3:30 am — 5 Comments

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. True story.

No, they weren’t paying passengers – they were shooting the line’s next brochure. But still! It was kinda freaky to see them. And they stayed onboard for the whole week.

The crazy bizarro part is that I had been writing a blog THAT WEEK about cheesy cruise models. I had even collected a few images in a folder titled: Cruise Model Cliches. I was just looking for one more good example before I posted it.

And then, holy sh*t, my blog CAME TO LIFE!!! I mean, how powerful can my words be??! Write it and they will come…

Then it was too just weird, even a bit stalkerish, to publish it. But hey, I got over that. After all, this is the Cruisey Life Uncensored!

Seabourn Lifestyle Image 3

So, did I meet them? Hell yeah! How could I resist?! I waltzed over and introduced myself (not quite revealing the whole coincidental blog story) and asked if I could join them. Before they had a chance to reply, I was pulling up a chair and ordering a drink.

How old were they, you ask? One of the females was 35 (seriously); the other was apparently 50-ish but with the soft, smooth skin of a newborn baby, I swear! The males were 50 and 62 – two guys who have spent their lives modelling. One gay. One married – but not to his brochure wife. Three Americans, one Brit. All ridiculously gorgeous in the flesh – no Photoshopping required. And I have to admit, their photos were nothing like the shockers in my folder.

They were so much fun that I ended up hanging out with them a few times that week. It was one of the craziest cruises I’ve ever been on. And it’s worth noting this was a RIVER cruise.

So, this is what I had been writing… pre-reality moment.


No offence, cruise lines, but your “people photos” suck. OK, not all of them, but there is a definite over-supply of cheesy couples on luxury ships. Richard Gere lookalikes and nowhere-near-grandmothers embracing on deck, gazing at the horizon, smiling wistfully at the ocean…

In the worst cases, someone is pointing at something (actually, nothing) in the distance. I like to call this “the pointless point”.

This gag factor can ruin an otherwise awesome image. Another example is this beauty (below) illustrating a yacht’s super-cool “sleep under the stars”. I’d almost book a cabin based on this experience alone. But sheesh, why did the photographer have to force the guy to pretend he’s pointing out a constellation? Ugh! We all KNOW it’s a staged photo, so why bother over-faking the fakeness??

SDYC Balinese DreamBeds-1

Which leads me to the other cracker: the fake laughter shot. This always involves TWO couples, because we all know that ONE couple NEVER laughs like THAT. I mean, they barely speak to each other across the dinner table, right? But plonk an attractive couple next to them and suddenly everyone is HIL-AR-I-OUS!

To top it off, add a crew member – a waiter, the chef, the bartender. Oh, what jokers they all are! What fun we are having on this real cruise telling real jokes with real people! Oh stop it. You’re all too much. Gosh, cruising is such a crack-up.


One day, I want to see a cruise line use some real-life passengers in their advertising. I might even accept a plus-size model. Or models over 65. What do you think the chances are??

– By Louise Goldsbury

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Louise Goldsbury

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In 2013 I was named Best Travel Writer at the National Travel Industry Awards. And until someone corrects me, I'm claiming to be the youngest cruise editor in the Southern Hemisphere. Editor of Cruise Weekly since 2009, I also contribute to Sydney's Sun Herald newspaper and various travel magazines and websites.


  1. We spent a week on a cruise with 105 pole dancing ladies. That made for some interesting eye candy for the guys!

  2. OMG — Seriously funny! We all know that they do this, but no one ever points it out. Thanks for doing that and letting me have a great laugh this morning!

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