From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Melanie Curtsinger
After embarking recently on my first Very Merrytime cruise aboard the Disney Dream, let me tell you – I think I have found a new holiday tradition for my family! If you’re anything like me and will gladly trade in white snow for the white sand beaches of Castaway Cay, read below for the top five things you can look forward to on these special holiday sailings!
1. Mickey’s Tree-Lighting Magic
When you walk onto your Disney Cruise Line ship on day one, your eyes will likely be immediately drawn to the three-deck-tall Christmas tree in the atrium. And while there is garland and other décor filling every nook and cranny, you also may notice one more thing – the lights aren’t on! Once you’re sailing off into the sunset, however, many of your favorite Disney characters will join you to change all of that. With holiday music, stories from different cultures as told by crew members and special opportunities for kids to get involved, this tree-lighting ceremony is much more than just an opportunity to make these festive lights come to life!
2. Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball
What’s a holiday cruise without Santa and Mrs. Claus? That’s right, usher in these very special guests on each Very Merrytime sailing at Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball. This special holiday gathering featuring Broadway-style entertainment, classic holiday tunes, your favorite characters and even a little magical “snow” overtakes the atrium and is sure to leave each and every guest in the holiday spirit.
3. Characters in holiday attire
While your favorite Disney characters are at the center of Mickey’s Tree-Lighting Magic Ceremony and Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball, be sure to check your Navigator App for meet-and-greet times all throughout your sailing. Whether it’s Mickey in his winter sweater, Pluto with antlers or Goofy in a full-fledged Santa suit, these pictures are sure to provide both precious memories and a spot on your family’s Christmas card!
4. Did someone say gingerbread?
Did you know that each Disney Cruise Line ship features a life-size gingerbread house in the atrium? Each year, all four ships in the fleet create a unique house (from scratch!) and compete against each other for the most creative and whimsical creation. And while the competition has become an annual rite of passage Disney Cruise Line, it also fills the atrium of each ship with the smell of fresh gingerbread. If you want to try your hand at your own creation, be sure to check out the gingerbread cookie decorating classes offered onboard! Unlike the one in the atrium – you can actually eat yours!
5. Castaway Cay
As I mentioned earlier, my favorite thing to do for the holidays is trade in white snow for the white sand beaches on Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s private island. But even though you may be in the Bahamas, this slice of paradise is decked for the holidays as well – with a tropical flair, of course! A massive Christmas tree, holiday island music and even “snow” flurries await your family, guaranteeing that the only “blue” you’ll be feeling this holiday season is the color of the crystal-clear waters!
The holiday season is in full swing, and so are Very Merrytime cruises! Whether you’re planning a holiday voyage for this year or next, leave me a message below with your personal favorite cruising memories or what you’re most looking forward to during these special holiday sailings!