Thanksgiving in the Caribbean

A wise person once said that gratitude is the best attitude, so this Thanksgiving why not gather the flock around the table in the sunny Caribbean -- a destination that's sure to please even grumpy Uncle Ned. Family and food define this uniquely American holiday, and Caribbean destinations make it easy to plan a sumptuous but affordable gathering at a fine resort, a private villa, or onboard a Caribbean cruise ship.

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    'Villa in Black Rock, Tobago, West Indies, Caribbean'
    ••• Konrad Wothe / LOOK-foto/Getty Images

    Rather than mom slaving over a hot oven this fall, why not rent a staffed luxury villa and let a gourmet chef cook up Thanksgiving dinner for you? The islands of the Caribbean are full of amazing villas that can accommodate groups both large and small, at a price that can easily compete with what you'd pay at a comparable resort. Experienced villa rental companies like Wimco and WhereToStay.com can help with stocking the villa with supplies and groceries, hiring a private chef, or making restaurant reservations.

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    Go Where the Turkeys Go

    Studio shot of turkey leg with potatoes
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    Many Caribbean resorts prepare a special Thanksgiving feast for guests who may be celebrating the holiday far from home. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and other Thanksgiving treats can be found on all-inclusive buffets at the Sandals resorts and the menu of restaurants at resorts from Jumby Bay in Antigua (Book Now) to Cap Juluca in Anguilla (Book Now). Check Caribbean rates and reviews at TripAdvisor.

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    Carnival Imagination at Nassau
    ••• FlickrVision / Getty Images

    Nearly every cruise line in the Caribbean offers special Thanksgiving cruises, which include all food and entertainment for one price. Some ships go all out with decorations for the holiday, and at a minimum, you can expect a special menu on Thanksgiving Day -- big eating, after all, is something that this holiday and cruise ships definitely have in common! Royal Caribbean is known as a family-friendly cruise line, and of course for families with small kids, it's hard to beat a few days at sea with Mickey Mouse and pals aboard Disney Cruise Line. With the kids out of school for the long weekend, a three- or four-night cruise out of Florida might just be the ideal way to spend Turkey Day this year.

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    Family relaxing in beach hammock, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, Caribbean
    ••• Matt Dutile / Getty Images

    Unlike Christmas and New Years, a Thanksgiving getaway to the Caribbean doesn't come with a premium price tag: in fact, traveling during the month of November means you're right in the middle of the Caribbean's low season, which stretches all the way from late spring to just before Christmas. You can check our deals page for the latest offers on hotels and flights. 

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    In addition to Thanksgiving festivities, there's a lot of fun happening during the month of November in the Caribbean, including Pirates Week in the Cayman Islands and the Paradise Jam basketball tournament in St. Thomas. The weather is perfect -- mid-70s to mid-80s in most places -- so you'll never have to worry about frost on the pumpkin when you take a Caribbean Thanksgiving holiday!

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    Dig Into Some Regional Thanksgiving Delicacies

    Grandma's secret turkey recipe, mom's special cranberry dish, and Thanksgiving Day celebrations are a mixed bag of cherished, time-honored recipes and traditions. Although Thanksgiving is not exactly a Caribbean holiday, many people from the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in addition to Americans with Caribbean roots, do celebrate with their own special menus for the occasion.