New Activities and Traditional Celebrations Add to the Festive Atmosphere

The holiday season is always a joyful time aboard Princess Cruises ships around the world, and this year is no exception. Passengers enjoying seagoing holiday cruises will find some new activities onboard as well as favorite celebrations to make sure the season is merry and bright. The festivities begin with spirited Halloween and Thanksgiving cruises and continue with fun-filled cruises over Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Day.



Whether sailing through sunny waters of the Caribbean or South Pacific, or cruising Down Under in Australia and New Zealand, ships will be decked from stem to stern, and may even experience a unique snowfall.

“Tis the season to leave work and cold weather behind, and instead truly relax and enjoy holiday festivities,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Our shipboard teams make sure passengers can make the most of seasonal celebrations, with favorite things such as our annual snowfall in the atrium, plus new traditions.”

Halloween Happenings – Spooky characters will be haunting the ships as “stowaways” throughout the fleet. Passengers who spot the figures hidden throughout the ship could win prizes in a new Halloween contest. Other Halloween cruise happenings include a new “Fright Night” party where passengers are encouraged to dress up in their favorite costume. Passengers can even join in with the ship’s flash mob to perform to “Thriller” at the party. Young ghosts and goblins will have an opportunity show off their costumes as well and enjoy trick or treating around the ship. Late night scary movies and special Halloween film events on the Movies Under the Stars screens will keep the frights coming.

Giving Thanks – Thanksgiving cruises will offer some new activities as well, centered around a Tree of Thanks, where passengers can write down and share the things for which they are most thankful. For those who can talk to the birds, a new turkey calling contest will crown the best gobbler. Dining rooms will serve up a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings, and turkey carving demonstrations will get passengers ready to do the honors at their next holiday feast. Footballs fans can keep up with all the Thanksgiving Day NFL games on Movies Under the Stars (depending on satellite availability).

Hanukkah Celebrations – Beginning November 27, passengers celebrating the Festival of Lights will find a special area of the ship is reserved for those participating in Hanukkah events. Ships display menorahs and fresh flower arrangements decorated in blue, silver and white. Children also get into the act with themed arts and crafts relating to the holiday.

Christmas Cheer – Christmastime begins in early December with a new tree-lighting ceremony when the holiday décor first goes up around the ship. Also new this year is a holiday variety show to keep spirits bright. And passengers can also cheer on their favorite of Santa’s reindeer in a new reindeer race event on select Christmas cruises.

Special seasonal activities abound, including a “gingerbread challenge,” where teams test their holiday house-building skills in a fun-filled competition to construct the most creative gingerbread structure. Holiday card-making activities will allow passengers to tap into their creative side. For those who can’t get enough of Christmas carols, the ship’s Princess Pop Choir will feature a holiday concert with favorite seasonal songs.

Religious services are held as well, and passengers can attend Christmas mass or an inter-denominational church service. Passengers will receive a stocking turndown gift and can enjoy classic holiday films on the Movies Under the Stars screen or in their staterooms. They can even relax in front of a traditional burning Yule log … on their stateroom television!

Kids will especially like the season at sea. Santa Claus makes an appearance with a gift for each child, and an officer will entertain with the traditional reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” Fun-filled holiday activities offer youngsters the opportunity to try their hand at Christmas ornament making, cookie decorating, balloon making, face painting, games and other competitions. The youth centers will host holiday parties for each age group, and kids can search each day to find the Elf on the Shelf. They will also have an opportunity to sing Christmas carols for passengers. For parents who want to stay up later to celebrate the holidays, free late-night group kid sitting sessions will be available on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Each Princess ship’s culinary team will delight the senses with spectacular holiday displays and will serve up several delicious feasts. A sumptuous Christmas breakfast will include complimentary eggnog. On Christmas Day, passengers will sit down to a dinner of traditional holiday fare including roast turkey and all the trimmings. Freshly prepared stollen and Christmas cookies (even some for Santa) round out the seasonal treats.

Happy New Year – To ring in 2014, ships will host fun-filled New Year’s Eve parties to count down to the new year with upbeat music, confetti and a balloon drop. Earlier in the evening, the dinner menu will feature special treats just for New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Day, football fans will be able to follow the holiday’s traditional college bowl games, as the telecasts will be shown (as available by satellite) on the giant Movies Under the Stars screens or in shipboard lounges.

The 17-ship Princess fleet will cover the globe this holiday season, with sailings to the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Australia/New Zealand, South America, Hawaii and the South Pacific.

Information source: Princess Cruises

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