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Second Deaf Red Hatters Cruise
Western Caribbean
March 25 - April 1, 2012

Tremont House Hotel
Tremont House Hotel

Our Second Red Hatters Cruise went into the planning stage in July 2010. Month after month the excitement got more and more momentum until we finally could pack our suitcases and hat boxes to cruise in style as a Red Hatter. A group of 19 decided to stay at the Tremont House in Galveston one day prior to the cruise. It was a fantastic opportunity to get to know Galveston and learn about its glamorous past during a guided walking tour that was conducted by the travel agent Kerstin Fox.

On the day of embarkation, 51 Red Hat Ladies and Red Hat Enthusiasts boarded the Mariner of the Seas in Galveston, TX. The participants of our cruise came from states like Texas, Ohio, Florida, Maryland, New York and Oregon. Karen Whitworth of the Austin Vixens managed the Red Hatter specific events. It can't be stressed enough that Karen and her chapter did a marvelous job. It ensured that all of us had a blast during those events.

Karen Whitworth
Karen Whitworth

The first day of sailing was a Day At Sea. Our first Red Hatter event was a Cocktail Party. The ladies were invited to participated in a Hat Contest. Six of our gentlemen were the judges and had the honor to find the winner. Cathy Simerka from Texas emerged as the first-prize winner. Her hat was stunning and desplayed a lot of attention to detail with an eleborated feather, ruffle and lace decoration. Judy Lorenz (TX) and Roza Yampolskaya (OR) were in second and third winners. Each Red Hatter lady received a favor that consisted of a handmade red hat with purple and red M & M candies inside.

Hat & Attire Contest
Cocktail Party with Hat Contest
Picture: Larry Glasscock

Red Hatters Carolyn, Maureen and Nada Ann
Red Hatters Carolyn, Maureen and Nada Ann

Red Hatters Dana, Lucille and Virginia
Red Hatters Dana, Lucille and Virginia

Red Hatters Jo Ann, Sara and Karon
Red Hatters Jo Ann, Sara and Karon

The next Day At Sea was reserved for the Bra Contest. Since men were not included, Nancy Kensicki (MD) and Kerstin Fox (FL) were the judges. It was a challenging task to determine the best decorated bras. The creations were breathtaking and unique. Michelle Smith (TX) emerged as the winner. She received a scrapbook with a Red Hatter design on the cover that was handmade by Karen Whitworth. Judy Lorenz (TX) and Roza Yampolskaya (OR) were second and third winners.

Winner of the Bra Contest: Michelle Smith
Winner of the Bra Contest:
Michelle Smith
Contenters of the Bra Contest: Judy, Michelle and Roza
Contenters of the Bra Contest: Judy, Michelle and Roza
Roatan, Honduras, Butterfly and Birds Garden
Roatan, Honduras
Butterfly and Birds Garden

Roatan, Honduras was our first port of call. We enjoyed a 4-hour island bus tour. The first stop was the West End Village. We were served a refreshment drink at a beautiful bar built on the water and we watched the Garifuna Dancers perform local dances. Later, we visited the Butterfly and Birds Garden that displays a live exhibition of butterflies, parrots and other birds. Our last stop was the Carambola Botanical Gardens. There, a naturalist guide provided us with a myriad of information along the jungle garden path. Ferns, spices, and flowering plants caught our attention.
We next stopped in Belize. There we had to tender which required a boat ride of approximately 20 minutes to reach the mainland. Some of us joined the Bayman City Tour via trolley. Others went on the 7-hour bus tour to Xunantunich. During the drive we learned a lot about the Mayan history and culture. To get there we had to cross the Mopan River via a hand-cranked ferry. On the other bank we boarded a van to finish the drive to the historical site of Xunantunich. Our guide provided many interesting details about the Mayan culture and the discovery of the ruins. From El Castillo, the tallest temple at the site, we had a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. We were able to see parts of Guatemala while standing on top of El Castillo. Afterwards, we enjoyed a Belizean style lunch.
The Mayan Ruins of Xunantunich
The Mayan Ruins of Xunantunich, Belize
Picture: Larry Glasscock

Cozumel, Mayan Village
Mayan Village in Cozumel, Mexico
Picture: Larry Glasscock

Cozumel, Dolphine Encounter
Dolphin Encounter in Cozumel, Mexico
Picture: Judy Lorenz

The next day saw us in Cozumel. There we had another chance to discover the history and culture of the Mayan people by participating in an island tour. We started the tour with a visit of a traditional Mayan village. We saw thatched-roof Mayan houses, medicinal gardens, cooking techniques, and ceremonies. The tour guide did a great job to explain Mayan daily life in detail and applied his knowledge to today's practices and life styles on the island. After the tour of the village, we traveled across the island to the eastern shore. Stunning views of the beaches invited us to several stops.

