An Interview With Sam

July 4, 2008 -

John Heald

After a little delay I am proud to post an interview with one of the most recognizable faces in travel………..Samantha Brown.

Here are her answers to my questions which I know you will all enjoy.

1. Hello Samantha. Firstly, let me tell you that all the crew watch your programs on the Travel Channel and you should know that you have fans from 50 different countries which the crew represent. Secondly, can you tell us about your career so far?

Thanks you so much for watching!! As Travel Channel’s primary travel maven, I have visited dozens of countries, hundreds of cities and stayed in countless hotels around the world. Presently, I am exploring the perfect travel destinations for weekend getaways in the most recent edition to PASSPORT travel series, PASSPORT TO GREAT WEEKENDS. Additionally, this summer, I will turn my focus toward Asia in PASSPORT TO CHINA.

Previously, in PASSPORT TO LATIN AMERICA, I took viewers to 20 cities, revealing the colorful landscapes and warm populations in the magnificent countries of Latin America. Prior to that, I immersed myself in European culture traveling to 65 destinations from magnificent capitals to tiny mountain top villages and ancient seacoast towns in PASSPORT TO EUROPE. Before the PASSPORT series, I hosted several popular programs on Travel Channel, staying in GREAT HOTELS and visiting other people’s GREAT VACATION HOMES to see how they live. She also discovered the extraordinary beauty of the Hawaiian culture in GIRL MEETS HAWAII. Above all, I truly enjoy showing viewers how extraordinary it is to be a part of everyday life in another part of the world and how a language barrier can sometimes be a bridge to a deeper communication.

2. Before we talk about cruising can I ask you a simple question? After traveling the world is there anywhere you have not been that you still are desperate to visit and is there anywhere you have been that wild horses couldn’t drag you back to.

Absolutely, I want to go to Japan. As for a place I wouldn’t go back to? Hmmmmm-there really isn’t such a place.

3. I understand that you recently sailed on the Carnival Inspiration. Can you tell us about your experience and what the highlights were?

What I remember most was how impressed I was with the crew. I have been on many cruise ships and I found the staff on this Carnival cruise to be one of the best most professional and incredibly personable crews I have worked with. I was disappointed that I couldn’t get down to the crew bar.

4. As a travel guru or should it be goddess……anyway, as someone who understands the travel industry more than most why do you think cruising continues to be such a popular vacation choice?

It just takes all the hardships that can come with travel: checking in and out of hotels, language barriers and simple, yet not so simple meal and sightseeing planning and makes it as easy as cake. It really is the least stressful way to travel. Now of course as I say that I will say the crew on a cruise ship works harder than anyone else in the hospitality industry. My gosh, we know we, as passengers can drive you nuts and you never let that show.

5. I understand you met the Captain which I am sure must have been a great experience.
Please tell us about that and has there been anyone you have met in your travels that has left a special and permanent impression on you.

Everyday people make the biggest impression on me. I always say that what makes my job amazing is that I get to experience someone else’s everyday life that to me is extraordinary. One of the most special people I met just walking in Peru. With very few words between us we had a wonderful conversation. At the end I told him my name was Samantha. His eyes lit up and he brought his finger to his nose and wiggled it. Just like in Bewitch. I don’t think anyone has given me the nose wiggle in 25 years.

6. I have seen you try many different local and traditional dishes during your assignments. Was there anything you thought would taste ghastly and was in fact yummy and has there been anything that had you looking for the nearest paper bag?

I ate barnacles in Zihuatanejo that looked like the fingers with long nails, I thought I was going to be reaching for the brown paper bag on that one, but it tasted like lobster.

7. You spend a lot of time in airports and airplanes. With flying getting more and more strenuous, do you have any tips on making the experience less strenuous?

Earplugs, I never leave home without them. People buy the $300 noise cancelling headphones but the 2 buck type work just as well. They don’t block out all the noise just quiets all the airport announcements that don’t pertain to you, screaming children and those who seem to need to shout on their cell phones.

8. Have your travels ever put you in danger?

I’m always doing things that are on the cusp and certainly have to sign a lot of insurance waivers. Probably one of the craziest things I agreed to do was a stunt in a Cirque du Soleil show. It was aerial ballet and I was wrapped up in these 80 foot long nylon ribbons then hoisted 30 feet above the floor. There were no safety lines as they could possibly tangle and therefore be very dangerous. Once at a certain height I let go and the ribbons would completely unravel causing me to spin until the bundled ribbons caught me. I don’t know if I am explaining clearly but it was pretty scary.

9. Okay, time for some fun. Please can you give us your personal favorites by filling in the blanks:

Favourite thing to do onboard a Carnival ship: sing at the Piano bar

Favourite European destination: Berlin

Favourite North American destination:
Brooklyn, New York

Favourite Asian destination: Xi’an, China

Favourite hotel anywhere: Shutters by the Beach, Santa Monica

If you could speak one language fluently that you currently cannot what would it be: Spanish

Here she is and lets all thank her for the wonderful answers.

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.