Ah, December—a month of celebration, reflection, and joy! As the year winds down, many seek memorable adventures to cap it off, and what could be better than an all-inclusive cruise?
Embarking on a voyage during the festive month offers a blend of serene seascapes, onboard celebrations, and exotic destinations waiting to be explored.
Whether you're seeking winter wonderlands or tropical paradises, our comprehensive guide will steer you to your dream December cruise. Dive in and set sail on a holiday journey like no other!
Why Choose December for a Cruise?
As the final month of the year, December carries with it a sense of festivity and anticipation. Travelers are often on the hunt for that perfect getaway—a mix of relaxation, adventure, and celebration.
This is where cruises in December shine brightly. Here's why December might just be the ideal month to set sail:
Festive Onboard Celebrations
Imagine celebrating the holiday season surrounded by the vast expanse of the ocean, with festive lights twinkling above and the sound of waves providing a gentle backdrop.
Cruises in December go all out with their holiday decorations, turning the ship into a winter wonderland (or tropical paradise!).
From elaborate Christmas trees for Christmas cruises to themed entertainment, the atmosphere is truly magical. You might even find Santa making a special appearance onboard!
Off-Peak Prices and Deals
December, especially the early part of the month, often sees fewer travelers, which means cruise lines are eager to fill up their cabins. This often leads to enticing deals and discounts.
Cruises in December can provide excellent value for money, with luxury experiences available at a fraction of the peak season prices. If you're flexible with your dates, you can snag some fantastic bargains.
Unique Cruise Destinations Available Only in December
Certain destinations are particularly enchanting during December. Whether it's the allure of snow-capped landscapes or the charm of tropical beaches during the holiday season, cruises in December unlock some exclusive travel experiences.
Later in this guide, we'll dive deep into these destinations and explore what makes them stand out.
Bonus: Ringing in the New Year
For those who extend their cruises in December to the very end of the month, there's the added thrill of ringing in the New Year at sea. Cruise lines typically host grand New Year's Eve parties, complete with fireworks, live music, and gourmet dining. It's an unforgettable way to usher in a brand new year.
In essence, all-inclusive cruises in December offer a blend of festivity, value, and unique destinations. As we delve further into this guide, you'll discover the top destinations to explore, how to prepare for your cruise, and how to make the most of your December voyage. So, anchor's aweigh!
Best Destinations for December Cruises
December is not just a month of celebration; it's a time when some destinations truly come alive, offering experiences that are unique to this season.
Whether you're after sun-kissed beaches or icy expeditions, cruises in December have something for every traveler. Here are some of the top destinations that shine especially bright during the last month of the year:
Why the Caribbean in December?
December ushers in the dry season for the Caribbean, making it one of the best times to visit. With pleasant temperatures, fewer crowds, and crystal-clear waters, cruises in December here are a tropical dream.
Top Ports and Activities
- St. Lucia: Explore the Pitons, take a mud bath at Sulphur Springs, or lounge on the island's golden beaches.
- Barbados: Visit Harrison's Cave, snorkel with sea turtles, or indulge in local rum at a distillery tour.
- Jamaica: Dive into the Blue Lagoon, hike the Dunn's River Falls, or relax to reggae rhythms on Seven Mile Beach.
Special Events and Festivals
The Caribbean islands often have vibrant festivals celebrating their unique cultures. December sees parades, music festivals, and local Christmas celebrations that blend traditional and Caribbean flavors.
Why Antarctica in December?
December marks the beginning of summer in Antarctica, offering relatively warmer temperatures and 24-hour daylight.
This is the time when wildlife, especially penguins, are most active, making cruises in December ideal for nature enthusiasts.
Unique Wildlife Sightings
- Penguins: Witness colonies of Adélie and Emperor penguins as they tend to their newly hatched chicks.
- Seals: Observe Weddell and leopard seals basking on ice floes.
- Whales: Spot minke and humpback whales breaching in the pristine waters.
Why Asia in December?
Asia, with its diverse climate zones, offers a wide array of experiences in December. From the balmy beaches of Thailand to the cool winter vibes in Japan, there's a multitude of adventures awaiting.
