On Monday 7/31, I am delighted to welcome this week for a special Bonus Episode on The Joy of Cruising Podcast, Matt Theriault, the embodiment of Cruise Life Matt, a blog, YouTube channel, and an Instagram account comprised of stunning images of ships. It was on Instagram that Matt first caught my attention. His IG feed is comprised almost exclusively of cruise ship photography—mostly stunning drone footage. Matt is an FAA Certified Drone Pilot. As a result of those amazing images, Matt is extremely popular on IG with over 100,000 followers. I love drone photography: tropical vistas, buildings, and my passion, cruise ships. No one does cruise ships like Cruise Life Matt.
Matt also has a second IG account, RV Camping To Go, featuring RVs, Camping, and Family Travel. Matt has a YouTube channel—more great drone shots and some videos from his family vacations. However, it was the Cruise Life Matt blog and his accompanying Facebook group where I got the best sense for his passion for cruising and sharing that passion with his followers. His amazing images led me to Matt, but the Cruise Life Matt blog and Facebook group led me to invite Matt to The Joy of Cruising Podcast to share his passion with the listeners.
Matt started cruising in 2004. His first cruise was on the Caribbean Princess, and he is one of the many who got hooked on their first cruise. Matt has since sailed 65 times. He says, ‘Cruising is my true passion in life. When I cannot be on board a cruise ship, you can most likely find me talking about them or planning my next cruise vacation.’
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This week on The Joy of Cruising Podcast, I am delighted to welcome Jenni Fielding, creator of the Cruise Mummy blog. I featured Cruise Mummy in Cruising Interrupted in a section called “Bloggers: Cruise Community Champions.”
Jenni describes herself thusly, “I’m a 38-year-old mum of two from Bolton, UK. I first developed my cruise addiction when we booked a honeymoon cruise in 2013. As soon as I stepped onboard Allure of the Seas I was hooked! So much so, that we took our second cruise just six months later. Nowadays, cruising is a very different affair, since the arrival of our two children, who are eight and six.“ One way things are different is that Cruise Mummy is an authority on family cruising!
To say Cruise Mummy is one of the top cruise blogs out of the UK is an understatement. First, Cruise Mummy is the second most trafficked cruise blog in the UK. And recently, Jenni and Cruise Mummy won UK’s Wave Award for Favorite Cruise Travel Blogger for 2022. As a matter of fact, Cruise Mummy is the 7th most popular cruise blog in the world! Besides the recognition from the Wave Award, Cruise Mummy has been quoted in USA Today, Cruise Critic, Yahoo, World of Cruising and many more.
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Check out this guest post by Zubin Panday of Going Locations. He’s a 16-year old Virginia native who has traveled to many parts of the world--
Our journey starts in Helsinki Finland, where the Silja Serenade cruise ship picks me up. This is not my first time cruising as I have been through the Caribbean twice before with Royal Caribbean. I have been on the once world’s largest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas. The 18-story ship is capable of holding over 6,000 passengers and costs over one billion dollars to build. With expectations and excitement at an all-time high, I boarded my 11-floor ship that I will call home for one night. My journey takes me to Stockholm, Sweden, where I will tour further.
As we departed Helsinki and headed closer to the Baltic Sea, I decided to check my room. It was a good enough sized bedroom with an attached bathroom. Nothing over the top, it was exactly what I needed for one night. As I toured the ship, I realized that my one night will not be a boring one. I took my trip in June so the outside areas were great, and the water was almost mesmerizing. Getting around the ship is easy as signs direct you to most places. There are also multiple elevators and stairs to choose from, making the switch between floors easy. I headed to the game room to fill my time and played some ping pong until it was time for dinner. Dinner was situated in the lovely dining hall, with a buffet style being served. After a filling dinner, you could either go to the outside decks or relax inside. The coolest thing about Scandinavian summers is that the sun never sets, giving you a 24-7 daytime feeling.
It’s the next morning and our ship is inching close to Stockholm. Islands like the one shown above are common sites, as Sweden is the country with the most islands. I enjoyed my breakfast with a fantastic view of these islands knowing that I had a full day in Sweden ahead of me.
For my next cruise, we have to go to Oslo, Norway. I’m preparing to take a cruise similar to this one from the same brand. With expectations high again, we get ready to board for another night of cruising. This journey takes us from the capital city of Oslo to the capital city of Copenhagen, Denmark. I checked out my room which turns out to be more or less the same, but this time there was no window. It wasn’t a problem as I was spending most of my time outside my room. We quickly departed Oslo with Holmenkollbakken seen in the distance. This is a ski jumping hill that was part of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games.
Just like last time, dinner was buffet style with so much to choose from. Somehow the food just tastes better when you have an amazing view like my ship had. After dining, I chose to stay at the main promenade which was buzzing with activity. Even though the sun didn’t really set, I called it a day earlier and got a good night of rest. The next morning turned out quite similar, with a buffet-style breakfast as we pulled into the Danish city. I made sure to try a few Danish pastries before packing my bags and departing my ship.
Overall, my experience on these two ships was amazing and I couldn’t recommend them more. Not only did these cruises connect me to new cities but these cruises also provided me with a comfortable and luxurious way to get there. Keep in mind that I went in summer, meaning that the weather was absolutely perfect. The cruise I was on runs year-round but the outside decks wouldn’t be as pleasant to be on in winter. No need to worry as the inside has plenty to do, boredom is something you won’t need to worry about on these ships. Food is another thing that you won’t need to worry about as there is enough selection to satisfy anyone.
