A holiday on the high seas? Aye aye, captain!

'Appropriate evening formal wear for women is an evening gown or cocktail dress" reads the cruise information guide that I receive in a beautiful leather travel wallet at home but choose to read – helpfully – on the plane to Barcelona where I am to board my ship. I panic, and hope my understated grey COS number will make the grade. Luckily, there are only two formal nights every eight days. Phew. My very next thought is how different it all sounds from those several-thousand-capacity floating behemoths you see ploughing their way out of deep Mediterranean harbours, full to the brim with mini-golf and climbing walls. Not an experience I've ever wanted to participate in.

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