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Dear Costa Cruises…

Hi, my name is Niall Doherty. Nice to meet you. Virtual handshake and all that.

Listen, I’m trying to travel around the world without flying, started more than a year ago from Ireland. Right now I’m in India, hoping to get to Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, it’s proving very difficult. I’ve looked into overland routes via Nepal and Pakistan, contacted dozens of cargo ship companies, and even made a trip to the only marina on the subcontinent to see if I could hitch a ride on a sail boat. So far, all those efforts have been in vain. Sad face.

Oh, but hey! Look at you with your lovely big cruise ship named the Costa neoRomantica, headed to the south of India as we speak. I see that your fine, sea-faring vessel makes a stop in Cochin on November 11th, and then docks in Phuket five days later.

I couldn’t have dreamed it better!

So, how about having me aboard for those few days? I understand you don’t typically let passengers embark mid-cruise, but I also know exceptions can and have been made in the past. Just yesterday I spoke with the lead dude at the marina in Cochin, a legend of a chap named Jose who looks like James Earl Jones would look if James Earl Jones was Indian, and he assured me that I can get stamped out by the immigration office inΒ Cochin no problem, just like they do for the foreign sail boat folks.

I would of course be willing to pay my way, not looking for a free ride or anything.

To sweeten the deal on your side, I’d also be happy to write about my cruise experience here on the blog. I get 20,000 hits a month, so that’s potentially 40,000 eyes reading about the great time I had on my Costa Cruise. Oh, and I could also record a video while aboard, like I did for Royal Caribbean earlier this year. More than 600 people have watched that video on YouTube. And these aren’t just any ordinary people reading my blog and watching my videos, but really cool people who love to travel and don’t get seasick[1. Seriously, have you seen how shaky my videos are?].

So, what say you, Costa Cruises? You know this is a great deal: nothing to lose and some excellent, grassroots publicity to gain. And you have to admit, we look so happy together…

Imagine me and you, I do, I think about you day and night…

I’ve already emailed you via your website and apparently my request has been sent along to HQ. But the clock is ticking away relentlessly, hence this public appeal.

You can contact me by email, or give me a call here in India: +91 960 002 4863.

Looking forward to cruising with you πŸ™‚

UPDATE: 24 Hours Later

Email from Costa’s PR people:


Costa is going to make this happen.

We are covering the cost of your cabin. You will be responsible for port charges (approx. 129 euros), gratuities (11 euros/day), Internet time and any incidental on-board expenses (bar tab, spa treatments, merchandize).

I need from you your full name, nationality, date of birth and passport number.

Go see James Earl Jones regarding visas, etc.

We’re excited about the PR possibilities.

AH-MAZING! I’ll be in Thailand in two weeks! Thanks so much for the help spreading the word, everyone. They couldn’t ignore 450+ social media mentions. So grateful.

The adventure continues πŸ™‚

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  1. Amazing! That is so cool. Such an inspiration for all of us about what is possible in this world if only you ask…

    Keep up the GREAT work.

  2. Thanks again everyone for the help. If you haven’t heard yet, Costa heard our call and have offered me a free cabin aboard that ship. Yeah! I’M GOING TO THAILAND!


    So happy that I’ve decided to triple the prize and send out two extra $200 Amazon vouchers. Just contacted the randomly chosen winners.

    Thanks again!

  3. Niall: Just a reminder of this Ira Glass quote “Great stories happen to those who can tell them”. You continue to inspire me as you meet each new challenge. Very pleased that the individual at Costa saw that in you (and your story) too! All your New Orleans Toastmaster friends wish you well. Jeff

  4. Shared! I don’t know why it never occurred to me before that @ would tag people on Facebook just like Twitter… Learn something new every day. Thanks Niall!

  5. Janice Sangha Mitra

    Big Thanks Niall, I didn’t know about the “@” for Like Pages on FB. Have now posted you and Costa! Best of Luck! πŸ™‚

  6. Posted on my page and as a “message” on their FB page as well. Hope they get you on there. Otherwise it’s a long swim. πŸ™‚

  7. Posted on my page and as a “message” on their FB page as well. Hope they get you on there. Otherwise it’s a long swim. πŸ™‚

  8. Both are done!! Really crossing my fingers this works out for you Niall, because I love your adventures and this would just be an awesome addition to the ones you’ve already had!!

  9. Janice Sangha Mitra

    Hey Niall,

    Best of Luck with this. I would love to share on FB but for some bizarre reason I can’t seem to tag either your page or Costa even though I “Like” both those pages.

    Have a great day

  10. Hi
    Hope you get an this trip, looks like you have tried just about everything you can to get to Thailand. I have a good feeling this may work out, but who knows.

    I have tweeted and emailed Costa Cruises, so hopefully we can get there attention!!

  11. Georgene Harkness

    If you are having trouble getting the link to come up in Facebook, type “@” and then start typing “Costa” – that should bring up the link. Just click on that, and it will bring the link into your Facebook comment. Same for Disrupting the Rabblement.

    I was **finally** able to get the links come through, so count me, too, Niall, in your legendary contest πŸ™‚

  12. Hello, Niall!

    That’s some huge advertising company you’re doing for these guys, at such a small (non-existent?) price!

    They must be totally brainless not to accept such an offer from your part. I’m sure they will!

    Good luck and have an awesome flightless trip to Thailand!

  13. Niall, this is brilliant. I’ve retweeted and made a FB status as requested – hope it has the desired effect for you. πŸ˜‰

  14. There is no doubt this will work out for you- I have a huge respect for you and your journey! I’m going to going from Asia to India in a couple months. Who knew I could get on a Costa Cruise ship and sail over? Thanks for the heads up with good timing- may the timing come back to you as you continue onward-

  15. I’m keeping all appendages crossed. I for one would LOVE to see the resulting video and blog post from such an adventure. You’re one of the best at capturing unique experiences. Go, go, go!

  16. Tweeted, good luck Niall hope they are listening, sitting here in cold Lusk, Co Dublin I know where I would rather be πŸ™‚

  17. Georgene Harkness

    Shared on both my Twitter accounts, and posted on Facebook, BUT even though I have liked both Disrupting the Rabblement and Costa Cruises, neither one will highlight/link on the Facebook post. Waaaaaah!

    I’ve tried several times….getting nowhere!

  18. Hey Costa, make him wash the dishes! Seriously though, I’m sure your passengers would love to hear about Neils travels, you should be paying him to come on board. He embraces everything you stand for, fun times, adventure and slow journeys overland and sea.

    All the best Neil.

    1. Couldn’t have said it better myself, Jen! Well, apart from the dishes bit. But if agreeing to be a dish monkey would get me aboard that ship, sign me up!

      Thanks a mil πŸ™‚

  19. Just shared as requested and I learned how to do something from your little instructional video so a good morning though it did take more than 2 minutes:) but you’re worth it!!

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