90-year-old from Great Cornard books luxury cruise with stranger 45 minutes after meeting him at pub

Vera Burrell, 90, of Great Cornard, who went on a luxury cruise with a man she met in a pub. Picture

Vera Burrell, 90, of Great Cornard, who went on a luxury cruise with a man she met in a pub. Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD - Credit: Archant

An adventurous great grandma from Suffolk who booked a luxury cruise with a complete stranger 45 minutes after meeting him in a pub has declared everyone should try to live life without regrets.

Vera Burrell, 90, of Great Cornard, near Sudbury, stopped for lunch in Winchester during an organised coach trip to Bournemouth and shared a table with an elderly gentleman who wandered in for something to eat.

Talk turned to holidays and the mystery man - himself 91 - asked Vera if she’d ever been on a cruise, suggesting it was about time she did.

After leaving the pub the pair strolled into a nearby travel agents and stunned staff as they booked a Mediterranean Cruise.

The mystery man, who Vera initially knew only as John, splashed out an incredible £3,700 for the lavish 12-night Mediterranean cruise onboard the Azura - a 290-metre luxury P&O liner - complete with pools, casinos and spas.


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Vera and great grandad John, took in a host of European cities on their unlikely adventure last month including Lisbon, Porto, Cadiz, Cartagena, Malaga and Gibraltar.

Although there was no romance, Southampton pensioner John even asked Vera if she would like to go on another cruise - to the Caribbean.

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Vera, who previously worked in two London banks, said: “I’ve had a good life,

“I don’t regret anything - least of all the cruise. Life is for living. I am not dead yet - you have got to get on with it, haven’t you?

“I would say to people, seize the day, seize the day.

She told her youngest daughter Caroline who thought it was a “huge joke” but encouraged her mum to go for it.

Vera also revealed how John’s daughter actually tried to cancel the trip, thinking her dad had been the victim of some kind of online fraud.

Speaking of the trip, Vera said: “We knew the same tunes, we remembered the same comedies from the radio, the same films.

“The programmes like the Navy lark - as we did not televisions in those days.

“We got on surprisingly well. We had a very pleasant trip.

“We were strangers but did have quite a lot in common. It was just a lovely leisurely holiday,”

The couple plan to stay in touch as friends but Vera has said they will not be holidaying together again.

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