Submitted by Rhona Gorder

Friday, January 22 – Monday, February 1, 2010

Everyone who participated in the reunion cruise will concur that it was a great success. It was fun spending 10 days together reminiscing and generally having a good time. The cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas was blessed by picture perfect weather and the calmest seas one could imagine. We visited Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Ixtapa, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, choosing to partake of sponsored tours, go it alone, or just stay on board and soak up the sun! Of course, we had the usual great cruise food, fun entertainment and at 5:00 p.m. most nights met up in one of the lounges for happy hour before going to dinner.

We are disappointed to report however, that the terrible weather in San Diego and much of California the week before the cruise, stranded Helene and Walter Alt, and Muriel and Bill Pierson in Texas. Sadly, they missed the cruise as Southwest Airlines (SWA) canceled all flights in to San Diego due to the weather and they could not get booked on an alternate route. Joan and John Wilkie almost missed the boat as well as they were flying SWA out of Phoenix. However, they were able to team with another stranded couple they discovered were taking the same cruise, rented a car and drove the seven hours into San Diego. The Bon Voyage Dinner held Thursday night also had some casualties as a result of the weather (33 attending instead of the 42 expected), but we know everyone was with us in spirit.

Cruisers included: Augie Albanese and Patricia Conklin, Chris Christoph and daughter Kaycee McCarthy, Tom Dawson and Joelle, Robert Flood and Judy Tomelden, Chuck Gorder and Rhona, Bill Ikard and Alda Durrill, Warren Ortland and Barbara, Mike Rose and Marilyn, Walt Spangenberg and Sonia Kazanijian, John Wilkie and Joan.

All the above attended the Bon Voyage Dinner on Thursday night and were joined by: Gerry Christoph, Leonard Delling and Patricia (who drove down from Los Angeles), Pete Jefferson and Barbara, Lee Marsolais, Troy Stone and Pat, George Sullivan (from Northern California) and Linda Love (from Baja, California), and Rhona’s son, Ashley McNally. Our travel agent extraordinaire, Pat Russell, missed the Bon Voyage dinner as she was trying to find ways to get the Alts and Piersons into town. We had a nice thank you plaque for her complete with class seal we were planning on presenting that night, but Chuck and Rhona will deliver it to her soon instead.

Ron and Jean Berg, friends of the Ortlands attended the Bon Voyage Dinner and came on the cruise. Ron is a retired Army Colonel, but we did not hold that against him! Rhona Gorder’s daughter, Helen, son-in-law, David, and granddaughter, Bethany also cruised with us. Bethany was a big hit when she became the ventriloquist’s stooge during one of the performances and stole the show!

At the end of dinner on the last night at sea classmates sang “Navy Blue and Gold” and ended with a rousing “BEAT ARMY!” This was a very fitting manner in which to end this wonderful “tour of duty.”

[Editor's note: Click here to see photos submitted by Rhona]