Who knew something so good could get even better? Seriously. After thinking that our first experience on the Holistic Holiday at Sea vegan cruise was pretty awesome, this year somehow managed to top it off.
You could say we had such a joyous experience due to the fact that this year, I was one of the lecturers on the cruise, and I was profoundly honored to be promoting veganism along with vegan heroes I truly admire. You could say it was thanks to the incredible itinerary: the packed lineup of lectures, workshops, and classes and the beautiful islands we visited. You could also say that it was due to the wonderful people with whom we shared the cruise: those we met in lectures, at dinners, and at social gatherings. However, it was likely a mixture of all of those things and a few other sweet bonuses that have made this year’s cruise a truly magnificent experience!
The ship and the itinerary
If you’ll recall, last year we finished the cruise without even fully exploring the extent of the ship due to its enormous size and the fact we were so wrapped up in all the wonderful lectures.
Well, a second year in a row on board this ship ensured we finally got to explore its full extent, including cool hidden nooks and beautifully designed bars, lounges, and outdoor spaces. There is just one spot we have not yet visited, but that’s OK. We are saving that one for next year.
Our ship sailed from Miami on March 14th, with our first stop in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where we visited the beautiful Dunn’s River Falls.
From there, we sailed to Georgetown in the Cayman Islands, which was the most beautiful beach experience I ever had in my life, as well as my very first fresh coconut water experience – score!
We then sailed to the Island of Cozumel, Mexico. DELICIOUS VEGAN MEXICAN FOOD and MARGARITAS GLAORE! Need I say more?
Our last stop before heading back to Miami was Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, where we dipped once more in the beautiful crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. Perfection.
The vegan program and the outstanding presenters
I don’t know how the organizers do it, but in addition to all the fun social events and parties, the great workout classes, and the informative cooking workshops, they somehow also managed to bring together some of the top names in the vegan world onto one stage for great presentations and lectures yet again.
This time around, in addition to hearing my vegan hero, Dr. Neal Barnard, I also had the amazing privilege of attending lectures by inspiring vegan leaders and pioneers, such as Colleen Patrick Goudreau, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, and Dr. Michael Greger.
To top that off, we even got to watch a pre-release version of the new documentary PlantPure Nation, starring Dr. T. Colin Campbell, with Dr. Campbell present in the crowd, watching the movie for the first time with us. How exciting is that!?
The documentary, by the way, is wonderfully made and warmly recommended. It will open in cinemas across the USA on July 4th, and it is definitely worth a watch. (Bring your non-vegan friends along!)
Lectures by The Vegan Woman
As mentioned before, part of my excitement for the 2015 vegan cruise was the fact that this year, I was also presenting. I was honored to give two lectures as part of the program. The first lecture at the beginning of the week dealt with the most common difficulties when transitioning to veganism and with how they can be overcome. The second lecture, which was at the end of the week, showcased the different ways each and every one of us can help spread a message of compassion and good health using simple yet effective tools.
I would like to thank all the wonderful people who attended my lectures and stayed afterwards for chats. Your positive and warm feedback meant so much to me, and I returned home filled with a renewed energy thanks to you!
I’m delighted to share that I have been invited to speak on next the 2016 vegan cruise as well! So, if you are planning on joining next year, do not forget to look me up and say hello, and you are, of course, more than welcome to join my lectures!
New friends and great times
Yes, sometimes the food line at the buffet could get a little long, and yes, the focus is on healthy, nutritious food rather than outrageous decadent junk, but honestly, once you hear all the doctors speak about health and veganism throughout the week, and considering that many people come to the cruise to assist themselves in overcoming obstacles to wellness, it is only natural to be so very happy with the well-thought, nutritious vegan food being served. And given that of about 3,000 ship guests, approximately 1,800 were part of our vegan group, you can see why there would be a high demand at lunch.
However, having a group of 1,800 vegans (and soon-to-be-vegans) also meant that in addition to completely taking over the ship, we also had many great people to socialize with, some of whom we were excited to recognized from last year. One of the major highlights for myself and my hubby, Scott, was, without doubt, forming a new friendship with a wonderful family we met over dinner, who became truly dear to our hearts (Big shout out and love to Paige, Don, Collyn, and Isaak – you are such amazing people! So happy we got this chance to meet!).
Every night we came back to our beautiful room to find yet another group of little vegan gifts on our bed, compliments of the organizers and sponsors. And every morning, we woke up filled with energy and excitement for the new day and the new adventures that it brought.
Can’t wait for next year. Hope to see your smiling faces there with me!