Season’s Greetings 2023

A seasonal message from Jean and Stuart.

The 2023 year is nearly done, and I look back at the list of things I wanted to do and see it is incomplete yet again, however, when I look at what we did and where we went… what an amazing year. We added quite a few port guides to DorisVisits.

But first let me take time to thank all our Moderators and the Chat Group Experts who make the groups such fun. Thank you again, and as always we will not interfere but listen and support these groups so they remain healthy. Please share, and thank your group leaders.

We started filming this year in South America. It was a bucket list dream to visit Brazil, and we have no idea why. It is just one of those places with a magical appeal. Brazil is huge, it has great beaches and we loved RIO. We spent an overnight there and we could have done more. We also took in Cabo Frio and Montenegro, so made films on those too.

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And then visited a port I also had always wanted to go to and never had – and we did it twice, on two different ships TRIESTE. It has started to pop up because fewer ships are going to Venice, and this is close – hold on. No, it’s not. Two things to take on board here, and we have two films on Trieste – one, it is a great port in its own right. And two, Venice is a couple of hours away. To make it work it is a long day in port, but it will be a long day to get there however you travel. Trieste itself should not be ignored.
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We stopped in Messina having always sailed strait passed it (deliberate pun). There are a few places where you stop and just like it. Messina was one. Now we have seen it we will visit a nearby village next time, if there is a next time and you do look at the globe and wonder if you will ever get back to some of these wonderful places.
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We also managed to get into a port we had sailed past twice before because of bad weather – yes we got into Mykonos. I think we have been on three cruises before that listed Mykonos and not got in. We have yet to ever get into Santorini, which is on our bucket list. Mykonos was lovely but is small and easily seen. We went in by shuttle but came back by the small boat ferry.
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And we ended the year with another bucket list adventure, Iceland and our visit to the Blue Lagoon. Last in the year was somewhat incorrectly named Iceland. It is a place of hot springs and as we show from the films made there, you don’t have to do the spa visit in Reykjavik, and the museum on the hill is just a museum and you don’t go all that way to see a representative show of what is outside.
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We still get asked why Doris? I have added an answer to the front page of the website so people can then research the answer.
Some know Jean and I, we have appeared on maybe 50 cruises over the years, but those who ask who we are and what we do, or did, I have expanded the ABOUT US and I am bringing some of the videos from our film sites under one roof. Trust me that is a nightmare, because we get copyright strikes from robots. If you see us vanish, robots won … but I am not breaching their copyright. I own all my films, made them and wrote them, and licensed the distributors. 
Then our cruise novel series started to get noticed and was added by a couple of book clubs – being film people we did not know about GoodReads, Bookbub and others, but we now have an author profile in those. To chase all the book clubs and bloggers would be a full time job and there are ports to visit.

The bookclub members suggested a cover change to Cruise Ship Heist – The new cover caused a wave and it hit number 1 in the Amazon chart over and over and gained the badge as an Amazon Best Selling Author. Thank you to all those who have enjoyed and reviewed the books on the Amazon product page, and come up and chatted when finding me in the lounge bar writing. I never mind being disturbed and love chatting.


Solo Cruiser is book 5 in the series but is a great standalone twisted crime about to happen that fills you with dread and confusion about Violet, a disturbed woman who escapes her medical care and takes her first cruise. Paperback out January 2024

It inspired me to rewrite book 5, out this week as Solo Cruiser. It’s the same book as before just so much better.

Then I finished book 7 which will be out early next year, Cruise Ship Murder Reunion. I also started book 8, which will be completed in the lounge at sea in the spring, and released at the end of 2024. It has a wedding at sea and a disaster.

The jobs list may be incomplete, but it has not been a bad year. Where did you cruise? Please share on the chat groups, and please review Cruise Ship Heist.
Just finished and with editors, this is a very revealing book. Out in 2024, so much is explained. However, if you have never read any of the CSCI novels, this is the one to read if you are only going to read one.

At the end of 2023, we were proud to see our daughter Laura Aikman playing Dyan Cannon in the ITVX hit series Archie. Due to work, she has yet to cruise. Rarely gets to do a holiday she books. However, she has worked on the cruise novels. She was a huge critic and helped on the first few CSCI books, including Cruise Ship Heist. Her character work is of great assistance, which you would expect from an actress. When I was directing movies I always had actors aiding the creation of characters as I held the plot and direction of the product together. In the novels, the CSCI agents and cruisers only exist in my head, although many are now established characters. The likes of Wild Mary, the owner of the American diner next door is hugely popular which as my soap opera training tells me, means she could be bumped off.

No, I can reveal, even through to the end of book 8 Wild Mary survives – maybe further.
My son Luke has been a great support as always and has helped with cover designs and also two grandchildren that he lets us share. They have reduced our ability to cruise but enhanced our lives. Our dream for next year is to get us all on the same ship at the same time. This is, without doubt, the huge growth in cruising, the vertically integrated family holiday where three or four generations cruise together. We have tried before and failed… watch this space.
What that means to cruising is that these huge ships are available during the non-school holidays for adult cruising so the industry increases in size each year. I have no idea how land-based hotels compete with what ships offer and at the prices they do. The simple answer is that they don’t and can’t.
Next year I will be doing book signings as part of the InSights program on Cunard on both the new Queen Anne and QM2. I will be joining Viking for the first time and hope to be back on the P&O ships in the summer. I see dates being discussed, but have learned that it is best to look at my diary week by week.
The current list of chat sites is on our home page, but you know how to find them. It is our port guides that we will continue to deliver so you can see the cruise before you cruise the sea, and also share and remember where you have been.
Don’t forget the celebrity interviews at home with cruise guests celeb speakers. They are on Doris Visits too. I see many over Christmas at functions, those of us who are still standing… another one of my old pop videos!
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Please share our best wishes with other cruisers as we say thank you to all those who supported, helped and contributed to Doris Visits in 2023.
Enjoy life, enjoy cruising, it is not a rehearsal.
Have a great holiday season.
Jean and Stuart.