I am a World Cruise Dreamer
For most of my life taking a world cruise has been at the very top of my bucket list. This is as true today as it was in my youth. I have always felt that my passions are worth pursuing. If I am going to write a blog, why not one about world cruises? When I left the stock market and began to explore my options for a new adventure and venture, it was my love of travel that led me into the business of booking travel. When I first started my intensive training and partnership with veteran luxury travel agent Judi Walker she asked me what I was most interested in booking. I replied “World cruises!” I didn’t even have to think it just popped out of my mouth. Her warning that those bookings were rare, in fact she had not booked one at that point in her very successful career, did nothing to diminish my enthusiasm. I did have the opportunity to book one world cruise which the client cancelled after payment, but that was as far as I made it during my travel agent days.
I did take advantage of many of the trainings available to learn as much as I could about all types of cruises. Much of my study at the time was in support of the mission of Alliance Travel Partners’ existing high touch luxury travel business. Because of that I listened in on trainings on all sorts of travel from all manner of suppliers and experts. Some that will be included on this blog are the cruise lines who offer world cruises tailored to the North American market. Another area I hope to include in the future is Private Jet trips some of which offer full circumnavigations of the world in as little as 30 days. I very much look forward to supplementing what I learned as a travel advisor with my study of the world cruises available each year. I also hope to interview people involved in providing those cruises to you. I also plan to seek out people who have gone on world cruises, and pass on what they have learned to you.
My Introduction to World Cruises
These lovely people are my paternal grandparents. This photo appeared in the Arizona Republican (now the Arizona Republic) in 1962. They completed a near circumnavigation of the world and returned with slides and stories from their voyage. I was a wee lad of 7 at the time (feel free to do the math). Of course memory from that far back and that young of an age is imperfect at best. It was however something that made a huge impression on me. The slides may be lost but I remember pictures from India, China, Egypt, and Europe. L. J. was a dairy farmer and a true man of the West. Most of his judgments of the places they visited were based on their infra-structure and most important the quality of their livestock. Some of the things I heard during the slide show were “The ship was really nice.” “We met some darn nice people.” “Most of the rest of the world is not worth a crap.” “India has cattle in the damn roads! Those animals are skin and bones!” “The famous pyramids are just falling apart.” “Europe is better than most other places, but ain’t half as nice as right here in the USA.” “Now that we’ve seen the world, those people can have it to themselves. The only places worth living in is right here in Phoenix and up in Denver.” My grandparents never traveled anywhere except to Denver to see relatives the rest of their lives.
Despite my grandparent’s unenthusiastic report from their world cruise, I wanted to take one myself from that point on. The dream started strong and has never left me to this day. No matter how they described the strange places in the slides I was fascinated and wanted to go and see for myself. Where they saw bad roads, crumbling buildings and poor people I saw different and interesting places. 1962 was a big year for me to experience new places. I saw the ocean for the first time in Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico. It was amazing to see a body of water with no shore in sight unlike the local lakes I knew so well. We visited San Diego and I saw the cool Pacific for the first time. We experienced Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm amusement parks. These were all great experiences that sparked my wander lust further. It was the vicarious world cruise of L. J. and Ruby Lewis that made by far the biggest impression on me.
Semester at Sea Feeds My World Cruise Passion
In the spring of 1978 I met a lovely young lady from Chicago who I went on to marry. We have been together since that first meeting. When we started getting serious she showed me a brochure for Semester at Sea. It had glossy photos of young people like us smiling and learning on a ship sailing around the world. There were photos of students in dozens of exotic locales some of which my Grandparents had visited years before. She was seriously contemplating going on this amazing one semester study abroad program. While I would have loved to have gone with her, the price tag was more than I could come up with even with my parents’ help. Rather than go without me, she opted to take the relationship over the adventure. I am still grateful to her for that choice, and hope to make up for it on a future world cruise.
My wife and I settled into our life together here in the Phoenix area. We had two daughters who were the focus of our young lives and a huge part of our current lives as well. Grandkids (we have three little girls in that category) have kept us quite close and involved. As our girls were nearing adult hood they discovered “Real World” and “Road Rules” the groundbreaking reality series on MTV. “Road Rules” Season 8 was taped on a Semester at Sea voyage. My youngest daughter remembered that unique travel abroad program when she was in college. She had already gone on a study abroad program through the Arizona State University travel and tourism department in Australia with visits to New Zealand and Fiji. Semester at Sea was a perfect fit for her and she set sail for an educational voyage like no other.
She was late getting in her application and was accepted from the wait list with just over a month to plan! She found a great forum of past students and those planning to go and we all read up to prepare her as best as we could. I noticed many students sharing links of their “live journals” and “blog pages” before they sailed. I also connected with other parents whose kids were sailing with mine. Since I had set up links to all the blogs in a handy folder, I decided to share all the updated blogs with the other parents on the forum. At one point a mom started calling me “The Blog Father.” My efforts were greatly appreciated by many of the other parents. It was a joy to meet many of them at the dock in San Diego when our kids amazing journey ended.
This whole experience is part of what led me to the travel business. It was also one of many experiences that led me early on to see the power of communicating on the internet. From that day I have had a great interest in blogs, and blogging. When I started the rebuilding of my partners travel business web site I urged inclusion of a blog. My partner preferred a more conventional site. The interactions with people on that forum as well as a number of other specific forums and some more general ones related to travel made me very open to social media which were soon to follow. Add in my success with SEO at my last partnership and it all adds up to me creating a blog about my passion for world cruises! Please join me in the weeks and years ahead. I hope to help your world cruise dreams become perfect memories.