Special guest on Kate Fairweather’s Friday show on Shine Radio, Liss live wire Simon Stanley trained as a croupier in London before heading to Miami at the tender age of 18, where he spent three years working as a croupier on board cruise liners in and around the Caribbean in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Simon was occasionally required to abandon black tie for a tropical shirt and help out at one of the half dozen cocktail bars on board ship.

Simon Stanley in 1991, leaning casually against a cruise ship rail, wearing a loud tropical print shirt.
Simon relaxing on board ship in 1991, wearing a fashionable tropical shirt.

Naturally exuberant, he learned to juggle glasses and ice cubes, throw bottles and generally put on a proper show for a crowded bar. This is cocktail making as pure entertainment…

Stock photo of five vividly coloured cocktails with crushed ice and multicoloured straws, with male barman behind with folded arms.
Cocktails on cruiseships have a distinctly theatrical quality. (Image by James Riess from Pixabay)

After three months of lockdown, spent channelling his energy into cycling, a super fit Simon wows Shine Radio’s Kate Fairweather with tales from on board cruise ships, pays tribute to his all-time-favourite, the piña colada, and explains why cocktails should be integral to all our lives.

Simon Stanley in sunglasses smiling in Kate Fairweather's garden.
Fighting fit from lockdown, Simon is still keen on cocktails, less so on the “Del-boy umbrellas”…

Cocktails as cabaret, eh? It’s a far cry from the diplomatic role of cocktails in the Royal Navy – which we heard about from retired Vice Admiral David Dobson a few months ago.

Get in touch!

Do you mix a mean cocktail and have a story to tell? Get in touch yourself, or nominate a friend to share Cocktails with Kate from 6 o’clock on Fridays.  Email team@shineradio.uk