Pandora Unforgettable Cruise 2013 Recap

pandora-cruise-2013-coverThank you to all who were following the live blogging from the Pandora 2013 Cruise.  We had an amazing time and now that I’ve had a chance to catch my breath and go through the more than 1,000 photos we took during the trip, I thought I’d share some of the highlights of the week and mention anything I might have missed during my midnight blogging sessions.

We began the trek by driving the hour or so from Orlando to Port Canaveral where the boat was stationed.  We arrived in the early afternoon and apparently missed a fire alarm evacuation that had been inadverantly set off by someone placing their bag on the lever, though we had no problems boarding the ship.  Registration was shortly after sailing and we were all eager to see what promos we would be getting but alas had to wait even later to the meet & greet before receiving our swag bag.  The gifts were on par with last year’s except the charm was much much better!  I was happy to see an exclusive bead made especially for us and I treasure it immensely.  We got served the Pandora Bloom cocktails, the same as before, and a few prizes were given out which was the Celebration Bouquet (Jared’s exclusive in the US).

Our first port was Coco Cay, Bahamas, a privately owned island by Royal Caribbean; I would have much rather been dropped off at Nassau as the island didn’t have too much to do.  It was also cloudy, windy, and sprinkling so the weather was not cooperating either.  St. Thomas was the next port and because it’s a US Territory, we had cell reception (hooray!).  The island was much larger and it felt like we didn’t get to see much on our excursion tour.  The Concept store did not have any retired charms, which was a bummer but I did find a couple of smaller shop-in-shops which did have some but had been picked over quite a bit already before I got there.  I stumbled upon a Lovepod spacer and even though it’s pricey, I bit the bullet because I had to have it!

We had a great time on the St. Maarten tour before getting dropped off at the downtown shopping street.  I managed to find a few great retired liquid silver pieces including a Ripple bangle, Ripple Ring, and Flow pendants: large, medium, and small.  They also still had some of the newly retired charms and I bought the XL green python (I wish they would come out with this design in the regular size).  My friend Donna Lobel was obsessed with finding a Story by Kranz and Ziegler retailer on the islands and after drooling over her purchases, I caved and bought another one for myself as well.  I’ll post more on that later ;).  There was a bit of controversy as some ladies had been told only the purchases at the Concept store would be honored for the 20% rebate on St. Maarten, while others were assured that everything Pandora bought on the islands would be accepted, so I’m not sure what came of that since I only bought from the Concept store there.  By the end, the stores sold out of most of their special engraved beads and other items too.  My husband fondly called us silver locusts as we swarmed and consumed most of the charms on these islands.

I don’t have too much to expand about regarding the workshops, details for the events can be found on Pandora Cruise 2013 – Day 3, Pandora Cruise 2013 – Day 6, Pandora Cruise 2013 – Day 7.  The most fun I had was hanging out and chatting with my Pandora friends.  One of the ladies, Brenda Parks, brought two big bags of charms to sell and we were all huddled around her stash like drug addicts doing lines, lol.  I saw a few creative ways to wear Pandora that I just had to share; one is from April Clark and she had her jeweler attach a hoop ring to the lobster clasp bracelet so that she could wear her medical alert badge as part of her Pandora bracelet – ingenious!  Stephanie from Pandora also had a great idea to use the double clips with rings to create a unique-looking Pandora bracelet which Donna adopted with panache.  A couple ladies memorialized their unforgettable moment with matching cruise tattoos!

During the summer 2013 runway preview, Pandora gave out 10 of the new triple leather bracelets and the last night we had a big farewell party with all of the attendees and the Pandora team gave out a slew of prizes.  We started off with the promo items: towels, passport/luggage tag carriers, play trays, goody bags, designer signed SS13 look books, mugs, and then got to the good stuff – 10 jewelry prizes which was a charm from the new collection and a bangle.  My husband seems to be real lucky as he won one of the last prizes of the night, the teal fascinating Murano and a bangle!  I was over the moon; I’d been eyeballing that bead the entire trip and could not have been happier that he got it for me.  For those that didn’t get drawn during the raffle, everyone received the lip balm, umbrella, and canvas tote.

Overall, the events seem better organized and coordinated this year which I appreciated, especially the shopping events.  I was thrilled that the stores actually had jewelry to sell us!  It was definitely the right decision to make this trip longer than the inaugural cruise as I felt that we barely had any time to relax before we were back home again.  I do think part of my enjoyment was not setting incredibly high expectations this time; last year I had such impossible hopes that anything less felt like a disappointment.  All the staff worked really hard even though some of them did not seem to be enjoying the motion of the ocean.  Everything is still hush hush regarding next year, but I hope so because I would love to do this again!

  • Janet L.

    Thank you Leann for that last photo! (the new teal fascinating with the captivating and flowers for you) …those are the exact same muranos I plan on adding the new teal fascinating too, they look gorgeous together!…since I do my muranos in even numbers, I’m wondering what the fourth should be…I’m thinking the clear with teal flowers…if you were going to add a fourth to that trio, which one would you add?

    Lucky hubs you have, that murano looks gorgeous on the bangle!…thank you for all of the cruise updates and reports…I can’t see myself ever going on a cruise but do enjoy reading about all the fun and goings on! 🙂

    • Janet L.

      P.S. or maybe one of the new sea glass murano colorways?

