Magazine article Marketing

The Bluffer's Guide

Magazine article Marketing

The Bluffer's Guide

Article excerpt

Find the pointy end and avoid pitching on the train back: Ken Gofton looks at the do's and don'ts of life on the ocean wave

Signalmen permitting, there's a special train from Waterloo to the quayside, which is definitely the way to go. Some will be reminded of going back to schoo for the autumn term. They can stuff themselves with cream cakes on the train, and walk up and down the corridors greeting old chums: "Do anything interesting in the hols?"

The first big get-together is the lifeboat drill. This is mandatory, though delegates probably pay as little attention to it as they do to the safety instructions on aircraft. They're still greeting each other in amazed tones: "I didn't know you were coming." Least promising chat line: "If we have to head fo the lifeboats, I'll keep you a seat next to me."

It's easy to get disorientated on board, particularly at first, so keep a pocke map handy. It's quite possible to find yourself walking along an endless corridor, in completely the wrong direction. The answer: head up to the deck, you can then quickly identify the pointy end.

Cruise ships are the last bastion of formality. The dress code is formal during the day and very formal (dinner jackets) every night. For men who don't run to three dress shirts, a pack of Persil could be the essential accessory. Women can't go wrong with the boring but safe Little Black Dress. And, if you're caught in a tracksuit, pretend you're about to go jogging round the deck.

Speaking of which, at least one keep-fit fanatic was very disappointed with las year's Marketing Forum. The pool was empty, the gym much smaller than she was used to. "Three whole days without a proper workout," she complained on the homeward journey. "It will take me weeks to get back in condition." Hers may have been a lone voice.

Some will miss communication with the outside world more than they'll miss thei daily jog. …

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