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Any Advice For Christmas Market Cruises


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Hi, we have done a few cruises but never a Christmas Market one and P&O are advertising a couple that look interesting. However, in my view, Christmas markets really come into their own at night and some do not even open until late afternoon. Unless it is an overnight stay in port how does it work with cruise timetables? Most of the time you have to be back on board by 4-5pm so wouldn't you miss the market?

 

Would be grateful if anyone that has been on one of these cruises could respond with their experiences.

Also, are the ships decorated in December even if the cruise is not over the actual Christmas holiday period?

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1 hour ago, BouncingWheel said:

Hi, we have done a few cruises but never a Christmas Market one and P&O are advertising a couple that look interesting. However, in my view, Christmas markets really come into their own at night and some do not even open until late afternoon. Unless it is an overnight stay in port how does it work with cruise timetables? Most of the time you have to be back on board by 4-5pm so wouldn't you miss the market?

 

Would be grateful if anyone that has been on one of these cruises could respond with their experiences.

Also, are the ships decorated in December even if the cruise is not over the actual Christmas holiday period?

First place is to check the itinerary either on line or pick up a brochure from a TA. The port arrival and departure times should be listed there. Ships are usually decorated from late November through to early January.

 

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We have done quite a few Christmas Market cruises and always have a great time. 

The markets may be better late in the day, but are busy around lunchtime as the locals tend to use them as gathering places, especially Hamburg, so the atmosphere is buzzing. 

They are not that different to what we now get in the UK, but still a nice place to visit for a Gluvein and Bratwurst... 

There is a nice atmosphere in all these ports in December and the ship clientele is better (for us) than some other times of year, creating a great atmosphere. 

Go for it, you will have a great time, we might see you there... 

Andy 

 

 

 

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It will depend on the countries. Hamburg, Oslo and Bruges are still good during daytime (although the snow I had added to the atmosphere). Others such as Gothenburg and possibly the Tivoli in Copenhagen are much nicer at night. Often these cruises have an overnight in port.

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The ships look fantastic over the festive period . This should give you an idea of 

what they look like .Sadly this ship is no longer with P&O. 

 

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We have just been talking about our cruises and wondered if it is any coincidence that many of the really good friends we have made, and the most fun we have had seems to have come from the Christmas Market cruises, and we have done plenty of others. 

The atmosphere on ship, with the decorations and festivities, makes for a really relaxed time, making passengers more social. 

We can't wait to go again 

Andy 

 

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We love the Christmas Markets cruises.  We have done them on Oceana, Ventura and Oriana with P&O.  If I was going to do another it would definitely be on Cunard because the last one that we did was on Queen Mary 2 and it was at a completely different level in terms of decorations which were spectacular.  If the cost is a consideration then go with P&O because the you will enjoy it but if cost is irrelevant then pay the extra for the Cunard Christmas experience.

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17 minutes ago, wowzz said:

Goodness knows I am a positive sort of chap, but even I would steer clear of the Christmas Markets this year.

I have to agree with you, there is no way that I would do it this year and take the risk of getting Covid as a Christmas present.

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18 minutes ago, wowzz said:

Goodness knows I am a positive sort of chap, but even I would steer clear of the Christmas Markets this year.

Agreed Wowzz, we have moved our Iona one in December to next year, and hope all is more settled... 

Andy 

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We are doing the Christmas cruise on Arcadia Dec 22 and it has 3 overnight stays....really looking forward to it especially after reading Andy's comments....hopefully by then cruising will resemble something more like normal

 

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8 hours ago, AndyMichelle said:

Agreed Wowzz, we have moved our Iona one in December to next year, and hope all is more settled... 

Andy 

Also done the same, with a very heavy heart. 

Had a brilliant time on Aurora in Dec 2019, and can endorse that the atmosphere both on the ship and out in the markets is second to none.

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1 hour ago, alpha whiskey said:

Also done the same, with a very heavy heart. 

Had a brilliant time on Aurora in Dec 2019, and can endorse that the atmosphere both on the ship and out in the markets is second to none.

