Fri 11/10/2006 14:23:50


Royal Caribbean and the Mariner of the Seas deliver Dream Vacation to MRSA Survivor and Family in Bermuda Triangle for Halloween thanks to Cindy Lorenz and Fly Away Travel and the 2006 Genealogy Seminar at Sea.

The PettyPride just experienced the perfect vacation on Royal Caribbean’s mega-cruise liner, the Mariner of the Seas during the 2006 Genealogy Seminar at Sea We joyfully celebrated the life of professional genealogist James W. Petty, AG, CG, B.A.(History), B.S. (Genealogy) for October’s Family History Month. Pa, Mama, JimR, Julie, MelissaR, Stathi, John Niels, ThomasR and WillLW cruised for the first time October 29, 2006 – November 5, 2006 in recognition that Pa Lives! Cubbie stayed home to guard the homefront!

A year ago in the Fall and Winter our family faced the imminent loss of their friend, husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and colleague because of the ravages of a 5 month battle with MRSA, a hospital-acquired staph infection that resulted from open heart surgery. (See details on James W. Petty’s Meridian Magazine’s article: “Miracles are where you look for them.” His Cardiac Surgeon, who never gave up hope or professional effort to keep Jim alive, gave us a unique prescription in the middle of our darkest hours: go together as family in one year’s time to celebrate Jim’s life and victory over MRSA. Long before this fight for his life, we had made plans to go on a business trip together because Jim had been given the opportunity to be a guest lecturer on a Caribbean Cruise with Cindy Lorenz and Fly Away Travel’s ( 2006 Genealogy Seminar at Sea to be held in the fall of 2006. When he survived and lived to participate with his family and his fellow professionals on this great experience through the Bermuda Triangle , we filled that prescription cup to over-flowing!!!

Highlights of the trip were many.

Mints on our bed every night and our rooms cleaned twice a day. We never knew what darling towel animal would greet us when we came to bed – a monkey, an elephant, a swan, a bat and more. And we thought napkin folding was an art!!!!!! I forgot so completely where I was, I broke my toe!!!!

Dinner every night together in the Sound of Music dining hall with Ayesha and George taking perfect care of our every whim and entree or dish or salad, including warm water, all the garlic bread we wanted, special Filipino food, and warm and elegant hospitality. And then lunch and breakfast at will; either at the Windjammer or Rhapsody in Blue. I broke out of my pattern of oatmeal every breakfast, and had French toast with “shampoo” and oatmeal our last morning aboard ship. The Filipinos loved every minute of it with us!!!!!

Pa will always treasure snorkeling off St Thomas with his three little otters and then getting Mama to try it when we got to St. Maarten. Quite a memorable experience to see her in a swim suit and all of us beached whales with our white Utah snow clothes tans!!!!

John Niels, our second son and returned Mormon missionary to Olangapo and San Fernando, Philippines, can speak fluent Tagalog as well as 20 or so dialects. He put all this to work as he made friends of Filipinos all over the ship and at every port of call. Everywhere we went, staff and native Filipinos would recognize us as the parents of the man who could “speak my language”.

Willie really put on a show for us when he played the baby grand piano as I talked to Barbara, looking out through big glass window to the dark evening sky for lights across the sea. That was a $12 phone call!!! He made our Halloween a real scary treat with his very unique costume – you have to see the pictures of him as a cheerleader and Pa as a Pirate to believe it!!

ThomasR never lost an opportunity to tell the people on the ship that his Pa is the best darn genealogist in the whole wide world. A walking advertisement!!! He watched over Mama and her crazy ankle wherever we went, a real Boy Scout.

JimR and Julie are our experienced cruisers. They were always ready to help and had lots of good advice for us first-timers. This was their third and by far their best. They were always smiling!!! Especially when they got Mama and PaPa’s balcony room when we did the shuffle the last three days of the cruise.

Melissa and Stathi really got into the ship activities so for dinner every night we would learn from them of all the fun things happening onboard. They talked Mama and Pa into getting a sea weed massage – now that is a memory to share!!!

Watching Pa lecture with the rockin’ and rollin’ of the sea!!!!

Making friends with Kray and Retha, and Jack and Denette, and Denise and Mike all from Florida, the cute twister couple from Massachusetts, George from Maryland, and Carol from Georgia, and Cindy Lorenz, and Diana and Gary Smith, and Jana Broglin, and Eileen and Sean O’Duill, and John Colletta, and Drew Smith, and Cassandra Brown, And Deborah Abbott, and Michael Leclerc, and George Morgan. thanks to all for your kindness, your professionalism, your generosity! You made our first cruise tops!

Giving Mindi and Starr and Claire a break from work!!!

Climbing up and down the stairs for 14 decks and never taking the elevator – well, almost never!!!

Having breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday, our way. And frozen yogurt from noon till nine PM!!!!

We got the perfect family photo of all of us!

Waking up in the middle of the night to go out and see the stars and the ocean. Stunning! And holding onto my glasses so the wind wouldn’t blow them off my face!!!! Boy, can a mega-ship cruise!!!!!

Going down to the Purser’s desk and being so taken care of by Julie Knox and crew as we overcame our first cruisitis!!!! She was right when she said, “I fill it in my bones. This is going to be your cruise and it is all going to work out!”

And it did! The trip was made even more special by honeymooner’s Jeff and Stephanie who left the ship early and gave Jim and Mary their balcony suite state room. This caused us all to shuffle as Willie and John Niels took over JimR and Julie’s room when they took our balcony! Thomas got the lap of luxury, a room to himself. Oh, were we spoiled!!!!!

And now that we have been so spoiled, we are all looking forward to more cruising; it is the best way to vacation! Thanks to all who made this unforgettable memory possible – for helping us follow Doctor’s orders to a “T”!!!

Posted by Mary E. Petty, B.A. Cum Laude (History)
Vice President HEIRLINES Family History & Genealogy, Inc.
Member of Salt Lake Utah Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists
Ancestors are the People of History. Do you know who yours are?
Let the Professionals at HEIRLINES Family History & Genealogy find your ancestry! 1-800-570-4049 * * PO Box 893 * Salt Lake City, Utah 84110