For many a world cruise is a dream, an ambition, it is something that happened on those old classic ships like The Black Watch. But no, many ships, a lot newer and with more facilities now circumnavigate the world. It is a bucket list adventure and not like any other cruise you will ever do.
It is certainly nothing like a two-week cruise around the Caribbean – nothing. Sure, it is expensive, and it takes a lump sum pension payout, or the nerve to spend your savings, but it does define the bucket list and what you saved for. The bucket list is, a list of things you have to do before the lights get turned out, and if you feel you have earned such an adventure, find the courage to say yes.
Are there any downsides? Yes – with 107 nights or so at sea your old friends see you on Facetime, and your new friends are going to see one or two of your dresses twice…. you are going to need to get your hair cut on board. Joking aside, this is like moving house, moving into a cabin where you put your name on the door. It is a massive Big Brother House with new neighbours, but one where your every need is waited-on hand and foot. I have worked away from home all my career, whether on movies, TV series, in countries all over over the globe, but 107 days away waited-on and just exploring yourself as well as the world seems unreal. I now normally get to join a few world cruises for a couple of weeks as a guest, to lecture. So if you see me on the programme come and say high.
Jean and I have done Panama Canal to Tahiti, which is eleven days on the ship without a port. That was on the old Black Watch which is no longer in such a service. That is the longest we have ever done and it inspired my cruise crime novel Cruise Ship Serial Killer. The chases around the ship above and below decks and the problems with then docking in a French port can feel real. Click the picture for more details.
On the ship, without a murder, you soon begin to feel you live there, you get used to the routine and it is getting off that will be the problem. On films, the crews used to call it ‘going native’ but life on board is not like the deep jungle of Apocolypse Now, though you might get to see a stop or two in Vietnam.
A world cruise is not so much the fantastic stops like Kerala, which was the setting of the second Real Marigold Hotel starring Paul Nicholas et al, but it is ‘a dream come’ true that you can only experience by being on a ship that long. It is the most relaxing, life-changing event ever, and it is likely you will wish to do it all again. Think of it as the gap year you never had as a youth, because you didn’t get what students expect now going into huge debt while enjoying life. This is your time. This is a world cruise, and it starts this November, so treat yourself.