October 30 ~ left Genova (Genoa)
Dad was up early on Friday the 30th and after getting ready, he woke up us sleepy heads and then went off to get the car and pay all the bills at the hotel.
We left Albergo Colombia after breakfast and headed to the wharf to get the car and luggage cleared, went through passport control and were on board the Victoria by 10:30am. There were a few tense sessions when dad had to get the rest of the fuel emptied from the car, then found the case of Chianti he’d ordered and paid hadn’t been delivered so he had to hightail it to the shop and make sure it was sent to the ship but apart from those two incidents, the rest of the time was spent inspecting the ship.
The folks were very impressed with the ship and thought it was absolutely luxurious compared to the Antilochus! Well it would have been – one being a freighter and the other a passenger ship 😀
The ship sailed at 2pm and we all felt really sad about our fabulous holiday was in its final stage. Lindy and I got called to lunch at 11 and mom and dad dined at 12:30. Lindy was not happy as she had to eat in the nursery with all the youngsters and the food was made for babies, not young ladies!
Dad spoke to the Purser about the situation and asked him to fix it, especially as Lindy’s ticket was purchased as an adult fare!
After lunch mom went to unpack in the cabins and Lindy discovered that her ladybug brooch had fallen off her coat. She was so upset and despite a thorough check of the cabins, decks and rooms which she’d been in, we couldn’t find it :'(
Lindy and I were called to dinner in the «stanza di bambini» (the children’s room) — poor Lindy, stuck with all the screaming brats — while mom and dad went down for their dinner at 7:30. We kids went to sleep and mom and dad carried on in the lounge enjoying coffees and liqueurs while listening to the band playing!
October 31 ~ Napoli (Naples)
We all woke up at 8am and found that the ship was moored alongside the wharf.
Had our breakfast together then waited till 10am for the steward to bring our baggage! 😮
Where was it beforehand, I wonder?!?!
We went ashore and walked along narrow and very busy streets. So many people – it almost was like Hong Kong! Did some shopping then we ladies ate before heading back to the ship for lunch! Holy moly! Talk about eating a lot! 😀
October 31 ~ Pompeii
At 2pm we all boarded a CIT bus and went to Pompeii with the other passengers. We wandered around the ruins and dad said that only he visited the «Lupanaria». Lupanaria?
I had no idea what that was but when I researched it, I found out it was a “house of prostitution”! A brothel! Yipes! 😮
However it just shows how old fashioned my father was, in that he wouldn’t let any of us girls view the frescoes in the Lupanaria in case it gave us nightmares! LOL! 😀
Sadly I read that, in the 21st century, more and more of the excavations in Pompeii are being closed to the public. Only 14 can be visited while back in the 1950s, we could look at 64 😮
Daddy wrote in his diary that “we had a look at Vesuvius” but didn’t elaborate. Did we go up to the rim of the volcano or just looked at it from a distance? Dunno! However he did say that we saw Capri in the distance!
The CIT bus brought us back to the ship at 5:30 and dad accompanied us to our dinner. After seeing all the wailing babies and youngsters at the tables, he resolved to do something for poor Lindy, so that she didn’t have to eat with that crowd!
The next day, Sunday November 1, saw the ship passing through the Straits of Messina at 8:30am. Lindy was seated at mom and dad’s table for lunch, so everyone was happy. Well, maybe I wasn’t so happy as I was still stuck in the Nursery – hahahahaha! 😀
The weather turned bad after lunch and the ship was battered by huge waves and I started to throw up, followed by Lindy and the oldies! Dad and I stayed in our cabin while Lindy and mom went up for dinner but no one was very happy.
The night was horrible, with the ship rolling and pitching and this lasted until 3pm the next day. No one was particularly interested in going upstairs for breakfast or even lunch but in the afternoon dad and I were on deck playing quoits.
We had our dinner – me separate from the grown-ups as usual – and then we all retired for the night!
The following couple of days passed by quietly and very pleasantly.
November 4 ~ went through the Suez Canal
On November 4 we entered the Great Bitter Lake after breakfast. Got into the queue then by 1pm the ship started moving into the canal.
By 4:30 we passed Suez.
The weather was very warm and it was great to stretch out on the deck chair and feel the warmth on our skins!
