Pros and Cons of Booking a Christmas Cruise

MSC Seaview and MS Riviera cruise ships

Pros and Cons of Booking a Christmas Cruise

The Christmas season is just around the corner, and the festive air is sure to uplift our spirits. And of course, for sure, you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate Christmas with your family this year! Since you’re here, you’re probably thinking of booking a Christmas cruise. Well, it’s a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit while cruising through picturesque waters and savoring delectable meals aboard a luxurious ship.

However, as with any vacation, there are essential factors to weigh when considering a Christmas cruise. In this article, we will dive into the pros and cons of booking a cruise for Christmas, helping you make an informed decision for your holiday getaway. So, if you’re curious about the pros and cons of this festive adventure, keep reading to find out! Ho! Ho! Ho! Enjoy reading!

Why You Should Book a Christmas Cruise?

1. All-Inclusive Packages

When considering booking a Christmas cruise, one of the most tempting pros is the availability of all-inclusive packages. These packages are thoughtfully designed to offer you a seamless and unforgettable holiday experience.

But what makes them stand out? Well, first and foremost, they include wide accommodations. Whether you’re seeking cozy interiors or spacious suites with scenic balconies, you’ll find options that suit your preferences, all conveniently covered within the all-inclusive price!

Also, all-inclusive Christmas cruise packages usually include outstanding dining options. Cruise ships provide a wide range of culinary delights, including special holiday menus with traditional Christmas feasts and seasonal sweets, all without extra expenses. On top of that, these packages provide access to the nonstop entertainment that is usually associated with Christmas cruises. The entertainment options are plenty, ranging from Broadway-style musicals to live music performances and themed parties, and yes, they include holiday-themed extravaganzas.

Last but not least, you won’t want to miss the special holiday events at sea, such as tree-lighting ceremonies, Santa Claus storytime sessions, and gingerbread house decorating competitions—all included in your all-inclusive package! Perhaps the cherry on top is the simplified budgeting process; you’ll know your total cost upfront, making it easier to plan your holiday budget with peace of mind. In short, all-inclusive packages ensure your Christmas cruise is a worry-free, budget-friendly, and unforgettable experience.

2. Festive Atmosphere

Booking a cruise for Christmas offers a unique advantage: a truly festive atmosphere. Cruise ships go the extra mile in creating an enchanting Christmas atmosphere that’s sure to ignite your holiday spirit. Just imagine stepping into beautifully adorned interiors that exude the warmth and charm of Christmas. Everywhere you turn, you’ll encounter the delightful sound of Christmas carolers filling the air with melodious tunes. I’m also getting excited about your Christmas cruise just by writing this!

But the festive magic doesn’t stop there. Santa Claus himself often makes special appearances, spreading cheer to passengers of all ages. The ship comes alive with a host of themed activities that cater to the holiday season, ensuring there’s always something special to look forward to. From tree-lighting ceremonies to gingerbread house decorating contests, every moment is filled with the joy and wonder of Christmas.

When you book a Christmas cruise, you’re not just traveling; you’re embarking on a journey into a world of holiday enchantment, making it a truly unforgettable way to celebrate the season.

Chef's Table - Independence of the Seas - Promenade deck
Christmas cruise onboard Independence of the Seas

3. Escape the Cold

If you live in a cold region, a Christmas cruise is a great way to escape the cold winter temperature. It is a perfect opportunity to say goodbye to snowdrifts and cold weather and embrace warm, sun-kissed places.

Imagine waking up to the gentle stroke of a warm breeze and the sound of waves washing against the hull of your cruise ship on Christmas morning. While your friends and family are wrapped up in layers, you’ll be enjoying the lovely warmth of a tropical paradise haha!

The opportunity to soak up the sun over the holiday season may be a refreshing and wonderful experience, whether you’re lazing on pristine beaches, spotting lively coastal cities, or just enjoying the open sea from the deck of your cruise ship. It’s a fantastic opportunity to relax, recharge, and celebrate Christmas in a whole new way, making your holiday genuinely unforgettable.

Watch my YouTube video on Jewel of the Seas, from February 2023!

4. Unique Holiday Experience

Booking a cruise for Christmas promises a unique and unforgettable holiday experience. Celebrating Christmas on a cruise ship is unlike any other celebration you’ve ever experienced! Picture yourself waking up on Christmas morning to the relaxing swing of the sea and having no doubt that you’re about to embark on a magical day. With beautifully decorated interiors, carolers singing joyous melodies, and a Santa Claus appearance that delights passengers of all ages, cruise ships go all out to create a festive environment.

But what truly sets this experience apart is the hassle-free aspect of it all. You can indulge in an amazing traditional holiday meal without having to lift a finger in the kitchen or worry about after-dinner cleanup. Instead, you can focus on creating lasting memories with your loved ones, whether it’s exploring exciting ports of call, enjoying onboard activities, or simply spending quality time together. Booking a Christmas cruise offers you the gift of a unique and stress-free holiday celebration, ensuring that this Christmas will be one to remember for years to come.

