Elite Dimensions Passover Tour in Orlando, FL
In 2011, we attended the Elite Dimensions Passover Tour in Orlando, FL. This was our first time attending a Passover program. My mother passed away a few months before Passover. Frankly, we were physically and emotionally exhausted and, as far as the holiday was concerned, our hearts simply weren't in it. The idea of all the Pesach cleaning and cooking was simply overwhelming, so we opted to just lock the door and go on a program. Our ideal Passover program would have been 8+ days at a beachfront hotel in Maui, Hawaii, with a full complement kosher for Passover meals. Unfortunately, such a program does not currently exist (if anyone starts such a program, sign me up!). We just wanted to sit in the sunshine, swim in the pool, read our books, and relax. And then for mealtimes, we wanted a plentiful supply of kosher for Passover food that we didn't have to prepare and serve. I know that doesn't sound very spiritual, but that is exactly where our heads were at the time. We keep kosher, we're committed Jews, we wanted two Seders, and my husband wanted to attend Shabbat and holiday services, but we're also modern (and Sephardic). Mixed swimming isn't an issue for us and hanging out in the pool on Shabbat or Chagim isn't an issue for us. We realize that not everybody holds that way and we didn't want to cause a scene, but this is who we are and, when we are spending a major chunk of cash, we don't want to feel guilty and we don't want people judging us for our choices. We were looking for a program where we could be ourselves and "do our own thing" and we raised these concerns with the Elite Dimensions staff before we signed up. We were assured that the program could accommodate our needs and we were pleased to find that this was indeed true. The program drew an interesting mix of people, some were obviously way more religious than we are, some were obviously considerably more secular. In some families, the parents and grandparents appeared to be quite religious while the children and grandchildren were less so. In some families, the parents and grandparents were quite secular, while the children and grandchildren were obviously observant. Such is Jewish life in America. As far as the food was concerned. Some of the meals were to die for. Others were simply standard Passover fare. The food was plentiful and there were lots of options. By the end of the holiday, the food was kind of boring and repetitious, but isn't that always the way it gets by the end of Passover? The weather was fabulous and we returned feeling rested and relaxed, so for us, this program not only met our needs, it exceeded them!
"We just wanted to sit in the sunshine, swim in the pool, read our books, and relax. And then for mealtimes, we wanted a plentiful supply of kosher for Passover food that we didn't have to prepare and serve. I know that doesn't sound very spiritual, but that is exactly where our heads were at the time."
Don't sweat it. I think a lot of families go on Passover tours for that very reason.