I’ve posted a lot recently about the holidays, and how it is to be on board for those days. You can read my Thanksgiving post here, and even a birthday post here. Christmas is easily the strangest holiday on board. Something about the caribbean weather just doesn’t scream White Christmas I guess. Regardless, I hope everyone’s Christmas was wonderful!
Eight years ago I moved from eastern Washington to Las Vegas with a group of my closest friends. We left in the winter, and that was a large topic of conversation of things that we were not going to miss. The cold in eastern Washington lasts for what seems like an eternity each year, and while we were happy to leave it for that warm desert climate, I do recall conversations around Christmas about missing the snow, or the possibility of a white Christmas. I recall having this conversation on a December afternoon while rock climbing in Red Rock National Park, shirtless. It was in the mid 80’s that day, and we have video to prove it. Though no one would argue that an 80 degree December afternoon gets you in that holiday spirit, its more about being with your family, or friends that are close enough to be family that does it. Which is exactly what we had.
On any given ship there are close to 1,000 crew members that are all away from their families and closest friends. Though we do come together and grow close ourselves, there is no denying that holidays, specifically Christmas just doesn’t feel the same on board as it does at home.
I have alluded to this in past posts, but I will reiterate that each day on board, no matter rain or shine, day in port or at sea, if it is a holiday, or just another day. It is business as usual. Though, the decoration around the ship may change with the season, and pages on the calendar continue to turn. The day to day operationally remains the same.
On Christmas, Thanksgiving, and to a lesser degree on some less-celebrated holidays the staff dining rooms get upgraded. A full turkey dinner, with all the side dishes you expect to accompany the meal, even wine and beer to enjoy. It’s a wonderful thing that they do for us on board, but nothing can quite take the place of being with family and friends, and being home.
This year I get to go home just a couple weeks after Christmas, and the holiday season. I look forward to visiting with my family and friends, and hopefully making up for some of the lost time that I didn’t get to spend with people over the holidays. I look forward to a tour of seeing friends and family, but as for today on board, it’s another sea day, and tonight I’ll be working. We have had a wonderful crowd of families on their christmas vacation, and have had a great time meeting and playing for them, and have found families with a tradition of cruising for christmas. I don’t think there is a lower percentage chance anywhere of having a white christmas in the caribbean, but again as long as they’re with their families, friends, and those closest to them, that’s what it is about.
Merry Christmas from the Carnival Paradise.