Monday, 17 September 2012

First Cruise

Actually the title is not quite accurate because 46 years ago I was lucky enough to go on a school educational cruise to the Mediterranean. It cost my parents £52  which was very hard for them to find back then,we were shown photos of the wonderful ship we would be travelling on the SS Uganda which later was used as a troop ship during the Falklands war.
But when we arrived in Genoa  on a Laker aircraft back in 1966 it was the SS Devonia which we boarded for her last voyage before she was scrapped, and conditions were very basic.
Devonia01 we were supposed to have lessons each day on the ports we were to visit,but to add to the excitement we got caught up in a dispute between as I remember Cyprus and Turkey,and were diverted.
We went to Dubrovnik ,Venice,Malta,Palma,and Tunis where fair haired 13 year old girls were quite a novelty.We were supposed to go out in groups of Six ,but we seemed to go in pairs,can you imagine girls of that age being allowed to roam free in foreign countries today. My best friend Sue and I both had Kodak cameras ,the type that folded back into a flat pack,
Sue had a larger  camera because her father was the chief photographer at the local paper.
I remember the trip with so much happiness, we all ran riot on the ship as lessons were abandoned , we bartered in Tunis and even went to the cinema, visited a pharmacy in Dubrovnik  the oldest in Europe with its wonderful glass jars,I hope it survived the war years later,learnt how to blow glass in Venice, and had a ride in a Horse and carriage in Malta. We were only allowed to take a small amount of spending money ,but we did so much roaming free and even came back with lots of gifts.
At the end of the cruise we were allowed to take what we wanted from the ship before it was scrapped,and i think I had a metal chain from the bunk beds.I can remember almost every detail including the lunch pack we were given when we first arrived.I did not intend to write so much about that cruise back in 1966 ,but the memories just came flooding back.
And  Back to the present day
This has been my home for the last two weeks. just a little different to the Devonia.
Hard to believe there were over 3000 passengers on board
we saw lots of dolphins

and this was too far away to identify ,but we believe it was a very large whale. this is just the tip of the fin.

we passed this container ship which is one of the largest in the world and almost 100 metres longer than our cruise ship.
docked alongside other ships in port
and joined in with the famous sail aways when leaving port.
rode on a little train around Cannes
and admired the enormous private cruisers there for the boat show.DSC_0538
and quaint little alleyways.
am I allowed to say I found this statue quite disturbing ?
But found this one in Cartagena fascinating
but my favourite was this one on the ship
I must admit to not fully embracing the cruising lifestyle, we did not join in with all the entertainment which was on offer, but as relaxing holiday it was great,and you could do as much or as little as you wanted, and you could even eat 24hours a day if you so wished.


  1. I'm glad you had a great time on your holiday, the photos are wonderful. And that ship was huge! Must be a very interesting feeling to be out on the sea without the land in sight. :)

  2. I can think of another word to describe how I felt Sonja,I found it quite spooky at night hundreds of miles from land with just the sound of the ocean.

  3. what a fantastic all the photos especially of the clear blue sea and hearing about your first cruise too..hope you have many more of them too

  4. Hi Mary, This post was so interesting. I have never been on a cruise, but it does sound like a wonderful holiday. I really enjoyed your photos, past and present. Do you still have your old camera?
    It sounds like your parents planted the seed in you for adventure and travel . . . how wonderful. Have a great day, and thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed your post, Connie :)

  5. What an amazing trip! Beautiful photos that is some ship, so luxurious. I'm glad you got a chance to have a vacation and get away to such exotic places.
    I love the story of the cruise when you were a kid. It boggles the mind that they let you all travel alone with a friend in foreign countries. Love that old camera as well.

  6. Mary, thanks for sharing your stories and photos. I can't talk my husband into trying a cruise (he thinks of it as spending the entire holiday en route as opposed to on site), so I will live vicariously through you. What a grand adventure!

  7. Mary, thank you for sharing your stories and photos. I can't talk my husband into a cruise (he thinks of them as spending the entire holiday en route as opposed to on site), so I will live vicariously through you. What a grand adventure!