Our geeky honeymoon - the cruise

The central part of our trip was an amazing wedding present - a 12 day cruise around the UK. We were both a little dubious - not being great sailors, not being "cruise age" - but it was wonderful!

emergency drill - practicing our panic faces

emergency drill - practicing our panic faces

The boat docked in a new port everyday, so it was like doing a whirlwind coach tour across Europe, except we got to sleep for most of the traveling time, in a beautiful stateroom, with lovely lounges, pool decks and 24 hour food. Tours in each place we docked were available, or we could just go for a wander ourselves.

the Ruby Princess in St Peter Port, Guernsey

the Ruby Princess in St Peter Port, Guernsey

looking down to the lido deck, where there were four pools! Four!

looking down to the lido deck, where there were four pools! Four!

Our boat, the Ruby Princess, was enormous, with some 20 decks and 2-3,000 passengers on board. Mini golf, a basketball court, four pool decks with spas and one with a massive movie screen over it, a child care centre, a youth centre, two child free zones, an enormous beauty spa complete with teeth whitening, acupuncture and Botox services, various lounges, cafes, restaurants, bars, food courts, a live theatre venue, an atrium with street performers and live music, numerous gift shops, a photographic studio, an art gallery... Amazing! We barely scratched the surface of the things to do.

the big screen - movies under the stars!

the big screen - movies under the stars!

Admittedly, being in our 30's, we were a lot younger than many of the cruise passengers. The cruise offers great travel services for wheel chair bound and other mobility limited folks, many of whom were in their late 60's or older. On our first couple of days we seemed to be the extreme youngest people in our group but gradually we realized that there were many folks closer to our age, usually traveling with kids of various ages.

our honeymoon table-for-two in the dining room

our honeymoon table-for-two in the dining room

Culturally, the bulk of the passengers were from the US - New York, New Jersey, Idaho, Oregon, Arizona and Florida were all well represented. There were other Aussies, Canadians, English and Western Europeans amongst the passengers, as well as a smattering of Asians and African-Americans. The staff and crew were overwhelmingly Philippino, Eastern European or Caribbean, but most of the entertainers and MC's were British. All the staff were very very friendly, greeting every passenger with a chirpy "good morning/good afternoon". This helped create a village atmosphere - by the end of the cruise, we were being hailed with greetings from other passengers at every meal, every trip in the lift, every time we walked through the atrium.

the atrium, usually filled with buskers or other entertainers

the atrium, usually filled with buskers or other entertainers

Far and away, the best bit of the cruise was that we got to see so much of the UK so easily. Our itinerary included a day in the Channel Islands, two days in the Republic of Ireland, a day in Northern Ireland, four days in Scotland and a day in France, as well as our own time in England and Wales. In most ports it was hard to choose what to see, with many great shore excursions to the tourist hotspots and further afield, as well as the option of sightseeing independently.  

looking over the mini golf to the basketball court

looking over the mini golf to the basketball court

Would we go cruising again? I think the answer is yes. Although we won't be signing up for the Princess Cruises 100 day cruises any time soon: by the end of twelve days I was done with buffet food and consciously seeking deserted parts of the deck to get away from everyone. As a way to see places as far spread out as the Channel Islands and the Orkneys, without having to drive or  take red eye buses or trains, it was definitely cool!!!

the back pool, overlooked by the food courts, a bar, an Italian restaurant, the child care centre, the youth centre and a night club, but still felt lovely and secluded

the back pool, overlooked by the food courts, a bar, an Italian restaurant, the child care centre, the youth centre and a night club, but still felt lovely and secluded

thankyou to our friends and family who helped us have a truly memorable honeymoon!