Many people today are looking for new ways to spend Christmas but don’t know if they really want to give up the traditional customs. Did it ever occur to you that Christmas at Sea can be just like being at home with all the decorations, trimmings, and fun…for the entire family!

Explore the Ideas!


Hanukkah: a Menorah Lighting Ceremony will take place on Hanukkah’s eight nights of observance.

Christmas. Holiday wreaths, Christmas trees, lights, and signs all proclaiming a traditional holiday greetings will illuminate the ship. Seasonal music will play in passengers’ cabins. The cruise director and staff will offer several holiday-themed shows throughout each cruise, and at least one seasonal movie (such as “Polar Express”). A special holiday performance featuring children and the decorations they made in Camp Carnival will be a highlight. Santa will visit with gifts for the kids, and a traditional Christmas dinner — featuring turkey and pecan pie.

New Year’s Eve: Passengers will adorn hats, favors, and noisemakers, along with complimentary Champagne.

Celebrity Cruises

Hanukkah: The lighting of a menorah on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah will include a traditional meal, including potato pancakes and jelly doughnuts. A rabbi will be onboard to lead prayers.

Christmas: Festive greenery, ornaments, and wreaths will hang in color all over the ship. Christmas celebrations include caroling by the ship’s staff in public areas, holiday house music, and seasonal movies. Most ships will also have some sort of holiday-themed show. Santa will pay a visit, and all kids, teens and suite guests will receive holiday gifts. A Celebrity beach bag will be your gift found in each cabin on Celebrity’s Christmas cruises. A traditional Christmas dinner will be served. A priest and a reverend will be onboard to lead religious services.

New Year’s Eve: New Year’s Eve parties will include party favors and a Champagne toast at the dawn of 2012. A special holiday-themed dinner will be served.

Disney Cruise Line

Hanukkah: Services will be available each day. Holiday storytellers will share tales of Hanukkah.

Christmas: A three-deck-tall Christmas tree will be located in the atrium, replete with “snow” flurries and decorations. Throughout the holiday season, there will be afternoon tropical pool parties to celebrate the island way. Families can also get together to do holiday-themed craft projects. On Christmas Eve, storytellers will share tales of diverse holiday traditions. A midnight mass will be offered for Christmas Eve and church services for Christmas Day. Santa Goofy and Santa Claus will visit with children on Christmas Day while elves pass out gifts, cookies, and milk. All three themed restaurants will feature traditional Christmas feasts on Christmas Day.
Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, will become a tropical winter wonderland — complete with “snow” and carolers. The island’s tram will not be Santa’s sleigh. Kids and adults can partake in craft-making activities along the beach, such as designing snowflake mobiles and creating candy-cane reindeer.

New Year’s Eve: There will be a shipside party on New Year’s Eve with a countdown to 2012, featuring sparkling wine in commemorative flutes, confetti, and balloons.

Norwegian Dawn

For its Christmas/Hanukah sailing, Dawn offers seasonal decorations and a special holiday menu featuring seasonal favorites, from eggnog, pumpkin pie, and traditional roast turkey with all of the trimmings to traditional Christmas stollen and other desserts. A Catholic priest and a Protestant minister will conduct Christmas Eve services on December 24, and a rabbi will conduct services on each day of Chanukah. On Christmas day, Santa will hand out a gift to each child.

Princess Cruises

Hanukkah: Hanukkah observance will be available on each of the eight nights with the lighting of the menorah, games, religious services, traditional songs, and special holiday meals that will feature kosher foods, such as latkes, matzo ball soup, and gefilte fish.

Christmas: Christmas Eve will include a special show, caroling, parades, and music throughout the ship. There is a midnight mass; Christmas Day brings Santa, eggnog, a special Christmas feast and a children’s nativity play. Other Christmas celebrations will feature a “gingerbread challenge,” an ornament craft activity, a Christmas carol pop star talent show, holiday films, and even an onboard reading of “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Ships adorned with festive holiday decor, and cabins will have traditional burning Yule logs.
Princess’ Christmas revelry will also feature a daily snowfall aboard all December sailings (with the exception of Pacific Princess and Ocean Princess). Innovative snowmaking machines will create romantic winter flurries in the atrium, allowing passengers to experience a white Christmas without the need for mittens or a coat!

New Year’s Eve: Clackers, hats, streamers and Champagne are all on hand to help the captain count down to 2012. Passengers will enjoy a special New Year’s Eve menu.