The holiday season is in full swing. If you’re not looking forward to the traffic and the shopping lines, there’s a way to avoid the hustle and bustle that comes this time of year — a cruise.
Avoid the holiday craziness by escaping to new destinations or favorite standbys. Personally, we find the holidays even more enjoyable when we’re on board an ocean or river ship. Here are six reasons the holidays are better on a cruise.
Wrap up your gift-giving in one fell swoop
Don’t stress about what to get your loved ones for the holidays. What better present than taking the family on a cruise? Most ships also include visits from Santa for the little ones and offer you the chance to give a gift if your children want to open a present during the trip. On any mid-size or large ship, you'll also be able to hit the shops on board or on land to snag merchandise for the relatives back home.
Festive decorations (without the ladder)
No one really loves rigging up all of those Christmas lights or tying that Christmas tree to the roof of your car to bring it home. When you cruise during the holidays, the cruise lines do the decorating for you. Believe us, they don’t skimp when it comes to making sure your cruise is filled with holiday lights, glittery tinsel and red and green colors. Most ship will be all decorated for the occasion, and many of the cruise lines go all out with special events, theme parties and a ton of holiday cheer.
A family Christmas
Now it’s easier than ever to have everyone under the same roof for the holidays. The entire family can come together on one ship! Booking a block of rooms will enable you to share more quality time. There are even plenty of ways to organize family activities and meet-ups on the ship. The best part is that guests will never overstay their welcome. Plus, it’s easy for everyone to do their own things during parts of the trip. Planning a nightly dinner that lets everyone come together and recount their adventures, with no one banished to the kids' table.
Leave the cooking & cleaning to the pros
Cruising during the holidays means that you won’t have to deal with all the extra cooking and cleaning that comes with hosting the festivities. Instead, you can enjoy regular multi-course meals, with many ships featuring special menus on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. For larger groups, ships also offer the opportunity to reserve specialty restaurants or venues to “host” a party, where all of the preparations are done by onboard chefs. No more washing dishes or even making your bed the next morning — each room has its own room attendant (and it’s not you!). Everyone’s room will also be freshened up and have nightly turndown service while you’re enjoying the onboard activities and entertainment.
Choose your destination
Loading up the car and driving to the in-laws vs. relaxing poolside on your ship? We know, it’s a tough choice. When you cruise during the holidays, the destinations are limitless. River cruises in Europe can whisk you away to quaint villages that celebrate the holidays with centuries-old traditions if you choose a Christmas market cruise. Or, you can escape the cold weather for the picture-perfect vistas of the Caribbean. When you cruise during the holidays, you’re in charge of where you end up. The in-laws might even thank you for the change in view.
A Christmas gift for you – a free cruise
If you can persuade a group of family and friends to cruise during the holidays, then you could reap all of the rewards. Coordinating a group cruise often means travelers can get special perks and discounted rates — and with a big enough party, even free rooms. So, if you are able to persuade enough of your relatives to go on a cruise together, your Christmas present might be a free trip. Even if you can’t swing a free room, you could earn perks like onboard credit to use for some onboard shopping or a specialty dinner for just the two of you.
We know some people might be concerned that taking a cruise during the holidays means you’ll have to sacrifice holiday spirit and cheer, but as you can see, nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, the holidays can be extra special when you decide to venture out a bit.
So, are you ready to start a new family tradition? Remember, now's the best time to plan your winter 2018 escape. So, check out some great deals on holiday cruises and get planning for next year or with a last-minute escape to the tropics.