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In May 2003 a group of around 400 people Joined Garfield, Odie, Jim Davis and his family to celebrate the 25th birthday of Garfield. The cruise was named “It’s All About Me at Sea in 2003 . . . Garfield’s 25th Birthday Cruise. The cruise was from May 17 to May 24th and we had a blast.
At departure there was a private reception for the Garfield group where we met the employees of Paws, Inc, and their families and we toasted a good cruise to come.
May 17th we left Fort Lauderdale Florida and headed to Key West Florida. In Key West we broke up into teams and had a Garfield scavenger hunt throughout Key West. We followed a series of diabolical clues all through out the city of Key West. The scans of the Polaroid pictures were photos we needed to take to prove we solved the clues.
While in Cozumel, Mexico, as a shore excursion Cathy and I took a Jeep safari off-roading to the beaches of Mexico. I was told by the car behind us that all four wheels of our jeep were off the ground many times.
Other Garfield events included “Chalk Talk” where Jim Davis spoke about his past and the history of Garfield. A cameo appearance from Dean Young, the son of the creator of “Blondie” was also aboard and presented Jim with a gift from his company, Jim answered questions and signed autographs. Jill, his wife and an executive of Paws, Inc. also joined Jim for the autograph signing.
A Garfield collectables auction took place with the help of “Doc” Davis, Jim Davis’s Brother and the inspiration behind the character in the comic strip “Doc Boy”. The unsuspecting auctioneer who worked for the cruise line made a comment that they wanted to offer us a chance to get Garfield collectables below cost. The whole crowd laughed. The auctioneer had no idea what was about to happen. Let’s be honest, this is a group of people who paid a few thousand dollars to be on a ship because of our love of Garfield so what’s a few hundred dollars above list price just to win some auction items. The bids were ridiculously high. A $100 gift certificate sold for $140. This is like a $100 bill selling for $140.
Another event was the “Garfield Pajama Party”. Picture 400 grown adults all dressed up in Garfield sleepwear. There were a few negligee and sexy teddies, unfortunately they were on men. The photo is in the slideshow. (You can’t make this stuff up.)
“I’m in the Mood for Food” was a cooking demonstration with Jim Davis, Garfield, Odie and Kim the Paws, Inc. Publicist. It was to promote the new book, appropriately named, “I’m in the Mood for Food”.
In Grand Cayman, Cathy and I took a shore excursion to Stingray City.
Half Moon Cay – Holland American’s private island in the Bahamas was where we had a private beach-front picnic area and had a Garfield
themed picnic. Garfield and Odie were wearing Hawaiian shirts and the mime inside must have been dying of heat exhaustion.
On the last day at sea there was a formal reception where Garfield and Odie were styling tuxedos and posing for pictures. A cake was made up that was a replica of the very first Garfield Comic from 1978.
When Jim Davis was asked when the next cruise will be he replied, “Once every 25 years is enough”. He was a great sport since he signed so many autographs he probably still can not move his fingers and he posed for so many photos that 6 years later he still has the remnants of our camera flashes burnt into his retinas.
A good time was had by all.
Click Here to See Some Photos from the Garfield 25th Birthday Cruise
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