Ths DIS is a great place to ask Disney Cruise Line questions and share tips.
Dreams Unlimited Travel - The official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums Dreams Unlimited Travel - the official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums  

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - > Disney Cruise Line > Disney Cruise Line Forum
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-18-2012, 07:28 PM   #1
Mom of 2 princesses!
aheape1979's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Remote location, SC
Posts: 195

Ideas Needed! How to surprise kids at Christmas with Disney Cruise?

We will be taking our very first Disney Cruise January 13, 2013 with our DD5 and DD7. As of today, there are 6 total families from our small hometown who are booked. Some of these have cruised DCL before, some not. The thing we all have in common, is we are not telling any of the children until Christmas morning, as everyone is using the cruise as part of the kids' Christmas presents.
The past 2 years, we have found creative ways to "scavenger hunt" with the kids for Christmas. My creative DH comes up with great little rhymes (and this year drew an AWESOME treasure map of our backyard for the girls to find their trampoline!).
Right now, we are thinking of getting a cardboard treasure chest from Oriental Trading, and filling it with cruise/pirate things to tell them. Of course, they would have a treasure hunt to find it!
I need ideas/examples of what we should put in the chest, or any other creative ideas you can give me! My creative gene has been lacking a little recently.

Thank you in advance!!!!
Christmas 1987- offsite, a few 1-day trips during childhood, 6/2001-1st Anniversary POR, 9/2008- POFQ, 9/2009- 12 Days CSR!!, 12/2009- CSR, 5/2010- 10th Anniversary Poly!, 9/2010- Poly again!, 12/11- Girls' weekend at Wilderness Lodge




aheape1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2012, 08:36 PM   #2
DIS Veteran
suffieldhockeymom's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Suffield CT
Posts: 887

You have 2 free phone calls from a character with your reservation. You can pick the date time and character who is calling. Go to your reservation on the Disney Cruise website at the bottom of your reservation page is the image of Cpt. Mickey
POR 2014 pre-cruise DCL Western 2014 8 Magical Nights on the Magic 7/28/12- 8/5/12 WDW 2013 10 Wonderful days 7/22-31
suffieldhockeymom is offline   Reply With Quote
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 04-18-2012, 08:46 PM   #3
DIS Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,296

We are cruising this June and we also surprised our kids at Christmas with a scavenger hunt and a treasure box. I had ordered some DCL things online from the Disney Store to put in the box--DCL hats, Captain Mickey plush, plus some Pirates of the Caribbean Legos. I also had some pictures designed with our names from the DISign board on here.
Disney Dream 5-night double dip June 2012
Disney Magic 4-night Galveston to Cozumel February 2013
Disney Magic 4-night to Bahamas January 2014
Disney Fantasy 7-night Eastern October 2014
MissDaisyofTexas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2012, 09:37 PM   #4
I tutor high school math to pay for my travel addiction!
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,644

That is a cute idea to use the pirate chest!

We have surprised DD twice with a Disney cruise. The first time she went on a scavenger hunt for Scrabble ties that spelled words in the sentence "You are going on a Disney cruise."

The second time we surprised her was on the 7th of April...just 11 days ago!

We headed to FL over spring break and told DD we were going to go to KSC and then find some water attractions and a beach somewhere to have fun. So, we did KSC on Friday and on Saturday morning I handed her her clothes for the day which included a tshirt that said "Countown Till My Next Disney Cruise...0 Days!" She just looked at it and said "0 days...what does that mean?!" I think she was so surprised that she couldn't wrap her mind around what was happening. When it finally clicked, she said she didn't believe me and wanted to see some proof! LOL! I pulled out the documentation and she flipped out! It was THE BEST SURPRISE ever! And to top it off, on the way to the port she began talking about manatees and dolphins and mentioned that she really wished she could swim with a dolphin one day (which I had booked in Grand Cayman but had not told her about)...I waited a few minutes after she said that and then said, "you know how you mentioned you'd like to swim with dolphin? well, will you swim with dolphins with me in Grand Cayman?" She was videotaping our approach to the ship when I asked her that question and you can just hear her gasp when I asked her that! She was SOOO excited. I can't tell you how happy I am that we waited to surprise her. It was absolutely wonderful. So whatever way you decide to tell your kids about your trip, I hope you'll videotape it, it will make for a fabulous memory!
itutorfortravel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2012, 10:46 PM   #5
Had2disneycruz's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 351

Our Christmas Surprise - A Disney Cruise!

