Jennifer Lopez didn’t present up for her personal cruise, however I did — and let me say, she missed out

“I virtually canceled this so I may work,” mentioned a panelist on Jennifer Lopez’s first Limitless Voyage theme cruise. She was talking about work/life steadiness to a bunch of girls so desperate to be collectively that they’d rolled off the bed for a 9 a.m. Q&A session after an epic occasion that had the whole ship dressed up and ingesting and dancing till late.

Have you learnt who did cancel an look at the beginning of the cruise so she may work? JLo.

JLo additionally did not sail on the voyage, although that was by no means a part of the plan.

It’s ironic, actually. The Virgin Voyages crusing aboard the Scarlet Girl cruise ship, orchestrated by Lopez’s Limitless Labs group, was themed round empowering girls to succeed in their full potential of their skilled aspirations whereas balancing that drive with private development and self-care. A panel of a dozen badass feminine entrepreneurs took trip of their busy lives to attach and occasion with 200 pushed girls seeking to take their careers and social impression to the subsequent degree — all whereas having rockstar ranges of enjoyable on a no-holds-barred, adults-only cruise ship.

Time-strapped CEOs, cash-strapped budding businesswomen and I spent 5 days getting actual, getting impressed, embracing truths, understanding, laying out, discovering moments of Zen, dancing merengue within the Dominican Republic, leaping into waterfalls, stuffing our faces, toasting our success and shaking our booties properly previous our bedtimes.

Scarlet Girl, our floating house for the week, was the best playground, the battery that saved our vitality charged through drag diva exhibits, pajama events and all of the pizza we may eat. It made certain that each one the woo-woo moments and therapeutic sound baths that got here with the Restricted Voyage programming have been balanced with an irreverent vibe filled with sexual innuendos and F-bombs.

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All of the Limitless Voyagers gave one another area to benefit from the solar, sand and sea away from their inboxes and numerous Zoom conferences and convention calls.

As for Jennifer, Virgin Voyages’ personal chief leisure and way of life officer? She selected the every day grind over this opportunity to dig deep, play laborious and get to know some wonderful girls.

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JLo won’t have proven up, however I did. Right here’s what she missed.

An epic solid

Limitless Voyage panel session on Scarlet Girl. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Because the OG Fly Lady, Jennifer Lopez would have beloved the camaraderie and enthusiasm of the Limitless girls, who had bonded like sisters by the point the ship set sail following an all-out drone present over the Miami shoreline.

The group included 50 Latina entrepreneurs who have been gifted the cruise by Jennifer Lopez and Virgin Voyages by way of a partnership with Grameen America, a micro-finance group that assists small women-owned companies in underserved communities. They have been essentially the most enthusiastic group, sitting within the entrance row at each occasion and radiating vitality. Further contributors represented a variety of ethnicities and ages; even a couple of males dared to attend the classes as properly. Ben completely may have come.

If Jennifer had any doubt about who runs the world (not her music, I do know), she wouldn’t after assembly the dozen feminine CEOs, entrepreneurs and businesswomen who participated in every day Q&A panel classes and so-called hearth chats. One speaker commented she had by no means skilled so many completed girls in the identical room at one time. They included Stacy London (star of “What To not Put on,” now the CEO of State of Menopause), Katie Ann Echevarria Rosen Kitchens (co-founder of FabFitFun) and Carrie Byalick (president of Stephen Colbert’s manufacturing firm).

This C-suite group was positively a Virgin-style Rockstar Suite.

And but these rockstars weren’t aloof, holding themselves aside from the bold girls who got here to study from their success tales. They engaged in earnest dialog, posed for selfies and joined the Limitless girls for dinner. Heck, Stacy London joined us in a exercise class and took half in some raucous post-class cheering and chanting within the hallway.

In different phrases, these busy professionals confirmed up in each manner, which, I found, is the Virgin Voyages vibe. Individuals present up in full drive for all the pieces.

