Do you want a stress-free Christmas vacation this year? A cruise is one of the best vacations to take over Christmas. Travel Off Path has gathered up the top cruises to celebrate the holidays this year, as well as what makes each of them the best.
Why take a cruise at Christmas?
A Christmas cruise is a great way to celebrate the holidays with family without the stress of planning, decorating, cooking, and hosting guests yourself.
Many cruise lines have sailings over Christmas. You can find cruises ranging from a few days to several weeks during the Christmas season.
On a cruise ship, you’ll get to enjoy holiday decorations, fun activities, and delicious meals to celebrate Christmas.
It’s also a hassle-free vacation: You don’t have to worry about the logistics of getting from one destination to the next, booking hotels, or making dining reservations. While cruising, your transportation, lodging, and dining are all taken care of for you.
These are the best cruise lines for a Christmas cruise:
1. Royal Caribbean
If you’re looking for a tropical Christmas getaway, you can’t go wrong with Royal Caribbean. Sailing from several ports in Florida, as well as Maryland and New Jersey, Royal Caribbean offers Christmas cruises to Mexico, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.
This cruise line is known for its fun holiday activities, like decorating gingerbread houses and an ugly sweater Christmas party.
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2. Disney Cruise Line
For a family-friendly holiday, Disney Cruise Line is a great choice. Similar to how the Disney theme parks go all-out for Christmas, so does Disney Cruise Line for their Very Merrytime Cruises.
Sailing to destinations in the Bahamas and the Caribbean, these holiday cruises stand out with magical traditions like the ship Christmas tree lighting ceremony and holiday meet-and-greets with favorite Disney characters. Disney Cruise Line is also the only line to offer fireworks at sea.
3. Princess Cruises
For West Coast travelers looking for the perfect holiday getaway, Princess Cruises offers several Christmas voyages that depart out of California and visit ports of call in Hawaii and Mexico.
In addition to Christmas cruises, Princess is one of the only lines to offer Hanukkah cruises too. These sailings feature Hanukkah decorations and celebrations, and special menus with items like potato latkes and matzo ball soup.
Carnival is another cruise line that offers holiday escapes on their Funtastic Christmas Cruises. Travelers can choose from a variety of destinations, including Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas.
With departures from Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, and more, Carnival has one of the widest selections of Christmas cruises. Onboard, you can expect plenty of holiday cheer and festive fun.
If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable Christmas cruise, a European river cruise on AmaWaterways is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays.
For travelers who are interested in a more traditional Christmas experience instead of Christmas in the tropics, AmaWaterways offers European river cruises that hit some of the best Christmas markets in France, Germany, Switzerland, and other countries.
You’ll be able to sip mulled wine and shop for unique handmade gifts as you stroll under the twinkling lights of some of Europe’s most magical towns and cities.
Tips For Booking A Christmas Cruise
- Book early. Christmas cruises have limited dates, and they often sell out months in advance. While it’s possible to score a last-minute deal, it’s best to lock in your Christmas cruise as soon as possible.
- Bring your own decorations. The public areas of the ship will be decorated for Christmas, but many guests on Christmas cruises like to bring their own decorations (and go all-out decorating the doors to their cabins!)
- Tip the crew. You should always tip your cabin stewards and cruise waitstaff well, but consider adding a Christmas bonus since they are away from their families and working during the holidays.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com