The two cruises that I went on were both in the sea but there are also several river cruises. Viking is the most popular with over 50 ships and so many destinations. These cruises are good because you can see various countries in a short time. Your accommodation, food, and transportation are all taken care of so that you can have a phenomenal experience. These types of cruises are popular in Europe but there are various forms of them around the world. For whichever cruise ship you choose, I wish you a great trip!
Joe Farcus, Renowned Cruise Ship Designer/Author, Design On the High Seas, The Joy of Cruising Podcast 7/20
This week The Joy of Cruising Podcast welcomes a special guest. In The Joy of Cruising books, all the passionate cruisers I write about are special—whether they are “ordinary” cruisers with extraordinary stories, or “Googleable” individuals such as TV personalities, Grammy winners and nominees, a Hall of Famer, and UK’s first non-royal, non-celebrity cruise ship Godmother. Today I am honored to welcome one of those Googleable individuals: Joseph Farcus, a veritable legend of cruise ship design, and author of the book, Design On the High Seas. I featured Joe in my new release The Joy of Cruising Again in a section called “The Fun Ships.” Carnival Cruise Line may disagree but in my opinion no one epitomizes the slogan The Fun Ships more than Joe.
Joe’s entrée into the world of cruising was in 1975 when the architectural firm he worked for, Morris Lapidus Associates, was engaged by Carnival Cruise Line to work on its 2nd former liner to add to its Mardi Gras. Morris Lapidus, renowned for its design of Miami’s famed Fontainebleau Hotel, was commissioned to design the ship, which was renamed Carnivale, for its transformation into a cruise ship. Joe oversaw much of the work as the project manager on board at the shipyard and designed Carnivale’s theater. By the time Carnival purchased its 3rd ship, a passenger/cargo ship that would become the Festivale, Joe had left Morris Lapidus. Joe approached Ted Arison, founder and CEO of Carnival, in an effort to obtain his first contract as an independent architect. Joe eventually got the contract to design Festivale, and it was a massive success, positioning the Fun Ships to launch their first build of a new ship, the Tropicale. Joe landed the contract to design the Tropicale and went on to design the next 30 Carnival ships. In 2000, he also began designing for Costa Cruises, Carnival’s Italian subsidiary and designed 11 ships for them. Joe’s last ship where he led the design for a Carnival ship was the Magic in 2011. He designed the Costa Diadema in 2014 before retiring later that year.
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Mr. Scott Eddy, One of the World's Most Popular Travel Influencers, The Joy of Cruising Podcast, 7/13
This week The Joy of Cruising Podcast is delighted to welcome Scott Eddy. I wrote about Scott in Cruising Interrupted amzn.to/3seFU8y in a section called "The Globetrotters." And a globetrotter Scott is, whether by land or sea or literally—it’s on his website and social media: Innovator—Trendsetter—Globetrotter. And, Scott is the television host for the first travel series ever on LifetimeTV, called Video Globetrotter.
@MrScottEddy, as he is known on social media where he is among the world’s most popular travel personalities, has taken somewhat of a circuitous route to arrive at his current designation as one of the top travel influencers in the world. A Forbes Magazine profile stated that Scott Eddy “is consistently rated as one of the top five luxury travel influencers in the world.” Yet, travel wasn’t even Scott’s first career, although he traveled quite a bit with his family in his youth. Before travel, he found success in financial services as a stockbroker. But if not for a tragic twist of fate Scott would have ended up in neither investments nor travel, but as a police officer.
Scott has over 100 cruises but he transcends cruising. He is a top tier hospitality and travel brand ambassador and influencer. He lives in south Florida but from following his whereabouts on his social media you’re as likely to find him anywhere in the world—abroad or in the US—on a given day.
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This week on The Joy of Cruising Podcast, I am delighted to welcome Mikkel and Dan Woodruff, known in the cruise blogosphere as Sometimes Sailing. Specializing in small ship sailing and ship within-a-ship concepts such as Celebrity Cruises The Retreat, Norwegian Haven, and Princess MedallionClass, Sometimes Sailing is featured in my new release, The Joy Of Cruising Again in a section called “Cruise Bloggers, Vloggers, and Content Creators.” They also have a companion blog which predated Sometimes Sailing called Sometimes Home. From their website: Sometimes Home grew out of a deep passion for exploring the world and wanting to share it with you while maintaining a home base. We write about travel in the United States and internationally as adults, only, on a mid-size to luxury budget. We also share tips about our home because we take care of it while we travel (plants included). And when we’re home, we love our cozy nest. We’re often away. And we’re sometimes home.
While Mikkel and Dan Woodruff chronicled their extensive travel--local as well as international--on Sometimes Home, during the cruise lockdown they launched Sometimes Sailing to specifically focus on small-ship sailing. On the podcast we discuss barge cruising, yacht cruising, river cruising and ship-within-a-ship experiences on large cruise ships. They are particularly knowledgeable about river cruising, which has long been on my bucket list. When I interviewed them for The Joy Of Cruising Again we focused significantly on river cruising. It's a fun read, but be forewarned: I booked my first river cruise for August 2024 on AmaKristina shortly thereafter!
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