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Pros and Cons of a Christmas Cruise?

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Hi All! We are thinking about taking the Equinox from Miami Dec. 22-29. My husband, 25yr old son and his girlfriend would be traveling. It looks to have a slightly revised itinerary with only 2 1/2 port days (evening in San Juan, a day in St. Thomas and a day in St. Maarten). A big draw for us is that we could spend Christmas day on St. John...one of our favorite places. If you've cruised over Christmas, would you recommend it? Is the ship festive? If you're in port on Christmas Eve, Christmas day, or the day after, are there things to do? Are things open? We enjoy sea days, so having an extra could be relaxing. Would love to hear others' experience. We need to make our minds up soon! Thanks!

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We did Christmas cruise for 11 years in a row with our two daughters, starting when they were about 9. It was absolutely perfect for us. We are a small family, and just the experience of doing carol singing with a group of a few hundred people in the atrium was priceless. Highly recommend.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Cruised the last two Christmas's with Royal and NCL. On those ships they had carol singing, Christmas tree lighting ceremonies and on Christmas day they had Santa giving out gifts to the children. There were a lot of children on board and we also noticed a lot of family groups, so grandparents, aunts and uncles etc. Nice to see but at the same time these larger groups tended to take over certain areas, we noticed this especially on RCI Navigator.

 

Still, its a different way to spend Christmas. They served a full dinner in the dining rooms plus buffet areas so I wasn't complaining!

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If you do book, just remember that itineraries can change on a moment's notice... if being in St John for the hoiiday is a key feature you could end up disappointed.

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Just remember if you are flying to your embarkation port not to wrap any presents you may be taking with you (unless you've used gift bags and tissue). There will be lots of families with children. The ships are beautifully decorated. There will be limited availability on the ship to book specialty dining, so if that's important to you I suggest you do it ahead of time. There will be few or no "deals" to be had for the specialty restaurants on board due to high demand. You won't have to cook, clean or entertain. Whatever you decide, have a great holiday!

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We have cruised at Christmas three times and are booked for our fourth Xmas Cruise this year. Lots of families, lots of kids, not always behaving nicely.

 

The nice thing about an Xmas cruise is that you can celebrate as much or as little as suits you. We ordinarily don’t celebrate Xmas but feel quite comfortable with how it’s marked on a cruise. In the past I have noticed however that members of our Roll Call from the UK expressed disappointment in the way Celebrity marked the day.

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Hi All! We are thinking about taking the Equinox from Miami Dec. 22-29. My husband, 25yr old son and his girlfriend would be traveling. It looks to have a slightly revised itinerary with only 2 1/2 port days (evening in San Juan, a day in St. Thomas and a day in St. Maarten). A big draw for us is that we could spend Christmas day on St. John...one of our favorite places. If you've cruised over Christmas, would you recommend it? Is the ship festive? If you're in port on Christmas Eve, Christmas day, or the day after, are there things to do? Are things open? We enjoy sea days, so having an extra could be relaxing. Would love to hear others' experience. We need to make our minds up soon! Thanks!

 

The biggest advantage of cruising over Christmas is that it provides a time for the family to be together and enjoy the holidays. However I would check and confirm that your son and girlfriend do want to spend the holiday with his parents, perhaps they looking for something more exciting.

 

I'm not sure that your itinerary has really been modified, it seems that most port stops in San Juan are only have a half a day.

 

Christmas activities will likely be limited. There will likely be a Christmas tree somewhere in a main area and a few stars and garland. There may be a sing-a-long on Christmas Eve, a small gift giveaway for the kids and a special menu in the MDR on Christmas day. But that will be about it. Activities in port may well be limited because the locals will also be celebrating Christmas but the beaches will still be open.

 

The biggest drawback is the cost. Holiday cruises are some of the most expensive cruises you can book and if you are traveling airfare will also be very expensive. I would also arrive at least a day early to account for weather delays.

 

Enjoy your holiday

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We were on the Connie a couple of years ago: UAE across to India and back over the Christmas period.

 

There were some children on board ----but not that many. I guess that particular cruise is not that attractive to families....

 

There were some decorations up. I recall a grotto area (no Father Christmas) which looked stunning.

 

Children were invited to meet Father Christmas in the theatre on Christmas Day.

 

There was some carol singing one evening and the Christmas Eve (or maybe Christmas Day) show featured a surprise guest lowered by ropes onto the stage...

 

Food? Well we were in Luminae and there was nothing festive on the menu! We had the roast turkey etc brought in from the MDR ----but it was disappointing! Turkey roll! School dinners!

 

Oh, I nearly forgot, passengers received a little gift (one per stateroom)... we were given a glass ornament for a Christmas tree. I heard that some passengers received chocolate... mmm... I know which I'd prefer!

