You thought it was over, we continued to work and now we want to share it all with you, our Fellow Toastmasters…

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To many of us, December 2018 remains an unforgettable period, a time when we were feeling even more proud than usual to be Toastmasters. This, because we were experiencing an amazing event held by two Districts (109 and 59), a very unique celebration that will go down in European Toastmasters history. The time has now come therefore for us to share parts of our Allegro experience with all the rest of you so
that you can also understand why it was so special.

It was held on a cruise ship

The first time for such a major Toastmasters event! Moreover, we wish to emphasize that we are not talking about any random small boat here but are referring to an entire floating village owned by the renowned Costa Cruises…one which could easily travel from Europe to the Caribbean. And even though the Allegro sea-journey was limited to the Mediterranean, it remained just as captivating. On our trip, we experienced the super, modern
version of the old TV series called “The Love Boat”. Just so that you can get a sense of the size of our ship: to go from our cabins that were at the back of the ship to the restaurants and the meeting rooms at the center we needed a good 20 minutes (and this was after we had stopped
getting lost…)

There was an exceptionally wide variety of trainings available

All of them were offered by Toastmasters from different Districts. After all, it is a fact that, usually, at major District events such as this
one, the workshops take second place to the speech contests but here the focus was on trainings and only on trainings. After all, this was
indeed the main goal of this event and it was very successfully carried out. We took advantage of this to not only enjoy the traditional Toastmasters workshops but also to explore other learning opportunities. For example: “How to protect yourself if the ship is sinking” or “How to elegantly dance to Italian music in the middle of a packed restaurant” both courtesy of the staff of the ship. And, we have to emphasize here that nobody was forgotten…
For details of the workshops, do have a look at the website and note that Allegro had even created a special mini-YLP program for the youngsters aboard that we all enjoyed a lot.

It offered us wonderful fellowship opportunities

The fact that we were all literally in the same boat allowed us to form close bonds with Toastmasters not only from our own District but also from the neighboring ones as we had special visitors from Districts 107, 95, 110 – just to name a few of them. At the same time, the fun events organized such as the rhetorical battles added spice to our evenings. Of course, the extra bonus was that we got to meet even more Toastmasters on their home ground – as we arrived in the ports of Marseille and Barcelona, we were greeted and hosted by the locals who had taken the time to organize “Walk and Talk” events where we were treated to a taste of these wonderful cities while at the same time practicing our table topics skills.
So much fun and laughter everywhere…

This event has passed, having helped us grow further as Toastmasters and leaving us with very special memories. After all, as Dr Ralph Smedley said: “We learn best in moments of enjoyment”.

For the above, we would like, just once more, to express our heartfelt thanks to Captain Patricia Mansencal, from Italy, whose brainchild the event was. Also, to all the Toastmasters who contributed to making it so wonderful. Finally, we urge you not to despair, Fellow Toastmasters, even if you missed Allegro, there are so many more opportunities out there for educational and fun events….for example, we would like to encourage you to attend the Division and District conferences that are being organized for this spring.

Arriverderci to all!
Lilian Shaftacola and Virginia Calabritto