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The Cruise Countdown

Written by: Kuki

Whether you’re a first time cruiser, or an old salt regular who cruises often, one of the most exciting parts of your cruise experience is the cruise countdown.

It might seem odd that I refer to the countdown as a part of the cruise experience. But it certainly is, and the main reason it is, is that the planning and anticipation normally runs on much longer than your actual time on the ship.

The tingling sensation starts even before you book, and then continues to build in veracity as your sail date nears.

There’s an initial excitement, mixed with a bit of apprehension, as you sort through all the options and make your decision on which ship to sail, and which cabin to book. Then there’s a period of calm once the decision is made, and you’ve put down your deposit.

It all starts to build again as you visit your cruise line’s web site to fill out all the online documentation required before you cruise. It’s all suddenly becoming more real.

You can’t help it; your mind begins to be filled with images of smooth sandy beaches, or frozen glacial formations, or historical sights, depending on which itinerary you’ve chosen. The urge to research and get into more detailed planning becomes almost overwhelming, and your time spent online doing so, increases three fold.

As you do so, more questions pop into your head.

What should we do in port? What should we pack? How much money should we bring? How much are my favourite drinks going to cost? What colour shoes do I need? …and on and on. And your time spent online increases X 2.

Once your final payment is made, and you know it’s real, your heart begins to beat just a little faster. You realize that after all the research and all the questions you’ve had, it’s getting very close to the time you have to make some decisions on the answers you’ve found, and that just leads to more questions.

It’s not that it’s really that complicated, it’s just that now you are approaching full countdown mode.

You proceed to book some tours, finalize dining time options; putting all your final plans into place, and rather than it all having a calming effect, you find you’re getting even more excited (if that’s possible).

Then you realize you’ve forgotten to put a countdown clock in all the messages and questions you’ve bee posting on the Internet message boards.

You find, and insert a countdown clock into your message board signature file, and suddenly your countdown is real.

You check it every day, to see exactly how many days are left until you cruise. Silly! …like you didn’t know.

- A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising -

Posted: March 10th, 2014 under Kuki.
Comments: 2

Do Cruise Ships Just Want To Be Resorts

Written by: Kuki

In the past decade the most noticeable “innovations” in the cruise industry ( in the contemporary mass market segment) has been bigger and brasher.

Several years ago I wrote a column about whether Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Oasis of the Sea, was going to change the industry. And even before they introduce their latest and greatest (Quantum of the Seas) next year, I think the answer to my question is YES. They have changed the industry in significant ways. And there’s certainly more to come with what’s been revealed to date about Quantum of the Seas.

Those ships are engineering wonders. And I certainly have to appreciate them as that, even if they hold little attraction to me personally.

Just as Norwegian Cruise Line changed almost all of the line’s cruise ship dining, with the introduction of dine when you want, with who you want, “Free Style” dining, the Oasis class ships, of RCI, have changed the approach to amenities and activities available onboard.

Not long ago the most outrageous activity on deck was a sports court, shuffleboard and some table tennis. Then, it was a big deal when some ships had a single water slide. Now massive water parks are common place on Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean ships.

These days you’re not considered a modern contemporary ship without some forms of
water parks, rock climbing walls, rope courses, zip lines, inline skating (or ice skating), flow riders, aqua theatres, 4D movie experiences, interactive arcade rides, a boxing ring, and coming soon… Bumper cars, a circus school, “Ripchord” ( air supported enclosed sky diving simulator), North Star ( a capsule that will move to offer 360 degree views, 300 Ft. Above the sea), and gymnasiums packed full of the most current work out equipment.

On the onboard entertainment front, cast production shows are being replaced with Broadway shows, well known Las Vegas acts, electronic enhancements, etc.

To enhance the family fun, the cruise lines are entering into affiliation agreements with well established family brand companies such as Hasboro, Dr. Seuss, Nickelodeon, and Dreamworks; replete with the various characters.

