Sunday, February 1, 2009

Making Memories

"Taking pictures is making memories. Capture little pieces of time, making them yours making them mine." (words taken from a Disney song sung by Minnie Mouse).

In this column I'll explore several ways of making memories which can last well beyond your return home from the cruise vacation.

Photos - video clips

Photography is probably the most popular way to capture little pieces of time. In the age of digital photography, it is very easy for you to become a photo journalist using your cruise vacation as the subject matter.

My husband has always had a fascination with how the mind works. How is it that if just the right "trigger" is present, you will remember all about some past event? Photos make excellent "triggers" that unlock memories about past cruises and experiences.

Those of you that have been reading my column for awhile know that my husband and I take lots of pictures on our cruises (He takes more than I do). I don't always get time to write about our cruise just after we return. The photos we take help us to remember the various excursions we took. Video clips with sound are even better, but we don't take as many videos as we do photos.

Taking photos in the digital age is much easier than in the days of film. It's a lot easier to travel with several memory cards than it was to travel with several rolls of film. It's not uncommon for us to have thousands of digital images from a cruise vacation. We had to be more selective when you'd only get 36 pictures on a roll of film. Not to mention the fact you needed different film depending on the weather conditions. Perhaps that's a topic for another column.

There are many ways to store the photographs that you have taken. In our mind, we don't want to keep the memories to ourselves, so we share them. One of the easiest methods is to put photos in albums. Another is to share them online with one of the many services. Again, I could devote an entire column to this topic alone, so that's about all I'll say for now.


Taking photo albums a step futher, scrapbooking is a method for preserving personal and family history in the form of photographs, printed media, and memorabilia contained in decorated albums, or scrapbooks. This has become a very popular hobby recently and even the cruise lines are finally starting to capitalize on this new market.

When we were on Celebrity Solstice for the pre-inaugural, we purchased a scrapbook album and the accompanying scrapbook page kit which consisted of pages, stickers, and other complimentary decorations. These materials could only be purchased onboard.

Royal Caribbean was the first cruise line to recognize that passengers had an interest in scrapbooking, and they added scrapbook workshops to their daily activities. You supplied the photos (ideally purchased onboard) and they supplied paper and all the equipment to make your first scrapbook page for your trip. Other cruise lines have also started offering similar programs.

Scrapbooking takes some pre-planning. Since I knew that I'd create a scrapbook for our Galapagos trip, I collected some items to be incorporated in the pages.

Items that are good for this purpose include boarding passes, room keys, admission tickets, and stickers.

You'll want to keep the daily planners that are delivered to your cabin each night. They will help you remember various activities that you did as well as provide destination information which will help you when doing the journaling part of the scrapbook page.

Warning: Scrapbooking is addicting and can be expensive!

When we were in Alaska, many of the souvenir shops had scrapbooking supplies such as pages and stickers which were specific to the port of call. Your local hobby or arts and crafts store typically has materials to help you get started. They may even offer classes if you don't know where to begin. There is a wealth of information on the web as well as several scrapbook suppliers.

If you think you'll want to create a scrapbook for your cruise, take some pictures, purchase some onboard and at the excurisons that offer professional photos, and collect some memorabelia to embelish your album. We can talk more about scrapbooking in another column if there is interest.

Collecting Post Cards

Not everyone likes to take photographs while on vacation. That doesn't mean you can't make memories to take home with you. Souvenir shops and the ship have a selection of post cards which capture the highlights of the destination.

Post cards can be used to supplement your own pictures and memorabilia. You can put them in albums or use them in your scrapbook pages. They can be mailed home to add a postmark or packed in your luggage.

Another advantage to post cards is that they capture a moment in time that perhaps you weren't able to see personally. For example, if your ship sails before nightfall, consider adding a post card that depicts the city at night. While you might have experienced a sunset, it might not have been as intense as one of the ones captured on a post card.

"Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them; for those experiences have left an indelible impression, and we are ever and anon reminded of them. "

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American naturalist, poet and philosopher.

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