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Paul & Cheryl’s Virgin Voyages, Scarlet Lady Transatlantic Cruise Reflections

  1. Paul & Cheryl’s Virgin Voyages, Scarlet Lady Transatlantic Cruise Reflections Paul C. Thornton 36:09

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This week on The Joy of Cruising Podcast we want to share our reflections on our recent cruise—a transatlantic on Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady—Miami to the Med. Not a review, YouTube can do a much better job than us, but just our random reflections. 


The cruise starts with 8 sea days, so we will be trying so much of the award-winning food we have heard so much about. This cruise was special in a couple of ways. As you know from a podcast we did a couple of months ago, we are on a quest in 24/25 to check some items off of our overflowing bucket list. This cruise allowed us to check a couple items off the bucket list, namely, it was our 1st transatlantic, and our 1st time experiencing Virgin Voyages. Enjoy!

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Paul C. Thornton started writing at 58 years old incited by the task of delivering a father-of-the-bride speech at his daughter’s wedding. Told to talk about memories of Kina growing up; among Disney trips, high school sports, proms, and first boyfriends, Paul divulged the most powerful memory of all, when Kina was six and his life changed forever. At the end of the talk—as they say—"there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.” It was both liberating and cathartic to release secrets that had tortured Paul for 30 years. Needing to hold on to that feeling of release and empowerment, when he returned to his hotel Paul started his memoir, provocatively titled White Man’s Disease.

Paul’s just completed book, The Joy of Cruising Again, is his fourth; the third in The Joy of Cruising trilogy, and follow-up to the fun, upbeat, award-winning The Joy of Cruising, and Cruising Interrupted. The Joy of Cruising Again is the finale of the series but Paul won’t give up his passion. Besides continuing to cruise as much as possible, Paul hosts The Joy of Cruising Podcast, a weekly conversation with one of the dozens of passionate cruisers featured in the books and other global cruise personalities.

The cruise-themed books are a stark departure from Paul’s debut: White Man’s Disease, a memoir described as “gripping and inspiring” in the press release announcing it as the winner of the North Street Book Prize for Memoir and Creative Nonfiction about Paul’s harrowing brush with death, the journey of recovery from trauma, resilience and ultimately transformation. White Man’s Disease is at once poignant, sad, tragic, funny, and compelling. (And, if I could get a dollar for everyone who asks what White Man’s Disease means, I would be a wealthy man!) Despite their very different subjects, at the heart of White Man’s Disease and The Joy of Cruising Trilogy is passion and how passionate people do wondrous things. Paul just started a sequel to White Man’s Disease; a fun, and hopefully inspirational tale called Gracefully. In addition, he is planning a podcast series that deconstructs White Man’s Disease.

Paul is originally from Brooklyn and Long Island, New York. After serving in the US Army and simultaneously earning a bachelor's degree in business, he attained his MBA and then spent concurrently, 17 years in corporate management, and 23 years in small business ownership. After leaving corporate, he started a career in higher ed. He earned a doctorate, attained tenure as a business professor, and subsequently moved into administration in Dean or Executive Director positions before retiring in 2021.

Paul lives in Mooresville, North Carolina with his wife Cheryl and considers cruising with their children and grandchildren life’s ultimate escape. Paul longs to cruise as much as the people he writes about in The Joy of Cruising Trilogy.

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