|It took about 45 minutes to sail out to Bucks Island, a national marine park.|
|Several small butts were
observed during the sailing.
|Looking back towards Charlotte Amalie|
|Danielle Cormack gives a thumbs up to the sun, the sea and the salt.|
|As we arrived at Bucks Island, people rapidly donned their snorkel gear and plunged into the crystal clear waters. Coral reefs, leatherback turtles and fish in all shapes, colors and sizes were present.|
|Claire Stansfield soaks up some rays in the tropical sun.|
|A trio of cruise mates
gets into the swim of things.
|Danielle and Claire were a wonderful addition to this adventure. The ever delightful Missy Good was supposed to come along (Missy is a snorkel and scuba diving expert) but she was tied up trying to restore internet service to the ship, which was down for several days. Missy was one of the project directors for wiring the computer lines onboard the Dawn, a happy coincidence that meant that she was already intimately familiar with the ship and spoke at length about it to our group throughout the trip.|
|Back on board the Dawn, Ted Raimi, Claire Stansfield and Danielle Cormack presented an afternoon show featuring a Xena Season 7 Virtual Episode. Danielle was Gabrielle, Claire was Xena, and Ted was everything else, including the Narrator and Argo the horse! This was a hysterical performance that brought the house down.|
|Up in the Showroom control room, Steve Sears presided over the laughfest below. The incredibly talented writer/executive producer was an inspiration to us all throughout the week, during which time his comedic talents as well as his professional expertise were offered to all. Steve even gave a couple of Writers Workshops up on the deck above the swimming pool, to the delight of many Creation cruisegoers.|
|Heavy traffic, Caribbean style. It amazed us how ships docked right next to one another, and of course you could frequently hear people on our ship yelling over to the others " you're on the wrong ship!"|
|We arrived at the British port of Tortola, part of the British Virgin Islands, and rapidly disembarked for the ferry ride to Virgin Gorda, which was about a 45 minute trip. About 2/3 of our attendees took this shore excursion, which included Ted Raimi and Hudson Leick. Although gorgeous sights were everywhere, the sky began to darken.|
|We reached Virgin Gorda where we picked up jeeps to take us to our destination: The Baths, a natural shoreline wonder of massive boulders and turquoise water unlike anywhere else in the world. It was about a 400 yard walk down through twisted rocks to the shoreline, a beach of white sand mingled with giant rocks of all shapes and sizes.|
|This island is a natural wonder!|
|Our shoreline safari stretched
all the way down the path.
|Once on the beach, we initiated two contests: a beachcomber contest, with the prize for the most interesting item(s) found on the beach, and a sandcastle contest, for the most interesting sand creation. Many chose to head into the beautiful waters, even as a tropical sun shower descended on us. People ran into the water to keep from getting wet!|
|Hudson found a rock out in the bay to hang out on; the trick was getting onto this rock, which was slippery with algae and barnacles. How did she get up there? Many attendees joined her there.|
|The winner in the sandcastle contest was a female form wearing - you guessed it - a Xena cap.|
|Back at the boat, it was time the next day for one more day show, featuring Danielle, Claire and Ted with Steve hosting. This time people asked questions and our guests spoke about their careers and plans for the future. The next day the boat was supposed to dock at a private island in the Bahamas, but the turbulence of the waves there made it impossible and the boat sailed for Miami. We all got together one last time for a group dinner featuring lobster, filet mignon and other goodies.|
|Alas, our magical adventure was coming to a close. But many friendships were forged, and we all felt a lot better than when we had started our journey. Creation Entertainment wants to thank our wonderful attendees, fabulous guests, and the staff and crew of the Dawn (and Creation) for an incredible experience. The big question hanging in everyone's heads: where do we go next time???|
A CRUISEMATE'S JOURNAL
THE FIRST ANNUAL STRONG WOMEN OF SCI-FI CRUISE - 4/5 - 4/12 2003
SATURDAY April 5 - 3:00am - Time to get up, take care of the last minute packing, try to get the body moving with a quick shower, if that's at all possible at this ungodly hour of the morning, and head on down to LaGuardia Airport to catch the 7:00 flight to Miami. Jo-Ann and I checked in the luggage, cleared security (they wanted by shoes) and met our flightmates Rose and Lynn. Excited but still wanting our nice warm beds, we settled ourselves into our seats hoping to catch a few z's .but alas the excitement of the trip and for us the first time on a cruise ship kept us on full alert.
