Turns out that my fears of blow up Santas were unfounded. While the guests were mostly ashore in Aruba, teams of Santa’s elves arrived from a professional decorating company and transformed the ship into a Christmas wonderland. There are beautifully decorated trees everywhere and the atrium is festooned with garlands, lights and poinsettias. It looks a little like a shopping mall, but it is tasteful and well done!
The culinary department and bakery are busy preparing the gingerbread houses that will likely not appear until the next cruise, the Christmas cruise, which leaves Ft Lauderdale December 19th. On most of the longer cruises one of the activities offered to passengers is the cruise choir, and our choir on this cruise is busily rehearsing Christmas songs for the final sea day when they do a little concert in the atrium. Now, if I only could find some Christmas music!
Yep, I’m going to miss being at home for Christmas. My daughter Rebecca is going to be in Panama for the holidays, but I’m sure her and Nikki will find some fun adventures. I’ll miss decorating the house, playing Santa, and sitting by the fire Christmas Eve with my daughter, Nikki and our three dogs and having our traditional Christmas Eve “dinner” of snacks, munchies, and drinks.
When I was a pastor I always ended up spending Christmas Eve at church working, sometimes doing as many as five Christmas Eve services. Once I retired from the ministry, one of the real joys was just sitting by the fire relaxing on Christmas Eve.
Actually cruising over the holidays, although quite a challenge for the ship staff, is really a fantastic way to spend the holidays with someone else doing all the work! And, since a week out, this cruise is still being offered on line for $80 per person a night for a minimum inside cabin guarantee, it’s not a bad deal.