Family Cruise Theme: Embark in the Service of God

I've planned & helped plan Girls Camps and other weekly activities for my church's youth group for girls ages 12-18, those were so memorable and fun. Everything has a theme, everyday has a scripture, fun handouts, treats and decor to go along with it. You know what I'm talking about!

For our family's first cruise Dec 2016 from (Monday - Thursday cruise), we decided to create a theme for it about 8hrs before we were about to leave for the 11 hr road trip from UT to CA to board the ship. about last minute! The hubs thought I was CRAZY! Ok well the inspiration came by way of our inspired visiting General Authority during our Stake Conference, Elder Blake M Roney, about a week before our trip but there was too much going on to actually sit down and decide to do anything, so of course after all the weekly stuff is when I finally sat down and stayed up all night and tried to figure it out. [wide eyed emoticon] Yep...confirmed...crazy.

So, after the prayer I went to the scriptures and Pinterest. Searching for whatever I could find. Needless to say I found more than what was needed, whoot whoot! [hands raised in the air emoji] but didn't have enough time to print things in color because my "go-to" color print shop wasn't open on Monday morning at 12:01am, of course. I just have to remember, I'm not the teacher, the spirit is and if I worry too much about my fancy color prints at this time, then others will see that I don't think it's great but I know it can still be great. Soooooo I beg of you, don't wait until the last hour, when you get a prompting, just do it then! Don't do it when everyone is sleeping and everything is closed or you literally don't even have time email it to anyone or whatever. Just do it!

The Lord helped with all the details and teaching moments, once I told Him we were willing to do this theme for our family's vacation, we could really feel He was there helping us to make it happen. He wanted us to do this too! Yes, I should have done it sooner, yes I needed to plan better, yes I should have printed things in color, but the Lord used this time to teach me that YES it was worth the effort I put in because although my boys are 7 & 3, they get it! Now, He's got me excited for future family vacations where I can try and add themes to our family's together time to make them even more meaningful. He showed me it was possible and didn't have to be hard. I mean...the pioneers didn't have color or black and white prints, right?! The Young Women, Relief Society and Cub Scouts don't have to be the only people I plan themes and meaningful activities for, my family should and will come first!

Just remember to put the Anchor on everything as a reminder!

Theme: Embark in the Service of God

This is by far my most favorite picture of the Embark Theme. Just look at the details!
Purpose: Making family vaycays more meaningful by taking advantage of teaching moments and to make 'Embarking in the Service of God' fun and memorable for the kids.
Scripture: D&C 4:2
"Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day."
Place: Carnival Cruise (4 Day cruise to Mexico, but you could easily just do this for an FHE or for a week long stay-cation with this theme)
Song & Video: Embark in the Service of God: 2015 Theme Song

To decide on how the days would be assigned I went to the source, of course and searched for the Line Upon Line scriptures found in the New Era magazines.

Line upon Line: Doctrine and Covenants 4:2 (January 2014 New Era Magazine)
They broke it down for me and it was perfect!
Print this page and use it everyday! Just read a part of it each day.
Day 1: O Ye 
Day 2: Embark
Day 3: Service of God
Day 4: Heart, might, mind and strength.
Day 5: Anchor in Christ.

Ok so I may have tweaked the last day because I wanted to end with an Anchor, because Christ is our Anchor plus the anchor is such a cute image! Do what you're inspired to do for your fam. 

Everyday Schedule:

It was easier than I thought to add these things into our daily routine during our vacation. It didn't matter the plans we had, we found ways to add these in, at the beginning, middle or end of the day and we usually talked about the theme and tried to tie everything back in someway because I believe everything typifies of Christ and His gospel in our lives! It was crazy that once we had the theme, everything would fall into place for teaching moments even when I hadn't planned them. The Lord really does want us to succeed, especially when we put him at the 'helm.' Pun intended!

  1. Read the scripture (the part that was outlined in the Line Upon Line and any others you are inspired to share)
  2. Song (sing a hymn to go with the focus for the day)
  3. Read a Quote or 2. (Finding quotes is super easy and fun, type them up and post them up around the house or room)
  4. Coloring Page/Craft (kids need this to help them remember)
  5. Activity (Something hard or fun where they can apply the focus of the day)
  6. Video for each day if possible. Kids love videos!
  7. #LDSConf Talk (soooo many to choose from! Listen, watch or read them.)
  8. Family Prayers
FYI my kids still talk about how great a cruise it was from Dec. 2016 and how they want to go on it again. Mind you, it was a Carnival Inspiration Cruise not a Disney cruise by any means that's for sure, it was the most affordable cruise and not really that kid friendly (might have had a talk or 3 about how people act when they drink too much alcohol and how different drugs can alter our body's ability to control our actions) but we made it so much fun and just by adding these great reminders to make Christ our Anchor into our days made it meaningful.

I could go on and on....but need to go to bed. You all get the idea!
These links are not affiliates, just some useful sites while I was researching this theme.
Here's some quick pics.

Boys Dropping off surprise treats!

Boys peeking at cruise neighbors when they got their treats!


Cold but FUN! We had the water park to ourselves!

Too cute! They have a track on the boat. 
You can totes get your Christmas family pics done on your cruise, just pick 1 good one.

Do Horse tours, but not from the boat, those are too pricey.

Dinner Dates

Dinner Dates. Be sure to eat a fancy dinner, it's fun to dress up!

Add the logo and theme to everything!

The boys loved this special pass they got to use while boarding.

Must do the bike ride on Catalina Island!

Notes from my journal for Devos.

Ensenada was pretty fun!

Cute guy making keychains!

Put posters everywhere as a reminder of the theme. Don't have color, you can color them!

Yep mirror quote...and the hub's work station (he was serving our ward by making a video of the Primary kids for Christmas)

If you forget your camera, no worries because the cruise peeps love pics more than I do!

I loved this and want to try and make an effort to add themes to our family's adventures. 


Mutual Theme Resources:

Nikki at Melonheadz LDS Illustrations
Decor & badges:
Free Nautical Images:
Make a Boat from a Bin:
Nautical Cup Cake Toppers:
Free Banner:

#LDSConf Talks: