Roasting gently in the sun: This is how to spend Christmas at sea

/, Cruise Entertainment/Roasting gently in the sun: This is how to spend Christmas at sea

Christmas on a cruise – despite my extensive travels, this is a first for me, and there must be many frequent cruisers who have never spent the Festive Season at sea.
So what’s it been like on Voyage of Discovery‘s mv Voyager? For a start, three days at sea in the Bay of Bengal, steaming from Chennai to Yangon (Rangoon) have been totally relaxing. No turkey to stuff, no vegetables to peel, no presents to wrap. All those tasks normally associated with Christmas Eve are either being taken care of by someone else, or have already been dealt with.
Some of the ship’s activities have continued in unbroken rhythm – passengers who like to start their morning with a stretch class have been accommodated by the supple members of the entertainment crew, and those for whom no day is complete without a competitive rubber of bridge will carry on regardless of anything or anyone around them.
The passenger mix is a little different from a cruise at any other time of year; there can be hardly anyone on board who has not cruised before and there are at least a hundred singles.
Christmas Eve’s events included a napkin-folding lesson, jewellery-making class, and watercolour workshop, as well a fashion show and a choir rehearsal. Not to mention a trio of lectures; Ernest Rea on Gandhi, Phil Wilkinson on Empire Builders; Railway Builders, and Brigadier Mike Shaw on the British East India Company. Plus the daily trivia quiz and a cha cha cha lesson.
Festive fun included a Santa hunt – slightly disrupted when passengers removed some of the 50 Father Christmases hidden around the ship instead of simply noting their position.
Before dinner there was Christmas carol singing with the officers and crew in Scott’s Lounge, and afterwards full house in the Darwin Lounge for a Christmas Variety Show followed by a slightly smaller congregation for the Christmas Eve Eucharist conducted by the Rev Tom Leary.
A Christmas card signed by Captain Neil Broomhall and his senior officers, and Christmas Angel pillow chocolates were a nice touch when we returned to our cabin to settle in for the night and await the arrival of Santa.
Christmas Day dawned bright and sunny, and it seemed like breakfast in the main dining room – eggs Benedict, and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon – would be the right thing to do.
Scott’s Lounge bar was the next port of call, to grab a bottle of Prosecco to take back up to the cabin, where we opened our presents and played the obligatory board game – a travel version of Pointless this year – while shamefully missing out on the Christmas morning service and the gambling frenzy that was reindeer racing.
Turkey was available on the Lido deck carvery, but while I had no qualms about spending the day soaking up the sun, the full Christmas dinner and all the trimmings would wait until evening.
Cocktail of the day (£3.80) was a Christmas Cooler with vodka, Galliano, Colada mix, and pineapple juice, while coffee of the Day (£3) was Santa’s Special with Tia Maria and Benedictine.
Officers competed against entertainment staff in a game of Call My Bluff before that, and the evening’s song and dance performance was a kaleidoscope of stage and screen musicals.
Then it was all hands on deck – the Lido Deck – for a raucous disco party around the pool. Caressed by the warm, velvet-black night, we drank and danced the night away.
A joyous end to Christmas Day at sea. Naturally enough, Boxing Day was a quieter affair; lying in the sun and even managing a soothing massage in Voyager’s spa as we continued on our way to Rangoon.
Burma awaits … more on that next time.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:28+00:00 27 December 2013|Cruise Destinations, Cruise Entertainment|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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