Monday, November 17, 2008

Cruise Control

I'm back. This is probably as much of a relief to you as it is to me - not at all.

Given that you can now work from anywhere it's possible that I don't need to be back at all. I try convincing my many employers of this detail. It rarely works.

I was able to prove the flexibility of the technological age whilst viewing the wonders of the ancient one as I was on a cruise ship around the Greek islands.

Sending e-mails from the middle of the ocean is a bizarre revelation, but the novelty wears thin when the signal drops out due to unseen geographical phenomena.

Telling someone you've been on a cruise seems to age you instantly.

You seem to wither before their eyes like a Hammer Horror vampire in a shaft of sunlight.

Even people older than me don't get it. Cruising seems unable to shake its perception as being the preserve of wealthier OAPs.

It doesn't help that I was with the people who 'do cruises for people who don't do cruises'.

A flawed concept as, by the time you book, you have instantly become a person who does do cruises because you've paid to go on one.

It's a bizarre slogan anyway, one which reinforces a negative perception.

Instantly you have the mental image of having to elbow octogenarians to the ground in order to get to the pool, in fact I only had to do this twice.

They should concentrate on the positives. Most of the facilities on a ship are much better than ones you could get in a foreign hotel, unless you're very rich, of course.

You can also wake up each day in a new destination.

This is a major selling point to someone like me with the attention span of the average ADHD child. I also can't sit in the sun too long or I start to fry, talking of which ......

The food, the unlimited access to food.

The scale of food production on a ship is simply staggering, almost industrial. I've worked on festivals where they feed hundreds of crew in shifts, but that's nothing in comparison to this.

The quantity, variety and excellence of the cuisine was breath-taking. Or it would have been had anyone bothered to take a breath between shovelling enormous portions into their already overworked gullets.

They suggest you can gain 2lbs in weight every day on a cruise. For some people I'd think this was possible in each of the three-hour sittings for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If eating ever becomes an Olympic sport I think I've found the venue - and some of the competitors.

The facilities are so good that despite the fact that the cruise called on some of the most historic and beautiful places in the World, some people didn't seem to leave the ship at all.

This is judging by the fact that they'd marked their territory in the usual holiday fashion by leaving towels on all the sun-beds. If we think this is stereotypical of another nationality, we need to think again.

I was, however, pleased to have escaped that blight of most modern holidays - not once did I hear someone boast about how cheaply or how last second they'd obtained their holiday online or on teletext.

That was some relief. Perhaps then it's the cruise for people who don't spend their lives on teletext, or the cruise for people who don't do diets. I'll eat to that.

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