CruiseWorld 2014, November 6th, 2014 - DAY TWO

Ah, 7am Thursday! Time for breakfast. You gotta hand it to Northstar Media. When they put on an event, they just know no one wants to waste their time sleeping. So, I rolled out bright and early after zero sleep the day before, and a little restless tossing last night, put on my best positive attitude and ran across to the convention center. More speechifying, this time from Adam Goldstein of Royal Caribbean. Then a couple breakout sessions before retrieving Gretchen for lunch and the big Expo thang. My favorite part of the event, cruising up and down the aisles, the reciprocal schmooze fest with suppliers, etc. And then of course, they top it off with some nice food, and open bar (which is great because the food lines are short until everyone gets tired of standing in the long open bar lines), and DRAWINGS! I finally actually won something! Yay me. A two night stay at the Sheration Suites/Plantation, Fl. Since I somehow end up in Florida at least twice a year, it will not go to waste. Although, I wish I could change my flight plans for the Norwegian Getaway cruise at the end of the month, to add two days on one side or the other. Alas, change fees would probable be as expensive as the rooms.

I did run in to the downside of being blamed for starting The Party At The Quarterdeck. My plan for the evening was a quite dinner with the 3 agents I had attending. A chance for some of that bonding/teambuilding/motivating crap I love so well. Not that I have anything against drunken revelry, but i was trying to change it up a little. And all afternoon, various miscreants kept asking me where "we" were going for dinner. Awkward...

But we did finally manage to get organized and get over to the Westin to pick up the two staying there. I had thought to walk the 1/2 mile or so to the touristy part of A1A and find some patio dining. But when we were all together, it was clear enough walking had been done that day, so I looked over my shoulder and saw Shula's Steakhouse sitting right there and said "What the heck, let's just eat here". Which I probably wouldn't have if I had looked at a menu. Nice place, Shula's. And very proud of their food. But what the hell. I'm calling it a combined sales meeting/Christmas Bonus for the team.

After dinner and a cab back to our hotel, I was ready to turn in, but my plus one (who never had ANY intention of attending a 7am breakfast meetinga) was not. So we went down to the waterfront bar where an unconscionably large number of CruiseWorld staff and attendees were still going strong. So, what the heck. A few chips and salsa at midnite. What could possibly go wrong? They were really tasty the first time. At 2, 3 and 4am, not so much. But, yeah...a little snack, another glass of tea, and I finally decided to try and get some sleep. The plus one decided she needed one or four more drinks, so she could wake me up a couple hours later, tripping over the bathroom threshold, or whatever it is she used.

So, that ended the day before the BIG DAY. The Day I was supposed to be ON, twice, once on a panel, and once all by my lonesome, dispensing my wit and wisdom in an effort to mold and motivate my colleagues. As I fell asleep the 3rd or 4th time, just before I needed to get up, I consoled myself with memories of when I took the SAT's in 10th grade and was in the 99th percentile in both English and Math. With a hangover, and in the same clothes I wore to school the day before.

In any event, tomorrow is another day, and I'll tell you all about it. Soon.

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