This week, our Travel pics series is C, for Cruise Ships.
It’s one of the most cliched images of cruising – the Champagne Fountain, on board cruise ships in the middle of a voyage.
But like many cliches, it’s observed more in the public imagination than in reality any more.
Oh, there’s champagne aplenty handed out on board (well, sparkling ‘methode champenoise’, rather than traditional Champers) … but it seems that Princess is one of the few lines to make a big thing of the champagne pour.
Which is a pity, because it is one of those silly traditions that make cruising a delight.
But, of course, it is normally held in conjunction with a Formal night .. and I suspect most passengers are like us – I take a suit, and Shirley a nice outfit – but no tuxedo or evening gown.
In fact, you see very few people who go the whole shebang any more, so the Formal Night is losing its cachet – and so is the champagne fountain.
But the fountain still happens on some ships – especially on the Princess line, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.
Today’s picture was taken on board the Sun Princess, as we sailed the South Pacific – and the Maitre D’ spent much of the next hour in that position, smiling for the cameras with guests holding his arm, as warm bubbly cascaded its way down the staircase of glasses.