To an independently minded traveller like me, the thought of a cruise makes me feel quite queasy. Five thousand fellow passengers travelling at close quarters, set meal times and herded around in tour parties once arriving somewhere good – yuk, no thanks!
This is pretty ironic as for eight years I worked with the cruise industry and had business relationships with all of the world’s major cruise lines. More of that to come. This experience centres on a mini-cruise that I undertook with my mate Lang, who to this day still does work in the world of cruising.
The occasion was a two night round trip from Southampton to Zeebrugge, with an organised side trip to Bruges. Having already visited the Belgian sweetie on several occasions I decided to stay on board to use the facilities.
As it happened I had an absolute hoot, despite the fact that Lang had neglected to tell me that Saturday night was black tie night, thus condemning us and the other cruising tramps to spend a lonely couple of hours in the all you can eat buffet.
Most of our fellow passengers were hen parties, making the on-board nightclub a raucous affair.
For a couple of days it was an enjoyable romp, any longer may just have found me starting to go stir crazy!
I’m with you in that cruising tends to make us independent travelers cringe, but they can be fun, as you proved! I enjoyed cruising after I graduated from college, because it was essentially me forcing myself to relax. Several days at sea meant a whole day of reading uninterrupted, which never happens on most non-stop exploring vacations we take.
Beds in the cabin look comfy….I wish I could do cruising one day..