Days 1,048-1,049: Orientation


The first two days on board the Pacific Pearl we were at sea so I spent them milling about, winning the pub quizzes (ha! Try cheating on your smartphone when the internet is 75c a minute!) and getting to grips with all things cruise-y. The first (and most obvious) thing I noticed was the stunning demographic divide. On a ship of 1,500 souls there must have been less than 30 of us who were young, hilarious and up for dancing the night away. Everybody else adhered to that painful cliché of newly-weds and nearly-deads. There were some families on board, but put it this way: the vast majority of the ship’s compliment of passengers were in bed by midnight.

Smartarse and friends winning their seventh quiz of the day.

Something else I know I shouldn’t say, but I will: boy there are some big fat fatty fat fats on board. Hey, I’m no Slim Jim and I’ve put on a bit of a belly over the last 12 months, but still, Jeepers! I hear Australia has just overtaken the US for the dubious title of ‘fattest people in the world’… walking around this ship I’m given to wonder whether the occasional rocking motion is caused by the sea or one of these beached whales turning over in their sleep. I can’t imagine what damage they’re doing to the all-you-can-eat buffet three times a day. Think of the people on the spaceship in Wall-E. Yeah.

But still, cogs are going around in my head. I think cruises are fun. If I could drink until 6am they’d be even more fun. If they were a little less glitzy, a little more Monkey Island, a little less sedate, a little more anarchic, a little less 80s, a little more 10s, a little less hotel and a little more hostel then I reckon we could be onto a winner. I don’t want a swimming pool: I want an all-night house party, but one that magically takes me to new and exciting places… and I’m sure I’m not the only one. P&O, (I’m probably the only one on board who knows what P&O stands for) I have a modest proposal I’d like to run by you…

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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