There is no better way to make your families Holiday more special than by adding some Disney Magic to it.  Select Disney Cruise Line sailings in November and December are considered “MerryTime Cruises”.

So what extra magic will Disney have in store for your family?  Aside from fabulously decorated trees from the minute you arrive at the cruise terminal to lights and decorations in the restaurants on board, there are several parties and events that are only available during these sailings to help you get in the holiday spirit.

Christmas decor in Port Canaveral
                                                                   Christmas decor in Port Canaveral
beautifully decorated Atrium
                                                                     beautifully decorated Atrium
even the dining rooms are decorated!
                                                          even the dining rooms are decorated!

Your first night of the cruise, in the main atrium, there will be a special “Mickey’s Tree Lighting Magic” ceremony.



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Be sure to get there early for a spot.  As you can see the Tree Lighting is quite popular!  The ceremony is held on Deck 3, in the Main Atrium, Mickey and pals, dressed in their holiday best,  welcome you to your cruise while one lucky family is choosen to help light the tree!

Later in the evening be sure to take a picture with your favorite characters in their seasonal attire!  Character Meet and Greets on ship are a bit different from those in the parks.  You can find the scheduled times on your Personal Navigator and most of the meet and greets last about 15- 30 minutes so be sure to be in line at the time they start as cast members do cut off the lines. We arrived to the meet and greet locations about 15 minutes before the event was scheduled and never had a problem. Quick tip, If you have purchased the photography package you don’t want to be the first or even the fifth in line, because there were times the Shutter’s Photographers were a few minutes late.

If you are on the fence about purchasing the photography packages take a look at the difference in photo quality.  The Merry Time Cruises offer quite a few opportunities to take pictures with your favorite characters in various costumes during the cruise.  Aside from their holiday attire, we were able to take pictures with the gang in their holiday beach/island costumes, their pirate costumes, and their Classic DCL attire.  Shutter’s is also available to take professional posed family pictures, pictures at dinner, and will take your picture on Castaway Cay! Plus the Shutters Photographs have a really cute DCL Merry Time Cruise boarder.

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Tired of boring family parties to celebrate the holiday season? You won’t find any boring parties here!  Make sure to stop by the pool deck to participate in the Deck the Deck Tropical Holiday Party.  Dance with Stitch, Limbo with Minnie, and follow the conga line led by the Mouse himself!


How about those Holiday Shirts!!


If dancing isn’t your best activity, try modeling a Gingerbread House after this one that sits in the Atrium Lobby.  Makes sure to stop by every day as the giant stuffed Mickey tends to move around his house each day, doing chores, relaxing by the fire and visiting with some of his friends!  Other Holiday activities for the kids include a story hour with Mrs. Clause and of course a visit with the big man himself so make sure the kids have their lists started!!


If the fantastic Decorations, Holiday Crafts and Island Style Dance Parties haven’t put you into the holiday spirit, maybe some traditional holiday carols will do it!

Due to a few issues docking at Castaway Cay, we had an impromptu Character Dance Party!   Mickey can really move!!


Even Castaway Cay gets in the holiday spirit with a Giant Tree waiting to greet you on the dock.


And because Olaf isn’t the only snowman who loves summer,there are even Sand Snowmen waiting to welcome you!


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If you missed out on the holiday fun don’t miss out on the Holiday Themed See You Real Soon party the last night of your cruise.  Aside from a last chance to take in the decorations, or pictures in front of the decorated Atrium and Character Statue for the best holiday picture card,  there is an opportunity to say See Ya Real Soon to your favorite pals. I wasn’t aware the character meet and greets would happen so while I worried about getting a great spot for pictures at the bottom of the stairs, the Atrium soon became a bit chaotic as guests were rushing to get in line for their favorite Character.  I would definitely suggest getting to the party early for a spot right in front of the stairs.  Again we arrived about 20, maybe even 25 minutes before the event was scheduled to start.  The event did start late in the evening so I suggest returning to your stateroom after dinner to finish packing, as you will need to have your luggage outside your stateroom for pick up before going to the party.   Mickey met directly in front of the Lobby Statue, while Minnie said goodbye from the stairs.  Pluto met with guests in front of the tree while other characters met in the alcoves and halls on Deck 3.



If you would like any help planning your Disney Cruise Line vacation, any of our PPDD travel planners would love to assist you.

Written by: Michelle Lynott


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