Caribbean Holiday Cruise - Part IIAuthor: arubalisa (More Trip Reviews by arubalisa)
Date of Trip: December 2006
Continued from Part I.
Did not use it with the exception of our debacle late Christmas Eve.
Christmas aboard the ship was almost exactly like last year. Admittedly there were a few minor additions in the Christmas atmosphere - 3 trees instead of one in the Grand Foyer and Christmas Muzak in the Oasis Cafe. Other than that, pretty much like last year, it was sparse. If you plan on this sailing next year, arrive with Christmas in "your heart" and you will not be disappointed. In cabin music featured one channel with Country Christmas music, fine if that is to your liking.
Christmas Eve, the Cinema had 3 showings of the Miracle on 34th Street. This was the re-make with Elizabeth Perkins and Dylan McDermott, not the original with Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood. The Celebrity Singers and Dancers that night presented their show "Broadway Express". We did not attend, but by the title hardly sounds like it was "Christmassy". At Midnight there were 3 separate services for Catholics, Protestants and the Jewish faith. This evening they also offered their picturesque "Tree Trimmer Buffet".
Christmas Day, there was a "special visitor" who was supposed to have arrived at 9:15 a.m. but evidently the sleigh was caught in some head winds so there was a lot of standing around waiting. By the time he finally did make his grand appearance high up on deck somewhere near the funnel, with his entourage of Elves and Trumpeters, there was a huge crowd gathered. Our daughter lost interest and knew there would still be a parade throughout the ship to get down to the Celebrity Theater, so opted to go to the pool instead.
Later I did find out that as the kids sat on Santa's lap in the theater, they received the same gift as he handed out last year, which was a nice "ClubX" polar fleece throw blanket. Elsewhere, the Cinema had 3 showings of "A Christmas Story" and 2 showings of "White Christmas". There was an afternoon Christmas concert performed by the Allegro String Quartet and the "Celebrity Family Holiday Show". There was definitely something to appeal to everyone.
New Year's Eve
In one word, New Year's Eve on a cruise ship was "awesome". I wish everyone is able to have such an experience at least once in your lifetime. This had been a long time dream for me. Not having purchased a long gown, well with the exception of my wedding dress of course, and more than a few bridesmaid dresses (you know THAT is not the same) since my high school prom, I decided I was going to go "all out" for this festive occasion.
Needless to say, I was not overdressed. Many many men wore tuxedos and the women were "dressed to the nines". For Husband, daughter and myself, New Year's Eve is usually a quiet celebration spent at home starting with a gourmet dinner prepared from scratch by my husband. This night started out the same with the exception of someone else was doing the cooking AND the dishes!!!
As we were seated in the dining room our waiter and his assistant handed us our noisemakers and party hats. Ironically, Beef Wellington which Husband more than likely would have cooked at home if had not been cruising for the New Year, was on the Galaxy's menu that evening. We had just enough time after our delicious dinner to "freshen up" before heading up to the pool deck for the countdown celebration.
There was a huge ice carving, or should I say carvings, one each of the numbers "2" "0" "0" "6". The party band played, people danced, but it was windy up on that deck. Part of the entertainment was waiting and watching to see which number would blow over first. Admittedly they were melting pretty darn quick also. In the end, every worked out perfectly, none of the numbers melted down or blew over.
About 20 minutes before Midnight waiters began coming around with glasses of complimentary champagne. There were stations set up offering a variety of bottles of champagne for sale as well. If you were hungry there were waiters circulating with "gourmet bites" as well as tables off to the side with a chef serving what appeared to be a steamship roast.
In the end, how did we now what time it was to count down? Well, the captain controls the ship and evidently he controls the time also! He kept us updated over the public address system and lead the countdown. "Baby New Year" and "Father Time" saw to the destruction of the "6" and the raising of the number "7" to complete our entry into the New Year. Husband and I retired to our cabin with our 10 year old, but my brother told me that the Stratosphere Lounge was going until 4 a.m.
In 12+ Caribbean cruises during this very time of the year, late December or early January, this was by far the rainiest Caribbean cruise I have ever taken. But, on the bright side, this is liquid sunshine and we still had sunshine every single day. The other bonus was being able to see rainbows over 3 separate islands. Never have I seen so many rainbows in such a short period of time, but then again, that is what liquid sunshine does.
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