Credit: Shutterstock/Richard & Helen Chalu

Cruise veterans unveil most important piece of advice & favourite cruises

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Cruise holidays are popular with many globetrotters but Richard and Helen Chalu love sailing so much they decided to quit their jobs and do it full time.

The couple decided to vlog about their cruise adventure several years ago.

"It began with us filming and documenting voyages for our own fun and as a record of our fabulous family holidays," the pair told World of Cruising.

It "really kicked off" towards the end of 2018 when they began collaborating with media - and now they're World of Cruising's very own ambassadors.

However, the pair maintain their "main focus is to record our own memories for future enjoyment."

They add: "We always ask ourselves, ‘Would we look back in several years and still find the videos entertaining and an authentic reflection of our experiences?’"

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While most folk have only been on a handful of cruises, Richard and Helen have been on tens of voyages.

"To date, we’ve been on 32 cruises on 18 different ships, ranging from long weekends to full 17-night exotic adventures," they detail.

"At the beginning, we sailed so many times on the three Cunard Queens because we loved them so much but then we dared to try something different and the rest is history.

"We found out that in cruising, variety is the spice of life! Since beginning [our blog] Visit With Us, we’ve also visited 12 others just for the day and would cruise on all of them given half a chance!"

Of course, the pandemic has rather got in the way of sailing in the past year and a half and "cruising was sorely missed," admitted Rich and Helen.

"What we’ve missed most is the opportunity to visit so many different places around the world."

However, the experience did teach the duo an important lesson. "What lockdown has taught us is that you can never take travel and our freedoms to travel for granted," they said. "It really is such an enrichment on all our lives."

So what trip have our ambassadors loved the most? They certainly have plenty to choose from!

"That’s a hard one, as so many have been so memorable," they share.

"Rich would say the trip to the Galápagos Islands with Silversea was a life-changing experience. It was such an incredible and almost spiritual voyage and unlike anything experienced before.

"Helen would say our two-week cruise around the Western Caribbean on Seabourn Odyssey is about as good as cruising gets. Everything about that trip was almost perfect – even the weather behaved itself!"

Cruise holidays: "Rich would say the trip to the Galápagos Islands with Silversea was a life-changing experience." Credit: Shutterstock

Needless to say, the pair have fine-tuned the art of cruising and the key dos and don'ts of sailing.

Rich and Helen explain their number one piece of advice is to research before you book a cruise.

"We think that the three most important words are ‘research, research, research,’ they advise.

"Cruises are not cheap and if you’ve saved all year for that bucket list trip, you need to make sure that the ship, the destinations, the service, the food and much more, are as close to perfect before you board.

"That’s why we focus so hard on all these aspects in our videos, so others can really get a feel for a particular ship or cruise line or destination before committing their hard-earned cash.

"Absolutely nobody wants to come away from a ship disappointed. That said, there is a cruise out there to suit everybody’s desires and tastes. That’s why we believe Visit With Us and World of Cruising exist - to help them find it!"

Last but not least, the couple dished out glowing words of praise for World of Cruising which we couldn't help but share.

"Being subscribers to the World of Cruising magazine for many years, it’s so exciting to actually be a part of such a British cruising institution!" said Rich and Helen.

"The opportunity to share our content with a wider cruise-loving audience is incredibly exciting and we couldn’t think of a better partner to work with.

"Now we’ve had a little while to settle in, the team here at World of Cruising are so friendly, encouraging and eager to show the world just how brilliant cruising is, whatever the size of the ship or however exotic the location. We’re all enthusiasts, and that really does show!"

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