A cruise vacation is all about independence from the daily routine and the freedom to do what you like: sail to new places, stay up late, nap in the afternoon, and enjoy everything your ship and ports of call have to offer.
Cruises that sail during the United States’ Independence Day holiday often place extra emphasis on independence and appreciation of the freedom. Fourth of July observances vary by cruise line and ship, but you’re likely to find public spaces festooned with American flags and other decorations of red, white and blue.
There may be organized games on the sports deck, with classic contests like tug-of-war, sack races and water balloon tosses. You’re likely to be invited to a patriotic deck party, too, so be sure to bring some red, white and blue to wear.
Some ships celebrate through the day’s menus, offering all-American favorites – think grilled hot dogs and burgers with all the fixings, potato salad and coleslaw, watermelon and brownies. The elegant dining spots on board may offer gourmet versions of fried chicken, barbecued pork and grilled steak, with strawberry-blueberry whipped cream parfaits for dessert – or perhaps a spectacular baked Alaska. Look for special red, white and blue drinks, too, such as lemonade with red berries and a rim of blue sugar.
Traditional Fourth of July fireworks are a rarity on cruise ships, as the rockets can be a fire hazard. Of course, if you happen to be sailing in sight of the U.S. coastline, you may see multiple fireworks displays lighting up the skies.
For a cruise that’s truly focused on the Fourth, take a look at Cunard Line’s annual Fourth of July Getaway cruise. Even though it may be too late to plan for this year, you may have options in 2014 and beyond. This year’s five-night cruise departs July 1 from New York City on the Queen Mary 2. The ship arrives in Boston the morning of July 4 and stays overnight, giving guests plenty of time to discover historic sites like the Freedom Trail, the Old State House and Faneuil Hall before taking in the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular along the Charles River near the Boston Common.