Friday, December 7, 2012

Princess Cruises Ships Deck the Halls for Festive Holidays at Sea

Snow at sea!
With the holiday season fast approaching, Princess Cruises ships are ready to celebrate this joyful time of year around the world. Whether they are sailing through the islands of the Caribbean and South Pacific or cruising through the waters Down Under in Australia and New Zealand, the ships will be decked from stem to stern, and may even experience an unusual snowfall. Now a favorite holiday feature on Princess ships, most ships offer a daily snowfall using an innovative snow-making process that creates falling flakes that vanish on contact, letting passengers enjoy the excitement of snow flurries without the need to bundle up.

Even when the snow isn’t falling, Princess ships will feature a merry atmosphere. Vessels are decked out in holiday d├ęcor—many vessels’ masts even include a Christmas tree—and strolling carolers fill the air with the sounds of the season.

Seasonal activities are offered to keep passengers merry, including a “gingerbread challenge,” where teams test their holiday house-building skills in a fun-filled competition to construct the most creative gingerbread structure. Kids can test their holiday craft skills by creating a personalized ornament. Turkey-carving demonstrations will prepare passengers to do the honors at their next holiday feast.

Special events also include a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” for children by either the captain or cruise director, and a holiday variety show adds a seasonal element to the ship’s entertainment offerings. For those who can’t get enough of Christmas carols, the ships’ Princess Pop Star talent show will feature a holiday edition where competitors can croon their favorite seasonal songs.

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

Holiday Feasts — Each Princess ship’s culinary team will prepare spectacular holiday displays and serve up several delicious feasts. Christmas breakfast includes 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.

Christmas For Children — Santa Claus makes an appearance on his big day with a gift for each child, and a fun-filled holiday fair in the atrium offers youngsters the opportunity to try their hand at Christmas cookie decorating, balloon making, face painting, games, and other competitions. Youth centers host holiday parties and kids can make decorations to display on the center’s Christmas tree. Youngsters can get creative with other holiday-themed arts and crafts projects throughout the cruise, and sing Christmas carols for passengers. Free late-night group kid sitting sessions will be available on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Hanukkah — For passengers celebrating the Festival of Lights, beginning December 8 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.

Happy New Year — Passengers can ring in 2013 with festive New Year's Eve parties, complete with music, confetti, noise-makers, and a balloon drop to count down to the new year. Earlier in the evening, the dinner menu will feature special treats just for New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Day, football fans won’t miss 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.

“Our ships offer the perfect holiday combination—a relaxing warm-weather vacation mixed with the merriment of Christmas as well as the celebrations of Hanukkah and the chance to ring in the New Year,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “And don’t be surprised to see snowflakes falling in the atrium.”

Image Courtesy of Princess Cruises

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