History, Genealogy and Heritage Events

Unlock The Past will be at

Unlock the Past Cruises

3rd cruise testimonials

Some blogs

Some personal comments from cruisers

General cruise experience

Varied responses here. Cabin attendants and dinner waiters were widely praised, but some felt the food choices were more limited than they would have liked

The conference

Having a dedicated, large conference centre was a very significant advance on previous cruises

"Great venue! Having been on the first FH cruise and running all over the ship to various meeting rooms, the choice of a ship with a conference centre with all talks in the same area was far less complicated."

"A great experience"

"Talks were varied and Interesting and you could choice between two or 3 topics at any one time so you always found a subject that interested you or was about your line of research"

"I found the conference to be extremely beneficial. Learnt a lot and made several excellent contacts. Speakers were knowledgeable and the event ran smoothly. The one negative for me was the 8pm lectures ..." 

"My spouse is the one most interested in genealogy however I found the above mentioned speakers interesting and informative for a person new to research."

"at times towards the end we did find that it was becoming a little like an overload but having said that we truly did not want it to end."

But others rightly mentioned faulty microphones, data projector, lack of tea/coffee and some other things - all of which have already been taken up with Royal Caribbean.

The speakers

I won't single out speakers generally by name - except Paul Milner. Different speakers and topics will appeal to different people and this shows in the survey responses. Most were commended by one or more people. And some commended all

"All of them - especially Paul of course"

"All very informative and personable."

Paul Milner, our lead presenter was widely regarded as:


"my favourite"


"extremely knowledgeable and came across as an excellent presenter"

"very generous with his knowledge and was a pleasure to listen to from beginning to end. His stamina in presenting so many talks with such enthusiasm was only to be admired ..."

"gave us so much information"


"All of Paul's presentations, what an excellent guest speaker. Well done to the UTP organising team. That alone is why I have changed my mind and have signed up for 2014."

"attended all but Scottish talks excellent!!"

One other interesting comment: "the archive preservation lady scared the proverbial out of me, clearly we need more of this advice".

Overall comments

"Thank you for all the hard work that goes into organising these Cruises keep up the good work" - Jeannette Whalen

"As someone who has been researching for many years, I learnt more than I expected and obtained at least one pointer from every session attended. I can home with a lot of things on my 'to do list' and will hopefully use the knowledge gained to break down some brick walls. It was great being able to combine a holiday with my favourite hobby. In hindsight, I should have attended more sessions" - Sharon Fritz

"I'd love to spend all my time in this field (and believe that I could contribute much) but alas I still have to earn an income ... Genealogy cruising is my relaxation outlet." - Diana Johnson

"Excellent trip. Well done. I hope to participate in more" - Graham Pratt

"Whilst I ticked 'not for me, my spouse is the one with the active interest, I enjoyed the cruise and the lectures I attended. I am interested in what he researches/finds and support him on research trips, however I am not an active researcher. I found the lecturers easy to understand, they kept me interested and shared their wealth of knowledge freely" - Lyn Pratt

"Thank you so much for all the hard work that went on behind the scenes which resulted in a very well organized conference. Thank you to all the presenters." - Dorothy Elder

"Thanks! Had a great time, everyone was very helpful" - Liesl Nilsson

"I would love to go on as many cruise conferences as possible but ... I hope to convince my new found distant cousin and her husband in England to join us on the 2015 cruise." - Kathleen Fisher

"What a fantastic and wonderful experience it has been. Great speakers and a good variety of topics. I now know that I am on the right track with my research. I was travelling solo yet felt I was part of a warm and friendly group. Thank you." - Lauretta Nobes

"Thank you ... for your wonderful work in organising this cruise - we are now addicted to Cruising with Genealogy.... we think you did a fantastic job and appreciate all that you did! ... Congratulations to you and all your helpers and speakers." - Malcolm & Hazel Ford

"The whole experience was delightful from beginning to end and I've returned home energised in my pursuit of unlocking my family's past" - Fran Powell

"A huge thank you! see you on the next one!!!! :)" - Lee-Ann Hamilton & Rob

"Well done, I was pleasantly surprised on how much I enjoyed the conference and the cruise. The content has added to my knowledge base and has spurred me on with even more enthusiasm to get cracking on my research. Thanks to Paul's closing presentation I am now interviewing my mother and writing our own story, so I can leave a message to those that follow."

The 2014 and 2015 cruises

Perhaps the best testimonial to the success of this cruise is the number who have expressed interest in the 2014 and 2015 cruises. The post-cruise survey is still in progress, but of those that have responded so far (7 March 2013): 

  • 52% have expressed interest in the 4th cruise (Feb 2014) - southern Australian ports - now booking
  • 63% have expressed interest in the 5th cruise (mid 2015) - to be confirmed, but planned to be out of the UK to southern Scandinavia, St Petersburg and northern Europe
As a further indicator bookings for the 4th cruise are nearly 3 times what they were at the same stage for the 3rd cruise - with almost a third of the cabins allocated to our group already booked - 11 months out from the cruise