A Great Cruise anytime of year ...... except Christmas

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#1
3 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
The Norwegian Escape ship, staff and food was amazing! My only criticism would be the holiday decorations and holiday spirit. Specifically, the lack. We sailed through the Christmas holiday. My expectations were that the ship would be very decorated (trees, wreaths, lights, etc.). I was also hoping for more seasonal activities. Perhaps something like Christmas Carole Karaoke, make your own gingerbread house or stocking or something, Christmas movie trivia. I couldn’t even find egg nog or a Christmas themed cookie. The Gingerbread House display was wonderful and beautiful, but that was it. There were trees here and there and a few decorations, but overall it was underwhelming.


It is a cruise and I have a good expectation of price vs. services and amenities. I choose Norwegian because I feel I get the best service for the price. The Christmas week cruise was significantly more than the week before or the week after. With that in mind I had an expectation of getting something more for the extra cost. I was disappointed.


Every day is Monday for the crew and it is hard work. I’m sure that running a cruise ship requires a very precise time clock and the ability to repeat the same thing week in and week out. Asking them to put up (and take down) a ton of Christmas decorations, might be much. I also understand that there were probably about 10% of the customers that do not celebrate Christmas. But, if you are going to charge more to sail on Christmas then you should try to at least make it feel like Christmas for the 90% who paid more to be there.
#3
5,376 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
The reason they charge more is because it’s a very popular week, all travel is more expensive over Christmas. Christmas is also a religious holiday that not everyone celebrates, not everyone would be pleased to have a bunch of Christmas activities.
#4
41 Posts
Joined Nov 2017
Is that degree of decoration (or lack there of) the norm on other cruise lines? I’ve only been on one cruise, but would seriously consider a Christmas cruise in the future. I wouldn’t care so much about activities as I’m not much of a joiner, but I would expect decorations.


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#5
NYC
7,217 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
How does santa deliver the gifts to the kids? Does he climb down the ship funnel like he does with the chinemy on the houses?
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#7
Florida
695 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
Was on a Princess ship Dec of 2016 and it was beautifully decorated. Don't remember any Christmas crafts, but there might have been.

Also a RCL ship Dec of 2015, I remember the decorations etc on it too.

There are companies that come it and decorate I was told, not the normal staff.

Just to clarify, we were on them both mid month, not Christmas week.
#8
Florida
57 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Originally posted by mdenis
Is that degree of decoration (or lack there of) the norm on other cruise lines? I’ve only been on one cruise, but would seriously consider a Christmas cruise in the future. I wouldn’t care so much about activities as I’m not much of a joiner, but I would expect decorations.


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I was on oasis earlier in December. One of the neighborhoods had a big tree and some snowflakes hanging from the ceiling. If there were more decorations than that they didn't leave much of an impression.

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#9
Kentucky
13,755 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
I was surprised too about the lack of Christmas decorations around the Escape on our Dec. 16 sailing. There were some skinny Xmas trees around, mostly at the specialty restaurants. I think it is like the above poster said - Not everyone celebrates the holiday. I'm sure it also makes a lot of the staff members miss their families more because they are on the ship and not home for the holidays.
#10
321 Posts
Joined May 2013
You have the attitude that everybody on a cruise ship wants to have the same over-the-top Christmas experience as you do. That doesn’t resonate with many passengers.


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#11
South East. PA
4,583 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by jdvmd
I was surprised too about the lack of Christmas decorations around the Escape on our Dec. 16 sailing. There were some skinny Xmas trees around, mostly at the specialty restaurants. I think it is like the above poster said - Not everyone celebrates the holiday. I'm sure it also makes a lot of the staff members miss their families more because they are on the ship and not home for the holidays.
What people don't realize is they would need to store all the stuff also. Their is only X amount of space on a ship.
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#12
Kentucky
13,755 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by Laszlo
What people don't realize is they would need to store all the stuff also. Their is only X amount of space on a ship.
True. I do have to admit that we have been on other ships during the holiday and Princess really does the best with decorating.
#13
South Jersey
2,502 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by wdsted
You have the attitude that everybody on a cruise ship wants to have the same over-the-top Christmas experience as you do. That doesn’t resonate with many passengers.


