All at sea in a lazy daze

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION AFLOAT - LOUISE GOLDS­BURY

The sea dances for me. Sway­ing in rhythm with its part­ner, the ship, the ocean rouses me from my sleep. A day at sea lies ahead, full of pos­si­bil­i­ties and yet noth­ing at all. Nowhere to be, no one to see, no work to be done.

I pon­der the op­tions from a warm bed, which gen­tly rocks like a cra­dle, un­til break­fast ar­rives with a mur­mur­ing waiter, lur­ing me to the bal­cony. I watch the waves per­form across the big, blue, frothy stage. Wa­ter slaps against the side of the ves­sel, as if ap­plaud­ing my choice of travel.

Ex­plor­ing the out­back, the red dust gets un­der your skin. In the snow, the daz­zling white draws you in. On a cruise, it’s the end­less blue that mes­merises. A sea day, with no ports of call, is a chance to soak in the vivid colours, the chang­ing swell, the salty smell, and the calm­ing ef­fect as you gaze upon the hori­zon.

This is what cruis­ing used to be about — the sim­ple joy of the event it­self, re­lax­ing and read­ing, win­ing and din­ing, snooz­ing by day and schmooz­ing at night. You can keep your port days, rammed full of sight­see­ing, snorkelling and shop­ping. Give me a lazy sea daze in­stead.

When P&O (for­merly known as the Penin­su­lar & Ori­en­tal Steam Nav­i­ga­tion Com­pany) in­tro­duced cruis­ing to the Bri­tish pub­lic in the early 19th cen­tury, priv­i­leged pas­sen­gers trav­elled with the Royal Mail to take

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