Royal Caribbean’s design team introduced “neighbourhoods”, and Carnival responded with “Ocean Plazas”, to act as central gathering areas, and now Norwegian has responded with the “Waterfront” ( having indoor venues extend outdoors, creating patio areas similar in feel to sea side sidewalk cafés).

Even while I write about it all, it all sounds so interesting and innovative. Yet, to my mind it also sounds very much like a resort mind set.

On the positive side, they are resorts that float and do travel to different places.

But, to be frank, I have never been a fan of resort style vacations. They all hold far less draw to me, rather than more. But I do understand that I am likely in a fairly insignificant minority in this regard. The vast majority are likely ecstatic about all the innovation.

The good news for all cruisers, including me, is that there are plenty of options, including somewhat more traditional cruise line offerings for old fogeys like me; ie Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Oceania, Azamara Club Cruises, Cunard; not to mention all the luxury cruise lines.

- A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising -

Posted: March 4th, 2014 under Kuki.
Comments: 5

Things No One Knows About Cruising

Written by: Kuki

Within the pages and archives on CruiseMates one can find almost any information in existence regarding the cruise experience.

Now it’s time to remove the “almost” from that sentence.

I’m about to reveal the things about cruising that no one knew about, until now…

For example, did you know that prior to a new ship entering service, the cruise line gathers the entire crew prior to the ship’s christening and hold a spelling bee? The top four finishers in the spelling bee then compete in an arm wrestling competition. And at the point, the winner is declared Captain.

Their reasoning is the role of the Captain must be handled by someone who is both smart and strong. Actual maritime training is of minimal importance.

Prior to every sailing of every ship a lottery is held on board prior to boarding passengers. Every cabin number is thrown into a giant bin, and 4 cabin numbers are drawn. Those 4 cabins are then pre-determind to not receive their luggage. The Guest Relations department is the only department to remain uninformed about which cabins have been chosen to forgo receiving their luggage.

The purpose of this lottery is solely to provide entertainment for the staff and crew. Over the years they’ve found giving the crew something to laugh about, watching some of the ensuing mayhem, has proven to be an excellent morale builder.

When surveyed most cruise passengers say they cruise for the great food, or the excellent entertainment, or the fabulous destinations. But do you know the real reason? … Regardless of the demographic of any particular sailing there is more sex occurring on a cruise vacation, than any other type of vacation.

During any particular cruise, during monitoring, if they find the rate of sex seems to be falling short , the crew are required to make up the short fall with each other.

In 2015 a new Royal Caribbean ship will be outfitted with the first Liposuction Clinic at sea. However, the most innovative part of this treatment is guests will not be required to remain in the clinic during the procedure. They will be outfitted with specially designed portable units, which will allow them to enjoy dining at buffet, while being mechanically slimmed at the same time.

The “experts” believe that once this program is totally functional fleet wide, the rise in the rates of sexual activity on board will also skyrocket, and as a result, guest’s post cruise satisfaction survey results will skyrocket.

- A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising -

Posted: February 18th, 2014 under Kuki.
Comments: none

Time For Thoughts Of Romance

Written by: Kuki

With Valentine’s Day just days away, it’s time to talk about romance. And if you’ve surprised your “babe” with a cruise, there’s some tips for you here.

The reputation of time at sea, from the beginning, has included thoughts of adventure, danger, and romance. More recently, with the advent of the cruise industry, romance has no doubt climbed up the ladder of the sea going thought process.

Whether “old married couples”, or a young couple’s burgeoning relationship, romance at sea becomes a large part of their cruise experience.

There’s things you can do to enhance that experience, and there’s mistakes you make in your attempt to enhance that experience. This week I’ll offer suggestions which may positively affect your ability to heighten the romantic attitude on your  cruise, and to point out some mistakes you may want to avoid.

The very first action you take that will have an affect on setting the entire romantic tone of your trip is your choice in cabin type. The very best choices are, of course, the most expensive; a balcony cabin or a suite. That choice is an automatic ignition switch for preparing for romance.

