Holiday cruises are much beloved traditions for many cruise passengers, and a wonderful way to enjoy the cheer of the season without the stress of cleaning, cooking, decorating, and other preparations.

Ahead of the official start of the 2023 holiday season, Carnival Cruise Line has announced the dates for when each ship in the fleet will be decked out in its holiday finest.

With the holiday season fast approaching, cruise guests with sailings booked in late November and early December are curious whether or not their ship will be showing off wreaths, garlands, bows, and festively-lit trees when they embark.

Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald has announced the holiday decorating schedule for each of the line’s 25 current vessels, as well as when the upcoming Carnival Jubilee will also be showcasing festive décor.

“I wanted to share the Christmas decorating schedule with you as our professional decoratists deck the decks with holly, ivy and of course the big tree,” Heald said.

The schedule for 2023 Carnival ship Christmas decorations is as follows (by cruise departure date):

November 24 – Carnival Conquest, Carnival Radiance
November 25 – Carnival Breeze, Carnival Horizon, Mardi Gras, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Spirit
November 26 – Carnival Celebration, Carnival Dream, Carnival Glory, Carnival Panorama, Carnival Vista
November 27 – Carnival Elation, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Valor
November 30 – Carnival Venezia
December 2 – Carnival Magic, Carnival Paradise
December 3 – Carnival Legend, Carnival Luminosa, Carnival Pride
December 4 – Carnival Freedom, Carnival Splendor, Carnival Sunshine

The new Carnival Jubilee – which just completed her conveyance down the Ems river ahead of her upcoming sea trials – will be decorated beginning December 20, 2023, as she welcomes dignitaries and VIPs onboard for her initial sailing.

The very first guests to sail on the new ship, which debuts from Galveston, Texas on December 23, will be the first ever to see her holiday celebrations.

The schedule for decorating different cruise ships for the holidays depends on a variety of factors. Because seasonal decorations are not stored onboard, ships can only be in port while the decorations are loaded and set up.

Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz

Furthermore, most cruise lines employ separate professionals to hang holiday decorations, as regular crew members already have full schedules with their assigned duties. This ensures the ships can be fully decorated in just the few hours between when one cruise ends and the next begins later the same day.

Read Also: What to Expect on a Christmas Cruise

Occasionally, decorations must be shipped to different homeports, and that may delay a ship’s decorating schedule until later in the season to ensure the proper materials and supplies arrive for the full decorating ensemble.

Carnival’s ships will remain fully in festive mode through January 1, 2024, but will typically lose their decorations on the first turnaround day in the new year, even if that is January 2 or 3.

Just as the initial decoration dates vary, so too do the dates when decorations are removed, but in general, all holiday decor is stowed away within the first week of January.

Photo Credit: Turn_Mug / Shutterstock

On rare occasions, it may be necessary to remove decorations before the new year officially begins, such as if a ship is entering a dry dock or beginning an extensive longer sailing that will take it far from where holiday decorations may be stored.

In these rare situations, however, it is more likely that decorations would simply be packed away onboard after the new year, and removed from the ship at the first available opportunity to be stored until the next holiday season.

Are you booked on a holiday sailing? What decorations do you like most? Share your seasonal wish list on the Cruise Hive boards!

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