Reunion 2009 Cruise Summary

RAF Kirknewton, Scotland

Carnival Destiny

September 21 - 26, 2009

The following is a summary of the Reunion 2009 Cruise as I saw and remember it. It’s my story and I am sticking to it.

LaRue and I arrived a couple of days early and took an all day city/bay tour of the Miami area on Friday the day before the cruise. Miami exceeded our expectations greatly. The Rodeway Inn was quite adequate for a budget price, a free hot breakfast, and free airport/cruise terminal shuttle. It is located across from the University of Miami hospital and the VA hospital.. The street directory listed 68 separate medical buildings in a few square blocks.

By early evening, the Mullican”s, Dee’s, Crawford’s, Littlefields, Selway’s, Donovan’s, and the Thomas’s had checked in. We all gathered on the patio deck of the restaurant/bar and had a little pre cruise party. The owner of the restaurant even joined us and bought a round of drinks. The hotel shuttle was a bit busy the next morning but we were at the ship around 11am. The check in was easy and the lines were short. It took us about an hour to get aboard and we were poking along to let others catch up. Cabins were not available until around 1:30 so the time was spent eating and socializing on the Lido deck and getting everyone accounted for. Everyone made it with time to spare. After getting into our cabins we met from 2-3:30 in a secluded lounge and visited.. Fred Crawford brought the reunion caps and Dick Littlefield gave us USAFSS pins that he and Pat donated. The fire drill took place a little after 4pm and we were sailing around 4:30pm. The Miami Cruise Port is almost in downtown Miami and is really beautiful from the ship. Leaving the harbor, we sailed by South Beach with all its art deco buildings.

Turned out that all were in late dining and grouped together at 4 large round tables, except for the Selway’s. They booked on there own and didn’t get the message to get linked to us, but they were at a table close by. We had top notch wait staff (probably the best I have seen), the menu choices too many to fathom, and I thought the food was very good. One night we turned down another lobster tail as it was just too much. The shows and entertainment were all very good also. A lot of skin in the two big shows but that was ok with us old guys.

The main complaint was always getting lost on the ship and always eating.

Day 2 after departing Miami was a day at sea and we all did what we wanted. Some hit the casino, some read, some got some sun, some took a nap, some explored the different eating venues, some hit the sports bar, some got lost, and some did them all. Day 3 was spent on Grand Turk Island. It didn’t take long to tour the island as it is just 2 miles wide and 7 miles long. Very interesting though. They are rebuilding after getting hit by a hurricane a year ago. The water was a beautiful azure blue and the beaches white sand. The wife saw a very large sting ray swim by the ship as she watched from our balcony. Day 3 was on Half Moon Cay which is a dedicated small island for cruise ships with only 35 full time inhabitants. Day 5 was at Nassau with lots of tourism opportunities that we enjoyed..

The last evening we all met in a reserved lounge before dinner, visited, took care of some business by passing the baton to Fred Crawford, the new President/Chairman of the Board, and had a group picture taken by a ships photographer..

Fred Crawford brought the Kirknewton flag and met with the ships information office to see if it could fly somewhere. But I guess it wasn’t to be. However, rumor hazzit that it flew somewhere sometime, and we will leave it at that

Debarkation the next morning was very smooth and easy for a large ship with about 3000 guests. We took our time and was one of the last off the ship and had our luggage claimed by 9:30am. They really know how to do things at the Miami Cruise Terminal.

Some of us went back to the Rodeway Inn for another night. That evening the Thomas’s, the Crawfords, the Littlefields, and the Hathhorn’s all gathered again on the restaurant patio/deck for a post cruise get together. It just happened that we were all at the same table #431 on the ship!.

It was a great time with old friends and compatriots, and a nice cruise with good weather (no rain - just a few distant squalls) and smooth sailing. Couldn’t ask for anything more. All in all a cruise is a great venue for a reunion. Looking forward to the reunion next year in Nashville. Regards, Harry

PS: Thanks to Bernadine Christian, our Carnival Personal Cruise Planner for putting this together and putting up with us. Great job, Bernadine

The Reunion Cruise attendees:

Crawford        Fred and Carole and son, Jim

Dee      Eddie and Betty

Donovan         Frank and Eleanor

Graham           Lloyd and Rachael

Hathhorn        Harry and LaRue

Harris   Dave and Irene

Hill      Gordon and Netta

Littlefield        Dick and Pat

Mullican         Joe and Bella

Selway            Dick and Dani

Shoemaker      Ray and Sharon

Smith   Ed and Alise

Strahan           Marvin and Kathy

Swartz            Ray and Fay

Thomas           Karl and Bridget

Thomsen         Bill and Judy

Yerby   Charles and Joyce

35 total attendees