If you are just in a budding new relationship, the worst mistake you can make with regard to your cabin choice, is asking your partner to split the cost of the cabin, or even worse, ask them to pay for you. Over the years that move cost me 3 relationships.

If your budget dictates a lesser cabin category that does not sound the death knell of romance. There are still plenty of things available to make up for any lost ground.

You could have your cabin decorated for your arrival, or have a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries waiting, or even a nice bouquet of flowers with a personal message waiting, or even just a personal sentimental note that you slip onto the desk. Any of those things will at least light a spark of romance.

What you don’t want to do is open your cabin door, and ask your partner to stay and unpack, while you go to a bar up on deck and have 8 or 10 Margaritas, and meet up later for the safety drill in only your underwear and lifejacket. And even worse, if you’re wearing only your underwear and lifejacket, with someone else on your arm, in the same condition.

Another possibility for some time in a romantic setting on board is an evening in some of the alternate restaurants available on the ship. It can be quite simple to speak to the restaurant Maître D and request a reservation for a table for 2 in a quiet corner of the restaurant. Some of these alternate restaurants are designed to create the most refined ambiance on the ship, and with a table for 2 you can take advantage, enjoying the fine dining, while at the same time directing all your attentions to your partner. Just the fact you went “the extra mile” to make the arrangements, and chose to do so for just the two of you, sets the seed for romance to grow.

You should understand that telling your partner you’ve decided to take them to buffet for your anniversary dinner, or their birthday celebration, won’t have quite as much of a dramatic affect on the romantic tone. That can be made even worse by telling your loved one to eat without you as you have an urgent need to play the slot machines in the casino.

On most ships you can arrange for a renewal of your vows, often officiated by the Captain of the ship. If you can arrange this secretly, as a surprise, the move may supply the ultimate romantic spark. For the unmarried, the equivalent move would, of course, be a proposal of marriage during a moonlit walk on deck. Pick a lovely, secluded, dimly lit spot on deck, where the moonlight glistens off of your eyes, or better yet, reflects beautifully off of the ring you are holding.

What you don’t want to do in either of these scenarios is get so tongue-tied you begin blathering on about how much better you used to have it. Even worse would be breaking up with someone before the cruise ends.

- A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising -

 

Posted: February 11th, 2014 under Kuki.
Comments: none

What You Shouldn’t Do In Port

Written by: Kuki

There are already plenty of existing articles (many of which I wrote myself) offering advice on what to do during your visits in different ports of  call. 

Now it’s time for me to offer some advice on what NOT to do while visiting a port.

The most important thing not to do in a port of call is to stay there; that is… Don’t miss the ship’s departure. You’ll be left to find and pay for your own way to meet the ship, or looking to start a new career in a new country.

Private, rather than ship’s supplied tours, are available on pretty much any cruise ship itinerary. Researching online for recommended companies is easy, as is booking. but, you don’t want to send your money in advance to some guy called Noriega, with a prison address.

When on a Caribbean cruise there are normally many options for a day at the beach, or even all inclusive beach clubs. Each island also has several clothing optional beaches to choose from. If your intention is to spend the day naked on one of those beaches, you shouldn’t walk off the ship already “dressed” for it.

Rental vehicles are available during your port visit almost everywhere. If you choose to rent an automobile you want to double check that the vehicle has 4 tires, and also a spare, and if you really want to go somewhere, a motor. And you definitely don’t want to rent a vehicle if you don’t have a driver’s license.

Before disembarking a ship, in every port they will supply printed material with the name and contact information for their port agent. Be certain to carry that information with you in case of emergencies. You want to do everything you can to avoid the need to have to contact the port agents, especially from a jail cell.

Be aware if there is a difference between ship’s time and local time. Ignoring that difference can lead to the problem I first referenced in this article. Time in port does have limits, and you’ll be best off if you also put drink limits in place as well.

