Posted January 21st, 2008, 10:05 PM
Last edited by [email protected]
; January 22nd, 2008 at 12:00 PM
The first thing that struck me about this cruise is how Heald's readers seemed just as excited to meet each other as they were about seeing their favorite cruise director. Everyone's first chance to meet was the welcome party held on embarkation day in the Victoriana Lounge. Before Heald had a chance to come onstage, bloggers were dashing through the aisles and rows, throwing their arms about each other like long-lost friends. I had missed this bit of Web 2.0 etiquette--I thought you were supposed to read the blog, not the comments! So I felt a bit like the wallflower crashing a party by the cool kids.
I've also been surprised by the amount of blogger paraphernalia onboard. All bloggers received a tote bag proclaiming "I love John's blog thingy"--except the "blog" is nearly hidden, so at first glance, it reads "I love John's thingy." For those of you haven't been reading Heald, “Thingy” is the way John’s long characterized his blog dispatches. As in “read my blog thingy”. The naughty undertones are lost on no one on this family-friendly cruise, but I've seen no raised eyebrows. Maybe non-bloggers are really polite?
But if you're just carrying around a tote bag, you're not a hardcore fan. The true bloggers came with their own homemade T-shirts, pins, and signs. Big Ed, a well-known commenter, handed out "welcome to the Bloggers Cruise" pins at the welcome party, and several guests sported "I love John's blog thingy" T-shirts with their names on the back. According to John, some cruisers put up signs on their cabin doors letting everyone know where to find a blog fan. Deck Seven Aft has yet to represent, but I'll try to scour the hallways for some signage photo opps. And of course no one feels self-conscious about any of this out-of-the-ordinary behavior.
As excited as we all are to be part of the first-ever Bloggers Cruise, there's only one or two blogger events per day. You can't blame John--after all, cruise directing is not a part-time job. With a safety drill to conduct, late passengers from snowy Baltimore to rescue, and a welcome show to emcee, he's a bit busy. And we're busy, too, as we chase down that first margarita, book shore excursions, and look forward to our seven days of snow-free fun.
My friend holding the bloggers' bag we all received in our cabins. It says "I love John's blog thingy."
Bloggers' T-Shirts worn by two ladies during the welcome party.