Game for a cruise?

If your cruise ship is in the doldrums and has a dull-lull to fill in, it’s time to play games.

Really?

Afraid so.

Here’s some classic ice-breakers that may help melt the frigid atmosphere in what is often described as mixed parties, i.e. men, women – and whatevers: Read the rest of this entry »

Goodbye Uncle Ted, I’ll miss you

I have a favourite uncle who’s always been there for me. He may not be tall, but he has a giant personality. He may not be wealthy, but his heart is made of gold.

On Monday I had a phone call from his son to say Uncle Ted had finally gone on that big journey – the one we must all take, sooner or later. That’s right, he’s gone on a cruise to Australia. But only for four weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

Service with a grimace

You get what you pay for, the old adage goes.

My experience in the past week debunks that theory and made me think about service standards in general and on board cruise ships in particular.

People’s expectations of the service they receive, whether it be in a shop, bar, restaurant or on holiday, has arguably never been as high as it is today. Read the rest of this entry »

Teddy takes a cruise

Teddy bears don’t need hearts, they are usually stuffed with love.

Maybe that’s why staff at Bristol Airport have spent the last 14 months hunting the owner of a 100-year-old teddy bear that got left behind in their departure lounge.

The antique bear, which has one eye and a floppy ear (known as Lucky?), was found in a bag together with a frayed black and white photo dated March 1918 of poor old Teddy in those far-off, presumably better days, being hugged by two children. Read the rest of this entry »

Are you lacking in vitamin sea?

Did I mention that cruising could be good for your health? Spend time away from the ocean and you may be denying yourself vital therapy. So what’s the most cost-effective way to keep your vitamin sea levels nicely topped up?

One answer might be to treat yourself to a mini cruise. A few days on a big ship may be all that’s needed to keep you going till you’re ready for your next major holiday. Read the rest of this entry »

A Quantum Leap

Anyone who thought there was a slowdown in global cruise industry growth is going to have to eat their words.

Just over a week before the Duchess of Cambridge is due to conduct the formal naming ceremony of Princess Cruises’ new ship Royal Princess in Southampton on June 13 and rival Royal Caribbean Cruises upped the stakes in new orders. Read the rest of this entry »

Cruising through life

Every time I am about to leave home for a holiday, especially a sea cruise, I feel excited but slightly apprehensive.

Have I packed everything? Got the passport and visas? Floating money belt?

Anything else I have forgotten?

Ah yes, the police. Who are knocking on my door with their truncheons (filthy swines) and suggesting I un-manacle the wife, children and cats. Read the rest of this entry »

Fast forward to summer

I’m not one of those pessimistic types who you’d hate to be stuck with in a cruise ship lift. I’m really not. But judging from recent weather, I reckon summer may have to be cancelled this year.

If you feel waiting 12 months for another summer to come along is asking too much of you, I believe I have a good solution. It turns out you can use the magic of cruising to cut that waiting time in half? Read the rest of this entry »

Sail Away for a Short Break

Weddings, Parties, Anything was the name of a little-known Australian rock band that I happened to get to love on trips Down Under in the 1990s.

The name came from a song by The Clash called Revolution Rock, according to my research on Wikipedia.

But it could equally apply to the offering on a short cruise across the channel by P&O Cruises newly refurbished ship Ventura. Read the rest of this entry »

Jazzing up a cruise

Poured a couple of snorts of rye in a dockside gin-mill the other day – one for me, the other for an old pal who had some beef with his skipper.

‘What’s eating you?’ I asked.

‘I love jazz,’ says the bell-bottom, ‘but the Old Man hates it. What a load of baloney.’ Read the rest of this entry »