Setting Sail

I’m a Traveller. Always have been. It’s not for everyone, for sure. There are people who a born, grow up, and live in one locale. Typically the people whom provide the local colour that distinguishes one place from another. This can be very nuanced, and is imperative for a diverse planet. Some people never leave their country, some their province, and there are a few whom never cross the county line.

But not me. For a bunch of reasons, including heritage, parents, their work, and mine, I’m a traveller. Where there are those that have lived, and never left a single place, I fall to the other end of the spectrum. I’ve been staying in different places for as long as I can remember. When I was 4 it was the dormitories for flight crew at Heathrow (my grandmother was the matron there) and my first conscious memories are waking up to the sounds of jets taking off and landing at one of the world’s busiest airports.

Since then I’ve slept just in just about every structure known to man. Houses & apartments; from 5-star hotels to dodgy motels; B&B’s, cabins, & caravans; boarding school dormitories, military barracks, backpacker hostels; large group tents (in the military & scouts), family tents, backpacker tents, self-made survival bivouacs, caves, and under the stars; I’ve slept in yachts, both sail and motor, from 26′ to 107′; on trains, in jets; and occasionally on busses.

As to travelling itself, I’ve gotten from A to B (and sometimes just back to A) by just about any means: walking, hiking, & hitch-hiking; over a million miles driving cars & mini-vans; and a bunch more as a passenger in vans, mini-busses, busses, coaches & trucks; I’ve cycled hundreds & motorcycled tens of thousands of miles; I’ve scuba dived, paddled, rowed, sailed, and motored on rivers, lakes, seas and across oceans from paddle-skis, to Hobie cats, runabouts, RIB’s, and ski-boats, yachts, punts, ferries & once even on a tug; I’ve enjoyed and endured crossing nations on trains; and I’ve flown in micro-lights, gliders, single & twin engined light aircraft, helicopters, and the gamut of commercial aircraft from the diminutive Beechcraft King Air to the awe inspiring Airbus A380. (twice even in first class – totally a gremlin in the system). Once I even flew in a mail delivery airplane whilst hitch-hiking. True story.

But in 46 years, across 5 continents, 4 oceans, more seas and countries than I can remember, I have never been on a cruise ship. Never.

It’s That Time

Ready to Board

So when Lucy surprised me with a cruise for our 19th wedding anniversary, I was blown away. Totally gob-smacked, especially considering Lu gets awfully sea-sick, and delighted to experience something totally, entirely, and wonderfully brand new.

The company is the Royal Caribbean International Line, and the boat is Radiance of the Seas. Our port of departure, arguably the prettiest in the world, is Sydney Harbour. We’re headed up the coast with a day in Newcastle (!!) to Brisbane, then a couple of nights cruising back to Sydney.

Sunset Leaving Sydney

Heading to SeaThe boat is massive, and opulent. Our stateroom is probably half the size of an average hotel room, although about 10 times the size of any space I’ve slept in on a boat. We have a Queen sized bed (insane), with an en-suite shower cubicle, and built in wardrobes. Wi-fi (which we won’t be using at U$0.75c per minute) and an LCD TV. But it’s the rest of the ship that impresses. With it’s 13 decks, putt-putt course, multiple pools together with slides, an Ice Rink, and get this, a Rock Climbing Wall. Of course there’s quoits as well. It’s like someone thought “What is the most ridiculous thing we can attempt to do on a boat?” and then popped it on. There are pool tables, dance floors, a two story theatre, and more restaurants than a suburban shopping mall.

So here I am, on a ship. A passenger, cruise ship. Disconnected, offline, and enjoying the ocean.

What a way to experience the 19th time Lucy and I have gone away to celebrate our marriage.

And as to the first time this traveller has experienced the sea on a cruise ship…

…it won’t be the last.

I have a pool deck to chillax at – ciao

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