It's difficult to believe that Disney Cruise Line could pack any more magic into its sailings, but it happens during the holiday season, which begins in less than two weeks with Thanksgiving week cruises.
Passengers who will be giving thanks at sea can enjoy traditional activities, if they choose. A bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast will be served in the dining rooms, and Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and their friends will be dressed in their Thanksgiving finest. Football games will be broadcast live on the ships' outdoor jumbo LED screen, Funnel Vision, located near family pool on each ship.
Those cruises set sail:
** Nov. 17 -- Disney Magic, a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise
** Nov. 17 -- Disney Fantasy, a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise
** Nov. 18 -- Disney Wonder, a seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise
** Nov. 21 -- Disney Dream, a four-night Bahamian cruise
I'm paying just a little more attention to the cruise activities this Christmas because I'll be onboard the Disney Fantasy in December, during its inaugural holiday season. I'm really excited about seeing the ship all decked out! (Photos included in this blog are from Jason of disneygeek.com He sailed on the Disney Dream during its first holiday season last year. With the Fantasy being its sister ship, I would expect many of the same types of decorations.)
Did you know there are more than 300 custom-designed holiday decor pieces on each ship? For the Fantasy, that means 39 Christmas trees, ranging from 2 to 20 feet. The tallest is the centerpiece in the atrium lobby that sparkles with more than 20,000 white LED lights. There are 27 Christmas wreaths onboard Disney Cruise Line's newest ship, including some up to 5 feet in diameter.
You think garland is a pain to hang? Try putting up 931 feet of it on the Fantasy! That's almost enough greenery to stretch stem to stern.
Of course, Disney Cruise Lines' decorations are themed to each room, much like guests do in their own homes. There are 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.
Guests sailing on Disney Cruise Line ships in December can experience many Christmas activities, including two special celebrations in the atrium lobby. “King Triton's Tree Lighting” takes place the first night of each cruise. Guests onboard the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder will have a holiday edition of the character farewell, “Til We Meet Again.”
Throughout the cruise, families can take part in holiday crafts, such as decorating stockings, building gingerbread houses, making holiday cards and creating holiday animation cells. Plus, there are storytellers sharing tales of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. There's even a special story about celebrating the holidays on a ship.
Holiday favorites will be served in the restaurants, too.
The holiday spirit even extends to Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line's private island in the Bahamas. Guests will be greeted by “snow flurries,” holiday carolers, and Christmas trees. Kids can participate in holiday-themed activities and crafts.
On Christmas morning, Santa Claus and his elves will have surprises for all the kids, along with cookies and milk, the ships' lobbies.
Christmas and Hanukkah services will be held on the ships.
Voyages that include New Year's Eve will have a special party to ring in 2013, and guests will receive sparkling wine in commemorative flutes.
To see a preview of Disney Cruise Line's first holiday merchandise line that will only be available on ships, please read my previous blog post.
The previous post in this blog was Get in the game with Disney's 'Wreck-It Ralph'.
The next post in this blog is Taping of Orlando segments of Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade expected later this month.