Captain Ebbs (John Gregson) is promoted after 22-years on grimy tramp steamers and given command of a luxury cruise liner on a trip to Australia.
Ebbs quickly learns that being in charge of passengers is a far cry from shipping freight.
He is horrified when he learns that his duties include an unending round of parties, dances, receptions and competitions, and finds himself in a constant state of embarrassment, discomfort and confusion.
The gentle comedy – adapted from a novel by Richard Gordon, author of the delirious Doctor series – features Peggy Cummins, Donald Sinden and a veritable who’s who of other stalwarts.
Extra credit must go to Reginald Beckwith as Burtweed, the captain’s steward who is quick to put him right in his adventures featuring the obligatory femme fatale (the gorgeous Nadia Gray) and a pompous shipping line shareholder (Maurice Denham).
Carry On star Joan Sims enlivens the proceedings with a cute cameo as a frumpy spinster.
The film is essentially a series of inter-related events involving the captain’s problems with the passengers and crew members, and the emphasis is on slapstick.
The ship used in the long-shots – and for some deck exteriors – was the SS Oronsay which was built in 1951 for the Orient Line.
John Le Mesurier