Among my 43 students today were 5 people who had never made a quilt before and one who started off the day by announcing that she “isn’t much of a quilter.” I took it as a personal challenge to get the confidence of these people up to speed so they could make the project. Happily all of my novices were able to make the quilt and enjoy doing so. But my favorite student was undoubtedly 11-yr-old Scarlett, who redesigned the quilt to be all stripes. Scarlett finished her strip in time to run off to the pool with Sophie. Bill reported that from poolside there was a lot of giggling. Below are the sections of Just Passing Through that were worked on by students today. Note how varied their improvisations are.
Our staterooms are bigger than some NYC hotel rooms we’ve stayed in. Ours looks out of the promenade, which is a multistory mall that runs the spine of the ship. Sophie is in an adjoining stateroom and although we miss the view of the sea, having a window at all is nice.
I’ve been in the classroom from 8am until noon and again from 1:30-4:30. We’re assigned a dinner time of 5:30 and dinner lasts until 7:15 or so. As a result I haven’t had much energy to stay up late in the bars dancing or in the casino but clearly others on vacation are enjoying the nightlife on board. Bill and I watched Sophie play dodgeball under the stars tonight, which was fun. I also watched the sun rise from the treadmill at the gym each morning, which is lovely. But I’ll pass on the Botox injections at the spa and the shopping on board. The Craftsy group will be attending the ice show tomorrow night, which they say is quite impressive.
Tomorrow we arrive in Jamaica, where Bill, Sophie and I will spend the day ziplining and tubing down a river before heading back to the ship. Happily both supply helmets as I don’t need another head injury. There are hundreds of excursions to choose from but some choose to stay on board and others plan to just walk around town or lie on the beach.
Having lived in Japan, which is Mecca for customer service in my book, it’s rare that I rave about customer service because my standards are very high. However, the Royal Caribbean staff is unbelievable in their attentiveness and kindness. One example, the head waiter in the dining room came over and said that he heard that I couldn’t eat wheat so he went ahead and put in a standing order for gluten-free pancakes for me that I can eat at any of the three main restaurants that serve breakfast. The kindness shown to Sophie in particular is heart-warming as a mom. There’s not a single problem we’ve had that they haven’t cheerfully and quickly resolved. Royal Caribbean clearly has an outstanding employee program and one that I wish could be duplicated in every other orbit of my life back home.
Charming moment of the day:
The 200 waitstaff from 57 countries in the main dining room gathered together on the stairs to sing us diners O Sole Mio. Only 3 are from Italy so the rest were singing in Italian with accents from Serbia to Trinidad to Chile. Sophie and I were among the other diners cheering their efforts. I know they work for tips and work hard but it’s clear that they really enjoy their work and I’m always happy to be in the midst of people who love what they do and take pride in it.