When Virgin says gown in purple and occasion within the Purple Room, the ship’s versatile efficiency area, the huge theater is full of scarlet-clad revelers. When a bunch of Latina Gen Zers hosts a efficiency within the ship’s nightclub, the dance ground is full of each visitors and the ship’s personal solid of dancers and singers cheering them on. When the server at Korean barbecue restaurant Gunbae asks if you wish to play a ingesting sport, you say “hell yeah!” and take the soju shot.

I feel Jennifer would have beloved it.

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To be honest, as famous above, Lopez by no means supposed to sail with us. She was going to make an look at a pre-cruise occasion. It wasn’t clear if she would carry out or give a pep discuss, however her absence was necessary sufficient that Virgin Voyages gave each cabin $100 in onboard spending cash to apologize to visitors who might need booked the crusing with a purpose to see her.

But it surely was clear {that a} Virgin Voyages cruise on the whole, and the Limitless Voyage particularly, is all about displaying up, connecting and getting your thoughts blown in methods you did not count on. I hope JLo feels impressed to hitch the solid of fantastic girls on the subsequent themed cruise as a result of she is perhaps shocked at how she advantages from that.

A shot of braveness


A Virgin Voyages cruise is not only about displaying up; it is also about taking dangers and getting out of your consolation zone.

It’s not your grandmother’s cruise. Crew members will be tattooed, pierced or gender fluid — one thing not as seen on different strains. The ship’s Diva, a drag queen named Carlos, will name you up onstage and ask you to carry his balls, and you’ll order treats at “Lick Me Til Ice Cream” earlier than or after you dare to get your first tattoo on board or belt karaoke songs within the Social Membership.

The Limitless Voyage took this fearlessness and no-holds-barred way of life life to the fullest on trip and utilized it again to our on a regular basis lives of labor and relationships. The panelists mentioned the artwork of risk-taking and learn how to face impostor syndrome. They challenged us to talk our truths but in addition to look at the story we inform ourselves about who we ought to be and make area for the life and work we wish to reside. (And if that obtained too touchy-feely for you, you would go to Deck 16 and beat up a punching bag or go to the Draught Haus and do photographs to shake it off.)

Now I get that Jennifer Lopez won’t have felt compelled to take a seat and hearken to a bunch of profitable girls communicate provided that she’s doubtless wealthier and extra profitable than the unimaginable girls talking on her theme cruise.

However JLo, have you ever ever participated in a exercise like The Class, led by its co-CEO Natalie Kuhn, who radiates kindness and enthusiasm like nobody you’ve ever met? At 8 a.m., an ungodly hour on a celebration ship, she led a packed HIIT class that pumped us up with high-energy motion and even higher-energy music, then requested us to cease, place our fingers on our hearts and take into account what reality we needed to embrace and what tales we needed to desert as we shimmied, burpeed and sweat into a greater model of ourselves.

“Your high quality of life is just too necessary to be left as much as likelihood,” she shouted, as I felt myself tearing up and vowing with every leap and every squat to desert any poisonous insecurities on the dance ground.

Yeah, we work on the ground, JLo. We took some dangers on the ground, on the cruise and on shore excursions the place we jumped off waterfalls. That feels like your factor.

Detox and retox

Therapeutic sound bathtub class on Scarlet Girl. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

I also can solely think about that for a busy skilled like Jennifer, along with her magnificence enterprise, her performing and her charity work and live shows, steadiness is tough to seek out. Does she go-go-go and neglect to take trip for self-care, to do what she desires to do and never what her followers, enterprise companions and publicist inform her to do?

On the Limitless Voyage, steadiness was a key part, each in our discussions and in our every day schedule. We contemplated learn how to take time for self-care whereas pursuing our skilled targets — with out that yoga class or 10-minute meditation changing into one other necessary field to test. We explored how steadiness won’t appear like a debutante with a e book on her head however relatively a slackliner wobbling her manner from level A to level B, and the way work and life won’t be opposing forces in spite of everything.

And we lived this steadiness on board — not in a tantric guru sort of manner however with the Virgin Voyages mantra of “tox, detox and retox.”

