Wednesday, 4 November 2009

I remember my first trip abroad.

This is me collecting my cruise ticket and toasting my success in a national newspaper competition, the prize being a Caribbean cruise for 2 for 18 days. This all happened about 20 years ago---note the massive "Deirdre Barlow" specs! Someone from the newspaper phoned me to tell me I'd won and I rushed out to the farm steading to tell Chic, but no one was about so back to the house to phone my mother. I remember her words very well; "That's wonderful but do you know this is the expensive time to phone. I'll phone you back after 6pm!"
Chic took a bit of persuading to accompany me as he was not a "holiday" person but capitulated in the end.
We had never been abroad so had no passports and had never been on a plane and Chic still had to be persuaded to leave his bonnet behind--"We're not cruising with that!"
It turned out to be the most wonderful experience, with a week cruising the eastern Caribbean on the Crown Princess, then back to Fort Lauderdale in Florida and transfering to the sister ship, Regal Princess, for a week in the western Caribbean and a visit to Mexico. I did feel a bit unwell on the return from Mexico as there was a terrific gale blowing and even that massive ship with its modern stabilisers was extremely unstable. Chic turned out to be an extremely good sailor.
There were lots of courses served at the meals, But even I, eventually, had to cut them down to 3 and after dinner each night we had wonderful shows in the theatre.
Every morning we'd wake up to a new shoreline in a different island and we'd have a shore trip during the day. I think my favourite must have been St. Johns in the Virgin Islands.
Everywhere in this region is very beautiful, lush and green.
Before the trip started we were told to use our credit card on board ship. We didn't have one but it was soon acquired. Imagine my horror when we were about to board the plane for Miami from London when I discovered that I'd left the damned thing at home. I phoned the travel agent who had arranged our trip and he told us not to worry(!)--he would arrange for payment of our on board expenses (which were a minimum) and he would bill us when we arrived home.
I took dozens of photographs, in slide form, and have now bought a scanner which converts them to digital images. Right now it is not working too well---it might be due to my "slow" laptop.Some day I hope to be able to post some of them.
We had dipped into a world a million miles from our own!
Other recall their memories on this site.
Posted by Picasa


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh I love this post! We took a couple of cruises back about then and it was a fabulous experience for us (something really new for us, we hadn't traveled at all then, even in our own country. My scanner thing is broken now, but I am looking foward to re-joining "remember whensday" one of these days. I had only thought about scanning old family pictures before, but you're right those old vacations where we just had slides would be a great topic too.

Thanks for sharing.


Janie said...

Sounds like a great trip with wonderful memories.

Sally in WA said...

To win a trip exciting! I loved your story this week along with the picture. This is a great memory to share in the Remember Whensday meme.

Coffeedoff said...

what a lovely thing to happen, glad you had a great time!