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Beginners Guides

How to Decorate Home for Christmas in the US Virgin Islands



how to decor home for christmas in US Virgin Islands

When it comes to Christmas, the US Virgin Islands are no stranger to festive holiday traditions. For Christmas dinner, the neediest families had traditionally eaten a large bone-in ham. These hams were bought with pennies saved throughout the year and often received as a gift from a neighbor, employer, or shopkeeper. Many Virgin Islands grocery shops would also give out holiday hams to their customers.

Traditions of giving hams at Christmas

Traditions of giving hams at Christmas are not uncommon in the US Virgin Islands. The tradition is very old, but there are some local variations. Some families prefer ham on Christmas Eve while others prefer turkey with dressing. Regardless of the tradition, hams are a traditional part of the Christmas menu.

Although the Christmas season in the US Virgin Islands may be a little different from other parts of the globe, the food traditions are the same. Many people celebrate Christmas by attending midnight mass on December 24th and having a hearty breakfast the day before. For dinner, the main dish is typically a ham or turkey with many side dishes, such as rice and peas, or a seafood dish.

Many Virgin Islands residents celebrate Christmas with ham and foods from their pre-Virgin Islands roots. Deana Mills, a Dominican Republic native, enjoys a traditional Christmas meal that includes fresh meat, trimmings and sweets. On Christmas Day, she always eats a fruitcake. Fruitcake, a type of traditional Caribbean dessert, is another tradition in the US Virgin Islands.

Hams were traditionally given as Christmas gifts to the poorest families. The ham was often purchased with pennies that had been saved over the year and given to someone as a gift. Hams were also traditionally given to shopkeepers and employers as gifts.

The tradition of giving hams at Christmas in the US Virgin Islands is a centuries-old tradition, and it is a tradition that has not died out over the years. Even though the local food culture has changed, this tradition has not. Those who practice it still receive a delicious gift every year.


Inkberry trees

Inkberry trees are a traditional decoration on the US Virgin Islands. These trees grow naturally in the island’s hillside slopes and are decorated at various cultural centers. A lit tree can be spotted at the Whim Great House and Museum on St. Croix, where a display was dedicated to the island’s rich culture. The tree was also displayed at the Old Government House Museum before Hurricane Irma destroyed the islands. The writer documented the Virgin Islands’ Christmas tradition and published it in Christmas cards and a book called Funintun’s Christmas.

In the 1800s, the inkberry tree was harvested for making ink. Today, the tree is a traditional Christmas tree in Antigua, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The tree was not native to the Virgin Islands, but it does thrive in the island’s rocky soil and can reach up to 20 feet in height. It has thorns for decoration, and the branches can be used in Christmas celebrations as a tree.

The tradition started in the 1960s when islanders from the U.S. mainland arrived on the islands to celebrate the holiday. They started collecting inkberry trees (or the brown dried stalks of an agave, or century plant) and embellishing them with gold paint, candies, and other goodies. It was a time when inkberry trees were not readily available on the island and a century plant was considered a more sustainable alternative.

Another popular Christmas decoration in the US Virgin Islands is the inkberry plant. The inkberry plant is found in the forest, while the agave grows in the arid eastern part. The century plant stalks can be propped up in rock-filled containers, and decorated with crepe paper, fabric or small pieces candy by locals. Some spray paint the stalks with gold.

Century plants

The US Virgin Islands are home to the century plant, a tall succulent that survives in dry climates. Unlike other plants, it blooms only once every 100 years. According to botanists, the plant blooms more often in northern climates. During the early summer, this plant blooms and produces massive clusters of yellow flowers, bringing joy to bees, beetles, and beholders.


Sal and Delores Sgambati are the owners of the century-plant. They live in Capeside near Snow’s Cut Bridge. The century plant is a member of the agave family and can grow to 30 feet tall. The thorny nature of the century plant means that they are difficult to grow in gardens or homes.

Are there any specific cultural considerations or traditions when decorating for Christmas in the US Virgin Islands?

When it comes to how to decorate home for christmas in the US Virgin Islands, there are a few cultural considerations and traditions to keep in mind. Despite its tropical climate, residents often incorporate traditional Christmas decorations like wreaths, lights, and ornaments. However, you may also see unique touches like seashells or Caribbean-inspired motifs added to the festive décor. Overall, while Christmas in the US Virgin Islands may have its cultural nuances, the spirit of joy and celebration remains at the heart of the holiday season.

