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October 3, 2005


Holiday cruises over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's are some of the most popular offered by the cruise industry each year. Here is what to expect:

A Very Festive Atmosphere - The cruise lines waste little time getting in the holiday spirit by decorating their ships from bow to stern. One cruise line says it spends nearly $100,000 annually on holiday trimmings for its ships.

Special Guests - Word is Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elf friends make guest appearances on many ships during the holiday season for a little fun and relaxation prior to and after their big day. As expected, they bring along plenty of gifts.

New Year's Fun - Exquisite New Year's Eve parties take place at sea for people of all ages and tastes, complete with special food, entertainment, champagne toasts, streamers and noisemakers. Many cruise lines also offer special all-day tailgate parties to watch New Year's Day football games.

Great Food - World-class chefs prepare traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, plus special kosher foods are available during Hanukkah.

No Snow - The closest thing to cold weather you will find on a cruise ship is an air-conditioned cabin. Temperatures in the Caribbean are typically are in the 80s in November and December.

Kids Fun Galore - With the kids are out of school, there are plenty of children onboard during the holidays. A range of supervised activities for kids and teens give parents time to relax.

Unique Gifts - World-class shopping onboard and in port awaits cruisers on many ships. Special shipping arrangements can be made to get your gifts home.

True Relaxation - Enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere with your family aboard a cruise ship. There is no better way to spend an afternoon in December than lying poolside while sailing across the ocean or snorkeling through a secluded reef.

A Romantic Getaway - For couples looking for time to themselves, a holiday season spent on deck under the stars or on secluded beaches with pristine waters and white sands is the best gift of all.

But you'd better hurry.... - Holiday cruises tend to fill up early, but there is still time to find a sailing to meet you needs. Make this holiday season the most memorable of them all!

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