Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Very unpleasant! TV pundit Alex takes the money and then turns against cruise passengers

Alex Polizzi

Hotel Inspector Alex Polizzi is back on our television screens this week presenting a new series about Italy. According to the Daily Mail’s Ephraim Hardcastle, she was filmed in St Mark’s Square, Venice, watching a cruise ship arrive. As it passes, she turns to the camera and remarks: “There is a cruise ship which is about to disgorge 5,000 people with their packed lunches and bottles of water onto the streets [sic] of Venice … in five hours time this street will be a river of humanity. Very unpleasant!”

Odd, that. Two years ago, Ms Polizzi - scourge of cheap hotels, failing businesses and feuding families - was happy to take money from the Association of Cruise Experts (forerunner of CLIA) to give an “inspirational” address to a gathering of the country’s leading cruise company executives and travel agents.

Although she was happy to admit that she had never been on a cruise - and apparently discounting her time on Thames hotel barge African Queen for an episode of The Hotel Inspector - she said before the event that the omission “seems like incredible short-sightedness.”

On the day, in the unlikely setting of a hotel ballroom in Birmingham, she told the assembled experts what she perceived to be cruising’s biggest problem. It was not, apparently, the misconception that a holiday at sea is unaffordable, the fear of seasickness, or concern at being trapped at the dinner table with unwelcome company.

In her eyes - and in compliance with the day’s theme of “thinking differently” -  she asserted it was the presence of a cruise ship favourite, towel animals. Yes, those cuddly creations assembled by hard-working cabin stewards to put a smile on the faces of passengers before they retire for the night.

As far as Alex was concerned, they were an abomination. “When I step out of the bath or the shower I want a clean, fresh towel,” she said. “I just don’t like the idea that someone has been manipulating it.”

Now we know that it’s not just the towel animals she can’t stand, but the cruise passengers themselves. Or is she just prepared to say anything controversial if the money is right?