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The cruise headed for sh*t creek

When a mediocre time isn’t an option.

Meet James Marshall, a twenty something year old guy who’s been slogging it out literally building an empire at Marshall Developments. OK, exaggeration – it’s not what he’s all about, but man he’s done an impressive job! He’s no novice to travel, but with four businesses and a young family, he hasn’t had a lot of downtime.

So when he does take a break, it needs to be special. 

No questions about it… or he’ll whip the holiday into shape too! In fact, that’s exactly what happened when a long-awaited cruise decided to detour up sh*t creek instead.

When James’ mother-in-law wanted to go on a cruise with their big Italian family for her 50th birthday and his then unborn son Leo was on the way, it seemed the perfect occasion to celebrate together. So they booked it well in advance, did their research and made sure everything was in order to accommodate the large group and any age restrictions for the baby. They knew the cruise line they wanted to travel, Royal Caribbean, because they’d cruised with the company before and knew what to expect, and they were headed for the South Pacific islands. Beautiful! Until it wasn’t.

All excited for their trip, the group flew to Sydney to board the ship, arrived as planned,

only to find out there was a cyclone off the coast of Queensland which meant that the ship would need to detour.

That wouldn’t usually be such an issue, if not for infants not being allowed to be at sea for more than two days without docking. With everyone in panic stations and having been waiting for hours in queue already, there was nothing further that the ship staff could do – they couldn’t board. And James had to put this project management hat on and steer the metaphorical ship himself.

A guy doesn’t head up as many projects as he does without great contacts and solid decision making in the face of a curve ball. After all, it was going to be their first time away together as an extended family (including the apple of their eyes – his son) and a big-0 celebration that needed to be just so. Because life should be. But it turned out it also has to be a little crazy in order to be fun – certainly for James anyway. So with his travel agent on the phone he made the executive decision to fly to Queensland and head to Noosa for an impromptu holiday instead.

After heart rates settled, it was probably one of the best trips they’d all had. Because they were together. They were able to disconnect – from work, from distractions, from phones. And reconnect with eachother – have conversations about things that they never knew about eachother. James says he noticed mannerisms and quirks about each family member that he never picked up on. This from people that have been in eachother’s lives seemingly forever!

So was it worth the drama? James says absolutely. Would he plan a cruise again? With the right people by his side – for sure.

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