We began our mornings with soul-baring panel classes, then indulged in decadent breakfasts (like a burger served on two items of French toast at The Galley). We paid homage to JLo with booty burn exercises, then downed pina coladas on the pool deck whereas the remainder of our our bodies burned within the Caribbean solar. I spent an hour mendacity meditatively on a deck chair whereas a svelte, bikini-clad healer performed singing bowls and rang chimes by my head, then obtained tipsy throughout a six-course cocktail-pairing dinner … as a result of that’s the way you roll on Scarlet Girl.

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At The Feast, hosted by Rei Chou (a enterprise proprietor, healer and private coach) on the Additional Virgin Italian restaurant on board, my tablemates and I had a heart-to-heart in regards to the presents we have now in abundance and what true achievement appears like whereas we stuffed our faces with meatballs, gnocchi and mini doughnuts. We danced shoulder to shoulder and socialized at crowded bars, then escaped to our cabins to hunt solace in a softly swinging hammock, gazing out on the calming ocean waves.

Yin and yang, work and play, detox and retox. Generally, JLo, a cruise is the steadiness you want when work turns into all-consuming.

World connections

Bella Dose performs on Scarlet Girl cruise ship. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

“I’m so honored and amazed that you simply all took trip out of your trip to go to us,” a Dominican lady informed our tour group in Puerto Plata. We needed to come to satisfy the ladies and women working at RePapel to recycle paper rubbish into new paper merchandise (notebooks, playing cards, beads) they will promote to help their households.

A lot of the Limitless Voyage was about ourselves: self-discovery, self-care, self-indulgence. However the organizers made certain we additionally centered on the bigger neighborhood and learn how to convey extra voices and views to the desk.

Within the Dominican Republic, a number of vanloads of Virgin cruisers selected to skip enjoyable within the solar to help a neighborhood women-owned enterprise. The women welcomed us into their enterprise headquarters with presents and music to indicate us how they embrace sustainability, decreasing landfill whereas creating alternatives for ladies to earn cash nearer to their households as a substitute of touring removed from house to develop into housekeepers.

We ripped paper into shreds so it might be became pulp and sponged water off newly minted paper so it may dry into sheets. However the actions weren’t the purpose — it was the connection. There was a pleasure in dancing merengue with tour guides, bus drivers and gangly, wide-grinning 11-year-olds regardless of language and tradition boundaries and getting a small glimpse into how they’re bettering the world regardless of an absence of fabric sources.

On board, we celebrated numerous voices as properly, one thing you won’t discover on different cruise ships. Latina comedians Aida Rodriguez and Gina Brillon cracked us up whereas admonishing us at any time when we dared to be oversensitive cupcakes. A Latina woman band introduced down the home with their unique songs, outsized personalities and sharp dance strikes. Wait — does that remind you of anybody?

Mindset shift

Balcony hammock on Scarlet Girl. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

After 5 days, I go away this ship feeling refreshed, regardless of the hangover and meals coma. I’ve a renewed dedication to rewriting the narrative I inform myself about my price and rethinking what’s doable in my profession. It’s not one thing I anticipated to seek out on a cruise — and definitely not one the place I drank extra and stayed out dancing later than I’ve in years.

Perhaps Jennifer Lopez didn’t want a cruise to seek out such issues. Perhaps she’s surrounded by individuals who have her again and he or she at all times takes time for self-care. Maybe she goes on epic holidays the place she connects with others, reconnects with herself and tries one thing new.

But when I realized something from the CEOs and girls entrepreneurs on the Limitless Voyage, it’s that irrespective of how profitable you’re, self-doubt by no means disappears. You at all times have a necessity for extra self-care, extra reference to a supportive neighborhood and, frankly, extra enjoyable. Beneath all these C-suite execs have been little women freaking out that they have been making errors or that they nonetheless weren’t adequate.

A smart lady as soon as mentioned, “You get again what you set out.” So, JLo, must you select to host one other cruise with Limitless Labs — and Virgin Voyages says there can be a reunion tour — I hope you discover time in your schedule to attend. You is perhaps shocked that you simply get extra from the expertise than you thought. You may thank me later.

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