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Cruising Over Christmas/new Year


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We're quite new to cruising;  one cruise with P and O,  (36 nights to Caribbean from Southampton) and two 14 night cruises with Celebrity,  one to the Med and one to the Baltic.  We really enjoyed all three cruises,  with some positives and negatives on each occasion. We are now contemplating a Christmas cruise and,  if we decide to take the plunge,  would want a traditional Christmas (decoration of the ship,  carols and good quality,  traditional Christmas food) with like minded people.  We are both in our sixties and have been retired for 2 years.  We are reasonably fit and well,  enjoy a wide range of activities and like to keep fairly active.

 

Is there anyone out there who has travelled at Christmas with P and O or Celebrity?  We would love to hear about your experiences and whether your cruise lived up to your hopes and expectations.  We would also love to hear from anyone who has travelled at Christmas with any other cruise line, particularly Cunard,  NCL,  Holland America and Princess,  and how they compare.

 

Time is moving along and we keep dithering about whether to risk it or not.  Can anyone help us please?

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I cruised on the Queen Elizabeth Christmas 2011 and it was great. The ship was beautifully decorated, lots of christmas trees all around the ship each done in a different colour, Father Christmas arrived and gave all the children a present.  There was traditional carol singing and different religious services which were well attended. New Year's Eve was particularly good we were in Madeira, which was very warm that year, and then the ship went out into the bay so we had a great view of the spectacular firework display at midnight, there was a great atmosphere, people were limbo dancing in evening gowns. The food throughout the cruise was very good.  The entertainment was the only let-down, it wasn't good perhaps it is difficult to get decent entertainers then, but still a very enjoyable experience and I would do it again.  Bernadette

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Have done 3 Xmas & New Year cruises 2 with P & O & 1 with HAL on Eurodam.We really enjoyed them all but must admit that the Eurodam was decorated best and had the best Xmas day festivities. On Xmas day Christmas carol singing in the atrium with artificial snow falling across all the decks of the atrium .Mince pies and Egg nog distributed to everyone. Captain was dressed as Santa carrying sack of toys and arrived with snow falling around him and a following of elves .He then gave Xmas gifts in the theatre to every child on board . It really was a very memorable Xmas !

However we also thoroughly enjoyed our P & O Xmases on board Oriana & Aurora ,just lower key.

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  • 7 months later...

I have cruised with a variety of lines at Christmas. I too am over 60 (well, actually over 70), and do now prefer to travel with few or no children. I have quite enjoyed ORIANA (child-free) at Christmas, but continuing P&O cutbacks are now a disincentive to travel with them. The Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary Christmas cruises are better, and more sophisticated. This year, I am trying Oceania's Marina in the S Pacific for Christmas and New Year, and expect excellent food, accommodation and service, with few or no children. If you too value the peacefulness tha comes when children are absent, you might consider Seabourn, Regent, Crystal, Azamara, as well as P&O's child-free ships.

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Hello,suprise suprise we too are over 60,is it a club.

I have been trying to convince my wife for a long time that we should do a Christmas and New Year cruise.

For some reason she thinks the daughters,who are in their 30s, would object,tough.

I think though the main reason is she is concerned that the sight of people enjoying themselves would be totally alien to me.

Rodger.

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I have done two Christmas cruises (Azura and Oceana) and loved them both. The ships are decorated beautifully with displays of  decorated Christmas cakes and a gingerbread village in the Atrium. Santa arrived down the funnel on Christmas Eve and everyone on board received a present.

 

There was a passenger choir in the Atrium on Christmas Eve and a senior officers choir in the Atrium on Christmas Day. There was also a pantomime (Oh, yes, there was) on Christmas Eve (or, maybe Boxing Day, I can't quite remember) and a children's nativity play.

 

The Christmas morning service in the Theatre was very well attended too. Christmas Dinner was a very grand (formal) affair and the food just kept on coming.

 

There were a good number of children on board, but the only time I was aware of it was on Christmas morning as I wandered around the ship and it was magical to see families dotted around the ship all opening their Christmas presents. For me, their presence enhanced the experience.

 

It was all summed up for me as I overheard a lady sat in the Atruim on Christmas Eve saying "this beats queuing for sprouts at Tesco's" - my sentiments exactly!!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Solent Richard

We're quite new to cruising;  one cruise with P and O,  (36 nights to Caribbean from Southampton) and two 14 night cruises with Celebrity,  one to the Med and one to the Baltic.  We really enjoyed all three cruises,  with some positives and negatives on each occasion. We are now contemplating a Christmas cruise and,  if we decide to take the plunge,  would want a traditional Christmas (decoration of the ship,  carols and good quality,  traditional Christmas food) with like minded people.  We are both in our sixties and have been retired for 2 years.  We are reasonably fit and well,  enjoy a wide range of activities and like to keep fairly active.

 

Is there anyone out there who has travelled at Christmas with P and O or Celebrity?  We would love to hear about your experiences and whether your cruise lived up to your hopes and expectations.  We would also love to hear from anyone who has travelled at Christmas with any other cruise line, particularly Cunard,  NCL,  Holland America and Princess,  and how they compare.

 

Time is moving along and we keep dithering about whether to risk it or not.  Can anyone help us please?

 

One quick point.

 

If you choose Celebrity it will be a fly cruise.

 

My wife and I have done TWO Christmas cruises with P&O - Aurora and Arcadia.

 

Both were great.

 

I wouldn't dither too long if I were you, they usually sell out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We sailed on Arcadia over Christmas.  It was nice but from a purely personal point of view I missed my family because we always spend Christmas together.  The ship had minimal decorations, but there was a wonderful gingerbread village on display.  The Christmas meal was everything you'd expect.  A choir was created using passengers and crew which was lovely.  On deck though the same Christmas tape was on a loop and we got tired of the same carols from the same artistes.  Santa appeared from behind the funnel which was fun and by the time we got back to our cabin he'd left a gift each for us.  My advice would be to go for it and enjoy !

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We have cruised at Christmas for many years with several cruiselines, usually in the Caribbean. The best ones have been when we have spent Christmas Day in port. Christmas Day at sea can be low key in order to give staff a taste of Christmas too. There is often little choice of venue for eating dinner on Christmas Day and even when you have opted for Anytime Dining, this is often unavailable on Christmas Day and you have to queue up a few days before to be allocated seating in the main dining room or ignore this and be given what is left.

NCL made more of Christmas Eve formal dining. The American cruiselines do not make a big fuss of Christmas either and we personally prefer this.

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