A Sit Down With Stephen Chrisanthus: Captain Cruise

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By: Stephen Chrisanthus Special to the Delray Newspaper

This month I got a chance to sit down with friend and Delray Beach resident Bill Panoff, an authority in the world of cruises and the publisher or Porthole Cruise Magazine, to discuss cruising and why he chooses Delray as his home port.

What inspired you to produce an international cruise magazine?

Thirty years ago the cruise industry was in it’s infancy… Fewer cruise lines and ships were in the marketplace… The industry was on a growth path and at that time there was no media or magazine to reach the cruise consumer. Surrounding myself with editors, publishers and graphic artists, Porthole Cruise Magazine was born. Today Porthole Cruise Magazine is the leading publication for cruise consumers, with subscribers in 40 countries.

You also have a show on cruises, what’s it about and where can you watch it?

Yes, I host a cruise channel on YouTube called Cruise Control with Bill Panoff. Every Tuesday our viewers tune in to the show to learn what’s new in cruising, exciting ports to visit, tips for first time cruisers , and much more. Encourage you all to tune in to cruise control.

What are some of your favorite cruise destinations?  How does South Florida rate?

Caribbean, Europe, and Alaska are my favorite regions to cruise. South Florida is the gateway to the cruise industry with ports in Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Tampa, Port Canaveral to name a few.

You have obviously been around the world, what made you choose Delray Beach as your home port?

Delray for me is the best of both worlds; exciting and vibrant downtown nightlife, and quiet beachfront community with the best beaches in Florida.

What are some of your favorite places or things to do in Delray? 

Love the go to the Avenue early in the evening when it’s not too busy and enjoy a drink and or dinner at Cut 432, and Tramonti’s.

What would you want your readers to know about Delray Beach as a destination?

Delray is a perfect pre and post stop in connection with South Florida cruise departures. For cruisers continuing on from Miami or Ft Lauderdale to Orlando I highly suggest a stop in Delray, one hour from Miami and 35 minutes from Fort Lauderdale.

Any upcoming changes or something new in the world of cruising?

As the cruise industry grows the variety of cruise itineraries is becoming more diverse. River cruises and Expedition cruises are growing a rapid pace.

Any words from the cruise master about cruising for those who have never taken one?

There is no more affordable vacation option in the world. Where else can you go and see the scenery change daily, food and entertainment included, unpack once… If you never cruised before check out Porthole Cruise Magazine or go to porthole.com. I promise you will be hooked.

Finally, any Cruise Control tips for those about to set sail?

Yes, always arrive in the city of embarkation a day or two before the cruise begins so you can explore. This way you actually get an additional port of call added to your cruise vacation.