A Cruise None Of Us Will Forget
April 7, 2008, 10:05 am
Filed under: Church, Personal, vacation | Tags: , , , , , , ,

It was great to be back at church yesterday. We are in our second week of Big & Rich and Pastor Byron did a fantastic job as he taught on Elijah and the Tishbite widow who was obedient to God and the prophet and was blessed because of it. Sometimes it’s hard not to worry but God tells us “not to worry about a thing” because He has promised to take care of us. Just like the widow we have to make a choice to trust and not worry about a thing.

Of course we were not at the C3 day at Moss Park last week because Andrea and I were on our cruise. We missed everyone and were sad because we could not see the baptism especially since we had a few new friends that were getting baptized but we saw pictures and the video and it looks like everyone had a blast.

Our cruise was phenomenal. The Norwegian Pearl exceeded our expectations. We ate so much food. Norwegian Cruise Line is the first cruise line to try something “new” and out of the box. NCL does freestyle cruising. This is totally different from any cruise line in the world. What is freestyle cruising you ask? Instead of putting a lot of effort and money into their ships to make some huge mall or elaborate atriums, NCL puts their resources into outfitting their ships with many different kinds of restaurants because they know that dining is the most important part of a cruise. You might say well what is different about that? Most cruise ships have a main dining room and a few other restaurants such as a buffet or pizza and hamburger shop. The Norwegian Pearl had thirteen; yes thirteen full sit down restaurants inside the ship. The Pearl had two main dining rooms (smaller than the average main dining areas on other ships) and eleven other sit down restaurants. These other restaurants are not just run of the mill restaurants. They are full service, themed and just as nice as any fine dining restaurants that you would find in any city. Some examples of the restaurants are as follows, the Teppanyaki Japanese grill called the Lotus Garden where the chefs cook everything in front of you in a spectacular show. A French restaurant called Le Bistro where you sit in Louie the fifthteenth like furniture and dine on Versace plates. An Italian restaurant called La Cucina that makes you feel like you are in a Tuscan family style eatery. A Tex-Mex restaurant named Mambos that is a modern interpretation of a Spanish feel with menu items that were awesome. These were just a few of the restaurant choices that you have on the Norwegian Pearl and the best thing is you can eat whenever you want. NCL has given control of when and where and with whom you eat back to the customer. It is an awesome concept that I believe will revolutionize the cruise industry and NCL is pioneering the whole concept.

In fact NCL’s corporate logo is of a school of fish swimming one way with one lone fish in the middle of the school swimming the opposite direction. Of course the one lone fish represents NCL. NCL knows that in order to gain market share in the cruise industry that they must do something different and out of the box. It is very risky but they are doing great and gaining lots of new cruisers. When you think that the Norwegian Pearl cost NCL $510,000,000 yes that is over a half a billion dollars to build you realize the enormous risk that they are taking to gain new customers. They realize the importance of repackaging and redoing the way that cruising is done. Nothing has been done this different in the cruise industry in a hundred years. Do they have their detractors and criticism? Yes they do. There are people that say this is not the way you should do a cruise. Some people, especially the older generations say you should dress up every night and have your assigned time and place where you eat and that you need to sit next to the same people every night. They say that this is cruise “tradition” but NCL could care less and is laughing all the way to the bank as they are gaining market share.

This reminds me of the way C3 does church. People criticize, vilify, ostracize and just don’t get why we do church differently. When you think about how only 14% of the Metro Orlando population attends church on a regular basis the reason is obvious. Letting go of tradition and doing church out of the box like meeting at a theater is valid and necessary. I guess a lot of traditional Christians are just content on letting 86% of Orlando die and go to hell. I don’t know about you but I find that unacceptable and will endure whatever castigation might come my way in order to reach that 86%. So C3ers consider yourselves the NCL of the church world. Believe in the vision and never look back. Commit yourself to it and be identified by it. Be proud and proclaim it from the rooftops. C3 is here, and we are going to take Orlando for Christ. We believe in CONNECTING THE COMMUNITY WITH CHRIST. This is a cruise that none of us will ever forget!


5 Comments so far
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I had so much fun! It really was the most beautiful, exciting and relaxing cruise evah! I loved my time with you! You’re the best!

Comment by andrealoper

I got to the past you were talking about food and I was hungry… Trouble is I already ate ….

Comment by The jessy

Bryan is so excited after talking with you! Cannot wait to compare stories and hear all about NCL!

Glad that you had such a great time!

Comment by ginazugelder

I work for NCL in their call center in Phoenix and just wanted to say that you hit the nail on the head when you talk about this company. It does pride itself on being the ‘lone fish’ of the cruise industry; taking chances and going in a different direction than the rest. For us the guest comes first. That being said you should see all the new features we are rolling out and will be in place by June on all our ships! Everything from a ‘pillow menu’ in the staterooms to a glass of champagne and personal escort when you embark. I am proud of what we are doing and have never worked for a better company. Glad you enjoyed your cruise, here’s to many more!

Comment by Sharon

You so right about being stuck in traditions. We had the chance to visit a different church Sunday night and I was struck by the fact that my own children, as young as they are, are already kind of set in their ways as far as how they think “church” should be done. That made me kind of sad. It also made me realize that I have to make sure that my kids don’t get bogged down in tradition and teach them to think outside the box.

Comment by imgladyouasked

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