If you love Christmas and enjoy cruises, you may consider combining the two. After all, lounging on a ship by the pool with a cocktail in your hand and not having to cook dinner or deal with hosting extended family sounds pretty nice.
This is especially true if it’s cold in December where you live. Instead, you could be sailing through the Caribbean or some other tropical destination, basking in the sun. While there is a lot of appeal to enjoying your holidays this way, you’re probably wondering, is Christmas a good time to go on a cruise? Are Christmas cruises worth it?
Christmas cruises have pros and cons, and they aren’t for everyone. If you’re on the fence, this article will help you decide if a Christmas cruise is right for you and your loved ones.
Christmas Cruise Options
When you are considering a Christmas cruise there are so many options. You can take any cruise over Christmas or in the weeks leading up to Christmas. On these cruises you can expect to find Christmas decorations and if you cruise on Christmas day, special meals and activities.
Another option is a Christmas river cruise. These cruises are on ships with around 150 passengers that go up and down the rivers in Europe, stopping in towns with Christmas markets. These cruises are a completely different experience, which we highly recommend.
Are Christmas Cruises Worth It? Pros
Whether you choose a cruise with Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Norwegian, or another cruise line, there will be plenty of good reasons to embark during the holiday season. Let’s look at the benefits to Christmas cruises.
Christmas Cruises Offer an Alternative to Holiday Stress
If you need a break from setting up the tree, putting up decorations, wrapping presents, or hosting your whole family, then a Christmas cruise is a great way to enjoy the holiday without stress.
While each cruise line has a different way of celebrating Christmas, you can rest assured that there will be plenty of holiday spirit on board. There will be decorations, Santas, Christmas trees, holiday desserts and drinks, caroling, and even ugly sweater parties.
Some cruise lines will also play Christmas movies and have holiday-themed shows, religious services, and special gifts for their passengers.
A Christmas Cruise Can Bring Distant Family Together
As people grow older, have their own families and careers, and live in different parts of the world, getting everyone together for Christmas can be challenging.
If this is the case for you and your relatives, then a Christmas cruise is a great way to bring everyone together. An added bonus is that no one needs to worry about hosting a large party and dealing with the work that goes along with it.
You Can Make Unforgettable Christmas Memories
If you’ve had the same holiday tradition for years, then a Christmas cruise is a great way to switch things up. Not only will you visit new places, but you’ll create unique memories that you will never forget.
A Christmas Cruise Is a Great Gift
Each year, families spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on Christmas gifts. What if you put your money toward a Christmas cruise instead? Most cruise lines have so many activities for kids and adults that they will probably forget they didn’t receive any presents from Santa!
However, that’s not to say you can’t still buy Christmas presents during your cruise. Cruises will port for a day at different destinations, and you can shop at local markets for interesting and unique gifts.
The Weather Will Be a Lot Nicer
As mentioned earlier, a Christmas cruise can be a great way to escape if you live in a region where the weather is cold during the holiday season. Instead of driving on icy roads and wearing four layers of clothes, you could work on your tan by the pool, enjoy excursions to tropical beaches, or go snorkeling or scuba diving.
You Can Take a Christmas Cruise Any Time in December
If you can’t decide between spending Christmas at home or going on a cruise, then you can have the best of both worlds. Several cruise lines offer Christmas themes throughout the month of December, so you can still experience a Christmas cruise.
Then you can be home for Christmas and not miss any holiday traditions.
Are Christmas Cruises Worth It? Cons
As you can see, there are multiple benefits to Christmas cruises. There are also drawbacks. Here are the cons you should consider to decide if a Christmas cruise is worth it.
You Will Need to Plan Months in Advance
You didn’t think you were the only one who had the idea of going on a Christmas cruise, did you? Thousands of people in the U.S. and other countries are thinking the same thing. If you decide on a Christmas cruise, you will need to book your trip months in advance.
This can be stressful as you need to coordinate vacation times, flights, and other factors. Plus, if you wait too long, you may miss out on the nicer cabins.
It May Be Difficult to Get the Whole Family to Agree
Since you will need to plan the cruise months (maybe even a year) in advance, getting everyone on the same page can be challenging. It will take a lot of time and patience to coordinate everyone’s schedules and get them to agree on what cruise line to take. It may even take a lot of work to get them to agree that a Christmas cruise is the best choice.
Of course, this isn’t the case for everyone. If it’s just you and your spouse for a honeymoon cruise, planning the trip will be easier. However, it may still be tough to break the news to your families that you won’t be there for Christmas traditions.
Holiday Travel Can Be a Nightmare
If you live in port towns such as Galveston, Fort Lauderdale, or Miami, then taking a Christmas cruise isn’t a hassle. But for those who need to fly to the cruise port, you may end up wishing you had stayed home.
Airports can be an absolute nightmare during the holiday season. With so many people traveling to see family, the check-in lines can get extremely long, and it’s common for flights to be delayed or even canceled due to bad weather.
Higher Costs: Are Christmas Cruises More Expensive?
Yes, Christmas cruises can be more expensive. Children are out of school and plenty of people take vacation at this time. Prices for cruises around Christmas and New Year’s can be the highest of the year.
Also, flight prices tend to be more in December due to the high demand. This is why it’s vital to plan your Christmas cruise months in advance. The longer you wait, the higher the prices will be, and there will be less availability on flight dates and cruise schedules.
Are Christmas Cruises Worth It? Conclusion
So, are Christmas cruises worth it for you? Only you can decide. You may find that the time and effort to plan the trip isn’t worth the headache, or you may decide that a Christmas cruise is too expensive.
On the other hand, you may find that it’s a chance to escape the cold weather, take a break, and celebrate Christmas in a new way. Weigh the pros and cons with your loved ones and make the best decision for you.
If you’re all in, we have articles on the different cruise lines to help you decide which one to choose. Check out 10 Best Honeymoon Cruises & Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise vs. Royal Caribbean, Royal Caribbean vs. Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian, and Working with a Carnival Cruise Travel Agent.
Not sure if a cruise is right for you? Check out our resort and destination articles instead! We have plenty to help you plan your next vacation, including 25 Best Beach Vacations for Couples, 20 Most Romantic Caribbean Suites, Best Sandals Resorts, Top 10 St. Lucia Honeymoon Resorts & Planning Guide, Top 10 Jamaica Honeymoon Resort Packages & Planning Guide, and many more!