“Best Cruise Ever”: 3,000 Passengers Aboard Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage Presented by Ford Rolls 24/7
More than 70 Artists, Endless Activities, Raise Money for Students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
(Dallas – April 3) – It’s official: The 2012 Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage presented by Ford is over, but passengers are calling it the “best cruise ever”, reliving the memories online, tweeting, posting pictures and videos throughout social media, bonded together by six days and seven nights of partying with a purpose.
As more than 3,000 passengers returned home from the “Ultimate Party with a Purpose”, which helps raise money to keep students in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, they’re taking with them dozens of memorable moments, topped off with Queen Latifah and Fantasia stepping down from their stages to sing their way through throngs of fans, shopping with Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Derek J (@derekjhair) and Cynthia Bailey (@cynthiabailey10), hanging out poolside with Wendy Raquel Robinson of BET’s ‘The Game’, model/actress Melyssa Ford (@MissMelyssaFord), playing spades with several former NFL greats and paying tribute to Trayvon Martin. The cruise was packed with music, comedy, networking and a strong sense of community atypical of most cruises.
Comedian Rodney Perry tweeted that the Fantastic Voyage “plugged me up to a FUN IV for a week. All I can say is wow.”
Sophia A. Nelson (@sophiaredefined), author of “Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama” who hosted a panel on the cruise, tweeted, “Being at sea for six days via #TomJoynerCruise truly made me see God in a different way.”
“I had the time of my life,” said passenger Valerie Davis in a post on the Fantastic Voyage Facebook page. “I want to thank everyone who helped put this smile on my face (which was almost everybody on board the ship) LoL. I loved the positive vibe and friendly atmosphere. That was just awesome! The people at work won’t be able to shut me up when I return on Tuesday. I’ll be spreadin’ the word about the Fantastic Voyage and what a FANTASTIC time I had. It was so great meeting such wonderful people. I can hardly wait til next year to do it all again.”
Here are some other highlights:
* A “Hoodie” tribute to Trayvon Martin kicked off the cruise – the party with a purpose concept accented the purpose when the cruise set sail and passengers on the top deck wore hoodies or made a hand jesture to replicate a hoodie as a thoughtful moment for Trayvon Martin.
* Author Sophia Nelson inspired a crowd about the importance of First Lady Michelle Obama and redefining the image of black women with Sybil Wilkes, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Melyssa Ford and in another panel, Dr. Lawana Gladney (@drgladney) offered sage advice on maintaining strong relationships.
* Derek J, the celebrity hairstylist and Real Housewives of Atlanta star, offered fashion tips on buying shoes, clothes and accessories along with Tia Hebron, an executive with Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. He and Cynthia Bailey, another actor from Real Housewives, also led groups through the shops of Nassau on a shopping excursion.
* Claudia Jordan (@claudiajordan), Wendy Raquel Robinson (@IamWendyRaquel) and dozens of other celebrities signed autographs, mingled with guests and participated in panels on relationships and other hot topics.
* Gospel great Dr. Bobby Jones led a daily morning devotion, punctuated with special appearances by award winning singer Dottie Peoples (@due4u) and comedian J. Anthony Brown (@jspotcomedyclub) who one morning belted out a gospel song with back up singers, Jones and Peoples.
* Tom Joyner and Morning Show Crew – J. Anthony Brown, Sybil Wilkes, Huggy Lowdown, Chris Paul and Dominique – dressed as characters from the Lion King, then followed up on ’70s night next night dressed up as the main characters from Scooby Doo.
* Nationally renowned artists Twin (Jerry and Terry Lynn), Frank Frazier, Charles Bibbs, Deborah Shedrick and the Premier Art Gallery offered works that were on display throughout the week and auctioned off to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
* Donnell and Janet Proctor renewed their vows as part of winning a contest sponsored by TBS’ ‘For Better or Worse’, along with several other couples during the Captain’s Champagne Reception, and yes, there was even a wedding on board.
* Even with sunny skies and warm temperatures, passengers packed informative seminars on improving relationships, managing finances, improving networking skills sponsored by Southwest Airlines, understanding the impact of Alzheimer’s disease led by the Alzheimer’s Association, buying art led by Premier Art of Atlanta, learning about quality cigars led by former New York Jets’ QB Walter Briggs and even taking pole fitness instructions from Atlanta’s Rashida Hobbs.
* Former NFL greats – Dorsey Levens (Green Bay Packers), Ray Buchanan (Indianapolis Colts/Atlanta Falcons/Oakland Raiders), Rodney Hampton (New York Giants), Chris Calloway (New York Giants), Ryan McNeil (Detroit Lions), and Rob Royal (Washington Redskins) challenged passengers in card games and video games.
