The Marriage Cruise for Christian Couples
Ignite the spark in your marriage on a 7-night Caribbean Cruise while relaxing, exploring God’s creation, and having fun together.
What if seven nights away with your spouse could change your entire life?
Whether you’ve been married for 5 years or 50, it’s easy to get wrapped up in day-to-day life, putting your spouse and your marriage on the back burner.
Even IF you make date nights a priority, it can be hard to find time to truly connect with each other amid all the other demands of daily life.
Eventually, you begin to lose touch. To feel distant. To forget what it was that brought you two together in the first place.
That’s why we created the Marriage Cruise for Christian Couples, a chance for couples to escape from the daily grind and focus on what really matters to you.
Departs February 18, 2024 for 7 nights
8 Days / 7 Nights aboard the Celebrity Ascent
Nassau, Bahamas | Cozumel, Mexico | Grand Cayman
A Luxury Cruise Ship
Topped with a half-acre of soft grass, the Celebrity Ascent is a brand new cruise ship with a plethora of amenities and plenty of room to socialize in the warm sea air. Savour fine dining that rivals anything oyou'd find on land. And discover even more ways to relax and renew.
Check out our previous cruise in this video:
Meet Your Hosts
Hello! We’re Caleb & Verlynda Simonyi-Gindele, co-hosts of The Marriage Podcast for Smart People (with over 2 million downloads!). We share research-based and actionable steps every couple can take to strengthen their marriage. We live in rural Saskatchewan, Canada, about 10 miles from the U.S. border and the state of North Dakota.
Together, we run a counselling agency that serves hundreds of marriages each year. Caleb is a registered Clinical Counsellor (#4323) with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, a seasoned public speaker, and professional marriage therapist who serves as the Clinical Director of OnlyYouForever’s virtual counseling agency.
Verlynda is currently working towards her Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy and supports the operations of our agency while building her clinical hours as an Intern. She is the Group Coordinator for the cruise and will work directly with you to ensure your reservation is successful.
We are excited to be hosting our fourth Marriage Cruise For Christian Couples, where we will be sharing practical Bible teaching along with research-based lessons learned from a decade of helping couples create thriving, passionate marriages.
You are sure to see your marriage grow, renew and flourish as you discover new, deeper ways to connect and strengthen your love for one another.
How it works
The Marriage Cruise for Christian Couples is a small group retreat for couples looking for relaxation, renewal, romance, and life-long memories.
Aboard the Celebrity Ascent, your hosts Caleb & Verlynda Simonyi-Gindele will guide you through inspiring, entertaining, and educational messages that will transform your marriage. Enjoy great laughs with like-minded couples and quality time with your spouse while sailing on the amazing Caribbean Sea.
Enjoy a dip in the pool, relax with a couples' massage in the Spa, hit the gym, grab some soft serve ice cream or order room service. Whatever you'd like to do as a couple, there is a very good chance you'll be able to do it!
On the Marriage Cruise, couples will:
Retreat Session Details*
Meet and greet your hosts, Caleb & Verlynda, as well as other retreat participants
The Meeting Place
Our first group get-together is a chance to introduce yourselves (don't worry, no awkward group games!) and get to know Caleb & Verlynda while picking up your registration packet and retreat workbooks.
Session 1: Shortwave Radio Lessons
To truly hear and be heard without misunderstandings or unnecessary conflict.
The Meeting Place
Beginning with what may be the funniest marriage communication video of all time, you will learn how to use active listening to signal to your spouse that you are fully tracking with his or her comments. You’ll have repeated opportunities to practice this during the session 1 on 1 with your spouse, and with us coaching as we observe each couple implementing what you learn.
Session 2: Your Own Love Boat
To reignite or refuel the warmth in your marriage.
The Meeting Place
You will take a step back from day-to-day issues and explore and engage with each other over those precious aspects of one another’s character and worth that drew you together and continues to keep you together. Beautiful moments of sharing and appreciation will delight your hearts.
Session 3: Sex Ed for Experienced Couples
To learn to talk in a safe, caring, and effective way about the most intimate part of your marriage.
The Meeting Place
Did you know that even in successful marriages, less than 50% of the couple’s sexual experiences are deeply satisfying? Learn about sexual norms, the wonder of how your bodies are really working as you make love, and how to talk about what you are experiencing and enjoying as you make love. You’ll have some homework that we will not be discussing as a group the next morning!
