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Love Like You Mean It Cruise Recap

My husband and I were so blessed to have the opportunity to go on the Love Like You Mean It Cruise with FamilyLife last week. We had gone the year before and loved it–it was hard to be away from our children, but it was so good for our marriage. And we both knew that we wanted to try to make it again this year, if it were at all possible.

I didn’t really think it probably would, but my husband surprised me with the tickets in the Fall. We were both so excited and, truthfully, we were so giddy about unplugging and getting away that we could hardly concentrate on the tasks at hand the week before! 🙂

The weather was gorgeous as we pulled out of Miami.

We Kansans stood with mouths open just breathing in the beauty and the stark contrast it was to the cold, icy flat lands we’d come from the day before!

On Tuesday, we docked at the Grand Bahama Island.

We enjoyed perusing the little open air market and we bought a conch shell from one of the vendors to bring home to the children.

Wednesday morning, we docked at Great Stirrup Cay Island. This was a private island owned by the cruise line and it was absolutely gorgeous.

We spent most of the day on the island soaking up the sun, getting in the freezing cold water for as long as we could stand it (one lady who was out in the water when I was said, “You just go numb after awhile.” That was pretty accurate!), having all sorts of great discussions with friends, and getting a sunburn (despite coating ourselves with sunscreen!).

We were at sea on Thursday, so I got to spend some quality time with Tracey Eyster (the wonderful woman behind MomLifeToday) and Dannah Gresh (the inspiring and transparent woman behind Pure Freedom). Getting to share openly and honestly with these wise women was such an encouragement to me. {Oh and in case you wish you could have been a fly on the wall, we actually ended up recording some videos for you all that will run on MomLifeToday in the not-too-distant future!}

All in all, it was a great trip. My husband and I had a lot of heart-to-heart talks, we got to spend a lot of time with couples who are older and wiser than us who gave us a lot of counsel and encouragement, and we came back refreshed and revived and ready to continue on with all that we’ve been called to at this season of our lives.

We’re so grateful to our wonderful family and friends who shared the responsibilities of watching our children while we were gone and for all of our employees and contractors who stood in our stead to keep our businesses running while we were gone. We appreciate you all so much!

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  • Jetaime Rios says:

    I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise especially with my hubby! How much was it so we can plan for next years trip!

    • Crystal says:

      You can click through on the website and see the prices. There are a number of different options, but it starts at $674 per person + gratuities. This price is all inclusive–room, all meals + snacks (all you can eat–they have a variety of different options from formal dining to buffet style to sandwiches/pizza, etc.), all onboard activities (sessions, shows, concerts, etc.), plus access to the islands.

    • Ron Throneberry says:

      Join us on the 2013 Love Like You Mean It Cruise!!! Feb. 11-15, 2013. Book this cruise as a part of our group and recieve a $200.00 DISCOUNT!! Just call & mention the group code “Tberry Group” when registering for the cruise. To Register please call 1-800-889-5265 at Premier Christian Cruises.

  • kassandra says:

    I absolutely love this post! It is so refreshing to see people’s hard work, dedication and vigilance pay off! Thank you for sharing!

  • So glad you had a great time. You deserved it!

  • Laurie says:

    Thanks for sharing may God continue to bless you and your family.

  • Barbara says:

    Well deserved vacations! The picture with the palm trees remind me so much Puerto Rico. I miss a year round Summer and greens. ~The WV Crew 🙂

  • Amy H. says:

    Haha, I’ve got pictures almost exactly the same, just different faces! My parents treated their children (& spouses of course!) with a Bahama cruise for their 50th anniversary last year. I agree, great to unplug and unwind and you do miss the kids!

  • It looks like you had an amazing trip! The pictures are wonderful…there’s just something about palm trees that make me smile!

    We just recently did The Art of Marriage (by FamilyLife and I HIGHLY recommend!!) marriage retreat weekend. It was a lot of fun (I did part of the planning). Afterwards we decided though that next year we should just go on the Love Like You Mean It cruise and get away for a longer period of time…an out of Ohio! 🙂

    • Marie says:

      I had never heard of the Art of marriage until friends of mine started teaching it. Their names are Stuart and Tracy. I know they have taught it on Cruises and others States. They are holding one this weekend at our church.
      Thanks for sharing about it.

  • Jen says:

    I have a question about vacations. How do you surprise your spouse (or how does your spouse surprise you) with a vacation? My hubby does the books for us and he would notice a large amount of money taken out of our account. I’d love to surprise him with a getaway sometime but I don’t know how to keep it on the down low! 🙂

    • Lana says:

      I have done things like save my extra grocery and household money. Hubby allows me to save leftover money from those budget catagories for whtever big ticket item I want to spend it on. I saved up one year and took us to a B&B in the NC mountains for the weekend. He was quite surprised. Right now I am saving for a new dishwasher so nothing so much fun, but we do need one 🙂

    • Julie says:

      I was wondering the same thing. My husband and I have been married just over a year, and now that all our money is combined (and we both frequently check online banking,) I’m not sure how to pull off something like this! We both have “discretionary” income, but even so, if I bought something like this using my debit card, he’d likely know before I had the chance to surprise him. 🙂

      • I opened a special savings account with some money I had from bonds. My intent was to tuck money away as I was able and then surprise my hubby with a trip. Well, I’m not much good at keeping secrets a surprise, so I told him. 🙂 We now call this account our “Hawaii Fund” and put any “extra” money in there – ebates, etc checks, monetary gifts from family, etc. We’ve been tucking away for about five years now, and we have over $1000…so maybe a cruise like this is a possibility before too long!