April 5 - 10:00am - We made it and planted our feet firmly on the ground in Miami, Florida. Now to find the transportation that would take us to the ship. We were told at as soon as we landed a car/taxi/bus would be immediately taking us to the ship but we ended up waiting at the airport until 12:30. Not very happy campers but made the best of the situation. Finally arrived at the ship about 1:15 where we stood in yet another line waiting to board the ship. The line I have to say moved pretty quickly, so there was not too much pain involved. After a trip through customs and our photos taken we were shown to our cabins. Wow very nice, clean and so new and not as tight and cramped as we thought. Our cabin was on deck 5 with a nice sizewindow. Next time I want the larger room with the balcony and tub but this would more than do for us. Ok, luggage we weren't getting until around 5-7 o'clock so we were left with freshening up before we headed to DAZZLES for the cocktail party hosted by Creation.
April 5 - 4:15 ish - DAZZLES cocktail hour. It was like old home week seeing lots of old friends from previous conventions and catching up with the latest news. Of course the best was when the guests arrived who fit in so nicely in this warm atmosphere of fans and friends. Everyone was ready to party at this point and ready for the convention events to start.
We also had a mandatory boat drill which was something to see. Very simple procedure but you would never know it. If we had to wait for everyone to get to their designated area before we jumped in the life boats we would all perish for sure. They were still nonchalantly making their way after 20 minutes.
The rest of the night we spent unpacking and checking out the ship and the ships restaurants. There was no way to try and diet on the cruise because the food was endless and delicious.
SUNDAY April 6 - Our first day at sea we all joined together at the STARDUST THEATRE. First up was Missy Good who gave us the low down on her part in the Norwegian Dawn among her other stories about writing for our favorite show, Xena. Next was a special Creation day show starring Steve Sears and Hudson Leick. This was the first time some of us had seen Steve and boy was he ever funny. He talked about writing for the show and lots of behind the scenes stuff. Very entertaining man and would love to see him again. Hudson was Hudson, and you all know what I mean. She talked about her role as Callisto, and Fastlane. Great stories about her childhood as well. One was when she was a snotty 14 year old (her words) and he father was so mad at her that he broke a chair into pieces. She thinks he wanted to break it over her head. After he destroyed the chair she turned to him and said "Now that was very mature" ..She must have been a rip growing up .LOL.
After the show we had time to go back to our cabin or walk around the ship and check out the stores before we all met back again at the AQUA Dining room for the group dining.This was really nice because once again everyone was together as we were still trying to play catch up from the last time we all saw each other. The highlight of the dinner was of course Claire Stansfield, who was gracious to join us and visit all the tables, taking photos and signing autographs. This is one very very giving woman who never fails to give back to the fans and we so love her for it. After dinner is was back to the pool and once again wandering around the ship. It was huge and we wanted to check it all out.
MONDAY April 7 - Our first excursion to San Juan Puerto Rico and the first disappointment. When we finally disembarked the ship and made our way to the meeting place we were informed that there was to be a protest with the truckers on the island at 3:00 and no one would be able to get back to the ship. At first we all thought they were full of shit but it turned out they were not and all the excursions were cancelled. Tina, Adam, Lori, Ted and Steve decided to go on their own and I figured what the hell, I'll go with them since they had no intention of NOT getting back. So a group of us got in the cabs and off we went. The first place we went to was Castillo de San Cristobal which was awesome and wished we had more time to go through it. Next we did the walking thing for over a mile to the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro. Both forts we magnificent and we were really enjoying ourselves but the time was getting close to 3:00 and some of us wanted to head back. The rest went on to do some shopping and I have to say I'm sorry I left early. We later found out that the truckers strike was on the other side of the island and all the excursions could have gone on as planned. Once we returned to the ship we heard all the stories about guards with guns and how no one was allowed to leave the ship. After showering, off to dinner and just hanging out with friends for the rest of the night. We were a crazy and fun group and a lot of people on the ship couldn't quite figure out who we were or why we were on this cruise to begin with .so we had to explain. By the end of the cruise almost everyone on the ship staff knew us. What a fabulous crew this ship had. Everyone was so nice and so friendly. I would do this again with Norwegian Dawn in a heart beat. And the food How can one stay on a diet with all this delicious food in your face no matter where you walked on the ship. Not me - impossible.
