Living the Dream, Jeff Albom road tests our John Miles Shirt whilst cruising South America

Living the Dream, Jeff Albom road tests our John Miles Shirt whilst cruising South America

Living the Dream

Travel Bloggers Rhonda & Jeff Albom recently cruised the waters of South America and took a John Miles Shirt along for the ride. 
A worthy additional to Jeff’s cruising attire he commented “loved the ease of care, comfort, and look of the shirt”
Check out their article below –

Our South America Boutique Cruise on Azamara Pursuit

From the first moment I stepped onboard the Azamara Pursuit, I was home. A boutique cruise, the ship’s understated elegance is unmistakably welcoming, as is the crew. The Azamara Pursuit caters to fewer than 700 passengers, yet our worry that there might not be enough to do on this smaller ship melted away as we absorbed ourselves into daily life. Best of all, Azamara’s desire to provide immersive shore experiences translates to longer port times than any cruise we had taken in the past.

Azamara Pursuit

The newest of three ships in the Azamara fleet, we sailed during the inaugural season of the Azamara Pursuit over Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Subtle festive signs were interweaved throughout the Azamara cruise ship, although there were no religious overtones.

Azamara Pursuit anchored off Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Looking down on the pool deck.

The elegant staircase across from guest relations is decorated for the holiday season.

Azamara Shore Excursions

Azamara’s strength goes beyond her ability to visit ports that are too small for many larger ships. Their excursion program focusses on individuality and cultural immersion. It starts on-board with destination expert lectures that concentrate on daily life as much as on key sites.

Add to that longer shore time in each port, local guides, and shore excursion groups not to exceed 25 passengers, and the result is an intimate cultural experience in a fascinating community.

However, passengers do pay quite a bit for this advantage. We opted to do a mix of independent and Azamara excursions, taking full advantage of the longer port times, especially some of the evening and night options. After all, we picked the Azamara Pursuit for the ports.

• AzAmazing Evening

A nearly perfect name for this shore excursion, the AzAmazing evening distinguishes the Azamara group from its competitors. This complimentary evening of culture and fun went way beyond our expectations. We were taken to a magnificent historic theatre in Montevideo Uruguay where we were enchanted by a lively carnival-style show from Museo de Carnaval. After the stage performance, we followed rhythmic drummers outdoors, where our evening continued under the stars while we donned masks (provided) and enjoyed drinks and fireworks.

Colourful dancers on stage during the Azamazing event at Teatro Solis, Montevideo Uruguay.

Outdoors just after the stage performance portion of the evening.

The vibrant entertainers took time to pose with us. A late night, it was perfect for my new shawl (purchased in Buenos Aires) and Jeff’s new easy to wear, super comfortable, and quick dry travel shirt from John Miles of Australia.

Our South America Ports on the Azamara Pursuit

The addition of the Pursuit to the Azamara fleet allowed expansion to more destinations. While South America was relatively new on the Azamara itinerary, the staff seemed knowledgeable. If you are a frequent cruiser on other lines, be sure to notice how long we were at each port.

1. Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Argentina’s vibrant capital city.
  • Our port of embarkation.
  • More coming soon.

2. Montevideo Uruguay

3. Santos, Brazil (coastal city for São Paulo)

Santos Brazil.

4. Paraty, Brazil

5. Buzios, Brazil

  • An open-air trolley took us to over 20 beaches before we walked the streets of this former fishing village.
  • Port time: 10 hours.
  • More coming soon.

6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Standing at the base of Christ the Redeemer, we enjoyed the panorama of the city. The impressive sweeping view was only one of several high points in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Port time: 2 days and 2 nights including New Year’s Eve fireworks over Copacabana Beach.
  • Discover Rio, one of the most intense cities I have visited.

Fireworks over Copacabana Beach on New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro Brazil.

7. Itajai, Brazil (an added port due to bad weather ahead)

  • The captain added this port to the itinerary due to poor weather ahead at Punta del Este. It’s a walkable town with delicious seafood and a nice beach.
  • Port time: 10 hours.
  • More coming soon.

8. Punta del Este, Uruguay (rescheduled to one day to avoid the weather)

  • Its white sand beaches make this town hugely popular amongst Argentinean holidaymakers. We enjoyed a walking tour.
  • Scheduled for 1.5 days with an overnight, we lost a day due to bad weather. In the end, we had 9 hours in port.
  • More coming soon.

9. Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Returning to one of my favourite cities was a thrill.
  • Port Time: 2 days, with an overnight stay and disembarkation.
  • More coming soon.

Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos, Aires, Argentina.

Life Onboard the Azamara Pursuit

• Azamara Restaurants

Like all cruises we have been on, food is a central feature. However, the Azamara’s all-inclusive style means wine flows freely at dinner, specialty coffee is always available (at no extra cost), and we could even have frozen drinks out at the pool or spirits in the evening. The impeccable food presentation was matched by a combination of flavours reflecting the theme of the evening’s Azamara menu.

