Every year thousands of passengers find out warm tropical breezes and Christmas festivities mix well aboard a Princess Cruise Line ship. “We install more than 347 Christmas trees fleet wide. Each vessel has a showcase tree in the piazza in addition to several smaller trees throughout the ship, even in crew areas,” says Briana Chisham, Princess Cruises public relations representative. “About 1,000 feet of garland is used on each ship as well as wreaths, holly and mistletoe.
“Most of the Princess ships are decorated in one day in port so when guests return to the vessel it has been transformed” she explained. “But the planning goes on all year.”
According to Chisham it's not uncommon to hear Yuletide carolers singing favorite holiday tunes, or waiters wearing Santa hats. There are specially- themed production shows, live music and films during the voyage and passengers can attend midnight mass and inter-denominational church services.
On Christmas Day, a special Christmas dinner is served and Santa Claus makes a surprise appearance, bringing gifts to each child on board.
Princess’ 17–ship fleet offers a wide range of sailings over the holiday period, with voyages visiting Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, South America, Hawaii and the South Pacific.
Ringing in the New Year
Princess ships welcome each new year in style with a fun-filled New Year's Eve party complete with music, confetti, noise-makers and, of course, champagne to join the ship staff in a toast to the arrival of January 1. These always-popular festivities can range from casual to black-tie affairs, depending on the ship and itinerary.
And once the new year arrives, football fans will be pleased to know they won’t miss the day’s traditional college bowl games, as the telecasts will be shown (if available) in a shipboard lounge or on some vessels’ giant Movies Under the Stars screen, complete with a full buffet of “munchies” such as popcorn, chips, mini hot dogs or burgers and other assorted goodies.
In all, holiday cruises are the perfect way to treasure a joyful and stress free “what you want, when you want” holiday away from the usual hustle and bustle of the season.