- Thailand: Explore Phuket's beaches, indulge in street food in Bangkok, or visit the temples in Chiang Mai.
- Vietnam: Cruise through Halong Bay, stroll through the lantern-lit streets of Hoi An, or delve into the bustling energy of Ho Chi Minh City.
- Singapore: Revel in the Christmas light-up on Orchard Road, enjoy shopping festivities, or visit the festive-themed Gardens by the Bay.
River Cruises in Europe
Why European River Cruises in December?
European river cruises in December are all about one thing: Christmas markets! The charming towns and cities along Europe's rivers transform into winter wonderlands, with stalls selling crafts, foods, and mulled wine.
Top Rivers and Christmas Markets
- Danube: Visit markets in Vienna, Budapest, and Regensburg.
- Rhine: Explore festive stalls in Cologne, Strasbourg, and Basel.
- Seine: Revel in the Parisian holiday spirit and explore Normandy's historic sites.
Australian & New Zealand Cruises
Why Australia & New Zealand in December?
December marks the onset of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, making it an excellent time for beach lovers, adventurers, and wildlife enthusiasts to explore the coasts and interiors of Australia and New Zealand on cruises.
Top Ports and Activities
- Sydney, Australia: Witness the iconic Sydney Opera House, stroll across the Harbour Bridge, and sunbathe at Bondi Beach. If your cruise extends to New Year's, Sydney's fireworks are a must-see!
- Great Barrier Reef: Dive or snorkel in this world-renowned reef, witnessing a kaleidoscope of marine life.
- Auckland, New Zealand: Visit the Sky Tower for panoramic views, explore the bustling Viaduct Harbour, and take a trip to the nearby Waiheke Island for wine tasting.
- Bay of Islands: Engage in dolphin watching, discover the Maori culture, or explore the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
Special Events and Festivals
Both Australia and New Zealand have vibrant celebrations around Christmas. You'll find summer barbecues, beach parties, and unique traditions like Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne.
South American Cruises
Why South America in December?
December is a time of vibrancy and cultural festivities in South America. While the northern parts enjoy warmer beach weather, the southern regions, closer to Patagonia, are in their prime for hiking and exploration.
Top Ports and Activities
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Visit the famed Christ the Redeemer, sunbathe on Copacabana, and explore the Tijuca National Park.
- Buenos Aires, Argentina: Dive into the world of tango, relish Argentinian steaks, and stroll in the colorful La Boca district.
- Valparaiso, Chile: Known for its steep funiculars and colorful clifftop homes, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a treat for the eyes.
- Ushuaia, Argentina: Often dubbed the 'End of the World,' it's a gateway to Antarctica and offers incredible national parks and marine life.
Special Events and Festivals
December sees numerous local festivals, Christmas celebrations, and the famous Carnaval in certain parts of Brazil. The blend of indigenous and Spanish traditions makes December festivities unique in this continent.
Middle Eastern Cruises
Why the Middle East in December?
Escape the intense heat of the summer months! December provides a mild and pleasant climate, perfect for exploring ancient wonders, modern skyscrapers, and desert landscapes.
Top Ports and Activities
- Dubai, UAE: Marvel at the Burj Khalifa, indulge in retail therapy at the Dubai Mall, and experience the thrill of a desert safari.
- Muscat, Oman: Visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, shop at the Muttrah Souq, and explore the natural beauty of the Wadi Shab.
- Petra, Jordan: An accessible excursion from the port of Aqaba, the rose-red city of Petra is an archaeological wonder.
Special Events and Festivals
While the Middle East predominantly celebrates Islamic festivals, December is also a time for National Day celebrations in countries like the UAE, showcasing grand parades, fireworks, and cultural events.
Whether you're drawn to the rhythmic dances of South America, the majestic landscapes of Oceania, or the harmonious blend of tradition and modernity in the Middle East, cruises in December offer a world of choice.
As you ponder these destinations, the next step is to find the perfect cruise line for your December voyage. Let's dive into that next!
Selecting the Right Cruise Line for December Voyages
Choosing your ideal destination is just one piece of the puzzle. The cruise line you pick can significantly shape your overall experience.
