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Cruising Over The Holidays, Good or Bad?

Written by: Kuki

The “holiday season” officially kicks off this Friday, with Thanksgiving in the United States (though with the advertising we’ve seen this year you’d have thought Christmas ran from October to December).

I’ll be on land, continuing my visit in Arizona through Thanksgiving, but I have previously sailed over this holiday. In my view it is the best holiday to enjoy on a ship. Holiday sailings are generally some of the most expensive sailings of the year. Yet, Thanksgiving cruises can often be had very inexpensively.

In the United States Thanksgiving is a very important beginning to the Holiday Season. And in my view, it may be one of the best holidays. It’s all about families and friends being together, without any of the trappings of gift giving. And, this is one holiday that is enhanced by taking the family on a cruise. You escape all the hype and all the advertising for “buying” for the upcoming Christmas or Chanukah season.

Thanksgiving cruises are about spending time with family and friends, in a very relaxed, isolated atmosphere, with plenty of time to bond, and enjoy one another; a time to feel blessed for the good fortune to spend time together on a ship. They directly reflect much of the meaning of this holiday.

Christmas sailings, on the other hand, while they can be great family vacations, are more like an escape from a traditional way to celebrate Christmas. While the ships are decorated to the hilt for Christmas, and there is some caroling, as well as appearances by Santa, and a Christmas service, it is a very different occasion than a traditional Christmas. With no scientific study to verify, I believe probably 25% of the passengers onboard, for a variety of reasons, are sailing to avoid the traditional Christmas.

Cruises during Christmas (and New Years) are generally some of the most expensive sailings of the year. It’s really because of demand at those times, rather than anything else about them that make them special.

It’s a difficult time for the crew as well. As the ships are sailing at capacity their work load increases, and at least in my opinion, the passengers are more demanding, because they are paying a premium to sail at that time. All of this accentuated and exaggerated because it is the time of year the crew is missing their families at home the most as well.

As the Christmas cruises come to their conclusion, and the ships return to port, the next group of passengers boards to “spend New Year’s Eve in style”. Cruises over New Years, while likely the most expensive of the year, are a great way to celebrate. New Year’s Eve is my favorite day of the year to be on a ship. New Year’s Eve is a PARTY!! Most everyone on the ship is out of their cabins, and out and about celebrating the beginning of a new year, with a hopeful look at a brighter future. The atmosphere that night is friendly and electric.

To conclude, you’ve probably garnered my recommendations, just by reading the blog.

If you’re going to cruise over the holidays, Thanksgiving is a far better choice for a family cruise, because of the atmosphere, and excellent pricing. If prices aren’t so much of a concern for you, New Year’s cruises are highly recommended for their fun and enhanced comraderie.

-          A View From the Kuki Side of Cruising -

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