Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Embarkation for all ports!

OK folks, here's a quick 'Welcome Aboard' message from your new 'captain' for Time Spent At Sea, which is something we hope will develop into one of the most entertaining and informative Blogs about the wide World of Cruising (oops - cheap plug alert!).

My name is Simon Veness (one half of the almost-well-known Veness travel-writing team) and, as some people will already be aware, editor of World of Cruising magazine, Europe's longest-running and premier publication on the subject of cruising and cruise ships (whoops - there I go again!). By way of introduction, I have been cruising since I was nine (although there is no truth in the rumour I was on the maiden voyage of the original Queen Mary) and am a complete cruise addict. I am firmly of the opinion this is the best kind of holiday anyone will take - provided they choose the right voyage for their personal taste.

Modern cruising is a vastly different animal to that which many people associate with the image of yesteryear (or even my first experiences) and there is a vast amount of choice these days, hence it is vital people do their 'homework' before booking their first (or next) cruise. Our magazine obviously provides a lot of insight (oops - gratuitous plug No. 3!), but that should really be just the starting point for the booking process.

A good, up-to-date guidebook is also highly advisable (I use both Steve Stern's Guide to the Cruise Vacation and the inestimable Doug Ward's encyclopaedic Berlitz Guide to Cruising), while the internet is obviously invaluable, too, with sites like Cruise Critic providing a wealth of up-to-date info.

Obviously, we are happy to take all kinds of queries on the subject and develop an even greater database of info and advice, while UK cruise devotees should also make an early advance note in their diaries for March 27-28, 2010, when the second big CRUISE show, sponsored by the Daily Telegraph, will be open in London (at Olympia next year, as opposed the rather cavernous ExCel in 2009) and well worth visiting for special displays, talks and - especially - cruise deals. Check out their website early and often for how to get tickets in advance at reduced prices.

Finally, by way of a final 'plug' for this blog (and I promise to keep it relatively Ad-free in future!), we also have a companion Twitter with our sister company The Cruise Line Ltd which also provides little news nuggets and updates on what we're doing (and some juicy special offers!).

We will also, of course, continue to offer Blogs by some of our other notable contributors, like well-known travel writer and cruise aficionado Anthony Nicholas, and hopefully it will all add up to some fabulous Time Spent At Sea. All aboard, now............!