“˜Ultimate Party with a Purpose’ Features Performances by John Legend, The Stylistics & Tank
Nationally syndicated media personality Tom Joyner wrapped up the 2008 Fantastic Voyageâ„¢, raising more than $1 million to help keep students in black colleges, and providing passengers non-stop music, comedy and seminars.
More than 30 top-named Old School and New School R&B entertainers performed on the ninth annual Fantastic Voyageâ„¢, benefiting the Tom Joyner Foundation. The seven day, six night cruise on board the world’s largest cruise liner, the Royal Caribbean International’s “˜Freedom of the Seas’â„¢, set sail May 18th ““ 25th.
“This cruise is no joke,” said Joyner, whose ” Tom Joyner Morning Show” reaches more than eight million listeners every week in 115 markets. “I’m thankful for all the passengers, entertainers and artists who came on board to party with a purpose. From sun up to sun down, there was something for everybody. There’s nothing like it, and better yet, they are helping students going to school.”
Unlike any full-charter cruise in the world, Joyner packed the week with such performers as John Legend, Erykah Badu, Chaka Khan, The Stylistics, The Emotions, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly, Charlie Wilson, SWV, Ginuwine, Tank, Roy Ayers, Lonnie Liston Smith, Mike Phillips, Johnny Gill. Bobby Brown, Dr. Bobby Jones, Dottie Peeples and an up and coming Dallas group ““ Montrose. Nationally acclaimed comedians Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Mark Curry, Sheryl Underwood, Adele Givens, Kym Whitley, A.J. Jamal, and Bruce Bruce lit up the cruise with laughs. To rock the late night parties, some of the nation’s top deejays also participated, including Doug E. Fresh, Cut Creator, Biz Markie, Dee Whiz, Spinderella, Steve “˜Silk’ Hurley and Captain Charles. The always lively on-board Mardi Gras parade featured Joyner dressed as Superman, and his wife and fitness guru Donna Richardson Joyner, as Lois Lane .
Celebrity sightings included Miami Heat basketball star Alonzo Mourning and his wife, Tracey; basketball great Julius Irving; comedian Kym Whitley, who was filming a segment for her new TV One series; award winning director/actor/producer Bill Duke, who participated in a panel discussion on the movie, “Cover”; actress Ellen Joyce (best known for her role as the wife in the hit TV series “Roc”) performed in “The Vagina Monologues” along with Flava of Luv star Delishis; “Young & the Restless” actress Victoria Rowell read from her best-selling book, “The Women Who Raised Me ““ A Memoir”; actor Leon (“The Temptations”, “The Five Heartbeats” & “Cool Runnings”) discussed his role in the movie “Cover”.
Even with the sunny skies, passengers crowded into customized events and activities hosted by the sponsors: Budweiser (sponsor of Studio B and the Sailaway Party); Ford Motor Co. (who gave away the new Ford Flex to Jacqueline Harmon from Oveido, FL); Royal Caribbean (sponsored the main stage and gave away a variety of prizes as part of an on-board trivia game); The Home Depot (sponsor of “˜The Herc’ Golf Tournament and kitchen improvement seminars); Southwest Airlines (sponsored the jazz room and business networking seminars); and Verizon FIOS (hosted the “FIOS Feud to promote its broadband network).
Additionally, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien offered a preview of the upcoming series “Black in America “ and hosted a provocative panel discussion; celebrity Apprentice Omarosa moderated a panel on being a successful business executive; and Judge Mablean offered advice on child support. During one of the more unique performances, Hypnobro demonstrated his powers of hypnosis sprinkled in with some comedy.
As part of an effort to promote the works of African-American artists and to help keep students in black colleges, D.L. Hughley and Sybil Wilkes raised more than $35,000 in an art auction, featuring the works of Frank Frazier/Visions in Black, Annie Lee, E & S Gallery in Louisville , Kentucky and Andre Mayeaux.