"Az The World Turns"

Category Archive

The Word Of The Day: “Bespoke”

az-the-world-turns-bonnie-maclaird

Almost exactly a year ago I was attending my first of many meetings with Azamara Club Cruises and the very elegant British woman in charge of our marketing for the United Kingdom used the word ‘bespoke’ in reference to selling our cruises in the UK market. I jotted the word down with a note to look it up. Of course I had seen the word written but hearing it out loud brought me up short. It sounded somewhat Shakespearean. And frankly I was not sure I understood what she meant to convey by the use. As an aside I’ll point out that the word is used throughout our brochures and website, and I have even seen the use of it skewered a bit on a social media forum I monitor. Still, due to lack of time or attention span, I had not looked it up. 

So fast forward to last night where one would have found me at home watching a Masterpiece Mystery on PBS (Grantchester) while, coincidentally, flipping through a friend’s copy of “The English Home” magazine.  What do I see but the word ‘bespoke’ sprinkled throughout in articles and promotions, such as “Bespoke Furniture for your Home” and “Bespoke Hand Painted Tiles” and again I wonder, just what are they trying to convey? So merely one year tardy I looked it up online:

“Bespoke is an adjective for anything commissioned to a particular specification. It may be altered or tailored to the customs, tastes or usage of an individual purchaser. Synonyms are ‘custom-made’, ‘made to order’, and ‘made to measure’. Antonyms are ‘Off-the-shelf’ and ‘ready-to-wear’.
The word bespoke is derived from the verb to bespeak, meaning to ‘speak for something’. The particular meaning of the verb form given in the Oxford English Dictionary, ‘to speak for, to arrange for, engage beforehand: to ‘order’ (goods)’, is first cited from 1583.
The term is generally more prevalent in British English, for example, bespoke jewellery. American English, on the other hand, tends to use the word ‘custom’ instead, as in custom car, custom motorcycle etc.” (Source)

Ah ha! It means custom-made. In the case of our line’s publicity you will see it used throughout, such as “To add to your experience, we now include an exclusive, bespoke, authentic AzAmazing Evenings event on most voyages.”  In this example it is meant to convey that each voyage will include a unique (made-to-order for that voyage) evening event ashore.

DSC_0236

Or a word search of our website will result in various hits, most about tours, but here’s one I found about coffee: “At Mosaic Café, the ships’ central gathering spot, guests can purchase a freshly brewed cup of bespoke coffee or tea.”

I can attest to drinking many cups of bespoke coffee at the Mosaic Café while aboard the Journey this past fall.  In fact I now realize I am a master at brewing a bespoke pot of coffee for my husband and myself nearly every morning! Ok, I jest a bit. I am happy to now know how to use the word in a sentence. And I am proud to be a part of a company that does do things differently, not in cookie-cutter fashion.

mocha

Note to the yet-to-cruise on Azamara…this is one of the least stuffy lines I have ever sailed. There will be no vocabulary quiz onboard!

Azamara Club Cruises.

Footnote: It turns out its usage is on the upswing according to Google.  

Here are a few recommended “bespoke” voyages this summer:

The Art of Travel: de Botton And van Gogh in Provence

az-the-world-turns-bonnie-maclaird

I have a favorite book on travel; one of many, but today I’m musing on this wonderful little book. It is The Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton, 2002. It’s not an easy book to read, not one that anyone would call a ‘page turner’. I read it in bits and pieces, and I believe this is the author’s intention. While broken down into five sections that flow sequentially, it is actually a series of his unrelated essays on the subject of travel. The five sections of the book are: Departure, Motives, Landscape, Art and Return, each with a couple essays by de Botton.

Think about those five categories. If you were writing a non-fiction book on the subject of travel, is this how you’d break it down? I might have added a section on people, culture or cuisine in between the Landscape and Art sections. Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t have thought about including a section on Art, but it’s a brilliant addition and the topic of today’s ramble.

Read full post

The Creative Mind Behind Azamara’s #LoveTravel Campaign

az-the-world-turns-bonnie-maclaird

Azamara Club Cruises just launched a new promotional campaign entitled “The Voyage For Those Who Love Travel”. Not only beautiful in imagery, its message is straightforward, fun and sassy. And this description is how I think of the woman with the creative mind behind the campaign. Her name is Kay Fowler and she oversees Advertising & Marketing Communications for the line.

Read full post

Darwin & The Blue Mountains of Australia

az-the-world-turns-bonnie-maclaird

As an under-graduate studying Sociology (ahem…a while ago) I spent many a night reading Darwin and becoming fluent in his theory of evolution via natural selection. So it was with great interest that I recently read a fascinating article called “Darwin’s Forgotten World: Australia’s Blue Mountains Influenced the Great Thinker’s Understanding of Evolution as Profoundly as the Galapagos.” (Perrottet, Tony. Smithsonian Magazine, January 2015: 50-61.)

Blue-Mountains-Blog-DarwinSource

Read full post

Home

az-the-world-turns-bonnie-maclaird

The holidays are over. I’m writing this at 36,000 feet on my way home after 23 days ‘on the road’ involving business, family, friends, and some sightseeing. All in all a good time was had. But truth be told I’m happy to be going home. I’m a homebody. I love having my own things around me. I like my routines.

In an article for Vanity Fair magazine (“The Proust Questionnaire”, October 2014), the British actor John Cleese was asked, “What is your favorite journey?” He answered with one word: “home”. That resonated with me, but also left me wondering if I’m a hypocrite? After all I’m a lifelong traveler, a career travel professional, and now a travel blogger; all of which I love and am crazy happy doing.
Read full post