Disney Cruise Details

  • 4 Nights aboard the Disney Dream
  • December 22-26, 2016
  • Port Canaveral, Florida  > Nassau > Castaway Cay > Day at Sea > Port Canaveral
  • These are the Personal Navigators from our sailing.
  • Kids ages at time of sailing: 3 and 10 months

We surprised our kids last year with a Disney Cruise for Christmas! Heck, we surprised ourselves as we had been watching this sold out cruise for months. A room opened a week before departure and we booked it! So that meant a lot of running around the week before making sure we had what we needed without letting on to the kids!

I clipped a bow from Addisons Bowtique on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/AddisonsBowtique) to some ears we had. I paid rush to get the bow in time and the owner was fantastic! I had purchased her t-shirt at the Disney Outlet months prior! For Daniel, I went with a red shirt I got at Target to stay with a theme.

We drove from Orlando, and I always love that first view as we head over the bridge. The excitement is palpable!

My hubby dropped me and the kids off at the drop-off with our luggage while he parked in the garage. We like taking the elevator at the port to the upstairs entrance if it’s open. We just find it easier with the kids, stroller and our carry-ons to already have gone in the elevator and THEN go through security rather than the other way around. Once upstairs, we headed to the Castaway Club check-in line. I loved all the port decorations!

After taking our embarkation photo, we were welcomed on-board around 1:30 p.m. (and I know it’s a ship, yet I say “boat” in the video haha! The kids call it the Mickey Boat).

We headed to lunch in the Enchanted Garden. We like this option because it’s not as busy as the Cabanas buffet and it’s nice to settle in with the kids and have the food brought to us. The Welcome Aboard Sundae is always a favorite!

Afterwards, we headed to our room which was a Deluxe Family Oceanview Verandah on Deck 6.

Their Queen beds are so comfy!
The family staterooms with verandahs have 299 sq feet vs 246 sq feet. We notice the difference near the sliding door as those extra square feet is so much easier to fit his pack & play, AND keep it far enough away from the counter so he can’t grab stuff off of it.
There are round tubs with a shower in the family staterooms. We like that little ledge on the left to sit on while doing the kids’ baths.

I brought our stockings from home (Pottery Barn Kids), and we got some magnet hooks from Amazon Prime to hang them up in our cabin. I purchased a small tree and decorations and brought those with us as well. I had to do everything very stealth-like haha! Lily is way too inquisitive. Disney Cruise Line does offer an amenity package where you can add decor to your room for an additional cost.

One of our favorite things to do is decorate our door with magnets! You will find a lot of people do this because A) it’s fun B) it’s a good way for your kids to spot your door! We also participate in the Fish Extender Gift Exchange (FE), a type of gift exchange. This is an optional, non-official Disney activity where you coordinate ahead of the cruise in an online Facebook cruise group with other people on your sailing. We were too late to join an official group so I brought some small treats to leave for the kids and also some that I “pixie-dusted” to other rooms.

We added battery-powered lights and hung them on magnet hooks. Everyone loved our door!

We then headed Oceaneer Club to get Lily situated with her kids club band, meet the counselors and a reminder tour of where the bathrooms are. Then we took Daniel to the It’s a Small World nursery to get him registered. These Open Houses are the only time you can enter and take photos.

It was then time for the Sail Away Party. We like going to the upper deck so we can wave at the Port Canaveral web cam so the grandparents back home can see us!

You can view the replays here. Enter in a ship date to see replays! Ours was Disney Dream, December 22, 2016 and we are at about 3:28.

Out at sea.

That evening, we settled in for dinner in one of the main dining rooms, Royal Palace, where we met our servers. I love starting our cruise in Royal Palace. It’s in the main lobby and one of my favorite dining rooms. The fried brie is delicious!

After dinner we headed into the lobby for the Tree Lighting Magic Ceremony (7:30 p.m).

We were welcomed by our Cruise Director Trent Hitchcock.

I love the holiday decorations all around the ship. Great photo opps everywhere!

The evening show was a Magic and Comedy show which we skipped to spend time around the ship and to meet characters. We checked out the decorations and looked around the shops as we waited for the big evening event.

Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball is usually held at around 10:15 p.m. I know it’s late, but don’t miss it! It was so much fun to welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus aboard the Disney Dream. Plus Elsa makes some magic happen and it snows! We had great character interactions after the show and I am so glad we kept the kids up for this.

Then it was time for bed. Our room steward had set everything up for us and left us a fun towel animal!

Here you can see the bed with optional bed rail and the complimentary pack and play set up. In the standard oceanview room, that pack and play has to go right next to the bed. It is so worth it to have the extra floor space in the family cabins!

Read on for Day 2, when we visit with princesses, make a gingerbread house, and enjoy Pirate Night!

Day 3 can be viewed here.

Day 4 can be viewed here.

Jaclyn Rhoads