Celebrity interview: Christopher Biggins - Cruise International

Celebrity interview: Christopher Biggins

By Claire Benktander | 8 Sep 2022

Christopher Biggins

We caught up with actor and TV personality Christopher Biggins about his love for cruising and his recent voyage on board Sky Princess

 

Are you a big cruise fan? Where have you travelled by cruise ship and which moments or places stand out the most in your memory?

Christopher Biggins

My partner Neil and I have cruised a great deal over the years. I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the world as part of my work, including conducting lectures on cruise ships. When I won I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2007, part of my prize was a fabulous cruise.

Incredibly, it was [the Cunard ship] Queen Elizabeth 2’s final farewell to Australia. We flew to South America where we embarked Queen Elizabeth 2 and sailed to Tonga, Tahiti and Easter Island, where we took an excursion to see the giant statue heads which are surreal. We then continued to New Zealand and Australia.

It was truly memorable as, as we sailed into Sydney, everyone came out to say goodbye to the QEII; it was spectacular. There were a flotilla of boats spraying water in the air and the sound of foghorns. We truly felt part of cruising history. But the thing that really stuck with me was when she crossed paths with her successor Queen Mary 2 as she sailed out of Sydney Harbour.

What is your favourite thing about a cruise holiday and why?

I can’t narrow it to one favourite thing as there are so many reasons why cruising is my holiday of choice. The first thing is that you unpack once and that’s it, no fuss. The second thing is that we get to meet new people when cruising, and I love that. We have made some lovely friends over the years and it makes cruising very special.

I also think the staff deserve a mention as no matter where we have been, the staff on board are always spectacular and work so hard to put us at ease and relax; we don’t have to lift a finger! No matter if you’re in an inside cabin or a suite, the staff always make you feel special.

What’s the first thing you do when you board a ship?

Christopher Biggins

It’s always exciting to embark a ship and discover your suite and tour around the decks to find your bearings. Every ship is different, however I then always seek out the spa to discover what treatments are available.

With your recent Sky Princess cruise, what most impressed you about the places you visited?

ROL Cruise arranged for Neil and me to cruise in the West Caribbean on the Sky Princess, and it was fantastic! The ship, being one of its most recent launches, feels so luxurious in every way – from the public areas and restaurants to the suite we stayed in. It was so spacious, even our bathroom had a separate bath, shower, two vanity sinks and even two toilets.

The space was most surprising. As far as the itinerary, we had about six or seven stops, including Costa Maya, Cozumel, Belize and the Island of Roatan to name a few: we were mesmerised by the turquoise seas throughout our trip.

There were packed excursion programmes for those wanting to explore each stop, however for us, we enjoyed relaxing in our own private cabana, taking in the hugely varied entertainment throughout the ship, or visiting the spa, which we did each day.

What were your favourite aspects on board the ship?

Princess Domestic Cruises

Sky Princess. Credit: Princess Cruises

For me, the Lotus Spa was a favourite; it is quite extraordinary. I have not been to as good a spa as I have on dry land. It’s huge and is a wonderful way to escape – we went there every day to try a new treatment, have a manicure and pedicure. The detoxifying seaweed massage was brilliant and so very luxurious. In fact, the list of treatments was endless; we were spoilt for choice.

We were also very impressed with the technology – it’s like looking into the future! When you embark you’re given a medallion that you wear around your neck or in a watch strap, and it lets you automatically pay for things. And when you approach your cabin, it recognises you from your medallion and automatically opens the door. It is a brilliant way to travel and I got the impression that a lot of the passengers like the technology, and feel it is rather special.

As someone in the entertainment business, how do you think cruise entertainment has changed over the years?

The shows are just out of this world. The stages are so impressive and the productions were even better; I’ve worked on the stage for many years and I am impressed at the professional productions that are on offer.

For example on the Sky Princess, it has an incredible large theatre with dynamic stage features, just like the West End and an amazing cast of singers, dancers, comedians and magic acts. It has everything you could possibly wish for and on the whole I was truly impressed with the standard of the entertainment; there is something for all family. Entertainment is everywhere.

Where are you travelling next and which places are still on your travel wish list?

Christopher Biggins

I’m a Sagittarian so I’m a typical traveller! We have our bows and arrows and we like to fire them somewhere far away so there’s always a new destination on my travel wish list. A river cruise is one; they’re much more intimate and I really enjoyed travelling along the Mekong several years ago. I would also love to return to Australia and also visit parts of Asia, including India. I have also thought about combining a rail and cruise at some point and the Rocky Mountaineer looks very appealing.

Currently we don’t have any cruises planned as I’m returning to pantomime this year, playing the Dame in Peter Pan at Darlington’s Hippodrome. I started my career in Darlington and I’m delighted to have been invited back this year, so once the panto season has concluded, we will most certainly head away somewhere warm. I’ll be talking to ROL Cruise to help me, I’m sure.

What advice might you have for someone who hasn’t cruised before?

One thing I would say to someone who is thinking of going on a cruise… go for it! It is the most wonderful experience, and you won’t regret it. In fact, once you start cruising, you quickly become hooked – it’s marvellous! ROL Cruise is on my speed-dial! My other tip is not to pack too much; you won’t need half of what you take so travel light, sit back and bon voyage!

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