My eldest daughter, Sarah Saunders, a chef and lecturer on historical and contemporary food subjects, surprised me with her invitation to join her on the Aegean Odyssey cruise around the coast of Italy, Sicily and Croatia this August. I discovered the special pleasure of listening to Sarah and the other terrific lecturers which stretched both my brain and imagination.
We visited classical sites early in the morning to beat the crowds led by well informed local guides and I met many interesting passengers from around the world. Delicious meals were both informal and formal, local wine was always plentiful and all the staff were incredibly attentive and charming. We even discovered mutual friends of Felice, the Italian chef on board, who ran the hotel we stayed in for many years near his home-town in Italy. As a result of his on-deck fish demonstration with Sarah, I can now prepare and cook a huge sea bass with complete confidence!
Sunbathing with a book by the pool, daily swims in fresh sea water and a surprise birthday dinner on board with new friends all made this the best possible mother and daughter holiday. I will cherish late night chats in our cabin about our experiences at sea and my maiden voyage in the cruise world and I congratulate all those who worked so hard to make our trip such a total success!
This small 21st century cruise ship which offers every creature comfort plus entertaining talks about the history and culture of classical sites, with occasional trips to food markets and practical demonstrations of local culinary arts, is in my view a most refreshing and important contribution to intelligent 21st century tourism!