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Tell me about Thanksgiving on a cruise

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Hi All!

I never considered going on a cruise for Thanksgiving but we usually cruise sometime in October and haven't been overly thrilled with the choices for next year.  We just got back from Symphony and it was fantastic but the seven days can feel really rushed.  Even one extra day can help.  We LOVED Coco Cay.  Didn't have time to do everything even though we didn't pay for any extras like the waterpark.  It was a little hectic with getting back on the ship Friday evening and having to have our bags outside our door by 10:00 PM that night.  Our dinners in the MDR weren't over until after 10:00 because we had late seating so that meant at 5:00 PM when we got back onboard, we had about three hours to shower and totally pack up the room.  Anything that went to dinner with us that night had to go into our carryon as well.  Really enjoy the last day being a sea day much more.  All that being said, I'd repeat the cruise that we just came back on in a heartbeat and would be totally happy.  As I look for next year, I expanded the search into November and an 11/20/20 on Explorer looks kind of nice.  Haven't approached the family about it yet to see what they think, but just trying to gather info first.  I did a search and saw a few things on here like they serve turkey (I'd hope so!) and Christmas decorations go up the next day which I hadn't thought about but would be awesome.  Doing a Google search about Thanksgiving cruises took me to a list on Carnival's page that said they put the big Thanksgiving Day parade on their big screen.  That's been a tradition in our house since my sister and I were kids and we still do it now.  Has anyone seen that option on Royal?  Any extra info that you know or if you've been on one, please give a few details.  Thank you!!

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In the past we would cruise every Thanksgiving until they decreased the length of the cruises.  The last cruise we did over Thanksgiving was 3 years ago on the Grandeur and there were 650 kids on that cruise.  The kids club was not able to handle all the kids so not all kids could attend.  

 

They did serve turkey and the ship was being decorated for Christmas which was great.  I would not recommend doing a 7 night or less cruise then unless you do not mind that many kids.  We do not cruise with kids so that is no longer an option for us.  Enjoy your cruise whenever you decide to go.

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Been doing Thanksgiving in Wind Jammer last 3yrs. Whole Turkey's to Carve with all the Fixings, and my Favorite Whole Pies to chose from... Several longer sailing Ships have all the Christmas Decorations up the next day

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The one I'm looking at on Explorer (one of our favorite ships and being "amplified" in May) is nine nights.  Our son will be 13 and actually aged out of Adventure Ocean last year and was in the "teen" club this year.  It was spotty at best - not because of Royal but because lack of participation on the few teens who were there.  Our son still had fun with a few kids who would meet in the "Living Room" and play games for short periods.  My niece who will be five would be with us as well so she'd be interested in the kids' club.  I think my husband would like saving a few vacation days by combining with a holiday.  Not sure how everyone will feel about it yet.  I'm not convinced myself yet lol.  We are fine with kids on board though.  Thanks!

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We have cruised on Thanksgiving for many years, the dining room is always decorated very nice. They do serve turkey and the trimmings but I always get the prime rib, I can get turkey at home for $.49 a lb. As a business owner it was always easier to close my business for three days and go cruising, but there was a lot of kids if that concerns you.

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That's always our week out of either Baltimore or NJ.  Not this year.  Honestly too many kids for us.  Going to give the week after a try.  Anyway... thoughts on TG cruises... lots of families and kids.  Not a big fuss made about the holiday.  People are more dressed up for that night's dinner.  Turkey with fixings is eh.  Did see whole pies in the Windjammer.  Christmas decorations going up are nice.  Don't remember seeing the parade but I'm sure it was on somewhere.  Football was on in most bars.  Usually a sea day and formal/dress your best.  That's about it.    

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I don't recall seeing the parade on my Thanksgiving cruises.  They do serve turkey and pumpkin pie in the main dining room on Thanksgiving Day and they do start putting up the Christmas decorations.

 

When considering a Thanksgiving cruise, do NOT forget to factor in the cost of getting to the port and remember to add extra time.  Flight prices go insane for Thanksgiving travel and the airports are also much busier.

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We used to cruise every thanksgiving for years, but now much rather cruise week after, lot less children week after and cruises are cheaper so that’s a win win for us , will fly to port on thanksgiving or day after , doing it again this year. Christmas tree normally goes up right after thanksgiving.

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Was on Anthem last Thanksgiving for an 8-night. Lots of kids and families, which was to be expected. They did serve a special Thanksgiving meal in the MDR but we opted for Wonderland that night instead. The decorations did not go up the day after, which was extremely disappointing. Overall, I'd do it again in a heartbeat, because you cannot top spending Thanksgiving Day on an island. 

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We love cruising on Thanksgiving but stopped as finding a good dog sitter that week and costs for flights home the weekend after just priced us out being worth it.  I never looked for the parade or traditional meals since what I loved was getting away from the usual traditions though I appreciated they were there for those that wanted them!

