I include the Frost family among the many families who make a pilgrimage to Disneyland or Disney World around the holidays as part of a family tradition. But I also know a fair number of families and friends who make an effort to take on of the Disney Cruise Line’s special holiday themed voyages as well. With the list of entertainment released this week, I can’t say I blame them.
Disney Cruise Line kicks off the holiday cheer with special Thanksgiving voyages setting sail Nov. 17 with a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Magic, Nov. 18 with a seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise on the Disney Wonder, Nov. 21 with a four-night Bahamian cruise on the Disney Dream and Nov. 17 with a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy. Guests will enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast, with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and friends dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire.
Special stem-to-stern holiday events begin in December during each of the cruises and include:
- “King Triton’s Tree Lighting” in the atrium lobby on the first night of the cruise, where a young guest helps Disney characters light the glittering, three-deck-tall tree.
- Family holiday crafts such as decorating stockings, building gingerbread houses, making holiday cards and creating holiday animation cells.
- Holiday storytellers sharing tales of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Plus, a story just for Disney Cruise Line guests about the magical feeling of the holidays on a ship.
- Traditional holiday feasts in the Disney Cruise Line themed dining rooms.
- “Til We Meet Again” (Disney Magic/Disney Wonder) features a special holiday edition of Disney Cruise Line’s cheerful farewell on the final night of each cruise with beloved Disney characters and the ship’s crew in an engaging musical finale led by Mickey Mouse.
When the Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream and Disney Wonder stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, during the holidays, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” decked-out Christmas trees, Disney character meet-and-greets, holiday carolers, and holiday-themed activities and crafts for children.
Onboard activities include holiday crafts for youngsters and the big NFL football games broadcast live on the ships’ outdoor, jumbo LED screen – Funnel Vision – located near the Goofy’s family pool on deck 9 of the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder and near Donald’s family pool on deck 11 of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
On Christmas morning at the atrium lobby tree, Santa Claus and his elves will have surprises for all the kids, along with cookies and milk. Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Hanukkah services will be held each day, Dec. 8-16.
For an extra sprinkle of holiday joy, mini Christmas trees decorated with ornaments, white mums, red berries, mini carnations and a bow topper, in addition to special holiday-themed gift packages and treat baskets, are available for purchase prior to the voyages for stateroom delivery. Plus, during the holiday cruises, Disney Cruise Line’s first-ever holiday merchandise collection, along with the ever-popular Disney Cruise Line ornaments, will be available onboard in the gift shops.
The Disney Magic sails an eight-night Western Caribbean holiday cruise departing Dec. 21 from Galveston, Texas, with visits to Cozumel, Key West and Costa Maya. The Disney Wonder offers a seven-night holiday cruise departing Dec. 23 from Miami, with a Caribbean itinerary calling at St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay. The Disney Dream sails a five-night holiday cruise on Dec. 23 to Castaway Cay and Nassau, Bahamas. The Disney Fantasy offers a seven-night Western Caribbean holiday cruise to Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Castaway Cay.
To celebrate the new year, the Disney Magic departs on Dec. 29 for a six-night Western Caribbean itinerary with stops at Key West, Costa Maya and Cozumel; the Disney Wonder departs Dec. 30 for a six-night Caribbean cruise calling on Key West, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The Disney Dream sails a five-night Bahamian cruise that departs on Dec. 28 and features two stops at Castaway Cay and one day at Nassau; the Disney Fantasy sails a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise that departs on Dec. 29 with stops at St. Thomas, San Juan and Castaway Cay. These voyages include a special New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2012, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown.
Christmas by the Numbers on the Disney Dream
Garland, wreaths, twinkling lights and glitter transform Disney Cruise Line ships into a winter wonderland during the holidays. On the Disney Dream alone more than 300 custom designed décor pieces adorn the ship, including:
- 1,016 feet of garland, which is more than three football fields and nearly enough to stretch the entire length of the ship
- 66 holiday sprays ranging from 15 inches to six feet
- 29 wreaths ranging from 24 inches to five feet in diameter
- 41 Christmas trees ranging from two feet to 20 feet
- One 20-foot-tall tree takes center stage in the atrium lobby weighing more than one ton and featuring 300 branches and more than 20,000 white LED lights
Unique holiday décor is created for specific locations around the ship. Themes include bright colors in the kids’ clubs, holographic foliage for the teen and tween spaces, and elegant accents for the adult areas. Customized ornaments include a paint brush and palette in Animator’s Palate, Mr. Potato Head in Oceaneer Club and colorful tropical fish in Cabanas.