TUESDAY April 8 - 8:30 am we are on our way for our second excursion. This time with Claire and Danielle, snorkeling in St Thomas. Things got a little hairy for awhile at the beginning of this excursion because first we were all supposed to be together on one boat going, and the next thing we find out that there will be 2-3 boats. This did not sit to well since we all wanted to do this together on one boat. We adjusted (no choice) and off we went but without Claire and Danielle. I have to say we definitely were not happy campers at this point at all. MUTINY was the cry from all aboard. Alas on the great pirate ship sailing behind us was Claire and Danielle. They missed the boat. Mutiny was called off but which boat will they come on was the question of the day. Yippy they're coming on our boat but we felt bad about our friends. Wonderful women that they are, did swim to the other ship once they got their sexybodies in the water. I know I'll never show my body in public again after checking out these two gorgeous women. Be still my heart. Snorkeling was great, so I was told and no I didn't do the snorkeling because I ended up taking all the photos. Hey someone had to do it. We had a great time singing, drinking, taking more photos with Claire and Danielle and just having a hell of a time. It was indeed over much too quickly. Back on shore we checked out all the stores and picked up some souvenirs. That night both Hudson and Danielle treated us to the VAGINA MONOLOGUES hosted by Steve Sears. They did some new segments which was outstanding. Danielle just blows me away every time I see her especially when she does The Flood. Hudson was a riot when she performed The Angry Vagina. It was so Hudson and a perfect part for her. What a great day and night for all us fans.
WEDNESDAY April 9 - once again 8:30 we're off for our next excursion. This time it's to Tortola to the Virgin Gorda Baths with Hudson and Ted. First a boat to the island, then a bus (crazy ass drivers kept my heart in my mouth .lol) then a climb down to the baths through some rough terrain. Well only rough if you're trying to film this at the same time .which I was attempting to do. Finally reaching the bottom we just stood there in awe. It was the most beautiful place I've ever seen and one perfect day. Hudson and a few of the others took off for the water, the rest hung out on the beach, Ted went off to I have no idea where, and a few of us were building in the sand trying to win the sand competition. Suddenly it got very dark and started to really pour leaving everyone scrambling for shelter. Shelter, ha, they had this covered area that everyone made a mad dash for but it rained so heavy that it was coming through the roof. It lasted maybe 15-20 minutes and then the sun came shinning through once again. Back to the beach we went but alas it was almost time to leave. Again much too short, but we had to get back to the ship before it left without us. After dinner we were back in the Stardust theatre for yet another brilliant performance by Claire, Danielle and Ted reading from the SUBTEXT VIRTUAL SEASON OF XENA. Claire played Xena, Danielle played Gabrielle and Ted played Aphrodite, Argo and everyone else. It was hilarious and I hope they perform this at another future convention. Claire and Danielle had me rolling. Steve once again hosted this and just continued to crack us up. Before he brought out Claire, he was telling us about the time Claire gave him and everyone oops better not tell that one.
THURSDAY April 10 - A day at sea with a full day of Xena. We watched a bunch of videos, had the auction, the trivia contest and the highlight once again was Claire, Danielle and Ted performing once again on stage. This time it was the celebrity panel where first they came out individually to talk for a few minutes, then all came out together to answer any questions that we may have had and always wanted to ask. Questions varied to the show, their parts in the show, the present and their futures. After that they stayed on stage to take photos and sign autographs. You want to talk about giving people. They don't come any more giving than these three. They really really made our cruise the best and we love them for it especially Claire who went out of her way to make us happy. Group dining again in the AQUA restaurant but this time we were pleased to see not only Claire again but Danielle and Ted. More photos and more chatting as they made their way around the room talking to all their fans.
FRIDAY April 11 - Bummer of a day. We were supposed to go to the Grand Stirrup Cay but a front had arrived and they were afraid. The last time a front came in this bad everyone ended up stranded on the island overnight so they weren't taking any changes this time. I dont know . stranded overnight, on the beach with Claire. Not a bad deal in my book ..lol So we filled up the day at the pool, eating of course, and just having a lot of fun with each other. Hung out with Claire in the casino for awhile .took some video of the ship had dinner and met Claire at DAZZLES for a night of Karaoke. Then it was time to get our luggage packed and outside our door before midnight. Our cruise was just about over.
SATURDAY April 12 - Everyone met for our last breakfast together and began planning when we would all see each other again. Brooklyn in August here we come. Then went back to our cabins to await our color to be called which told us it was our turn to leave the ship. Once we retrieved our luggage some of us hung around outside still chatting away with old friends and some new ones and reliving the memories of the while they were still fresh. Sadly our bus came to take us to the airport and home. Our wonderful week was now officially over but with us for always will be the fun, the laughter and all those fantastic memories that will be with us for many many years. Thank you Creation for the best convention ever.
Other highlights I failed to mention:
Awesome time in the Spinnaker Lounge with Claire and Danielle. I wonder if Danielle remembers anything. Boy was she feeling no pain but was having a jolly old time dancing up a storm with everyone. Then there was the fabulous stage shows that the cruise put on. The dancing was great and they really put on a great performance for a packed house. They also had art auctions on board, games, 4 fantastic hot tubs that were so fabulous that once you got in you never wanted to come out. I'm sure I left out a million things so I hope everyone else can fill in what I missed.
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