I was on the Aurora Christmas Markets cruise in December 2019. Was a great holiday and little did we know it would be the last cruise for 2-3 years!

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1 hour ago, Angel57 said:

I was on the Aurora Christmas Markets cruise in December 2019. Was a great holiday and little did we know it would be the last cruise for 2-3 years!

Glad you enjoyed it too.

Oslo was definitely the highlight for us. Superb market, with an overnight stay.

No matter whether you visit Oslo in summer or winter, it is a fabulous city.

 

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A few years back we did a Christmas Markets cruise with CMV.  It took in Antwerp.  What a wonderful place that was.  Log burners at each corner of the town square, lots of stalls, oh and gallons of gluhwein topped with brandy, whisky or rum!  Just a shame that we didn't stay there overnight.

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We are on G139 on Dec11 which takes in Hamburg, Amsterdam and Bruges. Balance  is due this weekend. Our heads say don't pay it as it will probably turn into just another cold, wet,damp and misty scenic cruise with no ports. Our hearts however tell us that it's been 2 years since we've had a holiday and we should go for it whatever as the ship should look great dressed up for Christmas and everyone will be in good spirits.

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13 minutes ago, Pencil62 said:

We are on G139 on Dec11 which takes in Hamburg, Amsterdam and Bruges. Balance  is due this weekend. Our heads say don't pay it as it will probably turn into just another cold, wet,damp and misty scenic cruise with no ports. Our hearts however tell us that it's been 2 years since we've had a holiday and we should go for it whatever as the ship should look great dressed up for Christmas and everyone will be in good spirits.

I would have thought that if that was the case, you would be entitled to cancel the cruise and get a refund, as the new cruise is totally different to the one you booked.

I'm sure others with more legal knowledge will chip in with their comments.

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Pencil62 said:

We are on G139 on Dec11 which takes in Hamburg, Amsterdam and Bruges. Balance  is due this weekend. Our heads say don't pay it as it will probably turn into just another cold, wet,damp and misty scenic cruise with no ports. Our hearts however tell us that it's been 2 years since we've had a holiday and we should go for it whatever as the ship should look great dressed up for Christmas and everyone will be in good spirits.

Welcome to the P&O boards Pencil62 :classic_smile: We have done these cruises for the New Year sailings. Due to a very bad winter storm we spent one cruise sailing up and down the North sea .Another it was so foggy you had to squint to see the firework display that year. We have also had nice weather and gone sightseeing off the ship. All these cruises had one thing in common ,that was we had a great time on all of them.

I hope you enjoy your cruise should you decide to go .:classic_smile:

 

 

Edited by kalos
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3 hours ago, Pencil62 said:

We are on G139 on Dec11 which takes in Hamburg, Amsterdam and Bruges. Balance  is due this weekend. Our heads say don't pay it as it will probably turn into just another cold, wet,damp and misty scenic cruise with no ports. Our hearts however tell us that it's been 2 years since we've had a holiday and we should go for it whatever as the ship should look great dressed up for Christmas and everyone will be in good spirits.

Don't you have 90 days to change to another cruise with no loss? Admittedly it is only a week extra. Ideally you could move to next year's identical cruise or 2023 one which should be released in September/October. I was looking at the cruise you are on and the one next year and unless P&O change their policy to independent shore excursions then the trip on the christmassy ship on its own is not enough for me so 2022 is more likely.

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Thanks for your replies. Moving the cruise to next year isn't really an option as we have 2 others booked for 2022. As balance due date is this Saturday we are thinking of biting the bullet and paying it as it gives us something to look forward to. It seems a lifetime since we got off Oceana in Malta in August 19

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2 hours ago, Pencil62 said:

Thanks for your replies. Moving the cruise to next year isn't really an option as we have 2 others booked for 2022. As balance due date is this Saturday we are thinking of biting the bullet and paying it as it gives us something to look forward to. It seems a lifetime since we got off Oceana in Malta in August 19

Good for you. I hope you love it. 

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