Spent Christmas 2007 and New Year on board Fred. Olsen's "Boudicca" sailing from Southampton. It was a great combination of the traditional festive season and the pleasure of seeing the sun in Madeira and the Canaries. It has a lot to commend it.
Defineately steer clear of MSC. I believe P&O are very good at Christmas.
I think Miller has got this about right. The ships who cater for the 'more mature' like Fred, P&O's fleet barring Ventura, whose Christmas adventure reads like a night out in Falleraki, or maybe the top end lines such as Azamara, Oceania & the like. Mrs Bradbury is right about MSC, not even a Gala Night on Christmas Day, but there was a tree!! (big deal).
We did P&O Oceana Mexican Riveria, Panama Canal and the Carribean this Christmas. Ship beautifully decorated and tasteful too. Carols on Christmas Eve from the Headliner Theatre Company joined a local school from St Vincent, lovely. Presents delivered to cabins, Thomas Flyte Leather wallets and washbags, my 16 year old got a digital DAB radio alarm clock. Nativity play from the Kids Club, a Christmas Auction of things like trips to the bridge with the captain all to benefit a disabled kids school in Barbados, Santa coming down one of the funnels on Christmas Eve, a gingerbread Christmas village set up in the Atrium. Specially magical was that as we sailed on Christmas Eve from St Vincent a member of the Headliners recited over the PA 'Twas the night before Christmas' in full, slightly surreal but brought a lump to the throat. Christmas day dinner was superb, and the turkey was freshly cooked not turkey roll together with seven courses. Wonderful way to spend Christmas with a crew that made it the best!
Been on new year cruise with thomson celebration had a great time decorations and trees everywhere new years dinner with crackers hats streamers etc apparently xmas just as good two gala dinners each week instead of just one.
Would not recommend anyone without having been on the cruise. All I can say tnhat having spoken to two lots of customers today. That Royal Caribbean on a table for ten had one cracker. Christmas day. When asked why, were told that there were a lot of other faiths on board. So didnt want to upset them.
In the 'Cruise News' section I read that Princess were going 'all out' to celebrate Christmas and encourage people to enjoy the festivities. I'm sure the news is still there to read. Princess are more 'American' than their sister P & O and as Americans go, they are certainly not afraid of what others may think! I'm not a particular religious person but I do get concerned that cruise lines are giving important religious festivals (not just Christmas) the elbow! If cruise lines advertised their cruise holidays during this festive period as a 'Christmas Cruise' then nobody would have any excuse to complain.
Many thanks for all the useful replies.
Went on a RCI cruise to the Caribbean for my birthday in December, loads of Christmas trees, nativities, and chrissy decs on board. A big Christmas build up. Really enjoyed