Radio presenter John Kerr is known for delighting Australian audiences with his talkback panache, so it’s no surprise that he has a lot to say about his recent cruising experiences. Words: Susanna Robinson.
Renowned radio host John Kerr began his illustrious career in 1957 and worked his way up the ranks to become Assistant Program Director at 2UE, Program Director and Morning Host at Canberra’s 2CA and breakfast host at 2GO in Gosford and host of the weekend program New Day Australia on 2UE and network stations. When he’s not hard at work, John delights in taking a cruise or two.
Could you describe the cruises you have taken in the past?
I’ve sailed on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas through the Caribbean, P&O’s Aurora on her maiden voyage to Sydney from New Zealand, and Celebrity Cruises’ Mercury through the Mexican Riviera. I’ve also sailed with SeaDream Yacht Club’s SeaDream II through the Mediterranean and on Princess Cruises to New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Tahiti.
What was your favourite destination and why did it particularly appeal? One of our favourite spots was Taormina in Sicily, sitting on the deck of SeaDream II at dinner watching Mount Etna gurgling lava as we lay at anchor, with a full moon thrown in. Another was waking up on Regal Princess to see Bora Bora at close range at sunrise – that’s pretty hard to beat and will always be a wonderful memory. Sailing around the Bay of Islands in New Zealand was spectacular, too! Sorry – I can’t limit my answer to just one place.
What was your favourite onboard entertainment experience? While sailing on SeaDream II at Ibiza, we enjoyed a wonderful performance by Spanish dancers. It was an outstanding and exhilarating experience. SeaDream does not ‘overwhelm with entertainment’ and leaves passengers to indulge in the peace of a smaller ship, but it does handpick performers from time to time. The ship has a small performance area so the audience is close and the intimate atmosphere adds to the total effect.
What was your favourite cruise and why did you enjoy it? I think the SeaDream Yacht Club cruise in the Mediterranean. There was great diversity in the range of experiences offered. We left from Piraeus and, early next morning, we were inching (literally) through the canal that connects to the Gulf of Corinth. We visited ports such as Tunis and Malta (wonderful). SeaDream II has 100 passengers and an incredibly personalised yet unobtrusive service, impeccable organisation and an emphasis on leaving passengers alone. There are no shipboard announcements, blaring music or over-the-top guest services. There’s a friendly and casual approach to everything and particularly good shore excursions to cater for all tastes: cultural, historic or environmental. Lovely food and beautiful appointments throughout the yacht.
Were you dissatisfied with anything on any of the cruises you have taken so far? All my cruise experiences have had high and not-so-high points. Personal tastes differ so, for me, I would say that I prefer not to be subjected to massive crowds of people on decks and fitness classes being relayed at high volume. Very large ships (such as Voyager of the Seas) are impressive, but a smaller ship has more to offer from my point of view. The current trend towards more flexibility in dining is also a good thing.