Our Sail & Sing Christian Cruise – Day 8

Sunday, October 4 – Disembarking from our luxurious Carnival Splendor.

DSC_38756:20 AM – coming into New York Harbor

DSC_3876I almost missed seeing her.




DSC_38887:17 AM


DSC_38919:53 AM – Our Ideal busses were waiting for us.

DSC_389910:00 AM – Disembarking is a long process, but since our number was called early, and we were at the right place at the right time to be sent to a newly opened line, we were one of the first to arrive at the busses. As we waited for the others, I watched this duck preening himself on a rotting dock in the harbor.


DSC_3906Some of the Ohio people waiting for their busses to find a parking space.


DSC_391011:27 AM – Shortly after getting on the road, I heard someone say, “Now I’ve seen everything.” I looked and saw these guys putting hay bales on an elevator – right on a New York street.

DSC_3916We wondered what was inside this building.

DSC_3917Then we saw that the hay was for theatrical animals.

DSC_3921Our very capable bus driver.

DSC_392312:43 PM


DSC_39271:32 PM – A Sunday meditation by Steve Stutzman

DSC_39282:08 PM – Back at our meeting place in Ephrata.

DSC_3931I can’t imagine a more relaxing, refreshing vacation than traveling with Sail & Sing Christian Cruises.

We’d love to go along on the next one to Alaska in 2017, but the dates conflict with our Truck Rally in June.

Thanks everyone for a well organized, inspiring program.

Our Sail & Sing Christian Cruise – Day 7

Saturday, October 3

Saturday (1)We woke up to a deck full of towel critters.

Saturday (2)

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Saturday (10)I would like some of my birding friends to identify these birds. 🙂

Saturday (12)

Saturday (11)  Saturday (13)

Saturday (14)Our last day of concerts: Sharon Bethel Quartet (Quintet on this trip) and their wives.

Saturday (15)The Stutzmans

Saturday (16)Becky – from Times to Remember Travel – giving us some final instructions on preparing for disembarking the next day.

Saturday (17)Eduard Klassen

“What a friend we have in Jesus”

“Near the cross”

Oh, wow! Those songs were beautiful.

Saturday (18)He told a few more stories of life in Paraguay – like tasting gum for the first time. His salvation – after he moved to Canada. How he met Christine.

Saturday (19)Jeffrey and Ryan

Saturday (20)Mr. Wissmann with Jeffrey and Ryan

Saturday (21)The Wissmanns

Saturday (22)

Saturday (23)Lunch break

Saturday (24)The ocean was choppy.

Saturday (25)Going down a glass elevator

Saturday (26)Margaret and Amos doing a pretty love song.

Saturday (27)

Saturday (28)Lydia and John Schmid

Saturday (29)

Saturday (30)Nelson Coblentz

Saturday (31)

Saturday (32)Ryan’s funniest ventriloquist skit is when he uses humans as dummies.

Saturday (33)He had the baby voice.

Saturday (34)He had the female voice

Saturday (36)She had the male voice.

Saturday (34)If I remember correctly, they were singing, “Jesus Loves Me.”

Saturday (35)  Saturday (37)

Saturday (38)The finale was the entire cast of music groups

There is, beyond the azure blue
A God, concealed from human sight
He tinted skies with heav’nly hue
And framed the worlds with His great might

There is a God (There is a God), He is alive (He is alive)
In Him we live (In Him we live) and we survive (and we survive)
From dust our God (From dust our God) created man (created man)
He is our God (He is our God), the great I Am (the great I Am)

There was a long, long time ago
A God whose voice the prophets heard
He is the God that we should know
Who speaks from His inspired word

Repeat Chorus

Our God, whose Son upon a tree
A life was willing there to give
That He from sin might set man free
And evermore with Him could live

Repeat Chorus

Saturday (39)We had the large Spectacular Lounge all day.

Saturday (40)I wasn’t quite ready for this to be the last full day of our cruise – or the last concert.

“I will meet you in the morning.”

“God be with you ’til we meet again.”

Saturday (41)Praying for Becky and Wendy of Times to Remember Travel.

Saturday (42)My cold orange soup for supper

Saturday (43)My entrée was frog legs.

Saturday (44)Our farewell song from the waiter staff.