Some people in our group opted to go on an Dolphine Encounter tour and they had a great time meeting with those gentle creatures.

The final Red Hatters event was our luncheon during the last Day At Sea in the dining restaurant preceeded by the Attire Contest. Cathy Simerka was the winner of the Attire Contest. Michelle Smith (TX) placed second and Julie Crossen (OH) and Shelia Kennedy of (TX) tied for third.

Julie Crossen (OH) announced an upcoming Third National Deaf Red Hatters cruise for 2014. We are planning to sail to Alaska with a possible land tour option. Don't miss out to sign up for this sailing since it will be another great cruise for Red Hatters.
Cathy is the winner of the Attire Contest
Cathy is the winner of the Attire Contest

Group Picture
Group Picture

Gift from the Fabulous Ladies of Houston
The Faboulous Ladies of Houston surprised
Kerstin Fox with this gift for arranging the
Second National Deaf Red Hatters Cruise

Pot Holders
Karen Whitworth made those beautiful
pot holders and presented them as a
gift to Kerstin Fox.
Red Hat Favor and Name Badge
Karen Whitworth and her group of the Austin Vixens
spend a lot of time and effort to prepare name badges,
favors and presents.

What our clients said after the cruise:

Just wanted again to compliment u on ur good job of arranging the recent cruise. Maureen Woods

I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Red Hatters Cruise last week with
the group. It was my first time going on your tour. I was very much impressed by your effectiveness,
punctuation, and success on everything. I could not believe I did not have one tiny problem all the week.
I will highly recommend you and your tour to my friends who are interested in going on a tour in future.
Again, thanks for everything and I do wish you the best. Sara Harris

We appreciated your excellent travel arrangement. Royce and Robbie Guerry

Hi Kerstin
Yes yes yes, I really enjoyed the cruise trip so so so so much.
It was so much fun and wonderful with activities on the ship. I will never forgot this trip with you,
all Red Hatters, spouses, friends and everything. Also I made new friends from other States. Smile...
Also I enjoyed to play with Dolphin and snorkel to see all kinds of fish. I want to thank you so much for
this trip and interpreting and also five other interpreters. There were so much laughs during Hat and Bra
shows, games and of course David!!!!!!!!! You did a GREAT JOB!! Love Ya and Hugs, Judy Lorenz


Hi Kerstin,
Had a blast!!!! Thanks for your wonderful support to make the Red Hat parties possible. I am looking
forward to future cruise. Lillian Mittauer

Dear Kerstin,
We had a blast with before and during cruise. James and Julia Eckber

I want to say thank you for the wonderful time and your services Sallie Curtis

If you would like to see more pictures of our marvelous trip, visit the website of
Sara & Mack http://www.texva.com
Click on Photo Gallery, scroll all the way down to the bottom, and click on
CLICK ME for 2012 Deaf Red Hatters Cruise.

Donation for Deaf Schools in Jamaica

Fundraising Poster

We would like to thank the following people for their donation:
  • Felix & Amelia Guerra
  • Roza Yampolskaya
  • Margaret Coggins-Peckham
  • Kathleen Bianco
  • Sara Harris
  • Richard & Julie Crossen
  • William & Teresa Eckstein
  • James & Julia Eckber
  • Claudia Clarkson
  • William & Lenora Noble
  • Virginia Barlow
  • Larry & Dana Glasscock
  • Carolyn Defalco
  • Maureen Woods
  • Royce & Robbie Guerry
  • Johnnie & Jody Rodenberg
  • Judy Lorenz
  • Gary Pretzsch & Judy Becker
  • Nada Ann Edgley
  • Lillian Mittauer
  • Elaine Aiello
  • Maureen Whetham

Contact Kerstin's Travel to book your next cruise by sending an e-mail to kerstin@kerstinstravel.com

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