Friday, March 22, 2019

Have You Considered a Cruise to the Bahamas?

From snow to sunshine

Two days before heading to the Bahamas, the ferries leaving our coast were canceled due to bad weather.  It was our only means to get to the airport and I was definitely concerned.  The next day there was a window of escape, and we rushed to the mainland to spend the night at the airport.  

If you have ever been to a conference of any description, you usually have great anticipations of gaining knowledge and having fun.  I have been to a few writers' conferences and thought I knew what to expect.  I was elated when the Seymour Agency's Winter Escape Cruise far exceeded my expectations.  The editors, film producers, publishers, and other representatives promised to make this cruise a significant one.  It did not disappoint.

It was my first cruise and considering I don't tolerate temperatures above 70 degrees very well, I was concerned.  It was confirmed many times that I would need a sweater to handle the AC in the meeting rooms.  What a waste of suitcase space.  I was uncomfortably hot from the moment I landed in Miami until I got home. 

Here's the good news:  that was my only complaint.  The cruise, the staff, the speakers, the FOOD, the opportunities, were beyond my dreams.  

Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Sea

Cruise dinner
We had two entrees at each meal

Dining room on Mariner of the Sea
Dining room

Each author was given the opportunity to pitch to as many agents as they wanted.  I walked away from each agent encouraged, challenged, and excited.  Now, the homework begins by preparing for the next steps to bring my memoir, Battered Hope, to the big screen.

I attended the conference with two author friends.  We bonded even closer and laughed harder than I can remember.   We spent two days in port in Nassau walking seven miles through the streets of endless shops.  I love to barter and got a few trinkets to bring home to the grands.  

Cruise staterooms
The room was small but adequate

Beach at Nassau
Sinking my toes in the sand and wading in the warm water

Streets of Nassau
Endless shops

Being in the jewelry business I wandered into a few jewelry stores to confirm for our customers back home just how much these vendors take advantage of people.  The merchandise was atrocious quality with inflated prices.  I pretended to be dumb (easy to do) and asked questions like, "Could I see your best emeralds?"  They would bring out some rings priced in the tens of thousands of dollars that we would not sell in our stores -- they were heavily included (flaws and imperfections) and some not even genuine.  It is sad to see how many people believe they are getting an incredible deal to find out later they were royally ripped off.  

My ego was inflated when a woman vendor pulled me off the street to sell me a skincare line that was 'second to none.'  I told her I wasn't interested because I have been using a line of natural products for decades that are chemical free, vegan and guaranteed to make you look younger by ten years.  There is zero competition in the market place.  She became adamant and I enjoyed the discourse.  Frustrated, she said that if she could guess my age, would I be willing to try her products.  I agreed.  Her first guess was 16 years younger than what I am and I laughed assuming she was trying to flatter me.  I told her to look closer and she apologized by saying "I should have looked closer the first time."

She then guessed me ten years less than I am and I laughed and tried walking away.  She asked me to prove my age but I didn't have any more to say.  A couple of hours later when we walked past the shop again, the same woman was standing outside.  She shouted to her staff "She's here.  She's here."  Four men came out and asked if they could guess my age would I buy their products.  I agreed.  Again, they didn't come close and one of the men had a dispenser of eye cream in his hand that he tried to 'shoot' onto my face, which I was able to dodge.  The whole thing was a bit weird.

100% of people who used these YOUTH products get incredible results.  Of course, I sell them -- wouldn't you?  
Shaklee YOUTH skin care

Back to Reality

It was sad to leave and I wanted to cruise forever.  Going back to reality can sometimes be scary after a week of ignoring any problems back home. awaits.  I knew the workload would be huge, but I was rested and invigorated to start my new venture.

I arrived at the Orlando airport at 3:30 in the morning with only two hours of sleep and encountered a nightmare.  I had checked in the night before but needed to print out my baggage tags.  Several people were having difficulty at the kiosks so I wasn't surprised when my seat selection had changed.  On my third attempt, I asked the nearest agent for help and she said, "If you don't like the seat it gave you, I suggest you book a different flight."  Anyone within hearing distance looked surprised and upset.  I asked a different agent who helped me immediately.

airport kiosk

After checking my bag, I decided to get the name of the agent to register a complaint.  I walked past her and glanced at her name tag.  I did not say one word.  When she saw me look at her name tag, she immediately started to yell at me.  There were several witnesses to what she said and everyone was stunned.  In a loud, stern voice with her fist in my face, she yelled, "You are a bully.  I am going to call security.  That is what I am going to do."  She raised her arm as if to summon someone and then turned back towards me and in a louder voice, "You are a bully -- that is what you are.  I will go to jail for what I would like to do to you!"

At this point, I almost passed out in fear she would hit me.  Everyone in the area looked shaken at this outburst.  I immediately contacted a supervisor, got names of witnesses and filed a complaint.  The airline has been supportive and has compensated me for my negative experience.

Frosting on the Cake

After hubby picked me up from the airport, we met our daughter and family for lunch at the ferry terminal and celebrated my hubby's birthday. Seeing the grands was a wonderful way to end my vacation. With only two hours of sleep the night before and nine hours of travel, I collapsed when arriving home that evening.  

Dozens of birds woke me the next morning waiting to be fed --  it was Spring!


Baking In A Tornado        
Never Ever Give Up Hope   
Menopausal Mother           
Spatulas on Parade           
The Crazy Mama Llama            
Go Mama O.                   
Follow Me Home              


  1. Despite the airport nightmare (I tell one in my blog post today too), I'm so glad that you got away and had a good time. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that your story makes it to the big screen.

    1. Thank you Karen. The airport scene was just a glitch and I was working on two hours sleep

  2. I'm so sorry for your airport experience, Carol. Absolutely unnacceptable. But your cruise, in comparison, looks like it was a wonderful time. I look forward to buying a ticket to watch your story unfold at the movies one day. <3

    1. Thank you Michele. These things take years and I am debating whether or not to move forward.

  3. Carol, I'm so happy you wrote an article about your trip. I have been wondering how it all went.

    I'm sorry for your negative, but unfortunately not atypical, experience at the airport. I know how demeaning such experiences can be.

    1. I was functioning on two hours sleep which didn't help. It was a wonderful trip with lots of 'firsts.' Looking forward to going again! Thank you Traci.

  4. What a horrible experience at the airport! I'm just glad you at least had a nice cruise!

    1. Just a glitch -- what would a trip be without them??? :)

  5. Unreal, an airline employee yelled at you in this day of everyone recording everything! Sounds like a fun experience except for that!

    1. I KNOW! That was the most surprising of all. And to top it off, it was completely unwarranted Haralee Sleepwear