Many cruise lines offer special events to celebrate Thanksgiving at Sea. There are three cruise ships, all noted for having the best laid plans for families to enjoy the Holiday.

Royal Caribbean International’s ship the Monarch, is going to make Thanksgiving special for families. In addition to the traditional Thanksgiving cuisines, special events will be the highlight of the cruise, offering activities, arts and crafts. Games and décor will embellish the spirit and provide laughter and fun you would expect on any holiday.

The Norwegian Sky carries the reputation for being one of the very best cruise lines to not only the best vacations, but they also go above and beyond for their holiday celebrations for their customers. They provide traditional and international cuisine alike, and they serve “all you can eat” buffets at night. The cruise line also offers a special comedy night on stage with the “Second City Comedy Troupe” that will provide belly laughs to help digest all that turkey you eat!

The Caribbean Princess of Princess City caters to younger couples and singles with a huge Thanksgiving feast followed by a party with live bands and DJs. They also offer special Caribbean alcoholic drinks along with the special menu for Thanksgiving fare. You will find that couples and singles find this an annual tradition for those who cannot or do not have family they can be with.

Now let’s talk REAL turkey.“Speaking of Turkeys” is an article written by DUB, a Master Naturalist, in November 17th, 2010, which provided us some historical data and noted to be a very interesting story about Turkeys.

How did turkeys and Thanksgiving get together? When was the first actual Thanksgiving held?  Here in the United States there are conflicting reports about the origins of Thanksgiving.

It was noted that the Pilgrims celebrated the first American Thanksgiving at Plymouth Plantation in 1621.

Then the current celebration seems to have begun with a proclamation by Abraham Lincoln in October of 1863 that we “…observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving….” This was changed in 1941 when FDR signed legislation that proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated on the fourth (but not final) Thursday in November.

As Children, our mind conjured up a picture of the Early Pilgrims dressed in black-and-white  dresses, wearing white collars and bonnets.  The men wore tunics and hats, black with a silver buckle in the middle. Indians had headbands with feathers and fringed buckskin clothes. Many young children play out this scenario each year at Thanksgiving.

To our realistic mind however, the really first Thanksgiving dinner served Lobster, Rabbit, eggs, fish and squirrel, and food was plentiful.  Mashed potatoes were not heard of, but veggies, such as squash, leeks, beans, nuts, cabbage and dried fruits were abundant.

Dessert included corn flour, custard, and dried fruits.The Pilgrims and Indians ate with their fingers and sat on the floor to enjoy their feast. Corrected History now claims that the celebration of the first Thanksgiving lasted for three days.Another fascinating tidbit, is that the author, Oct. 1863 Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote the nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” convinced Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday, and later, Benjamin Franklin pushed hard for the turkey to be the national bird of the U.S.. However, the people denounced that idea claiming they could never eat the national bird on Thanksgiving Day or any other day.

Finally, President Roosevelt made the official date of Thanksgiving to the next-to-last  Thursday in November, but most people wanted it to remain the traditional last Thursday date in November of each year.Congress stepped in and declared the 4th Thursday of November as the official date of Thanksgiving. So whether you are eating lobster, rabbit or turkey this holiday, remember the true pilgrims at Thanksgiving and their expansive fare.

A Happy Thanksgiving to one and all,
from the Pilgrims and Indians at Cruise Planners/American Express Gang…
a great bunch of FUN seafaring lobsters!