Newest Review: ... holiday and incurring extra expense. Anyway, to cut a long story a little shorter, they didn't get through to the final, although critics... more
Counting down the days to the next voyage!
Where is your summer next holiday going to be?
Member Name: bkecky
Where is your summer next holiday going to be?
Advantages: I'm on holiday?!
I would dread to think how much of my life I have spent at airports. I travel backwards and forwards constantly on trains, buses and flights from the UK to Germany or UK to France. I used to love going to the airport, now i have done it so often it's just another journey that I dread. I have always gone on holiday with my grandparents and we used to travel across continents by air but as they got older they also realised the hassle of this and the weight and hand luggage restrictions have really put them off. That was before we discovered cruising. We have sailed with Cunard now for over a decade and we have never looked back. We even sailed on the same ship, the QE2 for the majority of that time until she went out of service. This year we went on the Queen Victoria and from now on that will be our new holiday home. We have two cruises booked, one Mediterranean in May on the Terry Wogan Children In Need cruise and two in August back-to-back of a Mediterranean and a week long northern European one. So what is it that makes us cruise time and time again?
Well being from Birmingham it is quite a trek down to Southampton but we usually get a driver down and back. The weight restrictions of airlines ensure that we never fly to meet the cruise ship and we have even just sailed five days over to New York and sailed five days back to Southampton, getting off the ship once in ten days! On a 21 night US and Canada cruise my grandma took...wait for it...THIRTEEN suitcases. Between three of us. One of those suitcases was mine along with a backpack (how elegant, I hear you cry!) that I took aboard myself. This is a lady that likes to pack everything for every eventuality. One suitcase was completely toiletries, with spares of everything in case anything should run out. You can imagine the stress of trying to keep an eye on all these suitcases but at embarkation a porter just picks them up from us and then they are gone until an hour later when they block up the entire corridor outside the cabin, creating a big health and safety hazard.
Aside from this, my grandfather was a navy man so for him the sea is where he feels most at home. I have to say I never feel more relaxed than at sea. It really is like you are in a different world on a cruise. My grandparents and I have very different cruises. Yet we both have our routines. Most of my cruise is spent in the pub. Most of theirs is spent in a piano bar or the balcony. We meet up for meal times and that is where our paths end. You can find me on the karaoke, in the casino, doing the quizzes, playing shuffleboard or wine tastings. It is just always the same. How boring you may think but to us it is a tradition that we have, just the three of us. We love getting dressed up in evening dresses for dinner and we love knowing where everything is and the relaxing sound of the sea. It's almost like having a holiday villa that you go to time and time again except we just move around to a different country every day.
We have actually gone past the point of getting off at every port, simply because we have done most of them. If it is a good port we get off but if we know there is nothing there we just enjoy having an empty ship to ourselves.
Yet it is only on Cunard that we feel this way. On other cruise lines we don't feel so at home. I don't know why but that is just the way it is. Even though I am older now I still love having this tradition with my grandparents, especially now I am living abroad again and don't see them much. On the last voyage of the QE2 I sat with them at dinner on the last night and thought that the first time I sat at that table I wasn't even a teenager and now I am a woman! It was a scary thought but also a thought that made that last dinner all the more special. It was like the end of an era and I did wonder if our tradition would continue after that. However here we are again and I would never want to stop going with them, even if I had to look after them all day and night!
It's funny that there are so many other people like us on Cunard. People who go year after year and they have their routines. Sometimes you see the same people year after year and one of the first things that I do is have a walk around the ship to where the usual people hang around and see if there is anyone I know. Usually there is! That is also a nice thing that whether its a passenger or crew member you usually see someone you know.
So I can't wait for my next cruise with gran and gramps and for that first exciting moment when we see the first glimpse of the ship and I know I'm back. The only problem is that it goes so fast that before I know it I'm having my last glimpse of the ship and heading for the post-cruise blues...
Summary: My little tradition with my wonderful grandparents