You were right all along, Steve

//You were right all along, Steve

steve_r.jpgBack in December, one of my fellow cruise journalists in the UK broke an exclusive story with the news that a refit of the Grand Princess would see the removal of the ship’s signature “shopping trolley” handle at the stern.
His spies told him the Skywalkers nightclub, 150-ft above sea level, was to be dismantled when the ship entered dry dock because the cost of maintaining the structure far outweighed the revenue it generated. Apart from which, passengers complained that it blocked the sun from the open deck below, and others derided it because they felt it was an ugly encumbrance.
Princess Cruises declined to confirm the exclusive at the time, and many observers dismissed the report as speculation.
But today it was confirmed that the “handle” will indeed by removed during a 24-day makeover which begins in the Grand Bahama shipyard on April 11. The disco will disappear from Deck 18 and be replaced by a new club One5 on Deck 15.
Sadly, Steve Read, the author of the story, published on his informative and entertaining website, is no longer with us to take pride in having brought us the scoop 10 weeks ahead of the official announcement.
He was found dead at his home earlier this week, apparently felled by a heart attack, before he could add to his list of exclusives, and before he could take a drink in One5.
Widely known and liked among the UK travel fraternity, Steve was a passionate fan of cruises, having taken his first voyage 40 years ago as a 14-year-old schoolboy from Nuneaton – about as far away from the sea as you can get in England.
He determined there and then to become a captain, but was diverted into journalism somewhere along the way, and spent 23 years at The Sun.
After a press trip in 1999 – to the Mediterranean on the Airtours ship Sunbird – he realised what he had been missing and determined to spend as much time as he could at sea. You can see how much he enjoyed it from my picture of him at dinner on the QE2 during a Transatlantic crossing in January 2008 – that smile is infectious.
After leaving The Sun three years ago he provided daily video reports for SkyTravel’s television channel, and when that folded last year he set up his own website. Only two weeks ago we were together on board Disney Dream and I was looking forward to many more days at sea in his company, swapping salty tales over a gin and tonic (no lemon in his, by the way).
Sadly, that’s not to be.
We’ll miss you, Steve. Hope you’re having fun in that great big cruise ship in the sky.

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


  1. lucy Campbell 10 February 2011 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    So sorry to hear this news – shocking really given how well he seemed only a few weeks ago. Lx

  2. Ally Jones 10 February 2011 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    Although I did not have the pleasure of meeting Steve Read, I have read his many blogs & articles over the years.
    He was a truly respected & loved cruise journalist, he had a no nonsense approach but with his own style of wit, charm & warmth that always made you feel like you were standing by the rail beside him on a ship. He also never shied away from the more contentious issues in cruising…something he will always be remembered & appreciated for.
    He has been taken way too soon, his natural talent and joy of life was reflected in everything he wrote.
    He will be sorely missed by everyone in the cruising industry, but especially his family & those cruise journalists & friends who worked with him over the years.
    Enjoy the rest on that sunlounger on your balcony Steve, you’ve earned it matey…..

  3. Ray Aylott 10 February 2011 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    Steve was a true gent, and great company on a cruise, he will be missed all who new him. RIP Steve, gone but not forgotten

  4. Stuart Vincent 11 February 2011 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Shocked and saddened to hear of Steve’s passing. As Ally Jones said, Steve had a no nonsense approach and it is this, and his quick humour, that I remember most.
    Bon Voyage, Steve

  5. Dave Darby 11 February 2011 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Steve once rang me to answer some questions i had E mailed him,he was very down to earth and the wealth of information that he had will be very sadly missed, not just by us the traveling public but also by his friends and relatives.
    I always enjoyed his joke about the Hairdryer and Hairstylists in his videos.
    Gone but not forgotten RIP Steve.

  6. Judy Mainwaring 12 February 2011 at 11:45 am - Reply

    I was so very sorry to hear this sudden news, I knew Steve when we were teenagers, we went out together for a while. We got back in touch in the early 90’s through a school reunion in Nuneaton and have kept in touch ever since, lately via Facebook. I was glad that he had been enjoing himself in recent years, cruising away and then making money out of writing about it – what bliss! He was a very funny and charming person, and I am very shocked by his sudden loss. I will remember our brief times together with true affection,
    RIP Steve xxx

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