You know that it is a big ask when you want a holiday that will cater for everyone in your group, regardless of age. In our case the youngest was 3 years old and the oldest was 70 years old (sorry Dad). Dad had very kindly surprised us all with a P&O cruise to Norway so that we could help him celebrate his 70th birthday.
We were all very excited. Our immediate little family had been on a P&O cruise before. Last November we had been on the Britannia to the Caribbean. Our very first cruise and we loved it! Looking back I can’t believe that we were ever worried we wouldn’t enjoy it. It was partly down to our new found enthusiasm for cruising that convinced my mum and dad that they should give it a go. However, this made me very nervous. Firstly, my mum isn’t the best when it comes to any form of boat travel. The ladies on my side of the family aren’t the best when it comes to travelling across water. My nan always likes to say that she gets seasick getting into a bath and my mum also doesn’t have a good track record with anything sea like. When I moved over to Jersey Mr C was already on the island, having moved ahead several months earlier. Therefore, my mum came on the boat to help me with the children and moving us over. The boat journey takes about 6 hours. Now it wasn’t that rough but my mum spent the whole time pinned to her seat looking ashen. At Christmas we went to St Malo for the day on the ferry. This is a relatively short journey in that it only takes about an hour. This time my mum was more prepared, she took sea sickness tablets. This resulted in knocking her out completely and she slept there and back on the ferry and stumbled around St Malo in a drug induced haze. I was convinced that this holiday would either see my mum pale and pinned to her seat or sleeping in a drug induced haze. I couldn’t decide which one was more preferable for the cruise 😉 .
I need not have worried! Despite the sea being a little choppy at times there was no sea sickness in sight. One day my mum wore her sea sickness bands but apart from that she was completely fine. It is no surprise really as the Britannia is a massive ship and therefore you aren’t as likely to feel the movement as you would on a normal ferry. To put it into context how big Britannia is –
Britannia’s important stats
- She is Britain’s biggest cruise ship
- 1,082 feet long. That is longer than the height of the Shard!
- Weighs 141,000 tonnes.
- She can carry 5,000 people
Britannia is one very impressive ship with something for everyone. There are kid’s clubs, cinemas, bars, theatres, spa, swimming pools, gym, restaurants galore, golf nets.
The list is endless. The food, did I mention the food? There is something for everyone. Everybody had a grand time and it was really lovely to get away as a family. We all live in different countries so we don’t see each other very often. Going on a cruise meant that we were able to catch-up with each other and enjoy each other’s company whilst still enjoying our own space. We did trips everyday with each other and would have our main meals together but we would often disperse to go and do our own thing too.
What my mum and dad thought……
I will be doing a review later on but for now I thought that you might be interested to know what my mum and dad thought of the cruise. Like I mentioned earlier this was my mum and dad’s very first cruise. Now they are people who have very high standards and I would say that they can be very hard to impress, hence why I was feeling slightly nervous. My dad can be a man of few words and during the cruise he kept his cards very close to his chest. He was obviously having a good time but on the other hand he wasn’t being very vocal in explaining what he thought of the cruise. I was still unsure of what he thought of the cruise until the very last day when both my mum and dad demonstrated that in their case actions really do speak louder than words. On the very last day they sat us all down and told us that –
“we have just gone and booked a round the world cruise”
Yep, I think it would be fair enough to say that they really enjoyed the cruise. Come January they will be leaving to go travelling for 4 months! When we were told this I think I might have burst out laughing whilst my brother choked on his biscuit! It is very unlike them to be this spontaneous or maybe it isn’t. I don’t think I know anymore. All I know is that I think it’s fantastic. They have always wanted to see the world and now they are going to be able to do just that. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend your retirement. Whilst I will really miss them and their daily WhatsApp messages and the hilarious weekly phone calls from my mum, I am also really excited for them and maybe just the tiniest bit jealous too.
Dad, just remember what you learnt on this cruise – naked yoga on your balcony whilst in port is never a good idea 😉