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Archive for September, 2016

Poolside Socials Offer Good Vibes & Healthy Living

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When it comes to throwing a party, nobody combines entertainment and healthy eating as well as Holistic Holiday at Sea. During the seven-day experience, guests have many opportunities to mingle and dance, including several poolside socials that take place at the main saltwater pool under the stars on select days.

Serving Up Snacks & Love

Committed to serving vegan cuisine prepared with care, chefs create delicious treats for each occasion. Offerings include ice cream with fruit and other toppings, pizza, chips with salsa and other dips, and veggie sushi. With a smile, Holistic Holiday at Sea cofounder Sandy Pukel says they also serve up a love potion, referring to the fact that many attendees have found their matches on the cruise.

The Power of Friendship

Marcus Gary, a vegan and Qi Gong instructor, says, “The events offered on the cruise address so many interests one may have. Lectures on health, cooking and exercise classes, but my favorite part of the voyage are the people. I have met the most loving, community-minded, giving, passionate and caring people. I am humbled by their stories of triumph over life’s challenges, and their knowledge of how to live life. I am blessed by these lifelong friendships which have improved the quality of my life.”

Marcus was introduced to Holistic Holiday at Sea by his business partners Maria Johnson and Jamila Makini and attended his first cruise in 2009. Since then, Marcus, Maria, and Jamila have returned year after year to teach Qi Gong, which explores the flow of energy.

“The social events on the cruise provide so much healing energy and the right atmosphere to cultivate these friendships,” says Marcus. “As a Qi Gong instructor, I respect energy, and cultivating it should not be limited to just a class. It should and must be cultivated always. And those dance parties are just good Qi Gong.  

Music to Feed the Soul


The very talented vocalist Bridgette Kosser calls the ship by its more common name, The Love Boat. She provides musical entertainment for the Welcome Party, as well as two socials that boast a dance party. She attended the cruise as a first-time participant in 2009, and returned as an entertainer in 2010. Guests always look forward to her one-woman shows. For the upcoming cruise, they can expect an ’80s-themed dance party and a “Turn Back Time: Dancing Through the Years” party. On the latter, Bridgette says, “I cover the ’50s through the present with some of the most loved songs from each era.”

Dancing, like food, has the power to transform our lives. “People tell me how much fun they have dancing,” says Bridgette. “As a matter of fact, I have at least a few people tell me that they haven’t danced in years because of illness or an event that made them feel so sad they didn’t feel like dancing or celebrating. Then they tell me that they did on the cruise with me and the music, and that they feel free and happy. It’s a really celebratory kind of feeling … People who might normally feel shy and anxious about dancing in public actually do it on the cruise. There is a feeling of being away from your normal life and you try new things. I help provide the inspiration and opportunity for that to happen.”

When asked how entertainment complements the holistic health mission of the cruise, Bridgette replies, “Everyone is coming to learn how to be healthy, to feel good. One of the things about this cruise that makes it so amazing is the food we all eat. Once we begin eating the same food, we are more connected, energetically. The music does that, too. People are in lectures, classes and consultations all day long and having a way to relax and have some fun together is vital. It is a cruise, after all!”

Want to Attend?

Poolside socials are just one of the many opportunities to relax and enjoy healthy eating. The next Holistic Holiday at Sea runs March 11–18, 2017. Book today!

Pre-book Your Excursions Today!

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Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise day excursion to Jamaica (Photo by Robert Cheeke)

Jamaica (Photo by Robert Cheeke)

As a passenger of the 2017 Holistic Holiday at Sea voyage, March 11–18, you will find ample opportunities for relaxation, fitness, education, and entertainment aboard the ship. Did you know that there are also dozens of activities off the boat? Beginning and ending in Miami, the cruise stops at four exotic ports of call: Ochos Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; and Nassau, Bahamas. From cultural tours to sports-oriented activities, more than 60 pre-arranged excursions—from Monday, March 13, to Friday, March 18, (with the exception of Thursday)—are available for older and younger guests with a range of tastes.

