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Old 11-25-2012, 11:38 PM   #1
Silly Little Pixie
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What's so special about a Christmas Cruise? Let me tell you...

We had the good fortune to be able to spend Christmas 2011 on an 8-night Mexican Riviera cruise on the Wonder. It was everything we could have hoped for in a special holiday cruise! I know I would've liked to see some pictures/get information ahead of time about whether or not it was "worth it". So I thought I'd post some pictures of our cruise, hope it might help others plan or decide to take a Christmas cruise in 2013!

Gingerbread house making- sign up right away at Guest Services. My family had a blast and it made our cabin smell soooo good!




There are lots of pictures of the beautiful decorations, so I won't go into those. I will say there was milk and cookies on Christmas Eve in the MDR so we could leave it out for Santa. I brought magnetic hooks and hung our stockings inside the cabin. Santa had thoughtfully pre-wrapped everyone's stocking gifts in different wrapping papers. Just a tip.

Here is the cabin on Christmas Eve:


I had brought with us a fiberoptic Disney Christmas tree- bought at Disneyland for about $25 and it came in a box. I had some special ornaments for each of us that I hung on a ribbon and affixed to the walls with more magnetic hooks (no picture). My Secret Mickey on the cruise gave me the light up Minnie Mouse. We only plugged in the tree and Minnie when we were in the cabin. I saw lots of families had Christmas decorations up as you walked past the cabins or on the doors.

DCL gave us some gifts as well:




The lithograph was really nice!
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Previous Trips to my Happy Places :
Disneyland yearly since 1978, APer 18 years and counting!
WDW 74, 77, 82, 83, 87, 89, 98, 03, yearly since '08
DCL Wonder 11/08, B2B 11/10, 3/11, Christmas 2011, 6/13
Magic 11/09, 3/10 Fantasy NYE 12/13
Dream B2B Triple Dip! 3/12



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Old 11-26-2012, 12:26 AM   #2
Silly Little Pixie
My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
You work yourself up more than it really is, and when it's over you think, huh
 
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Christmas Day:

I knew that Christmas morning Santa would make an appearance. So we were sure to get up early, open our gifts, then I sent my kids down quick to get in line for Santa. Luckily for us, our tablemates had the same idea and we joined them in line- family #4!


CM's/elves in the atrium, with hot chocolate, cookies, etc.


in line

This, I knew, would be the last year I could convince my kids to wear the matching jammies (14 and 11), and they were still young enough to want to go see Santa (or, at least entertain the idea cheerfully enough). They even consented to the Santa hats.

And here is the perfect moment: Just as my kids got up to see Santa, IT STARTED TO SNOW! I was blown away. I started to cry when this happened! Thank you, DCL, for giving me one last year of real magic with them.

You can see the snow by the carpet! So cool.

The later-in-the-morning folks had a VERY long line for Santa. I heard Santa was there for 4 hours, although the last I had passed by there was at 3 hours. Some people were very unhappy. At least with my kids, Santa really talked with them, not just a photo op. I imagine the pictures of each family/kid/etc took a realllllly long time. Plan accordingly!



Another neat thing I saw was a large, extended family opening gifts together in the Promenade Lounge. This was at 9 am or so? They were all in pj's. They looked like they were having a great time, and I thought, what an awesome way to spend the morning together. There was still plenty of room in there if other people wanted to hang out or have their own gathering.

DCL also had a gift for every child:


And of course, special photo ops with Mickey/Minnie and Donald/Daisy! Those were announced in the Navigator, we got there early in line and had very little wait.



We had brunch at Palo (fabulous as always), then there was a special dinner menu. It was our last night onboard so it wasn't the usual Til We Meet Again menu:




And before bed, our last parting gift:


Our cat now has a Santa hat too! He was not so thrilled.

We felt like the Christmas cruise was worth every last penny. It was great to have Christmas be JUST our family- no running around, no other relatives to entertain. I know that sounds bad, but it was nice to have it be just US. We enjoyed Christmas with the relatives when we returned home.

