One of the nicest things about taking a cruise is knowing you will meet people that will no doubt stay in your life for many years to come. I have met such a variety of wonderful people since I first started cruising and I still keep in touch with just about all of them in one way or another. Today, I want to tell you about three people I met during my time onboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Braemar as they really did leave a lasting impression. I have changed their names to protect their privacy.
I met Steve and Carol just two days into the cruise and from that day on we would regularly meet up and have a cup of tea and a chat on the open deck. Steve was blind and Carol was originally from South Africa, a country I am desperate to visit one day so that alone gave us plenty to talk about. Although we would chat about this, that and just about everything in between, it was their bond I admired and how well they complimented one another. I remember standing on the aft deck with them both as we made our way towards our first German port, Carol was describing to Steve everything that she was seeing, so that he could mentally picture it. I remember at one point even closing my own eyes to see what I could picture through her words. It was a strange feeling.
A few days into the cruise, I asked Steve what it was like for him – he kept saying how fantastic the cruise was and how amazing the ports were, but he couldn’t physically see any of it, so I wanted to know exactly what he was getting from it. He told me that “Carol does a great job” in letting him see the world through her eyes. He also noted that he hadn’t always been blind, for example he knew what a container ship looked like and what colour the grass was. Things he hadn’t seen before he lost his sight, well, they were whatever his mind pictured them to be. He wasn’t bitter about being blind, he made the best of a bad situation and in his own words, these things happen. At one point, Carol was telling him about a flock of sheep that were grazing incredibly close to the edge of the bank –something I think the majority of us would take for granted seeing – but he took it all in and asked questions. I could see in his face that he was seeing exactly what we were. It really did make me smile because I understood how content this man was and how much love he and his wife had for one another. I think we sat and had a chat every day of the cruise and the more time I spent with them the more I liked them. They were quite funny too, Carol at one point said that Steve was a nightmare to go food shopping with because he would pick everything up and ask what it was – I only go in for something simple like a bag of potatoes, she said, and I can be in there a week! Next time he does that I will leave him there.
There was also a gentleman travelling on his own called Dave. He was an absolute pleasure to be around. He had recently divorced, if I remember correctly, and was enjoying some time for himself. As the cruise went on I noticed he rarely left the ship, I asked him every day – so, did you get off and explore today, Dave? – but rarely was his answer yes. He said he was content being on the ship, he had met some wonderful people and he had no overwhelming desire to head ashore. I absolutely loved that about him, his cruise was about friendships and enjoying the company of others, he didn’t need to see anything ashore in order to have a good time. He was a gentle soul with a massive heart and I was so pleased that I had the opportunity to spend time on that cruise with such a wonderful human being.
It really is the simple things in life that make the biggest difference!!
That is why I love cruise holidays, there is so much more depth to them than you could ever find at a land based resort. Every single person that steps aboard has a common interest and that common interest is what builds lasting friendships and allows us the chance to meet some truly remarkable people.