Yearly Archives: 2010


2010: A year of memories

Time for a quick look back at 2010 - and what a year it was. Avoiding Icelandic ash clouds, striking airport workers and snow-blocked runways I have somehow managed to visit five continents by cruise ship. It's been a year of contrasts; I have been deep in the bowels of the biggest cruise ship the world has ever seen, and I spent enchanted hours looking for Scottish wildlife from the wheelhouse of a converted fishing boat. Unforgettable - except that sooner or later the memories fade. So here are a few photographic reminders. JANUARY First trip of the year was [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:13+00:00 31 December 2010|Cruise Destinations, Cruise Ships|1 Comment

Air-con fault ends cruise for 100

After a shaky start which prompted passenger complaints and a feature on BBC's consumer programme, Watchdog, Thomson Cruises must have been hoping for better things in 2011 for their newest ship, Thomson Dream. After all, it recently emerged from a dry-dock refit which was intended to cure the problems inherited when the company took over the vessel, formerly the Costa Europa. No such luck. About 100 passengers expecting to fly out to Jamaica today to join the ship for a two-week Caribbean cruise, including visits to Cuba, were told last night their New Year holiday was cancelled. Ironically, a number [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:13+00:00 30 December 2010|Cruise News, Cruise Ships|0 Comments

Cruise waiter shot outside club

A waiter from a British cruise ship has been shot during a visit to Philipsburg, on the Caribbean island of St Maarten. Gahadhar Pradhan, who works on P&O's Aurora, was pistol-whipped over the head during an attempted mugging, and then shot in the buttocks. The attack happened in the red light district of Sucker Garden and the victim was walking from Carolina's Bar to the Seaman's Beach Club. One report describes the bars as "adult entertainment clubs" while another says they are brothels. A resident from a nearby apartment block found Pradhan lying on the ground calling for help. She [...]

By | 2010-12-30T12:26:57+00:00 30 December 2010|Cruise News|0 Comments

Cruise ship re-up for drug dealers

Here's a story that combines two of my greatest obsessions: cruise ships and the best television series ever. OK, The Wire doesn't actually get a mention, but if I say the report involves drugs and Baltimore, you should see where I'm going on this. Three crew members from Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas have been charged with attempting to smuggle heroin and cocaine from the Dominican Republic. Court papers say the men, 35-year-old Gavin Excell and 27-year-old kitchen workers John Swart Garth and Kishurn Neptune, planned to sell the drugs to two women from Virginia who they arranged to [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:13+00:00 29 December 2010|Cruise News|0 Comments

Finishing touches for the Dream

Cruise ship Disney Dream is making her way gently across the Atlantic to Florida, ready for a spectacular naming ceremony in Port Canaveral near the end of January. There are no passengers on board, but it's far from quiet, as the cast, crew and Disney's imagineers prepare the ship for action. As you'll see from the video, there are lots and lots of finishing touches which need to be completed before Mickey Mouse and his friends are ready to welcome their first guests.

By | 2010-12-29T14:51:37+00:00 29 December 2010|Cruise Ships|0 Comments

What’s the reality of getting the cruise message across on TV?

An item on the BBC breakfast news this morning claimed that today was the busiest of the year for holiday bookings, as people wake up to the fact that Christmas is over, and it's time to start making plans for travel in 2011. The cruise companies all have their new advertising campaigns and their special offers lined up, and will be looking forward to achieving, or even beating, the forecast increase of eight per cent in UK passengers booking a holiday at sea. The Passenger Shipping Association expects that 2011 will see 1.77 million Brits taking a cruise - an [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:13+00:00 29 December 2010|Cruise News|6 Comments

Merry Christmas from the Captain

If I was lucky enough to be on a cruise ship right now, I could be relaxing somewhere warm, relishing the fact that I was being waited on hand and foot, enjoying sumptuous meals prepared by a battalion of chefs, and making the most of the fact that I had nothing more strenuous to do than drag myself from the bar to the theatre, back to the bar and on to my cabin. Instead, I'm at home, where the snow that melts slightly each day is frozen solid again next morning. Every spare moment of the last couple of days [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:13+00:00 24 December 2010|Cruise News|1 Comment

Haunted cabins and butter sculptures fascinate Joanne on QM2 crossing

There was a second writer who caught my eye while on board a ship this year. After David Nobbs I discovered Joanne Harris, the author of 15 books including Chocolat and Runemarks, was at sea. Not exactly on a cruise, however. She travelled on a Transatlantic crossing aboard Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2, spent a week in New York, and then sailed back to Southampton talking and Tweeting all the way. On the westbound journey she was part of a literary double act, and appeared to love her new environment from the first minute. "My stateroom has orchids, Champagne and [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:13+00:00 23 December 2010|Cruise Entertainment|3 Comments

At sea with an author: The fall and rise of a regular cruise passenger

PART ONE OF A MINI-SERIES He didn't get where he is today by travelling steerage. David Nobbs, creator of Reginald Perrin and a host of other memorable comedy characters, is a big fan of cruising - though I wouldn't have guessed it from the first message from him that I spotted on Twitter. "On the cruise we saw some amazing ruins. In fact I helped two of them in to dinner," he wrote during a trip to the Mediterranean with P&O. And not everything went according to plan when travelling, if another message was to be believed. "Manana still rules [...]

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:13+00:00 22 December 2010|Cruise News|0 Comments

A world of difference for P&O

There's a subtle change of tack in the next advertising campaign from P&O, hitting UK television screens two days after Christmas. Targeting customers who may well be heading for the shops and the January sales, a 40-second commercial will urge them to "discover a different world" instead of pushing the line "There's a world out there." Philip Price, head of brand marketing, says: "We can trace our roots back to 1837, and our passengers are the latest in a long line of explorers who have discovered a different world with P&O Cruises, so we felt it fitting to create our [...]

By | 2010-12-22T06:35:34+00:00 22 December 2010|Cruise Deals, Cruise News|0 Comments