There’s still time to book a holiday cruise for a family celebration
While staterooms fill up quickly and fares tend to increase as the holiday approaches, cruising still remains one of the best vacation bargains and it’s not too late yet to book a holiday cruise. One thing boomers need to keep in mind is that most ships, especially the larger ones, will be loaded with families with children over the holidays.
Here are some reasons why may want to get on board for the holidays:
- Celebrations: Ships are more beautiful and festive than ever. They are decorated from stem to stern with holiday themed entertainment and shoes.
- Stress-free relaxation: Being at sea enables you to unplug, unwind, and forget the holiday hassles at home and/or at the office.
- Special menus: Without having to shop, cook or wash dishes, you won’t miss out on the rituals and traditional holiday spreads.
- Observances: You can count on secular and denominational religious services at sea, as well as candle-lighting ceremonies for Chanukah or a surprise visit from Santa Claus.
- Conviviality: Because school’s out, cruise lines offer special activities for families and multigenerational groups. It’s a great way to share the holidays with grandchildren and other extended family. And if you don’t have a tribe of your own, a holiday cruise can offer a unique opportunity to celebrate the holiday with a group and, perhaps, forge new friendships.
Cruise Critic recently surveyed some of the cruise lines to find out what’s planned this year. Here is a small, incomplete sampling. You can read the complete article on CruiseCritic.com to get more details:
- Azamara Club Cruises: Festivities include menorah lighting on each of the eight nights of Chanukah and Christmas caroling by crew in public areas.
- Carnival Cruise Lines: Festivities on New Year’s Even include complimentary hats, favors, noisemakers and champagne.
- Celebrity Cruises: Festivities include sing-alongs, holiday scrapbook sessions and seasonal movies. Every passenger will receive a gift of a Celebrity tote bag.
- Costa Cruises: Each child on board will have the opportunity to be photographed with Santa Claus and a classical Christmas concert will be held.
- Crystal Cruises: Festivities will include a teatime dance on Christmas Eve, a dinner of roast goose with chestnut stuffing, and an evening holiday musical production. On Crystal Symphony, passengers will be able to board glass-walled catamarans to observe the spectacular fireworks display in Sydney Harbor.
- Cunard: All passengers will find a Christmas gift and card in their cabins. Festivities on Queen Mary 2 will include periodic “snowing events” in the Grand Lobby.
- Disney Cruise Line: Football fans will be able to watch NFL games on the jumbo LED screen at the family pool and the Christmas tree in the atrium will be three-decks-tall.
This list goes on…Given all the festivities and extra offered by the cruise lines , it’s not surprising that many families have made holiday cruises a tradition which they look forward to each year.
[Portions of this article previously appeared in The Chicago Tribune.]
For some last-minute information on availability of holiday cruises, see my article on the NBC Universal Site Life Goes Strong. For additional holiday cruise options, check the Main Deals page at CruiseCritic.com, which is sortable by date. You can also check out the Last Minute Cruises page on the same website.