So what’s Christmas like on a cruise ship?

It’s Boxing Day on SeaDream II and everyone’s preparing for a beach BBQ on the Thai island of Ko Lanta Yai.

We are promised SeaDream’s famed champagne and caviar raft, when guests can indulge standing waste deep in water.

Last night’s Christmas dinner lasted more than two hours and included turkey and lobster. The disco party at the Top of the Yacht bar was still going strong in the wee, small hours.

Earlier, the crew put on a valiant (if somewhat vocally challenged) Christmas concert. Not that anyone minded – there was plenty of goodwill to all men!

So what’s Christmas cruising like? At least among the 116-strong passengers and 95-strong crew of SeaDream II on one of her first Asian voyages, it’s an intimate and joyous experience.

Santa may be happy with Rudolph and his sleigh. But swopping it for SeaDream II would be no bad experience.

Christmas eve was a riot of colour in George Town, Penang, where food is the culture. The kitchens of every nationality is amply represented – particularly, Chinese, Malaysian and Indian.

We breakfasted twice, lunched three times and were still buying specialty cakes just before the SeaDream left for Lankawai island, our Christmas Day destination. And it was a all just a trishaw ride away from the port.

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Before that, however, there was Executive Chef Virender Singh’s “Degustation Dinner” – a 12 course extravaganza – and a movie, “A Christmas Carol”, in the main salon.

Pulau Langkawi is a laid back Malaysian island of waterfalls and luxury resorts. The best way to see it is to hire a cab, take the simple tourist map and tick off the list, one by one. A day is ample to take in the shops and beaches.

But now, it’s off to Ko Lanta Yai.

Tell us about your Christmas cruise experience by leaving a comment below – and read our full review of Seadream II in the next edition of Cruise Passenger Magazine.

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