First Time DCL help! Christmas vs SWDAS? Which ship?


Sep 1, 2016

We're planning rather last minute cruise planning for coming November or January, and have couple of options.
If we go in November, the theme is Very Merrytime and in January, it will be Star Wars day.
I can tell by the name and some descriptions, but would like to hear first-hand-experience.
Also, we personally enjoyed WDW in December with all the decorations. But our daughter's birthday is in late January, so sort of want to do her birthday celebration. She will be 6, and does not know Star Wars. She only knows the names. (but we - the parents - do!)

We also have couple options on the ship. My daughter really likes Rapunzel these days, and would like to be on Magic for its Tangled show. However, we see that Magic is rather small. I easily get sea sick and have been on Oasis and Allures in the past and was sea sick medication and sea band, etc. So, I wonder if Fantasy/Dream is much better than Magic/Wonder in terms of motion.

In terms of itinerary, we've been to some ports via either previous cruises or on our own, so there isn't a certain cruise that appeals to us more than the other.

Thank you in advance and any other tips, advice are appreciated!


Thankful & Blessed
Jun 18, 2013
We have done Merrytime & SWDAS. Enjoyed them both, and really wouldn't care one vs the other. At 6 years old, maybe it's time to introduce DD to Star Wars! ;-) I'd probably tend to shop for itinerary length/price and go from there.

Aren't Oasis and Allure both super large ships? If so, Dream/Fantasy would be the DCL fleet's next closest thing. We still use our prescription patches on the larger ships, as well. As you have noted, the Magic/Wonder are considerably smaller and, in my opinion, more susceptible to motion.


DIS Veteran
Jul 25, 2016
We've been on the magic once, the Wonder twice and the Fantasy twice. I was fine on the Magic and Wonder, got seasick on the Fantasy both times. We hit rough seas both times on the Fantasy, so the ship size didn't matter for me. When the seas are calm, I never feel any movement on any of the ships. If your dd is really into Rapunzel, then I'd probably pick the Magic. It also has the Rapunzel restaurant that is suppise to be a lot of fun. They added it since we cruised on it. She may out grow the princess stage in a few years. I have a 11 yr old dd who LOVED everything princess, now she gives me grief anytime she has to wear even a simple dress. We've been on 2 SW cruises and will be on our 3rd this Jan. We aren't really SW fans, but like to do 7night cruises in Jan out of PC, so a SW cruise on the Fantasy is the only choice. The SW cruises are fun, if you are HUGE SW fans then you would probably enjoy them more than I do. On SW day, EVERYTHING on the ship is SW theme. I haven't seen any of the latest movies, so I didn't care about doing any of the trivia games or other activities on that day. Plus they don't do the Anyone Can Cook demo on SW day like they do on non-SW cruises, so I was sad about missing out on it. You can celebrate your dd's birthday on either cruise, Disney doesn't care if you do it close to their b-day or not. I can see at 6 yrs old, your dd not understanding why you are celebrating her b-day on a different month though. You'll have a great time, which ever one you choose.
  • lklgoodman

    DIS Veteran
    Jul 25, 2016
    When I said everything is SW, I realized I didn't actually say what that is. So, SW music will be playing all day in the ship, only SW characters will be around on that day, the other days have regular Disney characters, the dinner will have a SW theme. There's no stage show that night, instead they show the latest SW movie. SW movies play all day by the pool. They do a deck show that is SW themed and do fireworks that night. The pirate night won't have the pirate menu, but they still do the pirate show and fireworks. To see Chewy, C3PO, R2D2, and Darth Vader you have to sign up for tickets, if this is your first time on Disney, the tickets MIGHT all be gone when your booking window opens for them. There are other characters walking around the ship to see that you don't need tickets for. All games and character drawings are SW themed. They do SW games in the clubs with the kids. I haven't done a holiday cruise, so don't know about them.


    Nov 3, 2017
    I loved the Magic and don't forget there's both a Tangled show and a show at Rapunzels Royal Table. If your daughter is into Rapunzel, I think taking the Magic is a no-brainer. For our trips, the Magic was smoother than the Fantasy because the weather was better. While it may be smaller, I don't think it could ever be considered small.

    We've also done SWDAS and while it was our first cruise, the meet and greet tickets were easy to get. We couldn't get the Princess Gathering or the Trials of the Temple at booking, but by checking back as the cruise got closer I was about to snag both at about 3 weeks out? If you want to go in that direction, I think Star Wars Resistance on the Disney Channel is pretty accessible even for young kids. Rebels is a bit more adult.

    Mainsail Minnie

    Jul 28, 2019
    With DCL, motion is more about the itinerary & weather than the ship, as the ships aren't really that far apart in terms of size & stability. We felt a ton of motion on the Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy, all throughout the ship, & I've heard that's a motion prone itinerary. It certainly was during our mid-December cruise- even the CMs commented on it. Winds at sea were so strong that the Aqua Duck was closed for the first two sea days. It didn't make me motion sick, but my son got sick from it at dinner one night. He didn't feel at all ill for the rest of the cruise.

    The only time I felt seasick (we've sailed every ship) was on the Wonder, on the first night of our June Alaska cruise. That's when we were sailing over the Pacific a bit, I believe. But even that was fleeting.

    I would always recommend a Christmas cruise. The ships are so beautifully decorated for Christmas


    Apr 4, 2008
    A friend of mine has grandchildren that live close to WDW, and her granddaughter (who is five) wanted nothing to do with the characters in Star Wars land. If your daughter isn’t into Star Wars, I’d pick a Merrytime Cruise.
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