Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
MsSWhite

Where to cruise during Christmas week??

Recommended Posts

Have you taken a Christmas Cruise??🎄 Our extended family is looking to finally join us on a 5 day cruise!  Their first!  Cruising with adults and college aged children.

 

I am looking for your itinerary opinions. I want to make the right decision for all 4 families.  (We have never been to Progreso.)

1.  Grand Turk and Amber Cove

2.  Cozumel and Progreso

3.  Cozumel and Grand Caymen

 

Also, any insight regarding weather, beaches, seas, etc. would really be appreciated! Thank you!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Christmas cruises are a must, you truly should ! 

Without knowing what ships your researching I would suggest one of the Dream class or even Vista class.

 

GT and Amber is on my fair to good list.  Coz and Pro more so for Coz.

Coz and GC  , yea I could do that. With the exception of GC's city called Hell. If you've done that one time , it was enough :classic_blink:

Edited by BoDidly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just don't expect local stores to be open on Christmas Day!

 

Local store-staff do not appreciate that, I can assure you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We cruise most years over Christmas/New Years.  We LOVE Cozumel.  Paradise Beach is our favorite place and very afforadable to do with four families and on your own.  They have a huge pool area, volleyball, watersports, climbing towers in the ocean for the kids AMAZING place and we go there every time now.  We have been to Granda Cayman and enjoyed the beach there.  It's been awhile but we taxied to a Marriott beach area on our own I believe.  Beaches were beautiful 🙂  In my opinion any islands are enjoyable if you're getting out of the winter weather lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

We just returned from a cruise to Cozumel and Progreso. Even though I’d read tons of negative reviews about Progreso, for me it was a wonderful, welcome change. It proved a more authentic, less crowded Mexican experience. Definitely not as touristy or developed as ports like Cozumel, but that’s a big reason why I liked it. The beach front has more of a sleepy  beach town feel with restaurants and locally owned small hotels. Progreso is also the gateway to Merida and Chichen Itza. 

 

I like all the ports mentioned for different reasons. Grand Cayman is a perennial favorite of mine (beautiful beaches, superb snorkeling, and a picturesque downtown with great shops). Only negative is that it’s a tender port and there’s always a chance that it may be skipped if weather doesn’t cooperate. 

 

Grand Turk and Amber Cove are “Carnival-built” ports of call with well developed welcome centers but a less authentic experience. Many cruisers choose to spend the day lounging at the cruise line built facilities all day which is nice, but which provides very little chance to truly explore these destinations. But they may be great options for cruisers who don’t like exploring beyond the port area, or for those who are a bit leery about getting out of their comfort zone.

 

Finally, Cozumel is a great destination with tons of options. From beaches, scuba diving, swimming with dolphins, and beaches, to museums, Mayan ruins, and tons of restaurants and beach bars. I always find something to do in Cozumel. With that said, it’s one of the most crowded and visited ports of call anywhere in the Caribbean. It’s not uncommon to have 6-7 cruise ships docked simultaneously in Cozumel, with hordes of cruise passengers crowding the more popular tourist attractions. 

 

Think of what you think your extended family would like the most and go from there. As someone else suggested, also look at the actual ships. Some of these itineraries are on newer and larger Dream class ships, while others may be on smaller and aging Fantasy class ships. This could impact your family’s enjoyment more than the actual itinerary. 

 

Have a great time!

Edited by Tapi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We love Cozumel. There’s so many things to do there. We’ve been 4 times and have yet to repeat anything. Waters beautiful and we enjoy our time there.

 

Progreso is okay. If you’re looking for the clear blue waters, you will not find it. For some this is a deal breaker.  

 

Grand Cayman is a favorite of ours. It’s gorgeous there and we love the beach. 

 

Ive never been to Amber cove. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Grand Cayman is a great port if you want to be IN the water that week.  Generally the water is still pretty warm and comfortable there at that time of year.  It is a beautiful port with all kinds of things to do.   You can find a place for all your family to get a taxi and enjoy the day- without needing to spend $$ on a ship excursion.    My own personal favorite "cheap" place to go is Calico Jacks.   Beach bar with decent bar food- - picnic tables in the shade and a gorgeous  beach.  It is right next to a public beach so you have plenty of room in the water, bathrooms, food- shade- drinks... what more could one need? 

 

 Cozumel is a good stop if people like to walk around and shop or find a restaurant, or do an organized excursion or all inclusive beach day.  There are a couple of nice beaches where you do not need to do an all inclusive thing but the cab fare can get you!  Make sure you know what your cab fare is going to be before you get in.   If you want to be in the water there it is usually warm enough that week.  It may not be as pretty or warm as Grand Cayman- but it can be a really good beach day there.

 

Amber Cove is kind of a bust of a port in my opinion if you want an authentic experience.  BUT- if your extended family just wants to hang out together in nice weather by a bar and pool- it is right there at the port and no cab fare or excursion required.  Easy to get to without a hassle or much walking.  Little zip line for kids, swim up bar and free lounge chairs for grown ups... 

