Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Sun November 15 2015

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  • Amber Nolan | November 15, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    8 Top Thanksgiving Cruises

    8 Top Thanksgiving Cruises

    This Thanksgiving, skip the cooking, cleaning, and house full of relatives — sail off into the sunset on a fun-filled cruise. Many cruise lines are sprinkling in Turkey Day festivities and hearty feasts served in exotic locales. Here are eight top Thanksgiving cruise options.

    MSC Cruises Caribbean Voyage

    The MSC Divina homeports in Miami and sails on a seven-night cruise to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and the Bahamas beginning Nov. 21. Thanksgiving Day is spent at sea with festive entertainment, a traditional Turkey dinner and football games on large screens in the sports bar and pool. Kids can join Turkey Day-themed cooking classes, costume parades, and shows. There will also be a party, scavenger hunt and flash mob.

    Southern Sailings with American Cruise Lines

    American Cruise Lines has partnered with a Connecticut food bank and $50 of every Thanksgiving cruise ticket helps fight hunger. These cruises include a seven-night Intracoastal Waterway journey between Charleston and Jacksonville, and the “Great Rivers of Florida” cruise that follows a very unique route round-trip from Jacksonville. Ships will be decked out for Thanksgiving and guests can savor traditional turkey dinners. Several sailing dates are available depending on the itinerary.

    Bahamas Break with Norwegian Cruise Line

    Hop aboard the Norwegian Sky for a four-night Thanksgiving getaway from Miami to three islands in the Bahamas. The cruise will visit bustling Nassau, sleepy Grand Bahama and NCL’s private island. In addition to a festive feast with fabulous desserts, NCL is throwing in a $100 onboard credit for holiday bookings.

    Free-Spirited Cruising with Island Windjammers

    Nothing says “holiday break” like frolicking around the Caribbean on a 24-passenger sailing ship. Island Windjammers does cruising a little differently with a casual itinerary, swimming or snorkeling near the ship and soaking in some rays on the top deck. Sagitta sets sail Nov. 22 on a six-night cruise from St. Maarten and will visit a selection of islands that may include Anguilla, Nevis, St. Barths, St.Kitts and Tintamarre. Enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner onboard followed by shore time on a quiet beach.

    Mediterranean Cruise with Crystal

    Crystal Cruises has spent a stunning $100,000 on holiday decorations and is also offering special cruise fare savings and traditional Turkey Day feasts. The Crystal Serenity will overnight in Monte Carlo Nov. 22 and spend Thanksgiving in Rome. Other ports during the seven-night voyage include Genoa, Florence and Naples in Italy along with Corsica and Marseille in France.

    Baja Mexico on Carnival

    Embark from Los Angeles on Thanksgiving Day for a three-night getaway to Ensenada, Mexico — home to cantinas, shopping and seafood. Aboard the Carnival Imagination, kids can partake in holiday-themed arts and crafts and guests can enjoy turkey dinners with all the fixings served in the dining room.

    Disney Cruise Line’s Short Getaway

    Families sailing with Disney Cruise Line can expect a Thanksgiving Day feast and visits from Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed in themed attire. The NFL football games will be broadcasted on the ships’ outdoor LED screens near the family pool. The Disney Magic is sailing from Miami Nov. 25 for a four-night cruise to Key West, Nassau and Castaway Cay — Disney’s private island in the Bahamas.

    American Queen on the Mississippi

    American Queen, the classic paddlewheel ship, embarks from Memphis Nov. 21 for an eight-night journey to New Orleans along the famous Mississippi River. On Thanksgiving, guests will spend the day on the waterway retracing a historical route while sampling a traditional dinner and partaking in festive activities or nightly entertainment. 


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Amber Nolan Captain’s Blog: Cruise Tips and Advice

Amber Nolan Amber Nolan loves to be on the water, and although she enjoys the fun and excitement of larger cruise ships, she prefers setting sail on smaller vessels to unique destinations. Originally from western New York, this restless traveler has a knack for finding creative ways to travel and befriending interesting characters along the way. On her most recent adventure, she hitchhiked on private aircraft across the United States. She previously served as the cruise editor at Sherman’s Travel but her work can also be found on and USA Today Travel. She current resides in South Florida.
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