John, our resident expert in the South of France, weighs in on sailing the Mediterranean and the luxury lifestyle:
I recently went on a lovely cruise around the Mediterranean. I honestly have no real complaints, merely some observations that got me thinking (which is a dangerous past time I have). The ship was massive, eight levels and thousands of fellow passengers. There were numerous bars and restaurants, several swimming pools. You get the picture. However looking around me there was something missing …..intimacy. I am happily married (so my wife tells me) so I am not talking about anything that may (or may not) have happened in our cabin. It was just the sheer scale of everything that seemed to be deemed essential to make the cruise great.
Sorry. I don’t see it that way at all. In this day and age where buildings are taller than they have ever been, transport (when it works) goes faster, Internet high speed is critical and commerce is dictated by huge multi national companies I still like the idea of the ‘little guy’ syndrome. I don’t believe I am alone in this kind of thinking. Am I? I am fortunate to live in the South of France. Yes I see a lot of luxury and yes some of it is in the above categories. Nights are illuminated by countless Michelin stars, Super size yachts send folk ashore to the beach clubs and big names are everywhere.
However, finding that little restaurant where the owner is the chef and the waiter, and he still has time to talk to you, is priceless. The small accommodation provider with only five rooms (to fit in with French Tax law) where the hostess is super friendly and her husband is also a chef who invites you into the kitchen to see him cook and you feel like a part of the family, is more appealing to me than a large multi-national hotel which although delivering great service, could be anywhere in the world.
So it takes me back to the first image.
On what ship do you think you would like to spend some time sipping cocktails?