Many of you know that I was on the Music Boat 2010 this past week. It set sail on the high seas with Nassau & Coco Cay Bahamas, plus Key West, FL as the ports of call. Wow...what an amazing cruise. I recommend it highly. Here's why....Jesus floats. (Pictured are House & Praise listeners that sailed the Music Boat 2010)
The ship was packed with quality Christian entertainment for sure...Third Day, David Crowder * Band, Newsboys, Jeremy Camp, Thousand Foot Krutch, Addison Road, David Nassar, Jonny Diaz, 4Him and more. There was one great concert after another, sometimes at the same time and one had to choose which one to go to. At each concert I attended, my love for Christian music was renewed because you could see the passion in their faces, in their lyrics, and their worship. All the artists sung their hearts out, for one purpose, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The customer service offered by the staff goes a long way in making those 5 days most memorable. Every one of them were very friendly and helpful. And believe it or not, there are a lot of International believers on board. I heard that "Christian" week is refreshing for them too.
And of course...worship happened. How could it not when you get that many believers together in one place? At each show, God showed up and through His Spirit, He moved in the hearts of those on board. Hearts where broken, tears flowed, friendships formed, hurts healed. There was ministry on that ship and it brought many believers together as they submitted their hearts as one in worship. It was the real deal.
A visit to Nassau, Bahamas took most passengers to the Atlantis Hotel, to the beach or a leisurely walk around the many markets that lined the streets of Nassau. That evening, there were several concerts, including Jeremy Camp, Thousand Foot Krutch and the new band from Owasso, OK...Stars Go Dim. Around midnight (yes the music boat rocks that late) there was a jam session with many of the artists that were on the Music Boat. News Flash! These musicians can play!
Next day's stop....beautiful Coco Cay beach. This is Royal Caribbean's private island and their very friendly staff hosted a wonderful BBQ, while passengers played in the crystal clear water under the warm November sun! (84 degrees, direct contrast to weather I was greeted with once we got home....a chilly 46 degrees....BRRRRR!!!) It was a relaxing day out on the white sand and basking in the sun (and yes, Jessica I wore sunscreen). Later back on the ship, we were treated to a history making event, never attempted on a cruise ship before. Bello Noc, the Comic Daredevil, amazed all of us by being the first person to walk across the length of the entire cruise ship on a high- rise tightrope. The crazy thing was how easy he made it look! He was talking and joking around (even standing on one foot and posing for pictures). And get this....Guinness Book of World Records were there to record the event!
Later that night, we were all treated to another all-star jam session featuring many of the gifted musicians on the boat. The crazy thing about these jam sessions is that none of these musicians have ever rehearsed together. It was all improv! Besides the concerts, let's not forget the endless flow of soft serve ice cream devoured by many on the pool deck! Oh, did I mention the midnight buffet? AMAZING!!!! (No worries, I took lots pictures, yes even of the roasted pig, head and all)
Our last day out at sea, the Music Boat made a stop in the resort island of Key West, FL. Some took a tour by bike around the coast line others shopped. Stars Go Dim had a very hot performance by the pool. There were autograph sessions too, and you know I had to make the rounds and thank them all in person for being so great. The last night on the cruise was bittersweet. It was time to say goodbye to our wait staff in the dining room. (Thanks Terrance for being so gracious).
It was also a time to stay up real late, and soak up every last little bit of music we could. Our host Third Day played in the main theater and also in the final farewell performance in the Atrium. This was one of my favorite moments as it was a collaboration of most of the musical talents on the boat. They all came together to give the Lord continuous praise. All the passengers filled the stairwells and outlined the small stage with hands raised in worship. What a way to end a Jesus filled week with other believers, truly praising God for the work done on the ship and in our hearts. That's a God memory that will last for a lifetime!
Another ministry moment was the "boat that built the school". World Hope, one of the cruise sponsors, presented the need for Hope Academy in Nairobi, Kenya and they told of their work there as slums are being pushed back in several communities. They took a free will offering which resulted in $60,000 collected through a move of His people. Wow...
These are just my experiences and I know there were many others. I have posted some pictures on my facebook page of the interesting things that I saw along with the great House & Praise listeners I met too! Sounds too good to be true, with that much fun and Jesus all in one place, right? Well you can be a part of something awesome coming next November. You can book right now for next year's cruise here.
Now for what God did in my life, well that is a whole other blog post. :)