After nearly 1,000 performances of Robin Hood at the Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent, I was becoming weary of pulling on my green tights each night.

I come from Stoke, so I’m biased in favour of its attractions, but I realise abundant winter sunshine isn’t one of them. After a long panto season, I was ready for a rest.

So I booked a two-week island-hopping cruise in the Caribbean with P&O, flying out to Barbados to join the ship Azura.

I was sceptical about spending two weeks at sea. I knew I needed downtime to recuperate, but also craved adrenaline.

I’ve played sport all my life and I’m used to regular bursts of it. How would I get that on the ocean? Easy. Once I realised how many high-octane on-shore activities were available, I knew the voyage would offer the ideal combination of relaxation and thrills.

This was a cruise where abandoning ship to explore the islands, including St Lucia, St Kitts and St Maarten, was just as important as life on board. And the shore excursion team would be on hand to help me find those thrills.

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