Saturday, May 17, 2014

Grand vacation 2014

Many of you have asked how I enjoyed my recent Stampin' Up! incentive trip on the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas.  This was my first trip that I haven't been able to blog along the way since I didn't have access to internet on the ship.  I missed the daily journalling because even now I think I have already forgotten some of the special details.  Anyway, here's some highlights.
The first day on the ship did not disappoint!
A decorated welcome to my stateroom...

Delicious food...

Then a special welcome at the "Boardwalk Bash".  They closed off the boardwalk level of the ship to the general public and it was a Stampin' Up! only party.  Since Founders Circle in the fall, I had my daughter Michelle writing letters to Christi Beck's daughter and they were able to meet in person on the ship.  We spent most of the trip hanging out with them and the two little girls had great fun playing and talking together. Already on the first night at the Boardwalk bash they were fast friends and took multiple rides together on the Merry Go Round.  (Yes!  This was on the ship!)

The Boardwalk Bash night was fun!  There was free popcorn...

free ice cream bars...  I had to eat them even though I had just had a delicious seafood pasta dinner in the dining room! 

...Decorations to remind us how special we were to be on this Stampin' Up! grand vacation.  This was the first incentive trip that included earning demonstrators from all around the world! We had demonstrators from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, as well as Canada and the U.S.  
...An exclusive showing of the Oceanaria water and diving show...

And then a lovely pillow gift when I returned to my room.  Beach towels that had a pocket that fit perfectly over the poolside lounge chairs and embroidered with the Stampin' Up! logo and a paper pumpkin kit.

Okay, to spare you a super long blog post of my day to day adventure, I'll try to just share the themes of the trip.  
What's a Stampin' Up! trip without chatting with Stampin' Up! staff and fellow demonstrator friends? I look forward to events and trips to say hello in person to these great people.
Here's Dale Hampshire (Canadian business development manager).  Wondering about the raised fist thing?  I talk about it in this post HERE

At the general session all the employees wore matching shirts that said: "I"m Shelli's favorite".  Shelli had a shirt that said: I'm Shelli.  :-)  My daughter tells me that Sterling, her husband had a shirt that said "I AM Shelli's favorite".  

Rich Jutkins, president.  He sent me a hand stamped card a few months ago and I made sure to go and say thank you.
My advisory board "sisters".  I can't believe our term is nearly over.  It was nice to see them in person.  We do most of our communication over the phone and internet.
My friend Sandy that I met on my very first incentive trip.  We hit it off and so did our husbands.  We made a point of having lunch together to say hi and catch up.

Megumi Holland. I met her at leadership one year.   Her husband is a tugboat captain and is at sea a lot.  I asked him what he thought of this ship.  He grinned and said it was "okay"

The ship was amazing. It was full of great experiences.  Character parades...

Rock climbing walls...
Each deck had themed decor.  Here's the central park deck.  It was so nice to just walk around and enjoy.

Then of course there were the places that we docked.  Here's Labadee, Haiti.
We just hung on the beach and enjoyed the day.
We didn't get off at Jamaica but we did book an excursion in Cozumel.

There was a great Kids program that the girls would sometimes go and enjoy.  On the last day they even had a little talent show with the kids.  Michelle played the piano by herself.  She also did a gymnastics routine with her best buddy Allison.

And here's the pillow gifts...
The water bottles with a built in filter were perfect for the hot days.  Isn't the towel creature cute? Each night the stateroom attendant would make fun towel creatures.
A cute caddy filled with candy.  I wasn't sure if the caddy was for collecting paper scraps or holding crafty supplies...
A $50 credit to our ship account so we could enjoy some fun!
Sweatshirts.  I got one for me and one for Kevin.
A new handbag.  I sure get a lot of bags from Stampin' Up! but I love them all.  This one was just a perfect size and so cozy!
And of course some new Stampin' supplies.  I admit that the box of stampin' goodies was one of my favourite gifts.  Each day I would talk to my friend Christi and say how we loved the pillow gifts.  Although I admit I would say something along the lines of "gosh, I hope we get some new product from the new catalogue".  Each day would go by and still no new Stampin' "crack".  I was starting to get worried and that maybe we wouldn't get any this trip.  I was greatly happy to open the decorated box and find a new this n that journal, stamp set, washi tape, rotary stamp and more...My friend Christi laughed with me the next day saying: "as soon as I opened my box I thought of you and knew you would be happy!".
Grin.  The day I stop enjoying receiving free stamps is the day I should stop being a stampin' up demonstrator.
Here's my friend Christi and her husband John.  I sure missed Kevin on this trip.  I know he would've loved chatting with John.
It was a great trip.  It reminded me again how Stampin' Up! is a really special company filled with really special people.  Here is evidence of that...I received this pretty gift in my stateroom on the last night.  It must be from a demonstrator from Australia but she didn't leave her name.  I'm guessing it was a lady by the name of Narelle.  I met her online before the trip as we had arranged to do the dolphin adventure together as we were nervous to do an excursion alone in Cozumel.

With our busy busy lives it's still nice to return to simple handmade things.  Go ahead, take the time to make something that means something...Stampin' Up! and I are here to help.  Thanks to all of you who helped make this trip possible for my daughter and I.  We had a great time.  It was really a once in a lifetime trip.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Gen! Thank you for sharing your trip, WOW top notch all the way!