Friendsgiving: Noun. A Thanksgiving feast held by and for someone’s friends.
Just when it seemed the holidays couldn’t get any more festive, the Friendsgiving trend swooped in and became one of the most popular events of the season. Originally launched as Thanksgiving lite for those too far from family to travel, it’s grown so much in popularity that many people host or attend one in addition to their standard Turkey Day dinner. But like all holidays, Royal Caribbean knows how to take it to the next level. With the U.S. arrival of Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, the cruise line decided to host an inaugural Friendsgiving at sea—dubbed the Ultimate Friendsgiving—putting a new twist on familiar traditions.
Raul Rodriguez, an event producer with 2RCreative in Miami, Florida, said the holiday’s casual and low-key vibe inspired the menu and décor for the event. A large, communal table remained the central focal point, and while seasonal elements like pumpkins and fall colors set the scene, Raul and Royal Caribbean experts intentionally omitted iconic Thanksgiving elements. “It’s Friendsgiving, not Thanksgiving, and it’s a much more informal get together,” Raul said.
He picked out clean and modern furniture, tableware and cutlery to echo the holiday’s newness, which complemented dishes and drinks that played off traditional Thanksgiving ingredients in new ways. “The beauty in Friendsgiving is the innovation and creativity, so don’t feel you have to have the traditional Norman Rockwell setup. It’s modern and it’s fun, most of all.”
Click through the photo gallery to learn more from Raul about Royal Caribbean’s fresh take on the meal, and for tips you can use for your own Friendsgiving celebration.