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What to Expect on a Carnival Christmas Cruise

The Christmas holiday is a wonderful time to get together with friends and family, many of whom you may not have seen for a while. Although you get to spend time with loved ones, you know it often comes with added stress: namely, lengthy travel and meal preparations.

What if there was a better way to celebrate the season? A way that didn’t require long drives or hours in a warm kitchen. Thankfully, there is! Have you considered a Christmas cruise? A family cruise to an exotic destination could be the perfect way to celebrate the season.

children on their parents’ shoulders wearing santa hats while walking on a beach

Where Will You Be This Holiday Season?

When you cruise with Carnival over Christmas, you’ll spend the holiday doing whatever it is you love best. You’ll have plenty of time to catch up with friends and family, plus you’ll get to vacation in a warm, exotic destination at the same time! Whether your regular Christmas scene features buckets of rain or a howling snowstorm, you’ll get the opportunity to escape it all and enjoy the tropical sunshine instead. From Mexico to the Caribbean and right over to The Bahamas, there are plenty of holiday cruise destinations just waiting for you. Rest assured, this Christmas season is ready to bring you plenty of tropical joy.

Making Your Christmas Plans

Where will you depart from? Carnival has numerous departure cities depending on your preferences or travel requirements. Are you close to Galveston, Texas, or Charleston, South Carolina? What about Miami, Florida or Baltimore, Maryland? You’ll have plenty of options to choose from, even if you live elsewhere. Whether you want to travel to the Caribbean, Mexico, The Bahamas or another destination, you’ll discover numerous ways to enjoy a Christmas cruise in the tropics.

an aerial view of carnival glory departing from miami

Embarkation Day

As you embark on your first day, you’ll immediately notice the Christmas decorations found throughout the ship. From wreaths to jingle bells to the ever popular mistletoe (pucker up!), each ship will leave no doubt that the holiday season is well underway. Stunning Christmas trees are set up in various parts of the ship too.

While at Sea

Carnival team members will go out of their way to keep you and your family well entertained and in the Christmas spirit with festive activities. From the tree lighting ceremony on the first evening to the Christmas carol sing-a-longs and special Holiday show (featuring appearances by Santa and the Grinch!), we have plenty up our sleeves for this most joyful season of the year. Both you and your kids can participate in our arts and crafts events, where you can make your own decorations and other festive trimmings. We bet your kids will love the opportunity to drop off their letter to Santa in the North Pole mailbox. Why not write a note yourself? You never know what type of response you’ll get!

Have you been waiting for the right season to enjoy all of those holiday movies? Good news! Join your fellow cruise guests and settle in for all of those Christmas favorites. Plus, now’s your chance if you’ve always wanted to join in on an Ugly Sweater Contest. Winners will receive a special prize.

Carnival holds a special, non-denominational Christmas service either December 24 or 25, depending on the cruise itinerary. This service will feature hymns, prayers and plenty of stories to bring everyone closer together during the holiday season.

The Christmas festivities, which begin the day after Thanksgiving and run through December 25, culminate in a delicious Christmas dinner. This dinner features traditional favorites like the Christmas turkey (oven-roasted with all trimmings) and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

a christmas tree in the atrium of the carnival vista

In Port

Regardless of your port of call, you’ll have numerous opportunities to enjoy the Christmas season, tropical-style. Exploring the streets and beaches of each city might reveal unexpected festivals and celebrations sure to delight the senses. You’ll also want to join in on shore excursions that let you get up close and personal with nature, take part in extreme adventures and enjoy unforgettable local cuisine. While everyone back home may be dealing with snowstorms and freezing rain, you’ll be surrounded by warm temperatures and plenty of vacation adventures.

This Christmas season, join your friends and family on a cruise vacation. You’ll get a chance to experience new destinations and traditions at the same time. You might even make a Christmas cruise the next family tradition!