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Aside from the Christmas crafts I see no reason, regardless of a small percentage of people who don't celebrate, to not make it festive according to the holiday. I am sure hundreds of people who go to Disney World do not celebrate Christmas but Disney does a heck of a job decorating the parks for it and I've never heard any complaints. Frankly, I believe this is more about the cost of hiring a company to come in and do it and has nothing at all to do with who might not appreciate it. It's just a nice touch to make people feel like home during a holiday. And yes, I would not mind them decorating for other holidays that I myself do not celebrate......I love seeing all the different cultures and their customs.
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#14
419 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
I was on the BA twice in Dec (about the 10th) and both times they had some decorations. Obviously not what OP would have expected...but enough that you knew it was Christmastime.

I would not have liked it if they had "over the top" decorations or Christmas themed activities. It's a cruise during "Christmas Time"....not a Christmas cruise.

With a diverse population one should not be inundated with religious celebrations that one does not observe.
#15
41 Posts
Joined Nov 2017
Originally posted by uneamie
Aside from the Christmas crafts I see no reason, regardless of a small percentage of people who don't celebrate, to not make it festive according to the holiday. I am sure hundreds of people who go to Disney World do not celebrate Christmas but Disney does a heck of a job decorating the parks for it and I've never heard any complaints. Frankly, I believe this is more about the cost of hiring a company to come in and do it and has nothing at all to do with who might not appreciate it. It's just a nice touch to make people feel like home during a holiday. And yes, I would not mind them decorating for other holidays that I myself do not celebrate......I love seeing all the different cultures and their customs.
exactly!




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#16
NYC
7,217 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by Laszlo
What people don't realize is they would need to store all the stuff also. Their is only X amount of space on a ship.
they could send it back to the main office and let them store in a warehouse somewhere.
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#17
18,079 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I do not know of any cruise line that goes all out decorating for Christmas. There is simply too much space to cover. Usually you will find a Christmas tree or two and some garland, and that is about it.
#18
Louisville, KY
273 Posts
Joined Jun 2016
I was on the Escape for Christmas last year and was also disappointed with the lack of holiday decor/experience. What little they did have was very muted and nearly disguised. In contrast, we were in Disneyland this Christmas and we were blown away by the quantity and quality of holiday decorations. Rides were repurposed with a holiday theme. It was over the top Christmas. My family loved it. I understand the OPs disappointment because my family experienced it too.
.

Here's the atrium decor. About as festive as it got.


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#19
Florida
57 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Originally posted by uneamie
Aside from the Christmas crafts I see no reason, regardless of a small percentage of people who don't celebrate, to not make it festive according to the holiday. I am sure hundreds of people who go to Disney World do not celebrate Christmas but Disney does a heck of a job decorating the parks for it and I've never heard any complaints. Frankly, I believe this is more about the cost of hiring a company to come in and do it and has nothing at all to do with who might not appreciate it. It's just a nice touch to make people feel like home during a holiday. And yes, I would not mind them decorating for other holidays that I myself do not celebrate......I love seeing all the different cultures and their customs.
Disney has hundreds of workers working the entire 12+ hours between park close and open (plus warehouses for storage and greenhouses where they spend months growing stuff) for all but the most elaborate things.

Cruise ships have limited storage and what maybe four hours between the last pax off and the first on... which they use to get the boat ready.

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#20
Ontario, Canada
424 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
I was on the Oasis of the Seas for Christmas last year and had a lovely cruise, but felt the decorations and activities could have been way more Christmas like.

Although there was a Christmas dinner and Hanukkah dinner choice on the menu, the day didn't seem any different than any other day. The only special Christmas activities on the cruise was Santa was seeing kids in the morning and the characters were in Christmas outfits. I think there was some carolling. It didn't meat my expectations.

My sister went to an AI last year and now said Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were over the top fancy, fun and Christmasy. If I travel on Christmas again, it will be to an AI.


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