Have you ever felt the urge to spend Christmas and New Year away from home? To escape to warmer climates, or simply to enjoy relaxing somewhere away from it all so you can properly unwind? Cruises for this time of year are something really worth looking into.
Sometimes when it comes to the holiday season, it can all be a bit rubbish in the UK. I know it’s nice and traditional, and I do love the holidays, but the weather is frankly awful, and roads and trains become nightmares, and everything just grinds to a halt.
Imagine, instead of waking up on Christmas morning to dire TV and biting cold, and to a giant just-defrosted turkey that needs your almost undivided attention for the next six hours, you instead awoke to a delicious breakfast cooked for you as you’re on one of the many fantastic cruise ships of the world, sailing in tropical conditions with crystal waters surrounding you.
You don’t need to be worried about the dinner – it’s all taken care of for you by master chefs on-board. Drinks are readily available, so you’ve not had to nip to the supermarket beforehand to load up. The same applies to New Year too – it’s much better watching fireworks from the deck of your ship, than it is watching them on TV as you’re half falling asleep, having endured a bunch of musicians that you’ve never heard of on Jools’ Hootenanny.
Different cruise lines do different things for Christmas and New Year, and sometimes it changes, so it’s impossible to cover it all here, but there are plenty of great examples. Many of the cruise lines will have on-board carol singers for the Christmas season, and most will decorate the ship to include trees, lights and other traditional touches.
Tradition plays a big part throughout the celebrations, so you can expect a Christmas dinner on most cruise lines, although this may feature more of an American touch with egg nog and pecan pie more likely to feature than pigs in blankets and Yorkshire puddings (if you don’t have them for Christmas dinner in your home, you’re wrong).
Christmas movies are often included, mince pies can be served on some cruise lines, and often Santa himself will take time out from his busy schedule to pay children on-board a visit, sometimes bringing presents with him. Sometimes priests or ministers are on-board for religious services.
Much is the same for New Year – traditional foods and decorations will be available, along with party favours. Champagne may be served for a deck party, and some cruise lines have some great touches, such as Princess Cruises that offers free babysitting for New Year’s Eve leaving parents free to party.
Whatever you go for, there’s much to enjoy if you choose to head on a cruise for Christmas or New Year.
By Ian Lewis