PaperBackSwap Blog

Interview about the Cruise for PBS Members Feb. 2012

Interview by Elizabeth B. (Cattriona)

It is my pleasure to interview two members, Mary (kilchurn) and Cheryl (Poncer), who have organized the first ever Cruise for PBS Members, coming in February, 2012 on Carnival Cruise Lines.


Elizabeth: First off, tell us a bit about yourselves.

Cheryl: I have been a PBS member since October of 2005. PBS has filled a special place in my life. I was one of the first Tour Guides and am now honored to be a Tour Guide Assistant Coordinator. I have found great books and great friends here. I am really looking forward to spending time with some of them on the cruise and the PBS Team. Mary has been a member since June of 2007. Mary is very active not only as a Tour Guide Leader but as a Book Image Approver and in the Games Forum. She has been an amazing help organizing the PBS Cruise and has become a dear friend.


Elizabeth: What is the PBS Cruise? 

Mary: It is a Cruise (on a ship) to the Bahamas (islands off of the coast of Florida) for PBS members that has been organized by the PBS Tour Guides.

Cheryl: We are going on a ship to the Bahamas with PBS members on a Cruise, organized by PBS Tour Guides 😉


Elizabeth: Where and when is it? 

Mary: The Cruise takes place on a ship and we depart from Jacksonville, FL on Saturday February 4th and return Wednesday February 9th.

Cheryl: A Really Big Ship.


Elizabeth: How did the idea come about? 

Mary: It was Cheryl’s idea – we were paired-up as Diva buddies, in the (PBS Games Discussion Forum) last June and met for lunch.   As we were leaving she told me she wanted to put together a Cruise for the PBS Tour Guides – it has spiraled from there.

Cheryl: For years I had seen people posting in the PBS Forums about organizing a cruise for members. I kept waiting to see an announcement for one so I could sign up. When I realized that if I wanted to cruise with other PBS members, I had better do something, I mentioned it to Mary. She took the bait, and as they say, the rest was history. Not to mention, I took my PBS nickname from Ponce de Leon!


Elizabeth: How did you get involved?

Mary: Um – I was dragged in kicking and screaming?  Seriously, I volunteered the minute Cheryl said “I want to put together a Cruise for PBS Tour Guides.”

Cheryl: Another Tour Guide member, Elizabeth R. (Esjro), came to Atlanta for a business trip. While she was here Mary, myself and some other PBS members planned a dinner out with her. We invited some members from the PBS Team and we broached the idea to them. They were all for it and it was a go from there.


Elizabeth: Will PBS benefit from this Cruise? 

Mary: We are hoping that PBS will get some pocket change from this.

Cheryl: Yes, PBS will benefit. If only that the Team will be joining us on board and will get to meet the Cruise-goers. They can get lots of great feedback, in person, from lots of great members.


Elizabeth: Will there be special activities or will everyone just be reading in deck chairs? 

Mary:  You mean reading in a deck chair on a cruise ship is not special?  We are hoping to have enough attendees to do some special things. We are hoping to have enough attendees to have a cocktail party the night we set sail. There will be a presentation by the PBS Team where the attendees will have a chance to ask questions and make suggestions about the site.  We are also going to have places reserved so that the various PBS groups that have formed in the PBS Discussion Forums (Divas, Belles, DOS) and the various volunteer groups can have some private time to hang out.  We are also planning to have a “Live-Real-Time” White Elephant Swap.

Cheryl: There will also be a Genre Dinner. That should be great fun.


Elizabeth: What’s a Genre Dinner? 

Mary: A Genre Dinner is where you are seated with others who read the same genre of books as you.

Cheryl: At the Genre Dinner, the Cruise attendees will be seated according to the genre they pick. It will be a great way to meet other members who read like books and get to make new friends. Of course if someone picks 19th Century French Poetry as their genre, we may have to seat them at the Romance table.


 Elizabeth: Will there be any special guests? 

Mary: Several members of the PBS Team will be sailing with us.


Elizabeth: How many PBSers will be there? 

Mary: Right now we have just over 100 members booked


Elizabeth: Can I bring my spouse/kids/mom/partner? 

Mary: You can bring anyone you want.

Cheryl: Sure, you can even bring your imaginary friends with you.


Elizabeth: How many books should I bring? 

Mary: Hmmm.  Books are heavy and airlines charge by the pound, but bring at least 1 Wish List book for use in the Elephant swap.

Cheryl: Unless you have use of a Sherpa. Then bring many books.


Elizabeth: Does “exposure to ocean breezes, suntan lotion and fruity drinks” make a book unpostable? 

Mary: Ocean breezes are fine, but suntan lotion and fruity drinks might lead to staining….


Elizabeth: I’ve never Cruised before — why should I come? 

Mary: It isn’t so much about the Cruise as it is about the people.  I am so excited to finally be able to put faces with names of people with whom I have been interacting for years.  The Cruise part is just a perk.  Also, where else could you sit on the deck of a large ship, drinking a margarita with friends, talking about good books.

Cheryl: I’ve never cruised before myself, so that will be something new for me. I, too, am looking forward to laughing and hanging out with lots of PBS friends I have never met before.


Elizabeth: How can members sign up to attend? 

Mary: They can contact our Travel Specialist, September Holstead (800.727.7601 ext. 229) or fill out the registration form online (you will still need to call to make your deposit payment).  Please note that September is in the office Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.


Elizabeth: Is there a sign-up deadline? 

Cheryl: You can book through January, but after September 30th, we can’t guarantee the pricing from Carnival.


Elizabeth: What are you most looking forward to about the Cruise? 

Mary: Meeting everyone! (and a day at the spa)

Cheryl: Meeting everyone and the food!


Elizabeth: What have you learned in the process?  


Cheryl: Then read it again!


Elizabeth: What has surprised you the most?

Mary: The amount of detail and information necessary to book a cruise was surprising. I’ve cruised before and I don’t remember it being so involved.

Cheryl: All of the details that go into planning an excursion like this. And all the hard work and support of the Tour Guides who have volunteered for the Cruise Committee. They are even more awesome than I knew.


Elizabeth: What’s the one thing you’d like PBS members to know about this Cruise? 

Mary: Be there! or be SQUARE!

Cheryl: There will be free hugs and unlimited opportunities for laughter and good times.


Elizabeth: Thank you, ladies! Those interested in more information on the PBS Cruise can check out the special thread at the top of the Club Member Thoughts in the Discussion Forums, titled “2012 Cruise for PaperBackSwap Members



9 Responses to “Interview about the Cruise for PBS Members Feb. 2012”

  1. Cyn C. (Cyn-Sama) says:

    I so wish I could join you all. *cries*

  2. Gail P. (TinkerPirate) Montara, CA says:

    Great interview!!!! I’ll let you know the next time I’m in Atlanta….I’ll let you know and we can get together for “beverages”. In the meantime……we will just have to settle for cocktails on the Lido Deck!!!!!!!

  3. Cozette M. (CozSnShine) , says:

    Mary is right, “Be there or Be square”

    Love the interview – can’t wait for the cruise.

  4. Jerelyn H. (I-F-Letty) says:

    You crack me up! Will the Comedy Duo of Poncer and Kilchurn be doing their act?

  5. Sianeka N Hollywood, CA says:

    I cannot wait for this. Just realized that my 5th PBS Anniversary will come while I’m cruising!!!! Joy! Joy! I want to meet my PBS friends, and I’ve never been on a cruise before. I am soooo looking forward to this!

  6. Robin K. (jubead) says:

    Awesome Interview! I want the answer to the million dollar question…will you two be preforming for the PBS Members? I will supply the top hats 🙂

  7. Issa S. (Issa-345) says:

    You two are so funny, can’t wait to meet you on the cruise!

  8. Diane G. (icesk8tr) , says:

    Awesome interview with two lovely ladies!! 😉

  9. Vicki S. (curledupwithabook) , says:

    My mother and I are going and we are so excited! This was a simply terrific idea. Thank you so much.

Leave a Reply