A Christmas Cruise to Remember

Pauline Harrison from Marple & Goyt Valley Inner Wheel has provided this article.


Having lost my husband in late December 2020, daughterJulia suggested I might consider a Cruise for Christmas 2021. During the week coming up to Christmas it felt strange packing knowing that having a Covid Test early Christmas morning at Manchester Airport might result in us returning back home and having to beg a Christmas Lunch.

Both Negative meant we could fly! Just one problem as l was walking my fairly long skirt was slowly heading to the floor and I needed both hands to manipulate luggage. Every time I stopped to pull it back up Julia looked more worried. Fortunately a lady member of staff went off and came back with a stapler!

The 9 hour flight passed thanks to eating, watching a film and reading a good book. Once on board P&O Cruise Ship Azura you soon appreciate all there is on offer and we ate dinner with another two couples who Julia had met on previous cruises.

At the end of the meal a plate of tiny little chocolate Christmas Puddings containing rum arrived - I ate 3! Having been up since 6am I think we went straight to bed.

The weather, the company, the food, the trips to the islands of the Caribbean made for a good holiday- I especially enjoyed the trip on a catamaran at Antigua- the Rum Punches had us all singing to the music even as we arrived back at the port.

At St. Kitts we had an interesting tour on a 16 seater bus -we were first taken to a Garden with a 400 year old Tree and later The Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park.

At Tortola - we first visited a beach where birds were fishing but the biggest fish was caught by a passenger with what looked like a river fishing rod! Returning to the port we had to see Pusser’s Bar which is full of lovely old photographs and has a shop at the rear selling the most amazing soft cotton items.

On the 12th day of our Cruise Julia tested Positive - myself still negative but we both were moved to isolate in separate cabins - Julia for 10 days and myself for 7 days - unfortunately on my 6th day I tested Positive. That meant we were both on board for 28 days - not the worse place to isolate perhaps. During our isolation other passengers and other friends of Julia’s were super at sending us little treats and of course we could communicate via What’s app with family and other friends - we also had telephones in our rooms. On Julia`s 10th day she should have been allowed out of Isolating but she requested that she stayed next to me for which I was of course extremely grateful. Fortunately we were both allowed to fly back on Saturday 22nd January 2022.