from Dover, down to La Coruna (Corunna), then Tangiers, Lisbon, Bilbao, La Rochelle and back home, all in ten days. Cost - £45 a day for an outside cabin and full board. Almost cheaper than staying at home.
We rang to see if there was any reduction in quality or service and they said not. Some people have paid the full price - as much as £2,600. This seems almost unbelievable but in these mad days, anything is possible.
It all seems very easy, though I am leery about the instructions for dress: formal nights, smart-casual nights, a red-white-and-blue night, and a country and western night. I tend to dislike being told what to wear in any case and especially on holidays. I feel a kind of low-grade snobbery in myself... is it all going to be - aaagh! - too lower class?
And Andrew (my dh) does not take kindly to C&W, though he likes barn dances, so maybe we'll get a bop after all.
My sister Sheila and her husband Chris are coming along too, though they have had flu and been really ill these last few days. I hope they are fully recovered.
When I told her about the dress instructions etc she said "This is going to be like a HOLIDAY CAMP!" (Clearly I am not alone in my anxieties).
And when I sent her a link to a site giving satellite views of the weather over the Atlantic and our route, she emailed back to say "Gales, seasickness!"
So - one way or another we seem to have various anxieties. When friends say 'I know someone who always goes on that boat, you'll love it!' I think - "Huh! how do they know what I like?" And when other friend say "It'll be full of geriatrics!" I find myself puffing up to defend the whole idea.
I told Chris we had a note to say the Sauna/Steamroom would be out of action for our voyage. He said "I didn't even know they had a Sauna and Steamroom but now I know it's out of action I'm really pissed off about it!"
Ah well, it's an adventure. Out on the briny. Lashing storms, distant ports, chasing the sun, no cooking or washing up, choice of early or late sittings for all those meals, warnings about norovirus, all this is to come. I have no idea what to pack to wear. Will it be hot? Sunny? Cold? Wet? Who knows. What a laugh. I'm not sure about the communications set up, or how expensive it is to get online, but I hope it's possible to keep you up to date with our travels in this blog, so keep checking!