Surf and Turf (steak and lobster) in the main dining room, a beautifully presented appetizer (also main dining room), and desserts from the buffet.

Other dining options include a grill, afternoon tea, specialty restaurants, and a coffee shop where you could find me every sea day afternoon.

Lattes, espressos, and other specialty coffee drinks are included in the cost of an Azamara Cruise.

The Chef’s Table dinner (extra charge) was an impressive masterpiece. Like the Chef’s Table we enjoyed on a prior Royal Carribean cruise, it was by far the best meal on the ship. We also enjoyed a meal at each of the speciality restaurants onboard.

The flavours are even better than the presentation.

•Azamara Dress Code

Cruise clothing, like street styles, range from overstated to underdressed. Azamara encourages a “friendly yet sophisticated onboard environment.” Therefore, the general daily dress is “resort casual”. The only “rule” I saw was no bare feet, tank tops, baseball caps, bathing suits, shorts, or jeans allowed in the dining room or specialty restaurants. However, there is no formal night on an Azamara Club Cruise.


• Azamara White Night

A signature feature of the Azamara Club Cruises is a white night, with a candlelit poolside dinner. Passengers are normally encouraged to wear white, but on our New Year’s Eve cruise, they named it “black and white night.”

We are overlooking the White Night event as the guests begin to arrive.

• Azamara Spaces

The pool was a perfect way to cool off on a hot South American summer day or evening. In addition to traditional lounge chairs, there were random, relaxing options not usually seen at shipboard pools.

Have you ever seen anything this cool on a cruise ship before? In the first shot, we are facing the pool.

There are also plenty of quiet spaces onboard. The Living Room and Drawing Room are my two favourites. These and other spaces on the ship are also used for daily trivia games, art and dance lessons, enrichment lectures, exercise classes, social meetups, and weekly religious services. And, late at night, the Living Room converts to a disco.

Floor to ceiling windows at the front of the ship bring in light, but it is the espresso bar and afternoon tea sandwiches that lured me into the Living Room.

The Drawing Room offers fewer distractions and is a great place to find a book to read. On this particular occasion, a very talented guest played the piano. We spotted three pianos onboard.

The cabins are tastefully decorated in a modern minimalist fashion. While I think our Club Verandah stateroom might be smaller than other ships, it did an excellent job utilizing the space, providing plenty of storage, a decent size shower, a usable desk area, and an easy to access and relatively private deck with a table and two chairs. Once we turned the couch to face the sea, we felt like we had more space.

Our Club Verandah stateroom on the Azamara Pursuit.

• More Onboard the Azamara Pursuit

The smaller ship meant we never had to walk far for anything. Like other boutique cruise ships, it offered unique opportunities, yet many of the general tips for cruising still applied.

  • Nightly entertainment in the cabaret lounge rotated from dedicated Azamara performers to guest entertainers including a hilarious comedian, beautiful dancers, and a Las Vegas singer.
  • Our cruise package included Azamara wifi for two devices.
    • Pro Tip: It works for two devices at a time. So as long as you log out of one, you can log into another using the same password. The downside is that the internet is a bit slower than what we have seen on some of the other ships.
  • The gym is a quick reminder that this a modern cruise ship, featuring the newest of everything.
  • Massage, facials, hair, and nails are amongst the standard services offered by the Azamara Spa.
    • Pro Tip: We found the spa prices to be very high, even for a cruise ship. However, there were near daily specials. Rather than scheduling in advance, twice I read a daily flyer, rang up, and had a fabulously relaxing treatment for nearly half price.
  • And if all this isn’t enough, there is a chocolate night.

One small section of the chocolate buffet.

Last minute cruising

We often get the best prices when we can travel last minute, as cruise companies don’t like to sail with empty cabins.

 Click here to check for last minute cruise deals on Azamara and other lines

John Miles Shirts listed in Top 5 most inventive product developments from Australian designers

John Miles Shirts listed in Top 5 most inventive product developments from Australian designers


This year at the Melbourne Retail Festival we had many exhibitors who are leading the way in fashion with their creative innovations. We would love to share with you five of the most inventive product developments from Australian designers that were showcased at the fair.


Meet Jane: the clever designer of the John Miles crease-proof, sweat-proof and daggy-proof shirts.

Jane’s husband regularly travels on flights for work, which presented a problem – his shirts would always come out creased! And so, her search begun to find the perfect shirt and that would withstand the annoyances of travel. When she could not find the one, she set out to design her own.

“We couldn’t find a shirt with flexible fabric that would both allow comfort and not require ironing.”

