photos, row 1, photo 1, on
left), Queen of the Vancouver Violets,
arranged a wonderful five-day cruise for approximately 90 red
hatters. There were three hats from Oregon - Donna Everett of
Donna Everett's photos, row 1 with red hat)Jill's
photos, row 6, photo 3), and me, Queen Jill. Joan surprised me with a
fabulous red hat cat (Jill's
photos, row 8, photo 4). Thank you,
Joan, I love it!
cruise originated at San Pedro Harbor in Los Angeles. We boarded
the Norwegian Sun April 27th and cruised for two days
before arriving at our first port, Seattle. As always, it is
such fun to be around red hatters. Though we just met, it seemed
like we had been friends forever. In a couple of cases, it was
like we had been friends or sisters in a previous lifetime.
fun to have twin red hatters on board - Velma and Verna from the Cherry
Tarts in California (Jill's
1, photos 2 & 3). They definitely doubled our
pleasure. Desiree (Jill's
photos, row 1, photo
2) not only was celebrating her
birthday month, but was instrumental in arranging card and board games
for the after midnight crowd.
thing I especially liked about this cruise was the "freestyle dining." We didn't have to eat at a
scheduled time or place, unless it was a pre-planned red hat
dinner. We could eat anytime we wanted, in any dining room we
wanted. There were two main dining rooms and about seven
specialty restaurants. I dined in one specialty
restaurant - East Meets West, which served incredibly delicious
Asian cuisine. And I had a most charming and interesting
dinner companion with whom to share it.
some rough seas the first couple of days. I believe it was the
first evening when about 30 hatters were seasick and couldn't make it
second port was Victoria, B.C. I was so excited to finally
have the famous high tea at the Empress Hotel (see
Donna Everett's photos). Gail Fluskey and
I had planned to take a taxi from the ship to the hotel, but when Gail
saw the antique Ford, that was it. (See
Gail Fluskey's photos, row 2, photo 2)
We had so much fun waiving at
people along the route, as they scurried to take our picture while we
were still in view. We later heard that all of Victoria was
talking about the two of us and were wondering who we were.
night there was a show going on in every showroom. The main Stardust
showroom had very talented and professional acts ranging from
comedy to big production numbers. In two smaller, intimate lounges,
there were singers and pianists. In Dazzle, a fun nightclub/discothèque, they had a 50s and 60s party and played games
such as the Not So Newlywed Game and other fun and games.
favorite spot was the Observation Lounge on Deck 12.
Every night I went up to listen to my favorite duo, Twice as Nice, an
extremely talented married couple.
I became their number one groupie. Westley Stevens,
the husband, was formerly
with The Commodores and The Stylistics in the 70s, two of my favorite
groups. He is brilliant on the keyboard and the electronic sound
effects. I learned that he wrote the hit song for The
Stylistics entitled "You Make Me Feel Brand New".
It was one of my favorites. His wife Shelly Dartez has the most amazing voice. She has
definitely become my American Idol. (See
rows 7 & 8).
missed the PJ party and the Chippendales take off - Ship'n'Males.
Gail Fluskey's and
Macleod's photos below.)
a quote from Sue Macleod: " Such a good time was had by
all....the shrieks of laughter and hand clapping encouraged by the
court jester, the world's youngest bosun, the virility of the younger
members of the crew, all I can say is "Wow!!!"
Thank you Lord for the opportunity to remember what young and virile
looked and felt like.....to touch those firm muscled bodies did my
heart good. The pictures reflect the emotions of all that
enjoyed the show. My greatest fascination was with the sea of Red
Hatters that held no restraint to their desires. I will never
look at "crew' in the same way again - I will always think "Hmmmph
- I wonder what they look like with their clothes off!!"
here is a quote regarding the Ship'n'Males from Marie Miller of
the Red Queens in Chatsworth, CA: "The evening
started out harmless enough... Everyone had their options to go
to the early production show or the late, eat where they wanted, just
peruse all available entertainment or eateries on the ship. Then
many of us went to the 'disco' area, where there was a karaoke set
going on, very entertaining, lots of great talent. My friend and
I decided not to stay for the Ship'n'Males.
Just didn't think we wanted to see that type of show. We are
from L.A., not prudes by any stretch of the imagination, but it just
didn't seem like something we would enjoy."
our Red Hat 'sisters' corralled us as we tried to leave after karaoke,
and they said 'Oh no, stay because the fun is about to begin!'
So we found seats in the middle of the audience, where we wouldn't be
too close and could make a getaway if we were so inclined. We
didn't have any real money with us, just our cruise ship cards, so we definitely
did not plan on being participants in this event. But then the
show started...and it was a real hoot! The guys were all
employees from the ship, one was the DJ, a couple were stewards, a few
were waiters...all very cute and very entertaining! The ladies
went wild, and money was seen waving throughout the room.
Needless to say, we did not leave that show before its
conclusion. The guys were adorable, and the ladies enthusiasm
added to the entertainment."
our seats weren't as "safe" as we thought, because at one
point one of the dancers danced his way into the audience, hopping
from chair to chair, and ended up on my friend Emily's chair, right
next to me, giving her an up close and personal dance. I haven't
laughed that much in years! He took her red hat off her head,
put it on his and stood in her chair, with her still in it, dancing
and gyrating. The room went wild! And as my friend was laughing
and saying my name. I had my head down and my eyes
covered! It was too funny. I know there were cameras
flashing, so if anyone caught that picture I would love to see
it! We had so much fun, and meeting all the wonderful ladies was
just spectacular! Hope to see you all soon!"
last port was Vancouver, B.C. We disembarked in the morning, and
many of us took a motor coach tour of that magnificent city and historic
sites beyond. Some of us spent the night at the Holiday Inn,
where we enjoyed a delicious dinner and final conversations with our
new red hat friends. The next day we headed home - either by
plane, train or bus.
can't thank Gail Fluskey enough for planning and arranging this
fantastic cruise for us. We'll be looking forward to what she
comes up with next year!