On January 27th the Paula Deen Cruise set sail on board the Royal Caribbean’s “Mariner of the Seas” with Ports of Call at three of the most beautiful places in the world: Honduras, Belize and Cozumel. It is truly a blessing for me to leave behind the dead of winter and get rejuvenated in the tropics. The beaches were breathtaking, the coral reefs were incredible and the partying with friends and family—well, what happens on the Paula Deen Cruise, stays on the Paula Deen Cruise.
But because I’m not so good with keepin’ secrets, I will spill the beans about a few of the highlights that made this cruise—our 5th annual—one of the best yet. To begin, I have to tell you that about 30 of my closest family and friends joined me on this cruise—a good number of them being the people I only get to see once a year, including a bunch of old high school friends. (‘Course, we aren’t actually old, but we do go way back.) A lot of them brought me sweet, sweet things; some of ‘em brought me cookbooks, one of my friends made me this beautiful purse with my initials on it in rhinestones, and my special friend Georgeanne made a doll with my face on it. I just love that doll. I’m going to put it up right in the store for everyone to see.
Then one night, my friend Doc surprised us when she came in my room wearing a horse’s head. Y’all heard me right: a horse’s head—like a mask. And I said, “Well we really have the horse’s ass with us now!” She has a real good sense of humor so we had a big laugh over it. That’s the kind of craziness I’ve come to look forward to when I’m traveling with my friends.
It was a family affair as well. Michael and Bubba prepared some of their favorite dishes and of course, I was there putting my two cents in.
The Deen Family Olympics was so much fun. At the orange-passing game, I started the line and had to pass an orange along without using my hands! Courtney, my make-up artist was shaking her booty to get the golf balls out of the tissue box that was strapped to her waist. That was a sight to see!
But in all seriousness, my favorite moment of the trip was when we held our annual auction and raised money for a very special cause that I’ll be sharing with y’all in the future. So while this wonderful trip with my friends and family changed my life, the money we raised will do so much more.
Without a doubt, it was a wonderful vacation y’all, but sometimes the best part about leaving is coming home to the life that I know and love. I adore the tropics, the sun, the beaches. But I adore coming home to Savannah even more. Yes, we have cobblestones instead of white sands, and kudzu instead of coral reefs. But nonetheless, it’s good to be back—refreshed, renewed and re-inspired.