Whether you have booked a cabin on this year’s Fantastic Voyage cruise or not, there’s information in this blog that should be important to you. Even though the cruise – as it goes into its 10th year – is synonymous with big fun, it is also a major fundraiser for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and raised millions of dollars for that cause. And that’s not the only thing. This is another chance for you, as part of the TJMS family, to become “radio active” and viral (in a good way) in an effort to keep the Tom Joyner Foundation from losing its ability to help thousands of African-American students but also a chance, once again ,for us as a community to make sure we’re being treated with dignity and parity.
We live in a world where nothing is certain – or, in terms of this year’s Fantastic Voyage, ship happens. (That’s the best I can do at humor right now.) Everything was sailing along just fine until the panic of a swine flu epidemic in Mexico hit the world, and our sponsor Royal Caribbean informed us that our itinerary for the 2009 Fantastic Voyage would have to change. The decision was out of our control, and so was their Plan B. I was devastated by the news and how it would impact our passengers, who had to be told that they would not be going where they thought they’d be going. We have heard from many of you who have called, sent texts, and have posted concerns on Facebook. I wish I had an easy answer or explanation for how to satisfy everyone. But I don’t.
What I can do is remind you of what the Fantastic Voyage cruise started as and what it has become. Long before we’d formed a partnership with Royal Caribbean, I had a dream of getting a big boat and cruising with the TJMS audience. I knew there had been “black cruises,” where a large groups of African-Americans booked an event on a ship, but my dream was bigger than that. My dream was for us to have our own ship — make a deal with a major cruise line and take it over for seven days with the kinds of activities and concerts aimed at our audience. Ten years ago, that dream came true, and every year, it got bigger and better. If you’ve cruised with us before, you know about it, and if you haven’t had the opportunity yet, you’ve heard about it. We delivered what we’ve promised year after year with premium ships, premium entertainment and premium ports.
The Fantastic Voyage cruise grew to become an event and also a Black History Fact. No one had or has done what we’ve done, and not only has it had an impact on our community; it’s had an impact on mainstream America too. Beyond the looks that we get every year when we dock, and passengers on the other ships see 3,000 black people get off of the ship, companies such as Royal Caribbean began to recognize the value of the African-American consumer and even implemented departments geared specifically for reaching out to minority travelers. And of course, that’s a good thing. These companies came to grips with something we already knew: that we have money and will spend it to do things we want to do, especially if we are treated well and get our value for the money. The fact that the Fantastic Voyage is a tax write-off and helps so many kids stay in school at HBCUs is icing on the cake.
This year, as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Fantastic Voyage, we face major challenges that stand to damage our relationship with repeat and first–time cruisers, the entertainment we’ve booked, corporate sponsors, including Royal Caribbean, and cause financial ruin to the Tom Joyner Foundation. If this happens, it will be the end of the Fantastic Voyage as we know it. That’s why it’s important to help you understand our side of this story and how we have been left to make the best out of a not-so-ideal situation.
Keep in mind that, while there are other vacation opportunities other cruises, other concerts geared toward the African-American community, we shouldn’t be willing to substitute what we’ve done together so easily. Nobody enjoys a good party like we do, and I’m right with you. But it isn’t about the party; it’s about the purpose. Always was. And always will be.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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