From the vibe onboard to the range of activities and amenities, each of the cruise lines offer a unique flavor. Here's a breakdown to help you choose the best fit for your December cruise:
These are perfect for those cruising with kids or extended family. They offer a range of activities that cater to all age groups, ensuring everyone has a memorable time.
- Disney Cruise Line: With beloved characters onboard, themed entertainment, and family-friendly excursions, it's a magical experience for kids and adults alike.
- Royal Caribbean: Known for its impressive array of onboard activities—from rock climbing to ice skating—it's an adventurous pick for families.
- Carnival Cruise Line: Often dubbed "The Fun Ships," Carnival offers a vibrant atmosphere with water parks, kid's clubs, and family-friendly shows.
For those looking to indulge in opulence and impeccable service, luxury cruises offer an elevated experience with a touch of exclusivity.
- Seabourn: Known for its intimate ships, gourmet dining, and all-suite accommodations, Seabourn offers a refined cruising experience.
- Crystal Cruises: With a focus on personalization, enjoy butler service, world-class entertainment, and enriching onboard lectures.
- Regent Seven Seas: This all-inclusive luxury line boasts spacious suites, curated shore excursions, and gourmet dining options.
For the intrepid traveler, adventure cruises focus on exploration and unique excursions, often visiting remote destinations.
- National Geographic Expeditions: Partnered with Lindblad Expeditions, they offer immersive experiences with expert guides, naturalists, and even underwater drones to explore marine life.
- Silversea Expeditions: Blending luxury with adventure, expect in-depth excursions and visits to off-the-beaten-path ports.
- Ponant: With a fleet of smaller, nimble ships, they offer expeditions to places like Antarctica, the Arctic, and hidden coves in the Mediterranean.
Specialty and Themed Cruises
These cruises focus on specific interests or themes, ensuring like-minded travelers share unique experiences.
- Viking River Cruises: For those keen on European Christmas markets, Viking offers cruises that focus on festive shopping and cultural immersion.
- MSC Cruises: They occasionally host wellness-themed cruises in December, focusing on health, fitness, and relaxation.
- Cunard Line: Known for its transatlantic voyages, Cunard's Queen Mary 2 offers themed crossings, including jazz festivals and literary events.
Selecting the right cruise line for your December voyage is crucial. Whether you're looking for family fun, luxury pampering, thrilling adventures, or niche experiences, there's a cruise line tailored for your desires.
Once you've locked in your choice, it's time to prepare for your journey, ensuring you have everything you need for your cruises in December. Let's delve into that preparation next!
Preparing for a December Cruise
The anticipation leading up to a cruise is half the fun! Proper preparation ensures you have a seamless experience from the moment you step onboard to the day you disembark.
Here's a comprehensive guide to help you get ready for your cruises in December:
What to Pack
Your cruise packing list will largely depend on your destination, but there are some general guidelines to keep in mind.
For Tropical Destinations (e.g., Caribbean, Australia):
- Clothing: Lightweight cruise clothing, swimsuits, sun hats, and beach cover-ups.
- Footwear: Flip-flops for the beach, comfortable walking shoes for excursions.
- Accessories: Sunglasses, reusable water bottle, and beach tote.
- Protection: Sunscreen, insect repellent, and after-sun lotion.
For Colder Destinations (e.g., Antarctica, European River Cruises):
- Clothing: Layered clothing, waterproof jackets, gloves, scarves, and thermal wear.
- Footwear: Insulated boots and warm socks.
- Accessories: Thermal flasks for hot drinks, lip balm, and skin moisturizers.
- Protection: Hand warmers and sunscreen (yes, even in colder climates!).
Since it's December, don't forget to pack some festive attire. Many cruises will have themed parties or gala dinners.
- Outfits: A mix of casual festive wear and a couple of formal outfits for special evenings.
- Accessories: Themed jewelry, Santa hats, or other fun props for onboard photo ops.
Necessary Travel Documents
Ensure you have all essential documents ready and easily accessible:
- Passport: Make sure it's valid for at least six months beyond your return date.
- Visas: Check the requirements for each port of call. Some may require visas in advance, while others might offer visa-on-arrival.