The next day we girls donned our bathing suits and went into the pool to splash out. Was so lovely as the day was pretty warm 🙂
The food was delicious, the other passengers were fun to be with and dad said after dinner, despite their resolution of having an early night, they got talking and drinking with some other people and it was 3am when they finally headed back to their bunks 😀
More swimming during the days, more good food and lovely Italian wine (for the oldies), and great company for my parents to mix with. They sound like they had a ball on board!
November 7 ~ Aden
The Victoria tied up at a fuel point at Aden at 2pm and only mom and dad went ashore. Being the afternoon most of the shops were closed as the residents were having a siesta to avoid the sweltering heat. Dad left their mail with a postal clerk with money for stamps and he hoped that the guy would do as he promised and send the letters!
Apparently dad thought Aden to be a unique place – bleak mountains, dirty people, dirty houses, stinky goats and the heat! LOL! 😀
The ship sailed at 6:30 and my folks met up with their friends in the lounge after dinner and enjoyed chatting with them while having coffee.
The next evening was the «Ballo Mascherato», the Fancy Dress Ball. We all spent the day at the swimming pool but in the afternoon mom and Lindy got dad’s costume ready while he and I had a siesta.
After dinner dad got into his costume – he wore a sarong and was made up to look like the Gully Gully Man or some old Aden native or goodness knows who else! Poor pappy LOL 😀
He said he felt really awkward walking in the sarong and was pretty embarrassed about his costume but when he entered the Lounge, he was greeted with a generous applause so relaxed after that.
The ballo ballo (a term we used whenever we were on board either the Victoria or Asia and they had a special evening) took off after 10:30 and dad said he and Mr Morris were ordering bottles of Pommery for their table and he and mom finally tottered back to their cabin in a very jolly mood at the end of the evening!!
More days spent in the pool, eating, drinking, dancing the night away (well, I didn’t dance but my folks did!). On November 10 there was the Captain’s Dinner and mom and dad both found the food to be exquisite. They didn’t get to bed till after 4am 😮
November 11 ~ Bombay
Tied up at the wharf at 2pm and mom and dad had farewell drinks with Morrises in their cabin and met Mr & Mrs Oats there.
Took a sightseeing tour which set off at 4pm and even in 1953 dad said the city was overcrowded 😮 Some nice houses but mostly dirty dwellings. Dusty and smelly air covered the city but they stopped for drinks at a lovely place on a hill near the Public Gardens, and there we could enjoy Bombay’s panorama.
Came back to the ship at 7, everyone exhausted and hungry, and this time I was allowed to sit at the grown ups table to have dinner. Wheeee 😀
Mom and dad went ashore the next morning to change money and have another look around, then came back to the ship, happy to be in the air conditioning and clean surroundings!
The ship set sail at 12:30pm and as most of the passengers disembarked in Bombay, the ship seemed very empty. However in the evening dad said there were many more ship’s officers on deck than previously – no doubt it made Lindy’s day! LOL! 😀
November 13 ~ Karachi
The ship arrived in Karachi Bay at 2:30pm but the pilot wasn’t going to come on board at 8:30pm. This disappointed the passengers who were disembarking but it certainly didn’t bother us 😀
The ship docked at the wharf at 10:30pm.
The next day we all went ashore but apparently after passing the wharf’s main gate, we girls didn’t want to any further so we turned around and went back to the ship. but daddy carried on until he got fed up and returned to the ship!
After dinner dad persuaded mom to go ashore. They went to the Beach Luxury Hotel where they were joined by Mr & Mrs Boos, who were passengers on the ship, and their friends for coffee and liqueurs, as well as a few trips around the dance floor 😀 They headed back to the ship at 11pm.
The next day, the 15th, the Boos family came to pick us up in a taxi and took us to the beach. The trip took us through desert-like countryside and halfway there our cab had a puncture 😮 Fortunately the driver changed the tyre quickly and we continued without incident.
The beach was long and the water cool. Mom, Lindy and I had camel rides while dad took photos of us, so many new experiences for us 😀
Left the beach at 1:45pm and by the time we got back to the ship, it was too late for lunch so ended up having drinks and sandwiches in the lounge before going to the cabin for a siesta.