 

Grand Turk is a nice little island with a beautiful beach.  The water can be unpredictable temperature wise.  I always go in but sometimes it is chilly in December.  Kids won't care.  There is a margaritaville right off the ship if you want that experience, or there is a beach with free beach chairs if just off the pier.  If you want to be less crowded you can walk further down the beach and rent chairs from a local and buy drinks from them as well.   No need to book an excursion here, although there are some if that is what you want to do.

Edited by pjhootch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/17/2019 at 10:28 PM, MsSWhite said:

 

3.  Cozumel and Grand Caymen

 

 

 

Over the years we've taken many Christmas/New Years cruises.

Lots to do in both Cozumel and Grand Cayman.  :classic_cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cozumel and GC were warm and beautiful last Christmas. Next year's cruise takes us to that area hoping for similar weather. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So many great responses!  Thanks!  As I am reading through them, I think now I am more concerned about the weather and water temps as a couple of you mentioned.  We enjoy the local shops--but, good point--they may be closed for Christmas.  We'll probably spend more time at the beaches.

 

Do you think the temps will be better in the Western Carib v. Eastern Carib at that time?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MsSWhite said:

 

Do you think the temps will be better in the Western Carib v. Eastern Carib at that time?  

The farther south you go, the better the water temperatures will be. We’ve sailed the Western Caribbean at different times of the year and we’ve never felt that the water was “too cold”. I guess it all depends on what’s people’s definition of cold is. When I lived in Miami, there were times when I’d be wearing a jacket and not considering jumping in the “frigid” water, while tourists from up north were frolicking in the ocean. 

 

Last time I went to Grand Cayman was during thanksgiving and the water was blissfully warm. I could’ve stayed in the ocean forever. We also went swimming with dolphins in Cozumel and the water temperature was great as well. On that same cruise, we also stopped in the Bahamas and the water was considerably colder. Warm enough to go in, but not comfortable. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last time we cruised at Christmas there were 10 ships in port in Cozumel and it was a nightmare. We had been there many times so we didn't do any excursions, but wanted to take a taxi downtown to eat at one of our favorite alfresco restaurants. Took forever to get a taxi at the port and downtown was a mob scene. We decided never to cruise at the holidays again - way too many kids and all the ports were crowded that week. We are retired now and can cruise anytime, but then we were still working and sometimes we cruised at the holidays because of days off and didn't need to use much vacation. Never again. If I were you and determined to go at that time, I would book any excursions online before you go. If you wait until aboard ship, you are likely to find fewer available and none you are interested in taking. I would also book reservations at the ship's specialty restaurants online before you go. Local shops will be closed on Christmas Day. Only once did we experience a cold weather cruise the whole week in Dec. - the water wasn't bad except in Half Moon Cay and the ocean was freezing. It might be warmer on a W. Caribbean cruise at that time. We have sailed 48 times at various times of the year and have found it's usually warmed in the W. Caribbean in Dec. and Jan. Have a great cruise with your family!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have cruised at Christmas the last 4 years and just love it. 

 

I think we spent Christmas day at Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and the other two times might have been sea days.

The only thing we wanted to do at Grand Cayman that was closed was the Turtle Farm but we still had a great day seeing the stingrays and going snorkeling. In Cozumel, we went to Chankanaab.  We have been in Cozumel a few times and it's just such an easy port with lots to do.  

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like Grand Cayman. Nothing to do but the beach really. I have family there and they told us they'd come and get us and they never showed up after numerous phone calls. We waited 2 hours for them standing on the sidewalk outside Hard Rock. Infuriating.  Love Cozumel, lots of things to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Our first cruise was a Christmas/New Years Cruise. I would go with Cozumel and Progreso simple because I liked visiting Chichen Itza and the Mayan Ruins. It was very warm even at that time of the year. We didn't get in the water while we were there but saw plenty of people enjoying it. The only complaint I have about sailing during that time of the year is the price. The water was a bit rough too. It didn't bother me but a lot of people were sea sick. When we went Christmas Day was a sea day. I would pay attention to the days you are in port to make sure it's not a day everything will be closed. 

 

Correction we did get in the water. I almost forgot about the little watering hole at the village we went to. Water was nice. 

 

I've gone to Grand Cayman in February and the water was nice enough to get in.

Edited by cloudninecat
correction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, crusinpsychRN said:

I don't like Grand Cayman.

I have family there and they told us they'd come and get us

and they never showed up after numerous phone calls.

 

We waited 2 hours for them standing on the sidewalk outside Hard Rock.

Infuriating.  ===> To say the least: you were far too patient!

.

I'm guessing they're no longer in the Last Will & Testament?

 

How messed up were they? You sure they are DNA family??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Aplmac said:

.

I'm guessing they're no longer in the Last Will & Testament?

 

How messed up were they? You sure they are DNA family??

 

Niece of ex husband. Not in the last will for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • Celebrity Edge in Europe Sweepstakes
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...