A Caribbean Christmas cruise: No chaos here

AT SEA — “President Donald Trump is precipitating chaos and seeking to wield unrestrained power as America enters a holiday period overshadowed by political pandemonium orchestrated by the disruptor-in-chief,” CNN is reporting under the headline “The Washington nightmare before Christmas: A Government in chaos.

Speaking of tyrants, we passed Cuba today on a Caribbean cruise for some “R&R” and “family time” at Christmas.

Despite Trump’s government shutdown, his trade war and the crumbling stock market, “ignorance is bliss” aboard our ship, the MS Koningsdam, a new Dutch cruise ship operated by Holland America Line.

Our first stop tomorrow morning is Turks and Caicos Islands for a swim. Then it’s off to some other islands before returning to the messes that our President left us at home.

The cruise business is on a roll, at least the Fed hikes interest rates a few more times. The industry has $65 billion in ships on order over the next 10 years, according to Forbes.

This is only our second cruise. We were aboard the Queen Mary 2 for one of its first transatlantic trips back in 2004, a memorable experience.

On this trip, we’re able to catch up with one another, read, swim, and celebrate Christmas without rushing to decorate the house or shop for presents at the last minute. This is our present to each other. Our Christmas tree is a tropical floral display. We miss our dog Whiskey, but our dog sitter sends us photos on Instagram.

This ship is practically brand new. It feels like a high-end hotel, with comfortable state rooms, original artwork, swimming pools, a spa and leather furnishings. It has a music theme throughout —and music venues that include live classical music, jazz and blues. A Culinary Art Center offers cooking demonstrations, and evening movies are screened under the stars on one deck.

It’s a sweet life and well timed, given the latest drama in Trump’s America. But it will end soon enough, and we’ll be back to the grindstone. Have a Happy Holiday!

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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