Playing games on a Sunday afternoon
Incarcerated in the pub on a Sunday afternoon, with rain drops colliding against the windows, you can do much worse than initiating a spot of the ‘word-association’ game. It goes like this: I say ‘dog’ and then you say the first thing that comes into your head – ‘cat?’ – Yes- you’ve got it. Then the chain continues until someone says something odd, revealing, ludicrous, disquieting or disturbing. After, this everyone laughs, then shuffles a few inches away along the bench.
Now put the word-association game into practice with the word, ‘cruise’. ‘Hot?’, ‘Suez?’, ‘Mediterranean?’, ‘Fine food?’, ‘Soft music?’ Well, I have gone wrong here for starters. You can only use one word answers, so ‘fine food’ and ‘soft music’ are out immediately. But the point lingers, the word ‘cruise’ is a loaded one. As the psychologists amongst you will have already gathered, I link it with vivid images of slipping through Suez sipping away on a Martini, or anchored alongside a shimmering Italian port observing the driving from a safe distance.
But I’ve got it wrong. Of course all cruises are not like this, just as all Canadians don’t glug maple syrup for breakfast and all Frenchmen don’t cycle off to get a baguette in the morning. It appears that my worldview is a touch one-dimensional.
I discovered this after a little dallying on P&O Ferries’ site learning about their Mini Cruises. They are, and I quote, ‘Just the ticket if you fancy a well-earned break to recharge the batteries – or simply to restock the wine rack.’
In sum, they make quite good sense. Not everyone has the money or the time to conduct vast sweeps of the world’s oceans, stopping off for strolls in each port of note. But that doesn’t mean that people should be excluded from the thrills of a maritime expedition. This is where the P&O Mini Cruises swing, perfectly, into play.
The Straits of Dover are amongst the most evocative stretches of water about. Just think of being waved away by Vera Lynn’s chalky white cliffs, only to be met by the green pastures of the northern continent shortly after they have melted into the horizon. If we are falling into cliché, you can think of the sea air in your hair, the spray jumping out of the waves and all of that. Wonderful.
P&O offer Mini Cruises to suit wallets and timetables alike. From a list of UK ports you can ride the waves to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bruges, Bilbao and Calais. The entertainment on board is finely evolved to match expectations and there is the opportunity to scoop an hour or two of duty-free shopping which lends itself perfectly to both saving money and stocking up on an inventory of presents.
So, let’s play the word association game again. ‘P&O Mini Cruises’ – ‘Quick?’, ‘Fun?’, ‘Affordable?’, ‘Europe and back in a day or two?’
To find out more about P&O’s list of Mini Cruises visit the P&O special offers page.