Thinking along those lines, you don’t want to be buying or selling illegal substances in any port of call. The danger of getting caught means you’ll have a need to call more than just the port agent, and the jails aren’t likely to provide free internet access for you to check Trip Advisor for the most highly recommended attorneys.

Every port you might visit has very friendly locals, as well as its share of not so friendly locals. You want to do your best to avoid the latter.

To best avoid them you don’t want to allow your “stupid self” off the ship. Every one of us has a “stupid self”, who’ll get us into bad situations by making bad decisions. When traveling in foreign places leave your stupid self in the cabin safe, and make smart decisions. Be aware that you are traveling in unfamiliar places, and that requires more diligence, not less.

Your enjoyment and safety are relying on you to make the right decisions. You don’t want to hear your “stupid self” apologizing to your reasonable self later.

- A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising -

Posted: February 4th, 2014 under Kuki.
Comments: 2

Consider These Before You Book

Written by: Kuki

Whether you’re ready to jump in and book a cruise, or you’re just beginning to think of the possibilities, there are two items I believe should be your first considerations.

How To Book

There are multiple ways to book a cruise; you can find a local “brick and mortar” travel agency in all variety of locations close to your home quite easily ( including travel agencies in biz box an department stores); you can book online or via phone call directly through the different cruise line’s sales departments; you can book online with some of the BIG travel sales providers (such as Expedia, AAA, or Travelocity); you can book online through various travel agencies with an online presence; you can book with a choice of numerous home based travel agents, across the country, who are affiliated with very large consortiums; and you can book with independent travel agents.

In today’s world pretty much every source for cruise sales has an online presence, where you can shop, and even book a cruise, with no personal interaction.

In my view, the worst way for anyone to book is directly with a cruise line. The vast majority of cruise line sales staff are order takers, many of whom have never been on a cruise. They are also selling only one product; the cruises of the line they are employed by. Who do they represent? Their employer. They can not, and will not, provide any accurate information about any other cruise lines that may be a better match for you.

The biggest MISTAKE people make is believing that they can pay less buying direct.

Using the services of a travel agent to book your cruise actually costs you NOTHING. They are paid a commission by the cruise lines for your booking. And, just as importantly, the cruise lines offer no discount to you for not using a travel agent!

Indeed, often a travel agent can offer incentives, such as lower priced group space, or onboard credits, or other value added amenities, that a cruise line sales agent will not.

Now to the tricky part…not all travel agents are equal.

The first thing I recommend looking for is a cruise specialist. It’s a simple thought process really… If I have a stomach issue I don’t go to a podiatrist.

For your cruise I think you really want someone trained in the field, with experience, and with an understanding of the types of ships, itineraries, etc. that are available. You also want a cruise specialist who is committed to answering all of your questions, and taking care of your needs, especially if something happens to go wrong.

Find the right cruise specialist and it will be a lot like finding your favourite dress or suit; you’re going to want to use them over and over again.

Over the years I’ve written about this topic many, many times, but in my view, it is so important it needs to brought forward often, with hopes that more people take this advice.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is too often thought of as dirty words. Far too many people think this is one area where they can save money on their trip.

Too many people think travel insurance is only necessary for the elderly or sick. Or they think all they really need is cancellation insurance, to cover the costs of the trip if they have to cancel.

Unfortunately, illness can strike even the healthy…regardless of age. Accidents, sometimes serious ones, can happen when traveling…regardless of age, or physical condition. Treatments can be expensive onboard, and even more so on land in a port of call. And if evacuation from a ship at sea becomes necessary, the costs can get astronomically high.

It is a HUGE mistake to believe it won’t happen to you just to save money!

In my opinion, if you can’t afford the insurance, you can’t afford to cruise, and you shouldn’t!

The worst place to buy your travel insurance is from the cruise line.

My recommendation is to purchase from third party insurers. There are many solid companies to choose from. You should invest as much time as is necessary to make a solid choice. You can begin that process by checking out some of the options at insuremytrip.com.

