Christmas is our absolute favorite time of year. So adding in a little Disney always makes sense! And on a cruise? Even more magical. We’ve been lucky enough to sail on the Very Merrytime sailings on a Disney Cruise. So here is a full guide to the Very Merrytime Christmas cruises with Disney Cruise Line.
Sailing on a Disney Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise
Sailing on the Very Merrytime has been a dream since hearing such a thing existed. What could be more magical than a Disney Christmas Cruise? Our Disney Very Merrytime Cruise itinerary was sailing to the Bahamas on the Disney Dream. A quite fitting name for our ship if I do say so myself. We previously had sailed on the Disney Wonder, so we were excited to see a different ship! And depending on your itinerary you could be on any of the Disney Ships! Here’s the lineup for Disney
Christmas Cruise Itineraries and Port Options
2021: Sail from Miami, Port Canaveral, or Galveston Texas, for destinations to the Bahamas, Key West, Mexico, Grand Cayman, and Castaway Key. Itineraries and Disney Cruise Ships vary, so be sure to check out the Disney Very Merrytime Cruise Itineraries for 2021
2022: Sail from Miami, Port Canaveral, or Galveston Texas, for destinations to the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Mexico, and Castaway Key. Itineraries and Disney Cruise Ships vary, so be sure to check out the Disney Very Merrytime Cruise Itineraries for 2022.
Christmas Cruise Decorations
One of our favorite parts of any Disney holiday vacation is the decorations. So, if you thought the atrium of the Disney Cruise ships were gorgeous then seeing the atrium all decked out for Christmas will make you feel like a kid on, well, Christmas morning. It’s so magical, you may just find yourself fighting back the tears. Not only is the atrium beautifully decorated, but most of the other common areas are too. The restaurants, the hallways, and even Castaway Cay (if your itinerary includes it) get dressed up for its holiday best!
Where Does the Disney Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise Sail?
The Very Merrytime Disney Christmas Cruise sails mostly to the Caribbean Ports. You can check out the Very Merrytime Cruise Ports on the website. But you can choose from the Bahamas, British and US Virgin Islands, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman, Mexico. And if you’re absolutely committed to spending your holidays at sea you can even do a tour of Mexico, Grand Cayman, and Columbia on a 14-Day Christmas Cruise.
What happens on a Disney Very Merrytime Cruise?
Lots of festive things! A Disney Very Merrytime Cruise has all kinds of fun activities for adults and kids. The Christmas Tree lighting, “snow” in the atrium along with holiday crafts and treats. There is no shortage of festive fun on a Disney Very Merrytime Cruise. See below for some of our favorite things to do on a Disney Very Merrytime Sailing.
Things To Do on a Very Merrytime Cruise
We did a quick wrap-up of our favorite things to do on a Disney Christmas Cruise in our 5 must-do’s on a Disney Very Merrytime Cruise post so be sure to check out the details of our favorite activities onboard. Here’s a snapshot of what you should have on your Disney Christmas Cruise List!
- Sail Away Party
- Mickey’s Tree Lighting
- Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball
- Meet the Disney Characters in their Holiday Best
- Holiday Crafts on a Disney Christmas Cruise
- Lifesized Gingerbread House (on cruises later in the season).
And that’s just the beginning. All throughout the cruise, there are holiday-themed events, treats, and even Christmas music playing throughout the ship. Mrs. Claus has storytime onboard and the characters are dressed in their festive best for all the events. The Christmas merchandise is in full swing in the shops. And Christmas crafts for families or ones specifically for the kids in the youth clubs are also available.
Life-Size Gingerbread House at Sea on a Disney Very Merrytime Cruise
If you’re sailing later in November you’ll get to see a life-size Gingerbread House onboard in the atrium! We were, unfortunately, unable to see it due to the timing of our cruise, but it is usually ready by the second or third week of November. We did see it being assembled and it always made the atrium smell delicious!
Disney Cruise Activities on a Very Merrytime Disney Cruise
In addition to all of the holiday fun, there is also all of the regularly scheduled programming. Broadway shows are still shown every evening, and Christmas movies play on deck by the pool and in the movie theater. You can also count on Pirate Night and Fireworks still stealing the show and all fun you expect from a Disney Cruise is still intact. Trivia, Scavenger Hunts, Wine Tastings…..you name it. There is so much to do on a Disney Cruise and the Very Merrytime Cruise just steps that up one notch. Do as little or as much as you like!