We surprised our kids last Christmas with a 7-day Fantasy Western cruise which took place last week, April 7! I booked the trip in March 2011 and did not tell my kids! I cannot believe my DH and I pulled it off. My BFF and her family were going on the trip as well and we both agreed this needed to be part of their Christmas present. My BFF photoshopped all 12 of us together on the beach with Mickey and the Fantasy behind us. Then she made a photo of our itinerary map. We took those and put them in our Disney lanyards. (We had them from previous cruises and she bought hers online from Disney.) We wrapped each lanyard separately in a box and then put all four boxes (I have 4 girls and she has 2 boys, 2 girls) in a big box. On Christmas morning, that box was opened last and before we had the girls open it, we Skyped with our best friends. Both sets of kids had their big box and we had them open them at the same time. Once open, the girls found four more boxes. With our best friends' kids, they opened them. My DD (18) and (15) got them opened first and started to scream and cry at the sight of the lanyards! Both DH and I got video with two different cameras! It was the best surprise and the very, very best reaction that I could hope for. It was well worth the wait and we had a wonderful time with our BFF family last week!!!

Best wishes to you and your big surprise!!! Enjoy every minute!!!
DH, DW (me), DD (18), DD (16), DD (12), DD (7)

Wishing life were a permanent Disney vacation!

Disney World Land/Sea Beach Club/Wonder Feb 2001
Disney World - Port Orleans Riverside - Jan 2003
Disney World - Saratoga Springs - Feb 2006
Disney World - Beach Club - Dec 2007
Disney Cruise - Magic - Eastern Itinerary - April 2009
Disney Cruise - Fantasy - Western Itinerary - April 2012
Carnival Cruise - Glory - Bahamas - May 2012
Had2disneycruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2012, 11:26 PM   #6
Dream_2011's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 150

I will share my Big surprise my kids also are going to find out on xmas morning I will surprise them with only a box and inside a custom made t shirt that will said we are going on the fantasy.
We also have more family on the ship they will, them them the same way, my daughter is going to be on shock bcz her BFF is also going, the big surprise will be went they open the cabin, for the first time we are having varandah,

3/12 Disney Fantasy
3/11 Disney Dream
12/09 Disney Wonder
4/07 Disney Magic
2/06 Disney Magic
2/05 Disney Wonder
Dream_2011 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2012, 11:40 PM   #7
Earning My Ears
JaneFan619's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Chula Vista, CA
Posts: 3

Not sure if your children enjoy puzzles or not, but I saw something online where the parents made a custom puzzle that when finished had a picture of a Disney character with one of the cruise ships in the background. I thought it was an excellent surprise but I'd think you wouldn't want to create a puzzle with too many pieces for fear of the kids losing interest or getting too frustrated.
JaneFan619 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2012, 05:27 AM   #8
MDTerp's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 382

Since you have time - put out a request here on the Dis to see if someone who is cruising in the next few months can purchase (you would reimburse) and send you items from the ship - I'm thinking postcards from the ship you're sailing, postcard from CC, maybe a keychain for the cruiseline...and send them to you in a box/envelope to use in your treasure box. I would imagine there'd be someone willing to help you out.
DH and DD (17)

October 2007 - Western Caribbean - Disney Magic
September 2009 - DVC SSMC - Disney Wonder
September 2010 - DVC SSMC - Disney Wonder
July 2011 - 10-Day Mediterranean - Disney Magic
April 2012 - 5 Night Double Dip - Disney Dream
November 2012 - Bahamas - Disney Dream
March 2013 - Mexico/Castaway Cay - Disney Wonder
February 2014 - Bahamas - Disney Magic
October 2014 - 3-Day Repo Castaway Cay - Disney Magic
December 2014 - New Year's Eve - Bahamas - Disney Wonder

