Cruise Gossip

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Why does cruise have such an image problem?

It’s been a while since I last posted here, but normal service is about to be resumed. To kick things off, here’s my latest column from World of Cruising magazine, which I edited until last month, and where I will remain as Editor at Large and a regular columnist  As well as the obvious comment on the cruise industry, there’s another message hidden among the words. See if you can spot it Cruising is under attack from all sides. How is it that companies can spend billions on building the latest ships – with facilities far superior to any land resort and [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:24+00:00 1 March 2016|Cruise Gossip|1 Comment

Billionaire’s daughter charters cruise ship for island birthday party

In case anyone's curiosity was roused by my earlier cryptic message about a billionaire's daughter's birthday party, let me provide some more details. The young lady in question is Ekaterina Rybolovleva; her father, Dmitry, is the 79th richest man in the world according to Forbes - or at least he was until a court ordered him to pay out $4.5 billion in a divorce settlement last month. To celebrate her 25th birthday, Ekaterina threw a party on the Greek island of Skorpios, which she bought from the estate of Jackie Onassis for a reported £200 million. Despite that price tag, [...]

By | 2014-06-05T18:51:28+00:00 5 June 2014|Cruise Gossip, Cruise News|0 Comments

When will Royal confirm their new ship will be OUR national Anthem?

There's an army of cruise fans who live, eat and breathe ships and shipping. Many of them may only spend a few precious days each year at sea, but devote the rest of their time following the activities of their favourite operator or ships, tracking progress and developments on every news source available. They don't simply wait for cruise lines to make official announcements; they trawl the internet on a daily basis, sometimes making deductions from the flimsiest of evidence. Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Poirot have nothing on these maritime detectives. A couple of days ago, some of them noticed [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:30+00:00 4 September 2013|Cruise Gossip, Cruise News, Cruise Ships|0 Comments

A modern tale of Two Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the towel animals)

Time to take a look at cruising from a perspective different from my own. For some years I have been trying to persuade my son to join me on a ship. He finally agreed to travel with me on Carnival Sunshine. I don't know what persuaded him. It may have been Carnival's Switch On Fun which aired on British television earlier this year. It may, knowing him, have been a morbid fascination with the Carnival brand. In any case, his preconceptions appear to have been influenced more by a 1997 literary essay rather than my blandishments. And I did have [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:30+00:00 4 August 2013|Cruise Gossip|0 Comments

Could Brangelina really be marrying on The Queen’s favourite ship?

Touted only this week as "the world's poshest holiday," Hebridean Princess has been chartered twice by The Queen - but is the ship good enough for Hollywood royalty? According to reports today Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are planning to charter the vessel - a converted car ferry - for a summer wedding in the Scottish islands. The Sun says that the couple's 11-year-old adopted son, Maddox, came up with the idea as an alternative to the French chateau they were originally planning to use for the long-awaited ceremony. If they chose to follow our own Royal Family on board [...]

By | 2013-07-17T13:40:01+00:00 17 July 2013|Cruise Gossip|1 Comment

Cruise passengers not convinced by BBC’s round-the-world voyage

Mixed reactions to the first part of BBC2's new documentary series The Cruise: A Life At Sea, which made its debut last night. Fred Olsen fans have been quick to express their opinions this morning, and many of them are far from favourable. I had not been expecting anything outrageous from the six-part series; the production team had earlier worked on gentle observational programmes such as An Island Parish, and were planning to focus on the activities of Balmoral's chaplain, the Rev Colin Still. Some viewers seem to think this gave the impression everyone on a Fred Olsen cruise is [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:31+00:00 10 July 2013|Cruise Gossip|3 Comments

Cunard goes casual? Not quite

Cunard has announced an update to its dress codes, describing it as a "loosening of ties" on non-formal nights. Why has it decided to make the change? And from a wider point of view, why are there dress codes at all on cruise ships? When I embarked on my first cruise not far from two decades ago, I welcomed the opportunity to dust off my dinner jacket and pull on a bow-tie (elasticated and pre-tied, by the way - I have never mastered the art of doing it myself). On one memorable Transatlantic crossing aboard Queen Elizabeth 2, every night [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:37+00:00 18 March 2013|Cruise Gossip|4 Comments

Sabotage, or plain bad luck?

The spate of power and propulsion-related incidents that has recently afflicted cruise ships owned by Carnival Corporation has prompted one Wall Street observer to speculate wildly that the company could be the victim of sabotage. In reality, however, most of the incidents have been minor and may well have gone unnoticed were it not for social media, and passengers using Facebook, Twitter and internet forums. In the past, the fact that a ship was delayed mid-cruise would have passed unnoticed and unremarked. The fact that a port call had been cut short or missed entirely would have remained a matter [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:37+00:00 18 March 2013|Cruise Gossip|0 Comments

Will Titanic II float your boat or is the plan a dinosaur dead in the water?

It's no secret I have been sceptical of the much-touted proposals to build Titanic II right from the start. It seemed less like a viable plan to build an updated replica than a publicity-seeking scheme from Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer. Even with his unnecessary assurances about the provision of sufficient lifeboats and his off-colour remarks that the ship would inevitably sink "if you put a hole in it," most observers remained unconvinced that such a project would be welcomed by the cruising public. Doubts were reinforced when big international events scheduled to launch the project were called off in [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:37+00:00 28 February 2013|Cruise Gossip|6 Comments

Berlusconi is back on a cruise ship – will he be sleeping in Sophia’s suite?

Never mind the fact that he was incapable of rescuing Italy's economy. Or that he hit the headlines more often for his out-of-hours activities and salacious bunga bunga parties with a succession of young showgirls. For many commentators, Silvio Berlusconi could never escape the tired old tag of "cruise ship crooner" which was hurled at him in reference to his early career when he played the guitar and sang in ships' restaurants. Now, 10 months after his resignation as Italian prime minister, he is returning to the sea. He will be a special guest on board MSC Divina, the newest [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:44+00:00 3 September 2012|Cruise Gossip, Cruise News|0 Comments