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My husband and I are thinking of booking a cruise over Christmas.¬† Is there anything special we should know / take into consideration for cruising over the holiday?¬† Aside from the obvious air travel considerations of flying over the holidays!¬†ūüėú

It's been nearly a year since our last cruise and I.AM.DYING!!!  I need my Royal Fix.  Lol

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Yeah, we saw the sticker shock, but I get it.  I mean, I'm guessing the staff are getting paid more to work the holiday (even if it's just more for Christmas Day), so that translates to the guests paying more.  I'm OK with a little higher fare so long as my experience is still the same (or better - ha!).

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1 minute ago, Stephanie said:

Yeah, we saw the sticker shock, but I get it.  I mean, I'm guessing the staff are getting paid more to work the holiday (even if it's just more for Christmas Day), so that translates to the guests paying more.  I'm OK with a little higher fare so long as my experience is still the same (or better - ha!).

I’d bet against that. Listening to the new podcast from former crew, didn’t sound like there were any adjustments to crew pay. Definitely not a glamorous job when the contracts are based off of working 70 hours a week. 

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47 minutes ago, Stephanie said:

I'm OK with a little higher fare so long as my experience is still the same

Like others have mentioned, the airfare is going to be brutal.  For us last year, it was more than double what we normally pay.  It was almost the cost of the cruise itself.  The cruise fare is also much higher than usual.  On top of that, your typical things that go on sale (drink package, dining package, internet) in the cruise planner, don't really go on sale or drop much in price.

That being said, if you can make it happen, go, it's a great time!  We had so much fun on our New Years sailing last year on Indy.  Like @Matt said, there are special events and dining menus that are offered and, in the case of New Year's, they gave special party favours etc.

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1 hour ago, Stephanie said:

My husband and I are thinking of booking a cruise over Christmas.¬† Is there anything special we should know / take into consideration for cruising over the holiday?¬† Aside from the obvious air travel considerations of flying over the holidays!¬†ūüėú

It's been nearly a year since our last cruise and I.AM.DYING!!!  I need my Royal Fix.  Lol

I must say that our two cruises over Christmas felt different, not as emotionally fulfilling as a Christmas at home.  So after the second one, we chose other dates.  Nothing wrong about the cruise or the experience, but depending upon which holidays you celebrate, you may find the personal/emotional aspect a little different on a cruise ship.  Enjoy whatever you select!

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2 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Be ready for cruise fare sticker shock along with airline.¬†ūü§Ď¬†One of the most expensive weeks of the year to cruise.

 

2 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Yeah, the sticker shock is probably the only concern.  Holiday sailings are awesome but they are also pricey.  I don't know if you must fly to your cruise or not but airline fares are also going to be on the higher side so it's all around more expensive but a great experience if you can do it.

We choose the week before christmas returning to port on the 23rd it was a lot less.

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We did Majesty of the Seas over Christmas about two years ago and it was wonderful! I would not hesitate to do one again! That being said, we were suprised to find that they had so many people that wore Christmas themed pajamas, or tacky sweaters, or suits the day of Christmas! ¬†There were activities all over the ship, they had caroling, singing, shows, Santa managed to show up, decorations, it was absolutely amazing! ¬†I hate to say it because for me Christmas is all about family and extended family, but I have to say that I think that it was one of the best that I have had in quite a few years. ¬†Just do yourself a favor and book it and enjoy your Christmas holiday! ¬†ūüėÄ

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1st time cruiser taking adult family on Indy for Christmas. First time away from extended family and we can't wait! So tired of the same thing every year. We will be on 7 Mile beach Christmas Day and can't wait to snap some pics in the sand and sun to post back home. @Stephanie we reside in MA and found a MUCH cheaper rate renting a van and driving rather than flying. We have plans to hit some fun spots in other States on the way back and take our time getting back to reality. So its an option from flying. Looking forward to the warm temps and glamour of the Christmas Holiday in the tropics!

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Thanks, everyone!  We booked the cruise.  I love Christmas, so I am especially excited to see the ship decorated and to have all the "extra" Christmas activities on the ship!  

As far as getting to the ship, we have plenty of points to cover our airfare, so that will compensate for spending a little more on the cruise itself.

Earlier this year, we bought the business my husband has worked at for the last 13 years.  As new owners, it's hard to feel like we can leave for more than a couple of days right now.  We'll be closed for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, so by going on our cruise this week, we get to have a vacation without feeling like we're gone & out-of-pocket for too long.  It's a win-win (hopefully)!

@Hoski, thanks for the tip on the dining package.  I had seen that on another thread as well. Duly noted!

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16 hours ago, Hoski said:

If you buy the dining package for specialty restaurants it isn't good on the holidays.  They sell special holiday meals in the specialty restaurants at a higher rate.

I'm not sure how this works on all the ships...I can just tell you that on Grandeur the past 2 Christmas/NY sailings it only applied to Chops.  We had the UDP on both of these holiday cruises and we were able to eat at Giovanni's or Izumi on the "blacked out" holiday dates....and to be completely truthful, I'm not sure they actually DID black out Chops.  I just don't think those special holiday meals are very popular.  My guess is (but I did not try to find out) that if we had shown up at Chops on Christmas Eve or Christmas day or NYE we could have gotten in with our package.  We made "other" arrangements just so that we knew we had a place to eat but I really do NOT think that they blocked off Chops on those nights.  My guess is nobody bought the [very expensive] special dinners and they just treated those nights like any other night.

