CARM Apologetics Cruise

Come with us on a 7-day April 2016
Apologetics Cruise to the Western Caribbean!

 
Come with us on a 7-day April 2016 Apologetics Cruise to the Western Caribbean!

SAVE $50 by registering for the Apologetics Conference by 3/15/15

Note: No donated funds from CARM, MRM or Evidence Ministries will be used for this event

Sign-ups for Royal Carribean's Cruise Line's recently renovated ship
"Treasure of the Seas"

 
You've asked for it and now we have put the plans together. In late January 2015, CARM (Christian Apologetics Research Ministry) and MRM (Mormonism Research Ministry, an Evangelical Christian outreach to Latter-day Saints) put together an Internet survey that received plenty of interest in early February 2015. In fact, more that 70 people have told us that they have a "9" or "10" interest (out of 10) to go on this trip. With this compiled research, we have put together a trip in April 2016 that will include the following:

  • Travel with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines on its newly refurbished ship "Treasure of the Seas." (See the picture above.) Among on-board amenities are first-run movies in the 3D theater, rock climbing wall, ice-skating rink, min golf course, and much more. Go here for the cruise website and also visit the virtual tour. For 12 years in a row (through 2014), Travel Weekly has awarded Royal Caribbean as the best cruise ship!
  • Food and entertainment are included in your cruise price.
  • The apologetics conference, sponsored by CARM, MRM, and Evidence Ministries, will offer eleven different conference sessions throughout the 7-day cruise. It will include three plenary session, four panel discussions, and twenty breakout sessions on a wide variety of topics. The teaching will be fantastic and suitable for the tastes of everyone from beginner apologists to the more experienced.
  • Come with us to visit a Mayan pyramid (after hearing MRM's Bill McKeever talk about the "Book of Mormon Lands").
  • Each person who registers with the cruise line and for the conference by 3/15/15 will receive $50 off on the conference registration fee.
  • A meet-and-greet with the conference speakers on the Saturday night before our trip at a local Florida restaurant not far from where the ship will take off
  • A special apologetics conference notebook
  • Books and other promotional giveaways at each apologetics session
  • Ship departs from Port Canaveral (40-minute taxi ride from the Orlando airport).

Right now, Royal Caribbean is providing an excellent promotion saving us hundreds of dollars. Go below to find out details, but their "BUY 1 GET THE SECOND 1/2 OFF" offer ends 3/10/15.

Does this grab your interest? Read through this and get an idea of what we are offering.

Why are we doing this cruise?

Organized and administered by MRM's Eric Johnson, our goal is to put together an apologetics cruise that will provide great value for our passengers. With that in mind, let us be upfront about why we are putting this together:

  • Have an enjoyable time visiting some beautiful sites and seeing God's glory
  • Fellowshipping with Christians who want to stretch their faith and learn practical apologetics--it will be a chance to grow our faith!

What are the specifics of the trip?

  • Sunday, April 10 through Sunday, April 17, 2016
  • Cruise line/Ship: Royal Caribbean
  • Costs: See below for details
  • Visit the website for more details on this trip.
  • The ship's itinerary will have us visiting 4 different ports: Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, Mexico:

Sailing Itinerary

Day     Port  *** Arrive     Depart     Activity    
24-Apr Port Canaveral, Florida   4:30 PM    
25-Apr Cruising       
26-Apr Labadee, Haiti   8:00 AM 4:00 PM Docked     
27-Apr Falmouth, Jamaica 10:00 AM   7:00 PM Docked     
28-Apr George Town, Grand Cayman 8:00 AM 4:00 PM Tendered
29-Apr Cozumel, Mexico 10:00 AM   7:00 PM Docked     
30-Apr Cruising                          
01-May   Port Canaveral, Florida 6:00 AM       

*** All itineraries are subject to change without notice. Please confirm your itinerary on the Review page before purchasing your cruise.

(The following schedule is based on a minimum of 36 passengers, which we fully expect to sign up.)

 What would the tentative Apologetics Conference schedule look like?

Saturday, April 23: Optional get-together at a local restaurant in the evening for a meet-and-greet time over dinner, with all of the apologetics speakers in attendance.

Sunday, April 24: You are required to be on the ship by 2:30 p.m. Please bring your passports. We leave the Port Canaveral, Florida (Florida) at 4:30 p.m.

