I am not a princess.
I do not need 5-star accommodation and wireless internet and 24hr cappucinos. Please realise that while a cruise sounds *divine* - this one was seriously flawed. I was not alone in my disappointment - many, many passengers were unhappy.
So, let us begin:
1. We all get sea sick to varying degrees....except Hooli - who is totally immune!
I think that is fairly self explanatory. The ship receptionist was handing out motion sickness pills like smarties....but it did little to alleviate our nausea. Fortunately none of us were actually physically ill, thank God! The Melody is a small ship and they should mention in the advertising that SIGNIFICANT motion can be felt even in calmish waters.
2. We do not enjoy sharing holiday time with 1488 other people.
We queued for breakfast. We queued for lunch. We could never find 5 chairs together. We couldnt get into the entertainment areas - if you had a hope of find a seat you needed to be there an hour before! It was ridiculous. It is not hard : they have 600 seats in the entertaiment arena - they booked 1488 people onto the ship. That is not right.
We spent a good deal of time in our cabin because it was quiet and comfortable and had room service!
3. Entertainment is a very subjective thing.
Two of my kids went to kids club once for a few hours and were totally unimpressed. Twice that I popped my head in I found them with tiny pieces of newprint paper and broken crayons....this was advertised as *Come Make Gifts for Our Captain*. They never went again and I dont blame them.
In terms of adult entertainment....well, lets just say that I want to be entertained...I dont want to be the entertainment. So games where humiliation is the order of the day dont float my boat. Of course there were other options like bingo, making paper flowers and treasure hunts...? Um, ja.
4. I have well-behaved, respectful, patient and resourceful children.
This was well-illustrated in many situations. They had to wait. A lot. They had to stand in queues while they were very hungry. A lot. They couldnt always do the things they had hoped to do. They had to amuse themselves and they did this without complaining.
5. We can all survive quite happily without tv, dvd, laptops and the like.
There was a tv in our cabin. It was about 20yrs old and as big as a box of OMO. It had one channel upon which they played the same dvd for 2 days at a time. And I am not joking.
We didnt take computers. I didnt visit the Internet Cafe once. We didnt take portable dvd players.
And finally the embarkation (3hrs) and disembarkation (4hrs) were shocking. On the last day we were shuffled into a lounge like sardines and ended up sitting on the floor (with 200 hundred others) for 3.5hrs waiting for our disembarkation to be called. No food or even water was provided.This was just the last straw.
My overall experience is one of disappointment although at least I can check it off my list of *things to do in my lifetime* . I chatted to the travel agent and she has asked me to write a letter detailing the experience.
I have learnt something new about myself too.....I am more of a country holiday girl than I thought...bring on Mcgregor any day of the week!