HOLIDAYS By Eleanor Jones

Today it's my turn to blog and I wanted to share my holiday experience with you all. We can smile about it now. My husband and I hadn't been on holiday for over two years so when my sister suggested that we go on a cruise around the Med, we jumped at the chance. We were full of enthusiasm as we did a similar cruise seven years ago for her fiftieth birthday, that time though we took the kids.

 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.

Running rather late but with enthusiasm still intact we eventually set off again and finally managed to get up into the air. Halfway to Rome and everything seemed fine, until a woman had a funny turn and, as before, they brought her to the front. Fortunately she soon recovered enough to eventually disembark on foot but we had to wait once again for the medics to board and see to her before we were allowed to get off the plane.

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.

We did see some lovely places. Capri and Marseille and Savona, Majorca and Barcelona, to name but a few. Having to find your way around a strange country every day though, whilst aware that you must get back to the ship by a certain time in order not to get left behind, does add a little stress to the situation.

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 the taxi we had ordered and paid for did not turn up. We waited an hour, panicked because there were no more taxis and no one left to ask and eventually, with huge relief, managed to find one that cost us another 180 euros. Way beyond caring about the money we made it to the airport in time only to find that the flight had been delayed and when we did eventually get to Heathrow we couldn't land for ages as we'd missed our slot, so we had to circle round and round above London.

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.


  1. My sympathies, Eleanor. How stressful and frustrating. But how nice, too, that you got to go to such wonderful places - and I would have loved the requisite Gin and Tonic. I get very seasick, so a cruise is probably out for me anyway. I suppose, on the good side, it's nice to be home among the horses you love so much.

  2. Eleanor, That sounds like a mix of fun and not fun at all. It seems more and more people are having the not-so-fun cruises. I wonder if they overbook to make up for some of the major problems they've had to reimburse travelers for? It's good you were with your sister and family since sometimes misery loves company. My two sisters-in-law and their spouses love to cruise and they go on at least 2 a year. I've only ever been on 2 and didn't care for either one. It's just nothing that appeals to me. But we will expect to see some of your more interesting experiences show up in your books.

    1. Thanks Roz We enjoyed it last time but I think you are right about the overbooking

  3. Well this sounds like the basis for your next novel. smile

  4. Your vacation sounds a lot like mine. Only not on a cruise. Just wandering around, getting lost trying to get to the coast or to our hotel. And like Sandra said, sounds like a good book. :-)

    1. We aren't very experienced travellers I'm afraid


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