Saturday (45)Cerwin’s dessert

Saturday (46)Lemon soufflé – my favorite dessert of the entire cruise.

Saturday (47)Amos Raber and John Schmid delighted us with a duet.

After supper we went to the Board Room to hear Amos Raber speak on “Being Faithful Through the Hard Times.” He knows about hard times. His first wife was killed in a vehicle accident on their honeymoon.

Saturday (48)

Saturday (49)Some thoughts from Amos:

What would Christianity look like without “religion.”

One thing I remember from his seminar:

To be an Oak of Righteousness for God, we usually have to go through tough times of ashes, mourning, and discouragement.

Isaiah 61:3 To provide for Zion’s mourners, to give them a crown in place of ashes, oil of joy in place of mourning, a mantle of praise in place of discouragement. They will be called Oaks of Righteousness, planted by the Lord to glorify himself.

Our Sail & Sing Christian Cruise – Day 6

Friday, October 2

Saint John NB (1)7:32 AM – Entering the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Saint John NB (2)A Royal Caribbean ship was already in port.

Saint John NB (3)

Saint John NB (4)That’s a lot of deck chairs

Saint John NB (5)A covered pool on our ship.

Saint John NB (6)

Saint John NB (7)8:00 AM to 9:00 AM – Devotions in El Morroco

Saint John NB (8)Amos Raber

Saint John NB (9)Sharon Bethel Quartet

Saint John NB (10)Daniel Pollard: “Do we see souls when we see people?”

“Walk as children of the light.”

Saint John NB (11)He introduced his wife’s nephew – Roger from Trinidad.

Saint John NB (12)Roger sang for the world until recently when he became a new creation in Christ.

Today he sings for the Lord.

Saint John NB (13)He sang, “People Need the Lord.”

Saint John NB (14)We disembarked about 9:30 AM – not sure how we were going to see Saint John.

Saint John NB (15)We started by walking to Market Square.

The Old City Market has been a meeting place and farmer’s market since 1876; it is the oldest continuing farmer’s market in all of Canada.

Saint John NB (16)There was another moose in the museum – inside Market Square.

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Saint John NB (18)A nice view.

Saint John NB (19)Someone asked me to take their picture, so I asked them to return the favor.

Saint John NB (20)We wandered into Barbour’s General Store and Visitor Center, and decided to buy a sightseeing tour of Saint John – Hop on Hop off – Gray Line Bus.

Saint John NB (21)Outside Baubour’s General Store

Saint John NB (22)We learned that you could ride it as often as you wanted – as long as you had a Big Pink sticker. Of course you would be seeing the same thing over and over again. 🙂 We chose the upper deck.

We stayed on the A bus twice, and found the second trip even more interesting than the first, because there was a lot of information given.

The second time we had the front window.

Saint John NB (23)The bus stopped at these signs, and if you wished, you could get off the bus and catch the next one that would come by in about thirty minutes.

We chose to stay on as it was cool with light rain.

Saint John NB (24)Some of the things we saw during the one-hour tour.

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Saint John NB (37)This Trinity lamp goes with the home whenever it is sold – and must stay in the window.

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Saint John NB (47)A community garden

Saint John NB (48)A “widow’s watch” where the wives of mariners watched for their husbands to come home.

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Saint John NB (50)The Digby/Saint John Ferry.

We rode this many years ago when we visited Saint John by car.

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Saint John NB (53)These marigolds were planted in spring by the children of Saint John.

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Saint John NB (55)We went back on the ship for lunch, then rode the B Bus to Reversing Falls.

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Saint John NB (58)The phenomenal tide is affected by the distance of the moon from the earth at this longitude. It was exceptionally high because the blood moon had happened a few nights earlier.

Saint John NB (59)Obviously we were there at high tide. At low tide you can walk on the bay floor.

Here in Saint John, the bay tides rise 28 ½ feet. When the tide is low, the St. John River, 450 miles long, empties into the bay. 

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Saint John NB (61)Our ship is the one in front.

After while I will show you how the back ship left the harbor while we were still docked.

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Saint John NB (63)When we were finished with our tour, I was hungry for something chocolate – I think because fudge was being sold in the area next to our ship. This is chocolate raspberry pie.