Castaway Cay at Christmas Time on a Very Merrytime Cruise
Ahhhh Castaway Cay, a little piece of Heaven on Earth! We’ve talked before about not being huge fans of the Disney Nassau Cruise, but we were really itching to get back to Castaway Cay. We fell in love with Castaway Cay the first time we visited and you know how people say absence makes the heart grow fonder? Well, they’re not wrong. While the cruise ship is dressed to the nines in holiday flair, Castaway Cay is a little more on the modest side of Christmas décor. A beautiful tree and fun little winter scene will be waiting for you as you disembark the ship, and there are small touches throughout the island to spread that holiday cheer. We recommend getting photos with these festive displays on the way back to the ship. It will be less crowded and you’ll likely have better lighting as the sun starts to go down. Other than that, Castaway Cay is as gorgeous and as fun as we remember, with all of the same beauty and amenities that made us fall in love with it in the first place.
Disney Christmas Cruise Tips
With so many things to do on a Disney Christmas Cruise, no matter where you sail, there are a few tips that we absolutely had to share!
Take at least a 4-Night Very Merrytime Disney Cruise
How Long of a Disney Christmas Cruise Should You Take? As long as you can! This is obviously advice that you can take with a grain of salt, but if your budget and schedule allow, we don’t recommend taking any less than a 4-Night Very Merrytime Cruise. There is so much to see and do in addition to the regularly scheduled programming that you’ll likely feel rushed, trying to fit it all in. Since the holiday season generally tends to feel rushed in general, we think your cruise vacation definitely shouldn’t.
Do Disney Very Merrytime Cruises have Pirate Night?
Yes! Pirate Night is still held on all itineraries that would normally have Pirate Night. Most Itineraries sailing in the Caribbean have Pirate Night; so as long as your itinerary would normally have it, then your Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise will as well.
What to pack for a Very Merrytime Disney Cruise
Not all Very Merrytime Cruises include trips to the Caribbean. But if your cruise is taking you to somewhere that is considered “warmer” during this time of year, keep in mind that you may need to pack a variety of clothes. Not only can it be considerably hotter than you’d expect, but during the winter, sometimes the temps can get pretty chilly at night. Make layers your new best friend. Be sure to check the weather ahead of time as well; don’t assume because it’s “warmer” that it will be warm. We traveled on November 9th and we needed shorts and t-shirts during the day and sweatshirts in the evening.
Dress Festive for the Occasion!
Remember it’s a Christmas cruise! Pack your ugly sweater for all the fun photo ops, decorate your stateroom door and get in the Christmas spirit. We even purchased these cute little Mickey cardholder lanyards and decorated them for our Key to The World Card. You didn’t pay extra for a Very Merrytime Cruise for nothing! We purchased this set pictured above as an extra amenity before our cruise started to add some holiday flair and it was the perfect souvenir from our trip!
Is Church Available on a Disney Christmas Cruise?
Yes. There is a Catholic Mass held at midnight on Christmas Eve and an interdenominational Christian service available on Christmas morning. Check your Cruise Navigator for details on times.
Are Disney Christmas cruises worth it?
Is a Disney Very Merrytime Cruise Worth the cost? This is a completely personal question and unfortunately, one that isn’t as easy as a hard “yes” or “no”. Let us start by first saying, that the cost of the Very Merrytime Cruise will rely on a lot of different things. When you’re sailing November cruises are generally be cheaper, except on Thanksgiving. The cost will also depend on what kind of room you choose. Plus where you’re sailing.
The ship you’re sailing on. AND when you decide to book. These things will all have an impact on the cost of your cruise. And if you’re thinking about choosing another holiday cruise instead, we did write up a comparison between a Halloween on the High Seas Cruise or a Disney Very Merrytime Cruise to help you decide.
In our case, sailing on the Dream, to the Bahamas, at the beginning of the season, the cost was actually not that much more than a regular cruise cost. For us, this cruise was completely worth it and we would do it again in a heartbeat at that early-season price. But, if taking a Very Merrytime Cruise closer to Christmas, prices are higher.
The answer for everyone is going to be different on this, but keep in mind that Disney cruises are already more expensive than other cruises. If you have made peace with that fact alone, then you will most likely find that a Disney Very Merrytime Cruise is at an ok price point for you. If you are finding that the cost is leaving you feeling a little less than magical, you might want to consider the pricing of a non-holiday-themed cruise or head to Walt Disney World for the holidays instead, which is considerably cheaper.
Are there any Disney Cruises during Christmas?
Yep! They’re not really common, but generally every year there are at least one or two cruises that are sailing on Christmas day.
Disney Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise Review
While some events we write about are easy for us to say “do it once” or “pass it all together”, a Disney Very Merrytime Cruise can really be a once in a lifetime trip or an annual holiday tradition depending on your family. But if you’re looking for a trip that combines the magic of Disney with the magic of the season without the crowds you’ll find in the parks and while feeling like you’re actually on vacation, then a Disney Very Merrytime Cruise may be exactly what Santa ordered.