Tomorrow I embark on my first ever cruise holiday. I have a lovely kind and generous friend with whom I have occasional holidays. In 2010 we went to Florence; last year it was Masham in Yorkshire. This year it’s a 14 night cruise called North Cape and Land of the Midnight Sun, which is mostly Norway but also includes Murmansk in Russia.
We chose this holiday on the basis of it being MS-friendly – the ship departs from Newcastle (actually the port is in North Shields, but they call it Newcastle) so it’s just a 15 mile drive to get there. Our luggage is taken to our cabins for us, all our meals are made for us, and all we have to do is enjoy the trip. I know another person with MS who has gone on several cruise holidays, and she says it’s the ideal vacation for people like us. The only draw back I have identified so far, in comparison to a self catering holiday, is the lack of a washing machine. This may sound odd, the thing is on a cruise you have to dress for dinner, and there are two formal evenings. That’s a lot of clothes, especially when you can’t wash your day wear to use it twice. Can you imagine how many pairs of knickers are required!!! I have two sizeable pieces of luggage filled to almost bursting. The only things left to pack in the luggage are the items that I need to use before we go – mainly make up and toiletries. I even have a small folding stool for excursions so that I don’t have to stand as standing causes fatigue and back pain.
I bought a small rucksack last week when I was in Northern Ireland. I have to try to fit a variety of objects into it – vacuum flask for excursions, iPad, Kindle, medication, and something to keep my hands busy on the days we are at sea. I’ve been contemplating how to put together an embroidery kit that isn’t too bulky. I may end up just taking my Zentangle book, pens and pencils. That should be enough, along with the reading material on the iPad and Kindle, to keep me meaningfully occupied when not ashore.
I should have plenty of photographs to share on my return. I’ll be back on 18th July with lots to tell you.