As each year draws to a close, Princess guests look forward to enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday season, those age-old traditions of Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's ... as they visit exotic locales, soak up the sun and participate in the many other activities a cruise has to offer. The ease with which Princess enables guests to enjoy these special days has made the holidays one of the most popular times to take a seagoing vacation, as Princess ships make the season particularly festive.
Princess' fleet offers a wide range of Christmas and New Year's cruises across the globe each year, typically sailing to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Australia/ New Zealand, South America and the South Pacific during this holiday period.
A Merry Christmas at Sea
It's not hard to get into the Christmas spirit right from the start, as ships are trimmed from stem to stern in festive holiday decor, complete with wreaths, holly, mistletoe and, of course, Christmas trees, which often even decorate the ship's mast. It's not uncommon to see Yuletide carolers strolling the decks singing favorite holiday tunes, or waiters wearing Santa hats. Seasonal entertainment abounds, as guests may enjoy themed production shows, live music and films during the voyage. Guests can also attend Catholic mass and inter-denominational church service.
A special Christmas dinner features traditional favorites such as roast turkey or goose, and guests will enjoy a range of seasonal sweet treats such as gingerbread mousse, mincemeat pie, chocolate Yule logs and special Christmas cookies.
With kids out of school, holiday cruises have become a popular getaway for families. And to keep younger guests busy, youth counselors provide a wide array of activities including parties, sing-a-longs and arts and crafts classes, where they can create ornaments to decorate the ship's Christmas tree. Junior cruisers can also participate in an endearing holiday play, which they perform for guests. On Christmas day, Santa Claus makes a surprise appearance, bringing joy (and gifts) to each child on board.
For guests who celebrate Hanukkah, a special area of the ship is reserved for those participating in services, and ships display menorahs and fresh flower arrangements decorated in the Hanukkah colors of blue, silver and white. Kosher meals are available throughout the sailing when requested in advance, and dining rooms feature specialty items such as potato latkes, matzo ball soup, gefilte fish and matzo during the holiday.
Ringing in the New Year
Princess ships welcome each new year in style with a fun-filled New Year's Eve party complete with music, confetti, noise-makers and, of course, champagne to join the ship staff in a toast to the arrival of January 1. These always-popular festivities can range from casual to black-tie affairs, depending on the ship and itinerary.
And once the new year arrives, football fans will be pleased to know they won't miss the day's traditional college bowl games, as the telecasts will be shown (if available) in a shipboard lounge, complete with a full buffet of "munchies" such as popcorn, chips, mini hot dogs or burgers and other assorted goodies.
In all, Princess' holiday cruises are the perfect way to enjoy a joyful and stress free "what you want, when you want" holiday away from the usual hustle and bustle of the season.