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Marking the occasion: best ways to celebrate on a cruise

Cruise Advice

'When you get to my age', my mother used to say, 'every birthday is a milestone!' As a result, she lived her later life in one long celebration of her longevity, surrounding herself with friends and family at every opportunity: she was always up for a party! There is nothing like making an excuse for a celebration, so when you really have something to celebrate, you need a way to make it extra special on a cruise holiday.

For most of us there are stand-out milestones that we really want to mark: a 'big' birthday, an anniversary, retirement or some other significant life change. When you work out the economics, you will probably find that the cost of a big splash - dinner and dancing at a fancy hotel for example - is the equivalent of a great holiday, possibly even taking your nearest and dearest with you. So, we have looked at a few ways to mark the occasion!

Best ways to celebrate on a cruise

Regent Seven Seas Cruises have just launched their Unforgettable Moments campaign, which gives you a whopping $750 On Board Credit per booking for those celebrating a significant milestone whilst on board: this applies for birthdays or anniversaries ending in 0 or 5, valid for three months travel on either side of the special day, and the credit can be used for a great spa treatment, an upgraded private shore excursion, or an extra-special wine from the fine wines list.


Pacific Rim on board Regent's Seven Seas Splendor

Alternatively, plenty of ships offer an exclusive private venue to make your celebration cruise with friends even more special.

On Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, the elegant Vintage Room is the perfect venue for a private celebration for 12, with a specially-designed menu and wonderful wine pairings to create an evening you will never forget.


The Vintage Room on Crystal Serenity

On board the lovely little expedition vessel Scenic Eclipse, a private evening degustation is available at Chef's Table, where a group of just 10 guests enjoy an exquisite 11-course meal, each dish paired with premium beverages. The Head Chef and his team personally deliver and present each dish to your table, explaining the techniques used in each creation and the origin of the ingredients.


Tom Goetter, VP Hotel Operations Ocean at Scenic at Chef's Table

On the newly launched Silver Nova, the S.A.L.T. Chef's Table is an intimate, interactive dining experience that explores the landscapes and flavours of the region you are visiting. A hands-on test kitchen by day, the S.A.L.T. Lab on Deck 10 transforms into a very special dining venue in the evening. The menu of small plates highlighting the best local tastes and the most authentic ingredients, with paired wines and cocktails, are perfect for a gathering of just 18 culinary enthusiasts.


S.A.L.T. Restaurant on Silver Nova

The newest entrant to the luxury cruise market, Explora Journeys, put its first ship Explora I into service at the beginning of August. Amongst a choice of many dining venues, one of the most exciting is the Chef's Kitchen, an immersive experience held in an ocean-front private kitchen setting for 12 guests. The chefs introduce new ingredients, flavours, textures, and cultures, and the group talk as they cook to create a relaxed and family-style eating experience, sharing food and views alike.


Dining in Sakura on Explora I

If just a table isn't enough for you, why not consider really pushing the boat out by chartering a ship just for your own celebration? We have looked after exclusive charters for small groups including a luxury barge on the Canal du Midi, a stylish yacht on the Croatian coast, and an intimate vessel cruising the West Coast of Scotland.


European Waterways' luxury barge

But, in our experience the ultimate celebration charter is on one of the lovely 112-guest SeaDream vessels. Choose from the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, and relax into a very special week-long party with amazing food, included drinks, swimming from the back of the ship and service levels such as you have never experienced before.


Sea Dream I in the Caribbean

Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising. Most recently she's cruised on Windstar and has also sailed with Silversea, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, SeaDream, Ponant, AmaWaterways and Aqua Expeditions. Her favourite destination is the Galapagos however she's also enjoyed cruises in the Mediterranean, Danube, Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, Brahmaputra, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Mekong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Caribbean and the Arctic. When she’s not travelling she loves reading, food and wine.

More about Edwina

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