So what was it like living and working on the largest cruise ship in the world? It was amazing!
Several people had mentioned to me, that being on a ship with nearly 7,000 passengers, was not their idea of fun. All I can say is try it, the benefits and facilities far outweigh the numbers. I was impressed!
Royal Caribbean had embarkation well planned with no standing in line and once onboard there was so much ship to explore that it took me 36 hours to realise that I had not seen the third of the ship at the back!
The conference room in which the Stitching Heaven quilting classes were held was 4,000 square feet of space. A Bernina machine for each student and teacher, plenty of irons, water and ice and fresh cookies delivered daily.
I shared a cabin with a lovely teacher, Amy Ellis, and each evening we would go to a different show on board The Harmony. The musical Grease, a beautifully costumed ice show, a fantastic ventriloquist and my favourite the daring outdoor water show, The Fine Line, were just some of the entertainment available.
With over 20 restaurants to choose from, the eating choices were mind blowing, with many healthy eating options. It helped that Jackie Kunkel and I would do a 3 mile walk, most mornings, on the jogging trail deck 5. One morning Deb, the owner of Stitchin Heaven, had all three teachers taking part in a TRX training.
Jackie Kunkel, Amy Ellis and I taught on the three days we were at sea. The students were very appreciative and often could be found in the sewing room working until late at night. Sometimes we would join them, working on our own projects. There was a good deal of camaraderie and laughter. Some were on their 6th cruise this year and others were new to quilt cruising.
There were three ports of call on this Western Caribbean cruise. The first Labadee in Haiti was a beach resort, developed by Royal Caribbean, and looked pristine, the perfect island paradise. Amy and I spent a couple of hours swimming in clear blue waters and then browsed the craft markets.
The next day we docked in Falmouth, Jamaica. I joined an interesting 6 hour tour called, Native Jamaica which took me to the oldest church in Montego Bay, through fruit and vegetable markets, up to Mount Olive where we visited an elementary school and a plantation. Here I am holding a bunch of very baby bananas.
Our third port of call was Cozumel in Mexico. Here I chose to try Segway touring. It was great fun touring around a residential area with no tourists, visiting a Mayan house and garden and tequila tasting. I finished the visit with the largest Marguerita I have ever drunk in Senor Frogs, a famous bar by the pier.
On our last night aboard ship we just had to try The Abyss, a 10 deck descent through an enclosed tunnel. You start off on a glass platform overhanging the back of the ship on Deck 16, before minutes later shooting out of the tunnel on deck 6. I hope my sons are proud of me!
I am now in Mount Laurel, outside Philadelphia spending a week with family before I leave for The Paducah Quilt Show on Monday.