The Christmas season always seems to get me thinking about cruising. Odd that…Don’t you think? Odd, because it’s not as if I dislike or dread Christmas and the fuss surrounding – I do like it!
I like it a lot in fact. So it’s not like I’m trying to avoid it.
But, try as I might, the minute the first Christmas advert comes a-jingeling across on our television screens – far from dreaming of sipping warm mugs of mulled wine and munching on spice-laden mince pies, I can’t help but let my thoughts sway to the sun kissed beaches, graceful palm trees and cloud-free blue skies of the Caribbean.
I have many wonderful memories of cruising the Caribbean in the lead up to Christmas (or ‘The Holidays’ as our American cousins call it) so perhaps it’s not quite so odd after all…
Many of these memories are to be found carefully wrapped in tissue paper and hidden away amongst my Christmas decorations – only to be revealed and awakened as I unpack the boxes come December. A glitter laden ‘Masked Mexican Wrestler’ tree ornament from Cozumel… A CD of reggae Christmas carols bought on a beach in St. Thomas… A small nativity scene found in a market in Costa Maya. Happy days and happy memories.
We once took a Celebrity Cruises voyage from New York to the Caribbean, arriving back in New York on the 16th December. Wow! What an experience that was.
An incredible 12 day cruise that saw us waving goodbye to the Statue of Liberty, enjoying a few days at sea and calling at several sunny Caribbean islands – where we spent an unforgettable few days swimming, snorkeling and soaking up the sun. Finally arriving back in New York at first-light, where we went on to enjoy several hours of sightseeing in downtown Manhattan.
A fantastic way to absorb the post-cruise ‘full-on’ American Holiday atmosphere and take in some Christmas shopping at Macy’s (New Yorks’ world famous department store) before flying home.
There are several lines offering the same or similar experience in 2017 and if you prefer a longer cruise then this itinerary comes highly recommended.
Keep in mind that a flight from Northern Europe to New York is approximately 5 hours – whilst a flight to Miami is around 9.
Well , Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas offers a 12 night sailing from/to New York.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s, Norwegian Gem a 10 day and Norwegian Breakaway a 7 day.
Whilst Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 also offers similar cruise itinerary – with the additional option of a transatlantic crossing. (Ooooh, like the sound of that..!)
I also recommend spending a few days in Miami’s South Beach ahead of your December Caribbean cruise to enjoy the famous Art Basel festival. The celebrities are out in full force for this event so keep your smartphone handy..
I also have particularly fond memories of a 10 day cruise we took from Miami with Oceania Cruises’ Riviera ‘Mayan Mystic’ a few years ago – a great itinerary and wonderful ship!
We timed that one to coincide with the end of the Mayan calendar in December 2012 (remember that?!!) Alongside enjoying exploring several amazing Mayan ruins and meeting the locals, we were also delighted to learn (from the Mayans themselves) that the world was NOT going to end after all – it had all been something of a ‘western misunderstanding’…
Some people might argue that Christmas and sunshine don’t mix. And for those that do, then of course there are numerous winter themed cruises sailing cooler climes that are sure to please.
But we will explore those options another time.
For now its time to pop on the Reggae Christmas CD, dust off the Mexican Wrestler and place him, along with my other Caribbean Holiday memories, on my Christmas tree to savour and enjoy…