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Rick Archer's Note: 

For the Bahamas 2010 Trip, we are going to try a new feature.  I am going to publish some of the favorite pictures taken by the guests on our trip and maybe add a few words when appropriate. 

For starters, meet Donald Taylor and his young daughter Savannah.  This pretty girl was our youngest passenger.  Donald was also traveling with his mother Betty and his sister Rose.   Donald's wife Jean brought her parents Jay and Jenell along as well.  In other words, this trip was quite the Family Affair!

The extended Taylor group was literally a "Family within a Family".  This brings a real smile to my face because my beloved dance studio played a big part in bringing this family together. 

When I say that SSQQ is a family, stop and think about it.  Donald and Jean were not the only "SSQQ couple" who were along for this trip.  In fact, there were 15 couples on board who list "SSQQ Dance Studio" as a big reason for their marriage or engagement.   And that doesn't even begin to take into consideration the other dozen couples who are still in the "thinking about it" stages who came along as well!

A couple doesn't necessarily have to meet at SSQQ to be considered an SSQQ couple.  Many couples meet somewhere else, then use SSQQ as a way to get to know one another.  Donald, for example, met Jeannie at Wild West. 

Here is story:

"Actually, Jean and I met at Wild West. I been on the single scene for a few months and didn’t know how to dance.  So I started taking some private two-step lessons in hopes to at least be able to ask someone to dance in the near future.

The instructor mentioned going to Wild West on Tuesday nights to dance with more advanced dancers and get my feet wet. So after two lessons, I went out to Wild West on Tuesday and was scared to death. While I was there, I heard about SSQQ being the place to go to mingle and learn to dance.

The following Friday, I came home from work, made dinner and watched a movie. Suddenly I realized I should not be sitting around on Friday night and start the hunt. I thought of a few places to go and decided that Wild West was the closest one to go to.

I went to Wild West, got a beer and walked straight to the dance floor. After about 30 seconds of standing there wishing I could do all that was being shown on the dance floor, a two-step song came on and it happened……Jean asked me to dance.

With one week of dancing and Jean being dressed to kill, I was scared out of my wits. The funning thing is, she was starting the hunt as well and was actually going to ask some other guy to dance she was eyeing earlier. When she turned around, I was standing there and decided to ask me instead. Talk about being at the right place at the right time!

After our first date, she mentioned SSQQ was the place to go and that she would go take classes with me if I joined. With being told twice about all the benefits of SSQQ, my next lesson was at SSQQ."

I first met Jean back in 2002.  Back then, she was "Jeannie" to me!  Jean was young, maybe 20 years old.  She enjoyed the dance studio and took every dance class under the sun.  Jeannie even became my assistant in several of my classes and assisted my other instructors as well. 

As you have already read, Jean met Donald in 2006 at Wild West, then she persuaded him to come over to the studio.  Cupid did the rest.  They became engaged the same year.  In fact, Donald and Jeannie took our 2006 Rhapsody Cruise... then they got married in 2007... and our 2007 Conquest Cruise was their honeymoon trip. 

Then they disappeared.  Unfortunately Donald's work forced the two of them to move to Oklahoma City.  Normally when people move out of town, I never see or hear of them again.  To my surprise, Donald and Jean signed up for last year's 2009 cruise.  Jeannie had just given birth to Savannah, but I think her parents offered to keep an eye on their young daughter so that Donald and Jeannie could have some time to themselves.

As you can see, this year Savannah got to make the trip as well!   I have never asked Donald or Jeannie why they enjoy our cruises so much.  After all, Oklahoma is a long way to come and these trips are more expensive because they have to pay air fare in addition to cruise fare. 

My guess is they come for the same reasons as everyone else.  On a cruise, the old saying 'the more the merrier' holds true.  Donald and Jean have the best of all worlds - they have their daughter, they have their parents, Donald has his sister, they get to see their friends from the studio, and they even get to have some time alone with each other. 

