ruby.jpgPacking for my next cruise, which starts tomorrow, is creating a bit of a dilemma. Because I don’t know where I’m going.
Don’t worry, it’s not that I’m in the throes of a bout of amnesia, or -whatever you might think – suffering from dementia. No, I’ll be one of about 600 passengers travelling on a mystery cruise aboard Saga Ruby (above) and we are all completely in the dark about our destination. All we know is the ship leaves Southampton on Friday afternoon, and will return in the morning of December 18.
We have been told that during the intervening 16 nights the ship will visit at least eight ports in four countries, and make at least three maiden calls.
The itinerary and the ports of call are the choice of Captain Alistair McLundie; only he, his watchkeeper, the chief purser and the shore excursion staff know in advance. Everyone else on the ship will only find out when an announcement is made after the ship has berthed.
All electronic charts will be turned off, so we won’t be able to check on our progress by looking on the in-cabin TV screens, and the daily programmes won’t be giving any clues either.
It won’t be possible to book excursions in advance, so when we arrive in a port there will be a half-day mystery tour.
There will, we are promised, be a mystery to solve during the cruise, although as wine with lunch and dinner, beer, cocktails and house-label spirits are all complimentary throughout the voyage, I’m not entirely sure my head will be clear enough to solve it.
But back to the packing. It’s the beginning of December, and I’ve checked the weather forecast, so surely we can’t be going north? It could be cold, wet and windy. And the days are shorter.
We’ve got to be turning right out of the Solent, heading west through the Channel and then south for the sun. Haven’t we? Or maybe I do need to take my thermals and waterproofs, just in case. Better safe than sorry.
As long as we don’t stray beyond internet range, I’ll be keeping you up to date on our progress throughout the course of next week. I’m not doing the full round-trip and Saga are flying me home on December 10. But where from is still a mystery.