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We are cruising Thanksgiving week next year on Grandeur without three kids so the kid issue doesn't really phase us  (we were on navigator's easter saling this year with almost 1000 kids and my kids had a BLAST!).  We always cruise the first week of December (well except next year b/c we found an amazing deal and less missed school days for the kiddos).  If you want to push back you sailing until then it is the perfect time to cruise in my opinion.  Less kids, less craziness at airports but everyone is a festive mood bc it is holiday season!!  Cruise prices are also pretty rock bottom that week too hence why we normally book!

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We've done 3 Thanksgiving cruises  9& 10 days.  The first was the explorer and the kids had a blast.  They were 9,9 &10 at the time.  There were 850 kids on board and the worst thing I saw the entire cruise was once I got in the elevator and all the buttons were pushed.  I did hear a few people complain about the number of kids on board, but if you are going to cruise a mass market line over a school break, you should expect a lot of kids.  We did do one cruise over Thanksgiving on NCL that had some badly behaved kids, but mine refused to hang out with them.  The Thanksgiving cruise we did on Carnival had some badly behaved adults.  There were not "young adults".  Most were middle age and older.  There were groups who took the fun out of all the games and trivia by constant complaining.  I've never seen so many people upset because they didn't win the "ship on a stick", "boat on a rope", keychain or pen.  We really liked the explorer.  I wouldn't hesitate to cruise on that ship again.

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The "turkey dinner" is probably not quite the choices you're accustomed to....Turkey, mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, dressing, cranberry...a green veggie, maybe....that's about it.  I find the turkey to be good, but when we cook for thanksgiving, we have many more "sides" to choose from!

At any rate, it will be a fun trip!

 

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Sailed on Anthem Thanksgiving 2018.  Contrary to what others have said, the amount of kids didn't bother us.  Only complaint?  Although dinner in the MDR was quite good, the portion of stuffing (again, quite good) was...let's just say...nowhere near what I would have had on my plate at home!  Thought they were a bit stingy with the stuffing...

    

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We’re sailing on Navigator over Thanksgiving this year for the second time in three years.  Both times, we do the 9 night on Black Friday this time on Explorer to make a long couple weeks.  Did MDR for last night last time and it was good.  Will probably do WJ this time as we’re going very casual.  Either way, really didn’t find it anymore crowded than normal and are looking forward to this one.

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Thanks for the suggestion of WJ for Thanksgiving.  We bought the UDP again so we will probably book a specialty restaurant for Thanksgiving but I'll pop into WJ for the mandatory stuffing.

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5 hours ago, Tee & Chilli said:

Is the UDP offered on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day? I think those days are restricted.

 

I believe  New Year's Eve is also restricted.

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On 10/23/2019 at 9:08 PM, MaryL31 said:

... Although dinner in the MDR was quite good, the portion of stuffing (again, quite good) was...let's just say...nowhere near what I would have had on my plate at home!  Thought they were a bit stingy with the stuffing...

    

Why didn't you just ask for more stuffing?  They would gladly have accommodated your request.  Unlike a restaurant, you can get more of anything you wish. Much like a restaurant, however, you can ask them for substitutions, changes, no sauce, sauce on the side, all side dishes with no meat, three appetizers instead of main entree.... You are never stuck. 

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On 10/23/2019 at 9:08 PM, MaryL31 said:

Sailed on Anthem Thanksgiving 2018.  Contrary to what others have said, the amount of kids didn't bother us.  Only complaint?  Although dinner in the MDR was quite good, the portion of stuffing (again, quite good) was...let's just say...nowhere near what I would have had on my plate at home!  Thought they were a bit stingy with the stuffing...

    

I was thinking the same thing. Why so stingy with the stuffing. 😳 I had a ball the size of a marble. I had to ask what happened to my stuffing.🤔

they brought out some more but not much more.

I was thinking how much stuffing could be made for leftover windjammer rolls.

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6 minutes ago, Tee & Chilli said:

Kids portion?

Ha! Guess it's Portion control, or Heart Diet...  On Serenade and Brilliance 5 out of last 6 yrs done Thanksgiving. Last 3 ate in WindJammer where they had Lg Whole Turkey's they Carve, whole pies

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As someone earlier said, we found that the first week of December had great prices. Flying into San Juan on thanksgiving day and obtained great airfare. We think someone must have cancelled because we were able to get the Royal Suite for a great price - And only booked a couple of weeks ago. 

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We've done Thanksgiving cruises for the last five years, and will be on Oasis this year with 16 of our family members. I go on cruises at least four or five times a year and the Thanksgiving cruise is ALWAYS the best. Yes, of course there are a lot of kids, but if you go in expecting it it's not a problem. It wouldn't be the cruise to select for a romantic honeymoon. The ship always feels extra festive, and I LOVE not having to cook Thanksgiving dinner. I also LOVE that I'm not home so I don't feel pressured to be up at three AM for black Friday sales. With that many family members, the only thing we are sure about is that we will all meet for dinner, and if we run into each other at other times, great. We always do, and it's wonderful, unrushed family time with few outside pressures. And yes, you may need to wait a few extra minutes to squeeze into an elevator, but again, if you are expecting it, it's not a problem. Thanksgiving cruises are the best!

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