Christmas dining table

There are many ways to decorate your home during the Christmas holidays. You can use candles and other festive elements to create a festive environment. You should avoid pre-made centerpieces as they can ruin the fun of creating a festive atmosphere. To make the festive setting even better, use Christmas greenery.

Using colorful ornaments and other festive accents is another great way to make your house feel festive. Christmas dinner in the US Virgin Islands traditionally begins with a large bone-in turkey that has been purchased using pennies that have been saved throughout the year. The ham is then given as a gift to a neighbor, employer or shopkeeper to help those in need. Some local grocers will even give hams to customers.


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Beginners Guides

How to Do Online Check-In for Your Carnival Cruise

Keen to streamline your Carnival Cruise experience? Discover the essential tips for hassle-free online check-in that can enhance your journey.




carnival cruise online check in

When preparing for a Carnival Cruise, you may not realize the convenience of completing your check-in online ahead of time. The process is straightforward, but there are key details that can enhance your experience.

From ensuring your documents are in order to managing special requests, our guide will assist you in sailing through the online check-in process seamlessly.

So, let's uncover the insider tips that will make your boarding stress-free and efficient.

Key Takeaways

  • Experience seamless boarding process by completing online check-in before your Carnival Cruise.
  • Choose preferred boarding time and reduce wait times at the port.
  • Fill out essential health questionnaires and upload a photo for your Sail & Sign card.
  • Be punctual for your arrival appointment and print boarding pass and luggage tags after check-in.

Benefits of Online Check-In

Experience a seamless boarding process by taking advantage of the convenient benefits offered through Carnival's Online Check-In feature. By completing your check-in online, you can choose your preferred boarding time, fill out essential health questionnaires, and even upload a photo for your Sail & Sign card, which accelerates the boarding process. This online service not only expedites boarding but also reduces wait times at the port, allowing you to start enjoying your cruise sooner.

One of the perks of online check-in is the ability to print your boarding pass and luggage tags at home after you have completed the process. This means you can breeze through the check-in counter and head straight to the ship, avoiding unnecessary delays. Carnival's Online Check-In streamlines the boarding experience, giving you more freedom to begin your vacation stress-free.

Step-by-Step Online Check-In Process

smooth online check in process

To begin the step-by-step online check-in process for your Carnival cruise, gather your booking number, ship name, sail date, and personal information. Once you have these details ready, follow these simple steps to complete your online check-in efficiently:

Step Instructions Details
1. Arrival Access the Carnival Cruise website
2. Guest Information Enter booking number, ship name, and sail date Verify accuracy
3. Mandatory Fields Complete passport, emergency contact, and credit card details Important for onboard expenses
4. Profile Photo Upload a clear profile picture for expedited boarding Helps Carnival recognize you

Required Documents for Online Check-In

For a smooth online check-in process for your Carnival cruise, make sure you have all the necessary documents prepared beforehand. To start, you'll need your booking number and personal information handy. Have your identification documents like passports or driver's license ready for uploading during the process.


Completing the Guest Information form, providing details such as emergency contacts and travel plans, is crucial for a seamless experience. Inputting your credit card information will allow for easy management of onboard expenses and setting up your Sail & Sign account.

Before finalizing your online check-in, be sure to review and agree to the Cruise Ticket Contract & COVID-19 Risk Acceptance, as these are crucial for your cruise experience. By having these documents and information ready in advance, you can expedite the check-in process and get closer to commencing on your Carnival cruise adventure.

Tips for Smooth Online Check-In

smooth online check in process

Having arranged your necessary documents for online check-in, let's now explore valuable tips to guarantee a seamless online check-in process for your Carnival cruise.

  • Confirm all guest information, emergency contacts, payment details, and travel plans are accurately filled out to avoid delays.
  • Upload a recent photo for identification purposes during online check-in to expedite the process.
  • Review and accept the Cruise Ticket Contract & COVID-19 Risk Acceptance terms beforehand for a hassle-free experience.
  • Be punctual with your arrival appointment to minimize wait times and start your cruise promptly.
  • Once you've completed the online check-in, remember to print your boarding pass and luggage tags to streamline the boarding process efficiently.

