As part of our holiday, we took a cruise from Athens to Venice. It was our first cruise, and we were amongst the youngest on the cruise - although not the youngest. I remember another childless friend commenting years ago that her and her husband found they had more in common with the empty-nesters and the retired folks who were living a childfree life, and how it made her feel old before her time. I felt a little like that on the cruise, knowing that my friends with children couldn’t do this, at this time of year, because of school commitments, and occasionally feeling slightly odd, wondering if I too was old before my time.
But putting those feelings aside, the cruise was wonderful. Waking up every day in a new place without having to pack or fly or drive anywhere was bliss, enjoying a glass of champagne and the gentle breeze as the ship sailed out of port every evening was amazing, and sharing it all with my husband was a joy.
And it was childfree. There are no facilities for children on this ship, and so the youngest person on the ship was about 18 (other than the energetic, young crew, that is). This meant that the cruise services were all pitched at adults. It was sophisticated; there were of course cocktail parties to start and end the cruise, dinner was late and, in two of the restaurants at least, chic and classy (I’m trying to find synonyms for sophisticated). It was perfect. And as I’ve mentioned on previous holidays, the absence of children for an entire week was in fact liberating – and you know, I’m pretty sure I wasn't the only one (childless or not) who relished being in an adults only space for a time.