December Holidays at Sea

Have you ever thought about going away for the holidays? It may seem like too much of a hassle, but a cruise can take away a lot of the burden of organization and planning.

Like the rest of us, cruise lines really get into the holidays, decorating and celebrating once American Thanksgiving is over. You will find trees, holly, Christmas music and other atmospheric features all over cruise ships during the month of December, all put up seemingly overnight (and removed just as quickly come January 1st). The ships’ kitchens will prepare wonderful gingerbread creations (houses, villages, even miniature cruise ships) that will be displayed in the main areas (usually the lobby or atrium). Many cruise lines offer themed activities and entertainments, particularly during the cruises that include the actual holidays. On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (it can vary, depending on the port schedule) Santa will pay a visit, greeting any children (or interested adults) onboard. My children once asked me if Santa could find them on a cruise ship. All I had to do was point to the large smokestack: the biggest chimney in the world!

The religious aspects of the holidays are not overlooked, as cruise ships will hold Chanukah and Christmas services for those who wish to participate. Often there is a formal night at Christmas, and everyone will make an extra effort to put on their fancy, festive best for a wonderful Christmas dinner cooked by professionals.

New Year’s Eve is even better on a cruise ship than Christmas. Imagine partying to your heart’s content, enjoying a fabulous dinner in formal wear, then moving from venue to venue to enjoy different kinds of entertainment, without ever having to drive home! Many cruise lines offer additional celebrations on New Year’s Eve, such as big name entertainment, balloon drops, or special champagne celebrations.

Holiday cruises are so much fun that they are usually in high demand. If you are interested in booking such a cruise, you would be smart to do so 8-12 months in advance.

However you are spending your holidays, I hope that you have a wonderful time, surrounded by your loved ones.

I will return with more cruise advice in January!