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We finished all our remaining episodes of The Cruise yesterday evening and we’ve just watched the first of the Jane McDonald programmes so here’s a quick report on what we thought of them.

We watched three episodes of The Cruise last night, and I think we enjoyed them more than we did the first three. It’s always interesting trying to work out why the producers have picked the people to highlight that they did, and also to wonder about the people they didn’t pick. I can see why they picked Timothy, and also Scott the the hotel engineer. Not only personable individually, they worked well as a contrast – Timothy was generally rather over the top but Scott came over as an enthusiastic ‘ordinary bloke’. I’m not sure about Nico the kitchen worker who wanted to work on reception – I never thought that was going to work, and to be honest I found myself cringing a bit during the segments with him. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t enjoy the first few programmes so much, and why the final set seemed better.

That said, I thought the content was more interesting in the second half of the series. Without Nico to shepherd, Timothy came more into his own; I liked the scenes with the rest of the guest services team (the sequence with the bags that had been dropped in the water); and while the ‘poo tank’ section was perhaps more information than I really needed it was visually good and revealed some more of the hidden side of the ship. I also enjoyed the glimpses we saw of the bridge  during the sequences with Lauren, the newly-arrived second officer. So for me the series improved as it went along, and I could enjoy another one next year.

We didn’t know what to make of the Jane McDonald programme, however. It’s the first time I’ve really encountered her and she definitely comes across as a larger-than-life person. I enjoyed that aspect of the programme, but I wasn’t sure about the things we saw; the way she spent her time during the cruise. (Although the shark sequence was good.) Of course, it’s very possible that what we saw was a fair reflection of a 7-night Caribbean cruise out of Miami on a big MSC ship…. in which case, I don’t think it’s for me! But the programmes to come will feature cruises of different types – we’re promised a Hebridean islands cruise (possibly on Hebridean Princess?); a river cruise; and an Alaska cruise, on what looked like a Holland America ship – and those will probably generate rather different programmes. Roll on the next programme!

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