5. Family-Friendly

Of course, most of us go with our families, especially during the holidays. A Christmas cruise has a huge advantage for families since it is extremely family-friendly. Christmas cruises are designed for the entire family, ensuring that everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, will have a wonderful holiday experience.

One of the key features is the wide range of activities available for all age groups. Whether you have little ones, teenagers, or grandparents, there’s something exciting for everyone. From special holiday crafts and storytime with Santa for the kids to engaging shows and entertainment for the adults, the cruise ship becomes a playground for every generation. Plus, having everything under one roof, from dining to entertainment, means less time spent arranging and more time spent spending quality time with your loved ones.

RELATED: 8 Best Cruise Lines for Families in 2024 

What are the Cons of Booking a Christmas Cruise?

1. Higher Costs

While booking a Christmas cruise comes with numerous enticing perks, one main disadvantage is the possibility of higher costs. Christmas cruises are in high demand, which typically results in higher rates when compared to other times of the year. This increase in price might put a burden on your holiday budget and require careful financial planning.

The causes of these higher costs are several. The Christmas season increases travel interest, resulting in increased demand for cruise rooms and packages. As a result, cruise lines may charge an extra fee for the opportunity to celebrate Christmas onboard.

Also, Christmas cruises often feature special events, decorations, and themed activities, which can add to the overall expense. While these festive elements enhance the holiday experience, they also contribute to the higher price tag.

To avoid any budgetary surprises, it’s important to carefully assess the cost of a Christmas cruise and ensure it aligns with your financial plans for the holiday season. While the price may be higher, for many, the unique holiday experience a Christmas cruise offers is well worth the price.

2. Crowded Ships

Another cons of booking a Christmas cruise is the possibility of experiencing overcrowded ships. Christmas cruises are incredibly popular, and this high demand often results in ships operating at near-full capacity during the holiday season. While this popularity speaks to the appeal of celebrating Christmas at sea, it may not be ideal for travelers seeking a quieter and more peaceful vacation experience.

However, it’s important to note that the level of crowding can vary depending on the cruise line, ship size, and itinerary. Some cruise lines may offer smaller, more intimate ships that provide a quieter atmosphere even during the holiday season. Therefore, if avoiding crowded spaces is a top priority for you, it’s advisable to research cruise options carefully and consider alternative travel dates if possible.

RELATED: Top 7 Reasons to Book Adult-Only Cruise Vacations 

3. Weather Uncertainty

When planning on booking a Christmas cruise, another potential downside to consider is weather uncertainty. The holiday season can bring about unpredictable weather patterns, depending on your chosen cruise destination. While you may be dreaming of sunny skies and gentle breezes, the reality could be quite different.

Christmas cruises to certain regions may expose you to the possibility of encountering storms, rough seas, or adverse weather conditions. These weather disruptions can have an impact on your travel plans, potentially causing delays, itinerary changes, or even cancellations of scheduled activities and ports of call.

During the holiday season, it’s a good idea to be informed about the regular weather patterns for your selected cruise destination and decide if you’re okay with the potential weather-related uncertainties that may develop. If you are concerned about weather affecting your cruise experience, you may want to look into alternate travel options or areas that have more consistent weather over the holiday season.

4. Limited Availability

One main challenge you’ll be facing when it comes to booking a Christmas cruise is the limited availability of cabins and itineraries. The appeal of celebrating the holiday season at sea draws a significant number of travelers, resulting in a high demand for Christmas cruises. This increased demand might make it difficult to schedule the cruise experience you want, especially if you delay until the last minute.

During the holiday season, it might be difficult to find available cabins that fit your preferences, such as cabin type and location. Popular routes and cabin categories sometimes sell out months in advance, leaving fewer alternatives for those who procrastinate their booking.

To increase your chances of securing the Christmas cruise of your dreams, it’s advisable to plan and book well in advance. This ensures that you have a wide range of options to choose from and can secure your preferred cabin and itinerary, ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable holiday cruise experience.

5. Itinerary Constraints

Booking a Christmas cruise can be a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season, but one potential drawback is the itinerary constraints that often come with it. Unlike some other types of travel, where you have the flexibility to explore destinations independently, Christmas cruise itineraries are typically fixed and set in advance by the cruise line.

This lack of flexibility can have several consequences. Firstly, it may limit your ability to customize your holiday experience to your exact preferences. If there’s a specific port of call you were hoping to visit or an activity you wanted to participate in, you may find that it’s not included in your cruise’s set itinerary.

Additionally, itinerary constraints can impact your budget. While the upfront cost of the cruise may cover many expenses, you may find yourself spending extra money on excursions or activities not included in the package. These additional costs can add up and affect your overall budget for the trip.

While Christmas cruises offer a unique and festive way to celebrate the holidays, it’s important to be aware of the itinerary constraints and consider whether they align with your travel preferences and budget before booking.


This article contains affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see my disclaimer here.


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