We had three wonderful, fun-filled quilt days at sea. Bonnie was an awesome hostess and teacher and the quilt she designed specifically for the cruise is beautiful and, of course, scrappy. I can't show you it, as the November cruisers will be making the same quilt and, understandably, Bonnie wants to keep it a surprise for them, too.
I can't even begin to explain here all the comraderie that happened while we shared our fabrics and pieced our little hearts away, so pictures will have to suffice. :o)
Nassau, Bahamas. Beautiful. Even after Hurricane Irene. I think the locals did an amazing clean-up job by the marina because we couldn't see anything amiss. I imagine the tourist trade is what brings in the $$$ so they want to make sure those locations are up to par. We learned at dinner that some of the other quilters went off the beaten path and more inland and they commented that the damage was more pronounced there. Still in all, I think they did a magnificent job just one week after Irene's destructive visit.
As for Kathy and I, we've both been to Nassau before and done the Atlantis thing. Although if you haven't been, I highly recommend it.
So we wanted to do something totally different -- visit with the dolphins all day! And what a fun, fantastic, and awesome day it was! We took a ferry to Blue Lagoon Island (yes, the same island where the movie with Brook Shields was filmed). It was so beautiful, the water was so blue, and the sand was so fine. Breathtaking.
Before our dolphin adventure, we had an hour to spend on the beach, so we grabbed a couple of hammocks and chilled while the steel drum island music played in the background. Ahhhhhh, now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. :o)
After our hammock chilax we went exploring and saw a group of people on a different dolphin adventure. One where they wear lifejacket-type vests and float stationary on their stomachs in the water with their legs spread slightly apart. Two dolphins then swim up behind them and each pushes the person's feet with their noses and races them across the lake at approx. 25 miles an hour! Yep, you know what we're going to be doing next time we visit Nassau! LOL!
Next, up...our dolphin adventure. And what an adventure it was! If you ever find yourself in Nassau, do it, do it, do it! I believe the official name was "Dolphin Encounter." They split us up into two groups and then we sat around a pool-type enclosure built right on the water. In even smaller groups of 10 or so, we made our way into the water and one-by-one got to interact with the dolphin, Salvatore. We petted, hugged, kissed, danced (holding his fins), fed him fish and watched him do tricks for us. What an opportunity of a lifetime. I bought the DVD of our encounter (sweet!!!), but unfortunately haven't used up the film yet in the waterproof camera to upload any of our personal encounter pics here. Sorry. The only ones I have to share for now are the ones I took with the regular camera prior to the water encounter and, of course, the one I bought from them, which I will cherish! What memories!
What excitement we felt as we prepared to board the Carnival Dream. We couldn't wait to get aboard and explore the beautiful ship. Also, who would have thought amongst the 3,000+ passengers and the quite lengthy time-slot for boarding (11:30am-4pm) that I would actually run into another quilter? Well, not only did I run into another quilter, but she was 2 people in front of us in line and it was Regan from Floating on a Quilted Cloud, whom I had connected with online! How fortuitous was that! We hugged like old friends. So amazing the instant friendships you can make by just having a blog. It was great to finally meet her in person, and I also got to meet her friend, Brenda, who was also a quilter. :o)
The ship was as beautiful as we imagined and the Atrium was breathtaking! Our inside cabin and private bathroom were quite spacious. We loved the towel creatures the stewards made every night. Such a simple thing, but so fun! Especially when we added our own "accessories." LOL!
The pools were all decent sizes with plenty of lounge chairs to be had. And I can't even count how many hot tubs were on the ship. It seemed like they were around every corner!
We ate every evening in the Scarlet Dining Room. Gorgeous! And how fun to spend them with the other quilters as we reminisced about our days. Many friendships were formed and I will cherish them all. Most exciting of all was meeting THE Bonnie! She was just as sweet and friendly as I imagined. :o)
Many of the evenings after dinner, several of us would go to the shows or just hang out together. Let me tell you, don't let the fact that we are quilters lull you into some false sense that all we do is spend time with a needle and thread or in front of our sewing machines. We can party and have a great time with the rest of 'em. All I can say is what happens on a Quilt Cruise, stays on the Quilt Cruise. 'Nuff said. LOL!
I am a retired 58-year old widow with two lovely, grown daughters. I am also blessed with a wonderful teenaged grandson, and two beautiful teenaged step-granddaughters, or granddaughters-in-love, as I choose to view it. *Grin* Happily, we all reside in Florida within 30 minutes of one another.
I also have an energetic Yorkshire Terrier/Bichon Frise mix, Tasha. I don't know what I would do without her. She brings me constant joy.