If everything in your travels goes smoothly you can be upset with me for the advice. If something occurs where you have to use the insurance you’ll be ecstatic that you have it…and you’ll have saved a bundle.

-A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising-

Posted: January 28th, 2014 under Kuki.
Comments: 3

Cruising’s Multiple Personalities

Written by: Kuki

To the uninitiated, with assistance from cruise line marketing campaigns and word of mouth from their friends and neighbors, many people view cruising through mental images of fine dining, fancy dress, lively fun on sun decks, and Las Vegas style floor shows. Today’s cruise industry is much more complex than that; cruising today has multiple personalities.

Through the 1990s and into the early 21st Century, outside of differences in decor, and some minor differences in onboard programming, it could have seemed that one cruise on a cruise line would be very similar to a cruise on any other line. Though there were a few small niche cruise lines,  variations were basically  budget cruises, mass market cruises, and luxury cruises. The major factor separating them; price.  The pricing categories remain similar today, though the industry may have branded them with new verbiage, sneaking “premium” and “ultra-premium” into the mix, while mass market lines are now referred to as “contemporary”.

Today however the variances in cruise lines are much more clearly established. Plus I think the cruise lines have become ”fleat of fleet” enough to change ships within their line to adapt to the “cruise personalities” passengers are looking for.

The most dominant personality in the industry at this time seems to be the “cruise vacationer”. And the “cruise vacationer” generally favor itineraries cruising in the Caribbean. Caribbean cruisers goal is to simply relax. The want to spend their vacations enjoying the ship’s amenities; relaxing time on sun decks, umbrella drinks, lots of culinary choices, and plenty of live entertainment (particularly in the evenings). In ports of call they are mostly interested in spending times on beautiful beaches, some sight-seeing, shopping, perhaps some adrenaline inducing activities like zip-lining, jet-skiing, para-sailing, etc. They want a vacation, rather than having a desire to travel. They want something similar to a resort style vacation, but with a little more adventure. And honestly the cruise lines do an outstanding job of meeting those demands throughout the Caribbean, and to a lesser extent the Mexican Riviera.

Then there are “the travelers”. Other than perhaps a first time visit to the islands in the Caribbean, the travelers aren’t going to happy with a Caribbean cruise. Travelers want to see the world, experience different cultures and sights. This is a very fast growing sector of the cruise industry, and all of the cruise lines have reacted by redeploying ships all over the globe to meet the demand. Where a few niche lines, or the smaller ships of the luxury lines used to be some of the only options on many more exotic itineraries, today all categories of the industry are allowing the travelers many more choices in this area. With an eye to the interests of the travelers most cruise lines in areas around the globe are designing very port intensive itineraries. If it’s not a different port almost every day, then they are offering itineraries with more overnights in ports of call; something you rarely see on a Caribbean sailing.

Onboard activities as well as entertainment are also addressed differently on the cruises where the majority of passengers are likely more interested in the next port of call, than a late night comedian.

The “cruise traveler” is still quite different from the “world traveler”. It’s not that they don’t have the same wandering spirit, as they probably do. But for a variety of reason, they are willing to give up some of their wanderlust in favor of more secure and less stressful travel; still being able to return to the creature comforts and luxuries a cruise ship has to offer after day of exploring another port. As you often find the demographic on more exotic itineraries a bit on the older side, I’m guessing many of the people were world travelers, who may now find themselves with less physical abilities to endure the riggers of the “world cruiser” they used to be, yet still have the urge to travel, see more, and learn more. And cruising certainly eases most of the burden, while still fulfilling the urge.

While the cruise lines have moved ships to further reaches of the world, there has also been a concerted effort by them to attract the local populations in those areas. The Europeans are a fast growing segment of the cruise industry.  Where their choices to cruise closer to home were quite limited, today they have more variety in cruise lines sailing close to their homes than sail the Caribbean waters at certain times of year. There’s more major cruise lines moving ships to Australia, and ships homeporting in Dubai. It’s no longer just ships sailing around the globe. It is a true globalization of the cruise industry. It also holds true that the ” cruise travelers” demographic meshes well with the locals boarding the ships in these distant areas, as they appreciate the oppurtunity to experience the different cultures blend together onboard.

