Xmas & NYE cruise questions

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#1
85 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
This will be my first holiday cruise and i will be traveling alone. I dont have any family and find this time if year rather painful. What will christmas eve be like onboard? I am not afraid of socializing but wonder how others, particularly families view older solo cruisers during the holidays?

Christmas day the ship will be in Melbourne and i have already paid for a tour but worry much will be closed. Is there likely to be special meals? A church service? How about New Years Eve?
#2
Wildwood NJ
171 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
I am going on my second cruise, first New Years Cruise this Holiday Season. I am travelling with my family so unfortunately I cant really answer your questions.

Try posting over in the solo cruisers forum. maybe someone can offer assistance there as well.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=373

Have a great time on your cruise
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#3
Nashville, TN
16 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by AlkiRagdoll
This will be my first holiday cruise and i will be traveling alone. I dont have any family and find this time if year rather painful. What will christmas eve be like onboard? I am not afraid of socializing but wonder how others, particularly families view older solo cruisers during the holidays?

Christmas day the ship will be in Melbourne and i have already paid for a tour but worry much will be closed. Is there likely to be special meals? A church service? How about New Years Eve?
Hi AlkiRagdoll,

My family (my husband and I and my parents) has done a couple of Christmas/New Years cruises -- we like them precisely because they diminish the stress of the holidays: no gifts to exchange, no family drama, no elaborate meals to prepare, no house to clean. We do often note that Christmas doesn't feel like *Christmas* probably because we're not at home doing the traditional family celebration (although the cruise lines do try to make a special meal and to decorate). But it works for our family because we don't have any children, so we aren't looking for a traditional Christmas at this stage of our lives. If you are looking to escape/ignore Christmas, a cruise is, a smart choice (not to say that people won't be celebrating but you can pick and choose what you want to do and ignore it if you want to). There will probably be a lot of people in the same boat that you'll find people to socialize with.

Most cruise lines do have a church service (Protestant and Catholic) on either Christmas eve and Christmas day. They usually have a pretty good showing but most people won't attend (especially if you are docked, people will want to get out and explore).

News Years Eve on the other hand is always fun! The ships go all out with decorations and celebrations. By that point of the journey you will have met a number of people through tours and other activities. Last holiday cruise we were on we ended up ringing in the New Year with people we met our very first night at the cruise critics connections event (be sure to register for it!). I think you'll have a great time.

Hope that helps!

R2bK
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Celebrity Summit - Bermuda Cruise May 2014
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Celebrity Century - Panama Canal Holiday Cruise 2013
Oceania Regatta - Polynesian Paradise Christmas 2011
Cunard Queen Mary 2 - Christmas and New Years 2010
MSC Poesia - Mediterranean Sunshine Cruise July 2008
#4
San Francisco Bay Area
240 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
Have you joined the roll call for your cruise? There might be other solo people cruising and may be you could get together for a drink or dinner.
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#5
In the Valley, CA
22,994 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Our last three cruises have been the holiday cruises on Princess (all have been the Hawaiian itinerary). We could only go on vacation when our girl is on school break, and in the past few summers, she's had things to do at school (eg. band camp).

What's nice for us is that we could avoid the craziness at the local malls (no parking, crowds, etc.). Hanukkah fell during the first of those three, so it was fun seeing how it's celebrated on board (the nightly menorah lightings were held in one of the bigger lounges, which were filled with families who had brought their menorahs. A retired rabbi invited the "kinder" to come up and help light the candles). We left ours back home, but I did bring a foam sticky one that we lit each night. In the kids' program, the kids, including ours, made lots of holiday crafts. Santa came to the ship to give each kid a gift.

The first two cruises, Christmas and NY fell on sea days, but last year, we were in Lahaina on Christmas Day. So I did some research and even asked on some of the attraction's Facebook pages and found that the Whalers Village (which we hadn't been to before) was going to be open. The day before, we were in Hilo and went shopping too. But I guess in some other areas (Caribbean, Europe), it may be a different situation.

