Too Cool to Cruise?

So, I’ve been invited on a family holiday.

“How does a week away sound?” says my Dad. “Seven nights exploring a few cities in Europe, as much food and drink as you can consume; balcony rooms – all with sea views.”

I let this sink in for a minute as the cheer of a free holiday starts to spread into a grin.

Before I get chance to reply, he’s walking off rather briskly down the hall, half turning to mutter over his shoulder. “Yes, I think we’ll all enjoy a cruise and a holiday with the grandkids.”

Stunned silence as the grin slips into a grimace.

There are two things about that really.
Holiday with the kids – surely that’s an oxymoron?
Cruise? I’m 33. Unequivocally that’s 32 years too young.

I pace off to the kitchen to take him up on the small print, which he imparted with such speed and run the full picture through my mind while I’m en route.

The salient points being that the “room” is actually a cabin, the “sea view” is something of a permanent fixture and the chance to spend time together is more a hostage situation in an escape-proof space.

I emerge through the doorway to see him grinning and proffering chocolate biscuits to take the edge off.

“You’ve already booked it haven’t you?”

“They’ve got caramel centres” he says, ploughing on and wafting the pack under my nose, failing to contain the smirk and bursting into full-blown laughter.

“I have” he says, devoid of all remorse.

© P&O Cruises

© P&O Cruises

It just can’t be right.

Seven nights aboard the high-seas, enforced jollity and deck quoit competitions. War heroes and sequined grannies cutting a foxtrot while Jane McDonald bangs out show tunes. Group city tours that are too short for you to escape and too long for you to feign interest. Dinner tables set for 16 so conversation is compulsory, swimming pools full of shower-capped grey heads and the latest perfume from Dame Barbara Cartland permeating every corridor.

“When are we leaving?”


Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s all glamour and cocktails by the pool, plush cabins and champagne sunsets on the balcony. Either way, I’ve got 114 days to think about it.



21 thoughts on “Too Cool to Cruise?

  1. Oh I’d love to go on a cruise and I certainly think it is not aged restrictive.

    I agree about the numbers you go with can be quite burdensome.

    I have friends who’ve been on cruises and love it. They’ve taken the kids and hardly see them for the day since there is so much for them to do on the boat.

    1. I’m hoping that I’ve imagined the worst possible scenario and that I can only be pleasantly surprised now.
      Travelling with children isn’t my idea of fun but it looks like there’s plenty of room to hide 🙂

    1. Hi Paula
      I’m really hoping that I’m wrong. Lots of people contacted me through Twitter to say it’s amazing and not at all like the stereotype.
      Think we should give it a try. Plus, it might be quite nice to be the youngsters on board 🙂

  2. Hey Sara, don’t worry, you’ll have a great time. I was once on a cruise for 4 days & there was so much to do on & off the ship, it was a superb holiday. And trust me there’ll be so many activities around the vessel that you can easily get lost from the rest of the group if you really feel like it 😉

    1. Thank you, I’m starting to look forward to it now. So many younger people have said how great it is and not at all just for retired couples.
      Should be fun and best of all – free! 🙂

  3. Hi Sara, Sorry to disagree that you are too young for a cruise. I went in a cruise some years ago and I must tell you, that they were one the best holidaysI ever had. To give you an idea… Love the dynamic of the days. Changing outfits, exploring the towns, taking profit of the activities. swimming pool, eat in all different places of the ship, jacuzzi. Dancing in the nightclubs under the moon shadow and being treated like a queen…might also please you.
    Enjoy your cruise

    1. Thank you Raquel
      I’m really starting to look forward to it now. Lots of younger people seem to have been taking cruises in the last year or so and have told me it wasn’t at all what they expected.
      Really excited to see for myself, now it’s getting closer 🙂

    1. Ha ha! I can’t lie it was absolutely AMAZING. Quite seriously, nothing like I had expected and the service on P&O was exceptional. Trust me, there’s not as much line-dancing and show tunes as you may fear.
      Post and photos coming soon 🙂

      1. Hi S do your own thing on a cruise….I have my own yacht but can never decide
        where to go.Any ideas ?sail from Liverpool.

  4. Well, man is just as old or young as he himself experiences. Mainly I have made only day cruises on some of our lakes. Few times when cruising from Helsinki to some German city and vice versa. I enjoyed those cruises, but the only bad thing is eating too much and You can guess what it means. 🙂

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