Archives For Blog

Why do we eat more at sea? Does the salty air stimulate our inner Porky Pig? Is it because we want to get our fare’s worth of food? Or do we just eat it because it’s there – and it’s free?
Like cows, our “cruise stomach” seems to find extra compartments, and we pile on the dreaded “cruise kilos”.

Most cruisers go through three stages, from good intentions, to giving in, to giving up. Some people last longer than others, but most crumble at the first sight of a menu.

This is an hour-by-hour breakdown of how it usually goes…

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On a ship with hundreds or thousands of people, you’re bound to bump into a few duds. The stalker couple who are somehow ALWAYS EVERYWHERE you go. Don and Dorothy from Dullsville. The drunk, deluded bogan who thinks you’re his new best mate. The slurring, sloppy cougar. The racist, sexist pig who’s rude to all the waiters. The bragging wankers in the owner’s suite. That stalker couple AGAIN.

Nobody wants their holiday ruined by fellow travellers who just don’t get the hint. So, here are my 6 recommended ways to escape the cruisers from hell.

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Last night, Australian TV screened a documentary about the sinking of the Costa Concordia in 2012. While I posted my reactions on Twitter, I found a link to this great song about it: “What Was He Thinking?” by Kenny Giordano.

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Over the weekend I was named Best Travel Writer at AFTA’s National Travel Industry Awards, held in Sydney, Australia. Total shock, but a great thrill and honour. So just a quick thanks to Craig Owens, of Cruise Office, for nominating me, and Quentin Long, publisher of International Traveller, for commissioning the winning story.

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I’m disappointed by my butler’s name: Greg.

I knew he wouldn’t ever live up to my fantasy of a butler called Jeeves. But really, Greg? That’s the best you can do? His six-foot height, handsome face and tuxedo help, but not enough. I want a top hat and tails if you’re going to have the same name as a Brady.

Minutes later I have to hide my glee when Greg explains that he is not my butler; that my real butler is on his lunch break, and his name is Viktor. With a K. Now we’re talking.

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A list of companies that offer coach, car or mini-bus transfers from other parts of the state to White Bay Cruise Terminal, Sydney.

UPDATED INFO (December 2013) at www.whitebaysydney.com

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You’ve seen them – the impossibly good-looking couples, the silver foxes and their glamorous (20 years younger) wives…
Well, guess what, cruisers – I’m here to tell you they are REAL!!! How do I know? Because I boarded a cruise and THERE THEY WERE. Four models, on the ship, enjoying a bottle of wine in the lounge.

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I’ve been speaking on radio stations, today and last night, about the two young people who have gone missing from Carnival Spirit off Australia’s east coast. My blog about deaths at sea has led to some interesting research.

So, how closely are you being monitored while on a ship? A big ship has hundreds of cameras watching your every move – everywhere except inside your cabin. They can also see inside your balcony (so any couple who’s been swept away by the romance of sea, yep, there’s a good chance the officers were watching you from the bridge).

Problem is, there are not 600 security staff to watch 600 cameras, and it only takes a couple of seconds to fall from the 10th deck into the ocean – like leaping from a skyscraper.

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Out of 40 cruises, I have done about half by myself. Don’t pity me, it’s my job! But it’s allowed me to learn many ways to handle the seemingly strange situation of sailing solo.
Here are my top 10 tips, gathered over the past five years.

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Directions for cruising from White Bay, Sydney – the cheapest, least convenient and dumbest ways to get to the new terminal…

UPDATED INFO (December 2013) at www.whitebaysydney.com

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