How to do research in person!

Diane Rapp became an entrepreneur when she started her own dog grooming salon in Santa Barbara, California. She spent the next thirty years as a small business owner; she sold real estate, started an office supply/copy center, and performed free-lance advertising design.
Picture
 
Have you ever dreamed of touching the velvety-soft skin of a sting ray?  How about shaking fins with a dolphin or getting a kiss?  Well an author of cruise ship mysteries must experience her subject and get her feet wet.
Picture
 
How does joining a crowd at Sting Ray City help me write a mystery novel?  I literally immerse myself in the subject, imagine my characters in the setting, and understand the world where they work.  Yes, my characters work on a cruise ship.  They solve crimes, fall in love, and live out their day-to-day lives on a floating hotel.  Of course the surroundings are exotic but these are people doing their jobs. 
Picture
 
Can you hear the Mexican music playing?  Feel the sun on your skin?  Let your toes sink into the snowy white sand?  That is the challenge of an author.  Conducting research in person is the only way to really imbue the novel with realism.

Sitting at home, alone, my characters are beginning to whisper about their latest case.  I can almost smell the salt water and hear the waves lapping as they speak to me.  What could possibly go wrong with a cruise ship filled with happy tourists?  Do you know identical twins separated at birth?  How about a dozen.  Hmmm.
Picture
 
Raise your wineglass and make a toast to a new cruise ship myster on the way.