The price for the cheapest berth at pounds 8,295 is pretty reasonable - less than pounds 100 a day, including meals - but do take a look at the cabins on page 91. The suite with balcony looks all right but the inside (ie windowless) cabin is where ordinary passengers will end up.
Perhaps the main advantage of an ocean-going cruise is that you are never actually forced to show the opulence of your lifestyle to the poverty- stricken masses of the world outside.
Which is more than can be said for passengers on the Eastern and Oriental Express train and boat journeys through South-east Asia. Travelling on the world's most luxurious train through Malaysia and Thailand brings you uncomfortably close to local people - who may, in places, be no more than a train window away. Or could this be a selling point? After all, the pictures in the brochure all seem to show Asians behaving deferentially towards Caucasians who mistakenly believe themselves to be starring in costume dramas. The problem is that depressed South-east Asia is not a good place to indulge your colonialist fantasies right now.
P&O Cruises 0171-800 2222, Eastern & Oriental Express 0171-805 5100Reuse content