The flight out to Rome from Manchester wasn't at the most convenient time; we had to be at the airport, a one and a half hour drive away, by four am. Buoyed up however by excitement we made it in time, had the regulation gin and tonic and boarded the plane full of enthusiasm.
The first little glitch came just as we were revving up for take off. Some poor unfortunate man had a seizure and because we were by the exit doors, with, we thought, lots of wonderful leg room, they brought him right in front of us to treat him as we taxied back to our starting point. To everyone's relief the man recovered fairly quickly but of course we had to wait for the medics to come aboard and see to him and then they had to find his case amongst the dozens of others in the hold.
Our late arrival in Rome of course made it a struggle to find our taxi to the ship but, to our relief, we finally managed to get to the cruise ship and duly boarded.
The ship was busier that we remembered. Dinner in the evening was great but buffet breakfasts were a battle for tables and food -not helped by the fact that no one spoke any English, which proved to be a major problem when we got lost, as we did almost every evening going to dinner at the other end of the ship. Over three thousand is an awful lot of people in one place. Don't get me wrong, I'm smiling rather than moaning.
It was lovely to spend time with my sister and her husband but I think we were quite glad to be finally going home. We should have guessed however that it wouldn't be plain sailing... I mean flying.
Of course then we missed our connection to Manchester, another huge glitch. Eventually, after another large dose of stress, we managed to organise a flight but by then our lift was already waiting for us in Manchester whilst we were still at Heathrow London.
All in all it was a lovely holiday. We saw a lot and definitely learned a lot. Two things will stick in my memory. Namely, don't go on a cruise if you want to try and chill out and never try to recreate a holiday you once really enjoyed and expect it to be just as good.