Christmas Cruising – It’s not for everyone!

Cruising at Christmas is definitely not for me. As a mum to four children albeit two grown up ones and two smaller ones I love Christmas at home. I cannot even think about not being at home as we have 14 people with us for lunch on Christmas Day and I LOVE it.

However there are people out there who do not want to be at home and a cruise at Christmas is ideal for them.

It’s easy to see why. As well as escaping the cold weather, a Christmas cruise is relatively stress-free. You don’t need to think about putting up decorations, entertaining relatives or cooking a festive feast. Instead you can spend your time planning adventures in the various ports of call.

Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes form the basis of onboard decorations, with garlands, poinsettias, and wreaths often decorating atriums, service desks, and restaurants. Where there are Christmas trees, there are usually unmissable tree lighting ceremonies too.

Carnival even erects classic American mailboxes so that children can write and post their letters to Santa.

P&O Cruises’ fleet uses 249 Christmas trees, sprinkled with fairy lights and over 44,000 decorations. MSC Cruises splashes 60,000 baubles across its 1,200 trees.

Gingerbread houses are a Christmas staple, and these tend to appear closer to Christmas week. For the ultimate gingerbread house, head onto a Disney Cruise Line ship. Life-size houses are a centrepiece in a lavish and spectacular Christmas display.

Roast turkey with all the trimmings is a staple on most cruise lines on 25th December. American ships serve up pumpkin pie, British ships offer Christmas Pudding, and the remainder tends to offer traditional seasonal options.

Crystal Cruises offers Christmas goose alongside the traditional roast turkey and chestnut stuffing options. Hurtigruten serves traditional Norwegian Christmas fare, including Julekake, a sweet Christmas bread made with raisins, candied lemon peel, nuts, and cardamom. Costa Cruises serves up traditional Italian dishes, such as Cappelletti in Brodo (pasta served in a broth), alongside the traditional roast turkey.

Across P&O Cruises’ fleet, 158 chefs prepare 1,100 turkeys while passengers guzzle their way through 600 bottles of Champagne. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ chefs prepare nearly three-quarters of a tonne of turkey, cook 744 Christmas puddings, and bake 13,800 mince pies. The cruise line even orders 89 tins of Quality Street and 11,000 crackers for good measure too. Silversea’s passengers devour a tonne of turkey, 2,200 Christmas Pantone, 2,500 bottles of Champagne, and 12,000 bottles of vintage wine during the Christmas period.

December is a good time for cruise lines to roll out festive variants of dishes and snacks. For example, Saga dishes out mince pie ice cream aboard its cruise ships. Azamara Club Cruises’ Christmas cookies pair nicely with the eggnog that flows on board. Princess Cruises dishes up gingerbread mousse, and on Seabourn’s ships, a basket or plate of festive nibbles greets passengers in every suite following the turndown service on Christmas Eve.

What can you expect?

Well first of all the cruise will continue to offer everything it normally has on offer so dining 24 hours, shows and entertainment etc but there may also be extras such as:

  • Holiday-themed craft projects, such as making cards or ornaments
  • Christmas tree or Hanukkah menorah lighting ceremonies
  • Gingerbread displays or decorating activities
  • Ugly sweater or Christmas costume contests
  • Caroling parties or holiday music from deck musicians
  • Visits from Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus or other seasonal celebrities
  • Holiday story times or Christmas bedtime stories
  • “Snow” celebrations on deck or in a large atrium
  • Seasonal movies offered on poolside theaters or in-cabin televisions
  • Special holiday-themed entertainment shows
  • Christmas or other holiday-themed trivia contests
  • Religious services or non-denominational Christmas services
  • Special gifts for passengers or special gifts available for purchase

One thing to remember is the Spirit of Christmas and as an ex cruise ship worker this festive period was one of the hardest times on board as you watch families celebrate whilst you are miles away from your own so be kind and maybe even think about taking a few small gifts as a token for those crew members that look after you.

Finally with only 9 days to go before Christmas Day may I please take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas xx


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About Me

Some people are shopaholics, some are chocaholics and some like me are cruiseaholics! Okay you got me I am also a slight chocoholic as well. I guess my love affair for cruises began in the late 1970's when I used to watch "The Love Boat", which was an American TV…

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