Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Crusing 'Brilliance of seas'

'A fortnight on the sea! Just Amazing!!'

Cruising offers an exquisite royal retreat with fun, parties and cool breezes swaying the cruise all over.

This September entrepreneur Malika Ghosh went along with business partner R K Dhawan on massive 13-storyed European 'Brilliance of seas' cruise that commenced from Barcelona port.

she puts it as: "Its been an incredible experience. I might fall short of words. Warmth and affection showered by the hospitality staff on cruise was unbeatable." Most of the staff members were Indians but only these two Indians were as guest on board. The ship took tourists around Europe: Monte Carlo, Pisa, Rome, Athens, Naples and Livorno. Ship would halt for 7-10 hours at each destination for tourist to enjoy site seeing and shopping spree.

Initially they were scared. Actually, there's a story to it: she narrates, "You know when we boarded the cruise, at the port, our passports were deposited and we were given sea passes." While boarding the ship Mallika dropped her passport. Luckily a white lady saw the pouch of passport dropping from her handbag. Mallika recalls, "She kept on calling me but in vain. Finally, she caught hold of me by my shoulder. I was zapped!! When the white lady handed me my passport, I was touched. Thanks was not just enough, I could have landed in a big trouble." The recollection of the incident still gets her goosepimps.

Entertainment is what makes cruise a rage. No doubt it was lavish and memorable. You name it... they have it... Golf course, casino, walking track, swimming pool, billiards and comprehensive shopping complex. "If amidst Mediterranean sea one gets golf course what more on earth you want." Every floor was exclusive in its own right: 11the floor had 24-hour buffet, dining hall on 4th floor, 12th floor was a walking track and 13th floor had golf course.

To spread happiness around the cruise staff come up with sweet charming gestures. Mallika chortles, "Rooms service boy would daily twist and turn a towel into some animal or other. It would force us to smile from the bottom of my heart. As we were only Indians, for 3-4 days the head chef, an Indian, Harcharan Sawhney specially prepared desi (Indian) food for us."

Ball dance, theme parties, operas and games were everyday feature to keep the travelers amused. As the CD ends, Mallika with tears in here eyes said, ?Kind of care and love extended to one and all, I would love to go on cruise every year.? Around 2,200 avid sea voyagers were on the ship. "Some fickle minded people told us that cabins might stink. Believe me, we didn't suffer any sea sickness," says Ghosh.
To recollect everything and freshen up her memory Mallika takes me along on a vitual trip to the cruise. She plays on memorable CD in which glimpses of her cruising has been trapped:

Natives of different countries: America, Australia, Africa and our two Indians were having a blast. One could see a relaxing happy smile on each face. "See how happily we are enjoying the meal!During meals, we shared table with eight other people, most of them were from England." With this trip close to her heart Malllika stil excanges e-mails with her the British pals.


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