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May 16, 2017
Our Second Lecture: Traveling the World Part 2

One of the consequences of having 11 sea days on a 17-day cruise is that there are only six ports – and five of them we have been to before.

On May 15, we reached our first port, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Once a sleepy little seaside village, over the years Cabo has transformed into a very touristy strip mall full of tee-shirts, bars and tour vendors.

Because we had such short notice to be on this cruise, we were locked out of being able to reserve any excursions ahead of time. We have decided to minimize or skip any paid excursions anyway. We never know when Princess will schedule a lecture (or which one), and we want to make sure we have all of our slides and materials ready ahead of time.

(We also learned that several of the Cabo excursions ended up being cancelled anyway, due to wind and rough seas.)

We were only in port for a short while – from 7:00 am until 2:00 pm. So mid-morning, we took a tender to port and walked around. We were able to find a small beach about a half-mile north of the pier, and we hung around there until Gail got tired of being sand-blasted by the wind. (She also went knee-deep into the water, but it was freezing cold.)

Gail on the beach in Cabo San Lucas

Aboard ship, Princess told us that they will probably only need five lectures from us over the entire cruise. In addition to our four “adventure of a lifetime” lectures, Russell still had two regular lectures on his list. His own preference was “Crossword Puzzles.” Russell had finished a strong presentation that discussed the two most famous crossword puzzles in history and featured several video clips.

But Simon Heath, the assistant cruise director, preferred “The Search for Longitude.” Simon said that he personally wouldn’t attend “Crossword Puzzles,” as he didn’t like the things.

In the ensuing days, Russell realized that Simon was right. With a specialized subject like crossword puzzles, we would have many people who would specifically not attend because they weren’t interested in the topic. We left a message with Simon that our fifth and last lecture would be “Longitude.” The trouble is, Russell hadn’t even started on that presentation yet, and it would require a considerable amount of research and work. (Russell had originally picked the topic out of thin air.)

So Russell would be looking at several more hours of sitting in front of his PC aboard ship.

On May 16, we hosted our second lecture: “We Traveled the World for a Year! Part 2: Living out of a Suitcase!” We made some adjustments after our first lecture, which had run past the one-hour mark. We realized that passengers had other events to get to, including ping pong, bingo and trivia. So we tightened our second lecture to 45 minutes.

Russell and Gail both presented again. As with our previous lecture, we started off by telling the audience that our lecture approach was unusual. Rather than educate, we wanted to entertain. Rather than teach, we wanted to tell stories.

Russell introduces our second lecture

Gail shows off some of our world trip souvenirs

Once again, we had about 50 attendees. And once again, we received very positive feedback. People enjoy our material and our presentation style. They are especially taken with the stories of our sons Cameron and Joss, and many have asked to see photos of what they look like today.

We tell them to keep coming to our lectures. They will have a chance to see our sons slowly grow up through our upcoming adventures.

Sunset over the ocean, as viewed from the Panama Buffet


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