Have you ever dreamed of a distinctly not white Christmas? Maybe a gloriously warm and sunny holiday instead? Let me tell you all about our Very Merrytime Cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy!
Disney Cruise Line offers their Christmas themed cruises on three, four and seven night cruises beginning in early November. You can do a Bahamian itinerary for three or four nights or a Caribbean itinerary for 7 nights. Itineraries may vary from year to year, so check with your Vacation Specialist.
Since our daughters are in high school and cannot miss days for vacations, we went on our themed cruise over the actual holiday, when they were off of school. We sailed out of Port Canaveral, Florida on December 22, 2018 for a 7 night Western Caribbean itinerary (At Sea, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, At Sea, Castaway Cay, Port Canaveral).
Any concerns we may have had about the ship not feeling Christmasy enough were quickly dismissed. The atrium of the ship was totally decorated for Christmas. From a 30 foot Christmas tree to the life size gingerbread house, Disney knows how to do it up right!
On our first night, we went to the atrium for 'Mickey's Tree Lighting Magic.' Mickey and Minnie Mouse were decked out in their holiday finest. Pluto, Santa Goofy and Donald were there too. Everyone was so excited for Mickey to work his magic and light the tree! This fun party kicked off the holiday spirit for the whole cruise and the tree stayed lit the rest of the time.
We found more Christmas touches throughout the ship. Santa and Mrs. Claus joined in the fun with their own celebrations, including a musical show called 'Santa's Winter Wonderland Ball' and it actually snowed inside! Children lined up to meet Santa and they enjoyed hearing Mrs. Claus read to them on Christmas Eve. Hot chocolate was available next to the gingerbread house and special themed treats were available in Sweet on You (the gelato and sweet shop on Deck 11).
On Christmas Eve, we enjoyed our excursion in Cozumel, painting alebrijes or carved wooden animals. Once back aboard the ship, we went to 'Holiday Headquarters' in the D-Lounge where we decorated gingerbread cookies (delicious, by the way) and made other holiday themed crafts. Chip n Dale even dropped by to say hello!!
On Christmas Day, we were in Grand Cayman. There were quite a few excursions running that day and we had booked a Dolphin Encounter, which we enjoyed. Before our scheduled excursion, we had plenty of time in the morning to enjoy some pastries that the chefs had set out in an elaborate display in the atrium, featuring their own beautiful gingerbread houses
On Christmas evening, we enjoyed another lovely dinner, with some special holiday touches. When we returned to our stateroom, we found that our attendant had created a Santa towel animal plus some little surprises that I won't spoil for you. It was truly magical!
We saw lots of families on board, even with young children. Many of them wore matching pajamas and had photos taken with Santa Claus.
Castaway Cay was our final port of call on December 28. Persistent winds made it a challenge to dock, but the Captain and his crew persevered and got us docked just a little late. We were excited
to see Disney's private island, which was also decorated for the occasion. The massive tree, pictured here, was adorned with giant starfish, turtles, crabs, seahorses and more. What a wonderful greeting!
I definitely recommend that you check out a Very Merrytime Cruise aboard Disney Cruise Line. Not only do you get to enjoy all the magic you've come to expect - Pirate Night, Disney characters and shows, fireworks at sea, attention to detail and incredible service. But you also have the extra magic of the holidays to enjoy as well.
Mary Graham is a Vacation Specialist with Coasters & Castles Travel. She has been an Annual Passholder for five years and visits several times each year. In addition, Mary has experience with Disneyland and on Disney Cruises. This summer, her family will go on their first Adventures by Disney trip. Contact her at 919-817-4081 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.