Tuesday, October 27, 2009
It was amazing how many people were injured during our 10 day cruise in the Eastern Med. Every time we went ashore, someone came back with skinned shins, broken leg or arm, cuts, bruises. Many passengers navigated the old towns and ruins in their wheel chairs and walkers. But it seems that the inexperienced have trouble simultaneously gazing at the magnificent views and walking over cobblestones or dodging along irregular walkways.
It was a good reminder for the rest of us that most of the world is not influenced by Americans with Disabilities Act or OSHA or the threat of law suits. Irregular walkways and stairs and lack of hand rails in the ruins of Greece and Italy are the norm.
Oh, one more thing to be aware of -- while one of our dinner-table mates was having a badly sprained wrist cared for, her husband asked about availability of Imodium. He didn't really need it, but declared that he did to get the free supply .... ooops .... 24 hours in quarantine. Throughout the day and evening, the kind-hearted medicos called his room to see if he needed water or anything else (basically checking to make sure he obeyed the quarantine). If he didn't report improvement at the end of 24 hours, the room assignment would continue for another 48 hours.
The strict policy is part of the ship's effort to control the outbreak of flu and other contagious diseases. Every time we turned around on board the ship, someone was offering us another squirt of Purell anti virus hand cleaner (can you have too much of that stuff?).
OK .. here's the point ... watch where you're walking, wash your hands often, and buy your stand by Imodium in town (about one euro per box - don't ask how I know the price).
"Using the leadership skills of US Army Rangers to
help key people succeed in tough times."
Late in the evening, while we were enjoying a superb jazz session in the main show lounge there was some storm damage that put a couple of staterooms out of use. two or three people were injured in the swells and the captain slowed down to reduce the discomfort and avoid any danger.
We were awoken next morning, still at sea, with his announcement that we would arrive back in Barcelona 7 hours late. This gave people issues with their homeward travel plans. But the company immediately opened all phone lines and internet access free of charge to help those passengers who had not booked their travel with the cruise line. Those who had booked through them were re-booked automatically.
The Cruise Director had an open questions session in the theatre and Kathy and I were able to answer a number of travel insurance questions and questions about Barcelona and onward travel.
The whole incident, which could have been a nightmare was handled calmly and professionally. No drama.
To find out more about cruising free as a speaker check out www.cruiseimprove.com/free
To read about our life in Spain visit www.figleaf.org
Friday, October 23, 2009
My destination presentation on the sea day preceding our visit included comments about these beautiful windmills on the island. Upon our arrival, the bright sunshine was like a spotlight on all of the whitewashed buildings in the town.
Cruising the med aboard the Celebrity Solstice is amazing.
"Using the leadership skills of US Army Rangers to help key people succeed in tough times."
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
It is tempting to assume that your contact on board has only you to worry about. Usually, in truth, the enrichment lecturer, dance instructor or bridge tutor are not at the top of their lists. I see our job as delivering exactly what we promise - outstanding talks, classes or other activity, with as little hassle as possible.
Therefore I make a point making friends of the technicians who can make my talks exceptional - sound, video, lights etc. I always ensure that I arrive in the theatre early. I always praise and thank them for everything they do. I take an interest in them and listen to their problems.
Let's face it - this really is no different to managing the professionals in a team in the corporate world.
And you know what - I have earned a reputation as an easy guy to work with - PLUS I always get all the help I need.
To find out more about cruising free visit - www.CruiseImprove.Com/FREE
To read the story of our move to the sun visit - www.Figleaf.Org
Monday, October 12, 2009
Today we are heading back to Barcelona, on the last day of our 12 night Mediterranean cruise.
We have visited ancient wonders, beautiful islands, capital cities (of both the Roman and Greek empires) and walked, scrambled and lazed our way there and back.
I've just finished my last lecture of the cruise. There was so much potential material on this cruise – we visited three volcanic sites (and sailed past the jetting Stromboli) – ancient cultures, scenic beauty and (one of my favourite topics) outstanding flavours.
But I was able to go to my files and draw off 4 existing presentations that could easily be adapted make them local and specific to our ports of call. The Cruise director has just congratulated me on the detailed preparation and my audience has been excited and full of praise. This is the most rewarding part of a cruise when we cruise free the Daniel Hall way.
To find out more visit – www.CruiseImprove.Com/free
To obtain my book on life in the Mediterranean “Under Latin Skies” visit – www.Figleaf.org
Sunday, October 11, 2009
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Thursday, October 08, 2009
We're on our way to 11-day cruise aboard the beautiful Celebrity Solstice. We had the invitation within 10 days of signing on with Daniel as our coach. It's hard to believe that we board the ship tomorrow.
