Every working or stay at home mother knows when she needs a break. I was in desperate need of one when my new found friend John Sanders, one of the primary owners of Premier Christian Cruises and my PR buddy Lynn McCain, of McCain and Company Public Relations offered me the chance of a lifetime to cover Premier's Girls Get-A-Way Cruise. It's a tough job but somebody had to do it.
So off I went on this fantastic cruise that allowed me to enjoy five fabulous days of spiritual renewal, rest, relaxation and fun. Everything that this get-away was billed for it delivered and then some.
Upon arriving in Jacksonville, Florida where the cruise was scheduled to depart, all of the ladies for the cruise were met with men and women in bright red Premier Christian Cruises' shirts. Much like the orange vest in Home Depot, the red shirt was a beacon that led you to someone that would be willing to escort you to where you needed to go and inform you of your next steps. The Premier Christian Cruises team members and volunteers are top notch and provided all of the passengers the best of service bar none during the entire cruise.
The very first night when our media team which consisted of Lynn, Kristi Henson of CCM Magazine, Jennifer Jones of CBN and me dinned in the dinning room we knew we were in for a wonderful trip. The food was fantastic, our service was delightful and the conversation between us flowed like we had known each other for years however with the exception of Lynn I had never talked to these ladies before. Now I feel as though I have friends for life!
The Gang's all here from left: Lynn McCain, Jennifer Jones, yours truly, Kristi and Pat Henson on Captain's Dinner night!
Premier Christian Cruises also joined with several sponsors to bring the ultimate girls' experience to everyone traveling on the Girls Get-A-Way Cruise 2006, including adoption ministry Lifeline Children's Services and CBN's "Living the Life," which helped to spread the word about the voyage. All passengers received a free one-year subscription to Today's Christian Woman Magazine courtesy of the publication. Passengers also were treated to a fashion show sponsored by Christi's Pure Fashion, learned how to connect with moms from around the country with the help of The Motherhood Club experts and enjoyed scrapbooking and faithbooking with Creative Memories.
Everyday on this cruise was awesome! Each day I would wake up and exercise with Phyllis Ward, a wonderful success coach and owner of "Expect Success" Christian company. To work out on the top deck of the ship and see the sunrise above the ocean each and everyday was simply beautiful. Being that close to the sea made me and most of the women in the class realize that God did make a beautiful planet when he created earth. Phyllis was a great instructor and you always left her class energized.
Next I would go to the open session of Morning Worship. The host of the worship services as well as all the events on the cruise was Lisa Ryan, co-host of the Charles Stanely "In Touch" broadcast. She did a great job keeping things moving and entertaining. The worship services on this cruise featured some of today's greatest performers and speakers including Michael O'Brien, former lead singer of NewSong, Candace Cameron Bure, (yeah that Candace Cameron from Full House) and Shaunti Feldhahn, author and speaker. GiGi Graham, Billy Graham's daughter gave the final message and encouraged us all to remain in the peace we had found on this cruise.
Then there would be individual sessions each day filled with speakers for teens and adults. Yes there were several activities for teen daughters on this cruise. As a matter of fact I ran into a mother daughter team by the name of Audrey and Donna. They both stated this was the best mother and daughter time they had ever shared together. In these sessions some of the topics covered were "Strength for the Battle", "Glory God with a Healthy Body" and "Purity in your Relationship and Wardrobe"
The one lecture that opened my eyes the most was the one that involved Shaunti Feldhan entitled "For Women Only" which if you are a woman...married or single you must run out and purchase her book with the same title. The insights she shared with us regarding the needs of our men resonated with all of the women that attended this session.
There were great performances from top artists including multi-Grammy and Dove Award winner Sandi Patty; Dove Award-winning trio Selah; and Dove Award nominees David Phelps and Brother's Keeper, in addition to NBC's "Today Show Today's Superstar" finalist Kristy Starling. Brother's Keeper, kicked off the event on the first night with an inspiring and rousing concert. The comedians Anita Renfroe and Kerri Pomarolli kept us all in stitches! David Phelps, Kristy Starling, and the diva herself Ms. Sandy Patty all put on great shows.
Sandy Patty's rendition of "His Eye is On the Sparrow", my grandmother's favorite, brought tears to my eyes. She has such a beautiful voice. The final tribute to our veterans, which included a video of various war vets those who are serving and those who have fallen, as well as Sandy Patty singing live "The Star Spangled Banner" on Veteranís Day was so moving there wasn't a dry eye in the place.
Our group thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this cruise and we can't wait to attend next years. The next cruise is scheduled for November 15-19 2007 and will leave Mobile, Alabama for Cozumel Mexico. If you want to go you better sign up fast because two levels of the ship are already booked. I plan to be there and hope to see you there too. For more information log on to the website premierchristiancruises.com