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It doesn’t take much to understand the appeal of a holiday cruise. Just think of it: Instead of cooking, cleaning, and hosting tons of family, you can have every whim attended to on a cruise – not one dish to wash or wrapping paper scrap to clean up!

On a holiday cruise, you simply need to choose the cruise, pack your stuff, and get on board as you focus on celebrating with those who mean the most to you. However, if you’re planning a holiday cruise this year, you should be aware of a few things before you embark. If you familiarize yourself with a few things, you can ensure this holiday vacation is one of the best.

Planning Tips

After you’ve chosen the right cruise and booked it, you need to follow a few of these tips:

Know What to Pack

Even if you’ve been on a cruise before, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate what you need to pack because packing for this kind of cruise is just a little bit different.

If you’re going to be gone over Christmas and New Year’s, you may want to get extra fancy with your attire. There’s a good chance there will be several formal celebrations on board the ship, so ensuring you have the right outfits will help things go much smoother.

You may also want to pack fun and festive accessories such as Santa hats, holiday-themed shirts, or other items you want to wear specifically for this time of the year. Matching shirts are always a little fun if you’re traveling with family or a big group.


Your stateroom will be your home away from home this year, so you may want to bring along some decorations to get you in the mood for the holidays. You can decorate your door with a paper wreath or maybe even a small artificial tree. If you celebrate Hanukkah, then consider an electric menorah. You can’t go wrong with some holiday lights or stockings, either.

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Bring the Gifts

For those cruising on Christmas morning, you cannot forget to bring gifts. Of course, you may not want to bring them all, but make sure you have a selection of small gifts you can exchange. Just be sure to leave them unwrapped and bring wrapping supplies with you. If you’re flying to the place where you board your cruise, airport security may want to have a look – unwrapped or not.

When You’re Onboard

Once you’ve arrived on the boat and your holiday vacation begins, it’ll do you good to remember a few of these essential tips:

Find the Seasonal items

Cruises are famous for food and drink, and many cruise lines go all out for the holidays. Find unique items in restaurants and bars, then try them. They’ll add to the holiday fun.

Look for Special Activities

There are likely to be some special holiday activities available to those onboard to help celebrate the holidays. Check your daily newsletter for activities, entertainment, and other fun activities. Santa may make an appearance for the kids, and Mrs. Claus may need some help decorating cookies this year or making unique crafts for the reindeer.

Check Expectations:

Don’t think your cruise will be empty just because it’s the holidays. Many people like to travel this time of the year, and cruises are no exception. Prepare yourself for the crowds, and if you have kids with you, sign them up for kid club activities early before they fill up. There will be long lines for food and drinks, and you may want to arrive at any shows you want to see a little earlier than usual. Pack your patience to help you have a good time.

At Port

When you arrive at ports during your holiday cruise, there are some important to consider.

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Not All Ports Will Be Open

Many of the attractions in a seaport, stores, and restaurants will close on Christmas Day and maybe even the day after or have limited hours. Booking an excursion at the port through the cruise line may be the best option – because you never know what will and will not be open during the holidays.

Cruising over the holidays will make for one memorable celebration, be prepared to have the best time possible!


About the Author:

Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all personal injury cases, focusing on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in representing injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, and has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2022– an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2022, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2022.