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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride


Day 16/138; 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise

Last night we ended up in the World Cafe for dinner after a long day off the Neptune with our golfing adventure in Cabo San Lucas. Unfortunately we were not on the starboard side of the ship to capture the sunset over Cabo San Lucas when the sun was setting over Cabo.

I was able to find this photo on Getty Images though and I’m sorry I missed the opportunity to shoot this beautiful sight. I’ll be paying more attention from now on where I am at sunset on the ship!

The swells today are 14 feet on the Neptune and I’m actually doing ok! I did put on my wristbands this morning just in case of sea sickness but so far so good! Apparently we now have sea sick bags in our cabins too, which definitely does not bode well! Richard is fine too, and not having any seasickness, and he is off having a facial as I write this blog.

We are on our first of 2 sea days today, as we cruise towards Los Angeles where approximately 330 people will disembark and the rest of the World Cruisers will embark.

We have been so very busy since we boarded the Neptune, that today I decided I’m finally going to start reading my Kindle. Yesterday was such an active day, so today is for some ‘downtime’. The swells were pretty high though, so rather than sit on our balcony where the temperature has dropped to around 20C, I went up to the Explorer’s Lounge, at the front of the ship, to relax on the very comfortable couches and read my Kindle. The book I have chosen by Jodi Picoult, called “Wish you Were Here” set during the Pandemic in 2020. started with someone flying to the Galapagos Islands at the height of all of the lockdowns. I’m very intrigued now and have been drawn into the book, now that we are also exploring the world at this time, on this World Cruise. I’ve also got to set my Reading Challenge Goal in Goodreads for 2023. Last year I read 72 books, so I’ already falling behind last year’s pace by not having started a book until January 6th! Time to spend more time at sea reading!

As I was flipping through Facebook today this very interesting post came on my feed.

Tonight is the first full moon of 2023 and it is called the ”Stay Home Moon”. fullmåne is

Norwegian for ‘Full Moon‘ and of course because we are sailing on a Norwegian ship we

have to use the proper language for the full moon! But we are definitely not staying home

as the moon suggests for this first full moon of 2023! Its our time to explore the world on

the Viking Neptune on our World Cruise!

Photo of the Viking Neptune courtesy of Mike Schofield, a fellow World Cruiser from Canada!

The Viking Daily we received in our stateroom last evening announced that at 1pm today the Snowman Building Competition would take place in the Wintergarden. After a few What’s App messages and emails to my teammates, we all agreed to meet at 12:40pm after Team Trivia, in the Wintergarden.

From top to bottom: Me (Ruth McBride) Canada, Chief Snowflake Designer; Sharon Schofield, Canada, Chief Lighting and Millinery Architect; Ruth Bridges, U.K., Chief Cellotape Engineer; and Linda Aaby, USA, Chief Design Consultant.

Cruise Director Bruce introduced everyone in the Wintergarden to the Snowmen/women/persons and explained that the expert panel of judges would be himself along with his two Assistant Cruise Directors, Matt and Michael, Chantelle Grundling Shorex Manager and Hotel General Manager Ronald Schweigherdt. Every team that entered a snow-person into the competition would be called up to explain what the name of their creation was and how many hours they took to make it, along with what recycled products were in the snow-person.

Our entry to the Snowman Building Contest. I present to you CANUKUS! Canada, U.K. and U.S.

The following are the presentation notes I had drafted for our team to submit to the judges for consideration in their judging. Spending 37.5 years in Senior Leadership positions in a Bank doesn’t hurt when trying to write a very convincing argument for the judges to consider our submission.

2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise

Snowperson Contest


CanUKUS is an international joint venture, creative snow person collaboration between 3 co-operating countries. Canada. U.K. and the U.S.(A).

Our theme was a snow journey around the world on the 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise.

As international waters have become more and more polluted and the sea life in the oceans endangered, our snow person was meant to show how we all can save the world through recycling for a whimsical, decorative purpose.

Through our collaborative efforts while visioning, engineering, creating and fluffing up CanUKUs, we have become compatriots with a common cause.