* Dozens of passengers won a variety of prizes including Southwest Airlines tickets, a Louis Cardini purse courtesy of Crest PRO-HEALTH who also sponsored one of the theme dress nights – White Nights. Passengers also registered for a chance to win a 2013 Explorer, sponsored by Ford who also gave away iPads and other prizes throughout the week.
* At the always irreverent Beach Party, presented by Budweiser, Tom Joyner and J. Anthony Brown led passengers in the light-hearted ‘Light Skin’d v. Dark Skin’d’ water gun fight.
* At 2:00am hip-hop artists took center stage on the Budweiser-sponsored Studio B, bringing together Doug E. Fresh (@realdougefresh) with the ladies of hip hop including Lady of Rage (@theofficialrage), DaBrat, SWV (@therealswv). On another night, Melle Mel took the stage with Too Short (@tooshort), Kwame and more.
For seven days and six nights, more than 3,000 passengers were on board the Royal Caribbean International’s ‘Navigator of the Seas'(tm), helping to support students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This luxurious ship will be home to some of the most fantastic artists in soul music including headliner – Queen Latifah along with Fantasia, Chante Moore, SWV, Boyz II Men, Silk, H-Town, Shai, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Yarbrough & Peoples, Rose Royce, Taste of Honey, Anita Ward, Con Funk Shun, Glen Jones, Phil Perry, Tony Terry, Michael Cooper, Keith Sweat, Guy, Bobby Valentino, and Lenny Williams.
About the Tom Joyner Morning Show and BlackAmericaweb.com
The nation’s #1 syndicated urban morning show, which airs in more than 105 markets reaching nearly 8 million listeners, has distinguished itself over the years as continuously giving back to its audience with quality programming, highly popular promotions, special events and philanthropy. Since 2004, Joyner has awarded millions in cash and prizes to contest winners and his Foundation has raised more than $60 million to help keep students in historically black colleges and universities. The Morning Show with co-hosts Sybil Wilkes, J. Anthony Brown and senior news analyst Roland Martin, also features “Inside Her Story” with Jacque Reid; political commentary from Stephanie Robinson and Jeff Johnson; entertainment reports from Kevin Frazier, as well as comedic observations from D.L. Hughley and the Celebrity Snitch Huggy Lowdown. Joyner’s website, BlackAmericaWeb.com, has more than 1.5 million registered users.
About the Tom Joyner Foundation
Founded in 1998, the Tom Joyner Foundation has focused on its primary mission of helping to keep students enrolled in Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). The Foundation has assisted more than 20,000 students and worked with more than 100 HBCUs, raising more than $60 million. Throughout the week, the Foundation announces scholarship winners on the nationally syndicated radio show hosted by its founder, Tom Joyner. Each week, separate financial awards are focused on students who are single parents, high achievers, and distinguished male students at the ‘School of the Month’.
1. It’s “Power to the Hoodie” as Tom Joyner and FV 2012 Passengers Pay Tribute to Slain Teenager Trayvon Martin http://bit.ly/HFrlQL
2. Fantasia Surrounded by FV 2012 Passengers During Late Night Concert Symbolizes How Passengers Get Up Close to Performers http://bit.ly/H8AC4P
3. Cynthia Bailey and Derek J of the Real Housewives of Atlanta lead FV 2012 passengers on ‘Shop Til You Drop’ excursion in Nassau, Bahamas http://bit.ly/H2Jrsv
4. TJMS Crew on Mardi Gras Night dressed as lead characters from ‘The Lion King” http://bit.ly/HFrJ1J
5. The Battle Rages During Infamous ‘Light Skin’d v. Dark Skin’d’ Water Gun Fight @ FV 2012 in CocoCay, Bahamas http://bit.ly/Hd9OgT
6. FV 2012 Passengers Dance on Promenade As Part of ‘White Night’, One of Themed Nights http://bit.ly/HFs2JT
7. TJMS Co-Host Sybil Wilkes Leads the Tom Joyner Foundation Art Auction, Featuring the Works of World-Renowned Black Artists
**Photo Credit: Rance Elgin
Full Picture Album: BlackAmericaWeb.com http://fantasticvoyage.blackamericaweb.com/index.php?option=com_joomgallery&Itemid=332Social media: Facebook: TJMShow and Fantastic Voyage; twitter: @TJMShow #TomJoynerCruise