  •  7 p.m. Apologetics Session 1:
  •  Hour 1: Introductions / Testimonies from the speakers
  •  Hour 2: Plenary (Topic TBD) (Matt Slick from CARM)

Note: Our evening sessions will begin promptly at 7 p.m. and last until 8:45 p.m. Because there are excellent theatre shows at 9 p.m. each night, we want to make sure our guests have a chance to attend without missing these popular shows.

Monday, April 25, At sea

  • 6:30 a.m. Devotional / Prayer and Praise (Optional, 1/2 hour, each weekday morning)
  • 9:00 a.m. (to 10:45): Apologetics Session 2: 4 breakout sessions
    • Note: Two breakout events per hour will take place (from 9 a.m. to 9:50 and 10:00 a.m. to 10:45). You would choose one of the two events each hour.
  • 7:00 pm.  Apologetics Session 3:  4 breakout sessions

Tuesday, April 26, Labadee, Haiti   (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

  • 6:30 a.m. Devotional / Prayer and Praise
  • 7:00 p.m. Apologetics Session 4:  4 breakout sessions

Wednesday, April 27, Falmouth, Jamaica (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

  • 6:30 a.m. Devotional / Prayer and Praise
  • 8:30 a.m. (to 9:30) a.m.: Apologetics Session 5: Plenary Session (TBD)
  • 7:30 p.m. (to 8:30 p.m.): Apologetics Session 6: Panel (TBD)

Thursday, April 28, George Town, Grand Cayman (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

  • 6:30 a.m. Devotional / Prayer and Praise
  • 7 p.m. Apologetics Session 7
  • 4 breakout sessions

Friday, April 29, Cozumel, Mexico (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

  • 6:30 a.m. Devotional / Prayer and Praise
  • 8:30 (to 9:30) a.m.: Apologetics Session 8
  • Plenary, Bill McKeever, "The Book of Mormon Lands"
    • Note: For those who would like to join us, we will be taking a Mayan temple excursion together (optional, extra fees for the tour apply)
  • 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.: Apologetics Session 9:
  • Panel Discussion (TBD)

Saturday, April 30: At sea

  • 6:30 a.m. Devotional / Prayer and Praise
  • 9:00 a.m. (to 10:45): Apologetics Session 10: 4 breakout sessions
  • 7 p.m. Apologetics Session 11
  • Final plenary session: Matt Slick (TBD)
  • Final panel session: Q&A

As you can see, we have a full schedule. There will be much to think about at this conference!

What are the topics that will be covered?

We have surveyed prospective travelers and will be more specific with our topics list later this summer. There will be a total of 11 apologetics sessions: 20 breakout sessions (you will be able to go to 10 of these, as two breakout sessions will run concurrently), 4 plenary sessions, and 3 panel discussions. along with 2 keynote addresses by Matt Slick along with another by bill McKeever. In addition, there will be 3 different panel discussions on important topics. Based on our survey, here are the topics voted on as being important to address at the apologetics conference:

  • General apologetics issues (85%)
  • General theological issues (77%)
  • Evangelism (71%)
  • Archaeological issues (67%)
  • Atheism (65%)
  • Mormonism (62%)
  • Evidence of God (62%)
  • Islamic issues (60%)

Those who participated in the survey also gave us plenty of other possible topics, including:  

  • Issues related to the Bible (i.e. its reliability, interpretation, common misused passages, etc.)
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Women and apologetics
  • And so much more

Later this spring, we will narrow down the topics by surveying those who have signed up for the conference. We guarantee that we will certainly get to issues that you want to hear!

Are the participants required to come to meetings?

The morning devotionals as well as the meetings are optional. If you don't feel like coming to any particular session, you are not obligated to come. There is so much to do on a cruise and we want to give you complete freedom to enjoy yourself.

Who are the speakers?

