Aside

How Not To Do A Cruise (Mishaps & Adventures of The ‘P’ Family)

A few years ago, we had a cruise fetish, it was something we always wanted to do and at the time we had the ‘wonga’ to do it with. The first cruise was good and uneventful with Celebrity Cruises and nothing to get terribly excited about nor worth writing about but Oh the second cruise….nightmare from beginning to end! As I said, first one great….whetted our appetite so the following year, we were packed and ready to go round the Caribbean for eleven nights on a Holland America cruise. It started off on the wrong foot at Heathrow when a sour faced British Airways check in clerk was extremely rude and unpleasant (can’t remember why – think she was born that way). Nine hours and a bit later, we arrived in good ‘ole Miami International Airport, tired and irritable from sitting in a tin can and “Oh shit” we get called out of the immigration line and shoved into a little room with a heaving mass of other tired and irritable people. For four hours, FOUR EFFING HOURS we sat there not knowing why we had been singled out from three hundred odd other people on our flight, and I still bloody don’t know why to this day! No, before you ask why didn’t I ask as we sat there – well I did, in fact I was told to “Sit down and don’t ask questions otherwise, it would be hours before we were seen”. Bastard little hitlers…this is America and this is how they treat tourists – nice.

Well eventually we were ‘sprung’ into a hot, humid and mosquito ridden Miami night. Off we trotted to our hotel and fell into bed more than exhausted. Three hours later – wide awake due to jet lag and being the smoker that I am decided rather than wake my husband, I would go out onto the balcony and have a cigarette. I might at this point mention that we were on the 16th floor.  Five minutes later, Mr P woke up and decided to join me with a cigar. I might at this point mention that the balcony was absolutely tiny and had glass barriers. Whilst I gently pushed the sliding door (leaving it open just a little bit in case), Mr P (bless him) slid the door closed with a force that I wouldn’t have thought possible with the kind of day we had had and so little sleep. Well, you guessed it, the door shut and locked itself. Can I just mention again that we were 16 floors up, that we were on a tiny balcony with glass barriers, oh and I forgot to mention it was about 3am in the morning. “Oh Shit”. I’m laughing now as I sit here and type this, I think I even laughed then, I think we both did, well it was either laugh, cry or have an argument. Mr P obviously still having this strange strength, picked up one of the plastic chairs from the balcony and threw it onto the neighbours balcony hoping to wake them up….well it did because it shattered their glass door….lights went on and they came out to see two eccentric English people in their underwear smoking and throwing plastic furniture about. We explained our predicament and in between snorting hysterically, they kindly called down to reception to explain. Unfortunately, being the security minded woman that I am, I put the lock, chain etc on the door. “Oh Shit”.  Eventually about 45 minutes later, we saw through the closed balcony door a pile of people falling through the door of the room; they had to call the fire brigade (or whatever they call them over there) to come and break the door down.

Next morning….first day of cruise….exhausted to the point of zombiedom, we arrived at the port to board the ship to find that 90% of the passengers were old, very old, ancient…ok they could have been related closely to Methuselah. I don’t have a problem with old people, why, I’ll be old one day. However, it is a bit off putting trying to sunbathe around the pool with little motorised carts whizzing past at 5MPH and trying to enjoy a cocktail in the evening surrounded by people whose conversation generally included topics such as medicine for constipation or medicine to counteract the very opposite problem……Hey ho never mind, this was the Caribbean after all, sun, warmth and “Oh Shit” seriously stormy weather. I shall skim over the rest of the cruise to the journey home…..

I didn’t bother switching my mobile on during the cruise firstly it is too expensive and secondly I didn’t want to scare the old dears with ‘new fangled technology’ ; ) Once we got back on dry land though, I switched on the phone to find a message from my Dad…”Don’t worry, everything’s ok, but you’ve been burgled and they’ve taken the TT (Mr P’s pride and joy) but the house is in one piece and we’ve tidied up for you”. Altogether now “OH SHIT”. We boarded the plane, shaken upset and angry. How dare anyone invade our privacy and our lovely home. We were stuck at the back of the plane (I hate being back there, way too bumpy if there is turbulence). My chair collapsed…Oh joy, it wouldn’t stop reclining half way…they wouldn’t find us other seats (Oh boy BA, you were shit then and you are still shit) Unfortunately at this point, I caught the eye of one of the other passengers, my luck, a man with so many tattoo’s and piercings that he must of run out of space and rented part of his partners body too as she was fairly ‘inked and pierced as well). This thing winked at me and started making disgusting hand gestures. I ignored him. Time flew by (pardon the pun) slowly, but for Mr Tattoo, it was passed drinking and drinking and drinking some more. He was obviously a happy drunk as he did enjoy a sing song. In fact he tried to get everyone to sing along with him. For nine hours he sang and you are not going to believe this…”Always look on the bright side of life” at the top of his voice. The cabin crew eventually had to strap him into his chair and put a blanket over his head but you could still hear him although it was muffled. Upon landing at Heathrow, he was arrested and that was that.

We did eventually get over this holiday and we did go on another cruise but it spoilt it for us…..Mr P got his car back but sold it because it felt soiled.  I managed to get over the shock of someone going through my drawers (well they did look in my lingerie cupboard for jewellery) and eighteen months later, we took a short break but I was nervous the whole time.

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