Who will be first to get hotel queen Alex to book a cruise ship holiday?

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africanqueen.jpgpolizzi.jpgHotel Inspector Alex Polizzi was back on board The African Queen last night. She first visited the converted Dutch barge three years ago when Andy and Bonny Cowley were struggling to make any money out of their floating hotel.
Given a makeover by Alex, the eight-bedroomed vessel was booked solid for a couple of years, and in the summer of 2010 I spent a sunny weekend on board with Saga, who were selling river trips through their brochures.
Alex seemed to be expecting the worst when she turned up to take a second look for the last of the current series on Channel 5. If you missed it, you can watch the episode here.
The cobwebs on the curtain rails and the detritus in the bedside drawers did not bode well. But Andy was his irrepressible self, boring guests into submission with his tedious tales. Bonny remained almost invisible in the galley, preparing her delicious South African food.
Maid-of-all-work Cherry, whose duties covered everything from cleaning the bathrooms to mooring the boat when I met her, has been joined by Bobby, who seemed to have muscled Andy away from bar duties – although perhaps he should have been concentrating on his cleaning.
Without actually establishing that the business was sinking again, Alex proceeded to bring a clutch of of wedding planners on board, keen to grab a slice of the market that remains unaffected by tightened purse strings.
Whether the event will result in any bookings remains to be seen.
Next stop for Alex will be an appearance at the annual convention for the Association of Cruise Experts in two weeks’ time, alongside Royal Caribbean International’s president Adam Goldstein and travel editor Frank Barrett.
Her advice to the travel agents and managers on the subject of “Putting the Customer First” will no doubt be inspirational and uplifting, even though she admitted in an interview with Travel Weekly that she had never been in a cruise – an omission that she said “seems like incredible short-sightedness.”
So I have a challenge to the delegates who will be at Burlington Hotel in Birmingham on September 20. Which one of you will be the first to sign Alex Polizzi up for a cruise? Don’t waste any time – see if you can get her to sign on the dotted line before Goldstein offers her the Owner’s Suite on one of his ships. I will be there for the day as well; let me know if you have any success.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:44+00:00 7 September 2012|Cruise fun, Cruise people, River cruise|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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