Boy oh boy, I am absolutely delighted to be sharing with you one of the most exciting, informative, challenging, and enjoyable experiences EVER!
As you know from previous posts, I knew coming in to the 2014 Vegan Cruise of Holistic Holiday at Sea that I had lots to be excited about, but I must say, the actual experience exceeded even my high expectations.
The week-long vegan cruise on-board the new MSC Divinia, departed Miami, Florida on March 1st to the Caribbean Islands of St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
The ship, the rooms and the facilities on-board
Being that this was the first cruise experience for both my darling hubby Scott and myself, we really didn’t know what to expect in terms of accommodation or the ship. So we were very pleasantly surprised when we entered our room, to discover a beautiful and spacious, hotel standard lodging space with a private balcony overlooking the ocean. Let the holiday begin!
It actually took us about three days to find our bearings as the ship was so huge, and even now, I still have a feeling that we didn’t manage to explore the whole extent of the vessel in the seven days we spent on-board, and that more surprises and spaces were just waiting to be discovered around the corner.
Bars, lounges, swimming pools, sun decks, Jacuzzis, restaurants, shops, casinos, entertainment areas, a large theatre, a gym, a spa, and a truly enjoyable night club (a vegan girl gotta have her dancing space) – were all a heartbeat away, while sailing on the beautiful blue sea.
Get with the program
So here is the reason we hardly got a chance to fully explore the extent of the ship and the facilities on offer: the program set by the organizers of Holistic Holiday at Sea was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Seriously. Can you imagine having about three different activities, lectures and workshops that you really want to attend all taking place at the same time at any given moment of the day?
From 7AM to 11PM, daily, our schedule was filled with a variety of informative and enjoyable activities, ranging from lectures by the world’s leading MDs such as Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Michael Klaper, and Dr. T. Colin Campbell; to yoga classes, cooking workshops, self-help and healing classes, parties, entertainment shows, and other great activities (Have a peek at the full cruise schedule here).
Of course, some speakers were better than others; but all and all this program provided many memorable moments and a remarkable learning and enrichment experience that can truly help turn lives around.
My top highlights from the program:
- Dr. Neal Barnard’s Power Foods for the Brain which not only explored the ways in which we can empower our brain, but also the incredible ways in which we can stop harming it!
- Dr. Michael Klaper’s Sense and Nonsense in Nutrition– this was by far one of the most exhilarating highlights of the cruise for me; so much so that I am planning on purchasing the DVD of this lecture from the HHAS shop. From gallbladder stones, to the causes and prevention of osteoporosis, the deal with raw foods, coffee, multivitamins, and low carb diets, and so much more! This was without doubt one of the most informative and refreshing lectures I had the privilege to attend.
- Dr. Howard Jacobson and his daughter Yael provided us with an enjoyable and thought-provoking presentation entitled ‘The Fit Family: Strategies for Transition’ which discussed friendly, positive ways to get the family on board with a plant-based diet. I loved it so much that I invited Dr. Jacobson and his daughter to write a guest post for our community on this topic, and they accepted. (Coming soon!).
- The uplifting and inspiring Recovery Panel which featured nine individuals who came face to face with death due to illness and chose either a balanced plant-based diet, a raw-vegan diet, or a macrobiotic diet as the healing tool which lead to their recovery. Each of the panel participants shared their hope-evoking story, and at the end of this panel I was left to wonder – how is it that this information is not widely available to EVERYONE on this planet?!
And there were other highlights as well: Dr. Hilton Becker’s information on the chemicals used in conventional skin care products really got me thinking long and hard and question my current cleansing and beauty routines.
Scott and I found Dr. Kalpper’s lecture regarding B12 an absolute must and wished everyone we know (and some others that we don’t but walk around saying you don’t need B12 supplements) would hear it.
Scott also attended and enjoyed Robert Cheek and Koya Webb’s exercise related presentations, and found the lecture on improving your eyesight thought provoking and of great interest (he’s been without his glasses since!).
And there’s more!
Believe it or not, that’s not all! In addition to all of this, the Holistic Holiday as Sea organizers had more surprises in store for us. All about those surprises and more about the food, the views, and some good news, in: