From April 14-22 my hubby & I cruised from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Half Moon Cay, Bahamas then Oranjestad, Aruba then through the Panama Canal and into both Panama City and Colon, Panama. Wow, what a whirlwind and incredible trip provided entirely by Stampin’ Up! Well, not "entirely" since we do have our own obligation to pay for excursions, on-ship souvenirs, sodas and wine. But that expense was a pittance compared to what we were treated to!

While on board, SU! had many opportunities for us to see demonstrations by fellow demonstrators and SU! staff alike. Cruise Achievers were invited to bring one item to share that they made and those items were displayed on several boards in different places on the ship. The gals who demonstrated had their own boards showcasing things they’d made. I took a whole bunch of photos which I am going to put into an album here in a moment.

Similarly, towards the end of the cruise, we had a Make ‘N’ Take day where, the night before, we were given a brand NEW stamp set "Flowers & Flourish" (that will be in the next catalog), a NEW jumbo wheel called "Spotted" and some current stamp pads. We made 3 projects the following morning: "Thinking of You Window Card", "Flowers & Flourish Pocket Card" and "Linen Prints Pocket Book" (my favorite – this was cool!).

I am going to create three photo albums: one with a whole bunch of the demonstrator samples, one showing the three Make ‘N’ Take projects we made and a final one showing all the gifts SU! gave us on the cruise.

Every other night, more or less, when we’d come back to our stateroom after dinner then the entertainment (cabaret show, juggler, magician, ventriloquist), there’d be a surprise gift on our bed. Backing up a minute, when you cruise, your Room Steward magically comes into your room in the morning after you’ve left and makes your bed and refreshens your bathroom w/towels and cleans up, etc… Same thing in the evening – he turns down the bed, puts a nighty-night note from the ship’s Captain along with a chocolate, he put the SU! gift on the bed and the cutest thing was that every night he created an animal out of a towel or two and had it waiting on the bed. I have photos of those but I’ll add those some other day.

During the cruise our Queen, Shelli Gardner, announced that the 2008 incentive trip (earned beginning July 1) will be a trip (not a cruise) for about 5 days to a resort in Hawaii! Next year is Bermuda (not sure if I’ll earn it so I need your help!) then Hawaii.

There were a few new things mentioned and items to bring to your attention in the photos (see if you can find anything new – hint, look at the names of my photos) but I’ll have to cover those in Part 2 of my Panama Canal cruise story.

I hope you’ll enjoy seeing what I saw via all these samples and be able to have said you took a tiny trip on the SU! cruise too!