A few notes of information about the team of editor and assistant editors:
ANTHONY MARSHAL, Editor:
ANTHONY MARSHALL – A PROFILE.
CHRISTIAN REAY, Assistant Editor:
CHRISTIAN REAY – A PROFILE
Our Assistant Editor Christian has had a passion for travel from an early age and for almost 10 years the majority of his travels have been on a variety of cruises, predominantly in Northern Europe. So, without further ado, lets handover to the man himself!
My first foray into cruising really came about in 1997 when the blockbuster film ‘Titanic’ was released – a strange thing to spark my interest in cruising you might say, but it wasn’t until 2007 that a chance sailing on the Queen Elizabeth 2 to New York presented itself that my passion for cruising was well and truly ignited – and I haven’t looked back since But long before that I have had a great interest in travel anyway and, although I don’t readily admit it, I’m a self-confessed ship nut and railway enthusiast, my two main passions in life.
Now I mentioned briefly that I had the opportunity to sail on the global icon that is Queen Elizabeth 2 or QE2 as she was more affectionately known to her loyal followers. I remember being shown of a photograph of some relatives from around the late 1970’s and thinking about to myself ‘I’d love to do that’ and so the seed was sown and on January 2nd 2007 myself and my Mum embarked QE2 at Southampton for the Westbound Transatlantic crossing. Seeing this iconic liner is a moment which is forever imprinted on my mind, QE2 had a unique aura and the ambiance on board was that of a well-run hotel. The crossing itself was a wonderful experience and just walking around the ship and admiring the many reminders of the ‘Grand Dame’ of the high seas glittering career of nigh on 40 years. It was therefore a sad moment when I had to disembark in New York after the 5 night crossing.
Since then I’ve travelled on various ships to a variety of destinations – I could go into great depth about each and every one because they’ve all left their unique mark and in more recent years I’ve shared those experiences with my friends which has added to those experiences.
The one outcome from my passion for cruises culminated when I commenced on an undergraduate degree at Southampton Solent University studying BA (Hons) in Cruise Industry Management – a unique turn of events considering that Higher Education hadn’t been something I had wanted pursue – on reflection it was, from my own perspective, the best decision I ever made.
The course allowed me to enhance my skills and knowledge of the cruise and travel industry on the whole, but also to have opportunities to have a variety of experiences as well as having the opportunity to meet some of the most notable people in the industry but also to gain a greater understanding of the operational aspects and challenges of this lucrative industry. It also gave me an opportunity to experience a variety of different ships given I was living in one of Northern Europe’s most prominent cruise ports.
One such experience that stands out from many was having the opportunity to sample Norwegian Cruise Lines ‘Norwegian Getaway’ during its pre-inaugural celebrations when the ship came to Southampton before heading off to the USA. Norwegian Cruise Line is as the previous tag line suggested ‘freestyle cruising’ something which until then I had not experienced.
I was enormously impressed – the ship is, if you’ll pardon the expression, the coolest I’ve ever experienced – it’s a shame that it was only for one night but it was impressive, the ship is bursting with a wide range of facilities and activities to suit all tastes – a prime of example of multigenerational cruising. Alas I digress, but much as cruising is about the ship, so is the destination and I do count myself very fortunate to visit the countries that I have.
A country that sticks out was when myself, our Editor (and my friend) Anthony and our friend and fellow blogger Jordan of Cruise Capital, travelled aboard Princess Cruises ‘Royal Princess’ to the Baltic. During the cruise we had an overnight call to St Petersburg, Russia where we took a shore excursion to the Peterhof Palace and Gardens. It is quite an experience to wander around the vast and beautifully manicured and preserved gardens and marvel at the mechanical water features and fountains as well as the numerous statues, including one of Peter the Great himself, dotted around the garden. The Palace itself is richly decorated with painstaking accuracy with many original features – it is very sad that flash photography isn’t permitted inside.
On reflection I have had a wonderful time and I certainly hope that it won’t be too long before I’m taking in the sea air from the deck of a ship looking out to great expanse of ocean all around.
JORDAN BAILEY, Assistant Editor.
JORDAN BAILEY – A PROFILE.
ALEX GRADWELL-SPENCER, Assistant Cunard Editor.
ALEX GRADWELL-SPENCER – A PROFILE.