Managing Special Requests Online

Exploring the online platform for managing special requests during your Carnival cruise enhances your customization options for a tailored onboard experience. When setting up your online check-in, you can specify bedding preferences for the first two guests, choosing between twin beds or a king bed, assuring your comfort right from the start.

Additionally, you can indicate any special accommodations needed for additional guests, such as upper berths or convertible sofas, to make everyone's stay enjoyable.

To manage expenses effectively, set spending limits for minor children to control their onboard purchases without any worries. Granting charging privileges to guests in another stateroom is also possible, with a maximum of 15 guests per account, providing convenience during your cruise.

Remember to review and accept the Cruise Ticket Contract & COVID-19 Risk Acceptance for each traveler, including minors, to guarantee a smooth embarkation process. By utilizing these online tools for managing special requests, you can enhance your Carnival cruise experience and make the most of your time at sea.



So, now that you've completed your online check-in for your Carnival Cruise, all that's left to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the smooth sailing ahead.

Just remember, the irony of modern convenience is that sometimes the best adventures come from unexpected detours.

Bon voyage!

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Beginners Guides

Biggest Cruise Ship Out of Galveston: A Spectacular Voyage

Hop aboard the Allure of the Seas from Galveston for a high-seas adventure unlike any other, where hidden treasures and thrilling experiences await at every turn.




luxurious cruise ship departure

Entering the Allure of the Seas out of Galveston is akin to setting sail on a floating city, with its vast array of offerings and sheer size. From the moment we step aboard this colossal vessel, we are met with a sense of grandeur and anticipation.

As we explore the ship's luxurious accommodations, diverse dining options, and thrilling entertainment, one can't help but wonder about the hidden gems and experiences that await beyond the horizon.

Join us as we uncover the secrets of this magnificent cruise ship and the unforgettable journey it promises.

Key Takeaways

  • Enjoy immersive luxury in spacious suites with stunning ocean views and personalized services.
  • Indulge in world-class dining experiences with diverse culinary options and unique specialty restaurants.
  • Experience exciting entertainment like ice skating shows, thrilling slides, and vibrant nightlife on board.
  • Explore unforgettable amenities like ice rinks, pools, live performances, and thrilling activities, creating a memorable voyage.

Luxurious Accommodations and Suites

We're immediately immersed in a world of luxury when stepping into the spacious suites aboard the biggest cruise ship out of Galveston. These suites on the Royal Caribbean offer breathtaking ocean views, setting the stage for an unparalleled onboard experience. Equipped with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, minibars, and private balconies, guests are treated to a premium stay at sea. What sets these accommodations apart is the personalized service that comes with dedicated suite attendants, ensuring every need is met promptly.

Moreover, priority boarding privileges grant swift access to all the ship has to offer, enhancing the overall ease and convenience of the journey.

For those seeking exclusivity, the suites provide access to private lounges, sun decks, and concierge services, elevating the experience to a whole new level of sophistication. Whether indulging in lavish penthouses or spacious family suites, guests can tailor their stay to their preferences, all while relishing in the upscale cruise experience that defines the Royal Caribbean voyage from Galveston.


World-Class Dining Options

delicious meals around town

Stepping away from the opulent accommodations and suites, the largest cruise ship out of Galveston invites guests to set off on a culinary journey through its array of world-class dining options. Whether craving an elegant formal dining experience or a more laid-back meal, passengers will find a variety of choices to suit their tastes.

The ship boasts luxurious fine dining venues where top chefs craft gourmet menus to tantalize the taste buds of even the most discerning food enthusiasts. For those seeking a more casual atmosphere, there are plenty of options for enjoying delicious meals and snacks throughout the day.

Specialty restaurants onboard offer unique culinary experiences with international flavors and innovative dishes, ensuring that every meal is an adventure in itself. From lavish formal dining rooms to cozy casual eateries and specialty spots, this cruise ship guarantees an unforgettable dining experience for all travelers.

Get ready to set out on a gastronomic voyage filled with delectable delights and culinary wonders.

Thrilling Entertainment and Activities

Filled with an array of thrilling entertainment options and exciting activities, Allure of the Seas offers an unforgettable experience for passengers seeking adventure at sea. Onboard this majestic cruise ship, guests can immerse themselves in a world of excitement and fun.

