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when does xmas start on holland america ships, decorations, music, etc. thanks

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Please advise us when Holland American ships start doing the xmas decorations, music in the lounges, anything xmas related. We are thinking about a cruise during the last week of November, but were not sure when this all occurs. thanks so much for any info.

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We sailed Thanksgiving and Christmas cruises many times and I remember some cruises when decoartions did not get 'seriously underway' until about Decemeber 9 or so. sometimes they bring on a group to do the decorating and soetimes ship's crew does it. It always looks beautiful. :)

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We were on the Oosterdam from Nov 25 (day after US Thanksgiving) to Dec 16. When we boarded, there was Christmas decorations all over the ship and holiday music was playing in the public areas. (not religious stuff, but the usual Frosty the Snowman, Silver Bells, Rudolph type of music). This cruise was a B2B, and the last segment was 7 days, Dec 9 - 16. A large political group (about 225) boarded on Dec 9, and the holiday music immediately reverted to normal rock-n-roll. We called the front desk and asked "what happened" ? We were told that "some guests were offended by the holiday music". For the first 14 days of the cruise, no one was offended. A political group (to remain nameless) boarded for the last 7 days, and all of a sudden, 2 weeks to Christmas, and we have generic rock-n-roll. A coincidence ???....... I leave it up to you.

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We were on twice in late November as the decorations were going up. They were up right around Thanksgiving (USA).




That's what we had expected last year on the Koningsdam and it got further and further into December until finally they started. Not sure why so late for our sailing.

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I believe it depends on the ship and the amount of turnaround (loading) days. Once we boarded the Amsterdam for a holiday cruise on 12/18 - she had just returned from the South Pacific cruise and there was not a single decoration to be seen. On all of our other HAL holiday cruises, the ships were fully decorated when we boarded so we were pretty surprised. Over the next day or so, decorations started to slowly appear so it seems like they were loaded in San Diego with the rest of the supplies.


Long story short: for ships that do shorter cruises, I'd expect decorations post-Thanksgiving or early December, but those doing longer cruises might get their decorations later based on when their next turnaround day is.

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We did back-to-back cruises on the Zaandam out of Florida quite a few years ago. At the end of the first segment (10 days) right after Thanksgiving, we expected to see decorations go up. Did not happen. When we got off the ship on Dec 10 after the second 10 day segment, we saw they were starting to put up the decorations.

No one knows how HAL works.

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Once the Christmas music starts, it just continues.


Several years ago we were on the Eurodam in mid February. There was background music in the Canaletto, and much to our surprise Christmas music suddenly started playing for a few songs. We were told the music is on a loop, and they have no control over changing it????

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