- Cruise Tickets and Reservation Confirmations: Both digital and printed copies.
- Travel Insurance: Opt for a policy that covers cruise travel, including possible medical evacuations.
Tips for Smooth Embarkation and Disembarkation
- Arrival Time: Aim to arrive at the cruise port during the earlier part of the check-in window to avoid last-minute rushes.
- Luggage Tags: Ensure all your bags have luggage tags provided by the cruise line. This ensures they're delivered to your stateroom correctly.
- Onboard Account: Most cruise lines offer cashless systems onboard. Set up your account online before departure or at the embarkation desk.
- Disembarkation Details: Towards the end of your cruise, you'll receive instructions about the disembarkation process, luggage collection, and customs procedures. Familiarize yourself with these details for a hassle-free exit.
Proper preparation can enhance your cruise experience tenfold. As you get ready for your cruises in December, picture the exciting adventures that await, the serene ocean views, and the festive atmosphere onboard.
With everything in place, all that's left is to embark on your journey and soak in every unforgettable moment!
Onboard Experience during December
One of the most enchanting aspects of cruises in December is the unparalleled onboard ambiance. The festive spirit permeates every corner of the ship, from the grand atriums to the intimate lounges.
Whether you're a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, the December atmosphere onboard is bound to captivate. Here's a glimpse of what to expect:
Special Festive Meals and Treats
December is a gastronomic delight on cruises. The chefs often curate special menus to celebrate the holiday season.
- Holiday Dinners: Expect traditional festive dishes, whether it's a roasted turkey, honey-glazed ham, or sumptuous seafood platters. Vegetarian and vegan options also get a festive upgrade.
- Desserts: From Yule logs to mince pies, and from gingerbread cookies to panettone, the dessert stations are a wonderland.
- Specialty Beverages: Warm up with mulled wine, spiced cider, or indulge in festive cocktails and mocktails crafted for the season.
Onboard Decorations and Themes
Cruise ships undergo a magical transformation in December.
- Winter Wonderland: Even if you're cruising in tropical waters, you might find snowflakes, icicles, and snowy scenes adorning the ship.
- Christmas Trees: From towering main atrium trees to smaller ones in lounges and dining areas, these glittering centerpieces are perfect for photo ops.
- Festive Touches: Expect garlands, wreaths, and twinkling lights everywhere. Some cruise lines even have life-sized gingerbread houses!
Entertainment: Shows, Music, and Holiday Festivities
The onboard entertainment takes a festive turn in December.
- Themed Shows: Whether it's a Broadway-style Christmas production or a ballet rendition of "The Nutcracker," the onboard theaters come alive with holiday spirit.
- Caroling and Music: Join in for carol singing sessions, or simply enjoy holiday classics being played by onboard musicians.
- Special Guests: Don't be surprised if Santa Claus makes an appearance, especially on family-friendly cruises. There might be gift-giving sessions, photo opportunities, and even reindeer games.
- Craft Workshops: Engage in holiday-themed craft sessions, from ornament making to cookie decorating. It's not just for kids—adults can join in the fun too!
Other Unique December Onboard Experiences
- New Year's Eve Celebration: If your cruise extends to the end of December, there's bound to be a grand party to ring in the New Year. Expect live music, dance parties, champagne toasts, and a spectacular midnight countdown.
- Holiday Spa Treatments: Many onboard spas introduce special treatments for December—think peppermint pedicures or cranberry-infused facials.
- Special Activities for Kids: Children's clubs might host holiday story sessions, themed games, and even "North Pole" visits.
Cruises in December provide an onboard experience that's infused with joy, warmth, and festivity. The blend of traditional holiday celebrations with the unique offerings of each cruise line ensures that every day is packed with delightful surprises.
As the ship sails through serene waters, with festive lights reflecting off the waves, you'll cherish the memories being made, knowing they'll be treasured for years to come.
Things to Watch Out For on December Cruises
As enchanting as cruises in December can be, there are certain considerations and potential pitfalls that travelers should be aware of. By keeping these in mind, you can ensure your voyage is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Even though December is ideal for many destinations, weather can sometimes be unpredictable.
