Rick Archer's Note:
For the Bahamas 2010 Trip, we are going to try a new
feature. I am going to publish some of the favorite
pictures taken by the guests on our trip and maybe add a few
words when appropriate.
meet Donald Taylor and his young daughter Savannah.
This pretty girl was our youngest passenger. Donald
was also traveling with his mother Betty and his sister
Rose. Donald's wife Jean brought her parents Jay
and Jenell along as well. In other words, this trip
was quite the Family Affair!
Taylor group was literally a "Family within a Family".
This brings a real smile to my face because my beloved dance
studio played a big part in bringing this family together.
When I say that
SSQQ is a family, stop and think about it. Donald and
Jean were not the only "SSQQ couple" who were along for this
trip. In fact, there were 15 couples on board who list
"SSQQ Dance Studio" as a big reason for their marriage or
engagement. And that doesn't even begin to take
into consideration the other dozen couples who are still in
the "thinking about it" stages who came along as well!
A couple doesn't
necessarily have to meet at SSQQ to be considered an SSQQ
couple. Many couples meet somewhere else, then use
SSQQ as a way to get to know one another. Donald, for
example, met Jeannie at Wild West.
Here is story:
Jean and I met at Wild West. I
been on the single scene for a few months and didn’t
know how to dance. So I
started taking some private two-step lessons in hopes to
at least be able to ask someone to dance in the near
The instructor mentioned
going to Wild West on Tuesday nights to dance with more
advanced dancers and get my feet wet. So after two
lessons, I went out to Wild West on Tuesday and was
scared to death. While I was there, I heard about SSQQ
being the place to go to mingle and learn to dance.
The following Friday, I
came home from work, made dinner and watched a movie.
Suddenly I realized I should not be sitting around on
Friday night and start the hunt. I thought of a few
places to go and decided that Wild West was the closest
one to go to.
I went to Wild West, got a
beer and walked straight to
the dance floor. After about 30 seconds of standing
there wishing I could do all that was being shown on the
dance floor, a two-step song came on and it
happened……Jean asked me to dance.
With one week of dancing
and Jean being dressed to kill, I was scared out of my
wits. The funning thing is, she was starting the hunt as
well and was actually going to ask some other guy to
dance she was eyeing earlier. When she turned around, I
was standing there and decided to ask me instead. Talk
about being at the right place at the right time!
After our first date, she
mentioned SSQQ was the place to go and that she would go
take classes with me if I joined. With being told twice
about all the benefits of SSQQ, my next lesson was at
I first met Jean
back in 2002. Back then, she was "Jeannie" to me!
Jean was young, maybe 20 years old. She enjoyed the
dance studio and took every dance class under the sun.
Jeannie even became my assistant in several of my classes
and assisted my other instructors as well.
As you have
already read, Jean met Donald in 2006 at Wild West, then she
persuaded him to come over to the studio. Cupid did
the rest. They became engaged the same year. In
fact, Donald and Jeannie took our 2006 Rhapsody Cruise...
then they got
married in 2007... and our 2007 Conquest Cruise was
their honeymoon trip.
Then they disappeared. Unfortunately Donald's work
forced the two of them to move to Oklahoma City.
Normally when people move out of town, I never see or hear
of them again. To my surprise, Donald and Jean signed
up for last year's 2009 cruise. Jeannie had just given
birth to Savannah, but I think her parents offered to keep
an eye on their young daughter so that Donald and Jeannie
could have some time to themselves.
As you can see,
this year Savannah got to make the trip as well!
I have never asked Donald or Jeannie why they enjoy our
cruises so much. After all, Oklahoma is a long way to
come and these trips are more expensive because they have to
pay air fare in addition to cruise fare.
My guess is they
come for the same reasons as everyone else. On a
cruise, the old saying 'the more the merrier' holds true.
Donald and Jean have the best of all worlds - they have
their daughter, they have their parents, Donald has his
sister, they get to see their friends from the studio, and
they even get to have some time alone with each other.
true reason, Marla and I feel very honored that they
continue to share their vacations with us!
Donald wrote me
about an interesting day he had in Nassau and at the
Atlantis Resort. By the way, he sent me some lovely
pictures of Atlantis, but since I will be doing a special
story on Atlantis elsewhere, I will add some other pictures
of their trip instead.
"I must say
Atlantis was the highlight of my trip. However, I had
my ups and downs that day but it all worked out.
You may remember
what I went through at the start of the day with my sister
not finding my mother to get her ID
(RA - Donald and Jean had all
kinds of problems rounding everyone up. I watched as
Donald literally ran back on the ship to persuade everyone
to come along. Meanwhile I got a chance to see Jean
while we waited in line. Fortunately Donald reappeared with
everyone just at the right time!)
Well, later down
the pier, right before getting on the bus to go to Atlantis,
I realized I forgot my wallet. Now I had our passports but
no wallet. That was a little stressful but my sister had $20
on her. So I figured this would cover us in an
emergency because we were not planning shopping until we got
back to the port.
After the guide at Atlantis cut us loose, we went to rent a
locker. You would think this would be easy right? Well, they
only accept credit cards and we don't have one. We
could not just leave our bag sitting around with expensive
cameras and passports! Now I'm stressed again.
After saying a
few choice words, this couple behind us from the Conquest
offered to pay for our locker. Now we're good again.
When it was time
for us to eat, we went back to the locker to get some things
and I realized I had lost my key. Now I am stressing because
the people that rented the locker for us is going to get
charged $50 for the lost key!
I went back to the last water slide I was on and the life
guards there were very helpful. They dove into the
pool and found the key. We're good now.
However, after we eat, it is 2:30 and we are supposed to be
back on the boat so Jenell, Jeannie's Mom back at the ship
with Savannah could go shop. We did not get back in
time for that. Luckily Savannah wore her out so Jenell was
too tired to go shop anyway.
Other than that, the day was wonderful. Oh! Plus my
sister lost my goggles that I loaned her.
Atlantis was wonderful, beautiful and fun. I was expecting
long lines due to 5 ships at port; however, it was just the
opposite. As you know there was pretty much no waiting with
the exception of "The Leap of Faith" and that was only
around 5 minutes. Realistically, I was a little nervous and
wasn't in a hurry anyway. What a great ride!
We'll make an effort for the Virgin Islands!"