 

Would we go at Christmas again? Yes.

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Cons: Ports of call are desert. Shops are closed. This for few days, but also many locals are in holidays.

 

 

Cons: prices

 

 

Pros: you can enjoy longer holidays (away from work).

 

 

Cons: Flights are full, airports also, people traveling from around the world. Good way to get flu. I was impressed on lack of hygiene of many passengers (south America cruise, a lot of young families). Washing hand before leaving WC were the exception not the rules you find on other cruises.

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Went on exact same cruise , same dates , same ship last year. It was great. Ported in San Juan on Christmas. Not much going on there. Ship had some decorations but not overdone. Went with extended family. There were 16 of us. Ages 16-75

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Been on a Christmas and Easter cruise...never again! Way too many kids, a lot unsupervised and wild. Also because of holidays some port stores /activities could be closed.

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Hi All! We are thinking about taking the Equinox from Miami Dec. 22-29.Thanks!

 

We are on the same cruise. We have cruised at Christmas quite a few times because Jacquie works for the school district. Hope y'all join us. :)

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Cons = too many kids.

 

I'll agree, and add one more: More expensive.

 

We also found the Christmas decorations on Celebrity to be underwhelming. We've sailed the week before on several other lines. They REALLY did a great job!

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We've sailed the week before on several other lines. They REALLY did a great job!

We have also sailed the week before several times and found great prices that week. We like to return and fly home on the 24th if possible, airfare always seems to be reasonable on Xmas Eve.

 

Last year was on Silhouette the week before and San Juan, St Thomas, and St Kitts were great. The ship had a nice tree (maybe a few trees??), garland throughout, and crew singing Xmas carols in the atrium one night. They sounded great and it was very memorable.

 

Ensure the son's girlfriend's family doesn't mind! Even if they are not Christian many people do special family things. Thinking of my friend's Jewish mom who would be mad if her kids weren't home for Chinese food and going to the movies on Christmas! :')

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Just not for us. The beauty of not having kids in school is we do not have to travel during school holidays. When our kids were young enough cruising wasn't really mainstream. For a few years we have sailed the cruise before the Christmas cruise. Loved the decorations in the atrium, they really go all out.

 

I love being around family during the holidays but not stuck on the ship with someone else kids - lots of them. On land we can get away :)

 

Obviously other people like them as they do sell out but I think most of it is due to the fact that they can't sail any other time than school break.

 

Traveling during the holidays is not an issue as we visit family a lot, just not a cruise.

 

Hope you have a great time, just not for us!

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We only have cruised once at Christmas and the problem was the people and children. On itineraries that are relatively close to the U.S. (Caribbean and Mexico), there can be hundreds of children and people that are on the cruise that received the cruise as a gift. While paying for your entire family to be together at Christmas is a great idea in theory, sometimes people are not familiar with cruising or simply do not like it and therefore do not appreciate being there (I spoke to some passengers with this mindset).

 

So, if you like a whole lot of people - some of whom may not be your typical cruiser, go for it!

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I’ve not cruised Christmas, but I’ve cruised NYE and the week before Christmas.

 

I would (and will) happily cruise the week before, but I will not cruise the week of Christmas or the week of New Years again. My children are grown, and those two weeks are full of kids. In fact, the NYE cruise we took they ran out of fresh milk on board, and sold considerably less alcohol than the bar manager expected!

 

The week before Christmas has the decor without near the number of kids.

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We liked taking the combo Christmas/New Years cruises better than just a Christmas cruise.

Still, the Christmas cruise was very much enjoyed. :)

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We liked taking the combo Christmas/New Years cruises better than just a Christmas cruise. :)

 

That is why we do the B2B, Christmas and New Year's. :D

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We are doing the Silhouette Christmas and New Years cruise this year. First time sailing over those holidays. I understand the concern many have with the increased number of kids aboard, but as a retired high school assistant principal at a school of 2400+, I doubt there will be anything I haven't seen before.

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We have cruised approx 25 times and we did one Christmas Cruise and we will never do one again unless it was adults only. It looked like it was a babysitting service for teenagers who just took over the pool deck and ran amok while the parents had their meals and drinks etc. It was on a Royal Carribean Cruise and within half an hour of getting on the cruise my OH was saying some kids would be overboard if he had his way. It was extremely disappointing and we aren’t kids averse, I work with children!

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Went on exact same cruise , same dates , same ship last year. It was great. Ported in San Juan on Christmas. Not much going on there. Ship had some decorations but not overdone. Went with extended family. There were 16 of us. Ages 16-75

 

Thank you! It's great to hear of your experience on the same cruise!

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We are on the same cruise. We have cruised at Christmas quite a few times because Jacquie works for the school district. Hope y'all join us. :)

 

Hi Texed and Jacquie...I think we are going to book it!

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