For many American Jewish families, no matter their level of observance, Passover is one of the most important holidays as it honors the perseverance of their ancestors in the face of repression. However, the joyous holiday also marks the arrival of spring with a seder, or ceremonial meal involving numerous symbolic dishes, as well as prayers and hours of storytelling among relatives.
For some Jewish families; however, putting on the perfect traditional seder can be a challenge as family circles are smaller than in past generations and work schedules busier. One remedy for the challenge of family gathering planning is to check out cruises and resorts with Passover-based itineraries and officiating Rabbis … as well as somebody else to do the dishes.
With Passover falling a little later than usual in the 2018 calendar, chances are there may be some spots open for these Passover family getaways. If that’s not the case at press time, you can always start planning ahead for 2019. Kosherica, Kosher Travelers, and Totally Jewish Travel are excellent places to start planning Passover at sea or on the beach.
- Kosherica can help families book their spot on a Norwegian cruise for Passover 2018 (March 30–April 7). The booking can include upon request a special menu in main dining rooms that will include a seder plate. Kosher red and white wine will be available for purchase at dinner and if requested by a Rabbi, the wine may be provided on a complimentary basis.
- Families interested in taking their 2018 or 2019 Passover observance to European ports of call (all with interesting Jewish histories) should check out MSC Cruises. The 13-day Passover cruise starts at Genoa, Italy, and sails to France, Spain, Morocco and Portugal. Beyond seders and services, there are specialized activities geared toward toddlers, school-age kids and teens, as well as social events affording kids the opportunity to make friends from around the world in a safe environment. Grown-ups, in turn, can tailor their Passover experiences, assured the kids are cared for and enjoying the holiday and non-holiday related fun on their terms.
- Kosher River Cruises offers a deeper exploration of Portugal’s and Spain’s key Jewish heritage sites along the Douro River aboard the luxury vessel Spirit of Chartwell, recently refurbished for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. Master Kosher Chef Malcolm Green interprets traditional Portuguese and Spanish dishes using Glatt Kosher ingredients while retaining the flavor and integrity of the original recipes.
- Costa Rica Kosher Adventures, deftly blends an immersive Passover experience (dining under strict Kosher supervision, seder nights, on-site synagogue and observance of traditional customs) with adventure travel. Guided excursions and daily activities in the 10-day package include hikes, water activities, exploring the rainforest on a canopy tour and getting covered in volcanic mud at a natural hot spring volcano spa.
- Casa Kalika, just outside Puerto Vallarta, offers rentals of private bungalows that can house intimate Passover gatherings/escapes of up to 12 people against a backdrop of gardens and 180-degree ocean and golf views.
- Families bound for South Florida are sure to enjoy The Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach, noted for its bespoke plans for family Passover observances, as well as amenities and activities enabling adults and children to celebrate spring separately and together.
- The Hotel Zoso in downtown Palm Springs offers easy access to the city’s long-established Jewish community as well as attractions that are kid- and teen-friendly, high-end shopping, fine dining, art galleries and outdoor activities including hiking and horseback riding.