- Caribbean and Tropical Areas: While these regions experience dry weather, there's still a chance of sporadic rainfall or even a rare late-season hurricane.
- Antarctica and Cold Destinations: Icy conditions can sometimes lead to changes in itinerary if certain passages become inaccessible.
Tip: Always pack some versatile clothing options and check the weather forecast as your cruise date approaches.
Peak Season Crowds
December is a popular time for vacationers, especially around Christmas and New Year.
- Popular Ports: Some popular destinations might be crowded, leading to longer wait times for attractions or sold-out excursions.
- Onboard: Ships often sail at full capacity during this period, meaning more competition for amenities like spa bookings or specialty dining.
Tip: Book excursions and onboard activities in advance and consider exploring less-touristy areas during port calls.
With demand being high, prices for cruises in December, especially around the holidays, can be steeper.
- Last-minute Bookings: While you might occasionally find a deal, waiting too long often means higher prices or limited availability.
- Onboard Costs: Some cruise lines might charge premium rates for certain onboard services during the festive season.
Tip: Book well in advance, keep an eye out for deals, and set a budget for onboard expenses.
Adjusted Itineraries and Timings
With the holiday season in full swing, there might be some adjustments to the usual cruise schedules.
- Shortened or Extended Port Calls: Due to local holidays or festivities, the time spent in certain ports might be altered.
- Shop Timings: In some destinations, local shops or attractions might have different operating hours due to holiday observances.
Tip: Always double-check the daily cruise itinerary and plan your activities accordingly.
Health and Safety
While cruise lines take utmost care to ensure passenger safety, it's always good to be proactive.
- Overindulgence: With festive feasts and drinks, it's easy to overindulge. Moderation is key to avoid any health issues.
- Sanitation: Cruises in December see more families with kids, increasing the chances of common illnesses. Regular hand washing and using onboard sanitization stations can help.
Tip: Consider purchasing travel insurance that covers potential medical issues, especially if you're traveling to remote destinations.
While cruises in December offer a world of festivities and unique experiences, being aware of potential challenges and planning accordingly ensures a hassle-free journey.
The magic of the holiday season combined with the allure of the open sea creates an unforgettable tapestry of memories—just remember to be prepared, stay informed, and relish every moment of your December voyage!
Making the Most of Your December Cruise
Sailing during the festive season is a unique experience, and with a little foresight, you can elevate your cruise from memorable to absolutely unforgettable. Here are some tips and tricks to help you maximize your enjoyment on cruises in December:
Planning Excursions in Advance
- Research: Look into the ports of call and identify must-see attractions, experiences, or events happening in December.
- Book Early: Popular excursions can sell out, especially during the holiday season. Reserving in advance ensures you won't miss out.
- Local Celebrations: December often has local festivals or events. Participating can provide a richer cultural experience.
Embracing Local Cultures and Traditions
- Festive Foods: Every destination has its unique holiday dishes. Sample local delicacies to get a taste of the region's festive spirit.
- Crafts and Souvenirs: Consider buying holiday-themed crafts or ornaments. They make for great mementos or gifts.
- Learn and Engage: Attend onboard lectures about the upcoming ports or participate in cultural activities to deepen your appreciation.
Tips for Onboard Relaxation and Rejuvenation
- Spa Treatments: December can be chilly in many regions. A hot stone massage or a thermal spa experience can be especially invigorating.
- Cozy Corners: Find a quiet spot onboard—perhaps a library or a lounge—to relax with a book or simply gaze at the sea.
- Fitness and Wellness: With holiday treats aplenty, consider joining onboard fitness classes or taking a brisk walk on the promenade deck to stay active.
Socialize and Network
- Meet Fellow Travelers: Cruises in December attract a diverse group of passengers. Engage in group activities or join communal tables at meals to make new friends.
- Onboard Clubs and Groups: Many ships offer themed clubs or meet-ups, be it for dance, books, or wine. Joining these can enrich your onboard experience.
- Share and Listen: Engaging with fellow cruisers can give you insights into excursions or onboard activities you might have overlooked.
