Our Thanksgiving Cruise Itinerary to Panama

Our Thanksgiving Cruise Itinerary to Panama

And just like that.  .  .  The Drakes are out!  ✌🏽

Next stop Panama for Thanksgiving.

***Queues the Van Halen***

Drake family on an Alaskan Cruise Royal Caribbean | www.resplendentlyliving.com www.thisismeldrake.com | #thanksgiving #cruise #hollandamerica #holidays


This year for Thanksgiving “we”, the Drakes are doing something a little different.  .  .  we are headed to Panama on a 10-day cruise.

No cooking

No cleaning

No fuss

No mess

Just the sun, the sea and all the good eating!

Our (Brief) History with Thanksgiving

Last year, I experienced my first Thanksgiving away in Maui, Hawaii with my best friend, Jake. And let’s just say, it was quite wonderful. So in the interest of self-care and my personal sanity, I’m gunning for a repeat zen-like experience this year.

Now the thought of Thanksgiving in the non-traditional sense may be a little offensive to some, especially my Louisiana relatives (sorry not sorry), but let’s be honest, The Drakes have never really grasped the concept of “doing Thanksgiving right”.  And when you grow up with a parental unit (*cough, cough* my mom) who’s idea of Thanksgiving is placing “the” Thanksgiving dinner order (turkey, sides and all) with a local Boston Market, Thanksgiving in the traditional sense is pretty much a lost cause at this stage in the life game. So early Aug, I decided to begin a carefully crafted and concocted campaign (say that 3x’s fast) to save this Thanksgiving based on the power of suggestion.  And to my surprise, not a lot (if any convincing) was needed to bring my mom, Beth, to the dark side see the light.

Couple this with the fact that my Mother’s dream has always been to see the Panama canal, it was basically a lay-up for me to save this year’s Thanksgiving.

Note: my father didn’t hardly take much convincing at all. He’s pretty easy and laid back. Basically, just mention cruise ship and free food and he’s there.  

So with that said, we are headed on a 10-day cruise to Panama on Holland America Cruise line.  This isn’t our first “cruise-rodeo”.  Most recently we cruised to Alaska (which I super HIGHLY recommend), but this will be our first foray with the Holland America cruise line.

Here’s our 10-day Holland America Panama Cruise Itinerary:

Day 1: Fort Lauderdale, FL USA

Day 2: Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

Day 3: At Sea

Day 4: Oranjestad, Aruba

Day 5: Willemstad, Curaçao

Day 6: At Sea

Day 7: Enter Panama Canal Christobal, Cruising Panama Canal and Gatun Lake, Gatun Lake, Panama, Cruising Gatun Lake and Panama Canal, Edit Panama Canal Cristobal, Colon Panama

Day 8: Puerto Limón (San Jose), Costa Rica

Day 9: At Sea

Day 10: At Sea

Day 0: Return to Fort Lauderdale, FL USA

To say I’m pretty excited about our Thanksgiving cruise is an understatement.  First, I’ve heard great things about the Holland America cruise line plus their overall high ratings speaks volumes.  Secondly, I’m excited that (for the first time in a long time) I have absolutely no plans to do anything other than chilling the f’ out and enjoying this 10-day Thanksgiving cruise for everything it has to offer.  Unlike my past travels, there will be no elaborate and well-planned out photoshoots complete with me waking up ridiculously early to get that unobstructed shot. There will also be no perfectly matching of outfits for the planned photoshoots I’ve opted not to participate in.  I also refuse to scout locations for said planned photoshoots.  And lastly there will be no recording and cataloging every moment of my life and of the trip via cell phone, DSLR camera or tiny pocket camera. The only thing on my agenda is to “do this cruise right” by doing nothing.

So this year, the Drake’s are finally going to “do Thanksgiving right” this year. #winning

Ooooh and fingers (and toes) crossed, my Mom LOVES Thanksgiving trips and this will become a new Drake family tradition. Stay tuned . . .

Have you spent Thanksgiving in a non-traditional way before?  Let me know about below.


Cheers and Bon voyage!

Melissa “Mel” D.


Photography & Editing by:  Yours Truly, Melissa Drake

Helpful Resources

Looking for discounts on hotel rooms?  I use Booking.com for the availability and rates.

Ready to stay at an Airbnb?  Get started with Airbnb with $40 off your first stay.

Don’t forget Travel insurance (it’s not too late even if you are already traveling).  I use and love World Nomads.  

Using FREE wifi while traveling?  Make sure to protect your personal data (passwords, email, credit cards and etc) with a VPN (Virtual Private Network).  I use Nord VPN.


Disclosure: Keep in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission.  Please know I link these companies because of their quality. I do not recommend any product or service I do not use.

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