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Christmas Cruise 2022 - help please

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3 hours ago, Royal Cruiser for Life said:

My husband and I are thinking about going on Symphony of the Seas leaving Miami on 24th December. We've never been on a Christmas Holiday cruise before and would love to hear about anyone who has been on one before and if you had any tips for us? 

Welcome to the boards!

We love sailing over the holidays. The ship will be decorated and there will be extra activities (like maybe Santa photos for the kids, for example). The food venues (both free and paid) will have special meals. Mostly I just love that I get to see the holiday decorations and I didn't have to put up (or take down!!) any of them 🙂 

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We usually go cruising over the holidays on RC minus the few years of Covid and we have done both older and newer ships on RC. We have done a few cruises with extended family last one we were a group of 32, in 2023 we should be around 40!

Few of the advantages are in no real order:

  • Don't have to do decorations set up or take down
  • Don't need to worry about being "on time" for events
  • No need to cook and or clean!!!!
  • No need to worry about driving (or being a passenger in a car) - holiday time is notorious for drunk drivers
  • Don't have to travel far to get to "bed"
  • You get to see other places/countries  and how they celebrate the holidays 
  • Being from up north, it is wonderful not having snow (I have been too cold and it is wonderful to be hot over the holidays)

Yes lots of families and kids, to us it is still a blast we are doing just our immediate family this year.  Can't wait


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I have only done a cruise before the holidays (as the price is usually better for the period after Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas - This year Dec 3-4 and 9-10 seem to be lower priced in cruises I've looked at) but the ship will have a Christmas tree somewhere like the center of the main dining room and/or near a staircase/photo spot on the Promenade.  Islands will also be decorated in varying degrees.  I thought it was odd to celebrate Christmas and it be 82F and sunny.  Now living in Florida, I think its alright 🙂   Picture is from the restaurant next to the California Lighthouse in Aruba.


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The "Best" time to do a Holiday type cruise is in-between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

It is when we cruise. The ships are decorated and the children are still in school back from Thanksgiving break and not yet out for Christmas break. 

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year....fa la la la la !!! 

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We did an 11 day on Quantum back in ‘14 that began the Monday after Thanksgiving.  The Promenade was decorated, but no specific holiday shows.  We had a stop in old San Juan one evening which was very festive.  The streets were full of holiday music and the good folks of San Juan were in the holiday spirit.  We had another stop in St Kitts where we took the old train up the mountain and around the island.  There was a group of Carolers going from car to car singing holiday favorites.  It added a nice touch to the excursion.

Vacationing right after Turkey Day is best.  We once did Disney/Universal a full week before Christmas with our then young teens.  It was great.  All the parks were empty and we never waited in a line for anything.  I highly recommend it if it’s possible to pull off.

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We did a Christmas cruise with extended family a few years back. There was not much change.  I think a tree or two. Some of the solo acts around the ship played some Christmas music (I remember a string trio). 


Not directly to your question but - The family did a gift draw thing where you had 1 person to bring a gift for that was drawn out of a hat prior to the cruise embarkation that worked out well.  We all got some drinks, found a quiet corner of the ship and then each person was given their gift. After we all got home, we had the more formal gift exchange.

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Here’s a couple of photos onboard the Anthem during the Christmas season…

The officers and entertainment cast members led us in singing holiday carols in the Esplanade…Santa and his elves made an appearance…there were several gingerbread villages…lots of holiday decorations all around the ship…a large Christmas tree by the pub…and there was an additional Christmas show in the theater which was pretty amazing, with great costumes, songs and choreography put on by the entertainment cast. It was a very good production.






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@BrianB did a good job with his pictures for you.  We cruise every year over Xmas, yes it is the most expensive time of year in the Caribbean, well that and New Years.  We cruise then and pay the price because that week my wife's College shut down for all staff and it does Not count again your vacation time, so an extra week we can cruise every year.

But other than the decorations, maybe a special Xmas themed show, themed photo opportunities, Santa for kids and of course the additional Xmas day option of a turkey dinner on the menu in MDR (btw some Specialty restaurants will have a special dinner that does not fall under the UDP and will be quite an expensive special upcharge)

The rest of the cruise will be pretty much the same except for lots and lots of kids and definitely a Full Capacity cruise. 

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