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Who We Are

Avid Av”id, a. Longing eagerly for; eager. – Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary

Welcome to the Avid Cruiser! On this page, you’ll meet journalists who not only are passionate about cruising but also eager to help you make informed cruise vacation decisions.  We always welcome your feedback and your participation on the Avid Cruiser website.

Ralph Grizzle, THE Avid Cruiser

Ralph Grizzle (an avid cruiser)

Ralph Grizzle

I began my journalistic career at the age of 32, following the conclusion of my ‘sabbatical decade.’ From 1980 through 1990, I bicycled across America, pedaled through Europe and island-hopped the South Pacific.

After backpacking through Bali, bussing through Java, hopping a boat to Singapore and crossing Malaysia to Thailand, I flew into Burma, tramped to Dhaka and endured a 32-hour train ride from calamitous Calcutta to bustling Bombay.

From there, I hopped a plane for Greece and traveled to Switzerland before returning home, where I settled, quite naturally, into a career of travel writing.

One of the best known names in cruise writing, Ralph has been covering the industry for well over a decade and has sailed on more than 100 vessels. — Gene Sloan, USA Today

I make my home in Asheville, North Carolina and live part of the year near Copenhagen, Denmark.

When in Asheville, I enjoy mountain biking, hiking, lingering in coffee shops and frequent trips to the gorgeous Biltmore Estate.

When in Scandinavia, I enjoy biking, lingering in coffee shops and trying to learn Scandinavian words.

To get home in Scandinavia (from Copenhagen’s International Airport to Helsingborg, Sweden), I go to Hamlet’s Castle and hang a right. No kidding!

My work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and numerous consumer magazines. The North American Travel Journalism Association, awarded my article, Ship Shape, which appeared in the September 2005 issue of Hemispheres, in the category of ‘Best Cruise Writing.’

I am the author of four books, including Remembering Charles Kuralt,’ a biography that Publisher’s Weekly called ‘a sweet and lovely homage, a welcome commemoration.’

But enough about wonderful me. My goal is to provide you with content that engages you and compels you to return often. Thanks for stopping by . . .

Bon Voyage, Ralph Grizzle

Recent posts by Ralph Grizzle

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Andreas Lundgren, Hej From Sweden

At Sea In Sweden, Andreas Lundgren

A native of Sweden, Andreas Lundgren is on a quest to find the elusive “joie de vivre” wherever it might appear. One of the favorite places to experience it: on board a cruise ship.

After a decade as editor of the trade publication Cruise & Ferry Info, Andreas nowadays mainly covers the cruise industry for consumer publications.

Recent posts by Andreas Lundgren

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Aaron Saunders, From The Deck Chair

Standing Tall When Not In The Deck Chair, Aaron Saunders

Aaron Saunders has been firmly hooked on cruising since his parents took him on an Alaska cruise in 1998. The sea quickly became a second home for Aaron, who has since sailed numerous voyages on many of the major lines.

In addition to contributing to The Avid Cruiser and her sister-site, River Cruise Advisor, he is the author and editor of From the Deck Chair, a daily blog dedicated to everything exciting about cruise ships and the cruise industry. A true ship buff, he focuses on ship-related material, and has made it a personal mission to photograph the interiors, top-to-bottom, of as many cruise ships as he can.

Recently, Aaron has brought From the Deck Chair to The Province, Vancouver, British Columbia’s most-read newspaper. His column appears in the Travel section every Sunday.

His professional career began almost a decade ago in the film and television industry, where he has been an Offline Editor for more than a dozen different animated television shows, including the award-winning Atomic Betty.  He is also the director and editor of Return to Antarctica, a documentary detailing the final days of Robert Falcon Scott’s doomed 1910 Polar Expedition as seen through the eyes of Canadian Charles Seymour Wright.

Born in snowy, land-locked Calgary, Aaron now calls Vancouver, British Columbia home when he’s not sailing the seven seas.

Recent posts by Aaron Saunders

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Art Sbarsky, Cruise Exec Turned Cruiser

Art Color Tux Portrait 012505

Dapper Art Sbarsky

Before entering the cruise industry, Art Sbarsky was a senior advertising executive at Foote, Cone and Belding. In 1988, Art became the senior vice president of marketing for Crystal Cruises, leaving in 1996 for the same role with Celebrity Cruises.

As with Crystal, Art was instrumental in the evolution of the Celebrity brand. In 1998, Art moved to Norwegian Cruise Line as Executive Vice President with responsibilities for marketing, sales and, revenue management.

Since 2000, Art has remained involved in the travel industry through consulting, writing and charity work. He is a widely published travel writer for many well-known consumer magazines, newspapers, cruise guidebooks, travel agent publications, and of course,

Recent posts by Art Sbarsky

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Geoff Edwards, A Laugh A Minute

Geoff Edwards

Geoff Edwards, Always Smiling

Geoff is a veteran radio and television broadcaster with an Emmy and an Emmy nomination. Geoff is an experienced world traveler and avid cruiser whose sense of humor adds a special flavor to each travel experience. Read more about Geoff Edwards on Wikipedia.

Recent posts by Geoff Edwards

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Bob Ecker, Cruising With Wine

Bob Ecker, Cruising With Wine

Bob Ecker, Cruising With Wine

Because wine is such an integral element to the full enjoyment of time at sea, The Avid Cruiser introduces “Cruising With Wine,” penned by Bob Ecker.

A Napa, California based wine writer whose work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines worldwide, Bob is constantly on the go, traveling the world, sampling new wines and uncorking emerging regions.

Click below for Bob’s wine columns.

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