Monthly archives of “September 2012

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Days 6 & 7 .. preconceived ideas part 2

Stereo Dementia (4)

OK, I am happy (kinda) to say that my preconceived ideas were not too far off the mark, and the cruise is everything I feared it would be, and more!! I don’t mean the mum & dad bit, I mean the actual cruise bit. Apart from feeling like I have a walk on part in a 2012 mega grand scale remake of ‘Cocoon’, I just can’t get my head round any of it, it’s so bad it’s almost good.

Take today’s activities for example. If we didn’t want to take the tender ashore and part with our well earned holiday cash in Cannes, we could stay on board and take a course in how to play the slot machines better (thus parting with our well earned holiday cash in the casino), or perhaps take in an interesting talk on the sparkling properties of Tanzanite (funny, they have a special anniversary collection of Tanzanite for sale in the on ship boutique). Maybe we would like to go line dancing with the lovely Linda (who doesn’t appear to have seen an up to date hair magazine since 1987), or join the daily (well, on port days anyway) ‘sail away’ party around the pool with DJ Keith… and then get constantly reminded of what fun we are having.

I would like to think that not everyone is voluntarily taking part in DJ Keith’s poolside capers, rather they have just been rendered incapable of moving from their sun loungers due to the fact that they are wedged together like sardines (and have been ever since they bagged the spot at sunrise), and nobody can actually get out of the sun-bed squash until the fat bloke and his Kindle, and the little old lady doing still doing battle with the Sudoku from last weeks Sunday Express, who are sat closest to the edge, finally release the bottleneck and let the others go free.

Meanwhile down on the prom deck the tumble(sea)weed is moving around quite freely.

I am still blindingly optimistic that at some point Cap’n Phil will come over the tannoy and tell us to look out over the horizon to see what a pretty pink the sky has turned as the sun goes down, and how the evening light catches the bridges of the other ships way out yonder making them look like sea stars, or indeed how many different colours of blue there are in the wash generated by the mega big propellers, or how awesomely soothing the roar of the water is when you stand aft at full throttle (day or night, and only on the prom deck, any higher up it doesn’t count), and that really, it’s a damn sight better than listening to some has been that never was of a club singer belting out a particularly painful rendition of Phil Collins – Su-su-sudio (yo-hoh-woah-oah) down in the ‘understated elegance’, (think eighties neon meets eighties neon and has a baby), of the Manhattan bar.

Blindingly optimistic indeed…

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Days 4 & 5 Ship to Shore

This whole writing to a deadline thing I’m not sure I’m awfully good at, but given that I am governed by internet availability I don’t have many alternatives, although I failed miserably with the last opportunity to upload anything, two days in Spanish waters, and the words were flowing like tar.. (unlike the wine!!).

Docking days present their own set of challenges. Like what to do with two elderly parents who have no clue where they are and absolutely no desire to explore the wherever it is they are.  I spent the whole of Wednesday explaining that we weren’t in Dubrovnik (or Guildford for that matter), but, in fact, Gibraltar. The Dubrovnik slip is understandable, it’s a syllable thing.. but Guildford??, search me!!.

They seem quite happy to sit in a bar and watch the world go by, which is fine by me, but not for eight hours! Unlike on board where I can leave them for a while as the possibilities of losing them are actually fairly limited, once ashore it’s a bit like herding cats, and anyway I have discovered that if I disappear for more than five minutes Dad is on the phone.

Throw into the mix the fact that Dad seems to think that Great British Pounds are fine anywhere, the following conversation is fairly typical.

“no Dad, you need Euros”
“oh well I’ll get them on the ship”
“no Dad, you need to go to a bank and get Euros now if you want to spend any money here, or in Italy, or in France”
“oh OK, where’s the bank”

arrive at cashpoint..

“what are we doing here?”
“getting Euros”
“what for??.. we can get them on the ship”
“yes but you need them now”
“no.. they’ll take pounds here I’m sure, stop trying to bloody organise me I’ll get the bloody Euros on the ship!!”

I backed off, knowing full well that I will have the same conversation, (but in reverse), once we are back on board.

The “f***-off-o-meter” is hitting new records on a daily basis… wears a bit thin after a while!!

© Verity Harrison 2012

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Day 1

So far so good, with the first leg of the trip getting under way without much of a hitch! I could just be being a little optimistic, but this might not be as trying as I expected! The night at home and the seven hours… Read More