Very Merrytime Cruises Over the Holidays on Disney Cruise Line

'Tis the season to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year at sea

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••• Kent Phillips/Disney Cruise Line

Thinking of taking your family on a Disney Cruise for the holidays? In 2017, Very Merrytime Cruises take place on most voyages aboard all Disney Cruise Line ships from mid November through the third week in December. These sailings offer exceptionally good value, since there are many magical holiday extras included in the fare along with all the usual activities and fun you expect from a Disney cruise.

Available sailings range in length from three to seven nights with itineraries to the Caribbean and Bahamas, including stops on Castaway Cay, Disney's private island.

Which 2017 Disney sailings will be Very Merrytime Cruises?

  • The Disney Magic sails four- to seven-night Bahamian and Caribbean cruises departing Nov. 11 to Dec. 24
  • The Disney Wonder sails seven-night Bahamian and Caribbean cruises departing Nov. 10 to Dec. 22
  • The Disney Dream sails three- and four-night Bahamian cruises departing Nov. 10 to Dec. 22
  • The Disney Fantasy sails seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises departing Nov. 11 to Dec. 23

What special holiday festivities will take place on the cruise?
Families sailing during the holiday season will be treated to ships decked out from stem to stern, traditional “turkey day” fanfare, Christmas festivities and “snow flurries."

Fun facts: Decorations on board Disney ships include 124 Christmas trees; 4,473 yards of garland; 14,000 yards of ribbon; over 5.5 miles of Christmas lights; and one giant candy cane for a tropical deck party. While Santa shares 300 pounds of gingerbread cookies, the life-size gingerbread house takes 320 hours to make with 650 pounds of gingerbread, 5,250 gingerbread bricks, and 220 pounds of sugar icing.

(Note that the life-sized gingerbread houses are constructed in November, and are not available on early November sailings. It should be completed and ready for viewing in the last week of November.)

When the ships stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music. Plus, the island's tram is decorated to resemble a reindeer, complete with antlers and a tail.

Highlights of Very Merrytime Cruises

  • Mickey’s Tree-Lighting Magic takes place on the first night of the cruise in the atrium lobby. Disney characters lead holiday carols and the lighting of the glittering, three-deck-tall tree.
  • Winter Wonderland Ball celebrates the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, offering an opportunity to don your holiday finest and join Disney friends and princesses for a glamorous ball. On this night filled with dancing, singing and festive treats, you'll witness the transformation of a snowman into jolly old Saint Nick himself before a magical snowfall overtakes the atrium.
  • Holiday carolers and Dickens-inspired characters carry the spirit of the season throughout the ship while singing holiday classics, sometimes with the help of favorite Disney friends.
  • Family holiday activities including building gingerbread houses
  • Meet-and-greets with Santa Claus and favorite Disney characters.
  • Youth holiday crafts such as decorating stockings and gingerbread men cookies, making holiday cards and creating holiday animation cells.
  • Storytime with Mrs. Claus as children gather in the atrium to hear well-known Christmas stories from her rocking chair by the tree.
  • Holiday storytellers sharing tales of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, plus a story about the magical feeling of the holidays on a ship.
  • 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.
  • Til We Meet Again features a special holiday edition of Disney Cruise Line’s farewell on the final night of each cruise with Disney characters and the ship’s crew in a musical finale led by Mickey Mouse.

Will cruises that include Thanksgiving Day be special?
On Thanksgiving cruises, families can enjoy a Thanksgiving Day dinner, visits from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire, and a special turkey towel animal in their stateroom upon turndown. Also during the special Thanksgiving voyages, big NFL football games are broadcast live on the ships’ outdoor, jumbo LED screen located near the family pool.