Sunday, February 17, 2013


Let me start by saying that we were not aboard the Carnival Triumph, thank God.  We heard about it as soon as we were in port and able to check the news on our phones again.  It was a bizarre day to come back from a cruise just as another one was making such terrible news.  We were sailing on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas - the world's largest cruise ship.  CFA chartered the entire thing, and we had our annual seminar aboard the boat - Seminar at Sea.

Let's just say that this Seminar may have ruined me for all others.  Seminar is always good fun (click here for 2012 and here for 2011), but this one was far more vacational than normal, and that suited us real well.

I'm going to divide this up into categories of stuff that start with the letter "F" to keep it moving.

We got to hang out with people that we normally don't get to see.  Plus - no kids are allowed, so we get to finish conversations.  Amazing.  It was so good to see our peeps - it only makes me wish it could be more often.

(Kristen and I were in the white pants club this day.  Another day, it was the blue pants club.)
(The guys were too antsy to lay in chairs in the sun between sessions.)

Formal night is standard cruise fare, and this one delivered the goods.

(Don't worry - that's a mocktail.)

Another night, we dressed up for dinner at the speciality restaurant 150 Central Park.


It seemed like I was always hungry.  We ate more hobbit style than normal, sometimes eating two dinners.  The CFA message was spread through the cruise, and it would show up in funny places - like on my lemon meringue tart.


Here's our flight of salts that we got at the fancy dinner.  One tasted like boiled eggs.  So strange and strangely tasty.


Eating free room service on our balcony never got old.


We stopped in the Bahamas and chilled at the beach.

(John lost and recovered his sunglasses not once, but twice, in these waves.)

There was a CFA Talent Show on the last night.  One of our friends brought down the house with his amazing juggling act that culminated with him juggling knives while balancing on a rocking board.  The whole event was quite entertaining.


- Dancing Operators.  Always funny.


- Towel animals.  Love these guys.


- There were three channels devoted to CFA on the boat, also known as propaganda.  I watched the entire loop of two of them.  I especially loved the CFA comedy channel that included old training videos.  This is "Talking Trash" from the early 90s.


- No alcohol anywhere on the boat.  All bars were stocked with bottled water, Powerade and Red Bull. The crew talked a lot about what a break our cruise was for them.

- John and I got stuck between decks on a bar that went between the 5th and 8th decks.  Our friends could look down and see us as they were heading into the dinner we were supposed to be meeting them at.  After 10-15 minutes, we got moving again.  More than one person mentioned that this is the sort of thing that is always happening to us.  I'm not sure if things like this are always happening or if I just talk about everything that happens to us more than other people because I write a blog.  Either way, it was pretty funny.

- Operators dressed alike.  Happens a lot.


We got to stay in a great room, which was such a treat.  
Since CFA chartered the whole boat, we actually knew the people who were staying in the nicest room on the boat (not us) and got to go see it.  It was 2000 square feet, with a bedroom loft, a grand piano, it's own staff and a private hot tub, just to name a few features.  So fun to see!


Every year that we have Truett at Seminar, it makes me happy.  I always tear up when he is on stage.  This year, we all sang Happy Birthday to his wife, Jeanette.  They had motorized scooters to get around the boat.  So thankful for Truett's vision and what CFA is because of him.


The cruise was amazing.  It was far more relaxing that I thought it would be.  In fact, trying to get our heads back into the game here at home is proving a challenge after such a treat of a week.  We are so thankful to work with a company that takes the time and money to spoil us like this - what a blessing!


Lorna said...

*sigh* The breakfast-on-the-balcony picture may just have to go into our "vacation savings" envelope as a little motivation NOT to borrow from that category! :)

Kristin Murdock said...

I love everything about this, and loved seeing you guys!