If you’ve been on a cruise before, you’ll possibly be familiar with the daily ‘newsletter’ available on-board your ship. Pamphlets such as Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Compass and Princess Cruises’ Princess Platter tell you everything you may need to know, such as the day’s port departure time, the weather, facts and a run-down of the ship’s officers. Come on, admit it. At this point, a few of you may be scratching your heads, having either never seen these printed documents or taken the time to read them. Imagine, however, if they were presented to you in an altogether different way – Cruise ship radio.
We’re part of the way there. With the advent of internet radio, we have a number of stations dedicated to the world of cruising, but not ones which offered a daily show, broadcast on-board by the cruise line and tailored to the passengers. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that radio waves were broadcast on the ocean’s waves. Those of you with long memories may remember Radio Caroline. The enduring pirate station famously broadcast from a number of ships on the ocean as a way of getting round the total control both record companies and the all-powerful BBC had at over British radio broadcasting in the 1960s. Interestingly, Radio Caroline still broadcasts today by way of satellite and the internet.
I can hear it now. The Boo Radley’s Wake up Boo telling us to “wake up, it’s a beautiful morning” as the weather is breezily related to us over the top, two-thirds of the way through the track. We could access the station through our cruise ship’s interactive TV or portable device and in public areas; it could be broadcast through the PA system. After all, you’ll often hear your cruise ship captain wishing you good morning and telling you a little of the sea’s conditions and of course, your cruise director is often on-hand to remind you of events. Cruise ship radio I think though, would create a real sense of community. Come on, if we can have hospital radio, surely we can have cruise ship radio? Everyone would be able to listen in as little or as often as they wanted and while they were doing other stuff, too.
A day in the life
So far so good but what a daily broadcast actually sound like? Here’s my daily programme.
Breakfast – As I mentioned, I’m thinking of an uplifting, jaunty track or two to wake us all up, followed by the weather. We’d also have to include a run-down of on-board events for the day, for anyone not exploring ashore and then of course a look at the day’s possible port excursions.
Late morning – We get interviews sometimes in our cruise line literature, so why not on-air? We could speak to the captain, members of the crew, cabaret performers, chefs, anyone really.
Lunch – We could have a cookery section to get us in the mood for our on-board snack and our meal later on. Who knows, it could be from a celebrity chef.
Afternoon – This would be prime time to bang on some high-energy tunes for everyone hitting the gym on days at sea.
Early evening – The ideal time to reflect on the day’s events and places which the ship visited. Also a good time to give a quick low-down of what’s to come tomorrow.
Late evening – It has to be a selection of dance tunes to get you ready for a night out in the ship’s bar or night club or, if there’s a Broadway-style production showing that night, some relevant show tunes to get you in the mood.
So there you have it. I think I’ve made a firm case for the creation of cruise ship radio. Cruise lines take note!
By Simon Brotherton