So even though I haven't been on the Boat yet, there's a plan about to do the Boat again. Christmas, 2016.
There is a cruise available (not on the QM2, but on the Queen Elizabeth, I think), which runs after Christmas to into the new year, going Southampton, Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Brugge, Southampton.
This is extremely handy for me. I need to go back to Holland, and I'm long overdue, but the problem with me visiting Holland is that a) I'm spending my entire time visiting family, who are excited for the first couple of hours, but then b) they want to go back to the regular routines, and good luck getting a ride anywhere, or, hell, even having bread in the house for you that's not coming from the freezer.
For a week visit, you're spending most of your time sitting on the couch drinking tea, and not talking about a hell of a lot, other than which dead great-uncle you resemble, and rehashing whatever stories have already been told a zillion times.
But a two day visit, in and out, that's ideal. Whoever can come up to AMS is welcome to, and whoever can't, well, you missed your chance. I get the "I CAME" sticker, and everybody can shut the hell up for the next five years.
And the timing works out pretty great. A week and a bit. Fly to London return, stay for a couple of days, get on the Boat, NYE and NYD in Amsterdam, one day for each side of the fam, then a day in Brugge for an aunt who's down that way, and BAM. DONE.
I won't get to see Texel, like I really want, but let's face it -- that's never happening anyway.
But yeah. This has the makings of a Great Plan. A week in Europe without being overburdened by familial obligations, nor snark about avoiding people, a minimum of time away from work, and at the Christmas shutdown, when dick all is happening anyway. I get a Hemaworstje out of it, and a bag of patat with mayo (fuckin' DROWN 'EM IN THAT SHIT), and I'm DONE.