Saint John NB (64)It was a pretty afternoon – at high tide.

Saint John NB (65)While we were enjoying coffee and visiting with some other guests on the ship, we noticed the Royal Caribbean doing a U-turn right in front of us.

Saint John NB (66)It was fascinating to watch.

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Saint John NB (72)This helicopter landed on a pad near the dock.

Saint John NB (73)All dressed up (in their wedding garb) for supper. They are from Canada and were celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary.

Saint John NB (74)I just had to keep this “photo bomb” picture. 🙂

Saint John NB (75)Pulling away from the harbor as we enjoyed supper.

Saint John NB (77)Those at our table.

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Saint John NB (79)Loved this couple. He teased me every time we met by saying, “You again.”

He claimed that I started it, but I think it was him.

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Saint John NB (81)My cold soup. It looks like cherry.

Saint John NB (82)I think Mr. Stull got this for an appetizer, and if I remember correctly, he wasn’t impressed.

Saint John NB (83)Another appetizer

Saint John NB (84)My meal – escargot (snails).

Saint John NB (85)Cerwin’s meal

Saint John NB (86)Our song and dance routine.

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Saint John NB (91)My dessert – baked Alaska

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Saint John NB (93)After supper we went to The Cool Lounge to hear Eduard and Christine Klassen. 

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Saint John NB (98)We think the towel creature was an Eskimo or a baby. What do you think?

Saint John NB (99)It was good to spend another night on the ocean.

Our Sail & Sing Christian Cruise – Day 5

Thursday, October 1

This was the day that we looked forward to stopping in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

However the weather changed our plans.

1 (1)The rain was fairly heavy in the early morning.

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1 (5)It was about this time (7:30 AM) we learned that the seas were too rough and the winds too strong to pull into Halifax.

Even though we didn’t have any excursions planned (we had been to Halifax before), it was a bit disappointing.

This is the day we were reminded by Ryan: “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.”

1 (6)I went up to the spa to schedule a pedicure – figuring it would be a busy day there. It was. They said the phone was getting busy.

She asked if I could stay and get my pedicure right away.

1 (7)

1 (8)Love hot rocks on my feet and legs.

1 (9)

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1 (11)My lunch

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1 (13)After lunch Cerwin and I walked a mile on treadmills on Deck 11.

It’s the first time I ever did that while watching the ocean.

1 (15)When we went to the scheduled 4:00 PM program, we learned that we had missed the announcement that they had added and extra concert because we could not go to Halifax.

I was disappointed to have missed it, but we did have a nice relaxing morning and afternoon.

1 (16)Some of you already saw this photo of these five singing Old McDonalds Disabled Farm. This is when the Terrified Squirrel saw a dog! 🙂

1 (17)The program we missed included singing as well as life and road stores. The evening was a fun mixture of impromptu and planned songs.

1 (18)We were in The El Morocco for this concert.

1 (19)This room had just enough seats for our group of 430.

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1 (21)It was delightful to hear a mix of most of the groups and requests from the audience.

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1 (23)The man running the “sound board” was sitting right next to me during this concert.

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1 (30)Some of the children even got involved.

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1 (32)Jeffrey (the dummy) declared his love for Dorcus Stutzman.

1 (33)Can you tell that Jeffrey is telling a story about Nelson? 🙂

1 (34)At suppertime our waiter staff did another song and dance routine.

1 (35)Dwayne & Karen Sensenig joined in the fun.

1 (36)Cerwin’s dessert

1 (37)My dessert

2Cerwin went to hear the Sharon Bethel Quartet in the Cool Lounge. I went to our room where a dinosaur greeted me.

I am a morning person and love to get to bed early as often as possible.

3It was good to go to sleep to the swaying of the ship in the ocean.

Our Sail & Sing Christian Cruise – Day 4

Wednesday, September 30 – A Day At Sea

At Sea (1)The seas were a bit rough today. It didn’t bother either of us, but we learned later that some were sick.

At Sea (2)Since I was up early, I went to the Spectacular Lounge to check it out and saw Eduard Klassen’s harp on the stage. This was our first day in the very large room.

At Sea (3)Our water supply for the morning.

At Sea (4)Margaret and Amos Raber opened the morning concert – 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM.

At Sea (5)Singing one of their pretty love songs.