CanUKUs is made from: recyclable water bottles, empty recycleable Freya shower gel containers, toilet paper, recyclable white paper, paper beverage covers, Happy New Year’s hats, re-useable, and re-purposed tensor bandages, metal coat hanger wires, plastic coat hanger covers, styrofoam, flour and water paper mache, twine, duct tape, shower cap box, sanitary napkin box and bag (unused), wrapping paper, string from a gift bag and dental floss.

We respectfully submit CanUKUs to the esteemed judging panel for your review and consideration.

Sharon Schofield CAN(ada): Chief Lighting and Millinery architect

Ruth McBride CAN(ada): Chief Snowflake designer

Ruth Bridges UK: Chief Cellotape engineer

Linda Aaby US(A): Chief Design consultant

There were many other great submissions to the snowman building contest and I believe that Bruce and his team had sent out 19 bags of materials for people that had signed up to participate in the competition and 17 entries were on display today for the judges review.

Some of the other creative entants to the snowman building competition.

A backwards view of the snowman creations.

A few more entrants to the competition.

When it was time for our team to present, I read our submission and had my teammates wear their country’s flags for moral support, while I presented. Bruce asked a few questions and then we had to sit and wait for the judging to take place. The judges used a 4 point scale based on:

  1. Use of the material provided in the kits we were allocated

  2. Ensuring the snowman met the 24 inch height requirement

  3. Use of as many recycled materials as possible

  4. A ‘whimsy’ factor

The 5th contributing factor to the judges opinion was the audience’s applause at the end when Bruce asked everyone to clap for their favorite snowman. I think we received a great round of applause, but so did some other team’s too.

After about a 5 minute wait, Bruce announced that the judges had reached a unanimous consensus and that the winner of the 2022/2023 Viking Neptune Snowman contest was:

Drum roll please……

CANUKUS for the win!!!!

CANUKUS as a work in progress two days ago, before the globe was covered for the left hand. We worked well together as a team with each of us having a role in the project and I have never made so many snow flakes in different shapes and sizes with small sewing scissors, as I did for this project. We had a vision and we followed it through. Thank goodness everyone brings more ’stuff’ on a cruise than they actually need for the cruise itself. Things that we used that we had with us were: white duct tape (Sharon) - I mean what Canadian leaves home without duct tape? But to have white duct tape was absolutely brilliant to give Canukus some structure and stability. I had brought with me 3 tensor bandages as well as some knee and ankle tommy copper bandages given the history both me and Richard have had with injuries! Linda also had a tensor bandage we used and her husband Lyle made the great suggestion to get some flour from the kitchen and use it with water and paper to make paper mache, which we did over the balloons Viking gave us. Guest Services was so helpful in providing us with our signage for the hat as well as our write up submission and the rest of the creation was done with ingenious design and co-operation.

We received a bottle of sparking wine for our team win and proceeded to all go to the World Cafe to share a lunch.

We all decided to have lunch together in the World Cafe and Ruth’s husband Andy generously treated us to real champagne for our win! Ruth’s mom Gillian is on the cruise with her and Andy and also in the photo are Linda’s husband Lyle and Sharon’s husband Mike. Richard and me were there but not in the photo.

What a day! We were so excited to win! It felt like winning the Academy Award for Snowman building!

Linda and Lyle have taken CANUKUS to their stateroom for the deconstruction and I will get our tensor bandages from them at some point on this cruise. We will miss Ruth as she returns to the UK in L.A., but she did say she would fly down to London to see us (she has her private pilot’s license) when we arrive in London in May this year. And she and her family are also coming to Canada in July so Sharon and Mike and me and Richard hope to meet up with them in Niagara Falls! I definitely understand why Viking makes the effort to have us engage in these competitions, because having gone through the hours of work to construct CANUKUS, I feel like I’ve gained new friends who we can share more time with in the future on this cruise and beyond!

Tonight I will be out on the deck looking to sharpen my astral photography skills to see how the fullmåne is reflecting off the Pacific Ocean as we sail onwards towards L.A., instead of staying home, as this fullmåne suggests we should do!

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Jan 07, 2023

Fabulous on all levels


Jan 07, 2023

Congratulations! Love reading your blog, great insights and helpful tips for our world voyage on the Neptune in January 2024!


Cathy Vee Volpe-Paul
Cathy Vee Volpe-Paul
Jan 07, 2023

Congrats on the Snowman Contest win!

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