Are you interested in taking a holiday cruise in 2012? There are a number of holiday cruises planned for the 2012 season, but time is running out, so you should start planning now if you hope to book one before the new year. When the goal is to take a cruise vacation during a particular time of year (like, say, the holiday season of 2012), it is not unusual to start planning many months (indeed, even a year or more) in advance. This means that many cruises set for the 2012 holidays are or are nearly fully booked. However, there are plenty of cruises that are not yet fully booked, and since cruise lines hate to send off any ship that is not filled with passengers, there are often last-minute cruise deals to be had, and this applies to 2012 holiday cruises as well. Below you will find information about holiday cruises in 2012, as well as some general guidance for finding and booking a specific 2012 holiday cruise.
First, there are a number of different kinds of holiday cruises, and of course you’ll want to decide which type you are interested in before you start looking to book a vacation. We’ll start with Thanksgiving cruises. A Thanksgiving cruise is merely a cruise that takes place during the Thanksgiving holiday. So, for 2012, that means the cruise’s itinerary overlaps with November 22nd, and on this day there will be festivities and a meal that are appropriate for the occasion on board the ship. However, it’s not as if the entire cruise is an extended celebration of Thanksgiving (whatever form that would take). You’re still taking a normal cruise vacation – it just occurs during Thanksgiving. The same more or less applies to two other main holiday cruises: Christmas cruises and New Years cruises. A Christmas or New Years cruise will of course have special celebrations for both of these holidays, but the entire cruise isn’t exclusively focused on the holiday. You will still visit various ports, engage in shore activities if you so choose, and revel in the standard enjoyments of a cruise vacation. You are just taking the cruise during the holiday season – as opposed to, say, visiting your grandparents. (One main exception to this general rule is that there are a few short cruises that do focus entirely on a holiday and nothing else. For instance, there are some New Years cruises that last only a few hours and are designed for people to celebrate the coming of the new year away from land.)
So, if you want to take a holiday cruise, how might you go about doing it? Broadly, there are two main ways. If you are attached to a particular cruise line and only want to vacation with them, then you might want to deal directly with this cruise line. You could visit their website and search for a Thanksgiving cruise (or whatever the case may be), and then either book directly through the site, or call the cruise lines’ toll-free number. Alternatively, you can book a cruise line through a third party. When searching for holiday cruises for this article, we found The CruiseWeb (cruiseweb.com) and SureCruise (surecruise.com) to have extensive lists of 2012 holiday cruises in particular, but many other more general vacation-deal sites (like Expedia) also had plenty to offer. These sites allow you to book online or through an agent you can call. If you work with a travel agent, he or she could certainly help you land a holiday cruise as well.
If you do end up searching and booking a cruise by yourself, keep in mind that, as we explained above, a holiday cruise is just a cruise during the holiday season, so you don’t necessarily have to search for “Thanksgiving cruises” or “Christmas cruises.” You can just as easily look for cruises during the month of November or December, and if the cruise envelopes your desired holiday, it is a holiday cruise, regardless of how it is marketed. (And not surprisingly both ways of searching for cruises during the holiday season turn up the same results. A search for Thanksgiving cruises will turn up cruises in November, and a search for cruises in November will turn up Thanksgiving cruises.)
As of now, there are still lots of 2012 holiday cruises to be found. However, the cruises will continue to fill up quickly, so now is the time to book your holiday cruise. On the other hand, if your schedule and desired itinerary are flexible, and if you won’t be devastated if your holiday cruise plans fall through, you could always try to wait till the absolute last second to book your cruise. It’s a risk, but you may find a spectacular deal.