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Old 08-07-2011, 04:57 PM   #1
chernabogfamily
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What is a Christmas Cruise like? Is it worth it?

For all of you veteran holiday cruisers out there...what do they do on Christmas Eve and Day while on board? Any brunches? caroling? Theme night? Will the rest of the cruise be the normal planned activities for a 7-night cruise (pirate night, semi-formal, Captain's gala, etc). I keep searching, but can't find old navigators or anything about prior holiday cruises. I can only find photos of the ship so far.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:20 PM   #2
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I am interested to find out what might be happening on our Christmas cruise too
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:35 PM   #3
kcashner
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There are lots of special activities. There is a gingerbread house making activity (tickets free at GS, needed due to limited capacity), Mrs. Claus reads "The Night Before Christmas," a traditional Christmas dinner is served. Yes, your nights may not follow the normal rotation due to the holiday--you'll still have pirate night, formal and semi (on 7 night or longer), etc. but the order may be changed as the holiday falls in different parts of the cruise each year. There will be a Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the first evening.

Obviously, the ship is decorated everywhere. There is an AMAZING gingerbread house (I think it's bigger than my first house!...kidding, but only a little) Characters are often in holiday attire. The terminal and island are also decorated.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:52 PM   #4
Tolson70
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When on the Magic 2 years ago, Clayton Lindsey (CD) told us the tree lighting is pretty special. They select one child and give him/her some pixie dust to throw on the tree and viola, the tree is lit as the dust is thrown, pretty neat.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
There are lots of special activities. There is a gingerbread house making activity (tickets free at GS, needed due to limited capacity), Mrs. Claus reads "The Night Before Christmas," a traditional Christmas dinner is served. Yes, your nights may not follow the normal rotation due to the holiday--you'll still have pirate night, formal and semi (on 7 night or longer), etc. but the order may be changed as the holiday falls in different parts of the cruise each year. There will be a Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the first evening.

Obviously, the ship is decorated everywhere. There is an AMAZING gingerbread house (I think it's bigger than my first house!...kidding, but only a little) Characters are often in holiday attire. The terminal and island are also decorated.

Are all of these activities during the entire Christmas Holiday Season (entire month of December) or only on the week of Christmas itself? Our family would love to do some of these and are planning on cruising next December, but not over Christmas itself (custody issues with the family we're cruising with).
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:24 PM   #6
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Are all of these activities during the entire Christmas Holiday Season (entire month of December) or only on the week of Christmas itself? Our family would love to do some of these and are planning on cruising next December, but not over Christmas itself (custody issues with the family we're cruising with).
I went on my cruise in Early december last year.. There were pictures with the characters in Christmas attire, xmas decorations, and the large gingerbread house, but there were no activities and no special dinner or interactions but that's okay! 'cause I was there for my birthday (late november) and from Canada, so xmas with hot weather just didn't make sense... it was very surreal.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:27 PM   #7
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Sounds like fun - maybe one day.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:30 PM   #8
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I went on my cruise in Early december last year.. There were pictures with the characters in Christmas attire, xmas decorations, and the large gingerbread house, but there were no activities and no special dinner or interactions but that's okay! 'cause I was there for my birthday (late november) and from Canada, so xmas with hot weather just didn't make sense... it was very surreal.

Thanks for the info. My family would have loved the Gingerbread House decorating and the tree lighting.

And it is weird sometimes having hot weather during Xmas/Thanksgiving. I've lived in CA for 12 years and I still expect *cold* and maybe even snow. Occasionally it gets down 47-50 degrees during the day!
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:53 AM   #9
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Has anyone ever posted navigators from their Christmas Cruise? I'd love to see them if so.
Is Christmas Eve usually a semi-formal night?
Or is Christmas Day usually semi-formal or formal? I'm trying to figure out what kind of outfits the family will wear on those days.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:29 PM   #10
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One of my favorite Disney cruise memories was on Christmas Eve the Fab 4 came down the atrium stairs dressed in olde English costumes and they had snow falling on us right there in the atrium.

Yes, the Caribbean is warm year round, but even when I grew up in cold country we didn't always have a white Christmas. Now that I live in AZ I like to pretend that the ripe oranges and lemons on our citrus trees are Christmas ornaments.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:10 PM   #11
kcashner
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Originally Posted by holie View Post
I went on my cruise in Early december last year.. There were pictures with the characters in Christmas attire, xmas decorations, and the large gingerbread house, but there were no activities and no special dinner or interactions but that's okay! 'cause I was there for my birthday (late november) and from Canada, so xmas with hot weather just didn't make sense... it was very surreal.
You've highlighted the differences between the cruise that incorporates December 25 and cruises during the holiday season (which at Disney starts before Thanksgiving and extends thru New Year's Day.) The decorations, character outfits, etc. start with the Thanksgiving cruise at the latest; decorating is a multi-day process and will be completed before that cruise. However, the special activities such as the meal will occur only on the Christmas cruise, the Thanksgiving cruise, etc. The tree lighting starts as soon as the atrium decorating is completed, so that happens on all December cruises.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:06 PM   #12
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We usually sail the two weeks after Thanksgiving. As kcashner said, the tree lighting is done at the beginning of all the cruises at that time. We have also seen the Gingerbread House decorating during our cruises so that isn't only for the Christmas Week cruise.

I have to say, I have sailed Christmas week and for me, it really wasn't worth the premium price. Now I don't have children but it seemed like all the activities on the Christmas cruise were for the children only. I don't begrudge them fun things to do for the holiday but there are adults that like Christmas too. Sailing Christmas week can be twice what we pay for the first week of December and I think the only holiday activities we miss are the Christmas Eve, with the characters and Mrs Claus. For a few thousand dollars, I'll gladly stay at home and look at my pictures with the characters in costume from a few weeks earlier!
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:40 PM   #13
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We are booked on the Wonder for Christmas week 2011 and yes, there is a HUGE premium, although they have lowered the prices and have done KSF promos on that sailing too. We debated about the price and whether it's worth it to sail that particular week. We figured we will do it once and see how it feels. I do have 2 kids (6 and 11) so the magic will definitely be in the air for them.

I will report back afterward to let you all know if it's "worth it." My guess is that the unanimous answer will be "YES!"

Katherine
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:53 PM   #14
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Frankly, the reason for the premium price is supply and demand. There are many families who can only sail on THE week. If you can do a week or two before, I'd do that in an instant.....oh yeah, that's what we already have booked again this year!
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:51 AM   #15
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We were on the Wonder this past Christmas - yes it was lovely and we had an amazing time, but in all honesty I could never justify the cost again.

We would have had just as good a time sailing the weeks before hand and enjoyed the decorations just as much. Not sure that we had anything particularly 'extra' for the cost- as others have said, Disney can charge those prices because there is the demand for the rooms, I guess part of me expected something more for the extra money I had spent, but then if I am honest I am not sure what 'more' I was expeccting.

As I said - an amazing, amazing trip - but then for me, all trips on DCL are amazing, so we would rather save some money and go on a cheaper sailing and still have a wonderful time. JMHO though and YMMV!!
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