  • Ice Skating Shows: Experience the magic of professional ice skating performances right on the ship's very own ice rink. Watch as talented skaters glide gracefully across the ice, showcasing their skills in mesmerizing shows that will leave you in awe.
  • Ultimate Abyss Slide: Dare to take a thrilling plunge down the Ultimate Abyss slide, a heart-pounding adventure that spans 10 stories high. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you slide down this exhilarating attraction, offering an unforgettable experience for thrill-seekers.
  • Nightlife at Boardwalk: When the sun sets, the Boardwalk neighborhood comes alive with vibrant nightlife. Enjoy live music, delicious cocktails, and a lively atmosphere that will keep you entertained well into the night.

With a variety of entertainment options and activities to choose from, Allure of the Seas promises an action-packed adventure for all guests on board.

Unforgettable Onboard Amenities

luxurious yacht experience awaits

Indulging in the luxurious amenities aboard the largest cruise ship out of Galveston promises an unforgettable voyage filled with relaxation and excitement. On the Royal Caribbean International's Allure, guests can enjoy a wide range of amenities to secure every taste. From the ice rink and hot tubs to the multiple swimming pools, there's something for everyone.

Entertainment options abound on the Allure, with a carousel for a whimsical ride, a casino for those feeling lucky, and boutique shops for some retail therapy. Thrilling activities like mini-golf, a surfing simulator, and rock climbing walls provide endless excitement while at sea. Live performances, including ice skating shows, will dazzle guests, and the variety of dining options secures that every meal is a culinary delight.


For those seeking a peaceful retreat, the adults-only Solarium with a whirlpool offers a serene escape. With such a plethora of amenities, the Allure guarantees a truly unforgettable cruise experience for all who come aboard.

Memorable Shore Excursions and Activities

Our shore excursions and activities promise unforgettable adventures, immersing you in thrilling experiences across the vibrant destinations of the Western Caribbean.

  • Zip-lining in Labadee, Haiti: Feel the adrenaline rush as you soar through the lush landscapes of Labadee on a zip-lining adventure, a highlight of Western Caribbean cruises departing from Galveston.
  • Snorkeling in Cozumel, Mexico: Dive in the crystal-clear waters of Cozumel and discover a mesmerizing underwater world teeming with colorful marine life during your port stop on a 7-night cruise from Galveston.
  • Mayan ruins in Belize City, Belize: Uncover the mysteries of the ancient Mayan civilization as you explore the impressive ruins in Belize City, a guided tour included in your Western Caribbean cruise itinerary from Galveston.

These shore excursions offer a perfect blend of adventure, culture, and natural beauty, ensuring your time off the ship is just as enriching as your onboard experience.


As we bid farewell to the Allure of the Seas, we're reminded of a majestic phoenix rising from the ashes, ready to take flight once more.

Just as this grand ship navigates the seas with grace and splendor, so too do we carry the memories of our voyage with us, forever ignited in our hearts.

Let's embrace the spirit of adventure and continue to seek out new horizons, knowing that the allure of the seas will always beckon us back for another enchanting journey.


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Beginners Guides

Solo Travel Experience: The Ultimate Perfectly Designed Cabin for One

Prepare for an unparalleled solo travel experience at a perfectly designed cabin that promises solitude and relaxation, with a twist that will surprise you.




ultimate solo travel cabin

As we stumbled upon the perfectly designed cabin for one, we couldn't help but be intrigued by its promises of a tailored solo travel experience. Nestled in a serene location, this cabin boasts a blend of modern comforts and rustic charm, catering to the needs of solo adventurers seeking solitude and relaxation.

However, what truly sets this cabin apart is its innovative design that caters to every aspect of a solo traveler's journey, promising a stay unlike any other.

Key Takeaways

  • Tranquil setting with modern, minimalist style for peaceful solitude
  • Thoughtful amenities and decor for a cozy and comfortable retreat
  • Proximity to nature and hiking trails for exploration and rejuvenation
  • Privacy guarantee and secluded location for a solo traveler's perfect escape

Cabin Features and Amenities

Nestled in a tranquil setting, the perfectly designed cabin for one boasts modern, minimalist style with a touch of serenity. This luxury solo retreat offers a cozy outdoor living room, complete with a wood-burning stove for cool evenings under the stars. Inside, guests will find a soothing soaking tub, ideal for unwinding after a day of exploration.