Document Your Journey
- Photography: Capture the festive decorations onboard, the serene seascapes, and the vibrant ports. Consider night photography, especially under the clear December skies.
- Journaling: Documenting your experiences can be therapeutic and provides a detailed account to reminisce later.
- Onboard Activities: Many cruises offer scrapbooking or digital album workshops. Join in to creatively preserve your memories.
Safety and Etiquette
- Be Mindful of Crew: The holiday season means the crew is away from their families. A kind word, a thank you, or a small tip can go a long way.
- Respect Local Customs: When visiting religious sites or engaging with locals, be aware of and respectful towards local customs and traditions.
- Stay Informed: Attend the daily briefings onboard and stay updated on any changes to the itinerary or important announcements.
While cruises in December come with their festive charm and unique offerings, your proactive engagement can amplify the joy manifold. Immerse yourself in the cultures, indulge in the onboard luxuries, and cherish the camaraderie with fellow travelers.
With every wave the ship rides and every carol sung onboard, let the December magic fill your heart and soul, crafting tales you'll cherish for a lifetime.
Staying Safe and Healthy on December Cruises
Ensuring a safe and healthy cruise experience is crucial, especially during the bustling holiday season of December.
With ships potentially at full capacity and the festive celebrations in full swing, a few precautionary measures can make a world of difference. Here's a guide to help you stay safe and in top health during your December voyage:
Cruise Ship Health and Safety Protocols
Cruise lines have stringent measures in place to ensure the wellbeing of their passengers.
- Sanitization: High-touch areas like railings, elevators, and door handles are regularly cleaned. Make use of the hand sanitizing stations spread throughout the ship.
- Medical Center: Every cruise ship has a medical center with qualified professionals. Familiarize yourself with its location and services.
- Safety Drills: Attend the mandatory muster drill at the beginning of the cruise. This provides crucial information about safety procedures and lifeboat locations.
Tips for Staying Well Onboard
- Hydration: With the excitement of the cruise and various activities, it's easy to forget to drink water. Stay hydrated, especially if you're indulging in alcoholic beverages.
- Balanced Diet: While it's tempting to overindulge in the festive treats, try to maintain a balanced diet. Include fruits, vegetables, and other nutrients to keep your energy levels up.
- Physical Activity: Utilize the ship's fitness center, join dance classes, or simply take stairs instead of elevators to stay active.
- Rest: Ensure you get adequate sleep. It not only rejuvenates you for the next day's adventures but also bolsters your immune system.
General Safety Measures
- Stay Informed: Regularly check the daily cruise newsletter or app updates for any important announcements or safety information.
- Alcohol Consumption: Enjoy the festivities, but drink responsibly. Avoid overindulgence, especially if you plan to participate in water activities or excursions.
- Balcony Safety: If you have a balcony stateroom, ensure the door is locked, especially at night or when you're not in the room. Never climb or sit on balcony railings.
In Port Safety
- Stay Aware: When exploring ports of call, be aware of your surroundings. Avoid poorly lit areas and always keep personal belongings secure.
- Local Customs: Respect local customs and dress codes, especially in religious or culturally significant places.
- Stay Connected: Always carry a copy of the cruise ship's contact information and the time you need to be back onboard.
Emergency Contacts and Procedures
- Emergency Number: Store the ship's emergency number in your phone. This can be crucial if you face any issues while on an excursion.
- Reporting Issues: If you feel unwell or notice someone exhibiting signs of illness, report it to the ship's medical center immediately.
- Evacuation Procedures: Familiarize yourself with the ship's evacuation procedures and the location of life vests in your stateroom.
Cruises in December, with their festive allure, are meant to be relished to the fullest. By being proactive about your health and safety, you can ensure your voyage remains a cherished memory for all the right reasons.
After all, the beauty of the open sea and the warmth of holiday celebrations deserve to be experienced with peace of mind and joy in your heart.
Cruises in December are truly magical journeys, blending the festive spirit of the holiday season with the awe of exploring new horizons. From the vibrant decorations onboard to the myriad of destinations waiting to be discovered, December cruises offer experiences that are both heartwarming and exhilarating.