Since we were flying into Rome, we decided to spend a couple days before and after the cruise just to renew our acquaintance with all things Roman. After going through customs we saw the Celebrity coordinators and inquired about transportation to the port. She said she'd make a reservation for us aboard the shuttle at Euro 91 each (approx US$145 each), but if we were leaving from Rome Central, we might want to consider taking a train ($6-25 each, depending on whether we want the 2 hour ride or the 1 hour ride). Duh ...
In the morning, after two days in this wonderful B&B about 4 blocks from the Coliseum, we'll jump aboard that slow train and enjoy the countryside on a leisurely ride over to the port. Always schedule a couple extra days for touring from your port city and always be sure to ask about alternative travel.
Monday, October 05, 2009
My husband Cliff and I were both part of the enrichment program on the Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas, 9 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise. This was our first 'cruise for free' experience and thank you Daniel. This all happened by joining Daniel's club and following through with all the great information Daniel provides. I would encourage you to be on as many teleconference calls that you can and book private one-to-one coaching sessions. I also watched all of the videos Daniel provided and all of this combined, prepared us from the gecko!
When we arrived at the Port of Baltimore, our port of embarkation, we asked for the Pier Coordinator and stated that we were speakers for the Enrichment Program. The bonus here is that we were asked to join the small exclusive line, which also served suite cabin guests and the process was fast and efficient. This allowed us to board the ship earlier and provided us with extra time to explore the ship until our room was ready. When we were allowed to go to our cabins we were excited to see if our first letter was in the room. Voila! there it was, our first welcome letter from the Cruise Program Administrator (CPA) just as Daniel had stated! This letter provided us with the the time of our key notes and the location where we would be giving our presentations. The letter outlined where and when to meet the CPA which was right after the muster drill and asked us to be ready to go over any possible changes in the order of our key notes or anything else we wanted to discuss in regards to our presentations. We promptly got everything ready for the meeting, any questions we had, technician requirements, then off we went to explore the room we would be speaking in. We were pleasantly surprised that we would be presenting in such a huge and gorgeous location, the lovely South Pacific Lounge! I thought it felt like we were in the movies!
It is also important to get the contact number for the Cruise Program Administrator (your contact), just in case you may need them in regards to your presentation. Remember they are very busy and it is extremely important to be professional, organized and not take their time. Our CPA was at the beginning or end and sometimes both for our enrichment talks. Joanna followed up on the attendance and our feedback.
Back to the snowball effect! As the days went by, we found the attendance in our presentations grew. We continued to meet wonderful people and invite them to attend our up-coming keynotes. Booking a large table for dinner is also a great way to meet more people and have great conversations! Our wonderful table was brilliant and each one not only attended many of our presentations, they are now new friends in our lives. Another opportunity to meet people is at breakfast, lunch and all activities!! We began to create a buzz around all of our presentations. In summary the attendance at our talks grew as the time went by, hence the snowball effect and we had a loyal following of people who we got to know personally.
At your presentations a great way to build your lists and for people to get to know who you are and what you do is have a draw. At each of our key notes we had draws and gave away our CD's and other inspirational gifts. We asked permission to add their names to our mailing list and everyone said yes! I also let them know that they would be receiving a free chapter of my "8 Keys to unlocking Infinite Passion" CD Audiobook. As a thank you, it is always nice to give a gift, a free article, chapter, e-zine. We also purchased a Sony DCR-SX40/SX41/SX60 Handycam. We wanted a camera that was easy for editing and turning into future give a ways and products for our sites.
In regards to selling your product at the back of the room, we soon learned what to do and what not to do. We did not have our product in the gift shop on this cruise, however, we were given permission to sell our product at our presentation. I soon learned that there was not enough time at the end of the presentation, as the room was booked for the next event and people are there right on the dot to attend. So, what I did learn was to create a space ahead of time, in this case, closer to the entrance of the event, to set up a space to sell my product and take a picture of some of the people who attended the event.
Live the Passion one day at a time!
We're just sailing through the Straits of Messina on the beautiful Brilliance of the Seas – and all thanks to Daniel Hall's excellent advice and guidance. Thank you my friend.
Today the clocks go forward an hour at midday and my first talk is in the theater at 2pm.
As we came on board we met three staff members who we have met on previous cruises – and my “reputation” was running ahead of me. The broadcast technician, who I worked with in Australia and the entertainments manager, who we worked worked with on a Transatlantic had both told the cruise director that I attract big audiences – and he is now trailing my talks on TV and in his announcements, as well as in the daily planner.
We have now found at least a dozen members of the Royal Caribbean team that we know – and one of them is pushing my book in the store. I've already sold enough to be happy and I have yet to stand on stage.
Building good contacts on board makes a good cruise into a great one for us speakers.
Enjoy cruising free – visit www.CruiseImprove.Com/FREE
To read about the challenges and joys of the Mediterranean life check our my book, “Under Latin Skies” at www.figleaf.org