Taking the traveler personality a step  further are the adventure/explorer cruise lines. These sailings are on smaller ships (in some cases less than 100 passengers) which venture into waters larger ships simply cannot go. They specialize in providing passengers with very up close, intimate experiences with the nature and wildlife of the areas they visit, such as Antartica and the less traveled inlets of Alaska. These lines are more attractive to those who might normally fit in the “world traveler” category, as in many cases they will take those passengers to areas and sights which are almost unreachable by land. They will also attract a mix of the “cruise travelers” who are willing to give up a few of the creature comforts of standard cruise ships to step into a more adventurous experience.

Currently the most “IN” category in cruising is River Cruising. Though River Cruisiing has been around for some time, the recent surge by River Cruise companies to add many more new ships to their fleets is working effectively to draw more interest.  They’ve been adding many modern amentities more familiar to those who have to this point experienced more typical cruising. Their main attraction is they travel slowly down rivers, allowing passengers to view places they would never visit on larger cruise ships. They also generally dock in the center of towns and cities they visit, and include tours of the areas in their fares. While I don’t believe they presently have much attraction for first time cruisers, they are certainly drawing “cruise travelers” who are interested in a more personal experience of the cultures within the areas they can access by river cruise, as well as the “world travelers”, giving them ease of access which would be much more limited by land travel.

Certainly all of these cruise personalities, combined with a few even more niche cruise alternatives, such as sailing ships, and barge cruising have expanded the selection and choices to enable you to match your personality with the personality of the cruise. It’s a bit like dating. You can research and experiment to find a personality that most directly lines up with yours. These days many people are using the services of dating services to find their matches… such as E Harmony,Match.com, etc. When it comes to cruising, it’s an excellent idea to use the “dating services” of experienced and knowledgable travel agents. They are best equipped to be your “cruisematch”, and find you your cruise ship soul mate.

- A View From the Kuki Side of Cruising -

Posted: January 21st, 2014 under Kuki.
Comments: 1

Focus Group, Survey and Poll Results

Written by: Kuki

During the course of the last twelve months I assigned myself the task of performing very extensive, time consuming, and expensive cruise research;including focus groups, surveys, and polls.

My deadline has come, and it’s time to share the results of this fantastically interesting work.

All of the mathematical work required to tabulate the final results were prepared by a third party independent accounting firm – Liar, Liar, Pants & Fire LLC.

The Focus Group

The Number 1 most important amenity to the participants of my focus group (by a sizeable margin) was a ship that floated.

.06% of participants expressed a preference for ships that could fly as we’ll.
50% of those wished the cabins on the ships had larger overhead bins.

When told no passengers would ever be required to row the ship, the approval dials of the focus group went off the charts.

During discussions of various pricing structures in place by different cruise lines, the highest disapproval ratings were expressed when it became known that no one, aside from cruise travel journalists and captain’s wives or mistresses, could cruise free.

Perhaps interestingly, there was one topic of discussion that 100% of focus group participants agree on; food should be available.

76% favoured availability 24 hours a day; 46 % favoured a limit of 16 lbs. of food per day per person; 28% favoured being spoon fed upon request; .0003 % believed people should be required to bring their own food; 97% thought more of an attempt should be made to feed all the homeless on the ship.

Analysis

Though every effort was made to reach scientifically significant results, and to verify that each focus group participant was a human being, we can not acknowledge the veracity of any of the statements or results included here. In fact, we recommend you assume this has been meaningless drivel.

Survey and Poll

In this section we combine the results of the responses we received to our written survey with those taken from online respondents.

As a result, our findings show that every cruise line in existence wins an award of some kind in all of the various categories anyone can possibly think of. And many have won awards in categories that no one has ever thought of.

