Its been so long since I’ve been here! I have big plans for this space but time is flying by and I can’t get my grips! Lately I’ve been trying to take it day by day and doing the best I can instead off stressing out about posting here and on Instagram, it can get so overwhelming trying to fill so many roles at once. Anyway, I am so happy to be here today to tell you allll about the reposition cruise I took in September!
Back in May, my friend/mentor/counselor/ministry leader/life coach Robyn Coffman contacted me to get my thoughts on a mini women’s retreat she was thinking about doing on a cruise ship. I was allll in before she even gave me the details, haha! Any kind of women’s weekend away I am IN!
Every year (usually twice a year I think) cruise ships have to ‘reposition’ themselves for the upcoming season and they reduce their rates, sometimes pretty drastically. She was telling me that it’s such a great way to get on a short cruise with out it costing a fortune, and what a great way to take advantage of it with women and a mini retreat. So after much brainstorming she came up with “Women Repositioned”, a mini retreat talking about repositioning ourselves for this season of our lives, whatever that season may be. And what a perfect name being that it’s a “reposition” cruise! The only thing that I was worried about were the logistics and how the women would get to Vancouver to board the ship because this specific reposition cruise departed form Vancouver and and arrived in LA. After some planning it turned out perfect and 23 of us were at the retreat!
I have always wanted to see Canada so I knew that when I got the go ahead from Matt for the cruise that I wanted to get to Vancouver a few days early so I could see the city before hopping on the ship. That’s when I called my wonderful friend Katie (and former travel partner, any of you remember NYC 4 years ago?!!) She couldn’t make it on the cruise with me but she flew to Phoenix (from Denver) so we could fly to Vancouver together, and we explored the city for a few days! As always we had SO much fun, but we only really had 2 full days in the city so we didn’t get to do alllll the things but we saw a lot in those 2 (quick) days/ 3 nights. (I recommend the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Stanley Park for sure!) When it was time the cruise Katie flew back to Denver and I boarded the ship!
I didn’t really know anyone coming on the cruise so I really went into this on my own. For anyone here who knows me well, knows that I use to HATE being alone. When my first husband and I divorced I was absolutely terrified of being alone (I also was only 21). I had never been alone before, I went from living at home with my mom to living with my husband. So it took quite a few years for me to be comfortable being alone (I was a single mom for 7 years and by the time I met Matt, I loved being alone haha!) But, I was also mortified eating alone! I know that sounds silly but it was a real fear. Even though I feel I’ve really gotten over my fear of being alone and after having 4 kids in the house I have learned to really like eating alone, but I still had some residual fear of traveling alone. I mean, who wants to travel alone?!!
The day the I boarded the ship was interesting to say the least. I waited in line to check in and get through customs and I did the unthinkable… I cut in line! I know, I’m a horrible person 😉 But, I mean, there are some perks to traveling alone, people don’t get too offended when you cut because you’re all alone and they feel sorry for you 😉 Any way, I got on the beautiful RUBY Princess ship and was just SO excited! I went straight to my room to set some things down and went down to the cafe, got a latte and some gluten free pistachio pudding and listened to the beautiful music in the mezzanine. It was amazing….like seriously AMAZING…. Until I realized my luggage still wasn’t in my room and all the luggage had been delivered on the ship. I made my way to the help desk and was practically in tears when we realized it was no where to be found. All I could think was “my kids souvenirs are in there!” My voice was shaking and my lips quivering every time I had to talk to the (VERY helpful) guy at the desk and he knew I was about lose my s*#t. My phone was almost dead and I was late to our meet and greet, I was quickly declining. We eventually located my bags and I was so relieved, and also so glad I didn’t freak out on the poor guy helping me.
The first full day at sea was a little rocky. I took a dramamine and the rest is kind of a blur! I won’t be taking that stuff again, I was SO out of it! We had a morning session for one hour and one afternoon hour long session. So in between our sessions was our free time to do whatever we wanted. I went to the spa and had a massage (from a nice lady who pointed out every flaw and stretch mark I had and told me “the Dr. here at the spa can fix that”) and spent the rest of the day relaxing and exploring the ship. After our afternoon session one of the ladies who attended the retreat was teaching Holy Yoga, I was really excited to try it out but I had 30 min to kill before that started, so I went back to my room and fell asleep for 2 hours! I totally missed the yoga and I’m still so bummed about it. So because I missed the yoga I didn’t get to connect with any other women for dinner and I ended up going to dinner alllll alone. Like, a fancy dinner alllll alone! And then the fear of eating dinner alone started creeping right back around and it sucked and it was good all at the same time. I ordered my favorite bottle of wine and enjoyed my quiet dinner alone…. with lots of people wondering why I was in fact, there alone 🙂 Thank God that’s over! After dinner I ended up connecting with some of the other ladies and we went to a comedy show, it was so fun. The next day was our last day/night on the ship and in between our morning and afternoon sessions I went up to the “Sanctuary” and napped for a couple of hours. This was one of my favorite parts of the cruise! This area is located in the front top of the ship. It’s adults only and so quiet and peaceful. It over looks the ocean and the staff there are only there to serve you, #dreamcometrue . I can’t believe how amazing all of the ship crew was and how they really cater to everything. Also, having my bed made every morning and turned down every night is a real dream come true too!
The 4 group sessions during the retreat were different topics every and so insightful. I don’t want to give too much away in case you are hoping to go on the next one (which is August of 2020!) but the content was rich enough but not too deep, which I felt was great for a women’s weekend away. I felt connected with God and re-centered. But I also felt like I wasn’t so deep into my “stuff” that I couldn’t relax and enjoy my time. Sometimes when I’m working on “self stuff” it’s hard to snap out of it and I just need to be in those feelings for a while. I didn’t feel that way here. More than anything I felt relaxed and rejuvenated in a way I haven’t felt in a long time, and I really think a huge part of that was going by myself and having my own room. Oh, and shortly before I left for my trip I called Princess Cruises to see if they had any specials or offers and they ended up upgrading my room to a balcony room at no additional cost! I was SO excited and now I feel like any ship I go on I’m going to want a balcony room. I slept with the door slightly open every night and the sound of the ocean was like my sound machine at home, but better! I already signed up for the one next year and I plan on getting my own room again. The last night of the cruise I connected with the other women and we all went to dinner (another table of them not pictured) and then we all went to the night club on the ship and danced our butts off! We all wore white to symbolize “fresh, new blank canvas”. I loved this idea! This was one of my favorite parts of the whole experience, just a bunch of giddy girls having a dance party and celebrating ourselves and each other.
I hope this gives you a little insight on what the cruise was like. I truly wish that allllll women and mothers could experience something like this, it’s amazing how just a few days away can fill you up and make you feel so renewed. If you have any questions about next years cruise, please reach out and shoot me an email at audrey @louiesandlemons.com