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Jennifire7

Christmas Cruise

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Looking in to a cruise over Christmas week, and have a few questions about how Aruba would be on Christmas Day.  We would be at port 1pm-11pm and didn’t know if there would be anything to do due to the holiday.  

 

Also, for those of you who have cruised over the holidays, is it worth the extra cost?  

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We've not sailed at Christmas, but our experience on several Caribbean islands at Easter was that things were pretty much closed down. There's a current thread with the same question for Curaçao:

 

 

Whether a holiday is worth the extra cost really depends on your situation. If it's the only time that you can take a family vacation with the kids, probably "yes". If you are travelling solo or as part of a couple, and can go at a different time, I'd say "no".

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We have been cruising over Christmas since 2008 and truly love it. It is pricier, for sure, but the festive feeling onboard and the special events for the holidays make it worth it to us. HAL does a wonderful job with the decorations onboard, a Christmas eve celebration with choirs representing various nationalities of the crew, special meals for Christmas and New Year's eve/days, an event with Santa's arrival and presents for those under 18 on Christmas morning, and a ball on New Year's eve. We've found that HAL's crew really goes above and beyond on these sailings, which is not an easy task at a difficult time of the year. 

 

You will find some children onboard (usually as part of multi-generational families) and empty nesters all celebrating the holidays away from home. We always select sailings over 14 days at the holidays and have never been inundated by children. If you can swing it, go for it - you might find a new holiday tradition. At this point, we can't imagine celebrating the holidays any other way. 

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We cruised over Christmas last year. Christmas day was a sea day as was Christmas eve. If you are in port, I wouldn't count on anything being open other than the beaches. You'll probably be limited to HAL excursions unless you can line up something privately. We thought the Christmas cruise was great and would like to do it again.

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We were in Aruba last Christmas Day.  We went to the beach and then walked around and there were some restaurants and shops open.  We love cruising over the holidays.  My kids don’t want to miss a whole week at school, so we go then.

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5 hours ago, Spunky946 said:

We were in Aruba last Christmas Day.  We went to the beach and then walked around and there were some restaurants and shops open.  We love cruising over the holidays.  My kids don’t want to miss a whole week at school, so we go then.

 

That's been our experience also

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Every other year we cruise over the Christmas and New Year holidays. In my experience, being in any port on Christmas is a waste of the day. Most shops are closed, restaurants are on limited staffing, and those people who do work would rather be some other place. Not to mention, that you are the reason that they are working. If you have no choice, be sure and take a tour.

 

We try and find a cruise that encompasses Christmas and New Years as a sea day. Each year it gets harder and harder. Cruise lines try to maximized their income by splitting the holidays into two cruises. In 2020 we decided to try a back to back on X leaving out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The second week of the cruise leaves San Juan on December 26th. I'm interested in how that will work as far as flying in. To get there a day before, you have to fly in on Christmas day or risk flying into PR on the day of the cruise. Even at sea, holidays are best spent with your families and that applies to the people who live in the ports also.

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We enjoyed our cruise over Christmas. The ship may be at maximum capacity with a number of triple and quad cabins fully occupied. Expect crowded conditions.

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