Session 4: Your Safe Harbour
To set you up for deeper connection and support around life’s challenges
The Meeting Place
Marriage can be one of life’s strongholds against stress: a safe, secure harbour. Too often, we couples do not know how to effectively make that happen. Building on what you have already learned, you’ll take home tools to make this part of your marriage experience so much richer and your life so much less stressful.
Session 5: Who’s The Captain, Anyways?
To learn about power, influence and cooperation in your marriage
The Meeting Place
Since the ship will be docking at an island, each couple will do an Island Survival exercise in the morning to learn more about how to extend inclusion to one another, accept influence, and share power in your marriage. A fun-filled team-building exercise, you will learn how to work together more effectively through the day-to-day challenges of life.
Session 6: Navigating Out of the Storm
To transform the way you interact around your most common areas of conflict
The Meeting Place
This couple’s exercise produces one of the greatest Aha! moments. You will finally understand why you get stuck on certain issues, how that happens and what is really going on deep inside yourself and your spouse. Equipped with this knowledge, I will show you how to transform those interactions into marriage-building moments rather than marriage-destroying events.
Session 7: Sailing Off Into the Sunset
To discover and build a plan for how to lead your lives and marriage toward creating a legacy
The Meeting Place
This is a beautiful, reflective exercise where you will map out your life as it was before this cruise. Then, you will have an opportunity to map out how you would like it to look after the cruise! Working together, you will come up with a plan for changing the most important areas.
Session 8: Wrap-up -- Land Ahoy!
To uncover how your marriage will transform by making changes that will last for years to come
The Meeting Place
This closing session will take you through specific tasks to identify and plan how to implement your learning once you are home. We are very purposeful about ensuring this cruise will transform your life rather than just being a flash in the pan. You will identify changes you’re ready to make, share those with each other, and then commit to implementing these once home. Don’t worry, we’ll help you keep it realistic and achievable!
The Celebrity Ascent offers a handful of elegantly-appointed and comfortable meeting spaces where we will gather for the marriage seminars.
Enjoy this video preview of an amazing sister ship, recorded in early 2022:
* Rooms and times will be confirmed closer to the date of sailing. We plan the sessions to work around port visits and ship activities so you don't miss out on any of the fun and adventure!
In every session, you will:
The Marriage Cruise is for Couples who:
Inside Stateroom + Retreat Sessions
Concierge Class + Veranda Stateroom + Retreat Sessions
Veranda Stateroom + Retreat Sessions
* Fare sales arise from time to time -- please contact us ASAP if you would like current pricing and availability. Prices in US dollars.
What past cruisers have to say
One of the best outcomes we experienced from The Marriage Cruise for Christian Couples was the deeper conversation that resulted from what we learned and practiced during the seminar sessions. We learned the tools to communicate more deeply about our needs, dreams and feelings! It just helped us to feel more in touch with each other, and it felt safer to open up about things that I had been ignoring for a long time. Also, while we didn't anticipate this, we found the conversations and relationships we built with other couples to be amazing! And we really appreciated how accessible Caleb & Verlynda were during the cruise.
Nick & Kim Lezza
We’re always looking to grow as a couple and improve our communication, and saw this cruise and seminar as an opportunity to enrich our relationship. Caleb showed solid knowledge and understanding of behaviors and patterns in marriages, as well as scriptural examples and guidelines. We worked on communication strategies, mapped out goals and took home tools to help us deal with specific challenges. We were especially reminded to keep our energy focused where it needs to be; it is too easy to get caught up in a hectic life and get lazy in some areas of our relationship. The cruise was great, but the time spent with friends, both old and new, was even better! We would highly recommend the Marriage Cruise to couples at any stage of marriage.
Bob & Becky Macleod
One of our class assignments brought up an unresolved issue in our relationship. We had not been able to come to a place of peace about it, but this assignment brought clarity and resolution. We are enjoying the fruit of it still! We are so grateful for the time we spent with Caleb and Verlynda. Their teaching helped us to go deeper into a healthy marital relationship. We did this cruise for our 38th wedding anniversary. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect addition to the cruise than to work on our marriage in Caleb and Verlynda’s seminars. They were truly one of the greatest highlights of the cruise. We would do it again in a heartbeat. An added joy was meeting other Christian couples and also meeting with our group for dinner a couple of evenings.
Many thanks to Caleb and Verlynda!
Howard & Katie S.
