You Can Now Book Martha's Ultimate Family Vacation
Learn about Martha's curated travel itineraries created in partnership with MSC Cruises, plus get her best packing tip.
As anyone who follows Martha on Instagram already knows, our founder has enjoyed some of the most unique, beautiful vacations over the years. If you've ever found yourself daydreaming about following her travel footsteps (which often includes trips with her daughter and grandkids), you'll be thrilled to learn that Martha has teamed up with MSC Cruises to plan unparalleled travel itineraries with families in mind. By booking one of the cruises she's curated, you'll have the opportunity to see some of the breathtaking sights that Martha's visited, exactly as she recommends them.
One of the world's largest cruise lines, MSC Cruises will treat guests to daily excursions, culinary experiences, and a few of Martha's sweet treats aboard the MSC Seaside and the MSC Armonia starting this summer. Guests traveling to cities in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, or Honduras can take part in special activities and outings that Martha has curated herself.
"I'm all about authenticity. We really like to see what the place is like...We want to send people where we would go ourselves or where we have been ourselves and know about," Martha says. "And the same thing with the food. These are our recipes."
Since the trips are designed by Martha, there's a focus on great food. During holiday schedules, cruise guests will be treated to full menus inspired by Martha's own holiday traditions and favorite recipes. Plus, MSC Cruises is also launching a service where guests can be treated to a few of Martha's goodies (sweet treats from episodes of Martha Bakes on PBS and her cookbooks) that are delivered to their rooms, including the corresponding recipe and a note from Martha herself.
When you're not busy dining, you'll enjoy activities like culinary classes in the locales you're visiting, tastings of local delicacies and specialties, horseback riding in the ocean, hikes full of flora and fauna, visits to local craft markets, fishing lessons, and tours of gardens and other key landmarks. Martha's trips are organized to keep families busy and entertained from start to finish, which she says can be difficult for groups outside of a cruise ship-especially over the holidays.
"Try to go to a ski resort at Christmas. Or try to go to St. Bart's at Christmas, and the rates are jacked up-it's impossible to get what you exactly want, and the crowds are tremendous," Martha explains. "[The cruise] is an organized and logical way to treat your family to something that's fun… I think it's really economical for a family. And all I care about is that it's fun for [the guests], and a little bit educational, and includes places they haven't been before."
Martha says she began curating these experiences after speaking with close friends and trusted sources-she aimed to "find where people aren't necessarily going," which is exactly how she makes her own travel plans. "I ask everybody, 'Have you been to this one?' and 'Are you sure this is delicious?'" she says. "I must have had about five or six different lists from people that I really trust in terms of places to see, places to go, and restaurants to eat in. So, that's how I do it."
Like many travelers, Martha prefers an organized itinerary, which is why she wanted to design a cruise experience in the first place, as it allowed her to exercise control over a day-to-night schedule and all the unknowns of staying in one location. But the best part of taking a cruise in the tropics? You don't need to pack as many clothes and accessories as you would traveling elsewhere; Martha says a minimalist approach is best. "For packing, the lighter, the better," Martha says. "The less clothes, the better. I took a duffle bag-and I told everybody just to bring a duffle bag."
And because vacations are all about memories, Martha's most essential tip has to do with photos. On a recent trip Martha picked up a DJI-branded camera enhancer for her iPhone, which she used to film videos of her favorite moments. "It's so handy and you can get really great pictures of your family and your memories," she says. "I always suggest people take a really good camera, or take a really good iPhone, and make sure you record what you see."
If you decide to explore the Caribbean on one of Martha's excursions this summer, there'll be plenty of time to put your camera to use. And don't worry-if you can't make it aboard a cruise this year, MSC Cruises plans to expand the Martha Stewart experiences to additional routes in November, including a new experience where you'll get to explore a private island in the Bimini chain of islands in the Bahamas.
To learn more or to book one of Martha's itineraries, visit www.msccruises.com/MarthaStewart.