New sign of cruising’s popularity

//New sign of cruising’s popularity

There’s another distinct group of passengers on Brilliance of the Seas this week, apart from the various contingents of 39 different nationalities. A party of 185 is here with Deaf World Travel UK on a cruise to celebrate the organisation’s 20th anniversary.
They have brought with them four sign language interpreters who travel on the ship’s excursions passing on what the tour guides have to say and who are on duty at the side of the stage during the evening entertainment in the theatre. They have also assisted in cruise director Gordon Whatman’s morning TV show which is broadcast throughout the ship.
One of them, the rather portly Karl Llorca, even risked all to help members of the group taking part in a belly dancing class – surely going above and beyond the call of duty.
Deaf World Travel is a non-profit organisation run by Ian Funnell, who himself was deafened as a child. He is here on the cruise, and has a small group of assistants who are kept busy making sure everything is going to plan.
The ship’s crew had special briefings about how to communicate with the deaf group and briefing notes about sign language are discreetly pinned up at several waiter stations. A separate boat drill was held for the group, and arrangements have been made for alerting them in case of an emergency.
Ian told me there had been a few hitches, particularly with shore excursions, and getting members of the group on the right buses, but they all seemed to be enjoying their fancy dress party on board last night, many of the men dressing in dishdashas and turbans.
It certainly appears as if the cruise from Dubai has been a popular choice. Deaf group holidays in the past three years, to Italy, Thailand, Sardinia and Corsica, Egypt, Tunisia, and Rio de Janeiro, have attracted less than a quarter of the number of holidaymakers who have joined Brilliance.
No doubt a planned cruise in the Mediterranean next summer to be equally popular. And the memories of this week will be vivid, especially as a subtitled version of the cruise DVD was specially produced.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:10+00:00 6 February 2011|Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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