There's nothing quite like celebrating holidays aboard a cruise ship. Even on a normal day, a cruise vacation
is the perfect way to combine fun, indulgence and relaxation, but when it comes to major holidays, cruise lines often go all out to get into the spirit of the holiday and make sure that cruisers have the time of their lives. Halloween is certainly no exception. The spooky season is almost upon us - get a sneak peek at the thrills and chills that cruise lines have in store for Halloween 2016.
Carnival is a cruise line that specialises in fun, and that focus certainly carries over to the way Halloween is observed aboard Carnival cruise ships. "Frightfully Fun", Carnival's Halloween celebration, is a huge event with loads of activities for everyone, no matter what age. The entire ship will be decorated on embarkation day, and young cruisers can dive into a Halloween Hunt or Trick or Treat along the ship's promenade and through many public spaces. Of course, Carnival's Halloween fun is not just for kids. There's a special Witching Hour Tournament in the casino, adding some chills to the thrills of chance, a Halloween Dance Party so you can dance the night away among ghoulishly attired fellow cruisers. And on some ships (including the Carnival Spirit
, based out of Sydney
) there are even special Dive-In screenings of unedited Halloween horror movies at midnight on Carnival's Seaside Theatre.
When it comes to decorations and delectable dishes, NCL certainly doesn't hesitate to go all out for Halloween. Indulge in an eyeball cocktail or two before heading over to the buffet to peruse the carved pumpkins and various spooky edibles. Although there's no requirement to wear a costume on the night, it's certainly encouraged - there's even a Halloween Ball / Dance Party with a costume parade! Children will find plenty of ways to enjoy the evening as well, with a massive trick or treat event in Splash Academy sure to be a highlight. There are even rumours that a haunted house will be making an appearance on many of the ships, although this hasn't been confirmed as of yet.
In line with its more restrained reputation, Holland America's Halloween celebrations aren't quite as crazy and extravagant as some other cruise lines but that doesn't mean that they neglect the spooky season - in fact, in some ways they embrace it more than any other line. Of course, like many other lines, they get in on the Halloween action with themed confectionary, dishes and cocktails, but it's their excursions that really set Holland America apart when it comes to Halloween activities. From "Ghosts & Gravestones" in Key West
to "Convicts of Fremantle" in Perth
and "The Ghosts of Old Quebec", HAL goes the extra mile in providing cruisers with ways to really get into the Halloween spirit.
Princess haven't been afraid to go big with this year's Halloween "Fright Night" preparations - a flash mob Thriller group dance, hidden stowaway ghosts (with prizes for finding them!) and a huge costume party are sure to make Halloween aboard Princess a night to remember. There's trick or treating, of course, to keep the younger ghouls entertained, and as the night goes on the scary movies come out accompanied by Halloween film events, all on the big poolside screen. All in all, Princess offers entertainment and spectacle without ever losing that touch of class that the line is famous for.
Royal Caribbean is well known as a family friendly line, so the fact that they've got all out with spooky kid's activity this Halloween will come as a shock to no one. But while they're not unexpected, Royal Caribbean's Halloween celebrations are certainly impressive. Costume parades, themed games, trick-or-treating and visit to a haunted house or carnival are on the menu for young cruisers. Adults will find that they haven't been left out either, with their very own version of trick-or-treat and a costume extravaganza. Halloween is a big deal aboard Royal Caribbean ships - this will certainly be a night to remember for many Halloweens to come.
Celebrity concentrates the vast majority of its Halloween festivities into one huge outdoor party - with a live band, DJ and a costume contest, this rip roaring affair is certain to be the party event of the season. Kids will find themselves with more than enough to keep them entertained for the evening: themed arts and crafts, trick-or-treating, their own costume parade. While costumes aren't compulsory (for either children or adults) you'll find that many Celebrity cruisers love getting in the spirit of the season and really go all out with their costumes (it may also be the competitive edge emerging in some passengers, as there are prizes for multiple costume categories).
A couple things to remember: most cruise lines don't allow masks onboard for safety reasons, and fake weapons or explosives of any kind are generally a no-no. If you don't want to dress up, that's fine - there's plenty to enjoy without going ghoulish, but if you're into that sort of thing then you'll certainly find many others who are in the same boat.