1. Where’s Walter Travel Paul C. Thornton 59:21

I am delighted to welcome this week to The Joy of Cruising Podcast, Walter Biscardi, Founder of Where’s Walter Travel. Sometimes I mention passionate cruisers I interview who moved me to add a destination or experience or vessel to my ever-expanding bucket list, or to book one already on my bucket list. Walter was one such passionate cruiser who moved me to booking a cruise on Virgin Voyages. Here’s the thing; I hadn’t interviewed him. I met Walter on YouTube where I incessantly watch cruise videos, even with the sound down when I am recording or editing a podcast episode or just listening to music. I happened upon a video where Walter was reviewing every food venue on Virgin Voyages, which was on my bucket list. Walter seemed so genuine and impressed by the food. Most importantly, he was persuasive. Shortly after viewing that video we booked Scarlet Lady for our first cruise on Virgin Voyages next month! 


Since viewing Walter’s Virgin Voyages video, we’ve become not just friends and followers of each other on social media, but collaborators. Where’s Walter Travel is The Joy of Cruising Podcast’s Travel Agent Partner. So, shameless plug, you can now book your cruises through The Joy of Cruising Podcast www.thejoyofcruising.net!


Walter is relatively new to the travel business; yet, I wanted him as a guest on The Joy of Cruising Podcast based on the difference he has made in the 15 months or so he has been involved in cruising. Walter’s appeal is mainly as a cruise content creator who I have found that I can relate to mainly because of his relevant and incisive commentary, outstanding production quality, and frankly, his ‘everyman’ persona depicted on his videos. As we became friends, I learned of hisbackground prior to becoming a Travel Agent: over 30 years in film, television, and marketing. Walter owned creative agencies in Atlanta for 20 years. Heard of the Food Networks’ Good Eats with Alton Brown? Walter was fortunate to be a part of Peabody Awards for the show. Wow.

Walter started Where's Walter TikTok in December 2021. He wanted to offer honest information about cruising so folks could make an informed decision on whether to take a cruise, noting, “There was so much bad and incorrect information out there as cruising restarted.” By April 2022 his audience started asking him to become a Travel Agent. In October 2022, Where's Walter Travel was launched and realized virtually immediate success. 

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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.