Raise your hand if you love the winter holidays!
Raise your hand if you also hate all the work and cleaning up that comes with the festivities!
If you raised your hand to one or both of these, do read on!
I figured out how to do ALL the holidays without any of the work! Our Very Merrytime Disney Cruise was our first cruise ever, and we sailed out to the Caribbean on the Disney Fantasy from Port Canaveral. We sailed during the actual Thanksgiving holiday. And it was our best cruise ever! No, it was our best vacation ever! And it also was the best Thanksgiving ever!
Because it was a holiday cruise,it was a bit more pricey. Here’s how to save hundreds and thousands of dollars on a Disney Cruise, even on the special ones!
Disney’s Very Merrytime cruises are so special, because you don’t just get your one holiday, you get them all!
As with every cruise, you embark the ship, your family is announced and greeted with applause, but on THIS cruise, you enter into the most beautifully decorated atrium. It’s beaming with Christmas garlands, a giant Christmas tree, and a life-sized gingerbread house. And it smells like a life-sized gingerbread house,too! It is just amazing!
Everywhere you go on the ship, you’re greeted by holiday decorations, holiday music Disney-style, and smiling cast members spreading holiday cheer.
Celebrating Thanksgiving Day
During this Thanksgiving cruise, we experienced Thanksgiving in a completely new way – a calm, peaceful, wonderful way that made the day actually feel like a holiday! I don’t know how Thanksgiving works at your house, but at ours, it includes detail housecleaning because the whole family will be over. Then follows a lot of decorating, lots of shopping, cooking, yelling and losing of tempers, last minute runs to the store, followed by a messy house and lots of dirty dishes that require an entire follow-up cleaning day. Sound familiar?
Disney to the rescue!
Out to the ocean we go! Our Thanksgiving Day started with a clean room, and breakfast brought to the latter, which we enjoyed on our balcony that overlooked the vast, peaceful waters. We then made our way out onto a beautifully decorated, pristine ship, where festive music greeted us. Our day was so wonderful and relaxing, I kept forgetting it’s actually Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Dinner at Sea
Dinner was amazing! You had all the Thanksgiving food you wanted, including turkey, and stuffing, and gravy, and mashed potatoes, and yams, and green beans, and cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. And if you didn’t feel like that after all, there were still 10 other selections to chose from.
Dinner was made for us, brought to us, cleaned up for us, and we enjoyed it with friends at our table. No one yelled, no one was upset, no one was running around, no one had to lift a finger! And we continued out into more fun around the ship!
My favorite part was Disney characters dressed in their pilgrim Thanksgiving outfits. I mean how often do you get to take pictures like that?? (I’d venture to say never!)
If that wasn’t our best Thanksgiving ever, then I don’t know.
You celebrate all the other holidays, too!
But wait! There’s more! Thanksgiving wasn’t the only holiday we got to actively celebrate. Because when you’re already on a beautifully decorated ship, you might as well take advantage of ALL the holidays we love so much.
During our 7-night cruise, we also celebrated the arrival of Santa, had a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, listened to stories from Mrs. Claus, and ate chocolate chip cookies with milk. Many holiday-themed activities and shows are scheduled throughout the cruise, including making gingerbread houses.
Make Your Own Gingerbread House – Important Note!
Though not life-sized, your family can make gingerbread houses together. Note that you cannot book this activity in advance, but must book it with guest services on the ship. If you want to do this activity, you need to go and stand in line at guest services immediately upon embarking the ship. If you wait till Day 2, the activity will be booked in full. I guarantee you won’t get a space for anything you have to book on the ship, unless you immediately get in line.
We met our favorite Disney friends in winter attire, and celebrated the holidays around the world in a special show with Disney pals and cast.
And then we went to a New Year’s Eve family dance party!
I mean, we did it ALL! All the holidays right there. It was such a special experience!
And all the while, you could step outside in your bathing suit and take a dip in the pool… because we were still in the Caribbean! So while we got to wear our winter holiday best at night and take pictures in front of the huge, beautiful Christmas tree, during the day, we were still on a Caribbean vacation, soaking up the sun and enjoying splash time and amazing port adventures in our ports of call.
Disney’s Private Island Castaway Cay during the Holidays
Yes! Castaway Cay is dressed in its finest holiday attire, too! Some late Halloween cruises even get to see the island that way! (And check out how special the Halloween cruises are, too, right here!)
The island, just like the ship, experiences a total make-over, and you might even see your Disney pals in their bathing suits combined with a Santa hat! Take your family picture on the island in front of a postcard-worthy holiday display, including a big, snow-covered Christmas tree, and make it this year’s Christmas cards! I mean you don’t see bathing suits in front of a Christmas tree every day – that’s special!
Disney is currently offering special rates on some of the Very Merrytime cruises. And I’ve checked, and compared to what we paid for our Thanksgiving cruise – these deals really are amazing!! A roundup of all the discounts is right here.
But you don’t like cruising? No problem! Disney has a solution for you, too! See here for a review of Thanksgiving at Disneyland!