The end of the year can be a very busy time. The school holidays are starting, Christmas is coming at full speed and there are a million and one things to get done. It's supposed to be the season of cheer and goodwill, but it's difficult to get into that mindset when the days are more stressful than celebratory.
Why not treat yourself this Christmas, make your excuses and escape? A Christmas cruise is a great way to spend time with family, but it is also fabulous for getting away from it all and leaving the madness behind for just one holiday season. A cruise ship in the middle of the ocean is the perfect setting for that peaceful, relaxed Christmas of which you have always dreamed!
Con - Disappointing your loved ones
The fear for many considering a yuletide cruise is that they might be thought of as the grinch that stole Christmas, cruising away from their families to selfishly enjoy their holidays alone. There are certainly downsides to an escape from real life; you won't be able to celebrate with everyone on the day itself, you might miss out on some favourite traditions and your loved ones could make waves about your intentions for a getaway.
Pro - Leave your cares at home
While it's tough to say goodbye to the loved ones, it's easy to say sayonara to your responsibilities. You don't need to think about cooking, cleaning, hosting or anything of the sort - heck, you don't even need to worry much about travel details as the cruise line takes care of it all. Simply embark, unpack and put your feet up as you sail away into the sunset.
Con - Lack of tradition
A Christmas away from the beach BBQ and other homely traditions never tends to feel quite like Christmas. As much fun as it is to explore, the warm and fuzzy feeling of home won't quite make it on the high seas.
Pro - Escape someplace new
Sometimes you just need a fresh experience to rejuvenate you for the coming year. Travel is the ideal gift to yourself, and your partner if you are cruising with one. Take the chance over Christmas 2015 to leave home behind and see if Santa can visit even when you're far away from everything.
- You could see the beautiful, tropical islands of the South Pacific on December 25th with the itineraries offered by some of Australia's favourite cruise ships. There are always Christmas cruises to places like New Caledonia and Vanuatu on offer - check out P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean.
- Explore the land Down Under in the summer season. You might just find one or two domestic yuletide itineraries heading somewhere like sunny Queensland - P&O Cruises is especially good for this.
- If you really want to leave real life behind, consider a yuletide adventure to another continent for a cruise in the oceans of the Northern Hemisphere. Heading north means you will have a range of options for both destination and cruise line: see the Mediterranean, the Caribbean or elsewhere with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, MSC, Holland America Line and many more.
Con - Setting a new precedent
You just may find that you have the time of your life and want to escape every year from now on! The silly season may take on a whole new meaning and you could become like many cruisers and count down the minutes to your next one.
Pro - Celebrate your way and what's right for you
Leaving the stress and bustle of Christmas behind doesn't mean you have to forsake the festivities completely. From carolling and christmas trees to extravagant holiday feasts, most lines celebrate and decorate to mark the occasion. This means you can get as much or as little Christmas cheer as you like. Yuletide on tap, if you will.
I have certainly had some favourite people missing from Christmas gatherings over the years, as this increasingly global society means that they are visiting other families and friends spread across the globe or the bustle of working life means that the Christmas period is the only available time for a trip. However, everyone left at home will absolutely get over it - celebrations are never exactly the same from year to year. It's not selfish to take one holiday season for yourself; sometimes it's a necessary break!
The cruises mentioned above aren't the only options for a silly season getaway; there are plenty more to be found amongst the December itineraries on Cruise Sale Finder. Take your pick of holidays and gift yourself the Christmas you always wanted!
What do you think? Could you take the plunge and plan a Christmas Cruise Escape?