Imagine, if you will, your perfect cruise holiday. I don’t just mean what we usually talk about – the best cruise ship, the best itinerary and all of that – I mean your absolute dream cruise down to the finest detail. How would you arrive? Who would you be with? And then who would you have on-board to entertain you?
I spent some time thinking about this, and here’s what I would have on my ideal voyage. Don’t take this as gospel of course, what would be much more interesting to me would be to have your suggestions in the comments. Fire them my way; I’d love to hear what your own idea of the perfect cruise would be. For celebrity performers, feel free to suggest anyone whether alive or dead, just like that famous dinner party game.
It all begins with the Sailaway party. For me, there’s nothing like enjoying a bit of a drink and a dance on deck as your ship pulls away from port, and if I was to have it all my way I’d want a live musician. Not just anyone though, I think I’d want a bit of a lively band. Nothing too heavy or hyper, but maybe something a little ‘bouncy’, fun and chilled. While they’re by no means my favourite band, a group like the Black Eyed Peas have some fun songs that would get you in the mood, but I think I’d prefer a mix of something like that with a group more to my taste, maybe Weezer. You may have read my blog on Weezer actually doing a cruise.
I asked others in the office who they would like for their Sailaway parties, and some of the suggestions included the Rolling Stones, Rush, Robbie Williams, Olly Murs, Gary Barlow and Enya. Singing Orinoco Flow (the song that goes “sail away, sail away, sail away”)…cheers Craig…
Next up, I thought about who I’d want to see perform throughout the cruise. If I was able to choose anyone from time, I think I’d want Morecambe and Wise to do a stage show in the comedy bar. It’s not often you find someone my age who would say that, but I love their older stuff when they were on stage so I’d be amazed with something like that. In terms of theatre and variety, I’ve always been amazed by magic so a Penn and Teller show would be incredible.
Again I asked for suggestions, and for comedy people in the office said Michael McIntyre, a live show from Mighty Boosh, a recreation of Vic and Bob’s Big Night Out, Ronnie Barker, Jimmy Carr and Peter Kay, along with some who said their dream cruise wouldn’t involve comedy. For stage and variety shows, people suggested Hairspray, Jersey Boys, Les Miserables, Spelbound (sic, from Britain’s Got Talent) and Phantom of the Opera. We’ve got a few different tastes in Cruise118 HQ, it’s fair to say.
I thought about guest lecturer too, and it’s strange that over half the people in the office said the same thing as I would have. Seems there’s one man that a lot of people would be fascinated to listen to on a cruise ship so David Attenborough, please clear your schedule. We need you. Professor Brian Cox came up a few times, some people said they wouldn’t want to attend a lecture, and one interesting suggestion was the author Martina Cole, which is a good shout and did make me consider Jeffrey Deaver for mine. But I’ll stick with big Sir Dave Attenborough.
When it comes to food I’m essentially a carnivore, so I’d love a BBQ restaurant, or something like Moderno Churrascaria on the NCL ships, where you have various meats brought to your table on skewers and carved at your table. Again I surveyed the crew, and some of their suggestions were seafood dishes, deck-party BBQs with fresh Mediterranean flavours, various curries of the world, or a multi-sensory dining experience like you enjoy at the Heston restaurants. Others opted for restaurants you can already find at sea, such as the Chef’s Table on Royal Caribbean (“amazeballs”, apparently), Qsine on Celebrity, Nobu on Crystal, and Johnny Rockets, also on Royal.
And of course, the destination. This is hugely important when planning your dream cruise. If you read my blogs to any degree you might guess mine would have to include St Petersburg, but I think I’d probably opt for a cruise that included a stay in New York, before cruising the Caribbean. The mix of the thrilling sights of New York, and the beaches and water sports, would be massively exciting.
Answers from the team include Sydney, because it’s the most iconic port to sail into; Antigua, for the beaches; the Middle and Far East, which was suggested a couple of times; Alaska, for the wildlife and the dramatic scenery; the Greek Islands, with people suggesting Skiathos and Santorini as their favourites; and Darwin in Australia for the mix of the heat, the abundance of wildlife and the scenery.
So there you have it. My perfect cruise, and some suggestions from the other minions at the Cruise118 command centre. But get commenting with what you think. I want to know which musical, variety and comedy acts you’d want performing for you, who you would love to provide lectures, the kind of food you’d want to enjoy (even just your favourite meal, it doesn’t have to be the whole cuisine), and where you would want to go.
Don’t be shy, and if you can’t think of any answers for some of the questions that’s fine, even if you just answer one. I just want to know what you would go for!
By Ian Lewis