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Man Books £3,500 Cruise With Stranger 40 Minutes After Meeting: “I Can’t Believe I’m Doing This!”

Man Books £3,500 Cruise With Stranger 40 Minutes After Meeting: “I Can’t Believe I’m Doing This!”

The power of cruises has just been proven after a 91-year-old man booked a £3,500 cruise holiday for himself and a stranger within minutes of meeting in a pub.

John Mason, from Bishop’s Waltham, Hampshire, met Vera Burrell, 90, from Sudbury, Suffolk, when she stopped for lunch on a coach trip.

After expressing his worry of not being able to read the ship’s cabin door numbers and menus, it was clear Mr Mason wanted a companion but Ms Burrell said she was still“stunned into silence” at his offer.

The offer of a trip to the Mediterranean came after Mr Mason asked to share a table with Ms Burrell at the crowded pub in Winchester.

He then proceeded to take them both across the road to a travel agent before she re-boarded her bus to Bournemouth.

“My aim in life is to go on cruises- I’ve never done one! I can’t believe I’m doing this”, stated Ms Burrell whilst Mr Mason made it clear: “I’m not forward but I grasped the opportunity”. 

Mr Mason reportedly only told his four children what he had done when his bank phoned to check the transaction, and the next time he saw his travelling companion was when he opened the door of their shared cabin on P&O‘s cruise ship Azura a few weeks later.

Both insisted there was “no romance” involved, but “couldn’t be more glad” about the time they shared. Ms Burrell added: “Let’s face it, you don’t meet someone for 40 minutes and go on a cruise with them.” 

Mr Mason’s daughter, Sue Metcalfe, said the pair had been “fantastic companions.” She continued “The mood just took him. He met someone he liked and got on with and I think that he thought, ‘Why not?”.

“He’s 91, she’s 90, there’s 181 years’ experience between them. I was sure they were going to be absolutely fine.”

The pair said they have become friends after the 12-night voyage in October, and Ms Burrell is considering Mr Mason’s proposal to go on another cruise next year.


Do you think there’s any better news to start the week with? Would you book a cruise with a stranger, or do you prefer to go with a group of friends? Are you more of a solo traveller? Tell us about your experiences below!

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