Instead of slaving over a hot turkey – or keeping the peace between distant relatives – you could be eating Christmas dinner prepared by a top chef while gazing out to sea.
But more than just escaping the hard work and stress that the 25th of December can bring, taking a cruise at Christmas means you truly get into the spirit of the season. With the ship festooned with wreaths, holly and mistletoe from bow to stern, mulled wine handed out poolside, and choirs singing carols on the decks, even Scrooge couldn’t help but feel festive!
1. Christmas on the beach
Soaking in some rays is far more fun than shoveling snow – or the sleet we often get! Head to the tropics on a holiday cruise, and you won’t need any of your winter gear. In fact, you’ll be able to enjoy a long list of outdoor activities that don’t involve building snowmen with frostbitten fingers. Try snorkeling or parasailing at one of your island stops, or head to a bar or restaurant to taste local cuisine and sip ice cold drinks. Beats sitting at home with the fire on!
2. See how other cultures celebrate
One of the biggest perks of cruising is that you get the chance to experience multiple destinations on one getaway. During the holidays, this means you and your kids or friends or family can learn how other cultures celebrate the most magical time of the year. Admire the decorated palm trees in the Bahamas or take photos with Santa Claus in Jamaica. Every destination celebrates the holiday season differently, and you’ll get to experience several on a single cruise.
3. No cooking – hurrah!
People expect to eat well around the holidays, and as a result, the host often spends a ton of money and hours in the kitchen cooking – rather than enjoying the party. Known for their all-you-can-eat buffets, cruises offer innumerable holiday delicacies, none of which you have to prepare yourself. And on many cruises, all or most of the food is included in your rate, so you don’t have to worry about the cost.
4. More Christmas activities than you’d expect
If you’re concerned that you’ll miss out on fun holiday activities such as caroling and baking Christmas cookies, have no fear. All major cruise lines will wrap all your favourite holiday festivities and activities into one big present. You can go Christmas caroling, make gingerbread houses and Christmas cookies, take photos with Santa and attend a tree lighting ceremony, just to name a few of the festivities likely to be onboard. Imagine the work that would go into planning all those activities at home!
5. Bring the whole family!
If Christmas means one thing, it’s family time. So what could be better than all heading off together for the holiday of a lifetime? Everyone can do their own thing or form small sub-groups to go off and explore the ports, and then come back together at dinner to swap stories and reminisce. Or head off to your favourite onboard restaurant for a family meal you’ll remember forever – a cruise is just perfect for getting the whole gang together.
6. There’s New Year, too!
Let’s not forget about New Year! New Year’s Eve is the chance to party with those you hold dearest, bringing in the new year by dancing, laughing and surrounding yourself with friends and family. Grab your gladrags for a gala night onboard, beginning with a cocktail party followed by dinner and a show. After, you can follow the bagpiper out onto the outside decks to watch a spectacular fireworks display. What a way to start the year! If the weather is good enough, the celebrations will continue outside. If not – it’s back inside where the parties have been known to go on until the early morning!
Don’t be a scrooge!
There’s no better way to spend Christmas than on a cruise – all you need to do is call 0800 027 8302 and you can make these festivities a reality! Alternatively, take a look at our Deals section for some cruise inspiration.