1. Crowds – and not being able to escape them
2. Being ‘herded’ around tourist sites
3. Cheesy lounge music
4. Tiny bedrooms – especially ones we have to share with our, now rather large, children
I have to say I’m with him on all of the above (though probably a bit less vehemently). So a cruise might not seem the perfect family holiday choice – and I did have to put some pressure on him to come on our week long trip on P&O’s Oceana. I am pleased to report, however, that he had a most excellent time, because…
- Yes, there were plenty of people on our Easter cruise, but there is always somewhere you can go to escape the crowds. And we chose an itinerary with lots of shore days so we didn’t have too much time onboard.
- You don’t have to do the cruise company’s excursions. Some ports – such as Venice or Dubrovnik on our cruise, for example, require a simple transfer into the city and then you can do your own thing. If you want some hand holding, it’s there if you want it.
- What is it with cruise ships? We were treated to a regular diet of muzak throughout our week – from 70s and 80s pop classics to a pianist who reminded us a little too much of Margarita Pracatan, the Cuban novelty singer who appeared on Clive James’ show (anyone remember her?!). That said, some of the entertainment on board was excellent, notably the almost West End worthy shows in the theatres.
- Ships cabins are tiny. I already knew this, obviously, but when there are four of you sharing a family cabin… You have to really, really, love the people you are with! If you don’t, upgrade to a suite. Or book two cabins.
- Mr Gallivant’s lip visibly curled when Miss Gallivant begged him to play bingo with her. I did observe, however, that when then second bingo session of the week came up, he was first in the queue – The £400 jackpot might have had something to do with it.
And, of course, the most amazing thing about cruising is being able to see so many interesting places within such a short space of time, with very little effort – in our case the cities of Florence, Dubrovnik and Venice and the gobsmacking ancient city of Pompeii. All without having to unpack our suitcase more than once.