Around the world – a little story

So darling readers – yesterday I received news that the Oceania world cruise for 2023 sold out in about five hours. My goodness me – that pent up demand they keep talking about might be on the horizon. All that money we have saved by not eating out, not needing new work suits, shoes or hairdoes can be put into a cruise around the world – if only we are quick enough.

Now I got a notice that the Silversea round the world cruise for 2023 is ready to be booked. Is this going to be another gigantic rush – it’s becoming a bit like a virtual Black Friday. Do I have to sleep next to the computer to get in line? Now imagine how nice that would be – around the world in 180 days. Sounds like a fairytale doesn’t it? Well sit back, close your eyes and listen …

Once upon a time there was a little travel agent who loved selling exotic cruises to her very loyal set of clients. She knew exactly what kind of room they would like, always remembered to put a note on the reservation about their gluten intolerance and always made sure that they booked far enough in advance so they could get the best shore excursions available. She always dreamed of what it would be like to go on such a luxury experience for a whole 180 days. That was half a year. HALF A YEAR! Imagine not having to make your bed or cook a meal for half a year. She shook her head in wonder as she sat on hold with the airlines trying to sort out that booking from Vancouver to Denver….. hmmm…. it’s been 2 hours already. Not bad actually for EASYCOME EASYGO AIRLINES.

As she sat on hold and dreamt of travelling she checked facebook for the latest bragging rights from her so called “friends”. Each time she did this she determined that she would close all social media because people only posted the good news stuff. She closed off facebook and thought about that lottery ticketing sitting in her handbag. Digging through old receipts, unused recipes and 4 different lipsticks (OMG who needs lipstick when we are masked the whole time) she unearthed the lottery ticket and pulled up the website to check her numbers.

SHE WON …… MILLIONS AND MILLIONS …. now was her chance – she could go on that round the world cruise. Without a moment’s hesitation she booked the best stateroom left – and believe it or not most of the suites were already gone. Now she could look forward to enjoying the dream she had sent so many people on.

Many months later as she sat on the private balcony of her luxury suite overlooking the Gulf of Something she wondered about her dreams vs her reality. While it was wonderful having someone to tidy her room and make the bed she wondered how many times she had to ask the room steward NOT to tuck the sheets into the mattress at the end of the bed. Every night without fail she would get into bed and it would feel as if her feet were going into a compress the sheets were that tight. And she had told him that she did not want real coke but diet coke in the fridge.

Then there were the couple next door. They INSISTED on sitting on their balcony in the evening for sundowners and talking so loud. It was annoying having to listen to their conversation. Their daughter was a real bitch apparently and complained non stop about having to drive through the hellish winter weather of Fort McMurray to go and check on her parents apartment. And he snored – AND they kept their verandah door open all night. The ship was full so no chance of changing the room.

And oh my goodness – the dining room. Ending up with the same people all the time no matter which dining room or specialty restaurant she chose. She had made the mistake of telling people she was a travel agent – or she used to be one before she won these millions. Now they hounded her at each port of call wanting to know if she had been there before and what was the best thing to do. She ended up avoiding the dining room and enjoying a casual meal at the verandah buffet outside. This cruising thing was exhausting.

When she got home she found that she had lost all her millions. She should have known better than to have trusted her brother in law’s investment advice. Well – no other choice but back to the travel agency to ask for her old job back. They were thrilled to have her. After all a world cruise on her resume is pretty impressive and look how many new destinations she knew about. She had to admit to herself that she had missed the buzz of the agency and was quite comfy in her little apartment so she settled back easily.

“Yes” she said to her long time client “I think it is really time for you to experience a world cruise. You will LOVE it. Yes, just sign here for the deposit, final payment in a year.”

“mmm” she thinks to herself. “That was a good sale today. Maybe I will treat myself to Skip the Dishes tonight.”

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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