Sunday, 6 March 2016

Barrier Reef Cruise

"Legend of the Seas", sailed from Brisbane with 13 of us from Central Qld Family History Association joining around 70 other genealogists anticipating our "Unlock the Past" conference as we sailed to Cairns and back. This was really a different type of cruise for me.
"Legend of the Seas"
Marion, Deb, Adele and Louella
Enjoying lunch in the buffet with some of our group
A 'good luck' rainbow just as we passed under the Gateway Bridge
As usual for a cruise, just after sailing we had the mandatory drill. After dinner in the Restaurant we had the 'Meet & Greet' for the conference. 

The program started at 9 on Monday morning, and, because the ship had rearranged the rooms, it meant that the 2 streams of the program could be, mostly, run as one which was excellent as we didn't have to choose which session to attend.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the sessions, which started with the excellent speaker, Carol Baxter - "The History Detective", a writer, who taught us lots of new skills in writing and research. (Now I just need to practice!) 
Me extolling the use of Evernote for Genealogy
Well, it looks like everyone is paying attention...
On Tuesday we arrived at Airlie beach, and I opted to stay on the ship having a relaxing day, while others went on-shore to check out the shopping strip or go on a tour. While in port there weren't any session held, but in the evening a Research Help Zone was set up for one-on-one consultations and assistance. I was thrilled to have a couple of people want to talk with me, and hopefully I was able to point them in the right direction.

One of the decorations left in our cabin
Wednesday and Thursday were in Cairns. Some went to the reef, others on the Skyrail to Kuranda, but I opted to meet up with a cousin, Bev, who I had only just made contact with before Christmas. In the afternoon I was collected by Mal and Ling (my brother, and sister-in-law), and stayed with them overnight. We had not seen each other for a couple of years and I think we talked non-stop.

In Cairns I met up for the first time with Bev a cousin on Darryl's side
My brother, Mal, and his wife Ling

Friday was at Willis Island. It really is quite tiny, and we didn't leave the ship, really just stopped for a look. My theory is that this was so that we were in International waters for the ship to be allowed to run the Casino and Duty Free Shopping. The great part for us was that it meant it was a sea day, so we had lots more conference sessions. 

Saturday was also a sea day, as we sailed back to Brisbane. A couple of sessions were run at the same time, and I was disappointed to have to make a decision and miss out on some of my favourite speakers. 

At dinner, Louella organised a big surprise for me, with 2 birthday cakes as an early celebration of my birthday (which is later in the month while I am away). She also decorated our cabin with balloons which was lovely.
Louella organised 2 lovely surprise Birthday cakes for me (which I shared)
Our table attendants in the Restaurant
Saturday was also a sea day, as we sailed back to Brisbane. A couple of sessions were run at the same time, and I was disappointed to have to make a decision and miss out on some of my favourite speakers. It was almost sad to get to the Wind-up session on Saturday night, and hard to believe the week had passed so quickly. 

Some of the Rocky members
Speakers: (Back L-R) Judy Webster, Rosemary Kopittke
(Front L-R) Chris Wright, Carol Baxter, Helen Smith, Eric Kopittke
We said our 'goodbyes' as I was planning to be the first off the ship in the morning to catch my international flight.

See the upcoming cruises with "Unlock the Past" here.


  1. Sounds like you had a good time and maximised your genealogy talks and family opportunities.

    1. I sure did Pauleen! It was an excellent experience, and I hope to do more.

  2. Glad you enjoyed the cruise Chris!

    1. :-) How come this comment feature doesn't have a 'thumbs up'!? As I want to use it!