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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Getting into the Holidays—or Not


Going on a cruise may to some feel like an odd thing to do over the holidays, but actually, it’s quite ideal, for these five reasons:
 
Family time…or not. It’s a fabulous way to be with your family. Think about it: no one has to cook. No one has to clean. And no one has to drive. Everyone’s in a good mood. And you can see each other as often (or as little) as you want. Or, if you can’t be with family, a cruise is a great way to leave the holidays behind.
 
Do up your door…or don’t. Some folks like doing up their cabin doors during the holidays. It’s not only festive, but the only way to pick out your room from hundreds that look just like it (especially after a few hours at the bar). On the other hand, unlike your neighborhood back home, no one’s going to notice if you don’t hang a wreathe on your stateroom door.
 
Enjoy the festivities…or laze by the pool. The ships do their best to bring the holidays to you while you’re at sea. They get all sparkly, dressing banisters with lights and garlands, adding decked out
The Emerald Princess glistens at the holidays
trees in lobbies and such. There are services and ceremonies for those who want to go. On one Celebrity trip, “Pilgrims” roamed the ship, doling out “Happy Thanksgivings” to anyone who’d listen.
 
But aside from the holiday décor, it’s still a cruise ship and you’re in the Caribbean. Cuddle up on a cushy couch with a book. Hang out at the pool bar in your flip-flops. Grab a slice of pizza at the buffet. Oh, did you say it was the holidays?
 
Christmas in the Caribbean—You get a different glimpse of Caribbean culture at holiday time. Sorrel, which blooms this time of year, crops up in the farmers’ markets. While somewhat surreal at times, trees, lights and plastic figures call attention to themselves there among the tropical plumes
Christmas Bonaire-style
and plantings. My all-time favorite is the Santa-hat cactus tree in a front yard in Bonaire. But you can easily escape it all with a trip to the nearest beach. Or on a catamaran sail. Zip-line though the forest, tram up a mountain…
 
Then there are your fellow cruisers. You can count on them to amuse you. In a recent post, I talked about the white-bearded, big-bellied fellow who walked around in a red stocking cap our whole December trip. Then there are the women with the reindeer headbands and Santa earrings down to their shoulders. Don’t feel like being with your fellow cruisers? There’s always TV and room service (free).

This is one of the neat things about cruising: we may be all together on one boat, but we can each have our own personally designed, get-into-the-holidays—or not—kind of trip.
 
Have you enjoyed a holiday at sea? Tell us about it!