Whatever the true reason, Marla and I feel very honored that they continue to share their vacations with us!

Donald wrote me about an interesting day he had in Nassau and at the Atlantis Resort.  By the way, he sent me some lovely pictures of Atlantis, but since I will be doing a special story on Atlantis elsewhere, I will add some other pictures of their trip instead.

"I must say Atlantis was the highlight of my trip.  However, I had my ups and downs that day but it all worked out.

You may remember what I went through at the start of the day with my sister not finding my mother to get her ID  (RA - Donald and Jean had all kinds of problems rounding everyone up.  I watched as Donald literally ran back on the ship to persuade everyone to come along.  Meanwhile I got a chance to see Jean while we waited in line. Fortunately Donald reappeared with everyone just at the right time!)

Well, later down the pier, right before getting on the bus to go to Atlantis, I realized I forgot my wallet. Now I had our passports but no wallet. That was a little stressful but my sister had $20 on her.  So I figured this would cover us in an emergency because we were not planning shopping until we got back to the port.

After the guide at Atlantis cut us loose, we went to rent a locker. You would think this would be easy right? Well, they only accept credit cards and we don't have one.  We could not just leave our bag sitting around with expensive cameras and passports! Now I'm stressed again.

After saying a few choice words, this couple behind us from the Conquest offered to pay for our locker. Now we're good again.

When it was time for us to eat, we went back to the locker to get some things and I realized I had lost my key. Now I am stressing because the people that rented the locker for us is going to get charged $50 for the lost key!

I went back to the last water slide I was on and the life guards there were very helpful.  They dove into the pool and found the key.  We're good now.

However, after we eat, it is 2:30 and we are supposed to be back on the boat so Jenell, Jeannie's Mom back at the ship with Savannah could go shop.  We did not get back in time for that. Luckily Savannah wore her out so Jenell was too tired to go shop anyway.

Other than that, the day was wonderful. Oh!  Plus my sister lost my goggles that I loaned her.

Atlantis was wonderful, beautiful and fun. I was expecting long lines due to 5 ships at port; however, it was just the opposite. As you know there was pretty much no waiting with the exception of "The Leap of Faith" and that was only around 5 minutes. Realistically, I was a little nervous and wasn't in a hurry anyway.  What a great ride!

We'll make an effort for the Virgin Islands!"


Grace and Janet at Key West.  (Picture taken by Karl)

Casey and Matthew

Crystal and Kristi (taken by David)


Ann, Iqbal, Rick, Marla   (picture courtesy of Joan)

Ed, Joan, Larry  (picture courtesy of Joan)


Tim, Jeff, Larry, Joan, Gary  (picture courtesy of Joan)

Sally and Jeff


Virginia and Gareld   (Picture taken by Karl)

Peggy and Carolyn  (Picture taken by Karl)

Joel  (Picture taken by Karl)

Allison and Chad (Picture taken by Karl)


Vivian and Rick  (Picture taken by Marsharita)

George and Marsharita

Linda, Don, Marlene


Niko and Wayne

Niko and Steve


Jeff, Sandy, Sandra, Danny

Batman and Robin


Becca, Rose, David, and mystery woman (all pictures contributed by Marty)

Marty, Pat, Jess.... looking for the color and concept coordinated awards



Valerie, Crystal, Karen

Mona, Ed, Joan, Larry

Every man's fondest dream

Every woman's fondest dream


Can you tell which one is not a real flamingo?

Jess and Pat


Alicia and Veronica

Alicia and Veronica


Rick Archer's Note:

I believe it was Charley Denton who organized a group to wear Zoot Suits and Flapper outfits for the First Formal Night.

Unfortunately I don't have a complete picture with all the participants.

Nor do I have a story to share.... hint hint hint.

So here is the deal... there is still plenty of space for more pictures.

In addition, I would like to have some stories written by our guests on the trip.

Send the pictures and stories to

The Flappers and the Dappers:
Karl, Deborah, Amber, Joseph, Kristi, and Joel

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