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Tips for getting your cruise right!

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Where the wild things roam

Where the wild things roam

Just back from Borneo. Was it a good trip - absolutely! I saw lots of pygmy elephants, orangutans and proboscis monkeys while travelling upstream or on jungle hikes. My daughter and I stayed at many different places, though the Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley was a knockout. The food was just sensational, the accommodation in stand along chalets accessed from a boardwalk just lovely and the guides were all expert in their knowledge of the flora and fauna to be found there. Sadl

Petra_Cruising

Petra_Cruising

When tour guides mess up badly

When tour guides mess up badly

It was perhaps the worst 24 hours in my life. My family were all away, and when they are, my dog gets anxious. So do I. Neither of us sleep well at all. But last night I'm doing a Google search for a boutique store I remember visiting in India. I click on what I think is the site, and 13 Trojan Horse viruses enter my computer. Last time this happened, my documents, my photos, in fact almost everything that I hold dear to me was lost. But Microsoft was onto to it this time. For 1.5 hours I waited

Petra_Cruising

Petra_Cruising

I'm Special

I'm Special

For my last entry, I referred to a client who was gearing up to make a complaint against me for having been kept waiting, even though the other clients that day had waited for much longer than her. While I am sure I haven't heard the end of it, so far, I've heard nothing further. That night though, after my day at the airport had come to an end, I received an email requiring my urgent attention. Another female client HAD complained. The issue was this. There were several ships in Sydney tha

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Petra_Cruising

Dealing with Difficult Passengers:  Gotta be in the mood

Dealing with Difficult Passengers: Gotta be in the mood

Last week I worked at Sydney International Airport meeting clients joining a two week cruise. Now all of us when we fly to a foreign country arrive tired. Sometimes we arrive with a problem. A man had lost his suitcase and was understandably distraught. A woman had her scooter damaged. Neither were my clients. They approached me needing to express to someone, anyone, how upset they were. In my sometime role as a tour guide, while I wait with my cruise ship sign, people approach me for all sorts

Petra_Cruising

Petra_Cruising

Dealing with Jet Lag

Dealing with Jet Lag

What's the best way to manage jet lag is a commonly asked question. Adrupt changes in time zones can upset our natural rhythm, to which many of our bodily processes are timed. Jet lag can make you tired, sleepy, irritable and less able to concentrate. Appetite and bowel habits may be affected and insomnia, headaches, dizziness, clumsiness and a general feeling of not being well are also symptoms. There is no cure for jet lag but there are ways to minimise the effects. How? Well for starters

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Petra_Cruising

The importance of social acceptance and the consequences of having it denied - Postscript

The importance of social acceptance and the consequences of having it denied - Postscript

Just a brief postscript to my last blog: Our arrival in the city of Patna, in West Bengal, India, drew considerable media attention. A cruise upstream on the river Ganges onboard a small cruise ship, is quite a momentous occasion, since almost no tourists have taken this route since the 1940's. Our Naturalist/Guide was asked to name the foreign dignitaries onboard for a photo. He told me later that he remembered my name, since I often spoke to him, but had difficulty recalling th

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Petra_Cruising

The importance of social acceptance and the consequences of having it denied

The importance of social acceptance and the consequences of having it denied

Kevin was not happy. We had met several days earlier in Kolkata and were looking forward to joining a cruise upstream on the Hooghly and Ganges rivers in India onboard a luxury cruise ship, quite a momentous occasion, since almost no foreign tourists had taken this route since the1940's. It was our welcome dinner at the gracious Oberoi Grand Hotel in Kolkata. I had entered the dining room late, having made a quick dash to collect my new shirt from the tailors. Seated with Kevin were two English

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Petra_Cruising

Know your Destinations

Know your Destinations

Last week while doing my tour guide duties, I met Bill at the International Airport. While he was due to depart on his cruise that afternoon and had no intention of doing much at all until boarding time, he had arrived on an early flight and would have at least 6 hours to fill in. When he finished the cruise, he would have 10 days. Where are you staying when you come back I asked. I'll find something he said and off he went to a tourist stand, collecting a handful of brochures offering not the b

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Petra_Cruising

When Cruising it pays to pack right - Part 2

When Cruising it pays to pack right - Part 2

This week I'd like to offer some tips on keeping your valuables safe and organising what you will need when you arrive at the airport and cruise ship terminal. In preparation for your flight, keep your valuables - passport, camera, cash, mobile and credit cards close to you. Recommended is a bum bag, preferably with a wire cord running through it. Securely fastened around your waist with a padlock, you will be less likely to be targeted by pickpockets. Carry your completed outgoing passenge

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Petra_Cruising

Always have a Plan B

Always have a Plan B

Two days ago I returned home after a few days in Melbourne, an hour's flying time south of my home town of Sydney. Our flight had been delayed and it was already after 10pm. I was tired and sent a text message saying "stuck on tarmac, be home late," only to realise my error - I'd sent it to one of my business associates, not my family. I was lucky to have flown at all. The next day, the entire Qantas fleet was grounded. I was at Sydney International Airport to meet and greet those passenge

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Petra_Cruising

When cruising, it pays to pack right

When cruising, it pays to pack right

As I stood waiting in line for an International flight recently, Gerard, the elderly man in front asked if I could help him and his wife lift their bags to be checked in since they were unable to. They were flying business class and while they may have been entitled to a generous amount of luggage, might not they have given better thought to what they actually needed? While he expressed a few sympathetic ums and ohs as I struggled to lift their 5 bags, with his wife shouting at me to "bend the k

Petra_Cruising

Petra_Cruising

Find the best cabin on the ship for YOU!

Find the best cabin on the ship for YOU!

Before joining a river cruise in India recently, I travelled together with my fellow passengers on a bone rattling bus for several hours. Seated beside me in the front seat was a man by the name of Dennis who was also travelling solo. When we finally arrived at the jetty, Dennis was insistent that he go on ahead with our luggage while we waited behind for the boat to return. Later, as I entered my cabin, there was Dennis carefully placing one foot in front of the other. Dennis, may I ask what yo

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Petra_Cruising

Welcome to my new blog ... The Smart Cruiser:  Tips for getting your cruise right!

Welcome to my new blog ... The Smart Cruiser: Tips for getting your cruise right!

Cruise experiences should be enjoyable - We all anticipate our next holiday and reflect on our most memorable travel moments. But rarely do we completely avoid a hitch, a problem, an error, an oversight. Sometimes there is nothing we can do to prevent those dreaded travel hicupps from happening, but sometimes they can be avoided, or we can at least feel a little better if we know that they happen to us all. So who am I you say? I work, I travel and now I combine the two. I write travel art

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Petra_Cruising

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