I am a fan of Caleb & Verlynda's Marriage Podcast for Smart People: my husband Ron is the typical man who resisted marriage counseling. We were empty nesters travelling a divergent path. The cruise gave us hours for conversation, and the classes were succinct and provided us with many ideas that have brought us back to an appreciation for this life we had together. We look at each other more and at our phones less. We smile and touch and talk more. Caleb and Verlynda are truly gifted. The cruise was the perfect venue for this workshop.
Ron & Nancy Vinsant
We decided in the late fall of 2022 to sign up for the OnlyYouForever marriage cruise set to sail in February 2023. We had received an email about the event and since we had never gone on a cruise, we felt strongly that this was an opportunity to go and be with other Christian-minded couples, and at the same time, experience a cruise in the sunny south.
The cruise ship was the Celebrity Beyond: a beautiful, amazing ship that had pretty much anything you could want in a cruise ship. It was wonderful. The ports visited were great and the weather cooperated throughout!
That was a blessing, but we would definitely say that the experience was only further enhanced by being part of the OnlyYouForever marriage seminars. Caleb and Verlynda Simonyi-Gindele were excellent in the group marriage sessions, and we learned many valuable marriage enrichment tools that were God honouring and practical. Meeting with other Christian couples from all over Canada and the US was also a great experience! We were able to form some close friendships as a result.
We would highly recommend enjoying a cruise with The Marriage Cruise for Christian Couples hosted by Caleb & Verlynda from OnlyYouForever.com
Bill & Jennifer Bergsma
The cruise was a very special week bringing the relationship between my wife and me to a deeper understanding and appreciation for each other. Our lives were devoted to raising our children, and now that they are launched, it seemed like our purpose for all these 20-plus years had ended. This week has helped us to set goals and look forward to the next phase of our relationship together, just the two of us. We came to understand and appreciate in a meaningful way what each of us desires in the years to come. It really taught us how to work through our differences and communicate with each other: to be able to talk and to listen with respect. I highly recommend this cruise for understanding and respecting your spouse and growing deeper in your relationship.
DJ & Dawn Defreece
Ready to set sail?
Make 2024 the year your marriage turns a corner and becomes filled with joy, connection, and satisfaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many rooms are available?
We have 24 rooms available initially, though we can reserve additional rooms if these spots fill up.
2. Is this just for couples with big problems?
No, quite the contrary. This is for couples who want to better adjust to common challenges and otherwise capitalize on their strengths to take their marriage to the next level. Couples who face severe challenges will benefit from this cruise if they have several counselling sessions under their belt before attending. There's still plenty of time to arrange those sessions before the cruise leaves! This Cruise is not recommended for abusive marriages. Also, if you or your spouse are in sex addiction recovery, we recommend at least one year of sobriety and recovery work before participating in our retreats so that you can benefit from the content.
3. Will we have to share about our relationship with other people?
It's up to you! The seminars and work you will be doing in them is geared towards getting you and your spouse talking to each other most of all. All exercises are couple-based but there are opportunities for group Q&A and discussion.
As you mingle with other couples you may find that through casual conversation you have common struggles and will benefit from those interactions. Basically, you can be as private or open as you wish to be.
In past cruises, our couples have commented on how safe and comfortable it was to share. Nobody is forced to share and we all have common struggles, so it's easy to participate once you get a feel for how the sessions are structured.
4. Are we going to have time just to ourselves?
Yes, and plenty of it! Before departing, you will have the timing and location of all the seminars on board the ship. Research shows that marriage retreats of this length are most effective with about 12 hours of seminar time, and we have been very intentional about planning the sessions so that we spend more time as a group on the sea days and have shorter sessions when the ship is in port so that you are free to enjoy excursions during the at-port time. You will also have a little marriage-enriching and enjoyable "homework" (don't worry, it will not feel like work!) between sessions.
I do have one recommendation for you and your spouse: Try at least one excursion that involves an element of risk. Something out of your comfort zone. Why? Because the research shows that taking risks together increases your attraction to one another! You'll get an adrenaline buzz and a romance boost as well!
5. Can we bring our children?
We recognize that time away from children can be a blessing to parents. However, we also understand this is not always possible! You may certainly choose to bring your family if you like.
Our only stipulation for the retreat is that the seminars are for you and your spouse only.
Celebrity offers options for children up to the age of 12, and KidzClub 13+.
6. What about COVID requirements?
These change at any time, but as of early October 2022 most requirements have eased. Your best bet is to review Celebrity's Healthy and Safety page.
Still have questions?
We'd be happy to answer them!! We welcome your questions: