This contract on the Equinox has been my first experience visiting Central America and I’ve been very excited to join the ship and explore new places. On my first cruise, we sailed to Puerto Limón, Costa Rica, and I was lucky enough to go on a rainforest excursion. It was a leisurely ride, more than an hour long, through ferns, vines, mosses and trees on an open air tram. In just a single photograph, you could find so many different species of plants and in 50 shades of green. We had the full rainforest experience — getting soaked by the warm rain, but I didn’t mind at all. The forest smelled so incredible and there was so much to take in, even just listening to the rainfall. Unfortunately, the heavy rains kept most of the birds and animals away but we were still able to see a few sloths in the trees. I should also mention that I attempted to swing from a vine, like Jane of the jungle, and failed miserably landing on my back side. Note to self: fewer trips to the buffet.
The base of the tram was near a butterfly garden, walking trails and an orchid garden. That is where I came across these beauties (below left). In a sea of green these lovely pink orchids stood out to me. I was completely inspired to create a glass piece with the rich colors of the rainforest and the delicate form of the orchids. I marbleized opaque green and white together, then layered a transparent green on top to pick up different tones. Once I opened the piece on the punty, I drew on a vine and carefully added the pre-sculpted orchids. This has to be one of my favorite works I have made on the ships. When I see it, I think back to that day in Puerto Limón.
One of the big highlights has been our overnight stay in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I have never been to New Orleans, nor to a festival like this. I was over the moon for a chance to soak in the vibrancy of this amazing city at such a wild time. The Equinox sailed for nine hours up the Mississippi River for its two-night and three-day stay in the Big Easy. Everywhere you turn there is music, there are costumes, parades and, of course, beads! The city explodes with purple, gold and green. And when it comes to costumes, anything goes. The Big Easy was so alive with art and creativity.
Our guests on board the Equinox were full of energy, decked out in festival garb and ready for a good time. The team made sure to create some Mardi Gras-colored designs to get into the spirit. Aaron Jack created this gorgeous vase with layers of white cane and wrapped in the three Mardi Gras colors: purple, gold and green. It was a new design that Aaron had been working on specifically for this cruise and the team and our guests really loved it. We auctioned it off for the World Wildlife Fund in our charity auction at the end of the cruise with these other lovely pieces.