Allison Graham, account manager at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, waxes lyrical about Balmoral, bemoans a day in Bristol and says her bucket list is still a work in progress.
Why is your cruise line the best?
The smaller size of our ships means that we can offer something that the larger lines can’t by sailing right into the heart of famously harder-to-reach destinations, such as Seville in Spain, and into the depths of the Norwegian Fjords. That is what really sets us apart from the rest.
We ‘bring the world closer’ to our guests.
If your cruise line was a famous person, who would it be and why?
James Bond because he’s suave, debonair and quintessentially British.
How long have your worked for your cruise line?
Almost five years – it’s gone by in a flash. But there is still so much more to come.
Which geographical areas do you cover?
I am the account manager for retail northern high street, covering various areas within Scotland, Ireland, and the North East & North West of England,
so I get to see a lot of the UK trade.
What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you on the road?
I once fell flat on my face outside my hotel when I was staying in Bristol. The worst part is that so many people just stepped over me rather than helping me up. They must have thought I’d had a few too many cocktails at the bar, but that honestly wasn’t the case.
What’s the strangest question you have ever been asked about cruise?
“What’s the weather going to be like?”
Do you have a favourite ship in the Fred Olsen fleet?
I have sailed on all four of our ships, including our beautiful flagship, the Balmoral. She has got to be my favourite. She is our biggest vessel, yet she still manages to convey a cosy, traditional and friendly ambience on board.
Which on-board restaurant do you prefer and why?
All of our food on board is fantastic and is freshly prepared daily by our fabulous chefs, but if I had to choose I’d say my favourite would be The Grill on Balmoral. This is one of our speciality restaurants and offers fresh seafood and steaks cooked to order, with recommendations on which fine wines would best go with your meal. It is simply fantastic.
Which port would you prefer to disembark at and what would you do?
Santorini is a port that always delivers everything it promises, including charming tavernas, cultural delights and spectacular cliff-top views.
And where would you opt to stay on board and why?
I don’t think there is anywhere I wouldn’t go ashore. There are so many fantastic places in this world; every port is a great opportunity to explore something new.
Which cruise is on your bucket list?
I would love to cruise along the Amazon River and witness the “Meeting of the Waters”. One of our itineraries includes a visit to Manaus, offering the chance to see the famous pink dolphins and the elusive caiman in their natural habitats. An overnight stay in the rainforest would be an experience of a lifetime. We also do some fantastic sailings to South Africa, where you can visit game reserves.
If you didn’t work in the cruise industry, what do you think you would do?
I can’t see myself not working in travel. There are so many places that I have yet to tick off my bucket list – no other job offers opportunities quite like it.