It’s only been three weeks since I posted the last semi-regular Site and Social Updates post but there have been a lot of articles read, some interesting developments, and – most importantly – this is my site and there are no rules as to when I’ll post. I’ve given it a slightly different title than usual because it’s still July, there aren’t any site design or style changes, and, again, my rules say I can do what I like.


As previously posted, the Wave Cruise Awards are in the process of whittling down nominees for favourite cruise blogger to a manageable number. I explain here – 2019 Wave Awards Cruise Blogger Nominees – why I’m flattered to be included but won’t be promoting this site’s inclusion and also list who I’d recommend voting for based on content originality and quality.

Cruise Blogging Drama!

There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle over on Twitter where a new account The Cruiserati has decided to tackle the problem of cruise bloggers being dishonest in order to gain freebies from the cruising industry. It’s an arguably honourable cause although the main commotion appears to be around the way in which it’s initially been handled. I’ve decided to watch quietly but not say anything as there are a lot of emotions kicking in here from people close to the problem; some people object to the public outing of a cruise blogger; then some people object to the person behind the new account remaining anonymous; then some people object to the new information about a blogger buying fake followers not disclosing enough information; then some people object to the methods in which the data is being determined (because if you can’t attack the content, attack the method behind it, I guess). All very emotional, all very understandable, and something that doesn’t have a perfect solution but, hopefully, in time might produce beneficial results. I toyed with going public on this very subject a while back after taking a look at some people on a “top cruisers” list who weren’t disclosing they’d paid to be there and whose social media numbers looked very suspicious indeed but in the end opted for the quiet life, content to have my own prejudice that a lot of people are just generally out for themselves and not very nice reinforced.

It’s a shame, really, because the industry that hands out the free trips has a lot to answer for in promoting this type of gaming of the system that looks at numbers and pretty faces but never seems to really consider profitable engagement with long-term benefits and certainly doesn’t appear to be performing some pretty basic due diligence of the people they’re working with on the back of that. There are some very hard-working people being justly rewarded but this is the kind of thing that can tarnish the view towards those who have worked hard to be rewarded in the eyes of others who see this dishonesty going unchecked. It’s a thorny problem indeed.

Some Notes

  • I’m not behind that account (as if you could think that!), but…
  • I suspect I know who is behind the account, and…
  • I am happy to publicly state on this site (as it’ll be read by practically nobody and therefore won’t cause too much fuss) that I do support its aims.

Drama in the cruise blogging world, eh! Who’d have thought it!?

New Content

No technical changes to the site in the last few weeks (a minor tweak to the wording on the home page to link to the individual cruise reviews more easily and a header image change don’t really count) but I’ve decided to push on and try to finish off the posts covering the Sapphire Princess cruise to France and Spain that was taken in May. At time of writing this there’s one more post to finish off the trip to Santiago de Compostela and then a post tackling the ship herself. You can see all the individual port and excursion posts from that cruise here: Cruise: France And Spain Posts.

New Travel Plans

In the last update I mentioned we’d booked two new cruises (Arcadia to France/Guernsey and Star Princess to South and Central America) but we still had a couple of days of annual leave to use up. We did look at 2-night or 3-night cruises that we could hit around a weekend as that’s our go-to means of travelling (we’ve kept that quiet!) but ultimately decided to book a long weekend, flight-and-hotel-stay deal through Secret Escapes to Iceland at the start of December instead. We’ve been to Iceland before – Iceland Posts – so we know what to expect. If we don’t see the aurora then it’s okay because we saw it last time but the trip does include a voucher to take a boat out from Reykjavik on a night-time aurora-hunting cruise so with a bit of luck we’ll see it again and still satisfy our love of getting on the water.

On The Internet

And finally, here are some of the things I’ve been reading recently that deserve a little bit of further publicising in my opinion.

The Highs & Lows of Blogging – a frank conversation between 2 bloggers got a lot of very deserved love in the cruise blogger community this month. In it, Claire from firstinitialsea and Travel Blogger Jamie have a frank conversation (you can tell that from the title) about the highs and lows of blogging (likewise). There is a reference to the drama that’s already been covered above as well as mentions of ageism and that kick to the stomach that comes from being left out of something we’ve all experienced at some level or another. On a personal note I discovered that Claire’s first holiday abroad was surprisingly similar to my own; it turns out we were at nearby hotels in the same area of Mallorca (see: Alcudia, Mallorca (Scans)). Obligatory “small world” mention goes here.

The Best Hué To Eat: Sampling at Quán Hạnh shows off some food and local beer in Hué, Vietnam. This is of interest to us as we’ll be visiting Hué on our Diamond Princess cruise later this year and the excursion we’ve got booked includes a meal in a restaurant. Looking forward to seeing if any of the same dishes turn up.

One of the places we were toying with revisiting before we plumped for Iceland instead was Amsterdam (see our previous trip here: Netherlands Posts) and had we done so, or should we return in the future (which is quite likely), this post – Amsterdam photo diary – July 2018 – shows off a very interesting bar and museum we’ll want to check out.

Finally, another place on the travel radar was Lake Ohrid in Macedonia. Not only did I see a good deal for visiting it I kept seeing posts on social media from people either also thinking about it or already there. Here’s one such post: Top Things To Do In Ohrid, Macedonia. Definitely a travel destination for the future.

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Featured image is the view from our tender boat approaching Nha Trang back in 2008 and just happens to be the new main image on the front page of this site until I get bored again and change it.

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