Thursday, September 02, 2010


The Lithuanian guy behind the bar thought for a moment, then said, "What's today? Tuesday? Then it must be Corsica".

This must be the kind of life that the crew on a cruise ship lead. The poor guy wasn't going to have time to get ashore; it was just another mundane day for him. For us it was going to be an exciting prospect of visiting the island for the first time and enjoying a dip in the Mediterranean.

Going on a cruise is a curious business, almost surreal. On this small ship we were plunged into a tiny world where nothing else mattered except where we'd be tomorrow, what was for dinner, if the sea would be rough that night (as it was on one occasion when our cabin turned into a tumble-dryer), who was sleeping with who, and if the gossip that spread like flu was true or not.

As if we were back in school, we were herded from one place to another, heads counted and events constantly organised just in case we had attention spans the size of an ant.

No-one could hide their delight when the noisy, over-dressed group of friends, who incessantly sought attention and one-upmanship, were given an ear-wigging by the headmaster - sorry, Captain - for being late back on board. Who cared a fig for recession and inflation when the daily news was this exciting?

No, this wasn't our ship
Would I go on a cruise again? Oh yes, I enjoyed every moment of being carted off by someone else to see the sights and of having no responsibility or decision-making.

I just hope that the crew are properly paid, that's all.

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