Mom and dad invited Mr & Mrs Boos for drinks and dinner on board before the ship sailed and a very jolly time was had by all. After the ship left Karachi at 10:45pm, mom, dad and their friends who remained on board went to the lounge where dad played the piano and the party continued until 4am 😮
Not surprisingly, dad said the next day he awoke with a ferocious hangover and mom refused to get out of bed!
After lunch Lindy and I went swimming while dad and mom slept off their hangovers and suffice to say that after dinner, everyone retired early!
Swimming and letter writing filled the day and in the evening, when we were on deck with the ship sailing close to the shore, we saw the Western Ghats.
Mom and dad danced after dinner and dad said he bought two rounds for the orchestra. Apparently they saluted him when he and mom left at 10pm 😀
More swimming the next day, frolicking in the sun as the ship inched its way to Colombo. Dad said that they could see houses, long beaches, and forests of palm trees through his binoculars.
November 20 ~ Colombo
We arrived at Colombo at 6:30am then after breakfast, we all went ashore, feeling like old hands since it was just 7 months earlier when we were there last! Didn’t do very much sightseeing – only thing significant was mom buying a topaz for US$10.
The ship sailed at 5:30 that afternoon and after dinner, mom and dad had a dance and carried on chatting with Mr Mose until midnight.
Next day more swimming, sleeping, then in the evening instead of playing horsie horsie, mom and dad came out onto the deck to chat to the officers with us girls!
More of the same the next day except that I tripped over the wooden board around the pool and hurt my tootsie! Dad found me crying so carried me back to the cabin piggyback and played Snakes and Ladder with me.
After dinner mom put me to bed then joined Lindy and dad in the lounge. Lindy left soon afterwards but mom and dad chatted to Mr Mose till midnight.
November 23 ~ Singapore
The ship arrived at the quarantine station at 9:30am and by 11 was tied up at the wharf. After lunch mom had Linen Chest business to attend to so then we all walked to the Adelphi Hotel, had a drink then said hello to Mr & Mrs Pfister.
Came back to the ship, everyone is a happy mood, until mom got a letter from the Chief Steward. It was from Naomi Smith Hill who wrote that Balia had had an operation, and that put us all into a worried state.
Daddy went to the GPO to send a cable to Naomi, asking for more information, then came back. We had dinner and the mood was sombre because of the news.
Mom had a lousy night and only really fell asleep around 8am. Dad and us girls had breakfast by ourselves but mom came up for breakfast a couple of hours later. We got a taxi to go to the Sea View Hotel and had drinks with Michael (Koodiaroff?) in his room then went back to the ship for lunch.
Mom was very anxious about how Balia was and wasn’t in a happy mood. We sailed from Singapore at 5:30 and then dad got a cable back from David Smith Hill, Naomi’s husband, saying that Balia was recovering well and mom just burst into tears from relief!
We all swam after breakfast then mom went to the cabin to start packing. After dinner Lindy put me to bed then went up to join the parentals in the lounge.
They were joined by Mr Mose and the purser and dad said it was Lindy’s first late night, as they didn’t get to bed till after midnight!
We were two days out from Hong Kong on the 26th and we all had our last swim. Mom was packing in the afternoon while dad snoozed and after dinner we watched a movie and I was moving from seat to seat, chatting to all the officers I’d made friends with over the month! Such a hussy 😉
Day before arriving back home it was rough – Lindy stayed in her bunk but mom, dad and I went up for breakfast, then lounged on the deck. By lunchtime the ship was pitching and rolling and dad lost his appetite, so he went to bed sucking on a lemon while we girls ate like hogs, both at lunch and our last dinner on board!
November 28 ~ Hong Kong
HOME SWEET HOME!!!!!
When the ship docked in Hong Kong, it was usual for friends of the passengers to come on board to welcome them home, usually with drink and small chow in the lounge.
Mom and dad had friends come on board but two of them – although familiar are nameless 🙁 The gentleman in the front right of the photo is Mr Bennett, Tramways’ Chief Engineer, and his wife is 2nd on the left (with a white collar).
*NB – when you click on the album, the screen will show the top of this page. Please just scroll down to see the pictures.
Cool article … The History of Cruise Fashion.
Mind you, our trips on the ships weren’t cruises, they were taking us from A to B and back again, so really just a means of transport 😀
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