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11 Years As A Cruise Writer; Who The Heck Hired This Guy?

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This month marks 11 years since I was hired on as a writer for Over the years many people have asked how I ever got this gig.

My honest response… good question!

Anne Campbell and Paul Motter were just starting CruiseMates and I think they had a team brain blip, and asked me if I would work for them, and write for the site. At the time I was in the bar and restaurant business (retired from that 3 ½ years ago, at age 57), and had been cruising for less than 5 years. But, I was hosting a live online cruise chat for Anne on AOL for 3 of those years.

I was never a writer, and had no training. Though at one time, in college, I had considered a career in journalism, and taken several courses. The invitation to begin writing feature articles for CruiseMates presented an interesting challenge, and exciting prospects, so I jumped at the opportunity. Basically I ended up with a job I probably couldn’t have ever got if I had been trying.

Over the last 11 years I’ve written literally hundreds of feature articles, ship reviews, “Virtual Cruises“, and Blog entries.

Since my beginnings at CruiseMates our readership has grown exponentially, and many of you may have never read many of my earlier articles, so I thought I’d go back and re-visit some of my favorites, and favorite experiences.


My very first article for CruiseMates was titled “Middle Aged and Sexy”


One of my favorite assignments during my time at CruiseMates is writing Virtual Cruise Reports. When I first began writing them, it was quite a challenge getting them filed, as there was very limited Internet connections available for passengers. I had to put them and the accompanying pictures on “floppy disks” (remember them), and take the disks down to the Communications officers, who would send them for me each day.

The first Virtual Cruise I wrote was from the Kuki family cruise to Alaska

My personal favorite of the Virtual Cruises I’ve done was in spring of 2008 from the Norwegian Jade, sailing on an eastern Mediterranean itinerary. We sailed an amazing itinerary, but it was memorable to me because it seemed that throughout I was stumbling my way through it, with mishaps and misadventures. Readers seemed to enjoy sharing my missteps as the thread had over 16,000 views.

Over the years I also did a series of “Day On the Job” pieces. I’ve “worked” as Cruise Staff for a day, Hotel Director, Environmental Officer, Concierge on NCL, as well as dealing Blackjack in the Casino.The job I did that was the most fun, and was the most memorable to me was the day I spent working as a Butler on a Celebrity ship.

My most unusual “day on the job” was being the opening act for a late night comedian on Carnival. It was also the most the most intimidating, as I had to write my own material, and stand up in front of a packed showroom to deliver it.I have to admit I was thrilled when I got a laugh, as I could have just as easily been a total bomb, and stood their staring at a dead quiet theatre. This piece came with actual video, posted on You Tube, of my “act”.

All of the cruise experiences I’ve had over my 11 years at CruiseMates have enriched my life, and supplied me with more moments to laugh at than I would have ever imagined.

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the moments with me, and have enjoyed looking back at some of those moments which were the most memorable to me.

Looking back also saved me from having to come up with a new topic for this week’s Blog entry.

And 11 years later, the most pertinent question still remains …. 11 Years as a Cruise Writer; How Did Anyone Ever Hire This Guy?

– A View From the Kuki Side of Cruising –







If you haven’t read this article before I’d like to recommend it. I had a great time writing it because I was allowed to let my “slightly twisted” imagination run wild. 

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Comment from Trip
Time August 11, 2010 at 4:32 pm

I remember all of these, with a giggle and a nod to one of my oldest, and kukiest cruise pals! Congratulations on a job well done..xo

Comment from Tim Butler
Time August 11, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Congrats Kuki!! The question is….How did Mrs. Kuki put up with you doing this for cruisemates?

Comment from Ramada HBR
Time August 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Congratulations Kuki! Everyone’s gotta start somewhere!


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