At Sea (6)Eduard and Christine Klassen

At Sea (7)

At Sea (8)

At Sea (9) At Sea (11)

At Sea (12)

At Sea (13)

At Sea (14)Lydia and John Schmid

At Sea (15)

At Sea (16)The Stutzmans

At Sea (17)

At Sea (18)

At Sea (19)

At Sea (20)During lunch we heard that someone was going to design an ice sculpture – and located it at one end of the pool on Deck 9.

At Sea (21)

At Sea (22)

At Sea (23)

At Sea (24)Before long, we could see that it was an Indian.

At Sea (25)The Stulls and Cerwin watching the ice artist.

At Sea (26)

At Sea (27)

At Sea (28)The elephant was also watching.

At Sea (29)We passed this Carnival critter on the way to our room.

At Sea (30)We stopped to shop – but didn’t buy anything.

At Sea (31)These four were playing Rook.

At Sea (32)The Coffee Shop

At Sea (33)It’s good that we had just eaten lunch.

At Sea (34)

At Sea (35)

At Sea (36)Sarah and Nelson Coblentz opened the afternoon concert – 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

At Sea (37)

At Sea (38)

At Sea (39)The Wissmanns

At Sea (40)

At Sea (41)

At Sea (42)I forget what these five were up to – but it was probably something funny. 🙂

At Sea (43)

At Sea (44)Sharon Bethel Quartet

At Sea (45)

At Sea (46)

At Sea (47)Ryan and Friends

At Sea (48)

At Sea (49)The skunk thought she smelled something strange in the room.

At Sea (50)Turned out that it was her.

How easy it is to blame others for bad attitudes (smells) when it was us all the time.

At Sea (51)

At Sea (52)Drawing her daddy’s nose and ears.

At Sea (53)It’s the first time I ever saw a talking wet board.

At Sea (54)

At Sea (55)

At Sea (56)It may have been at this point where these three exchanged voices.

At Sea (57)Amos Raber helped out for this skit.

I am not sure how I missed taking pictures of the funniest part of Ryan’s part today. When he used real people to be “dummies” and sing “Jesus Loves Me.” I was probably laughing so much that I forgot I had a camera in front of me. 🙂

At Sea (58)The Stutzmans

At Sea (59)

At Sea (60)

At Sea (61)

At Sea (62)

At Sea (63)

At Sea (64)John Schmid

At Sea (65)All dressed up and waiting for The Gold Pearl Restaurant doors to open for supper.

Our schedule told us that the dress code for the evening was elegant.

At Sea (66)

At Sea (67)

At Sea (68)We could watch our waiter staff preparing for the meal.

At Sea (69)

At Sea (70)Our table #438.

CerAt Sea (72)Cerwin chose alligator for his appetizer.

At Sea (73)My appetizer: cold cherry soup.

At Sea (74)My lobster tail meal

At Sea (75)Cerwin’s dessert

At Sea (76)My cherries jubilee.

At Sea (77)The waiters and waitresses sang a song to us from the stairways.

At Sea (78)

At Sea (79)

DSC_2890The Cool Lounge where Daniel Pollard would be speaker later in the evening.

At Sea (80)Daniel’s subject was “When the Storms Come.”

At Sea (81)He told us a bit of his story which began in Trinidad.

At Sea (82)There was a elephant in our room again – but this one was standing instead of sitting like the previous night.

Our Sail & Sing Christian Cruise – Day 3

Tuesday, September 29 – Portland, Maine

Day 3 (1)This is how we got our coffee – and sometimes Danish – in our room each morning about 6 AM.

Day 3 (2)Our schedule said that we would be arriving in Portland about 8:00 AM – and we were.

Day 3 (3)The wording showed up a bit better during a hazy morning than yesterday when there was bright sunshine.

Day 3 (4)I went up to Deck 14 – where the miniature golf course was located – for a better view of Portland.

Day 3 (5)We drive by Portland at least two or three times a year when we go to visit Mark and Diane’s family (our daughter), but have never seen it from this point of view.

Day 3 (6)

Day 3 (7)These two were painting the ship when we got off at 9:45 AM.

Day 3 (8)

Day 3 (9)Security is routine when disembarking or embarking a cruise ship.

Day 3 (10)

Day 3 (11)Eduard Klassen had the same idea as I did – in getting to the eastern side of the ship where the morning sun was on it.

Day 3 (12)

Day 3 (13)We asked a few Portland people why there were wolves (or coyotes) on these deteriorating dock posts. Nobody seemed to know why. They thought it was a display of art. (It did not appear to be taxidermy.)

Day 3 (14)One man thought they were being taken down within the next few days or weeks.

Day 3 (15)

Day 3 (16)It was so much fun to have our daughter, Diane, meet us here and take us away for the day. She and Mark live about 30-40 minutes away from Portland.

Day 3 (17)She gave us a short tour of the area, and it looks like others were getting a fire engine tour.

Many on our cruise were going on a variety of tours for the day. By evening we heard about them seeing lighthouses and Bush’s compound at Kennebunkport. Since Mark and Diane have lived here for many years, we have seen most of the places on the guided tours.

Day 3 (18)Leaves were beginning to change, but were far from their peak.

Day 3 (19)Our first stop was in Freeport where there are a few of our favorite shops – including L. L. Bean.

Day 3 (21)Cerwin looking for a deal in the L.L. Bean outlet store.

Day 3 (20)

Day 3 (22)We enjoyed lunch in Johnny Rockets.

Day 3 (23)Cerwin and I shared a sandwich and sweet potato fries.

Day 3 (24)Cute Catsup designs.

Day 3 (25)It was so much fun to spend the day with Diane.

Day 3 (26)Pretty hydrangeas.

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Day 3 (29)Back on the ship and going up a glass elevator to our stateroom on Deck 7.

Day 3 (30)

Day 3 (31)Preparing to go out to sea again.

Day 3 (32)My appetizer for supper was cold cucumber soup. It was delicious.

Day 3 (33)The waiters and waitresses entertained us with singing and clapping as they stood on very stable serving tables.

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Day 3 (37)Moving out to sea by a lighthouse.

Day 3 (38)After supper the ladies went to a session by Sarah Coblentz: “Finding the God of the Mountain During the Valley.”

The men were in The Board Room with Steve Stutzman: “Man Up – Being A Man After God’s Own Heart.”

Day 3 (39)I appreciated Sarah’s challenging thoughts on dealing with and growing through painful situations.

Day 3 (40)The Cool Lounge was filled with ladies.

Day 3 (41)

Day 3 (42)We were greeted by a cute towel elephant when we went to bed.

I loved our day in Portland.

Our Sail & Sing Christian Cruise – Day 2

Tuesday, September 28 – Boston, Massachusetts

1 (1)Early morning beauty

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1 (5)Inside the glass elevator.

1 (6)An elevator area

1 (7)A pretty stairway

1 (8)Our hallway on Deck 7

1 (9)Breakfast

1 (10)Cerwin’s platter

1 (13)9 AM to 12:00 PM – Morning Concert in El Morocco – The Stutzmans

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1 (16)Margaret and Amos Raber

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1 (22)Sharon Bethel Quartet

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1 (24)Eduard and Christine Klassen

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1 (26)He is a fabulous harpist and story teller. I especially liked hearing about his days as a boy in a Paraguayan jungle.

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1 (29)Ryan and Friends kept us laughing.

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1 (34)Nelson Coblentz

1 (36)The Wissmanns

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1 (38)John Schmid

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1 (40)Our guide into Boston Harbor

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1 (42)Going by a pool to an upper deck

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1 (49)Watching the ship come into Boston Harbor from the deck above me – Deck 14

1 (47)This was a busy area – with ships in the water and airplanes landing and taking off from Logan Airport.

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1 (53)I was surprised to see a Four Seasons (Denver, PA) truck on the dock. The green and white one.

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1 (57)Just can’t resist taking pictures of trucks. 🙂

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1 (59)The surprise of this trip was discovering that Cameron and his mom, Bev, were one this cruise. They live less than a mile from us and go to our church. We traveled on separate busses to New York and discovered each other at our breakfast stop on Sunday.

1aPreparing to tour Boston on amphibious ducks.

2Notice the duck feet. 🙂

3 (1)Our knowledgeable and interesting guide.

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3 (3)Our group was on four vehicles, so we occasionally met other ducks.

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3 (14)Going back on dry land.

3 (15)Anyone recognize this? It’s the home of the Boston Celtics.

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3 (18)Located on Boston Commons, Augustus Saint Gaudens’ bronze relief sculpture, in a setting designed by architect Charles McKim, is eleven feet high by fourteen feet wide.

3 (19)A statue of Mary Dyer – She was born Marie Barrett, and an English and colonial American Puritan turned Quaker who was hanged in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, for repeatedly defying a Puritan law banning Quakers from the colony. She is one of the four executed Quakers known as the Boston martyrs.

3 (20)Two hours later we were back at the ship.

4 (1)6:00 PM – time for our evening meal.

4 (2)We came in from the upper deck of the restaurant to get these pictures.

4 (3)

4 (4)Dessert

4 (5)A waiter posing with Gary and Marilyn Stull.

4 (7)Our friendly and helpful waiters

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5I was tired and headed back to our stateroom. Cerwin went to the Cool Lounge to hear John Schmid’s presentation: “A Song and a Story.”

6On this night there was a “stingray” on our bed.

Oh, what a delightful, interesting, relaxing day.

Our Sail & Sing Christian Cruise – Day 1

Sunday, September 27

1 (1)We left Ephrata about 6:45 AM – in two Ideal coaches and a mini-bus.

Most of the others in our group of 430 had traveled to the city the day before. They came from various places in the country: New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, and many states in the USA.

1 (2)Entering Lincoln Tunnel. Holland Tunnel was closed due to a foot race.

1 (3)Our bus drivers like to give themselves plenty of time to get to New York City, then because everything went well, we got a tour of the city. We also had time for a breakfast stop earlier in the drive.

1 (4)The activities in large cities are interesting to this farm girl.

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1 (6)We must be close to Central Park where you can get a carriage ride.

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1 (8)The first sighting of our ship.

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1 (10)The first thing everyone did after embarking was go to Deck 9 for lunch.

1 (10a)I recognized two familiar faces – mothers of friends of ours from church – in the outside dining area.

1 (11)A view of New York Harbor

1 (12)After lunch, getting acquainted with the layout of the ship, settling into our room, and attending the safety routine, we went to Sail & Sing’s “Welcome Aboard” meeting at 4:00 PM in the El Morocco room on Deck 5.

1 (13)The Sail & Sing group was just over a tenth of the people on the ship. There were 3,000 people on the cruise, plus 1,000 staff.

1 (14)We were welcomed by Ryan Bomgardner – organizer of Sail & Sing Christian Cruise.

1 (15)Becky (Times to Remember Travel, Inc.) with whom we booked the cruise, gave us some important travel information and answered our questions.

1 (16)After we started moving, I went to the window occasionally to see what was happening outside in the harbor – and to get a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.

2There were others doing the same thing.

3There she is!

3aa (1)The harbor was calm.

3aa (2)

3b (1)Because it was Sunday, we had a worship service at 5:00 PM.

3b (2)

4 (1)John Schmid

4 (2)Nelson Coblentz

4 (4)Sharon Bethel Quartet.

Yes, there are five men. 🙂 There is an extra man for times when one is not available. However, all five were on this trip – consequently we had a quintet.

5We had assigned tables in The Gold Pearl Restaurant on Deck 3 every night at 6:00 PM.

5aWe loved our group of eleven, and got to know each other by the end of the week. We changed our seats each night to have time to visit with each person.

6One of our great waiters.

7 (1)Our meal always began with a choice of bread, then an appetizer, the entrée, and of course a delicious dessert.

7 (2)

7 (3)After supper, we went to The Board Room on Deck 4 to hear Dwayne Sensenig speak on “Life of Christ Within Believers.”

8Then it was time for bed in our neat, clean stateroom. By this time the covers were turned down and there was a towel seal on one corner of the bed.

9We crawled into bed, barely feeling the movement of the huge vessel in the Atlantic Ocean.

A Favorite Photo From Today

Saturday Evening, October 3

This was our final full group meeting.DSC_3834Each of the artists were on stage singing old familiar songs, often asking the audience of 430 people (those who booked with Sail & Sing Christian Cruise) to join them. Songs like “I Will Meet You In The Morning” and “God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again.”