Cruises to Avoid! (Subject to change)

Here are my ‘assignments for the foreseeable future. They are subject to change due to the wishes of the cruise management, anno dominii, family issues and health!!

10th Sept –       Join RSSC Navigator in Oslo

14th Sept         Stockholm to Dover (26th Sept)                    

2018 Cruises

8th Jan             Southampton to Portsmouth (West Africa) Saga Pearl 11 (28th Jan)

15th Feb           Sydney to Fremantle              RSSC Navigator (part World Cruise)

25th Feb           Fremantle to Singapore                     “

13th March      Singapore to Cape Town                   ”

7th April           Cape Town to Rio                              “

30th April         Rio to Los Angeles(25th May)          “

14th August     Copenhagen to Stockholm                 RSSC Explorer

24th August     Stockholm to Copenhagen

3rd Sept           Copenhagen to Southampton (leaving in Amsterdam 12th Sept)

14th Sept         Malaga to Civitavecchia (24th) Oceania Riviera

17th Oct           Piraeus to Civitavecchia                    RSSC Voyager

29th Oct           Civit to Monte Carlo

5th Nov            M.Carlo to Barcelona

12th Nov          Barcelona to Miami  (26th Nov)


4th Jan             LA. To New York (15th May)            RSSC Navigator World Cruise


24th Jan           San Francisco to San Francisco        RSSC Mariner World Cruise


North to Alaska


It may seem strange to begin a trip to Alaska with a flight to Miami!. But here we joined the Regent Seven Seas Navigator. A hotel overnight and a wonderful lunch with Pat Higgins (my ‘booker’) by the waterside, watching the ships come and go into the city, and we were once again boarding the ship on which we have spent a good few weeks recently. And so to work. With a series of lectures ranging from ‘The Rules of Cricket’ (we were in the Caribbean!), the British attack on Cartagena, the history of the Panama Canal, the Last Emperor of Mexico, the Maya, and Alcatraz etc. we made our way via stops in the Cayman Islands (great visit to new found friends in the ‘antique shop’, and trying to run over feral iguanas on the highway on the way to their gorgeous home!), Colombia (a trip out a nature park and waterfall which involved wading across several streams and small rivers, and the hop-on, hop-off bus around Cartagena), the Panama Canal in all its usual glory and activity, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica with a mangrove boat tour, many crocodiles monkeys and exotic birds etc and Mexico with the famous cliff divers of Acapulco, a bucket of beer and food in Cabo San Lucas, and under the Golden Gate bridge and past Alcatraz island into San Francisco to meet up with good cruising friends Bruce and Kim for a full day in this amazing city, complete with cable car ride and a great meal in the Italian quarter. We moved on up the coast to Astoria in Oregon and engaged in an ‘ale tour’ of three breweries, tasting 9 different beers – all before 10.30 in the morning! A walk around the harbourside in Victoria on Vancouver Island in Canada was so pleasant and on to our changeover stop in Vancouver and a meeting with Wendy and George – Wendy we had not seen for about 23+ years, so a lot of catching up over a bottle of wine and a great meal. With a new group of guests we headed off for Alaska. Able to look back on a job well done – 3 cabaret shows (including a sell out ‘Ain’t Patricks Night’ party, and lectures so well attended. The weather forecast is not too promising…..but after all what do you expect in Alaska!


Carpe diem



This morning there has been the tragic news from Manchester, 22 dead and scores injured, for what purpose? Wanton terrorism with no known target or preferred outcome is indeed wanton violence for the sake of violence – no demands, no conditions, no outcome – just death and destruction of innocent peoples lives.

It is indeed hard to put that into any context, except that unhappiness, unrest and violence seem to be part and parcel of this 24 hour news world we live in. How many will die in Caracas this week, or be killed in misplaced air strikes in the Middle East…terrorism comes in many forms…


The context is spring in Andalucia….where the sun is shining and the spring flowers are giving of their best, the oleander vying with the poppies. Just yesterday as I drove home along the dirt road I disturbed two hoopoes hunting for ants and they flew away in front of me, ducking and diving along at bonnet height to be joined by a golden oriole who fell into formation and led the procession towards the now dry stream bed. The oriole flashed its bright yellow body and took off at great speed like Robin Hoods golden arrow, and I am left with the image of the blur of colour and the look of jealousy in the eyes of the hoopoes who continued to lead me on, flashing their black and white stripes, until they too decided on a different route and disappeared into the trees…….


What can I say….live for the day….carpe diem.

Homeward bound

It seems a long time ago that we boarded the Seven Seas Navigator in Darwin Australia, in pouring rain, and yet it also seems just like yesterday! But we are on day 46 of this cruise and due to debark in Civitavecchia (Rome) the day after tomorrow and head for home.

We have spent the past almost 7 weeks with around 350 people who are doing the world cruise, with others joining and leaving on the individual segments of the trip. The main group will finish in about 20 days time in Miami, but we are leaving early as I had been sent to the Voyager in Auckland for the 26th January.

And so we can reflect on this cruise which has seen us travel through 4 continents – Australasia, Asia, Africa and Europe, experiencing a multitude of cultures, menus and sites. From the rain in Darwin to the dragons of Komodo Island, the sultry heat of Bali, the volcanic islands of Thailand, the history of Malaya, the chaos that is Colombo Sri Lanka and the mysteries and delights of 5 days in India. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are modern tinsel towns resting on the income of oil, but struggling to find a new identity as holiday resorts with artificial style. The Crowne Plaza beach resort in Oman was so good we even checked the prices for a possible holiday, and we were swept across the desert dunes at Wadi Rum in Jordan, and transited the enlarged Suez Canal to reach Haifa. A daylong trip to the Dead Sea and the fortress of Masada was exhausting but full of wonder and fun as we first explored the ruins atop the monolithic mountain and then floated in the thick saline that constitutes the lowest part of planet earth!

Cyprus and Greece offered opportunities to taste the joys of a Mediterranean menu again and gaze of ruins of centuries past. And so to the Strait of Messina and onward to Rome airport for the blessedly short flight back to Malaga. It’s been a busy time with lectures (22) and cabaret shows (8), and Julie has entertained with the card making sessions. We have been asked to do the ‘world’ next year, and whilst we cannot do it all we plan to join the Navigator in Australia and do most of it….I reckon that it means 40+ lectures and many shows! But we have more cruises to do before then….if we can stay strong and fit!

Cruises to avoid?

The cruises listed below are those that I am currently scheduled to be on…

But things can change, things can happen both in the areas of organisational requirements and personal issues that mean it might not stay the same!

As Ned Kelly once said (his last words in fact!) ‘Such is Life’…..

Happy cruising


2017 Cruises 

9th March        Darwin to Singapore                          RSSC Navigator

16th March      Singapore to Abu Dhabi                                “

3rd April          Abu Dhabi to Rome   (25th)               “ 


17th June         Miami to Vancouver                                      “

9th July            Vancouver to San Francisco (20th July)        ” 

14th Sept         Stockholm to Dover (26th Sept)                     “ 

13th Nov          Miami to Miami                                             “

25th Nov          Miami to Los Angeles (11th Dec                   ”


2018 Cruises 

8th Jan             Southampton to Portsmouth (West Africa) Saga Pearl 11 (28th Jan) 

15th Feb           Sydney to Fremantle              RSSC Navigator

25th Feb           Fremantle to Singapore                     “

13th March      Singapore to Cape Town                   ”

7th April           Cape Town to Rio                              “

30th April         Rio to Los Angeles(25th May)          “ 

1st August        Barcelona to Venice              Oceania Riviera

13th August     Venice to Rome                                 “

23rd August     Rome to Monte Carlo                       “

30th August     Monte Carlo to Barcelona                “

5th Sept           Barcelona to Lisbon (15th Sept)        ” 

26th Oct           Venice to Rome                     Oceania Marina

2nd Nov           Rome to Monte Carlo                       “

9th Nov            Monte Carlo to Barcelona                “

16th Nov          Barcelona to Lisbon (28th Nov)         “ 

2019 (A real possibility as I’ve been asked to do it and said ‘yes’) 

The Navigator World Cruise – Los Angeles to New York (131 days)