Big As TEXAS Sets Sail!

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On March 20, 2010, 27 intrepid Batsters set sail aboard the Carnival Ecstasy to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Big As TEXAS. Could we all survive each other for five days without getting stir crazy or sea sick? You bet we could!

On our first full day at sea we had two afternoon workshops in the ship's conference room. Our first workshop was an introduction to sailing with questions and answers, presided over by Jay. We had a number of first time cruisers who had plenty of questions.

Our second workshop, led by Elizabeth with assistance from Alan and Melissa, was "Should Size Discrimination be Illegal?" Louisiana is currently looking at a new law that would include size as a protected category. That was cause for some pretty lively discussion!

By the way, our wonderful travel agent, Guy Drobney, with Cruise Planners / Stargazer Cruises, LLC, sent us a wonderful (and gigantic!) tray of canapes to enjoy during our first set of workshops.
Image: group of people attending a workshop.

One of the workshops. Photo by Neil.

On our second full day of the cruise, we docked in Progresso, Mexico, where some took tours of Merida, some visited ruins, and others shopped 'til they dropped.

Image: the cruise ship.
The ship, Carnival Ecstacy. Photo by Neil.
More photos of the stop at Progresso.

On our third day, we docked in Cozumel. Some enjoyed staying on board and having the entire ship almost to themselves, and others shopped or got into mischief at the local watering holes.
Image: laughing woman with a monkey on her head.

Nora with a monkey on her head! Photo by Neil.

More photos of the stop at Cozumel.
On our fourth day, March 24, we had two more workshops. The first, facilitated by Terry, concerned "real food and other controversial theories." We discussed some of the latest and lesser known theories, considering which made sense and which we might benefit from.

Our fourth workshop was a session with Sharon K. facilitating. We discussed our experiences aboard the Ecstasy. Did we feel we were involved in activism aboard ship? What worked? What didn't? Should we do it again?

Incidentally, we actually took a vote on whether to do another cruise, and the overall consensus was a resounding "yes," although we were divided on how often.

Following our fourth workshop, we had a cocktail party in the China Town Lodge.

Image: People at cocktail party.
Cocktail party. Photo by Jay.

Image: Two women at cocktail party..

Cocktail party. Photo by Jay.

Image: Two men at cocktail party.

Cocktail party. Photo by Jay.
There was plenty of time for us to do activities in a group, in smaller groups, or even to read alone in the library or on deck. The possibilities were numerous. One time that we were usually together as a big group was at dinnertime, but the rest of the time we often split up. Here are just a few of the things people reported as their "favorite activities" on land or sea:

Ray loved seeing his BAT friends, the friendliness of the Ecstasy staff, the great quality of the food, and his singing waitress Rea.

Alan toured the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and learned to make an elephant out of a towel.

Elizabeth practiced bargaining with shopkeepers in Progresso, and explored in Cozumel.

Neil baked in the sun in March (which he can't do at home in Connecticut!).

Nora had a facial and a monkey that sat on her head!

Cathy and friends did a special seven course dinner prepared by the head chef, which included a demonstration of how to make the famous Carnival chocolate melting cake.

Brandon enjoyed the Disco, Karaoke, hanging out on the sun deck, and touring Merida City.

Penny enjoyed the comedian and stage shows, the Deck parties, and shopping in Merida.

Bion enjoyed the sushi bar, Carlos and Charlie's, and the "absolutely brilliant" DJ.

Sharon K. attended the towel folding class and got her portrait taken.

Jay enjoyed a cigar and cerveza in Carlos and Charlie's in Cozumel.

Terry won a solid gold plastic ship on a stick in the Trivia Challenge, and later, won $78.20 in the casino.

This is just the condensed version of everyone's activities. The truth is, we did too much to name. We always have loads of fun when Big As TEXAS gets together.

More photos of the group enjoying each other's company.
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