|Posted by Mandy Young on February 7, 2016 at 1:20 PM|
Can I tell you about one of the best weeks of my life? This past week I had the privilege of working for Premier Christian Cruises on their KLOVE Concert Cruise. I was given the opportunity to work for Premier a little over a year ago and this was my second time serving in hospitality on the KLOVE cruise. And let me tell you, I have nothing but rave reviews!
Premier offers chartered cruise experiences featuring celebrity entertainment, television personalities and musical talent. I have worked on four amazing cruises so far! The first was a KLOVE concert cruise featuring some of the most notable Christian bands and singers on the radio today, second was a Duck Dynasty cruise that hosted much of the family from their TV show, in November they had ‘Sailing with the Scotts’ which was hosted by Drew and Jonathan Scott from HGTV’s The Property Brothers. They also brought along several additional show hosts that held DIY and Q&A classes. They have all been so much fun but I think the one last week has topped them all for me!
There were about 15 Christian artists/bands that set sail with us on the KLOVE cruise. The musical line up included Matthew West, Mercy Me, Crowder, Skillet, Tenth Avenue North, Sidewalk Prophets, Chris Tomlin, Danny Gokey, Moriah Peters, and more! There was also an unbelievably talented painter, Jared Emerson, who is so amazing it’s crazy! Guys, google him, your minds will be blown!
The first night, Matthew West and Mercy Me were in concert and I pretty much cried the entire night. It's just amazing to be there with 5,000 other believers and listen to the crowd sing with their hands raised in the air. They aren't screaming to the band wanting to be noticed, they are praising the Lord and it's beautiful! Each night of the cruise there are two concerts in the main theater and one up on the Aqua Deck. During the day there are a ton of activities to take part in hosted either by MSC (the cruise line we sailed with) or through Premier.
Our stops this year were Montego Bay, Jamaica and Grand Cayman. I'm not going to lie I built Jamaica up a little too much in my head. Now don't get me wrong, the beach was beautiful, but the surrounding areas and getting there was a little scary. There were 19 in our group and yes we were using the buddy system as though we were back in elementary school. We had to wait over an hour for the first bus to take us from our boat to our first stop, shopping; but not before we almost wrecked 3 times because of crazy drivers! Some stayed to shop while 15 of us waited another hour to get on another bus to take us to the beach. Once we finally got to the beach about 7 of us were starving because we hadn't eaten in 2 hours (it’s pretty well known that you eat ALL the time on a cruise and you become quiet use to it) so our group went to this little place right on the beach to grab a bite, but it took us 2 hours to get our food so by the time we finished we were barely able to dip our toes in the water and rush back, only to wait an hour to catch the last shuttle to take us back to the ship! So now our joke is when someone asks us what we did in Jamaica we just say we had lunch. Luckily it was an awesome group and even though it wasn't our favorite adventure, we were already laughing about it before we even got back to the ship.
So do you want to hear about the most epic day ever?!?! Let me tell you about our day in Grand Cayman. One of my awesome cruise coworkers had gone to Grand Cayman for Christmas with her family, so she decided to plan excursions for us! During her trip, she and her family rented a boat and had their own little excursion and since they had so much fun she had taken the company’s information home with her. 22 of us voyaged out on this highly recommended excursion and boy are we happy we did! None of us really knew what we were going to do but we were all up for whatever adventure headed our way!
The water was so blue .... the kind you only see in pictures and just know it had to be photo shopped! Well this wasn’t photo shopped, I saw it with my own eyes. Our first stop wasn't planned but quiet abrupt when one of us (I won’t name names) dropped his phone in the water and our tour guides took an early swim trying to find it. But it worked out nicely because they decided to stop there for us to go conch diving. We put on our snorkel gear and headed out in to the picturesque waters. The girls snorkeled around to find them, and the guys swam down to get them. I felt like my dream of becoming Ariel was finally coming true when I put my fin on! One of the guys handed me a conch shell (we needed 10-15) and I was going to swim back to the boat to hand it over to our guide. I have one hand in the air holding the shell (praying the creature inside wouldn't try to escape while I swam) while my other arm and one foot were trying to swim against the current.... the struggle was real y’all! I had no idea that being a mermaid was so hard; it's not as glamorous as Disney makes it look! Oh and not only did we get our conch shell quota, our friends phone was found during the dive too!
Our second stop was snorkeling and feeding fish, but first our guides showed us how to clean a conch shell and what lives inside. Not gonna lie, it was pretty gross. Snorkeling and feeding the fish was a lot of fun. Although I kept letting salt water sneak in my snorkle because I couldn't stop smiling from the awesomeness around me!
For our next stop we were taken to a sand bar where sting rays swim around you. These are wild sting rays but they are fed every day and around people so they are totally used to people. They were HUGE and kept coming up and rubbing up against us like they were cats. We got to hold one, give it kisses and then it gave us a back rub. I even got to feed one! As they would swim around all I could think of was Steve Irwin and how he died and with the way they were swimming around me I was scared I was going to lose my balance and fall on one so I was always on high alert...who am I kidding? We all were.
Next stop, they took us to find star fish. The water wasn't up high enough for me to get out (I need at least waist high water to be able to balance without crutches) but my friends would bring them over to the boat so I could see and touch them.
Our last stop was to an island where we docked the boat and had lunch. Our guides had taken the conch meat from the shells we dove for earlier and made us fresh ceviche; oh my word it was so good! We also had fish, bbq chicken, rice, coconut bread and salad with fresh garlic vinaigrette dressing! Hands down the best meal any of us had the entire time we were gone. Everyone in our group agreed it was the "BEST DAY EVER" - an experience of a life time. So if you are ever in Grand Cayman check out Captain Marvin's, it's totally worth it!
I love working the KLOVE cruise! I get to meet so many people (and this year there were a ton of Green Bay Packer fans) and make new friends and the concerts are amazing! I'm already excited for next year and I'm freaking out a little that I have to wait 11 months for that to happen! The lineup for next year is amazing too! The Newsboys, For King and Country, Steven Curtis Chapman, Crowder, Jeremy Camp, Rend Collective, Big Daddy Weave, Building 429, Josh Wilson, Francesca Battistelli, Natalie Grant, Matt Maher, Blanca and Finding Normal!!!! Oh my word it's going to be amazing! The stops next year will be Nassau and Amber Cove, Dominican Republic!! Don’t wait, book your cabin now! You can pay in full or they have awesome payment plans. (klovecruise.com)
If you want an incredible vacation that's centered around the Lord, you need to try a KLOVE cruise! You will be blessed! Amazing people, fantastic ports, unbelievable entertainment and a whole lot of fun!
I want to know about your most awesome vacation! Have you been on a KLOVE cruise? A Premier Cruise? Tell me your stories!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."