This winter, Royal Caribbean International is asking “Why Not” to starting a new tradition and spending the holidays at sea.  Whether you’re looking forward to decking the halls or simply spending some quality time with family and friends, the global cruise line is inviting cruisers of all ages to enjoy a diverse lineup of holiday celebrations, ranging from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, aboard its cruise ships.

“There is really no better holiday value than spending your’s aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise with family and friends,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “All too often, people get stressed out with holiday preparation and entertaining. Royal Caribbean takes care of all this work, providing guests the opportunity to relax and truly enjoy the holiday season with their loved ones. Additionally, the Diamond Celebration in December will offer exclusive benefits and programs to our Diamond-status Crown & Anchor Society members to recognize our most loyal guests.”

To kick off the holiday season, Royal Caribbean is pulling out all the stops for guests to enjoy a bountiful and memorable Thanksgiving. Not only will the chefs in the cruise line’s main dining room feature a gourmet turkey dinner (and take care of the grocery shopping, cooking and dishes too), but the award-winning Adventure Ocean program will provide kids with themed activities including Thanksgiving story time and arts and crafts.

What better way to alleviate the stress that typically comes along with the holiday season than indulging in the Royal treatment?  Guests this winter can enjoy a wide range of exclusive and innovative onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming, while observing the season’s traditional festivities. Most travelers won’t even have to wander much further than their own backyards to find a holiday cruise vacation to suit their interests.  Royal Caribbean’s fleet offers a diverse number of holiday itineraries departing from nine easy-to-reach domestic home ports, including Bayonne, NJ, Baltimore, MD, Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale), Miami, Port Canaveral, and Tampa, Fla., Galveston, TX, Los Angeles, Calif. and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A seven-night Eastern Caribbean Thanksgiving sailing is available aboard Freedom of the Seas, departing November 21, 2010, from Port Canaveral, Fla..  Freedom of the Seas offersinnovative onboard amenities and entertainment options, such as the FlowRider surf simulator, an ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall, and street parties and parades in the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that runs nearly the length of the ship, lined with boutiques where guests can get a head start on their holiday shopping.

Royal Caribbean will deck its ships with seasonal decorations to embrace the holiday spirit at sea throughout the month of December.  Royal Caribbean offers Hanukkah-themed festivities lasting all eight days of the holiday, including a Rabbi aboard every ship to conduct a nightly menorah lighting ceremony and services.  For those celebrating Christmas, a Catholic priest also will be aboard to lead the holiday’s observances including a midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

Other Christmas festivities sure to get families bonding and into the spirit include: classic movie screenings, guest and crew caroling, cookie decorating, special Christmas-themed Adventure Ocean programming, and holiday ice skating aboard select ships.  Families may still book staterooms aboard the new Allure of the Seas for the seven-night roundtrip Western Caribbean Holiday itinerary departing from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. sailing on December 18, 2010. In November, Allure of the Seas will join sister-ship Oasis of the Seas, as one of the two world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships. Allure of the Seas featuring seven themed neighborhoods and unrivaled entertainment options, featuring the DreamWork Experience, which include characters from hit movies such as Shrek and Madagascar, as well as the Tony Award-winning Broadway production “Chicago: The Musical.”
 
Ring in the New Year at sea with the Cruise Director and Captain’s Countdown and themed parties in every onboard lounge.  Young cruisers will enjoy the extended late night party zone where kids and teens will be celebrating at their own New Year’s festivities. West Coast vacationers can celebrate the New Year aboard Mariner of the Seas’ December 26, 2010, sailing on a seven-night Mexican Riviera itinerary from Los Angeles, Calif. Mariner of the Seas is the largest and most revolutionary ship to ever sail from the west coast.