Last month I went on a quilting cruise. “What is that?” you ask.
So there is a cruise ship with several thousand people and mixed in is about 125, give or take, quilters and their traveling companions. Although, there was at least one quilter who came alone, she was quickly adopted and probably never got a moment to herself until in her stateroom.
The organizers worked it out with the cruise line that there would be a couple of meeting rooms set aside and dedicated to the quilters the whole cruise. These rooms were stocked with about 20 sewing machines each that the quilters could visit every evening and just sew to their hearts’ content. On the days we were at sea, the quilters gathered in the machine rooms and three areas of the large dining room and had machine or hand quilting related classes. ( I got to be one of the teachers, teaching applique and Mariners' Compass!) On the days the ship was in a port, the quilters joined the rest of the ship’s population and explored or relaxed or went on excursions.
On a cruise you smile all day long. This is mostly because you are just plain happy. But, also, every time you pass a person who is a member of the working staff, they greet you with a huge smile and an extremely pleasant greeting, as if you are one of their very best friends. And they don’t seem “fake” about it! By the end of the cruise, you look upon all these people as friends because you’ve forged relationships with various members of the staff. The stateroom steward seemed to just KNOW when I needed fresh ice. It always just appeared. And one of the drinks staff seemed to know my favorite lunch beverage was a Mojito! With all those people to deal with, I was amazed anyone would remember specific preferences.
For the whole time I was on the quilting cruise, I was pampered and spoiled. It is rather hard to come back to reality, actually. But the new friends I maked and the photos I took has left a lasting memory and I can’t wait until I can go again!