We have put together some authoritative names in Christian apologetics. Here's a short bio on each:

Matt Slick founded the website carm.org (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry) to cover a variety of apologetics issues. In fact, this Christian website is the largest in the world and has also been translated into other languages. Matt graduated from Westiminster Theological Seminary California with an M.Div. He hosts a live daily hour-long call-in radio broadcast that airs in two states and also is heard around the world on the Internet, with thousands of regular listeners. The author of the Christian fictional book The Influence, Matt is a sought-after speaker and has ministered extensively in the Philippines. He is also a accomplished debater, having participated in more than a dozen debates with atheists and Muslims. Using logic and sound reasoning principles, Matt's ministry has helped thousands of Christians better understand true Christian teaching as he explains complicated theological information in a way the rest of us can understand. Matt is married to Annick (who will come on the cruise) and has three daughters plus a few cats as well. Nobody is more fun to be around than Matt Slick (and yes, that's his real name!). (Picture: Matt and Eric Johnson (r) at the Jordan River in Israel) See Matt give his testimony 

Bill McKeever founded Mormonism Research Ministry in 1979, which is based in Utah. Bill has taught and preached in hundreds of churches across the United States and even across the world, including countries in Africa as well as the Ukraine, Russia, the Philippines, and England. The ministry's website is mrm.org, which focuses on the religion of Mormonism. He also hosts a daily radio show playing twice a day in Utah and airs in two other states. Bill is the author of four books, including In Their Own Words (Morris, 2010), Answering Mormons' Questions (Kregel, 2012), and Mormonism 101 (Baker, 2015). He is a contributing writer to the Christian Research Journal, specializing in the topic of Mormonism. A regular guest on radio and television talk shows, Bill is considered one of the top Christian experts on the LDS religion and is probably best known to many for bringing a replica set of gold plates to Manti, UT every June as part of an object lesson he uses in the public streets near the Mormon temple the hours before the Mormon Miracle Pageant begins, explaining how the plates were too heavy for Joseph Smith's story to be true. Bill is married to Tammy (who will come on the cruise) and has three grown children, all of whom are married. And yes, Bill is his real name! (Picture: Utah Lighthouse Ministry's Sandra Tanner (l) and Bill riding a camel near Masada, Israel) See Bill give his Christian testimony

Eric Johnson has been working with Mormonism Research Ministry since 1989. For many years, Eric was a high school, college, and seminary teacher in Southern California before he moved his family to Utah in 2010. Eric graduated from Bethel Seminary San Diego in 1991 with an M.Div., studying under two different translators of the New International Version Bible. He served as the Bible department head at Christian High School in El Cajon CA for a number of years. Besides working with MRM full time, Eric teaches twice-a-week before-school classes at a local Christian church attended by public high school students and has also led five group tours to Israel since 2009. He has couauthored Answering Mormons' Questions and Mormonism 101 with Bill McKeever while serving as an associate editor of the Apologetics Study Bible for Students (Holman, 2010). He is a regular contributor to the Christian Reserach Journal. Eric is married to Terri (who will come on the cruise) and together they have three girls, two of whom are in college. Eric thinks his name is the same as what his parents originally gave him, but he'll check to make sure. (Picture: Bill McKeever (l) and Eric at the top of the theatre at Pergamum, Turkey, one of the seven churches of Revelation)

We also hope to have Keith and Becky Walker with us on this trip. Here are their bios:

Keith and Becky Walker founded Evidence Ministries in 1995 in San Antonio, Texas. Their threefold purpose in Christian ministry is to REACH Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons for Christ, to TEACH Christians the differences between these two cults and Biblical Christianity, and to WARN the community about the dangers of these groups. Keith and Becky are active in REACHING those lost in these religions through personal witnessing and mission trips. They TEACH Christians about these groups through various speaking engagements at churches and "coaching" sessions (personal witness training). They WARN the community of the dangers of believing what these groups teach through Evidence Ministries' monthly newsletter Backpacks & Briefcases as well as a web site, blog, YouTube channel, and Facebook page. They also have been guests on a variety of radio programs. Keith has served full-time with Evidence Ministries since September of 1999 and will share more about Jehovah's Witnesses at the conference along with doctrines such as the importance of understanding the deity of Christ. Meanwhile, Becky has a heart for women and has participated in a number of evangelistic endeavors to the ladies of other faiths, including organizing a handout of free tissue packets outside an LDS Church women's event in Salt Lake City and serving the women at the polygamous community for a weekend in Hillsdale, Utah. Their ability to communicate the truth in front of an audience is straightforward and loving. At our conference she will share how women can participate in apologetics. Together they are an excellent addition to this apologetics conference. The Walkers have three children.

What does the cost of the ship include?

  • All meals (including a buffet and several sit-down restaurants)
  • Your cabin
  • Entertainment throughout the day

The price does not include:

  • Airfare
  • Excursions you may take on the days we're in port
  • Specialty spas / massages
  • Specialty meals eaten in certain on-ship restaurants
  • Sodas / alcohol
  • Tips ($12 per day--a total of $84--will you can pay in advance)
  • $130 in taxes

What is the cost for the cruise?

First of all, to be able to sign up for the CARM/MRM Apologetics Conference, you MUST sign up directly with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (all the details are given below). Therefore, you will be unable to sign up for this cruise through a travel agent, Costco Travel, or any other way. But the good news is this: The cruise line is giving us a discount for our rooms! When you go to the website, you will see the difference!

We have locked in our prices with Norwegian Cruise Line for three types of rooms that will be reserved until March 15th. The prices (double occupancy) for each person will be:

  • Interior (no windows): $560 (regularly $629)
  • Ocean View: $692 (regularly $699)
  • Balcony: $923 (regularly $1010)

According to the cruise line, if/when the price drops for our cruise (before 75 days of the cruise), you may choose to take advantage of the new rates and promotions being offered. After paying your deposit(s), if you see the prices go down 75 days or earlier before the cruise, contact Lacey and she will adjust your cost.

There are other rooms available. You can look at the website or just ask.

A $500 deposit per room must be given when you make your reservation. (This amount is fully deductible if cancelled by Feb. 9.) To sign up for the conference, you must sign up with the cruise company (ours is called "CARM/MRM Apologetics Cruise" with the code ********) in order to be qualified to attend the Apologetics Conference.

What is the cost for the conference?

Unfortunately, there was no other way for us to collect money for the conference registration fees except through the mail. To sign up for this conference, the cost is $349 per person. (Current high school or college students under 25 years of age are $249.) We are giving back about 15% of your conference cost ($50) to the ministry from which you learned about this cruise as our donation to further that ministry's efforts and compensate the ministries for "borrowing" their personnel for a week. The rest of the money collected will be used for books/promotional giveaways throughout the conference, a conference notebook, and travel expenses for the speakers and their spouses.

SPECIAL OFFER: For each person who signs up by 3/15/15, we are taking $50 off the conference registration price!

To sign up, please mail a deposit ($100 per person) within a week after registering with the cruise company to the following address:

  • MRM Apologetic Cruise
  • Attn: Eric Johnson
  • PO Box 1746
  • Draper, UT 84020

Please include your name, email, phone, and from whichever ministry (CARM, MRM, Evidence, or "Other") you learned about the trip. Please make your check out to Eric Johnson, an associate minister with MRM who is the coordinator of this cruise. (This is important because Eric is needing to deposit these checks in a special account and won't be able to do so if the check is addressed differently.) An additional check for the balance is due by January 15, 2016. There is no tax deduction available for this conference fee. Please remember, once again, that no donated funds from CARM, MRM, or Evidence Ministries will be used for the expenses of this trip, as the speakers expenses are coming from these registration fees.

So I'm definitely interested. Can you take me through step-by-step what I'm supposed to do?

Two steps:

1) Sign up with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

  • When you make contact with Daniel, tell him you are signing up for the "CARM/MRM Apologetics Cruise" with the code &&&&
  • Let him know which cabin you desire (see above under "What is the cost of the cruise?")
  • Leave your credit card deposit of $500 per room, all fully refundable if cancelled.
  • If you have any questions for the cruise line, ask Daniel while you're on the phone.

Complete this simple procedure and allow us to congratulate you for making a wise decision! Your room is booked and you're coming with us next April.

2) Register for the Apologetics Conference. Within a week after signing up with the cruise line, please send a $100 deposit check ($50 nonrefundable if your reservation is cancelled) per person attending the conference. Address the check to Eric Johnson and mail to:

  • MRM/Apologetic Cruise
  • Attn: Eric Johnson
  • PO Box 1746
  • Draper, UT 84020

Those signing up by 3/15/15 will receive $50 off on each registrant, reflecting on their conference balance. All balances are due by 1/15/2016.

Along with your check, please don't forget to include your name(s), email, phone, and which ministry was responsible for telling you about the trip.

You will be put on a special email mailing list to update our passengers about the trip. Your information stays with us and will not be used for any other purpose. As the cruise gets closer, the details will become more firm.

We will eventually making a cut-off for registrations, so we highly recommend that you make yours as soon as you know you can go!

Question? Please write us at the following address: eric at mrm dot org, eric@mrm.org

 

 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.