Listening to all the political debates and broadcasts in the run up to the 2015 General Election, it occurred to me that cruise brochures and cruise advertising could be said to travel a similar course to political parties and their rhetoric.
There were plenty of political parties fighting the election all with slightly different agendas, but were there true differences between the main parties – between P&O and Royal Caribbean, for example?
Does Norwegian Cruise Line provide a different cruise experience to Princess Cruises?
How does the ethos of Fred Olsen Cruise Line differ to that of Celebrity Cruises and what would Nigel Farage think of an MSC or Pullmantur cruise?
Is it fair to say that the smaller and less well known political parties, that offer something different, can be likened to some of the more luxury cruise lines – sailing smaller ships, to less well known ports of call and with lots of hidden extras (policy surprises) included in the price?
The outcome of any election would perhaps be clearer if there was one person in the country. Be it a political commentator, a journalist or economist who would stand up and categorically present a balanced and truly independent view of what each of the parties stood for, what they were actually offering and whether it would work or not.
In terms of cruising, this is the role I like to contribute to – offering truly independent advice (cutting through the glossy brochure pictures and the advertising dvds) with straight answers to all questions!
I am often asked which is my favourite cruise line and I usually feel as though my answer sounds politically motivated, as it doesn’t directly answer the question!
The thing is, my cruise line of choice will depend on where I want to travel in the world, who with (family or friends), how long for (do I need to fly to pick up a ship or can I indulge the luxury of time and sailing from the UK?) and lastly what my budget is.
Many people already know which cruise line they want to sail with, where they want to travel to and how long the cruise can be (where to put their ‘X’). For others, the types of questions raised above, are similar to those I would ask, to be in a better position to suggest a cruise (or perhaps incentivise them to go and vote?)
One of the negatives of embarkation and disembarkation days is that you don’t get to spend any time in the port or city that you have actually docked at twice!! Cities like Rome and Athens are quite a distance from where the cruise ships dock, so it is conceivable that you may never visit them, unless you take a few days pre or post cruise (or indeed both) to stay and explore.
Cruise and Stay options are increasingly popular and these can be worked within the cruise lines fly cruise package or independently. Quite a few of the river cruise lines include short hotel stays as part of their cruise holiday as a matter of course. A bit of a coalition at work here – don’t you think?
Please ask me to look at options if this is something that appeals to you (with our ABTA and ATOL bonding, this is something I can definitely help you with).
In a post-election summer Parliamentary session, will there be the fast response for new laws to prevent tax rises as promised by the Tories or the Lib Dem request for an emergency economic debate, if they are in coalition?
My summer will involve ship visits to take a look round Fred Olsen’s ‘Black Watch’, Oceania’s ‘Nautica’, Cruise & Maritimes ‘Azores’ and Pullmantur’s ‘Horizon’ – all of which will be visiting Liverpool. I have already been lucky enough to spend time on both the new ships sailing from the UK this summer – P&O’s ‘Britannia’ and Royal Caribbean’s ‘Anthem of the Seas’.
Apart from taking a cruise, these are some of the best ways for me to get a feel for the different ships and cruise lines, thereby allowing me to recommend the right ship for your particular cruise.
For those cruise lines that I cannot physically get to visit, I try to keep up to date doing webinars, attending seminars and especially speaking to their representatives at events like the CLIA UK & Ireland Selling Cruise Conference 2015, in May this year. Held over 3 days it allows me to visit ships in port in Southampton and generally keep up to date with cruise lines both individually and collectively.
It’s true, there is a cruise out there for everyone – it is just a matter of finding it, by asking leading and open questions (the type politicians never answer properly!)
I should be happy to discuss any aspect of cruising – be it on oceans or rivers – with you at any time, so if you have any queries or anything I can help you with, please get in touch!
My ‘political’ statement s to ensure that all my clients embark on the ship and itinerary which suits them best!!