The result is a stylish non-iron, moisture wicking and classic fit dress shirt. Currently there are four classic colours available – white, pale blue, blue/white gingham and black/white gingham – with plans to add more to the range soon!


Sandals have a reputation for not always being the best for your feet, but the podiatrist-approved Aneara shoes are changing the game.

Andrea Selman, CEO and head Designer of Aneara, was looking for fashionable age-appropriate shoes with support for her daughters’ growing feet. After visiting the girls’ podiatrist to buy shoes for summer, the Podiatrist said “That’s it!  We have nothing more after this size for them”.  Andrea couldn’t believe at the age of 9 – the girls could now wear ladies orthotic shoes. Surely this wasn’t correct.  But after much investigation this was the case.

In early 2016, Aneara was born. With a couple of shoemaking courses under Andrea’s belt and sketches under her arm, she was on a mission to create age appropriate and supportive shoes that are great for growing feet.

What makes an Aneara sandal unique is the footbed that gives support, with a deep heel cup, structured heel counter and adjustable ankle straps – no more aching legs and backs! Andrea continues to make her own prototypes in her own shoe studio, working extensively with podiatrists, physiotherapists and shoe manufacturers, to create shoes good for your feet. We can’t wait to see what’s next!


Australia’s premium hosiery brand, Chusette have created a unique fabric that truly stands the test of time.

A carefully curated combination of cotton, bamboo and cashmere, Chusette socks are designed to keep you comfortable all year round. The socks have a comfortable elastic top, invisible seams and reinforced toe and heel.

We love not only that the Chusette socks are not only a great innovation with their unique blend, but that they are also a truly family brand with sizes catering to all ages.


Rebecca Formoso’s colourful intricate jewellery designs are truly one of a kind. Handcrafted from her studio in Seaford, Rebecca finds her inspiration in nature to achieve a feminine and bold statement. Her designs are made with a combination her favourite gems, crystals, pearls, feathers and findings – all in colours that she can’t resist. We totally agree with her philosophy that life is too short to wear boring jewellery!

One day a retailer asked Rebecca if the feather on one of her necklace could be clipped on and off so that the customer can choose depending on the occasion. This inspired Rebecca to create more jewellery with customisable elements so that customers can enjoy more versatility with her designs.

Rebecca has also worked with her retailers to create pieces that compliment new season clothing perfectly.

Printemps Ete is a wonderful example of how designers and retailers can collaborate together to create innovative pieces that their customers will love!


Cali Rae has created the world’s first scent infused swimwear range! This was inspired by their love of all whole foods.

Organic, vegan and delicious, Cali Rae take careful consideration into choosing the highest quality fabrics in the most desirable scents. The scent range includes apple spice, blackberry, chocolate, lychee, pina colada, pineapple, pomegranate and strawberry.

The swimwear is infused using a fabric spray that has been made with premium fragrance oils and essential oils. The spray is alcohol free and does not contain any harsh chemicals – completely vegan and cruelty free!


What are we really buying? When a shirt isn’t just a shirt…

It’s a shirt. What else can I write about?

My good friend Jane is stumped.

She’s created an incredible men’s shirt. It ticks off so many boxes. Solves so many Urgh! moments for guys.

It’s crease-proof. No more ironing.

It’s sweat-proof. No more horrific underarm pools.

But she can’t figure out what to tell people about the shirt. Other than lines like these.

What’s more, there are lots of stores selling shirts. Why would anyone buy from an unknown — even if the shirts are incredible…

When a shirt isn’t just a shirt

We draw it out.

Who would find these shirts helpful?

Doctors, physios, those in the medical profession because they move around a lot. The flexible fabric will make it more comfortable.

Self-employed. Because they don’t wear suits and ties to work, but still need that professional look…

We move onto what they do in the evenings. On the weekends. What they laugh at. Who they spend time with. What they drink. What they watch.

We paint a picture of the men who wear these shirts. Their lives. Their loves.

Meaning matters more than price.

The other day I needed peanut butter.

There was a great selection. The one that stood out to me looked home-made. It had personality. It had a story. It spoke to me like a friend. It oozed deliciousness, passion, and charm:

COME VISIT US! Own up… you’ve been promising yourself a visit to Nelson for ages. You can take a bike tour, kayak and hike Abel Tasman National Park and inspect a bunch of vineyards. These days thought the highlight of any visit to Nelson is The Peanut Butter Factory Tour… round up the family and book yourselves in…


It was almost double the price of other peanut butter brands.

I bought it.

Why do you buy?

Many of us are picky about what we buy. It helps if the product or service is good. But we’re not just buying a product or a service.

We naturally want to connect. To be understood. To relate. To be related to. To support local and small — because that could easily be us.

We’re buying meaning. An experience.

So give us something to cling onto.

Share your story.

Make us laugh.

Help us believe.

Be part of our lives.

Because a shirt isn’t just a shirt.

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