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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
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to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

DNCruise 2 Delivers Big Dividends For Attendees on Last Week's Voyage to Grand Cayman and Cozumel

I've just returned from the second annual DNCruise conference - the only domain conference held aboard a cruise ship - and this year's event (which ran Sept. 5-10, 2011) succeeded in topping last year's well received debut cruiseI'm currently putting together a wire to wire recap that will give you an inside look at how the conference/cruise unfolded. That will be out before the end of the week, but in the meantime I wanted to share a few quick photos and highlights with those who have been waiting to hear how the voyage that was so well organized by Patrick Ruddell and his wife Zezura went. 

Our home away from home - the Carnival Inspiration - docked at Cozumel, Mexico 
during DN Cruise 2 Friday, September 9, 2011.

We left Tampa on the Carnival Inspiration last Monday (Sept. 5) and made our first stop Wednesday at Grand Cayman where legendary domain investor Frank Schilling (who lives on the island) met attendees and hosted an unforgettable day in paradise. After we were ferried ashore Wednesday morning, buses took us to a local yacht club where attendees boarded two speedy excursion boats for the next leg of the adventure. 

First stop was a sand bar where everyone entered the crystal clear water under dazzling blue skies to enjoy something that for me was not just a conference highlight, but a lifetime highlight - playing in the water with huge stingrays that were as gentle as kittens. The graceful sea creatures would rub against your legs, massage your back, allow themselves to be picked up and even offer kisses! It was an amazing thing.

DNCruise attendees swimming with Grand Cayman's friendly stingrays!

We then moved on to a second stop for snorkeling on a wildlife laden reef - then it was on to Rum Point for lunch and an informative and inspirational talk from Frank Schilling that held everyone in thrall. 

Above and below: Frank Schilling talking to DNCruise guests 
during an outdoor luncheon at Rum Point on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. 

After lunch we made the return trip to the Inspration and by late afternoon were steaming off toward our second destination, Cozumel, Mexico. We arrived there Thursday morning (Sept. 8) and attendees went off on a variety of different adventures. 

Diana and I started the day with a small group helmed by PPX Chairman Gregg McNair (wherever Gregg goes a good time follows and this was no exception). We wound up in a cantina across the harbor from where the Inspiration was docked where the proprietor offered up a unique "breakfast"  composed primarily of margaritas and tequila shooters. When I inquired about healthier alternatives something apparently got lost in translation as the proprietor's idea of accommodating my request was to bring me a glass filled with three times more liquid than those of my companions. My recollection of what happened over the next few hours is a bit foggy but the takeaway for me was to refrain from being too vocal on any future visits to such establishments!

"Breakfast" in Cozumel (left to right) Chris Waters, Jodi Chamberlain, Gregg McNair
Ardean Christian, Brett Lewis, Michael Gilliam (face obscured - he's obviously the smart one
in the group!), Ron Jackson (holding the Big Gulp glass) & Diana Jackson - Fri., Sept. 9, 2011

The return to Tampa took all day Friday and the day at sea was put to good use with a full slate of sessions about development and an excellent keynote address from former Oprah! TV producer  David Sams that closed the business program (Tuesday was also a day at sea that also offered a variety interesting sessions). Add in time sunning on the deck, the lively group dinners each evening, game nights, parties (hosted by Mr. McNair of course) and, best of all, networking with a great group of people (more on them in our upcoming review article), and the crowd pleasing  cruise was a winner on very level. 

The diverse group of attendees included industry veterans and newcomers alike. 
Above lead gen whiz Braden Pollock of Legal Brand Marketing gets some love from 
his fiancee, best selling author and TV personality Lisa Bloom (left) and Diana Jackson.

Patrick and Zezura put a ton of work into making it all happen and, coupled with the generosity of a large slate of sponsors, guests were treated to one of the most remarkable bargains in the conference business. 

Gregg McNair (left) greeted by DNCruise organizers Zezura and Patrick Ruddell when he 
arrived for the opening night cocktail party Monday, Sept. 5 aboard the Carnival Inspiration.

I'll have much more on DN Cruise 2 in our upcoming review, in the meantime it's not too early to start thinking about DNCruise 3 in 2012. I know a lot of this year's attendees are already planning to be onboard. 

(Posted Sept. 12, 2011) 

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