Flip-Flops and Hawaiian Shirts: Reflections of a Cruise

SQL Cruise Ship

As I sat in the Miami International Airport with my hubby patiently waiting for our flight to Colorado Springs via Houston and silently cursing that my Cuban coffee buzz has worn off, I finally had a few minutes (actually 3 hours) to sit and reflect on the past week.

To sum it up, I would say SQL Cruise was honestly the most fun-filled, action-packed, gut-busting training/vacation I have ever had the pleasure of attending. Between the sessions and hanging out with some of the most fun people (spouses, friends, partners, and monkeys included), I can’t think of another time when I learned a lot and had a ton of fun doing so.

Training Fit for a Princess

Tim Ford Presenting on SQL Cruise

Holy SQL Server! Not only did the training actually make sense to me, but I can actually use this stuff! The light bulb finally went off in my little head many times during all of the sessions, even though I’m sure I looked confused at times. Sometimes it takes a few minutes for my brain to process something.

Brent Ozar Presenting on SQL Cruise

However, both Tim (Blog | Twitter) and Brent (Blog | Twitter) gave me food for thought. Speaking of food, Tim brought Brent a plate of bacon during the presentation, and he was nice enough to share with the class. Where else can you get both great training and bacon? 😉

The people (both techie and non-techie) were so much fun! I learned quite a bit from them as well. I’m not normally a very social person when I’m around people I don’t know. However, the SQL Saturday after party and the SQL BBQ (HUGE thanks to Gareth Swanepoel and his wife Jen) helped a LOT. Also big thanks to Jorge (you may know him as SQLChicken – Blog | Twitter) for letting us know where it was so we could crash it.. err, I mean tag along. I recognized him from his cool video and just started waving at him. He was nice enough to wave back and talk with us, probably not really knowing who the heck we were. 🙂 This was just one example of how great and welcoming everyone was.It also helped having talked to most of these people on Twitter. I didn’t feel all that awkward for the most part. Unlike my poor hubby who bought some uncomfortable thongs and it showed when he walked. *on his feet people! feet!!*

The non-training portions of the trip were just amazing. Not only was it our first time on a cruise, but also to Miami, Key West and Cozumel. All of these places are just absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. I can’t express just how lucky I feel. The trip was both hot and cool. I say it was hot from the weather (some may say hot from the people) and cool because the architecture was fun to look at and the peeps we hung out with were fun. By the way, thank you, Miami, for reminding us what humidity is! Lol

The ship itself was pretty cool. We didn’t plan any excursions and just made it up as we went along which was fun. We hung out with various people at different ports and managed to stay out of trouble. We all ended up adopting the very back of the Lido deck (basically where the buffet is located) outside as our default meeting point. Some may have called it “SQL Deck”, but for us my hubby dubbed it “SQL Lounge”. We took a LOT of pictures. Just between the two of us, we ended up with over 300 pictures. We posted some (not many) on Flickr here and here. You can see everyone else’s pictures by searching for the “sqlcruise” tag on Flickr. Wow! There are a lot of great pictures from other cruisers!

Super Cool SQL Cruise Swag

Last but in no way least, I have to send a huge shout out to all the sponsors once again. There are not enough words to express to them how thankful I am for not only sponsoring the cruise but for also all the super cool swag they sent.

To SQL Sentry, Quest Software, Red Gate and MSSQLTips.com

Thank you!!! If it weren’t for you, I may not have met so many great SQL and non-SQL people while getting some much needed ultra-useful training by top notch SQL peeps. Thank you for sponsoring what turned out to be very valuable and great training. I definitely wouldn’t be typing my blog post right now using my super cool awesome netbook courtesy of SQL Sentry and my teammates on the great SQL scavenger photo hunt!!! Thank you guys!!!

More Cool SQL Cruise Swag

So if anyone is wondering if it was worth it, in my opinion it was most definitely worth it. Not just for the cruise part either. The training itself was fantastic and valuable because not only could we talk with Brent and Tim during the sessions, we could also corner… err, find them nearby and ask them questions. Our fellow SQL cruisers were also a wealth of information.

Even though I never thought I’d ever make it to a cruise, I never thought I’d be sitting on an airplane writing for my blog on a cool netbook while listening to Jimmy Buffett either. If it happened to me, it can happen to you. I made some friends who I hope will become life-long friends. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I thank not only the sponsors but also Tim and Brent for taking a chance and making it a smashing success. 🙂

Someone is mad she didn't get to go on SQL Cruise
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11 thoughts on “Flip-Flops and Hawaiian Shirts: Reflections of a Cruise

  1. Great post. I’m still mulling mine over….Love the SQLKittyFrown photo, too.

    I think the best part was knowing almost all the people who were sailing with us prior to the trip. It’s like we had enough backstory to chat about anything, but not so much that we couldn’t ask each other interesting questions.

    We had so much fun chatting with you and Mr. Princess. But the time went by too fast.

    1. Thanks, Karen! 🙂 The SQLKittyFrown photo was too much fun! That’s what the silly cat gets for interrupting my photo shoot! lol

      We had a great time with you and Rob as well. Everyone was fun to chat with, actually. It did go by too fast. We found ourselves wishing we could rewind the week and do it all over again. Mr. Princess? I like it! It has a nice ring to it! 😉 lol

  2. Excellent write up! I have one somewhat written, just thinking on it.

    I also liked that we “knew” each other going in, and I love the technical and professional knowledge I walk away with. Such a success…

  3. I have to agree with Karen. I can’t believe how fast time flies when you’re having fun, as the saying goes. It was great meeting you both and your significant others. 🙂

  4. Great post. We had a great cruise and enjoyed all the time we spent with everyone. I think that having some conversations on Twitter, sqlsaturday and sqlbbq all helped. And having finally been on a cruise I can check it off the list. How about SQL Hawaii next?

    1. Thanks! 🙂 I wonder how different it could have gone if we hadn’t already been talking on Twitter or hadn’t met sometime prior to the cruise. We’ll never know, but I’m still glad we had a great time. There are some cruisers I wish I had talked with more than I had. Hopefully I can fix that sometime down the road. As for the next cruise, I honestly don’t care where it’s headed. I want to go wherever it’s going! 🙂

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