Halloween spells magic especially whilst onboard a ship. This yearly celebration is embedded into the folklore and superstitions of our ancestors. Over the years it has become much more intense than during the times of its origin. Each year this celebration seems to become bigger and bigger throughout the world.
In recent years, the cruise industry has started to take notice. With the ongoing challenge of creating new experiences for their passengers a Halloween cruise is undoubtedly going to appeal to many people with or without children.
Halloween is celebrated on the 31st of October and translates to ‘Hallows Eve’ with its origins being traced back to the Celts. This ancient festival day was known as ‘Samhain’ and celebrated in parts of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.
The festival marked the official end of the summer’s harvest. The Celtic New Year began right after Samhain on the 1st of November.
Individual families would take the vegetables from the harvest, such as gourds, potatoes, and turnips and carve lanterns out of them to honour the dead. They took the lanterns to a sacred fire for assurances of keeping themselves safe from the wickedness of restless souls.
In the early 19th century, many of the Irish left their homelands during the potato famine and headed to the Americas. With them came their traditional carving skills to keep their heritage alive They discovered that pumpkins were more bountiful on the other side of the ocean than the produce previously utilised and were substituted for carving.
What can you Expect on a Halloween Cruise?
What can you expect on a Halloween themed cruise? It may be too late to book this year but next year is bound to be filled with just as many creative festivities as any Halloween celebration should be. Take a look below to see what some of the major cruise lines are offering.
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival has many activities planned for their Halloween cruises. All of the ships are due to get a seasonal makeover and children from the ages of 1 to 17 will have the chance to take part in both a scavenger hunt as well as a trick or treat.
For adults, there is a costume contest as well (although masks are forbidden) and a dance party in the nightclub. Classic horror films are due to be screened on TV and at the poolside movie screen. There will also be special gambling tournaments at the casino based on the theme as well as a pumpkin carving competition.
Disney Cruise Lines
It’s always a ‘Fun Holiday’ onboard a Disney cruise ship and Halloween is extra special. All ships in their fleet are going all out with their Halloween trends, from Disney villains swarming the ships to a “takeover” by a mysterious pirate, people of all ages will be thrilled by what Disney has planned.
A screening of Tim Burton’s classic film, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” will be shown. For adults, in the adults-only nighttime district, ghostly musicians will perform a “Creepy Cabaret” and Disney villains will hit the dance floor. Restaurant menus will also embrace creepiness with such items as spider cakes and a “Witch’s Brew.”
Holland America Lines
Get ready for Holland America’s costume contest. It’s the perfect time to be creative and outlandish in a costume that is sure to get you noticed. The crew will get creative too and will be involved in their own pumpkin carving contest. Who decides the best Jack-O-Lanterns onboard?
The passengers have the deciding vote. On the night of the 31st, there is an extraordinary dessert buffet planned, filled with not only scrumptious cakes but pastries and candy touching on the spirit of Halloween. Unlike other cruise lines, Holland America will continue their festivities on shore whilst in a port of call.
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Norwegian are offering a Halloween culinary experience for those that have a sweet tooth including both life sized and miniature pumpkins, candies and “spiders” that are made out of pecan and caramel.
There will also be a costume parade as well as a masquerade ball and a scavenger hunt. The Second City comedy troupe will put on a special Murder Mystery show. The ships will be decorated with spooky imagery and frightening décor to complete the transformation.
Princess Cruises promise a large variety of activities for a creepy and spooky Halloween celebration. Their ships will feature costume parades, theme nights and Halloween trivia games for the entire cruise.
Pumpkin carving lessons will help increase your skill to make your very own Jack-O-Lanterns. Even the onboard films and television are getting in on the fun: changing to a horror and spooky genre. Of course for children, special activities are planned exclusively for them including trick or treating for sweets while onboard the ship.
Both children and adults will be encouraged to dress up in costume for this trip, so don’t forget to pack your own. Apart from Halloween festivities such as Trick or Treating, Royal Caribbean also boasts a walkthrough haunted mansion .
Even the crew members will get in on the fun, dressing up for the occasion as ghouls and zombies. There will also be special and bizarre “contests” held such as screaming or howling at the moon.
Ghosts, ghouls and goblins have become a part the Halloween season with many cruise lines. Cruise passengers can expect all sorts of spooky celebrations and still have a holiday that visits several destinations.
Written by Veronica Shine