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I Cruised With Santa Claus!

Updated on November 27, 2014
On the Monarch of the Seas
On the Monarch of the Seas | Source

Santa Claus Took a Cruise, and We Were There!

OK, we didn't really take a cruise WITH Santa, but he was on the same cruise ship we were. It was in was on Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas - a four day cruise to The Bahamas. It happened in the early fall of 2012.

It's true!

We all know how very hard Santa works Wouldn't it follow that he needs vacations, too? And that he might choose a cruise?

When I first saw him, I just didn't know what to think. Was this some crazy old guy who just liked to dress funny, or what?

Before the the cruise had ended, I had come to the only conclusion I could. I only wish I had had the presence of mind to get more than two photos - both of which you'll see here. But, I think you'll agree that just those two do show proof of my Santa sighting on (of all things) a cruise to The Bahamas.

Monarch of The Seas - In September of 2012

 By Sparrowman980 (CC-BY-SA-3.0) (, via Wikimedia Commons
By Sparrowman980 (CC-BY-SA-3.0) (, via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Our Cruse Began Quite Normally

We boarded the Monarch of the Seas on Monday morning.

Tuesday, we were to be at CocoCay, Wednesday we'd go to Nassau, and on Thursday, we would be treated to a day at sea, before returning home on Friday.

Having sailed this itinerary before -a number of times, in fact - we knew just what to expect . . .


Things would change on Tuesday morning, as you will see!

A tender is a boat that ferries passengers from a ship to land and back when there's no pier for mooring the ship.
A tender is a boat that ferries passengers from a ship to land and back when there's no pier for mooring the ship. | Source

A Santa Signting on the Way to Coco Cay

This Old Guy Must Think He's Santa!

Tuesday morning, the ship anchored off CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's wonderful little private island in The Berry Islands. (A little chain of small out islands in The Bahamas)

We had boarded the tender, and found a seat on the lower level. Then, very unusual something got our attention. Boarding the tender was an old man with a long white beard, dressed like... well, Santa on vacation!

UT-OH! Here's some old guy with a long white beard, and a red hat. He must think he's Santa Claus!

Wouldn't you know it? The guy sat down right in front of us - and began to chat!

Royal Caribbean Pen
Royal Caribbean Pen | Source

Santa's Thank You Note from a Little Girl

He soon put us at ease, and we were enchanted by one story the stranger told us.

One of the children he met on board was a little girl of perhaps 7 years old. He was impressed with how articulate she was for her age, and also that she was extremely polite and respectful.

The little girl asked several very thoughtful questions, which he answered.

He gave her a Royal Caribbean pen he had won earlier in a trivia game. (Just a simple ball point pen, probably much like one of mine, shown at right.)


Thank You, Santa

To his surprise, as the little girl took the pen, she requested a slip of paper from her mom, and immediately wrote a note that said "THANK YOU, SANTA."

But, that wasn't all. Before giving Santa the note, she turned the paper over and wrote the same thing on the other side - in Korean!

As he showed us the note, the look in his eyes told us that it was more than just a piece of paper to him - it was an absolute treasure.

Santa on the Tender
Santa on the Tender | Source

Who's Really the Crazy One?

Santa, or Non Believers???

Yes, we chatted with Santa. We chatted until the tender left for the island, and we chatted all the way to the island.

He told us stories about the children he'd met, about the questions they ask him, and the answers he gives. (One of those stories is related below,)

He showed us his card, with his email address on it. When he's on vacation, he tells children that he isn't making a list right now, but they can get their parents to help them email him. And he answers.

See this picture? Who does it look like to you?

I snapped it surreptitiously on board the tender.

We didn't get a card. Those are for the kids. What we DID get was a sense of a very different man than we thought had boarded the tender.

Here was a man who believed fully in two kinds of magic: The magic of Santa, and the magic of a child's smile. He was a man who seemed determined to cause a lot of those smiles. And he seemed to derive a special joy from doing just that. Simply making kids smile.

St. Nick at the Beach - Tropical Ornaments for Your Tree

Did You See Him?

Have you ever sighted Santa while on vacation?

