We are so excited to be planning a knitting cruise/retreat! |
First and foremost: The dates for the cruise will be Wednesday, January 25th through Monday, January 30th. We will be leaving out of Charleston Harbor, SC. Their check in is pretty fast, but the earlier you get there, the better. You will need to be checked in and on the boat by 2:30pm on Wednesday at the latest.
Cruise pricing: The cruise price for a 2 person cabin is currently $304 each for an interior cabin, or $329 each for an exterior cabin, plus $87 each for taxes and fees. They were charging a $9 per person per day fuel supplement but that is not currently in effect.
Here is the big time crunch: When we lock in the prices for our group rate you will have a 14 day window to get that confirmed pricing. To participate in the knitting cruise your reservations and deposit ($200 per cruiser) have to be completed during that time period. We expect to lock in the rates on November 9, 2011. We will send another email when the window begins with the confirmed cruise price and the contact information for our "guy" at the cruise line. You must call him directly to make your reservations.
Discounts: Any previous cruisers with Carnival get a discount rate. On the date we got our quote, it was about $50. Your cabin mate will receive the same discount. We priced the cruise separately in case you want to bring along a spouse/partner or other non-knitting friend (this is a great mother-daughter opportunity.)
If you want to book after our group window we can't guarantee the above price and it will be on an as available basis, but the cruise line will let you do it.
Can you find a better rate? Possibly, but I could not find a better price on this particular cruise when we were pricing it, even with the resellers. We are not making money off your cruise price, but they do give us some credits that we will use for a group party or wine in your room, etc. We also may earn a free room if we have enough of you booked. If we do, we'll need more instructors anyway, so we can use this to help offset instructor costs and maybe we can bring you some more goodies.
Roommates: If you know whom you want to room with you can work out booking between the two of you. when we let you know that our booking window is open, one of you should call the cruise line first (if one of you has cruised with Carnival before they should call) and book their cruise. At that point you'll be given both a Basket of Yarn Group number and a personal cruise reservation number. Call your roommate and give them the personal cruise number and then they can use that number to book themselves in the same room. If you need a roommate, call us first at the shop (704-733-9053) and we'll set you up with a roomie on a first come, first served basis. After you book with Carnival you will receive information from them about making travel arrangements, etc. and everything else you will need for the cruise.
Cost of the Retreat: The retreat part of the cruise will be $500. It will include 16 hours worth of instruction and all yarn, patterns and supplies (excluding needles.) Just as a point of interest, our budget for how much yarn, supplies and goodies you receive is higher for this cruise than in any of the retreats past!
What is the agenda: We will have one day at sea on the way to the Bahamas, one day in port in Nassau, one day in port in Freeport and one day at sea on the way back from the Bahamas. We will have classes scheduled for 8 hours or so on each of the sea days for knitters. (Note to all non-knitting roommates: This means you have 16 hours, completely solo, to sit in the sun, drink fruity drinks, read, putt-putt, whatever you want!)
We will have evening meal reservations together where we can show off our knitted finery and outshine the other guests (!) and watch the singing waiters and waitresses! If you don't want to bring dress up clothes, this will be an optional event.
There will be other entertainment we can take part in on the boat and we will have some more to tell you once we are sure of our registration numbers.
What do you get to knit or crochet? Before I give you the list of our ideas, let me preface it by saying that we are thinking "small," "portable," and "luxury." One of the drawbacks to the cruise is that we don't have much storage room so we are planning on some strong techniques classes, beautiful yarn and one skein or lace weight projects. This will in no way diminish the experience for you and you will still be getting tons of great yarn (think quality over quantity). Plus, maybe you will finish more of the projects if you don't have that huge 5 hour class hanging over you!
What else do you get?
Bags! BoY has traditionally provided a knitting bag to all participants. We have not identified that bag yet, but it will be focused on portable and luxury and cuteness! If we can pre-package them with travel goodies before we leave Charlotte, all the better!
T-Shirts! BoY always has a new T-shirt at each retreat for each participant. We haven't decided on the new color scheme yet, but everyone will get a "Peace, Love, Knit" T-Shirt!
Vendor Gifts! At the last retreat, we beat up our vendors and had a prize for every participant. The prizes ranged in value from a low of $10 to a high of about $160 but they averaged about $50 each for the most part. We plan to repeat this again if at all possible. This year you will get to pick your prize and the picking order will be prioritized by retreat registration dates (the faster you pay us, the better your prize)!
Free Yarn! We will empty our shelves to be sure you get as much free yarn as possible. Once we have everyone covered with a vendor gift, we'll start putting any extra yarn we have to give away at the shop. Salespeople give us yarn…we got some free yarn at the TNNA….we will empty our shelves of anything we can give you that we think you will like!
Want more? I am happy to entertain any ideas about patterns you would like to make, yarn you would like to try or goodies that would be fun to receive!
More information about the cruise/retreat will be coming soon, join our mailing list to receive updates with everyone else!