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Valerie Singleton will be a guest speaker on a three-night cruise on Regal Princess. Credit: Shutterstock

Valerie Singleton: The 'gorgeous men' she'd take on a cruise and her cruising loves

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Princess Cruises will welcome English television presenter Valerie Singleton onboard its Regal Princess ship this summer. This is what she loves about cruising.

Valerie Singleton, a TV and radio presenter, is best known as being the longest-serving presenter of the popular children's series Blue Peter.

She will be a guest speaker on a three-night cruise on Regal Princess, departing August 21.

Here she speaks to World of Cruising's Vicky Mayer about her cruise memories, top cruising tips and the "gorgeous men" she wishes she could take away with her.

Can you remember your first cruise?

Yes, it was a fabulous two-week cruise around the Greek islands, Turkey, Yugoslavia and Italy. It was a Chandris Cruise, the T.S.S. Fiesta, and it was in the late 1970s. It was in August and incredibly there were hardly any tourists anywhere. We almost had Ephesus to ourselves!

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Have you cruised with Princess before?

Yes, I cruised for the first time with Princess Cruises in 2019. I was asked to do a talk and flew from the UK to join the ship in Boston. From there we sailed up the coast of New England, stopping in Rockland which I loved. We then travelled to St John in New Brunswick and finally Novia Scotia. Apart from Boston, it was a part of the world I had never seen before.

Then, coming home, I enjoyed my very first crossing of the Atlantic by ship. Luckily it was a calm and blissfully peaceful six days. The ship was beautiful. My cabin was very comfortable and I was hugely impressed with the air conditioning system - so quick and simple to use.

The Atlantic crossing gave me a great chance to explore all the ship had to offer. I was still finding new corners and new things to do as we were about to leave.

What are you looking forward to on your Princess cruise this year?

Meeting new people, eating well, having a huge choice of things to do and seeing parts of Britain I may not know, from onboard the ship.

What do you love the most about cruising?

I love the fact you have one base - your cabin. And you can do everything there is on board or take one of the many tours ashore. There is always enough going on to keep you constantly occupied. Or, of course, you can do absolutely nothing at all and just sit back and take it easy.

Lord of the glens
Valerie Singleton: "The most unusual cruise I’ve ever experienced was on board the Lord of The Glens"

What would be your ideal cruise?

I’d definitely like to do an Arctic cruise. It looks so remote and beautiful and I love snow and winter landscapes.

Who would be your ideal cruise travelling companion?

I can think of a number of gorgeous men I wouldn't mind asking along… but how would we get on - that is the question? It must be someone I get along with easily - and who is content to do their own thing while I do mine. But actually, I’m quite happy travelling alone.

How many cruises have you been on and where to?

I have never actually counted them up but I’ve enjoyed a lot of cruises to some amazing parts of the globe. As well as the cruises I have already mentioned, I have also enjoyed trips on the Star Flyer and the Star Clipper. Most of these were to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, but the Star Flyer in 2004 was to Thailand and Malaysian Islands and the Andaman Sea, remote islands where most cruise ships are too large to go. It was amazing.

Over the years I have cruised with Saga, HAL, Crystal, Hurtigruten, Norwegian and P&O. The most unusual cruise I’ve ever experienced was on board the Lord of The Glens, where we travelled from Inverness to the Atlantic and the island of Iona.

Star clipper
Valerie Singleton: I have also enjoyed trips on the Star Flyer and the Star Clipper (pictured)"

What do you prefer – ocean or river cruising?

I have only done two river cruises. They are very different from a sea-going journey. There are more places to stop and visit on river cruises and constantly changing scenery, so always something to look at. I don’t think you get as much time to relax on a river cruise as an ocean one, but I did enjoy cruising the Rhine.

Do you get recognised when you cruise?

Yes, I’m always recognised by Brits. Though on one cruise three American ladies wanted a photo taken with them to send to their English relatives!

What would you tell someone who has never cruised before?

It’s a wonderful way to see lots of parts of the world in one go. You must try it at least once – I bet you’ll be hooked.

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What do you pack to take on a cruise with you?

Usually far too much! Of course, it depends where I am going but I try everything on (to make sure it still fits!) and try and mix and match my clothes to save space. Inevitably I will take something I never use and don’t take something that would have been ideal. But I do pack a suitcase well.

What do you like to eat on a cruise?

I like the buffet, where there is lots of choice (and seconds!) and I like flexible eating hours.

Where are you planning on cruising first when the Covid crisis is over?

To Belfast. I am not sure that we will be going ashore but as I have been to Belfast a few times that will not be too disappointing. I will be very happy to sit on deck and take it easy and absorb my surroundings.

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