Explore Ochos Rios & Dunn’s River Falls

Six excursions include vegan lunch options. One such activity takes place on Monday, March 13, in Jamaica. The “Ochos Rios & Dunn’s River Falls” is a favorite among returning guests. After a scenic drive, you’ll reach the falls, a recreational area and park that has an interesting history. Originally named “Las Chorreras” by the Spaniards (which translates to the waterfalls or the springs), the Falls are near the site of a battle by the same name that decided ownership of the island in 1657. It was fought between the English and Spanish Expeditionary Force from Cuba and the English proved victorious. In 1972, the land was ultimately acquired by the Jamaican government. Over the years, the name “Ocho Rios” replaced “Las Chorreras.” It translates to eight rivers, although there are only four rivers nearby. (And each one flows into the Caribbean Sea.)

Excursions Offer Opportunities to Socialize

Robert Cheeke is an award-winning author, two-time bodybuilding champion, vegan athlete, and touring public speaker. He runs Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness. In his first year, he dreamed of becoming a presenter the following year and his wish soon came true. This cruise will be his sixth as a presenter. The cruise and its excursions have been hugely influential in his life. (He also met his now fiancée the first year!)

“As the schedule would have it, four of the past six cruises have also landed on my March 2nd birthday,” says Robert. “That usually meant friends taking me out on excursions to participate in the fun and adventure to be had beyond the cruise ship itself. That’s really part of the whole experience—taking part in some of the onshore options for exploration. For example, I have kayaked and floated down a river in an inner tube in Jamaica, have snorkeled with the stingrays in Grand Cayman, and on a past cruise, before my time with Holistic Holiday at Sea, I climbed the famous Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.”

Robert describes his experience at the Falls. “After hiking through a lush environment you meet the nearly 200-foot tall Dunn’s River Falls and have the opportunity to climb directly on rocks while water descends all around you. You’ll likely hold hands with a neighbor to make a human chain for some added safety during the somewhat challenging climb and you will be impressed by the views and the scenic environment.” As an alternative to the climb, there are also safe spots from which you can watch the others ascend the falls. There’s also a beautiful tropical forest to explore with ferns, bamboo, ginger lilies, orchids, palms, and breadfruit trees. Following a buffet lunch by the sea, guests can take a sightseeing drive around Ocho Rios.

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Robert also swam with stingrays and snorkeled in the open sea. On Tuesday, March 14, in George Town, guests can meet these friendly fish on “Cayman Beach Break & Stingray City Combo with Vegan Lunch.” The first part of this tour includes a trip to Stingray City on a fully-equipped snorkel boat, boarded from the Cayman Islands Yacht Club. There guests can feed and play with stingrays—a magical moment! Afterwards, guests return to the Yacht Club and are driven to the Seven Mile Beach, a beautiful stretch of seemingly endless sand.

“Though it was a bit intimidating to be so close to stingrays and actually touch them, it was also exhilarating and a memorable experience,” says Robert. “After sailing out to sea and putting an anchor down, snorkeling in the open sea, away from the beach, was also intimidating, but exciting.’

Whatever You Decide to do—Have Fun!

A full menu of excursions awaits you. “Regardless of what adventure you set out on, enjoy everything the vegan cruise has to offer, from the gourmet meals to the social events, from the lectures and classes to Broadway-style theater shows. There is much to enjoy from early morning until late at night. I will be leading daily fitness classes and giving lectures about plant-based health and fitness, calling upon my experiences from more than 20 years as a plant-based athlete. I look forward to seeing you on board the Holistic Holiday at Sea vegan cruise in March”

Be sure to check the available excursions out here and pre-book any “must do” activities. Here’s a tip on booking: Pre-booking online is strongly recommended, although onboard booking is also available if that is not possible for you (select your top choices and try to book the first day of the cruise). Many excursions will sell out quickly through onboard booking, and pre-booking saves you the hassle of waiting in line. Please note that the six excursions with a vegan lunch must be pre-booked with no onboard booking available. 

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