  • Pam says:

    Heading out of NY next month on NCL for a cruise to the Bahamas.
    Be careful they are addictive.

  • AJ says:

    Would you believe we live in Florida and my husband said we should go to Kansas for vacation?! I didn’t realize that’s where you live 🙂

  • Brooke says:

    Fantastic pictures! Glad to hear you guys had a good time!

  • Looks like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing..

    As I remember when leaving out of Miami, the ship sails thru a ‘macmansion’ lined canal with boats zipping up and down? Fun, fun!

    dee 🙂

    • Lana says:

      You can go on boat tours where you just go and gawk at all those million dollar mansions that belong to celebs. They will tell you who owns them and how much they paid for the house and the multimillion dollar boats parked at the docks. Sad thing is that who really lives in those houses is the year round care takers just keeping the house ready for the celebs and their pals to pop in for the weekend.

      • Really!

        Who knew?

        I’m telling you, I’m lovin that so many Americans are now reassessing what’s really important.. and willing to make positive changes.

        I love a beautiful home as much as the next person; just not into the excess. 🙂

  • Looks like such a fun trip! I bet that was nice to get away :).

  • Dannah Gresh says:

    LOVED getting to know you. Looking forward to watching you grow and burgeon and impact this world with your brilliant mind and pure heart. Here’s to the future together!

    • Crystal says:

      So wonderful to meet you!! You blessed my life and I learned much from our conversations together–and from just observing your sweet, affable spirit that was constantly reaching out to others. Thank you for being YOU.

      Can’t wait until I get to see you again!

  • Glad you enjoyed your vacation. We’re taking the kids on a cruise soon and I’m soooo looking forward to it.

  • Terri says:

    This was a very inspiring post. I hadn’t really considered a vacation without the kids but this would be so good for a marriage. I will have to seriously talk to my husband about a retreat just for us.

  • Ann P says:

    My husband and I went to one of Family Life’s Weekend to Remember conferences this past fall. It was a great experience! We went with the goal to fine tune our marriage and make a good thing even better. It certainly has – and made us better parents and leaders because we are a better team. If you can’t make the cruise I would highly recommend either the Weekend to Remember or the Art of Marriage Series.

  • Michelle says:

    Was this a Norweigian cruise? My family is leaving in about six weeks for the Bahamian cruise departing from Miami. I hope the water is warmer when we get there!

  • Beth says:

    Wow, the pics looks fantastic! I’ve never done a cruise before, my husband has. he got sick the last time he was on it, but said that wouldn’t stop him. I have a fear of flying, but not boats. I did get boat sick on my last boat ride (fishing boat) but grew up going out on boats and got sick only once during rough waters. I’m thinking of trying a cruise as I’m so jealous of people getting to exotic islands while I’m stuck in NJ. I’m going to look up the Art of Marriage, and maybe next year I’ll be on the ship with you….if I’m not pregnant by that time 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      I get terribly seasick when sailing outside a breakwater, but when I have taken 2 cruises I did not have that problem. There was one night that the sea was very turbulent and all who were going to get sick, did, and dancing was a challenge as the boat rocked, but I made it through that. I think the size of the ship and the stabilizers make a big difference.

  • emma says:

    My husban and I went on one last Octomber.
    if you book early you can get them cheep.
    we live in Charleston,S.C. took the ship that
    leaves out off there.

  • My husband says he doesn’t want to cruise because he thinks all there is to do is eat. Besides eating, reading books, and couple time (all great things!), what types of things do people do on-board during a cruise like this?

    • Crystal says:

      We were docked at two different islands for two days–there’s plenty to do on the islands. And then, since it was a FamilyLife cruise, there were fantastic keynote sessions everyday, breakout sessions, plus shows and concerts every night (with Christian artists).

      It was a relaxed pace, but we certainly didn’t run out of things to do!

  • Toni says:

    Did you walk to the lighthouse on Great Stirrup Cay? That island is one of my favorite places in the world; no homes, roads, businesses, etc. (other than for guest convenience). And if you go to Nassau again, hike up to Fort Fincastle. It’s only a 20 minute walk and you can visit the fort and Queen’s staircase (with a panoramic view of the ships in port). We took our children in September (their first time) and sadly, NCL cancelled Great Stirrup Cay due to weather conditions. 🙁

  • Looks like you had a beautiful cruise!

    I love cruising, especially out of Miami. The Miami coastline is beautiful to watch as the ship sets sail.

  • Lynda says:

    Many many years ago, before I knew the word frugal, I took a cruise. I saw those conch shells for sale all over, but ended up getting mine for free. Behind a restaurant where they were using conch to cook with, they were taking the fresh conch out of the shells and tossing them. I took one from the trash and cleaned it…..

  • MaryBeth says:

    What a difference a week makes. We did this same cruise (except we left from New York) about a week after you, and the water was fine. Colder than I thought it was going to be but considering it was February and I was swimming in the ocean I was happy 🙂 I also LOVED Great Stirrup Cay. Wish I could go back already and I’ve only been at home in Idaho for 3 days!

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