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Credit: Cunard/Jennie Bond

Jennie Bond on cruising with George Clooney and the one 'treat' she's allowed

Author: Vicky Mayer

Published on:

Jennie Bond, 71, is most well known as a journalist and television presenter - and now she's taken up a new role within the cruising world.

Jennie Bond is an Ambassador for UK travel agency ROL Cruise - and a big fan of cruises herself.

We caught up with royal expert Jennie about how she can’t wait to resume life on the ocean wave – with or without a certain Mr Clooney.

When did you first cruise?

It was more than 20 years ago that my love affair with cruising began, when I set off for the Canary Islands aboard the QE2 with my husband Jim and our daughter Emma. We didn’t know what to expect, and we wondered what Emma, who was only seven, would make of it.

But we needn’t have worried. I felt then, as I still do today, that stepping aboard a cruise ship is like walking through an invisible curtain into a surreal world of luxury. And while we relaxed, Emma was soon immersed in the Kids Club. We were hooked!

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Who is your ideal cruise companion?

Assuming George Clooney is unavailable, my absolute ideal companion is, of course, my husband Jim.

We’ve travelled the world together over many years and we always seem to have something to talk about at dinner.

We usually take a few laps around the deck together in the morning or evening, and after dinner, we sometimes go to a show, or just sit quietly with a glass of something delicious listening to a pianist while we play cards. Bliss!

- READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Cunard -

Tell us a little about your cruise adventures...

On that very first trip aboard [Cunard cruise ship] QE2 I was astonished by the number of people who proudly told me they’d been on 20, 30 or even 50 cruises. But now I’ve joined the ranks of those who simply can’t remember how many amazing adventures they’ve enjoyed.

We’ve been lucky enough to go to the Far East, Australia, South Africa, and the US. But perhaps the most exciting of all was when ROL Cruise helped us arrange a voyage to Antarctica. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us, and one we will never forget.

Antarctica
"The most exciting [cruise] of all was when ROL Cruise helped us arrange a voyage to Antarctica." Credit: Shutterstock

What’s the single best thing about cruising?

Travel is always exciting but getting about can be an exhausting hassle, so one of the great pleasures of cruising is that once you’re aboard, that’s it.

You can unpack, pop your suitcases under the bed and look forward to visiting lots of new countries without having to move a muscle.

I shall never lose the thrill of drawing back the curtains and finding that a new destination has magically appeared while I was wined, dined, entertained and then lulled to sleep by the ship’s engines.

What do you pack for a cruise?

Sometimes I take my poshest ballgowns, sometimes just sundresses and shorts. For the Antarctic, it was obviously more a case of thermals!

Suitcase min
Jennie Bond packs her "poshest ballgowns, sometimes just sundresses and shorts" when cruising. Credit: Shutterstock

Which do you prefer – ocean or river cruising?

I hadn’t tried river cruising until a few years ago, when Jim and I took a trip down the Rhine, again with ROL Cruise.

We were captivated – life on board was so luxurious and there was so much to see and learn about the towns and castles we visited.

- READ MORE: Six of the best Rhine cruises for spring and summer 2022 -

What do you like to eat when you’re on board?

Breakfast in our room, on the balcony if we’re lucky enough to have one. Dinner is always a treat but we’ve learned over the years to resist eating everything in sight. Cruises are the one time I allow myself the treat of a Chateaubriand steak – but no dessert.

Steak
Jennie Bond: "Cruises are the one time I allow myself the treat of a Chateaubriand steak – but no dessert." Credit: Shutterstock

Where will you cruise when the Covid crisis is over?

Anywhere we are allowed to go! The first opportunities will be around the UK, and we live on a beautiful island that many of us have never fully explored.

But my ideal choice would be somewhere new, warm and full of wildlife. Madagascar is definitely on my wish list – but one day I hope we’ll go right around the world.

Jennie Bond is an Ambassador for ROL Cruise’s Cruise Miles programme. For more information, see rolcruise.co.uk/save-with-cruise-miles

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