Choose from 4 festive Crystal, Seabourn, Silversea or Regent voyages
By Patti Pietschmann Travel Diva
If you are one of those who doesn’t want to be home for the holidays, this post’s for you. It’s about Christmas cruises of which my husband and I have taken a few. While I did have trepidations about my first away from home for the holidays cruise, it turned out good. But the next few were even better because we went prepared and booked the right cruise lines (for us).
Escape holiday hustle and bustle
Getting out of Dodge during December does appeal to selective souls. For some the holidays can be sad. For other’s the hustle and bustle can cause stress. A cruise is a good idea if it’s first Christmas without a loved one either by death or divorce. Or for couples who want a romantic experience. And of course for some family fun (but some youngsters don’t like to be too far from Santa Claus). Speaking of ole Saint Nick, he does appear on cruise ships.
Being on a ship during the holidays is often like a fantasy on water. Especially if you book smart with the right line. And, Pavlus can you help you choose. Anyhow, some cruise lines go overboard decorating and organizing special events for holiday cruises. It really can be quite festive on board. But I always bring some Christmas lights to drape around the cabin and of course gifts for each other to open Christmas morning. We even bring Santa hats (to wear in the stateroom only) and a few fun toys.
Why am I writing about December cruises in June. First of all they sell out fast. But right now a large selection is available. So I handpicked one each from my favorite cruise lines. Believe me there are more of all duration but better ask Pavlus to check availability now.
Oh what fun it is to cruise on Crystal Serenity at Christmastime
Let’s begin our foray into the possibilities with Crystal Cruises. The upscale purveyor of luxury has a few choices but my suggestion is the Crystal Symphony Hawaiian Serenade voyage. It is a round trip journey from San Diego that departs Dec. 21. What a way to spend the holidays. This magical odyssey stops in Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Kona before circling back to San Diego, with a stop in Ensenada. (Foreign flag ships must stop in a foreign port when sailing to and from the US). I like that there are many days to enjoy this fabulous ship. There are many diversions including a luxury spa, fitness center, lectures, Computer University at Sea, entertainment, lots of deck space, pool, jogging track, great food and service.
Live large book big
My tip for holiday happiness is to book a suite or stateroom on Penthouse Deck to enjoy butler pampering at its finest. What does a butler do you might ask? Brings meals, cocktails, wines, beverages to you on request, takes out your laundry, makes restaurant reservations, brings books, DVDs etc. back to the library and more.
You’ll spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve and day at sea in Yuletide splendor surrounded by lavish decorations, seasonal music and activities on board the recently renovated luxury liner.
Believe me Crystal does deck the halls with lots of holiday glamour. We did a holiday cruise with the line a couple of years ago and it was one of our most memorable of many.
Crystal Cruises fares are inclusive of tips and wines, spirits and other potables.
Seabourn also has a few good choices. Patti’s pick is the 21-Day Holiday Caribbean Odyssey on Seabourn Odyssey out of Philipsburg, St. Maarten Dec. 14, 2019, that wends its way to Bridgetown Barbados, for a Jan. 4 disembarkation.
Fares are inclusive of all beverages from Champagne and beyond and gratuities. Treat yourself to salubrious spa treatments. Savor caviar and Champagne anywhere and anytime for free.
Silversea Cruises’ Asian Holiday from Hong Kong to Singapore is ideal for folks who want to journey farther from home. This one leaves Dec. 21 on Silver Spirit and takes two glorious weeks to arrive at its destination.
Silversea fares also include tips, wines, spirits and beverages of all types. Every suite is manned by a butler who really does go out of his way to spoil you. Trust me on that. The food is almost always amazing. We’ve never had anything less that top notch service. And suites are divine.
We have sailed many times with the line and twice for more than three weeks at a time. All glorious journeys.
Regent Seven Seas’ Explorer, the luxury line’s newest and most spectacular vessel can be your home for the holidays on a cruise that leaves out of Miami on Dec. 17 and returns Jan. 8, 2020. You will spend Christmas at sea and New Year’s Eve in beautiful Belize. In between you get to explore the wonders of the Caribbean while soaking in the splendors of one the line’s shining stars. This lengthy voyage is the best Christmas present you can give with everything included from your tips to your beverages, shore excursions, transfers and more.
I have recommended the above cruise lines as a result of experiences with each of them. Every cruise we’ve taken with Crystal, Seabourn, Silversea and Regent Seven Seas was beyond satisfying. Of course some proved better than others usually due to ports, or lack thereof (we like time at sea), crews and cuisine. While each of these lines rank tops in culinary excellence every now and then there’s a blip. But not often.
As far as the particular itinerary picks posted, these were done by personal preference but as mentioned there are others available.
Of course you can also find holiday happiness on Princess, Oceania or Viking Cruises. Or, for that matter on your particular favorite cruise line.