Whether you're seeking a tropical escape, a winter wonderland, or a cultural immersion, setting sail during this festive month promises memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.
As you embark on your December voyage, may the waves bring joy, the destinations offer enchantment, and every moment onboard be filled with celebration and delight.
FAQs on Cruises in December
Navigating the world of December cruises can spark a myriad of questions. Here's a compilation of some frequently asked questions to help you set sail with confidence:
1. Is December a good time to go on a cruise?
Absolutely! December offers a festive atmosphere onboard and is a perfect time to explore various destinations, from tropical paradises to icy landscapes. However, remember that it's a peak season, so planning ahead is key.
2. How can I find the best deals for cruises in December?
While December, especially around the holidays, can be pricier, you can still find deals by booking well in advance, being flexible with your dates, or opting for repositioning cruises.
3. Will there be Christmas celebrations onboard?
Yes, most cruise lines go all out for the holiday season, offering festive decorations, special menus, themed entertainment, and even visits from Santa Claus.
4. What should I wear on a December cruise?
This depends on your destination. For tropical locations, pack beachwear and light clothing. For colder regions, layering is key. Additionally, pack some festive attire for onboard celebrations.
5. Are there any destinations best avoided in December?
While December is an excellent time for many destinations, certain regions might be in their rainy season or have other seasonal concerns. Always research specific regions before booking.
6. How do cruises handle bad weather or rough seas in December?
Cruise ships are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to track and predict weather patterns. If needed, they can adjust itineraries to avoid rough seas or storms.
7. Are December cruises kid-friendly?
Yes, many cruise lines cater especially to families during December, with kid’s clubs, family-friendly excursions, and festive activities tailored for younger guests.
8. How early should I book my December cruise?
Given the popularity of December cruises, it's advisable to book as early as possible, especially if you have specific dates or cabins in mind.
9. Do I need special insurance for cruising in December?
While not mandatory, travel insurance is recommended. Consider policies that cover cruise-specific scenarios, including medical evacuation.
10. Will shops and attractions at ports be open during the holiday season?
Most major tourist attractions remain open, but some local shops or sites might have altered hours due to local holiday observances. Always check in advance.
11. How do cruise lines handle special dietary requirements during the festive season?
Most cruise lines cater to various dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and more. It's best to inform the cruise line in advance and also speak with the onboard dining team upon embarkation.
12. Can I bring my own holiday decorations to deck out my cabin?
While many cruisers do like to add a personal festive touch to their cabins, it's essential to check with the cruise line's policies. Some items, like string lights or flammable materials, might not be allowed.
13. Do cruises offer special rates for solo travelers in December?
Some cruise lines do offer solo cabins or reduced single supplements, especially if cabins aren't filled as the cruise date approaches. Always inquire directly with the cruise line or check their promotions.
14. Are there adult-only cruises in December?
Yes, several cruise lines offer adult-only ships or specific adult-only areas, ensuring a peaceful and serene atmosphere even during the bustling holiday season.
15. Can I expect special onboard shopping deals for the holiday season?
Many cruise lines offer holiday sales and promotions in their onboard boutiques, making December a great time to shop for souvenirs, luxury items, or festive gifts.
16. What precautions are in place for COVID-19 or similar health concerns?
Cruise lines have implemented rigorous health and safety protocols, including enhanced sanitization, testing, social distancing measures, and adjusted capacities. Always check the specific cruise line's policies before booking.
17. Do cruise ships have holiday-themed shore excursions in December?
Absolutely! Depending on the destination, you might find excursions to local Christmas markets, festive light displays, or holiday concerts.
18. Will there be religious services onboard during December?
Many cruise lines offer religious services for various denominations, especially around Christmas and Hanukkah. Check the daily schedule or inquire at the guest services desk.
19. Can I extend my stay on the ship if I book back-to-back cruises in December?
Yes, many cruisers book consecutive cruises, especially if they want to celebrate both Christmas and New Year onboard. Coordinate with the cruise line for a seamless transition between voyages.
20. Do I need to tip more during the holiday season?
While not mandatory, considering the crew is working hard during the festive season, a little extra gratuity can be a kind gesture of appreciation.