FEW HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS are more lavish and exhilarating than those held on special cruises, especially when it’s cold at home. Fortunately, many cruise lines offer seasonal galas in the winter, especially in the Caribbean during the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s holidays. While it’s too late to book such a cruise this winter, plenty of notable holiday cruises will make it easy to shake off the chills in 2019.
Princess Cruises, for example, ensures a white Christmas in warm waters by providing a snowfall every day in December on its ships in the Caribbean, courtesy of a snowmaking machine in the Atrium. Carols, parades, eggnog, a “gingerbread challenge,” virtual yule logs in every cabin and a special Mass add to the festive atmosphere, as Santa Claus comes aboard on Christmas Day bearing gifts for the children.
It’s snowing on other cruise ships in December as well, including those of Disney Cruise Line, all aglitter with stockings hung, carolers afoot, gingerbread houses aglow, a three-deck Christmas tree alight and Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball in full swing. The snow spreads to Disney’s private Caribbean island, Castaway Cay, where the tram transforms into Santa’s sleigh and cartoon characters join in the flakey frolic. Meanwhile, on Celebrity Cruises, the snow machine is just one of many seasonal treats in a lineup featuring elves, choirs, carnivals, parades, “reindeer games” and Santa himself on deck.
Christmas also moves full steam ahead on Azamara Club Cruises (with holiday buffets, cookies, carols by the crew and a Christmas Day show), on Holland America Line (renowned for Santa’s late-night milk and cookies), on Regent Seven Seas (hosting a European Christmas market on Christmas Eve and a traditional American feast on Christmas Day), on Silversea Cruises (with master chefs in costume and holiday shows in the lounge) and on Windstar Cruises (the whole ship enwrapped in blinking lights, wreaths and Christmas trees as the crew churns out the carols).
Thanksgiving is another cold-weather holiday that engenders warm-water cruising with traditional dinners (and in the case of Celebrity Cruises, a turkey pardoning by the captain). Celebrity Cruises also puts on a New Year’s celebration to cap the winter holiday season, getting out the clackers, streamers and party hats; hosting a Champagne toast; and performing a balloon drop to mark the transition. And nearly all the best cruise lines celebrate Hanukkah (Dec. 22–30, 2019) during the grand holiday season, too, with menorahs, latkes and onboard rabbis.
All in all, winter is the most tempting time to undertake a mitten-free holiday cruise. Next time around, leave the snow shovel at home and instead try a warm-weather, fully catered holiday at sea.
I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.
Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.
Dance the night away with Grand Hotel’s Ballroom Dance offer, available May 16–18. Dancers of all skill levels will experience a diverse range of ballroom dance styles, alongside daily breakfast and dinner, a welcome reception and complimentary golf green fees.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.