With the holidays approaching, families looking for an alternative to a traditional, stay-at-home celebration might consider Disney Cruise Line. Our own Halloween on the High Seas recent sailing aboard Disney Fantasy delighted in so many ways.
The ports of call were perfect, warm weather getaways from Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. A very specialr port-of-call on Bahamas and Caribbean is your very own private Disney island, Castaway Cay.
Entertainment on board is among the best at sea. Think live, Broadway shows with the Disney magic sprinkled in. (A new one, Tangled: The Musical debuted this month on Disney Magic. Dining venues are fun, from the Royal Court with beautiful, glistening wall mosaics of Disney scenes, like Beauty and the Beast, to the Enchanted Garden where France’s Versailles is the inspiration for the garden-like, trellis-filled setting (tea cup-type Disney ride booths are coveted seating) to, my favorite, Animator’s Palate, where guests drawing come to life in animation and Crush, the turtle from “Finding Nemo” talks to guests he “sees” dining! Upscale dining is superb at speciality restaurants Palo and Remy.
Posing with characters and getting their autographs are part of the fun of Disney cruising. The staff are amazing as well, from cabin stewards to wait staff to activities personnel and more.
For the holiday season, the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy will all be decked out with holiday cheer, stem to stern. DCL adds sparkle to each ship during Very Merrytime Cruises, with traditional “turkey day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries” and New Year’s Eve galas. But the best part might just be relaxing on deck instead of shoveling snow. Some highlights:
- “Mickey’s Tree-Lighting Magic” in the atrium lobby on the first night of the cruise, where Disney characters lead holiday carols and the lighting of the glittering, three-deck-tall tree.
- “Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball” in the atrium lobby, where Disney cruisers welcome the guests of honor, Santa and Mrs. Claus, with a grand celebration featuring Broadway-style entertainment, favorite Disney characters and classic holiday tunes. This evening of enchantment is made complete when a special pair of royal sisters joins the party and causes a flurry of “frozen” fun as a magical snowfall overtakes the atrium.
- Holiday story time, family holiday activities, “Deck the Deck Holiday Party”
- Dickens-inspired carolers carrying the spirit of the holidays throughout the ship while singing holiday classics, sometimes with the help of favorite Disney friends. At the end of the cruise, children will have the opportunity to join the carolers onstage for a special farewell show.
- Family holiday activities including building gingerbread houses and meeting Santa Claus.
- Youth holiday crafts such as decorating stockings and gingerbread men cookies, making holiday cards and creating holiday animation cells.
- “Deck the Deck Holiday Party,” a tropical celebration with Disney friends leading games such as hula hooping and limbo under oversized candy canes, along with dances for the whole family like the “Yuletide Slide” and a conga line around the pool.
- A special holiday edition of the cheerful farewell celebration 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.
- For an extra sprinkle of holiday joy, special amenities are available for stateroom delivery. Purchased in advance of sailing, these include holiday-themed gift packages and treat baskets and even mini Christmas trees decorated with ornaments, red berries, mini carnations and a bow topper. Plus, during the holiday cruises, the Disney Cruise Line holiday merchandise collection and ever-popular Disney Cruise Line ornaments will be available in the gift shops.
To ring in 2016, voyages include a special New Year’s Eve party, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown.
If You’re Going: Disney Magic sails four- and five-night Bahamian and Caribbean cruises departing through Dec. 23; the Disney Wonder sails four-, six- and seven-night Bahamian and Caribbean cruises departing through Dec. 24; the Disney Dream sails three- and four-night Bahamian cruises departing through Dec. 24; and the Disney Fantasy sails seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises departing through Dec. 19. To book, visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.