Cruise Radio gains a following

Cruise Radio, started in 2009 on a lark by a Florida radio personality who loves to cruise, has blossomed from just two dozen downloads initially to thousands of downloads per week in December, according to co-host Doug Parker.

In his weekly, half-hour show, Parker covers cruises and destinations, and interviews experts like consumer advocate Christopher Elliott. Last week’s guest was Norwegian Cruise Line president and ceo Kevin Sheehan who shared his experiences as CBS’s ‘Undercover Boss.’ Up next is a feature about Holland America Line’s Culinary Council of acclaimed master chefs.

The program that inspired the most heated response covered the Carnival Splendor fire, when Parker lined up interviews with passengers coming off the ship in San Diego. Audience reaction was split, he said, between listeners who praised the captain, cruise director and crew as heroes and others who thought Carnival could have done more.

After a decade in FM radio, working the morning and overnight slots, Parker ‘got tired of getting up at 3:45 a.m.’ He became hooked on cruising after sailing on Monarch of the Seas and looked for a way to combine his passions for radio and travel.

Co-host Matt Basford is a radio personality in Jacksonville, Fla., where Cruise Radio is based, and earlier worked in Top 40 radio in Chicago, Salt Lake City and New Orleans, as well as NPR in Los Angeles.

Social media are spreading the word about their show, and has syndicated it. Parker told Seatrade Insider he’s also talking to XM radio, the satellite giant, about syndication.

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