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Christine's Amazing Holiday

This article was written by Christine Parker (#704)

The organisation of the trip

As you may know, Kenike from Wisdom Development (cross-dress with Dignity) organised an ocean cruise on the P&O liner, The Pacific Jewel for a three day trip out to sea and back from 15th to 18th July 2010. I had the week off work, so I decided to spend it as a woman 24/7.

Here is how it went

I spent a quiet Sunday afternoon and evening dressed at home doing housework and preening myself - epilating, eyebrow plucking, trying out my new hot rollers in my hair.

On Monday morning I dressed for going out for the day. My wife gave me the OK to spend a bit as "the sales were on", but "don't get carried away". I left home at 10:30am, and headed to Tuggerah, stopping for petrol on the way.

Shopping at Tuggerah

At Westfield, the first stop was a manicure. The little Vietnamese lady came up behind me and touched me on the shoulder and said "It's been long time since you were here". It had been about 12 months. I only have a manicure if I am going to be dressed for at least 2 days. I picked a dark plum colour with a touch of glitter in it.

Once the nails had dried (that always takes at least 30-40 minutes), I had a coffee and cake at a Michelle's cafe. Then I hit the shops, which I had checked out while waiting for my nails to dry: BigW, Target, Autograph, Rockmans and David Jones.

I scored a LBD for just $20 at Rockmans. I have never had a nice LBD before - it is hard to find something in my size 20-22. The saleslady approached me as I was going into the change room to try on something else. "Would you like to try on this black dress as well, it's an 18, but I think it might fit you". After I put it on, she asked how it fitted and I showed her - it fitted quite well. She explained that it was too long for most women. As soon as I walked in the store, I guess that she could see I was the right height and build to fit it. "You always need a little black dress" (God, is the woman psychic? How did she know that I had been looking for one for ages!) I find sales assistants in these smaller stores to be very friendly and helpful. They are always polite and respectful.

At Autograph, I have become a familiar face. I bought a red coat for the cruise, with a matching tie-dyed scarf, and a top. Because I spent more than $80, I got a free blouse. There was a bunch of older ladies having a great old time helping one of their group buy clothes and they drew me into their conversation.

At Target, I bought about 4 blouses and top. My main purchase at Big W was a long patterned skirt. I finished the shopping at DJs to buy a nice bra. I am hoping to eventually fill it with my own breasts, but I was buying a set of breast enhancers the following day to help fill them.

Finishing my shopping at 3.30pm, I headed south to Newtown, arriving just before 5pm. Mel did her usual great job, trimming and styling my hair. She also gave me a few pointers on using my heated rollers. I hit the road for home at 6pm and arrived at 8pm. My wife asked me to show her what I had bought and she thought I had chosen well.

Breastform Shop

On Tuesday, I had to do one brief boy job, taking out the garbage bins. Otherwise I spent the morning catching up on 3 weeks worth of ironing while my wife and daughter were at the movies. I then did my hair and make-up planning to go out to the Breastform Store, when I suddenly spotted our gardener on the back balcony. I had forgotten it was his day. His truck was parked in the driveway in front of the garage. A moment of panic - I had to leave shortly to make my appointment. My wife was back home and had a chat with him. He moved his truck and went back to work in the back yard. I was able to leave unseen.

Tanya welcomed me warmly, as usual, at the store at Caves Beach (it is actually a private house where she runs her business part-time). I have been there several times, but this time was the first in ages. I bought some breast enhancers, which double the size of my natural breasts and felt much less bulky, more comfortable and natural. I was tempted to buy a smaller set of breastforms as well, but at nearly $200 I could not justify such a purchase.

I bought another padded girdle so that I can have one in the wash and one to wear. It was a slightly different style to the one I bought last year and more comfortable.

I got home and tried the breast enhancers in a few bras and found that there were only a couple of bras that were small enough to wear with them. So I decided on some more bra shopping the next day.

On Wednesday, I headed south to Sydney to stay at my friend Jan's place. I stopped on the way at Tuggerah for the usual toilet stop, but also to buy three new bras to wear now that I have stopped using large breasts forms, and switching to "chicken fillets" as the real girls call them to enhance small boobs like I have.

The Cruise

Thursday morning Jan and I took a cab to the Overseas Passenger Terminal, met up with our group, boarded the cruise ship, then got settled in and had lunch. We were certainly getting a few curious looks. Jan and I took ended up sitting next to a lady in her 60's and soon got into conversation with her and her sister. Jan explained who (and what) we were. The lady listened with interest and asked questions. She was quite friendly. We then had a walk around the ship checking it out and knew we were being checked out, too. We met up with 2 other T-girls in our group, Davina from Melbourne and Emma, a new Seahorse member. The group also include Kenike and Madeline, the organisers, their daughter Michelle and her boyfriend, two of their friends, and a couple from Brisbane. We all had dinner in a nice restaurant that evening to get to know each other.

The first 24 hours was just getting settled in. The second day, we explored to ship a bit more and Jan and I had drinks at a bar on the stern of the ship.

That evening we took in a comedy show and at the half-way point, a woman of 50 approached me and asked if she could talk to me. She said she was really impressed with us T-girls, and next thing you know all her girlfriends were talking to us and after the show we all met up at a bar on the top deck that had a disco, Suddenly we were the centre of attention from lots of women who wanted to talk to us. I have never had so many women want to talk to me and dance with me before, all ages from 20's to 60's, from loud drunk girls to beautifully groomed ladies. They were keen to find out about being a T-girl, telling us how much they admired what we were doing. Some wanted to tell me all about their problems - usually husbands and boyfriends, their kids, their girlfriends, their health issues and so on. I partied on to 4.30am.

Saturday was our final full day aboard. In the morning I did some duty-free shopping for a nice handbag, some Prada perfume and good quality mascara, then we went to a wine tasting in the afternoon. During the day, I was regularly getting calls of "Hi, Christine!" and waves now and again from the girls we met the night before. After a private dinner party, some of us went back to the same bar and again lots of girls wanted to chat and dance with us, including the older lady we met on the first day. It was another 4.30am night, and up at 6.50am to get ready to disembark.

I had brunch at Jan's place, before driving home with a final stop at Tuggerah for coffee and to buy a replacement makeup mirror, as mine was damaged during baggage handling (the new one is bigger and better).

The cruise was a fantastic experience. I knew it would be good, but never imaged it would be so good. I ended up being one of the most recognised passengers on the cruise, with several women coming up and saying, "I saw you girls this morning on the deck and I just wanted to say hello". I am now on some of the girls' Facebook pages. Generally, men ignored us, but a couple had a friendly polite chat with me.

It is one thing to go to a safe TG function, but going to a mainstream venue for three full days and nights was something else. People's acceptance was amazing - being in holiday mode also helped no doubt. I did not get one hassle, just the occasional disdainful stare from some old lady.

If you ever get the opportunity to do something like this - grab the chance and, of course, invite me along!

All good things must end

On Sunday afternoon at 3pm, I reached the one-week mark for being in my femme role, tripling the longest previous time. The experience has helped me so much. I walked with a confident feminine gait, talked comfortably to dozens of people, something I could not have done in the first two years of coming out.

Again, I would like to thank Kenike and Madeline for organising a truly memorable few days. I would also like to thank the P&O management for their cooperation and their staff's politeness and respect shown to us. I would also like to thank my fellow T-girls whose company made the experience even better.

See some photos of the cruise

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