    • Leann

      You’re welcome! The base color of the other two beads are the same as the new teal Fascinating, I have the teal ribbon, teal flowers, and teal polka dots with these other three for an even number of 6 ;). I think the multi-color sea glass might work as well, but there are flecks of other colors so it’s not going to match exactly.

  • Tina

    Thanks for sharing. It really sounds like nice trip. So how do you like the new bangle?? Is it like the Novo beads bangle???

    • Leann

      Hi Tina, it was a wonderful trip. I like the new bangle and you can find my review on Pandora bangle introduction and review. Not exactly like the Novobeads bangle, I think.

  • Christine

    I am jealous, jealous, jealous!! Can I say it once more — JEALOUS!!

    • Leann


  • Simone Amadee

    Thanks for the memories, Leann!! I am also suffering from CWS (cruise withdrawal syndrome) in a major way!!
    Let’s do it again in 2014! 🙂

    • Leann

      You and me both! I already put a deposit down on a future cruise :D.

  • Ashley

    All the pics look great! That’s exactly what I’d be doing, going around looking at people’s Pandora wrists and the like! Fun, fun, fun!! Okay Leann, so what about the men? Were there a lot of hubbies onboard escorting their women? And what about like, the meet and greets and any other get togethers, do the men come along or is it awkward for the guys being around all these women shopping?? As u can tell, I’ve never taken a cruise as of yet! 🙂

    I think I would rather go about it the way u did, having the husband come with me like a vacation. Rather than taking my BFF’s. I’m sure when your docked there’s plenty to see and do. I’m talking about while on the boat, do the men tag along or do they disappear? lol

    I’m just in love with the special charms u received for taking the cruise and the charms u got while on the islands…what little treasures u now have to always be able to remember y’alls trip! 🙂

    • Leann

      A lot more men this year than last year! I’d like maybe half the husbands accompany their ladies to the events, they’re good sports. The other half can find lots to do on the ship – there’s rock climbing, full size gym with boxing ring and studio, pools and jacuzzis galore, to name a few amenities. I love cruises and if I can take one a year I’d be a happy gal! It’s such a special experience and since this was a longer ride, I got to hang out more with the Pandora fans and that was so fun. You should definitely do it next year if they have it ;).

  • Aida

    I can’t thank you enough for your reporting on the cruise. I followed all your blogs from the first time you announced the cruise, through the last day of the event. Admittedly, I am very envious of the great give-a-way items you received and were able to purchase during this excursion.
    I also wondered about the men; I doubt though that I could convince my hubby to tag along. I also have issues with large crowds (anxiety disorder) and also wondered if special arrangements/times could be made in the stores you visited. As much as I love to look at Pandora items, i don’t think I could have handled the crowds in the stores.
    It seems like this event alone would wipeout my Pandora budget of 2/month; I know I couldn’t just buy only 2 items while there were so many goodies available and tempting me at every move.
    You recently posted a lament about Pandora not having a rewards program for frequent buyers/club members. I would love it to be a universal Pandora system. There is one concept store that I have shopped in that offers a program, but it is far from my home and I don’t get there that often. The rewards program should be computerized so it includes purchases made at other USA concept stores, Store-in-Store sites, as well as purchases made at Pandora stores on-line. Whatever points required redeeming, it could be done on-line, at one central site, to avoid problems. Just a thought.

    • Leann

      Hi Aida, I hope you enjoyed the blogs ;). So, you can actually go to the store at any time while the ship is docked; the reason for the crowds is because we were in a tour group that dropped us all off at the same time. You can make your plans to get to the shops and can beat the rush, so to speak. Plus, there were other stores that weren’t featured which were not busy at all (shop-in-shops). It does get a bit claustrophobic, can you imagine even 50 Pandora hungry ladies vying for help and counter space? Lol. It was quite the free-for-all. The 20% rebate was a little too good for me to resist so I definitely blew my bead budget by miles! I console myself in knowing that I’ll be getting pieces from the summer collection for free (in a way).

      I heard they’re still testing the loyalty program, I hope it makes its way to the West Coast at some point. That’s a great idea but since all the stores are independently owned, one retailer isn’t going to want to pay for the redemption when you purchased the beads elsewhere. It would be fabulous though!

  • Nicole

    Thank you so much chronicling the pandora cruise this year I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the events and your finds. I am going on an eastern Caribbean cruise in 2 weeks and was wondering if the charms were discounted on the islands or less than US retail prices. I remember that there isn’t sales tax. Just wondering- thanks!

    • Leann

      Glad you liked it, Nicole! There is no discount on the islands, the prices are the same as for the US except there’s no tax. Have fun on your cruise!

  • Sue

    Love the bangle with those teal colored Muranos Leann, it just reminds me of the ocean! And thank you for sharing your info about the cruise!

    • Leann

      You’re welcome, Sue. The teal fascinating is a perfect match with the gorgeous blue waters of the Caribbean! So happy to have this bead :).

  • April Clark

    Girl, you have an amazing way to tell a story! Love your blog!

    • Leann

      Why thank you so much, Miss April! Hope you had a blast, it was so nice to meet you! 😀

  • Mars

    Really enjoyed your blogs, tweets and your recap of the Pandora Cruise, even though I don’t collect Pandora, really interesting to follow, thanks!

    You all looked like you were having such a fabulous time!

    • Leann

      Thanks!! We had a blast :D.