Maybe on the bigger ships they have better luck with the special dinners.

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3 hours ago, Stephanie said:

Thanks, everyone!  We booked the cruise.  I love Christmas, so I am especially excited to see the ship decorated and to have all the "extra" Christmas activities on the ship!  

As far as getting to the ship, we have plenty of points to cover our airfare, so that will compensate for spending a little more on the cruise itself.

 

WONDERFUL!!!  I just want to let you know that I am happy for you! I absolutely KNOW that you guys will have a great time!  We were on Majesty of the Seas (smallest ship in the fleet) and still had an absolute amazing time.  We sail on Brilliance on the 19th-23rd of December of this year and I can not wait!  Wait until you see the menu for Christmas dinner.......

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  • 4 months later...

Just back from a long, wonderful vacation, minus the cruise. As first timers we won't go back. Cruise hit rough waters and even crew members were having difficulty not being sick. The "patch" on my neck caused my eyes to go blurry. Then the one day we looked forward to all year, Christmas on 7-Mile beach was cancelled! They said it was due to rough waters & gave credits on excursions. Fine with that explanation ONLY to find out afterwards it was all a lie, because, friends were suppose to meet up with other ships that DID dock at the Caymans that day. In fact many cruise lines were there! The one major reason we decided to go in the first place, and it was all a lie. We purchased the Key and staff had no clue what the Key was entering the ship? One girl had a big sign on her that said " ask me anything?" She told me I needed to get with a group and your key will open the door!??? Drinks were made wrong and the cruise was full of disco and very little Christmas. Sure they played the same Christmas songs over and over from the same CD, but not much Christmas spirit, more 80's disco. We went to Disney before the cruise and honestly should have stayed there instead. Food was so-so, some items were good, others lousy, and no Lobster for Christmas eve. The special Christmas eve was a turkey dinner. Really? I could have purchased that at the Diner in Ft Lauderdale. Ordered a NY steak at Christmas Day and it came out well done, not once, but twice on 2 different nights. We were pushed to have black and white photo's taken of the family and then asked to pay near $3000 to take them home. Place was so jammed we only got in the jacuzzi once and never the pool. It was just too crowded and VERY windy. Finally, it took us a  week to stop swaying from the ship on land. I joined this blog and only read great reviews but never saw a bad one. We were SO excited! Well, here's the first negative review. We are happy we went and experienced it, but never again. We will stick to land vacations.

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36 minutes ago, Pro24 said:

 Then the one day we looked forward to all year, Christmas on 7-Mile beach was cancelled! They said it was due to rough waters & gave credits on excursions. Fine with that explanation ONLY to find out afterwards it was all a lie, because, friends were suppose to meet up with other ships that DID dock at the Caymans that day. In fact many cruise lines were there! The one major reason we decided to go in the first place, and it was all a lie. 

Sorry to hear you had a couple disappointing parts of your trip, hopefully you feel like you had a good vacation overall. 

Just wanted to let you know it probably wasn't a lie on the skipped port.  I believe when RC goes to Grand Cayman they tender to the port, so if the seas are too rough for the tenders they cannot stop at that port.  Other ships/cruise lines may be able to dock and not have to use tenders, which would be the reason they could dock.  Again, not 100% sure that was the case on your trip, but a possibility. 

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16 hours ago, Geoff P said:

Sorry to hear you had a couple disappointing parts of your trip, hopefully you feel like you had a good vacation overall. 

Just wanted to let you know it probably wasn't a lie on the skipped port.  I believe when RC goes to Grand Cayman they tender to the port, so if the seas are too rough for the tenders they cannot stop at that port.  Other ships/cruise lines may be able to dock and not have to use tenders, which would be the reason they could dock.  Again, not 100% sure that was the case on your trip, but a possibility. 

I know what a tender is. Other cruise lines did tender.

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  • 2 months later...
On 8/20/2019 at 2:06 PM, WAAAYTOOO said:

I'm not sure how this works on all the ships...I can just tell you that on Grandeur the past 2 Christmas/NY sailings it only applied to Chops.  We had the UDP on both of these holiday cruises and we were able to eat at Giovanni's or Izumi on the "blacked out" holiday dates....and to be completely truthful, I'm not sure they actually DID black out Chops.  I just don't think those special holiday meals are very popular.  My guess is (but I did not try to find out) that if we had shown up at Chops on Christmas Eve or Christmas day or NYE we could have gotten in with our package.  We made "other" arrangements just so that we knew we had a place to eat but I really do NOT think that they blocked off Chops on those nights.  My guess is nobody bought the [very expensive] special dinners and they just treated those nights like any other night.

Maybe on the bigger ships they have better luck with the special dinners.

@WAAAYTOOO I'm trying to understand this. We are sailing on a Holiday Cruise, Dec 26, 2020  to Jan 4, 2021. The cruise planner shows the UDP and the 3 Night Dining Package. Does RCCL sell these packages knowing that we can't use these on the cruise? Or??? Just confused.

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