See results

I took His Picture

on Coco Cay

As the tender arrived at CocoCay and we prepared to disembark, the man graciously offered to pose for a photo. Here it is:

Santa at Coco Cay

Santa at Coco Cay
Santa at Coco Cay | Source

Santa Tropical Island Beach Palm Holiday Christmas Ornament

The Santa in this cute as can be Christmas ornament sure looks a whole lot like the Santa I met while cruising the high seas.

What do you think?

Maybe the person who designed this went on a cruise, too.

Maybe he was on the Monarch of the Seas that September, too. Maybe.

What Does Santa Wear for Formal Night? - His Red Suit, of course!


What Santa Wears for a Formal Dinner

We didn't get to see Santa on Formal Night. We usually book the late dinner seating. I suspect the man in the red suit prefers early seating, when more families with young children would be eating.

But, I can tell you what he wore on formal night, because he told us, and I believe him.

He said he wears full Santa attire - his red santa suit - on any formal occasion. I can just imagine that the children were absolutely thrilled to be dining in the same room with such an important fellow!

Do You Want to

Dress Like Santa?


Don't tell anyone, but there's a special place where the jolly old elf likes to shop, and so do all the other folks at the North Pole. If you want to dress like Santa, you'll find professional garb and gear at Costumes for Santa, from traditional and victorian to Fathr Christmas styles. There's a wide variety of clothing especially designed for Mrs. Claus, too, as well as all the elves and other helpers

The Spirit Of Christmas

I was able to verify that the man is NOT an employee of the cruise line. Nor did they contract with him to make a 'character appearance' on board the Monarch.

Yet, he never BROKE character. He appeared to be who he was. Whenever we saw him, we saw kids smiling. And adults, too, for that matter!

Maybe he WAS Santa. Or, Maybe he was the personification of the spirit of Santa.

What do you think?

I Believe!

Some people believe in fewer and fewer things as they get older. Gee, we even have grand kids who think they are way too old, and much too sophisticated to believe in Santa.

But, after our last cruise, it's like that song says, "as for me and Grandpa, we believe!"

Why? Because we want to.

Do You Believe in This Santa?

Do you believe we cruised with Santa?

See results

A Warm and Happy Holiday

Christmas Cards - Box Set 18 Cards and 18 Envelopes - Santa Beach Break - Santa and His Reindeer Taking a Break on the Beach to Review the Gift List
Christmas Cards - Box Set 18 Cards and 18 Envelopes - Santa Beach Break - Santa and His Reindeer Taking a Break on the Beach to Review the Gift List

Our Santa sighting certainly provided an extra surprise on that four day cruise. I hope Santa had himself a warm and happy time at the beach that day If anyone deserves an extra special beach break, I guess it's St. Nick.


Have You Experienced an Unexpected Santa Sighting?

Do you think you might have seen Santa incognito somewhere?

Have you ever met someone who seemed to be the personification of the spirit of Santa?

The Guestbook is: OPEN

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    Post Comment
    • LisaDH profile image


      6 years ago

      I always assumed Santa would have to wear a disguise when he took a summer vacation, but apparently I was wrong. :-) Great story!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yeah, if I took a cruise, I would want Santa there too. :)

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 

      6 years ago from Valencia, California

      Looks like Santa could do with a vacation :)

    • CruiseReady profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from East Central Florida

      @chas65: It truly WAS a fun cruise!

    • chas65 profile image


      6 years ago

      What a fun article and a fun cruise meeting your unexpected Santa.

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Christmas in September sounds like a new tradition to me.

    • DeepaVenkitesh LM profile image

      DeepaVenkitesh LM 

      6 years ago

      I would love to, maybe he was santa

    • CozyKitty profile image


      6 years ago

      This is such a treasure! Makes a great "Christmas in July" type story too :)

      My sister used to bring her kids to a mall where there was a Santa with a real beard - he sure looked like the real thing, so you never know ...

    • CruiseReady profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from East Central Florida

      @flycatcherrr: Yes, let's. I like it. :)

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      6 years ago

      How wonderful this is! You've just lived a lovely family movie: "Miracle on Monarch of the Seas," let's call it. :)

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image


      6 years ago from McLaughlin

      What fun! What a clever and fun man. Thanks for the article!


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