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Old January 22nd, 2008, 04:02 PM
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Blogger’s Cruise – Day 4 – Jan. 23
The typical Caribbean day that so many expect when booking a cruise finally arrived today. We woke up to sunny skies, and calm seas, and temperatures rising into the 80s.

From early in the morning it was apparent the cooped up masses of passengers were out to work on their tans, and take in all the fun and sun they could manage.

Late last night I had run into the Hotel Manager and he asked my opinion on how everything is going. I gave my opinion… fine service, fine food, etc. Then I also mentioned that I noticed the tables not being cleared and cleaned as quickly as they should be in the buffet areas.

This morning on deck, there had been a 360 turn around on that comment. I watched as tables were cleared and ready for new passengers within minutes, and plates cleared almost as soon as people finished eating. I couldn’t tell if they had added more staff to the area, or had simply redirected the energy of those working the area, but it certainly removed the issue from my mind.

At 11 A.M. John and Heidi hosted a Q & A session for all the bloggers. It was an opportunity for all the bloggers to spend more direct and intimate time with the two of them.

John’s “Blog Thingy? has grown into much more than just a site to read for cruise information.

Over time it’s become a community, where the reader’s have got to know each other, and share their personalities, and with this first ever Bloggers Cruise, have got to meet in person.

That is the amazing thing about the Internet; for in the early years not many sites gave much thought to the social aspects of their cruise sites, and how they can bring people together and become Internet neighborhoods, and grow into villages.

When I was first asked to join CruiseMates staff 9 years ago, that vision of an internet community growing, and including neighbors from around the world was sparked my acceptance to become part of the CruiseMates team.

We built our CruiseMates Group Cruise Program to assist us with that purpose. Shopping for the best deals that would draw people together, and we unlike some sites, we continue to offer them to keep building that community, rather than profit from the sale of the cabins…. Because we don’t!
So, I’m delighted with the success of John’s Blog, and seeing it to evolve into an expanding community.

At this morning’s Q & A session, there was one of John’s youngest fans, 9 yr. old Katy, wanting a hug from John. He of course obliged this lovely little girl.

I was so happy taking this picture, because I had met her parents years before on a ship thanks to CruiseMates. Back then we were to meet on one cruise, but they had to cancel because they had been working on adopting a baby from Russia. The adoption process was arduous, and it took some time to fall into place, but we did finally get to meet Mark, Amanda, and then 2 year old Katy on a ship. Seeing this beautiful child today on this cruise was a truly heart-warming moment.
The bloggers talked about and enjoyed expounding on some of the quips from the last 250 blogs, and seemed to be soaking up every fun moment and story the hour allowed.

We returned to the theater later in the afternoon to attend John’s Newly Wed game. He is the master of the stage, and without doubt the most entertaining CD I’ve sailed with.
To be continued…..
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