Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
I started From the Deck Chair in September 2009 because I was disappointed in how many cruise sites focused on the same ships doing the same old itineraries. There's a sea of unique, interesting and fantastic ships out there that are deserving of as much attention as the big newsmakers like Oasis of the Seas and Norwegian Epic.
I also started this site as a way to share my cruise photography and interest in the interior design of cruise ships, which I am extremely passionate about, with a wide array of readers.
Believe it or not, I still pay for most of my cruises out of my own pocket. From time to time, however, I have been fortunate to have sailed as a guest of various cruise lines in order to better experience first-hand a particular ship, itinerary, or feature.
It is a responsibility I take very seriously.
No one ever tells me what to write, or how to write it, nor am I ever paid to write something. Sometimes, I do make the occasional typo or mistake, which I do correct (usually, readers spot it long before I do!)
Believe me, I have a great time on any cruise - but unlike most passengers, I am up at 5:00am most mornings taking photographs, in order to showcase public rooms when most people are still asleep. I make a point to experience as much as I can, and then write my thoughts and observations down that day. Which means I spend a good two-to-three hours each evening with my laptop open, writing.
Which means I'm not just cruising, I'm also working.
When I dislike something, I try to make every effort to offer constructive criticism. Simply coming back here and writing "it sucked, I'm never sailing (insert cruise line here) again!" doesn't do anyone any good. If the situation is particularly worrisome, I try to involve the cruise line in order to get their opinion. Sometimes, bad things happen on good cruises, and it is important to get all the facts first.
On the flip side, when I find something I am passionate about, I tend to champion it. I make no apologies for this. If I am excited about an itinerary, ship, or line, I'll shout it from the rooftops.
One thing that has always driven me nuts about mainstream "print" travel writing is that there has to be an angle. Often, this deals with food or wine and concentrates very little on the cruise experience itself. Articles like that bore me very easily, and I make every attempt to concentrate on the actual cruise.
And isn't that what we're all here for - the cruise experience?
Stay tuned to From the Deck Chair, where the focus is always on the most important aspect of your cruise: your ship.