A Caribbean Christmas Cruise
Thinking about going away for Christmas? Here is a great idea for some festive winter sun for you and all the family...I have just returned from 12 days over Christmas and New Year featuring a 7 day cruise around the Western Caribbean, followed by theme park fun in Orlando to bring in the New Year.
Flying direct into Tampa, Florida, using Norwegian Air made for a great start to the holiday. This is an affordable carrier with one of the newest fleets in the industry. They now offer a range of direct flights into the USA. Our early evening arrival time meant we were just in time for a bite to eat and to sleep off the jet lag in time for our cruise the next day.We travelled with Norwegian Cruise Line, the freestyle cruising company; our fellow passengers were a lovely range of families and couples with a surprisingly low average age! Freestyle means a cruise with no set dining times or formal evenings... great for families and those that want to relax.
We sailed away at sunset on the first day, cruising through the beautiful Tampa Bay area, flanked by jetskis and motorboats. That feeling of being at sea and watching the sunset is something truly special you can’t find anywhere else.The first day was at sea, meaning time to explore the ship and try out some of the activities on board; maybe some Pilates in the gym, a cocktail in the casino, taking in a West-end show or maybe just to sunbathe and read on deck. One of the most impressive parts of this cruise was the range and quality of dining available. As an American based company, Norwegian Cruise Line certainly know how to do food! Asian, french, steak, Brazilian; This was some of the finest food I have tasted.
The next four ports of call took us to Harvest Caye (Belize), Costa Maya (Mexico), Roatan (Honduras) and Grand Cayman, each providing us with different and exciting experiences. The range of excursions were fantastic...
Our adventures included exploring the stunning Ancient Mayan temples of Chacchoben, swimming with stingrays in the sea off Grand Cayman, and snorkelling in the world’s second largest barrier reef in Roatan, Honduras; all unforgettable experiences that made this the cruise of a life time.This was a packed week with so many varied and exciting experiences; the excursions and activities on the boat offered something for everyone. But there was still the chance to relax on deck and do as little as you like and enjoy the gorgeous winter sunshine!
Sailing back into Tampa, we disembarked and hit the road in true American style, choosing the hire car we wanted from the parking lot (keys already in the ignition), and making a beeline for Orlando.We booked to stay at the Holiday Inn Express Seaworld, this was a great family hotel walking distance from Seaworld, Aquatica and many other attractions on International Drive. It also gave us quick queue tickets for all the big rides, allowing us time to squeeze in the terrifying Mako roller coaster before the new year fireworks! This hotel was also a great location for the Universal Parks, and just a short drive from all the Disney parks. This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip and an incredible way to spend Christmas and New Year. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone. One of the benefits of being an independent travel agent is creating bespoke holidays at a more affordable price than you may think.
If you would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me.