Thank you to the hardworking and enthusiastic team at
NEW YORK CITY BOOK AWARDS
and well done to my fellow authors and awards winners - we all know - writing a book and getting recognition for the creative endeavour, is a tough job. To receive an award, offers inspiration and encouragement to keep on writing. Never lose the dream.
Happy Valentine's Day - my favourite - card from a very special person. Love and cruising - I am in seventh heaven !!!
A record breaking Seventh Super Bowl win for super champ, quarterback Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Bucaneers - and to cap it all - Brady is the oldest player in the league at 43 years old. Widely considered the greatest NFL player of all time, Tom Brady who played for the New England Patriots for 20 glittering years, has been named the Most Valuable Player in the NFL league. I don't generally follow American football but it's impossible to not be aware of the NFL - and Super Bowl is the one of the greatest events in the national sporting calendar.
Here's a lifestyle fact about Tom Brady that I find fascinating. Tom Brady reputably pays one million dollars a year out of his mega millions pay check for coaching in every aspect of his life and game - from playing to eating to sleeping to exercising. It sure takes a village and then some to make a champion.
How much do you invest in yourself and your career?
Now that we have access to friend and colleagues home space on zoom, it is fascinating to
see what books are on the bookshelves. It has given rise to a new trend. buying
books by the yard - so you can appear well read and maybe conceal your real reading pleasure. What does your bookshelf say about you?
Are you an intellectual, a traveller or a lover of murder mystery?
Also, have you noticed how those being interviewed on news programs, strategically place their own books, title showing prominently facing the camera. Good luck to them, too good a promotion opportunity to miss. Next time I appear on television, look for my latest book boldly displayed in a prime position.
A year ago today - how I wish I was there now!! Why do Amazon photos have to remind us of what we are missing - they keep showing me pictures of a year ago today when I was on a Grand Round the World cruise. Now I am in London Lockdown under a Stay at
I love cruising and cannot wait to get back on a ship!!
Cruising is one of the most luxurious, adventurous and exciting vacations available to travellers who love to explore the globe and experience new cultures and counties. A fact born out by the millions of passengers who step aboard each year in all parts of the world.
The global pandemic in 2020 impacted the cruise industry, along with many other travel companies, by forcing them to pause all sailings, sell off liners, cancel orders for new ships and force fleets of vessels into dry dock or condemed them to aimlessly anchor out at sea. There were fears that the entire industry would sink and never return to the Golden Age that was being enjoyed by the deployment of some 300 cruise ships internationally before the virus struck. Companies have juggled to keep afloat their companies, refinance to cover billions of dollars of lost revenue; maintain relationships with staff and crew, suppliers, partners and destination providers; to follow regulations and restrictions by implementing expensive and enhanced levels of health and safety.
Cruise liners were put under unprecedented pressure when through no fault of their own, thousands of passengers and employees were stranded at sea often quarantined on board ship outside countries that refused to accept them for fear of importing coronavirus. Never before had companies been faced with the ensuing monumental task of repatriating passengers and crew - all in the middle of a state of health emergency.
For those of us who love cruising, it has been frustrating and inspiring to observe the highest levels of health and safety standard to operational policies and strategies which have been implemented by the companies, only to have further government and industry regulations enforce yet more no sail and pauses of itineraries, leaving passengers and staff unable even with all the health and safety protocols in place to sail away.
Christine Duffy, CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines has paid tribute to the enduring commitment of her staff and colleagues and acknowledged the grief, anxiety and uncertainty suffered by so many people all over the world in this worst of times global catastrophe.
Carnival repatriated 30,000 team members, she explains, by plane and boat and train, automobiles and uber - as well as flotillas of vessels taking everyone home safely. She proudly pints out that as a show of support for team efforts over the Christmas period more than 10,000 cards were sent and delivered to team members across the fleet.
"Now we look forward with hope, confidence and enthusiasm to 2021 when we will sail again. We will be back better than ever, "she promises.
In similar vein, Jan Swartz, Group President of Princess Cruises, offers thanks to her teams, clients, guests and supporters all over the world. "We are on our way to brighter days," she states. "We will be back in business in 2021, as we ring in a New Year full of hope, possibility and optimism."
As I stand on my balcony gazing across the Bay to Port of Miami, my heart fills with thankfulness that with the help of the vaccine, we are about to enter a new era where life will not only return to normal but has the potential be better for all the lessons we have had to learn about working together for the greater good. Nothing makes me happier and more grateful than when I see those beautiful, graceful cruise liners sailing to and from the port waiting to do what they do best, take passengers to fulfil dreams on magical voyages. My heart fills with pride when I see that, despite having no guests this holiday season, they keep the lights on to brighten the way to a new future. I for one, will Keep Cruising.
Our beautiful Community Church in Miami Beach is operating only virtually -
please feel free to visit the website and join weekly worship service. www.miamibeachcommunitychurch.com
Ellen Frazer-Jameson is a journalist, author, actress. theater producer and drama coach. She co hosted the largest live late night radio show in Europe for the BBC and has appeared on national TV shows and taken leading roles on stage. She lives in Miami and London and loves to dance Argentine tango.