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They Gone … Set Sail with Duck Dynasty on a Cruise to Strengthen Marriages

Chris Carpenter - Director of Internet Programming

With quaint seaside villages and stunning mountain vistas serving as a backdrop, Duck Dynasty’s Al and Lisa Robertson will host a unique marriage cruise to Alaska this summer.  Consider it an amazing time to strengthen your marital relationship, share a few laughs with new friends, all while experiencing the rugged beauty of God’s creation.  And you can be part of it!

CBN Radio and Premier Vacations and Events are teaming up this month to give away not one but two all-expense paid trips to attend the Robertson Marriage Retreat 2017!  All you need to do is visit CBN.com/radio between now and March 31st to sign up for your chance to win!

To better prepare you for setting sail, I recently spoke with Al & Lisa to discuss the end of Duck Dynasty, what they have planned for the cruise, and why strengthening marriages is so important to them. 

Duck Dynasty is coming to a close after five years and 11 seasons.  I’m sure it is a bittersweet time for you and your family.  Your thoughts?

Al Robertson: I think we will miss a lot of it in terms of us being together all the time.  That is one of the things that has been a great blessing to me personally.  That is a reason Lisa and I left our work at the church was to join this thing.  We wanted to be around everybody and get to work together.  When you are filming you are always at someone’s house or having a family dinner scene.  Those are things we are certainly going to miss as well as the impact on people.  I think we are also excited about a new chapter.  We will be doing some different things that we are working on but at the same time we are obviously a little bit saddened. 

Lisa Robertson: I’m going to miss the food. (laughs)

One of the first things you will be doing is taking a group of couples on a marriage retreat.  But this is not just any marriage retreat.  It will take place on a cruise ship bound for Alaska.  What was the impetus for putting together a marriage retreat on the high seas, so to speak?

Lisa Robertson: Well, you mix together two things that we love … doing marriage retreats with couples but then also cruising.  Al and I love to go on cruises.  I guess you could say we put together three things because we both love Alaska too. 

Al Robertson:  We had done a couple of Duck Dynasty Caribbean cruises with Premier before.  We had had a great experience with the people at Premier; they are easy to work with.  Those cruises were kind of crazy because the whole boat was filled with fans.  It was definitely fun though.  When they approached us about this we loved the idea because it was a chance to do what we love to do with marriage retreats but in a far more intimate setting.  Instead of a whole crazy boat and having to entertain we will be focusing in on strengthening marriages. That is very important to us.

What can attendees expect on this weeklong cruise to Alaska and back?

Al Robertson: The first, and most important thing is to experience Alaska.  It’s just such an incredibly beautiful place.  Of any place that I have ever been to, it speaks such high volumes about God and creation.  This planet that God created for us to live in is just so breathtakingly beautiful.  Alaska is so unblemished.  It really gives you a good look back at what the earth looks like without a lot human beings crawling all over it. We are not going to spend all of our time below deck in a classroom setting. We want to encourage people to get off the boat and experience Alaska.  We have tailored most of our activities around when we are at sea. We will have a daily time where we will have couples share their testimonies.  We are also going to do a little bit of teaching as well.  We are going to have some fun.  We have a lot of marriage building games planned.  We do a lot of these activities at marriage retreats we conduct at our church.    We are going to watch some really cool marriage videos and discuss them.  We are going to have a section at dinner where we are all together and can get to know one another better. I have had people ask me whether they are required to attend every marriage session. I tell them they are not required to do anything except have a great time and love your spouse.  If they want to, a couple can just sit on the ship and watch Alaska float by.  But there are a lot of great marriage sessions too.  Strong marriages will get stronger.  Struggling marriages will get better.

Speaking of strengthening marital relationships, I know that a key tenet of your message is to never give up hope on your marriage and each other.  That is a very easy thing to say but much harder in practice.  From your perspective, why is this so important?

Al Robertson: A lot of it is because we got to a point in our own marriage where we didn’t have hope. And once you walk down that barren road, you know what that feels like.  I always tell people that I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.  But once you have been there, been delivered and you have hope again, then you want other people to feel that same way.  For us, it’s because of our experiences that we can share them with others in a helpful way.  We have worked with couples whose relationship actually didn’t mend.  I always tell people that we will work with every breath to help save a marriage.  We also understand that sometimes it doesn’t happen.  And yet, people still need hope.  Then, they have to hope again that they are not damaged goods.  Hope is such an important component to moving forward and getting past the difficult times.  I think that our personal experience is why restoring marriages is so important to us. 

As the hosts of this cruise, what is your greatest hope for those attending?  What you like them to get out of this experience after they get back on dry land?

Lisa Robertson: First and foremost we hope that their relationship with God is strengthened when they leave the cruise.  And also that their relationship with one another is strengthened too.  You know, the closer you get to God the closer you get to your spouse.  That’s kind of what we are hoping.  That is for people to just be working on relationships by putting their creator first and seeing the beauty that He has out there for all of us. We want people to share that beauty with your spouse, who is your best friend.  It’s all about strengthening relationships.

Al Robertson: I have two.  One is that I want people to leave our cruise having made a few new friends that they didn’t know before – people who are going through the same experiences in their marriages.  I always tell people that you never know if you have met your best friend in life yet.  That still may be to come.  We always sort of assume that when we get to a certain age we have all the friends we need.  But 20 years ago we didn’t know John & Paula Godwin (from Duck Dynasty) until they came to Christ and became our next-door neighbors.  They have been our best friends ever since.  And I can tell you that this sort of thing happens a lot at marriage retreats.  You often find people at these events that will become your good friends for the rest of your life.  And the other thing is real simple.  I hope people say, ‘I would do this again.’  A lot of times when people hear “marriage retreat”, especially men, they think, ‘Oh no!’  A lot of people think they are being “dragged” to a marriage retreat before they really know what they are all about.  I tell people they need to give it a try.  I hope people will come and then want to do it again.

Visit CBN.com/radio between now and March 31st to sign up for your chance to win!

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