The Three C’s of Cruising

Erin and Colleen Onboard

My sister and I just took our first cruise ever! I’ve traveled all over the world and never had the desire to go on a cruise until a few years ago. Then, two things happened: 1. More and more of my friends started recommending them and 2. I got a taste for the Caribbean. Who knows what I mean?!

Colleen and Dan Miller

Colleen is officially a Dan Miller fan!

So, when my coach, Dan Miller, announced his bi-annual cruise for our 48 Days Network, I twisted my sister’s arm and signed us up. Let me just say – it was one of the best trips of my life! I’m sure it didn’t hurt that we started on one of the top cruising lines or that we cruised with a wonderful, like-minded group, or that we visited beautiful tropical places. (I know, my diamond shoes are too tight and my wallet’s too small for my fifties. It’s a tough life!)

As much fun as we had on this new adventure, there are three things that really stuck out to me.


The last night of the cruise, we enjoyed our evening entertainment. And as a recap of the week, our cruise director (cue “The Love Boat” music), said the following, “There are over 4000 people on this boat, representing more than 70 countries, and look at how we can all get along so well.” How is that possible? Our world certainly doesn’t lend itself to the same successes.

You see, what I experienced over and over again, from guests and crew alike, could best be described as consideration. The respect and kindness afforded the guests by the crew was like none other. They truly exemplified the picture of what it means to serve others. And not in a you’re better than me kind of way. But in a we want to make your vacation and time in our home as enjoyable as possible way. The message was, we will treat you well, exhibit a cheerful attitude and express our pleasure of having you aboard. The quintessential hosts.

And all those vacationers from around the globe? We found, time after time, that happiness to be on vacation, enjoying the luxury of the seas makes people friendly and gracious and patient. I mean, that’s got to be the only explanation for why someone will actually make eye contact and speak to you in an elevator, right?!?

That mutual consideration and respect made our time together a wonderful, unparallelled experience.

Erin and Colleen with Bukhari and Dejan

Bukhari is from Indonesia and Dejan is from Serbia and both were so wonderful to us in the Dining Room


What does courage have to do with cruising? Have you heard of the Titanic? Anyone who is willing to get on a ship and travel through the depths of the ocean, without a shred of land in sight HAS to be brave, especially after seeing the movie!

Colleen, Anette and Erin

Our new friend, Anette. We ended up on the same Zipline Excursion!

All kidding aside, I think there is a lot to be said of courage on this trip. One example is found in my new friend, Anette. She has been listening to Dan’s podcasts for a while now, which is a rather ordinary thing to do. What makes Anette extraordinary is that she got on a plane in her native Denmark and embarked with a group of 74 American and 2 German strangers for a week at sea. Her willingness to step way out of her comfort zone inspires me to not let fear keep me from doing the things I desire.

What about the 76 other people who are becoming the masters of their own destinies? Many in our group are coaches. Several are writers. Lots of speakers. Business owners. Bloggers. Entrepreneurs. Highly successful human beings. All are looking for new ways to share their message and pursue their passions. It is inevitable that spending time in their company will inspire the seeker to believe Winston Churchill’s words, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” For, each of those who are experiencing success has stories of failure along the way. The difference is they didn’t give up.


In my work with kids, I teach that a choice is a commitment. The moment we choose to do or not do something is the decision point. We can never take it back. Take the drunk teenager who chooses to get behind the wheel of a car and kills someone when they lose control. A tragic choice forever etched in their hearts and minds.

This construct of commitment rang true for me on our cruise in several ways. In typical risk-taking fashion, Colleen and I decided to pull the trigger and invest in some exciting excursions.

Exhibit A: Zip-lining through the trees of the Puerto Rican tropical rainforest. It’s hard to miss the reality of commitment when you are strapped to a cable 75 feet above the forest floor and getting ready to step off into thin air. Even though I never was able to master the hand break, it was such a thrill to soar through the trees! What a payoff.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Who has time to take pictures when they are trying to not drown?

Exhibit B: Snorkeling in the oceans of St. Maarten. Now, many of you will scoff at the thought that snorkeling takes commitment. I am a strong swimmer, but the thought of fish touching me or the counter-intuitive idea of breathing with my face in the water was quite daunting.

What if I suck in water instead of air? What if I can’t get away from a sea creature that I don’t want to be friends with? What if I become so enamored with the sea that I unknowingly swim off and the boat leaves me? I don’t want to be shark bait. (I really regret watching Open Water.)

So, with mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation, I made an impulsive commitment to a young client that I would suit up and at least try. I knew that sharing my own fears and committing to face them could empower him to do the same. ‘Cause he’s a kid who doesn’t really know who he is and gives up before he even tries. Sounds like a lot of us, right?

In the end, it was my promise and the accountability it held, that gave me the courage to stick with the plan. Surprisingly, it was really easy to get used to breathing with the snorkel apparatus – except for that time the guide used me as the beginning of the buffet line and I sucked in water through my nose. It did take me a while to realize that the real snorkelers DON’T swim with their arms in front of them. #dork  And the coolest part – fish are great swimmers. They know how to avoid touching the seal-ish looking creature between them and dinner. Who knew?!

What a ride that little cruise was. So much so, that I might have put down a deposit on the next one.

I have been blessed with lessons learned in some of the most unexpected places. What are yours? Where do you see courage or commitment or consideration play out in your life? Who are the people who have inspired you to try something new?

Here’s a little lagniappe for your viewing pleasure.

Alligator crazy

Not sure Paul is courageous, but he is definitely committed! Gator Boys in action.


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4 thoughts on “The Three C’s of Cruising

  1. It was truly a fantastic trip full of wonderful people and crazy, fun adventure! And I’ll vouch for Erin that she really did go snorkeling – in fact she was in the water before me! #committed

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