Are you looking for a unique way to celebrate Christmas this year? Gather together your loved ones and plan a trip that you’ll all be talking about for years to come. A Christmas cruise is an exciting way to explore somewhere new, enjoy decadent food (without the dishes), and travel in style - all while making festive memories with your nearest and dearest.
If that sounds right up your alley, remember these tips for when you book your Christmas cruise.
Find the right cruise line for your group
Are you travelling with family? Friends? A partner? Every cruise line is different, and some may be more suited to your collective travelling style than others.
Disney Cruise Line is one of the best for families, as it offers kids’ clubs, two bathrooms in certain cabins, privacy curtains for adults sharing their room with children, and connecting staterooms for more space. On the other hand, Holland America is a more traditional line that tends to cater to the older market through its entertainment and food focus. Royal Caribbean is a versatile all-rounder that’s just as good for families as it is for couples, and Carnival Cruise Line is known for its family-friendly and fun atmosphere. Not sure what you’re after? Learn more about the basics of cruising from Australia.
Destination, destination, destination
When you’ve practically got the whole world to choose from, your cruise destination may be the biggest decision of them all. Consider what kind of holiday will most suit the whole group, be it adventurous, relaxing, or romantic. If you’re flying solo, a Christmas voyage will likely look a lot different to one with grandma, grandpa and your nieces and nephews. The choices really are endless, so talk to your group about preferences. Is hitting the beach really important? Adventurous activities? Shopping? Weigh up whether something like the island-hopping experience offered by P&O on their 10-night Christmas Cruise through the South Pacific would suit, or perhaps you’re after more exotic destinations, in which case something like the 14-night Arabian Sea and India Cruise would fit the bill.
At sea or in port?
Before you book, decide whether you’d prefer to be exploring a port town or relaxing onboard the ship on Christmas Day. If you’d like to experience Christmas in a new place, do a little research on your destination to find out what’s on and the specific holiday hours. For example, some smaller cities or areas may close down for the holiday, leaving you with little to see and do while on shore. Others may feature special Christmas festivities. Depending on your itinerary, some cruise lines will tailor their voyages to ensure you are at sea for Christmas Day, and will create an exciting schedule of activities to celebrate the occasion. Know before you go!
Book as soon as possible
Christmas cruises often fill up early, and family-friendly options such as adjoining cabins with balconies are usually the first to book out. If you wait for last-minute bookings, you may be left with little choice of cabins and end up with interior rooms spread around the ship - that’s if there’s any space left at all. Aim to book six months to a year in advance of your departure date to secure your choice of stateroom. You may also benefit from early bird sales around this time.