I went on a great trip last week. I was delighted to have a cruise to Mexico. It was a special blogger’s cruise to sunny Cozumel. I’ve always wanted to go on one. Cruising in my favorite type of travel, but I’ve always wanted to go with a big group of girlfriends, so I decided to treat myself. The Six Sisters were offering a cruise at their conference with my favorite fashion expert Alicia Richmond. They had also booked a fitness expert, who turned out to be the husband of one of the Sisters. What a great opportunity!
So, last week, I flew to Houston and hopped on a ship headed to Cozumel. All by my little self. I would’ve like to bring my husband along, but he didn’t have enough vacation available and we were scraping it just to manage the fare for me. And I knew several of the sisters from their conference the last two years – Build Your Blog Conference. Plus I had modeled a few times for Alicia, so I figured I’d give it a try. Fortunately, I’m pretty outgoing, and I make friends easily, so why not?
As usual – I had a wonderful time. The weather was terrific, the food was delicious (and way too plentiful!), the cruise line was amazing. As usual, the excursions were fabulous, and I had a great time with all my new blogger buddies! There were about 30 other bloggers along, so it made for a nice-sized group with plenty of networking time and lots of one-on-one time with the Six Sisters and their parents. Their Dad Larry, runs a lot of the behind the scenes operation and is a great resource.
The Business of Blogging
If you’re not familiar with The Six Sisters and Alicia – they are some pretty big names in the blogging world. The Sisters are very well-known food bloggers. They’ve published several cookbooks (I won one on the cruise). Alicia is a fashion stylist who has numerous gigs going with Macy’s, Clinton Kelly (from What NOT To Wear). She does lots of things to teach women how to select clothing and accessories that will fit and flatter them, regardless of their body of budget. She’s not necessarily a fashion blogger, but you can find her site at Chic on a Shoestring.com. Jared from Tone ‘n Tighten – the fitness guy, is married to Camille, the oldest Sister. His blog has tons of great workouts and meal plans.
We had a total of about 80 people in our group including the Sisters, their spouses, kids, and their parents. Many of us were established bloggers, some were more beginning (or aspiring) bloggers. The rest were Alicia’s fashionistas, and some were just along for the ride. So there was a little something for everyone.
We had a daily schedule of hour-long sessions on various topics. Each of the Sisters took a turn leading a session and then Alicia did a fabulous session along with personal fashion consultations for each of us. They are all genuinely sweet girls. I really enjoyed having a chance to spend time with them.
Midweek we took a group tour of of the great pyramid of Chichen Itza. It was AMAZING. I’ve never seen anything like it. I can see why it is considered one of the man-made wonders of the earth. The fact that it took 300 years to build was mind boggling. I look at how much work it is to put together a simple event for our Scout Troop. Can you even imagine the logistics to build something like this over generations of leaders with primitive methods?
I also did something called a helmet dive in Cozumel – it’s very, very cool and something I really enjoyed. It’s sort of like beginner scuba diving – they put a helmet over your head, take you down about 20 feet under the water. There are guides and they keep you safe, take photos, and bring you little sea critters to see.
The best part of it was a late night strategy session we had, literally sitting in a hallway with Larry. He runs the Blogger Network and is extremely knowledgeable about the technical and strategic elements of blogging. I’ve now got a to-do list as long as my arm of changes to my blog and social media.
Back Home Again
If you ever have a chance to go on a blogger cruise or conference, I absolutely recommend it. Nothing really compares with spending time with people who really understand the mechanics of blogging. It was a little hectic combining the blogging classes with all the cruise activities. But it was definitely worth it for all the great friends I met and all the stuff I learned from it. Plus Alicia gave me some terrific and much needed fashion advice.
It definitely was hard to come back to work on Monday – I was starving for one thing. You get used to eating huge meals every few hours. And no one turned down my bed and made me cute towel animals, plus I kept feeling the floor rocking for at least the first few days. The good thing is I’ll be seeing a lot of my new friends in a couple of weeks when the Build Your Blog conference starts in a couple of weeks!
I’ve got a few other posts on cruises that you may enjoy.