Enjoying cheap Christmas cruises is a great way for cruise fans to spend the holiday season without breaking the bank.
Why Holiday Cruises Can Be Cheap
Most travelers assume that a luxury cruise vacation would be more expensive during the holiday season, but that is not necessarily true. Many cruise lines struggle to fill sailings during late December because families prefer to stay home and enjoy the traditional trappings of the season. When this happens, fare prices can plummet, making holiday cruises very affordable.
On the other hand, however, the airfare for holiday cruises can be exorbitant because it is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Passengers planning a holiday cruise should investigate departure ports that may not require airfare to help eliminate this expense, or else they should consider booking holiday sailings well in advance to take advantage of cheaper airfare.
Finding Cheap Christmas Cruises
Finding cheap holiday cruises is no more difficult than finding cheap cruises at any time of year. The biggest key is flexibility: if travelers can be flexible with their departure dates, preferred destinations, choice of cruise line, and on board amenities, they can be sure to find a great bargain to sail during the holidays.
Warm weather destinations are the most popular options for holiday getaways as many travelers seek to escape the snow and ice of northern climates. A white Christmas, after all, can be far more pleasant on a white sand beach than buried in a snowdrift. Popular destinations include:
- Both eastern and western Caribbean cruises
- Hawaiian cruises
- Bermuda cruises, particularly for more northerly departure ports
- Baja Mexico cruises
River cruises are also popular holiday destinations, particularly if the cruise is to be a Christmas gift for mature travelers. During the holiday season, European Christmas market cruises are especially popular because of their quaint, nostalgic scenes and abundant holiday shopping.
When looking for cheap Christmas cruises, these tricks can help budget-savvy travelers save even more on their holiday getaway.
- Choose interior or porthole cabins rather than opting for more expensive views.
- Arrange a group cruise for substantial discounts for multiple passengers.
- Choose dates that end just prior to the holiday season or else leave or return right on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve.
- Watch for alternative types of deals such as reduced airfare, free cabin upgrades, onboard credits, or free gratuities.
Agents and Resources
Frugal travelers can find great vacation deals on their own, but online resources make the search much easier. The following cruise information sites and cruise travel agents frequently offer seasonal deals:
Bringing the Holiday On Board
A cruise ship is naturally glamorous, but passengers who travel over the holidays may wish to bring some Christmas spirit on board with them. Small, table-sized pre-lit trees, strands of Christmas lights, favorite holiday music, and small gifts are just a few things that can be included with the luggage to make the cruise even more seasonal. Passengers should note, however, that homemade foods and treats are not usually permitted on board, so the seasonal goodies should be left at home. This is not necessarily a hardship, however, since dining on board cruise ships offers many gourmet indulgences including decadent sweets and desserts well-suited to holiday celebrations.
Christmas Cruises Are Not for Everyone
Holiday traveling, even cheap cruises, are not suitable for everyone. It can be difficult to leave behind a picturesque white Christmas, tall decorated tree, roving carolers, and extended family gatherings in favor of a less traditional getaway with hundreds of other passengers.
Inexpensive Christmas cruises may seem like a great bargain - in fact, when compared to the cost of decorations, gifts, cooking, cards, and other holiday paraphernalia, a cruise may be less expensive than a traditional celebration - but it can be difficult to give up familiar holiday customs. Travelers should carefully consider their options when thinking about a holiday cruise to be sure it is the best deal for them emotionally as well as financially.
Cheap Christmas cruises give travelers the opportunity to enjoy exotic destinations, gourmet dining, and other luxurious amenities in conjunction with holiday celebrations. While a holiday cruise may not be the best choice for everyone, it can be a memorable option that leads to one-of-a-kind Christmas memories. Don't forget to capture those memories with a Christmas ornament purchased on board, and say bon voyage to the holiday blues!