christmas cruise with kids

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40 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
we're taking our first cruise this christmas with our 6 year old and 3 year old. any suggestions on how to handle santa? would santa arrive before the cruise just for them? or would he deliver on schedule for us to discover when we got home?

how have other parents handled this creatively?
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Christmas on the Dawn Princess, 2004
1,307 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
We took an Australia vacation at Christmas on year. Grandted, our kids were a month shy of 5 and 3 (not 6 and 3) but close enough.
We just 'moved' christmas. We were lucky that my daughter didnt have a grasp of the calendar yet so the morning of our flight, Santa came....we then ran to DD's Christmas Program at school and off to the plane. It was nice to have the new things for the flight.
On Christmas day, there was no question because all december long people are saying "merry Christmas" and all so there was no change in the day.

I will recommend NOT bringing wrapped gifts on your plane. They will be opened. Plus, if you are picked for search and your kids are there, they might see the stash.

You can make a fuss about 'calling' santa to schedule and early delivery. You can even get creative and make up a fake 'confirmation notice' to come in the mail. I think it depends on how advanced your 6 year old is. Your 3 year old will go along with anything.

Personally, I would rather do it beforehand then have them wait longer. I would decorate the cabin and make a paper tree....Then on Christmas day, you can give your presents to each other....and maybe one for the steward and kids club counselors? That will feel special for them.

Have a great holiday anyway.
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NCL Star 1/04
Vision of the Seas 7/09

Nantucket, MA
195 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
We went on the Norwegian Sky last Christmas with our two children ages 7 and 9. Santa arrived early at our home bringing new gameboys, games and a few other things that I thought would keep them entertained during the traveling. We also opened gifts from other family members and friends before we left home.
We had tried to explain that the cruise was our family gift but that we would pick up other gifts as we toured the different ports.

I hid stocking stuffers in the bottom of one suitcase in a plastic bag. Unfortunetly they found these Christmas Eve day under the bed. Too late for me to get much else. They were disappointed on Christmas morning when Santa had not appeared. The ship did have a Santa on board and gave small gifts to all the children.
394 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
We were on Disney cruises for two Christmas days. Three kids from 2 - 9 years old.

When we wrote Santa that year we let him know we would be on a cruise.
I packed an extra suitcase (I keep it locked and nobody was the wiser). On Christmas morning there were beanie babies and other fun- smallest type stuff PLUS a card from Santa written on cruise stationary (nice people in the gift shop store wrote it for me) and it stated that he just dropped off a few things on the cruise but the rest would be waiting for us at home. Trust me -- my daughter checked the handwriting. Santa left the presents by the veranda -- my kids argued for hours about where he parked his sled.

When we arrived home the tree was filled with presents. I had the house sitter get them out from their hiding place and place them under the tree for our return.

This worked great for two years -- the kids LOVED having the two present days. And I liked having them open presents and having new stuff to play with on the cruise.

We traveled before 9/11 so we were able to wrap and pack them in checked luggage. You might still be able to wrap some things if you ceck them.

Good luck, be creative and the crew are lonely because they have left their family at home. They welcome the chance to help.

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RCI mexico 7/94 mexico

Disney Magic 3 day 12/99

Disney Magic 7 day 12/00

05/05 Celebrity Infinity, Panama Canal
886 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
I've been on many Christmas cruises.

Just so you know, they will have a Santa on the ship walking around. Always do. If your kids are at an age to question, they might wonder why Santa had to come early to your home when he makes a quick stop on the ship? Just a thought.

You could bring one small gift with you and leave it for Christmas morning on the cruise with a note something like "Here's a little something, glad I got to see you in the main dining room last night. Most of your gifts I had to leave at your home back in Illinois. Have a great time on the cruise".
15 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
we are also sailingchristmas day and traveling thru the night. Santa called and said he would come a day early for my 7 yr old. He seems happy with that. We also anticipate Santa on the ship, but explained that gifts are hard to pack on a cruise ship. So it is just a visit.
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can't wait...
12/25 Majesty Cruise
21,297 Posts
Joined May 2002
Our kids are older, but this is what we did last year. We opened presents before we left for the cruise. Then, Christmas morning, I had their Christmas stockings for them to open. They were glad to have something to open Christmas morning and we didn't have to pack a bunch of stuff. Santa Clause was on our ship, RCCL Monarch and had gifts for all the children. Our kids are a bit old for that, but the little ones did get nice backpacks with crayons/coloring books and candy from him.