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  • Ruth Wood

Festive Caribbean

How do you please 3 generations and 18 BIG personalities? That is my challenge!

Let me back up….. Every year since I was 13 years old, my family has travelled together for the holiday season. Our family expanded exponentially, and we have so many things to consider when planning a trip for ages 9-80. One thing we all knew we wanted was for our dinners to be together, and to have the ability to relax and enjoy our time with our family in a beautiful place with clear blue water.

We had heard about small sailing boats with amazing service from friends of ours, and found a spot for all 18 of us on a boat with 180 passengers. Lucky for us, there was another large family with about the same configuration, and the fun began.

The Cruise line’s tag line is 180 degrees from ordinary- and that is true. We were the envy of the Caribbean! We have been able to slide into small ports, like St. Barts, Jost van Dyke, and the Virgin Gorda, and experience these jewels as if we were on a private charter, but with the luxuries and pampering of a high end resort.

My father, who has some mobility issues, enjoys the trip from the boat. He almost never leaves and is the “welcome back” guy when the tenders return from the port of the day. The rest of us jump on the first tender to explore the island of the day- utilizing the great information given to us by the extraordinary ship stewards and staff. If you don’t want to explore- there is a water sports platform with great activities and fun off the back of the boat. At the end of the day there is a Hayes family command performance sail away cocktail party on deck. We watch the sun go down and talk about the day’s events as the ship raises its sails to the next port as we listen to the robust sail away ballad.

The food is impeccable, as are the cabins. The staff knows everyone by name and are fun and engaging. Now that we have been small ship cruisers in the Caribbean for four years, on three different boats, many of the staff are like old friends that we look forward to seeing!

I think if I was to narrow down what makes the trip so special, I would have to say that everyone is happy and relaxed, and we are all spoiled by luxury accommodations and service.

There are several companies that are offering this hassle free, luxury travel with trips all over the world. I have my eye on a trip to the Galapagos next! Let us Chart your Path and find the right ship with our special Virtuoso benefits!

Ruth Wood

The gangs all here! Sun and fun on board

sunset off the back of the boat

Bailey on board

returning on the tender from a day at the beach

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