“My name’s Mrs Dubai – and I’m a cruiser”
It doesn’t seem so long ago that I was a trendy young thing, thinking that bed by 1am was an early night – then kids happened and, well, now I find myself dying my grey hairs, falling asleep on the sofa by 9 and having conversations about cruising with complete strangers.
Cruising on ships, I mean, of course.
For DH and I will be about half-way through our first ever cruise this time next month (assuming the ship hasn’t sunk of the coast of Corsica). And, to be honest, we’re slightly embarrassed about it – a fact that’s not helped at all by our dearest friends, who find the thought of DH and I going on a cruise both utterly hilarious and deeply appalling in equal measures, and never fail to remind us of that when we see them.
Aside from the fact that cruising is traditionally the vestige of silver-haired, empty-nesters and desperate spinsters, they can think of nothing worse than being stuck on a floating city of a ship with a load of American package tourists, stuffing our faces with mass-produced, all-you-can-eat buffet food.
And they may well be right.
But today I met a lady who looked to all intents and purposes very nice. She was about my age, had a child about the same age as DD and was – get this – going off on a cruise tonight. Furthermore, it wasn’t her first! Within seconds of meeting her, the two of us were on a roll, discussing the merits of stateroom categories; kids’ club offerings; Mediterranean itineraries versus Asian itineraries; and, of course, the joys of “Family Time Dining”.
“Oh my god, it’s just amazing for the kids,” she bubbled, her eyes shining with excitement. “They’ll have the best time – and so will you!”
And, with four weeks to go till departure, I’m still not convinced. But, if all else fails, I’ll spend the week sitting on my stateroom balcony, G&T in one hand and book in the other, gazing wistfully at the ocean and planning a novel about what happens to a young couple who get sucked unwittingly into cruising before their time…