I don't remember if there were solo's on this cruise. But on the first of these cruises, two of our tablemates were brother and sister, but they didn't share a cabin and often spent time on their own (the sister was on two of our excursions; don't know what her brother did -- I'm guessing he found some bar in port to hang out at).

One of our three formal nights was either on Christmas Eve or on Christmas, and it seemed there was a special menu, including gingerbread souffle. NY Eve was always a formal dinner. And a major party in the atrium.
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Patty the Cruisin' Chick (may all your cruises be smooth sailin')

Hoping for another trip to the land of Aloha!

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#6
Australia
519 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by AlkiRagdoll
This will be my first holiday cruise and i will be traveling alone. I dont have any family and find this time if year rather painful. What will christmas eve be like onboard? I am not afraid of socializing but wonder how others, particularly families view older solo cruisers during the holidays?

Christmas day the ship will be in Melbourne and i have already paid for a tour but worry much will be closed. Is there likely to be special meals? A church service? How about New Years Eve?
Hi
I normally travel with my parents, brother, husband and 3 boys and we have done several Xmas New Year cruises.

The best thing about a cruise during this time is you are part of a big family with people from all over the world. Everyone has different reasons for being on a cruise during the festive season.

There are church services, decorations, tours, activities during this time.
Being a solo cruiser you can ask to share a table with other cruisers who are dining. This a great way to celebrate and get to meet new people.

I'm sure there will be many others also solo cruising who you may meet.

Roll calls are a fantastic way to meet people prior to your cruise so the ice is broken and connections are made.
I have met some wonderful strangers my age and older who have become special friends to me thanks to cruise critic roll calls and cruises.

We have been on tours on Christmas Day and it has been special. Try to pick a tour that doesn't have a big shopping period as Melbourne may not have many shops open during this time. We did the Dandenong ranges, train and farm visit it was a fantastic day.
In Rotarua on Christmas Day we went on a full day excursion so was able to have a 3 course lunch and a Maori dance experience. We then returned to the ship to take the kids to see Santa and have Xmas dinner on the ship.

This year we will be in St Thomas and have opted for a 3 hour tour and beach so that we are back on the ship for lunch.

They call it more Happy Holidays so that was different for our first Xmas onboard but there are many decorations etc so it really does feel like Xmas and is beautiful!

As far as being a family and how I view solo cruisers I think it's fantastic that you have decided to do a cruise during the festive season and you are in the best place. Feel confident that you will meet others and have a truly wonderful experience.
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#7
Portland, Oregon
70 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
I'd bet anyone would welcome another person at the table if you want company..As I'm considering a solo cruise next year or the year after-depends-I've been reading threads that apply to that line.

Depending on how you have your dinner time set up-if you've wanted to be free to decide when you want to eat or if you've selected a set time, you have the opportunity to tell tell the hostess that you'd like to be seated with other singles, or with a family.

Speaking for my family-we always have singles to out house on thanksgiving and Christmas day dinner..I'm hoping we can meet new people on the cruise.

In any case, enjoy yourself! I envy your trip to Australia. We will be in Puerto Rica that day and I'm sure everything will be closed. Oh well-the ocean is still there.
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Plantcrone aka/elle
#8
87,514 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
The holidays are very special on board the ships and you will find many traveling by themselves and also people traveling together and also families. It is really a nice atmosphere and to me very special.

Keith
#9
Florida
248 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
I have been on 2 holiday cruises. I did a New Years Cruise and I did an 8 day Christmas and New Years cruise. The ships are decorated very nice. I have gone with family but I know that there were some solo cruisers that I noticed. Join your roll call to see if there are other solo cruisers. They had special menus for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and New Years Eve and New Years Day. Free Champagne was giving out on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve and the party hats on New Years Eve with beads and the party horn favors. They had fake snow on Christmas Day fall in the Atrium and they sang Christmas songs. They also had a special Christmas Show. They also had a Santa Claus.
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