A Caribbean Thanksgiving – What holiday could be happier than one spent cruising?

Monday Mantra

Thanks … Thanks … Thanks …

A Caribbean Thanksgiving

What holiday could be happier than one spent cruising?

If this was Thursday Mantra, I’d wish you all a happy Thanksgiving, but since it’s Monday Mantra, I ask you to cast your mind back a couple of days.

I’m not sure if conch fritters and mahi tacos are most people’s idea of the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, but with the backdrop of this holiday feast being a sapphire-blue sea and a palm tree–studded powder-sand beach, I’ve got no complaints.

Yes, I arrived in St. Thomas — on Thanksgiving Day!

The bad news is that when I claimed my bag at Cyril King Airport, I discovered that my tube of hair gel (“gravity-defying” hair gel, I might add) had exploded in flight. While the damage was contained thanks to a plastic-lined compartment, I’m disappointed to know that my lovely bag is probably permanently stained and that my hair won’t be defying gravity at any point this trip.

The good news is that I’m now settled into my pre-cruise digs at Emerald Beach Resort. A word about EBR: It’s not the Ritz-Carlton or Frenchman’s Reef, but it’s clean, comfortable, reasonably priced, and you can — no lie — walk to it from the airport. So while others queued at the taxi stand, I simply strolled along the road and in less than 10 minutes arrived at the resort’s entrance. They even offered me a plastic bag for my hair gel at reception. (Another word about EBR: Since the resort’s amenities do not include an elevator, make sure you request a ground-floor room or you’ll be lugging your bag up three flights of stairs like I did.)

Carole arrives tomorrow for her very first visit to St. Thomas! I picture a whirlwind day of shopping in Charlotte Amalie, lunch at The Green House, and a few glasses of wine at The Rum Island Pub before returning to Emerald Beach in time to catch a fiery sunset at the cozy beach bar.

I really wish I would have left a cold and icy New York City behind me instead of a 60-degree one, but with sand between my toes, the sound of lapping waves, and conch fritters on every menu, I have plenty to give thanks for.

And the best part — our SeaDream II sailing — hasn’t even begun!


— Judi Cuervo


Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.