The Daily Prompt is ‘Tourist’…..
Yes, I have been a tourist – hands up, I admit it…..
Now – I’m going to tell you a secret. Don’t tell anyone else, will you? Ready for this? – I once ……
….. went on a cruise. For 15 days. An actual cruise ship holiday! There I’ve said it. It didn’t hurt me that much to tell you, as I thought it would. Many years ago, I swore I’d never ever in my life go on that sort of holiday. Why would I want to be held captive in a floating block of flats for two weeks, being herded round like sheep, queueing for everything, fighting for a sunbed by a tiny pool, eating as much food as you could stuff in your body?
I won’t make excuses, but basically we went because it was a last minute deal, and very cheap. We booked less than a week before we went on the ship. And it was my special birthday and wedding anniversary combined. It worked out per night as the same price for the two of us to stay in an average bed and breakfast place for a fortnight, but including as much food as you could eat, plus high-class entertainment etc.
We never paid for any shore attractions or trips, we preferred to do our own thing. We didn’t take the expensive drinks package, and withdrew from the scheme for all inclusive tips bring added to your bill. We kept expenses to a minimum. So when we were in Amsterdam, many passengers paid over 60 euros each to go on a coach from the ship, which took them less than a mile into town, then decanted them straight onto a crowded canal boat. We walked half a mile into town, explored as much as we liked, and paid 14 euros to go on a virtually empty canal boat. The same in Tenerife, and Lanzarote, and Las Palmas, and Madeira, and Lisbon. We had more fun finding our own way around these places than being cooped up on a coach.
We did do some tourist things – we caught the cable car up the hill in Madeira, but we didn’t pay to go on the tourist ‘sledge’ which took you back down again. In Gibraltar, we saw the famous apes but didn’t walk round in a big group, we went by ourselves.
One of the nicest days was in Las Palmas, when I did some research of how to get to the beach, which turned out only to be about a mile and a half away, and we ended up having a wonderful morning on an uncrowded glorious beach. We didn’t find anyone else on the ship who did this, they were all told it was too far to go.
So I have been a tourist, yes, but also a traveller. And don’t knock cruise ships until you’ve tried one!