This year we are going to make Christmas completely and utterly different.

The whole family is going on a cruise. Well, not the whole family, just the ones of us who get on really well – but that’s already eight family members and an inseparable best friend of Piran our youngest son. I’ve never been on holiday with nine people before and I’m really rather looking forward to it.

It all came about when Kia, the inseparable friend did just the same thing last year, and our Piran joined their family trip. They went to what sounds like an amazing cruise trip through Northern Europe and on to St Petersburg. Piran and Kia were only eight at the time and I thought it could be a bit highbrow for them, but they came back just tripping over themselves with stories of friends them met on board and how they’d been to classes every day and learnt about everything under the sun. Hang on I thought – getting you to school is an achievement of parental endurance, yet here you are raving about learning new stuff. I’m not sure they even remember if they visited The Hermitage, but then so what if they loved it.

Once we started talking about the possibility of a Christmas cruise with the in-laws, it’s my sister and her three lads, and us, the excitement rose to fever pitch. The kids didn’t give a monkey’s about not being at home around the tree. We put it to a family vote and decided that we’d go to the Caribbean. Although everyone had their favourite destinations the Caribbean cruise was one that everyone was happy with.

Imagine it. Kicking back on board a luxury liner for nearly two weeks. Sunshine guaranteed. No cooking. No driving even. The children all off doing their thing together when we’re at sea, and then hopefully they’ll actually want to spend time with us when we go to shore. Our eldest is seventeen and drop dead gorgeous so I guess she’ll want to be off with every inappropriate twenty five year old, but that’s just what you get used to with a pretty daughter. As soon as we started talking about it I was sold. Just the idea of leaving all the hassle behind is so attractive. I do love seeing everyone around Christmas at home – and we’ll do that anyway. I just don’t like the expectation of sheer joy that we never get remotely close to achieving!

We’ve booked into the family restaurant for Christmas lunch – there’s no turning tables there, we’ll be at or around the table all afternoon, except maybe with a break for a stroll on deck, or even a swim.

The only difficult part was breaking it to our parents that we’d be away with the kids at Christmas. As you can imagine mum was gutted, but then it suddenly became OK when they decided to go away too.

We leave on Sunday 22nd. And yes I am counting the days!


This fabulous post is from the fantastic blogging team at Imagine Cruising!

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