Hilary Larson - Travel Writer
August 12, 2010 -- With the winter chill starting to set in along with short, dark days, how do Fort Lauderdale, Puerto Rico, Antigua and St. Maarten sound?
Jsingles Cruise, a fairly new outfit that boasts two weddings to its credit, is offering a voyage combining those four sunny destinations during the week of Jan. 22.
It's among the warm-weather escapes being offered in the increasingly popular midwinter option of cruising. The variety of voyages has mushroomed so much in recent years that even the avowed cruise-averse might want to take another look.
There are cruises for 20- to 60-something Jewish singles, lovers of sports and kosher noshers. Those who seek their bliss under the Caribbean sun surely have their choice, as do the adventurous who wish to explore the Far East. And they fit just about every budget.
While escorted land tours tend to be pricey and a cheap safari is an oxymoron, cruise operators like full boats, so deals abound. You can pay as little as $800 for a wintertime Caribbean cruise; of course, you could spend 10 times as much, too.
The glatt kosher JSingles cruise in January is aimed at singles in two age groups — 20s to 40s and 40s to 60s — and includes a dating coach, an on-board matchmaker and activities like speed dating and mixer games. Full packages begin at $1,500 but are selling out fast. For information, visit www.jsinglescruise.com or call (323) 640-7230.
You can take your pick of warm-weather destinations with Kosherica Enterprises, which offers three Caribbean cruises this winter: two in late January to the eastern Caribbean, with stops in St. Maarten, Antigua and Puerto Rico, and one in early February to the Panama Canal, stopping at Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico.
The name tells you what kind of food you'll get on board; the cuisine is glatt kosher, cholov yisroel and pas yisroel. But what really makes these trips distinctive is the entertainment: performances by top performers of Jewish music like Dudu Fisher, Hadassah Schuster, Mordechai Ben David and Alberto Mizrahi.
Many categories are sold out, but spots are still available on all three cruises. Rates begin at about $1,500 for the eastern Caribbean and $2,450 for the Panama Canal. Information is at www.kosherica.com or (877) 724-5567.
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