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Old 09-02-2002, 09:49 PM
Danacat33's Avatar
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Location: Richmond, Virginia
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Greetings! I have much enjoyed reading the reviews here, but would like to hear from those who have been on a cruise at Christmas time.

I'm going on my first cruise December 22-26 on Sovereign of the Seas with my Mother (61) and sister (39), (I'm 33) We thought this would be a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of having company, cooking, etc....

I have gotten some good ideas as for "extras" for the RCI staff, such as phone cards and candy, and presenting tips in non-denomination types of holiday greeting cards. I have heard the atmosphere will be festive for the holidays, but there might be some resentment on beahlf of the staff due to them missing family during this time of the year....

I guess what I'm also looking for is how do people dress for the dinners? Are activities different from "regular" cruise activities? Are the shows different, how about menus items in the dining room? What will the weather be like this time of year at CoCo Cay and Bahamas?

I do not intend on wearing a formal dress at all, but am looking forward to dressing up. Is the first night very casual in the dining room?

Thanks a bunch!

Dana
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-02-2002, 09:49 PM
Danacat33's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Richmond, Virginia
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Greetings! I have much enjoyed reading the reviews here, but would like to hear from those who have been on a cruise at Christmas time.

I'm going on my first cruise December 22-26 on Sovereign of the Seas with my Mother (61) and sister (39), (I'm 33) We thought this would be a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of having company, cooking, etc....

I have gotten some good ideas as for "extras" for the RCI staff, such as phone cards and candy, and presenting tips in non-denomination types of holiday greeting cards. I have heard the atmosphere will be festive for the holidays, but there might be some resentment on beahlf of the staff due to them missing family during this time of the year....

I guess what I'm also looking for is how do people dress for the dinners? Are activities different from "regular" cruise activities? Are the shows different, how about menus items in the dining room? What will the weather be like this time of year at CoCo Cay and Bahamas?

I do not intend on wearing a formal dress at all, but am looking forward to dressing up. Is the first night very casual in the dining room?

Thanks a bunch!

Dana
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Old 09-03-2002, 08:57 AM
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I was on the Explorer of the Seas the week before Christmas and the ship was decorated beautifully for the holidays (Christmas trees were in every nook and cranny - each decorated differently and quite unique). In talking to the crew about the difference between that week and the actual Christmas week - They indicated that passenger demographics was almost exclusively family groups; Christmas dinner menu was a little different than the normal menu; church services were more heavily attended; dress was slighly more formal (particularly children and ladies) on that day; but entertainment, daily activities, excursions were pretty much the same as usual. It is hard for the crew at that time of year because they do miss their families, and they DO appreciate the small gestures/gifts guests give - it does help their spirits!
Dress is very casual on the first night (Particularly since many people have not yet received their luggage, they must wear whatever they brought in a carry-on or generally - what they wore on the ship).
Weather is very unpredictable that time of year. It should be pleasant and mild, but cold fronts and rain are possibilities. (In that area of the Caribbean, at that time of year I have experienced sunny days in the 80's, mild misty rain, and one unforgettable cold snap that required us to wear sweatshirts/jackets wishing we had our gloves)
No matter what the weather, Enjoy the holiday on your first cruise -
Nancy
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Old 09-04-2002, 08:05 PM
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Christmas cruises are traditionally the worst cruises of the year for those of us who work on ships.
1. It seems that the idea of being away from friends and family at Christmas sounded pretty good when you booked your cruise back in August. When you arrive at the ship in late December, you start wondering what you were thinking.Everyone is a stranger; the smells and view are not like good old Christmas back home.
2. Airlines and Cruise Lines take advantage of the family holidays by charging extra for passage. Its the same trip, but costs more.
3. Airlines and Cruise Lines get greedy and overbook at Christmas. This results in long lines for everyone, stressed out employees, and lots of screaming and complaints.
4. If you have any problems with air passage or cabin assignments (and you probably will) all the offices are closed for the holidays, so there is little chance of assistance or resolution until you get home.
5. Every child in America goes on holiday with his family for Christmas. If you love being over-run with unruly children, take a Christmas Cruise.
6. Some Jewish people who take Christmas cruises are not so happy about all the hoopla and decorations. We warn all staff not to say "Merry Christmas" to anyone for fear of offending them. But some staff always slip up, say the forbidden words to a non-christian, and we have a big drama on the ship - with loud complaining.
7. Many ships are overbooked at Christmas. The ships have the necessary beds, but their licenses limit the TOTAL number of bodies aboard when they sail. The cruise lines solve the problem by putting some service crew in hotels for the week to allow more passengers to sail. This results in too many passengers aboard an understaffed ship. There is no physical danger in this, but it is a recipe for disaster in the services departments.
8. Finally, the crew is not especially happy to be away from family at this time of year. Add them to several hundred (or thousand) passengers who have just reached the same conclusion. You have the makings of a real mess.

The following week (New Years Cruise) is usually one of the best of the year. All of the problems listed above seem to disappear - and the fares are lower.
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Old 09-10-2002, 08:08 AM
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Hi -- I have been reading these posts with interest and getting excited for the weekend getaway cruise my husband and I are planning!

We would go the dates of 12/26 - 12/29 to the Bahamas. Is that still considered a "Christmas" cruise?

Also, I was wondering about the sea at that time -- are the waves particularly large or choppy?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-10-2002, 08:06 PM
Sue Sue is offline
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This is actually not considered a Christmas cruise, and you get the benefit of getting a lower rate, I'm sure. New Year's are generally more expensive, followed by Christmas, so you fall in between. One thing you can say for sure about the ocean, is that you can never be sure. We've sailed where we thought it should be rough, and turned out to be as clear as glass. The other has also happened, where you think it's going to be clear, and hit a storm. Seas are not predictable. All I would advise, is prepare for the worse, and anything that is better, will cetainly be better in your eyes. Happy Sailing [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
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Old 09-11-2002, 09:18 AM
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Hi Sue -- Just wanted to thank you for your reply! We didn't actually book the cruise yet, just planning it. I am really excited about it --wish I had a guarantee that the seas would be smooth, but of course, that is not possible!

Thanks again!
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Old 09-11-2002, 10:35 PM
Sue Sue is offline
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Hi excited!
If you haven't already booked, you might be out of luck, as these cruises are usually full a long time in advance. I would get hold of travel agent tomorrow and get it booked. Let me know how you make out. Good luck! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif[/img]
 
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