DVC Member Since 2007 - AKV, BLT and BWV
Trips to the World...2001, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Aulani - 2013
MDTerp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2012, 09:28 AM   #9
The Fairy Godblogger
bibbidibobbidibecky's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kentucky, USA
Posts: 1,833

One year when we were taking a surprise WDW trip, I went to the mall and filmed Santa inviting them. Then when it was time to surprise them I told them they had an email from Santa and they watched the video of him inviting them because they had been so good. He did it by name and it was great!

Then when they looked outside there was a huge present with Mickey balloons inside and other fun stuff for the trip. We always surprise them, but this one was the best for sure.
Me , DH , DS (11) , DD (9) , DD (7)
DCL 2014 Greek Isles, 2011 Med trip reports and WDW info:

DCL: 2014 Greek Isles out of Venice, 2011 Med out of Barcelona, 2009 4-night Wonder.
WDW: 2014 Jan., 2012 Oct., 2011 Oct., 2010 Oct., 2009 Dec., 2008 Oct., 2008 May, 2006 Oct., 1997 April, 1996 April, 1993 Feb., 1992 Feb., 1980s various trips, 1977 First trip.
DL California 2012: http://thefairygodblogger.blogspot.c...0Report%202012
DL Paris 2014
: http://thefairygodblogger.blogspot.c...eyland%20Paris
bibbidibobbidibecky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2012, 09:58 AM   #10
Freiden8's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 469

Last year we surprised the kids with a BIG box that "came in the mail"..

I would suggest doing this, too, but instead of having it arrive by mail, I'd wrap it.

this pin will take you to our reveal video..
1992, Right after Easter - off site (what is now DTD)
2000, HOT HOT HOT - Wilderness Lodge
2004, Major changes & Hurricane Jeanne - Wilderness Lodge
2006, Daughter's FIRST trip - Port Orleans French Quarter
2008, Beach time - Hilton Head Island Resort, DVC
2009, 5 yr Wedding Anniversary - Coronado Springs
2011, Son's FIRST trip (SURPRISE upgrade to Castle view!) - Polynesian
2012, Well, this was unexpected! - Disney Dream & Contemporary
2014, Here's the plan - Hilton Head or Vero Beach Resort, DVC
2015, Here's the plan - Animal Kingdom Lodge
Freiden8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 06:12 PM   #11
Mom of 2 princesses!
aheape1979's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Remote location, SC
Posts: 195

Christmas 1987- offsite, a few 1-day trips during childhood, 6/2001-1st Anniversary POR, 9/2008- POFQ, 9/2009- 12 Days CSR!!, 12/2009- CSR, 5/2010- 10th Anniversary Poly!, 9/2010- Poly again!, 12/11- Girls' weekend at Wilderness Lodge




aheape1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 06:28 PM   #12
DIS Veteran
lisa702's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 704

We surprised DD with a Disney Cruise for her bday by giving her clues with her first few gifts that were Disney themed and the last gift was an autograph book I had ordered from ebay with her name, the cruise ship and the sailing date. She was surprised!
Lisa... mom to Earthly Angels Michael USAF and Skylar DD13 and Heavenly Angel Brianne..
RCCL 09/00 03/07 01/10
CCL 09/03 08/07 03/08 08/08 02/09 08/09 9/11 9/12
DCL 09/04 09/05 12/06 09/09 06/10 03/11 7/11 7/12
2/13 3/13
lisa702 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 10:55 AM   #13
cruisin' since 2004!
yesallours's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 75

I can't keep secrets!

I could never keep the secret of a booked cruise with my family, but the suggestions above sound great, especially the treasure chests. We did, however surprise our kids during our second cruise. After disembarking, instead of driving home, we just took a detour to WDW. The kids were young enough not to pay attention to road signs, and no one noticed all the billboards as we got into Orlando. No one noticed anything until we drove under the big Mickey welcome sign. That was so much fun!!
yesallours is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:14 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.