The cabin's privacy guarantee guarantees a peaceful escape for those seeking solitude. Designed for a small group or solo traveler, the cabin's thoughtful layout and stylish furniture create an inviting atmosphere. The kitchenette allows for light meal preparation, while the comfortable bed promises a restful night's sleep.

With a focus on comfort and relaxation, this cabin provides a unique and intimate experience for those looking to recharge in a serene environment. Whether you're seeking a quiet weekend getaway or a longer retreat, this cabin is the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate.

Location and Surroundings

details of the text

Located in the serene wilderness of Joshua Tree, California, the cabin offers solo travelers a remote and tranquil escape surrounded by unique desert landscapes and stunning rock formations.

  1. The vast desert landscapes stretch out before you, painting a canvas of golden sands and rugged terrain that's both awe-inspiring and humbling.
  2. Towering rock formations stand sentinel around the cabin, their ancient shapes telling tales of time gone by and inviting exploration and contemplation.
  3. Joshua Tree National Park beckons just a short drive away, where hiking trails wind through the desert, offering glimpses of wildlife and breathtaking panoramic views under the vast, starlit skies.

Immersed in this remote environment, solo travelers find a peaceful retreat where the minimalistic cabin design harmonizes with the natural surroundings, fostering a deep connection with the earth and oneself. Away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, this location provides the ideal escape for those seeking solitude and rejuvenation in the heart of nature.

Booking and Reservation Process

When planning your solo adventure at the perfectly designed cabin for one, securing your desired dates through the booking and reservation process is a vital step to assure a seamless and stress-free experience.


The booking process for this ultimate solo traveler cabin involves selecting specific dates and confirming availability. Reservations typically entail a deposit or full payment to secure the cabin for your desired dates. Booking platforms may offer additional services such as travel insurance or flexible cancellation policies for added peace of mind.

Keep in mind that the availability of the perfectly designed cabin for one can vary based on seasonal demand and popularity. To guarantee a stress-free solo travel experience, it's advisable to book well in advance, especially if you have specific dates in mind.

Solo Traveler Experience and Reviews

adventure seeking solo traveler journey

Amidst the tranquil embrace of nature, solo travelers find themselves enveloped in a secluded haven of serenity at the perfectly designed cabin for one. The solo experience at this retreat is truly special, offering a combination of cozy comfort and intimate surroundings that cater perfectly to those seeking solace and reflection.

  1. Soft lamplight casting gentle shadows on the rustic wooden walls, creating a warm and inviting ambiance.
  2. A plush armchair positioned next to a crackling fireplace, beckoning travelers to unwind with a good book or simply bask in the peaceful silence.
  3. A small but well-equipped kitchenette, complete with a selection of teas and coffees, allowing guests to start their mornings slowly and savor each moment.

Solo travelers are quick to praise the thoughtful amenities that enhance their stay, from the carefully curated decor to the attention to detail that guarantees every need is met. The serene and secluded setting of the cabin provides the perfect backdrop for a truly peaceful retreat, where guests can disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with themselves.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Stay

As solo travelers immerse themselves in the tranquil ambiance of the perfectly designed cabin for one, they can enhance their stay by embracing simple yet effective tips for maximizing their experience. Start your day by enjoying a leisurely breakfast in the cozy dining area, taking in the breathtaking views of nature through the large windows. Afterward, unwind in the lounge area with a good book or your favorite music, embracing the solitude of your private escape.

For a truly immersive experience, venture outside and explore the surrounding nature, allowing yourself to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Use the well-equipped kitchenette to prepare a delicious meal using fresh ingredients, or opt for a relaxing evening with a glass of wine as you soak in the peaceful atmosphere.

Embrace this solo retreat as a time for reflection, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Let the minimalist decor and modern amenities of the cabin create the perfect setting for your personal journey of self-discovery. Make the most of your stay by immersing yourself fully in this unique opportunity for a meaningful and fulfilling experience.



As we bid adieu to our cozy cabin retreat, we can't help but feel a pang of nostalgia for the simplicity and serenity it offered.

From the retro-chic decor to the state-of-the-art amenities, this hidden gem truly delivered a blast from the past with a modern twist.

So, grab your Walkman and head on over to experience the ultimate solo travel adventure in style!

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