Thanks Scotslad, I'm glad you found them interesting - there's more if you're interested……PM me. I've no claim to fame - I just love ships and the seas.
My first shipboard experience (when I was about 3) was an overnight trip from Stranraer to Larne (no longer available) - of course it was rough - Mum succumbed first, shortly followed by my Dad. Bright as a button and rarin’ to go, I'm told I was handed into the care of a Stewardess- and reported back the following morning that 'she was a nice lady and I had lots and lots of ice cream!" Kids!
My first real voyage was in 1939 - we sailed for Canada for a visit with Mum's brother and arrived back in Greenock no more than a week before war broke out.
We sailed from Greenock on The Duchess of Richmond. It was blowing a gale when we left and poor Mum (bless her) spent the first 2 days in bed – what I’m told is referred to ‘as the meeting of the waters’ frequently throws unaccustomed sailors off balance – fortunately, she quickly found her sea legs. The highlight of that trip for me was being bundled in a blanket and taken on deck to see (I think - correct me please if I'm wrong) The Empress of Canada carrying the King and Queen back to the UK from their first Canadian tour - searchlights, fireworks, streamers, balloons, whistles and horns blaring from both ships…….for sure a night to remember - I’d graduated to hot chocolate and biscuits by then! We came home on The Duchess of York – believe she was torpedoed early in the war.
Of course I immigrated to Canada by ship (The Samaria) and returned home (as I’d promised!) a year later – Canada had stolen part of my heart so it was back here 8 months later. Since that first crossing I've logged a total of 10.
Cruising, as distinct from ‘crossings’ has become our favourite holiday – not though on any of today’s behemoths, I call them floating apartment blocks……why anyone would want to rock climb, ice skate or traipse around shopping malls at sea is beyond me! But, to each his own – there are ships and itineraries that cater to all tastes. We’re off for 2 weeks on the MAASDAM (Holland America Line) in November – and I just can’t wait!!
P.S. I'm saving up for a QM2 crossing! She's a bit big for my liking but...........