All of the cruise lines tied for the Best Of The Best Award, and each will be sent an official certificate verifying their status as winners in this category, which they are free to display in their advertising and on their websites.

The result for the Best Travel Journalist Award was much closer than expected. This was an odd result because all of the voting took place in my mind. I did eke out a win, but only came in second in the Best Disguised Marketing category.

- A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising -

Posted: January 14th, 2014 under Kuki.
Comments: none

Reminiscing

Written by: Kuki

2013 has come to a close. I think as each year ends and a new year begins we all look back at what we’ve done, and forward to what we are going to do.

So this week’s blog is about me looking back. I’ve been writing for Cruisemates for near 14 years, and I’ve certainly enjoyed doing so. I’ve had the opportunity to experience, do, and write, about some very interesting and unique things.

Over those years, while writing about those experiences and writing an article every week, I well understand that some may have been good, and some not so good. I’m very proud of the good ones icon smile Reminiscing

Now, looking back, I’d like to share some of my favourites. They are not necessarily my best written or favourite articles, but they are my favourite experiences.

If you haven’t seen and read them previously, or even if you have, I hope you’ll read them here, and I hope they put a smile on your face. They did mine.

This first one is my all time favourite. I got to “work” for a day on Celebrity Cruise Line, shortly after they introduced butler service. I can’t say enough about the fun we had, and all the laughs we had behind the scenes.
http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/humop/butler.cfm

#2 on my list was when I got to write and perform a stand up comedy act for part of a late night adult comedy show on Carnival. My material may have been weak, my performance was certainly lacking, but preparing for it, and doing it were a laugh a second experience.

http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=606215 

Next up was when I was allowed to deal blackjack on a Princess ship. I still vividly remember the smiles and laughter of all the dealers as I displayed my ineptitude at thei jobs
http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/humop/kuki21.cfm dealing

And lastly was this article that still reflects exactly how I felt, and still feel about cruising.
http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/humop/seafever.cfm

- A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising -

Posted: January 7th, 2014 under Kuki.
Comments: none

Nigerian Scam Comes To Cruising

Written by: Kuki

Over the years, I’m sure most everyone has received emails  from purported lawyers , offering large amounts of money from wealthy business people, or inheritances from unknown, long lost relatives. These have generally come to be referred to as Nigerian email scams.

There have been all sorts of various take offs on these scams, and now I’m happy to report they have found a version that they feel is due consideration by the cruise world.

These scammers find their email targets from all kinds of large mailing lists. If you’ve ever been on any kind of these large lists you’ve likely received some such email. Some time ago I found my email had made a rather large of contracts for Public Relation companies, and I’m assuming that what where these particular spammers found my contact information.

Interestingly, this particular even made it through my email SPAM filter, which is normally pretty good. What really peaked my interest (well really it just made me laugh) was how poorly composed and written this email was. The sender must have been one of my readers; knowing how poor my grammar and writing style are, they thought for sure I’d likely reply immediately.

I’m going to share the contents of the email below, not to serve as a public warning to protect others (you’d have to be way dumb to think it’s real… even if you do know some ship Captains), but so you can enjoy the same chuckle from it that I did.

Hello and Good
day,
I am sending you this mail with sympathy and concern
regarding my late client from USA
who was a Ship captain, he died as a
brief illness and he willed his funds to his relative whom I have failed to
locate since one year now so I will need full co-operation from you to transfer
the funds to your account as the next of kin.
This need to be done
for my late client soul to rest in peace.
I will tell you the
name of my late client and the amount of funds involved once I hear from
you.
We must be our
brother’s keeper.
Thanks and have a
great day as I look forward to hear from you.
Sincerely,
Barr. Paul L.Jones
Esq “
BTW… if you’d like to respond to the writer of this email, feel free to contact me and I’ll tell you where to send your deposit.
- A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising -

Posted: December 31st, 2013 under Kuki.
Comments: 1