There’s just something about a Holiday cruise. We learned that firsthand onboard Norwegian Epic for New Years Eve 2013, and it was so much fun, we did again this year for Thanksgiving. This time aboard the Norwegian Sun from Tampa.
Port Tampa Bay is always one of our favorite embarkations ports, and not just because we live 15 minutes away. It’s in the heart of the downtown Channelside district with restaurants, shops and great places like the Florida Aquarium and historic WWII ship the SS Victory. It’s also within walking distance of the newly named Amalie arena which is the home of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning as well as a first rate concert venue. A short trolley ride brings you to the historic, Ybor City with even more dining and shopping options, and incredible nightlife.
But back to the cruise.
The main highlight of sailing away from this area is cruising under the Skyway Bridge. Those in the know, were all out on the top deck to see just how close we came to the underside of the bridge. The answer: very close!
On the first two port stops, we were having so much fun just hanging out that we didn’t even do any excursions, so in Cost Maya we changed that by going on the “Mayan Reality Tour”. It’s a perfect choice for those who love history and culture. Gerardo, our guide, is one of the locals and not only taught us about the history of the Mayan culture, he even treated us to authentic Mayan cuisine.
Back on the ship we enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving meal, which from our investigative skills, included cooking over 800 lbs of turkey. Contrary to my yearly nap after dinner, we enjoyed music and entertainment all around the ship.
Although the Sun was built in 2001, it received a nice refurbishment in 2011. With a capacity of about 2000 guests, the ship never seemed crowded, thanks in part to Norwegian’s “Freestyle Dining” concept that lets people eat when and where they want. That is one of our favorite things about cruising with them, because sometimes you just don’t feel like eating at an assigned time.
If you are looking for a great time of year for a cruise, check out Holiday sailings. The most popular are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve. You will pay a little bit more in most cases, but it’s worth it.
On the next episode of All Aboard TV, we sail on the Celebrity Silhouette from Ft Lauderdale on December 14th with stops in Labadee Haiti, Falmouth Jamaica, Grand Cayman & Cozumel.
Have you been on a holiday cruise? What did you like? Share in the comments below.
Til then, Keep Cruising!