Our Wedding Cruise Begins Here……

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Cruising, P&O, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My original intention was to write the first blog of our Wedding Cruise on Day 1. Why not? It’s almost logical to start the blog with first day. On reflection, I’m glad I didn’t.

The day started on Wednesday, our first real chance for us both to pack for what was to be a 3+ week cruise from New Zealand to Singapore during which time, we would be married at sea by the Ship’s Captain. Prepared? I don’t think so: we only had, after all, the best part of a year to get ready. Granted, the wedding bit was a relatively recent enhancement to the cruise, though even that had an interesting ‘last minute’ twist.

Last Minute Twist?

Let me explain, Debbie, quite rightly wanted her wedding dress to be just so but we were having trouble finding the right outfit. For my part, whatever she wore would be fine by me, just so long as she was there, but Debbie didn’t buy that. Eventually however, we wandered into an Alice Temperly store to find what was just perfect and at just £350 a snip. So that was that, dress sorted shoes could easily be sourced from Russell and Bromley – where else? All we had to now was await the day of departure but, just over a week before we were due to leave, the future Mrs Me declared that she wasn’t quite sure about the dress, although she did agree it would be good for the going away evening (we’ll be on a ship so not sure where exactly she thought we’d be going away to). However, a quick trawl through the Internet, she identified a bridal wear outfit that would be so must better. So, a couple of a frantic phone calls and an emergency fitting was scheduled for the next day to be followed up by three additional fittings, all in the space of 7 days. I’m still not clear what it cost but I do know that cardboard box it came in, cost £50! I shall give my verdict on the dress on the 5th March, the day after our wedding.

Anyway, back to day 1. Our flight was scheduled for 18:05 with Cathay Pacific; first to Hong Kong, then a change of planes for the last leg to Auckland, New Zealand. So we left on Wednesday (mid-day to get to the airport in good time) and reached New Zealand on Friday and embarked the Arcadia at mid-day on Friday. By this time, we were both extremely tired and grouchy (a grouchy Mrs Me, you really don’t want to meet and yours truly isn’t a lot better) so inevitably anything that didn’t go like clockwork seemed inordinately and disproportionately unacceptable and we wanted blame everybody and everything for all of it. But me, being the sensible one ☺ kept saying to let it go and we’ll see how it all is in the morning. And so we did and we agreed to have our evening meal on our balcony as we sailed out of Auckland Harbour and onto the Tasman Sea bound for Sydney.

On reflection, all that went before the morning after wasn’t really that bad and we are once more settled into our rightful place on board a P&O Cruise Ship, this time – The Arcadia. And once again – and really big thank you to P&O for this – we were upgraded to a Mini Suite. And yes, it is ‘fab_u_lous darling’. I regret to say that for our retirement world cruise, a Mini Suite it will have to be. It is so worth the extra money.

For our first morning on board, we met our wedding Coordinator Ellie or Miss Ellie as I chose to call her, to discuss the arrangements for the 4th March. After going through all the procedure she asked who we would like to be our witnesses. We mentioned that we had met a lovely man (79 years young), called Jack, just before he left Southampton on the Arcadia for the whole of the World Cruise and that he had agreed to be my best man. ‘Oh’ said Miss Ellie, ‘I know Jack: he was a witness at a wedding earlier in the cruise and mentioned he was to be your best man’. (At least he’ll know the ropes ☺)

We then discussed the matter of hair and whether or not Debbie would want to arrange for her hair etc. to be ‘done’ on the day. ‘Oh, absolutely’ said Mrs. Me, ‘we must go and arrange that straight away’. ‘And what about the photographs?’ asks Miss Ellie: ‘Oh absolutely’ said Mrs. Me: ‘We’ll do that straight after we’ve seen the hair people’. – So, off we trot to the Spa where Mrs. Me gets booked in to have anything that can be done, done. And somehow I find myself booked in to have shampoo, haircut, shave & massage! Photographers were next. They explained what they would do for us on the day: photographs with the Captain on the Bridge and then around various locations of the ship plus photos in the East Restaurant in the evening. We then discussed the various packages. Fortunately, we didn’t have to decide on which package until after the wedding. Just as well, I needed a drink just to read them ☺

Having completed all our chores we had that well needed afternoon glass of Pinot Grigio Blush before dinner and an early night in readiness for two whole days of doing nothing but sit on our lovely balcony (the biggest we’ve had so far) and soak up the sun’s rays as sailed across the Tasman Sea heading for Sydney. We knew we’d need the rest, as we would have to up early on the day we sailed into Harbour to be sure we didn’t miss out on the whole ‘sailing in’ experience.

To End:

“With so many things in the sea, you’d think we’d see some of them” mused Mrs Me as she sits on the balcony watching the Tasman Sea drift by.

“Perhaps” said I, “it’s because they are just what you said, they are ‘IN’ the sea, i.e. under the water rather than on it, that you can’t see them”

“Oh yes”, said Mrs Me and back to sleep she went – stirring occasionally to moan that the sun was too hot, put on more sun lotion before going back to the land of nod.

Cruising was invented for Mrs Me.

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