Celebrate Holidays on Cruises: Five Tips for Parents

You’ve just booked the vacation of a lifetime—an adventurous holiday cruise. You’ll be packing up all the kids and heading off to celebrate Christmas or some other major holiday onboard a fabulous cruise liner. So, how do you make sure that this holiday will be unforgettable?
Today’s cruise lines, such as Celebrity Cruise Line, have made cruising a truly family experience. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s or any other popular holiday, many cruise lines have plenty of special events and activities planned.

To make this vacation memorable and stress free, look at these five tips for ensuring a great holiday cruise.

1. Choose the Best Cruise for Your Family

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Image via Flickr by Roger Wollstadt

When you’re booking your cruise, look at all the amenities offered. You want to make sure there are plenty of onboard, kid-friendly activities and entertainment options for your kids, such as movies, pools, and other creative activities. Check to see if onboard daycare and babysitting services are provided. This way you can spend time with your spouse having a romantic dinner or dancing the night away.

2.  Get to the Ship Prepared

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Image via Flickr by -spam-

In order to have a carefree cruise, make sure to pack all the essentials that you’ll need. In addition to the regular clothing and essentials, include any holiday related items. For instance, for a Christmas cruise, pack wrapping paper and decorations for any last-minute gifts. Think about including a favorite decoration to bring a bit of home to the ship. If it’s a New Year’s cruise, take along your family’s favorite noisemakers and celebration items.

3. Make the Journey Fun

When cruising, there can be a bit of travel to actually get to the ship. Bring along plenty of things that will entertain your children during the flight and any transfer times. These items can include:

  • A favorite video game or book
  • Snacks (make sure they meet TSA guidelines)
  • A pillow for naps
  • A favorite toy or blanket

4. Keep Family Traditions

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Image via Flickr by Jo Naylor

While the holiday cruise is certain to be fun, it will be extra special if you keep some of your family’s holiday traditions while onboard. If your family attends Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, most ships have a chapel where you can attend services. If you light a menorah during Hanukkah, make sure to bring one along to keep the family tradition bright. You may even find yourself creating new family traditions while onboard.

5. Enjoy the Ride

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Image via Flickr by BonnyJoe

Make sure to enjoy all that cruising offers during the holidays. Make memories. Imagine coming from a cold winter environment—you and your kids will remember that day at the pool doing cannonballs in the warm sun. Watch the glaciers slide by on an Alaskan cruise—you’re so close to the North Pole, you might spot Santa!

One last thing: Don’t forget the camera or video camera to capture all the memories that will be created during this very special holiday adventure.