I'd be happy to answer any questions, and others can add their tips or special moments of the Christmas cruises! It was an amazing experience, and we have been on many DCL cruises. This one was just really special.
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Previous Trips to my Happy Places :
Disneyland yearly since 1978, APer 18 years and counting!
WDW 74, 77, 82, 83, 87, 89, 98, 03, yearly since '08
DCL Wonder 11/08, B2B 11/10, 3/11, Christmas 2011, 6/13
Magic 11/09, 3/10 Fantasy NYE 12/13
Dream B2B Triple Dip! 3/12



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Old 11-26-2012, 01:05 AM   #3
cflmom
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What were the gifts that your children received? I can't really tell from the picture.

Thanks!
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cflmom
What were the gifts that your children received? I can't really tell from the picture.

Thanks!
Based on the shape, I'd guess a calendar?
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:34 AM   #5
Annabell
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Thanks for posting this. Makes me want to take a Xmas cruise next year !
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
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THANK YOU!!!!! There are so few Christmas week cruises which means there's not as much information "out there." Thank you for sharing - we don't go on our Xmas week cruise until next year, but your post makes me SO excited!
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:57 AM   #7
neg58
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Thank you for posting. We leave on the 23rd on this year's Wonder Christmas Cruise and I just can't wait. I have teens, but I believe I'll make them have the traditional Santa visit (the pj's might be asking too much).

All other tips would be greatly appreciated. I'd really like to bring small gifts to our servers and host, but don't even know if they'll be male or female! I don't like to think of them without gifts on Christmas. It is a sea day for us, so all will be working all day.

Nancy
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:49 AM   #8
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MMMMM Double Chocolate Yule Log on the menu. That's what I would have!!!
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:08 PM   #9
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Great pics. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:39 PM   #10
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Thanks for posting! We want to do a Christmas Cruise before we have kids.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:14 PM   #11
Silly Little Pixie
My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
You work yourself up more than it really is, and when it's over you think, huh
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neg58 View Post
Thank you for posting. We leave on the 23rd on this year's Wonder Christmas Cruise and I just can't wait. I have teens, but I believe I'll make them have the traditional Santa visit (the pj's might be asking too much).

All other tips would be greatly appreciated. I'd really like to bring small gifts to our servers and host, but don't even know if they'll be male or female! I don't like to think of them without gifts on Christmas. It is a sea day for us, so all will be working all day.

Nancy
We made homemade chocolates and white chocolate covered Oreos for our servers and stateroom host for Christmas. We made little cards for them as well. We were so appreciative that they were away from their homes at the holidays.
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Previous Trips to my Happy Places :
Disneyland yearly since 1978, APer 18 years and counting!
WDW 74, 77, 82, 83, 87, 89, 98, 03, yearly since '08
DCL Wonder 11/08, B2B 11/10, 3/11, Christmas 2011, 6/13
Magic 11/09, 3/10 Fantasy NYE 12/13
Dream B2B Triple Dip! 3/12



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Old 11-26-2012, 10:56 PM   #12
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Santa

Great Post! I would have been the family in the 2 hour Santa line. How early did you get in line?

Thanks, Jill
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:24 AM   #13
Silly Little Pixie
My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
You work yourself up more than it really is, and when it's over you think, huh
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgura View Post
Great Post! I would have been the family in the 2 hour Santa line. How early did you get in line?

Thanks, Jill
A little before 7 maybe? I want to say Santa arrived at 7, but I could be wrong. As soon as I heard the CD Jimmy come on the intercom and start talking about a "mysterious object approaching the ship" I had them run to go get in line while DH and I finished getting dressed. The way Jimmy announced it, over a series of messages about what turned out to be Santa's arrival, was really cute.
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Previous Trips to my Happy Places :
Disneyland yearly since 1978, APer 18 years and counting!
WDW 74, 77, 82, 83, 87, 89, 98, 03, yearly since '08
DCL Wonder 11/08, B2B 11/10, 3/11, Christmas 2011, 6/13
Magic 11/09, 3/10 Fantasy NYE 12/13
Dream B2B Triple Dip! 3/12



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Old 11-27-2012, 12:35 AM   #14
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Thank you so much for posting these. I doubt if we will ever get to go on a holiday cruise, but I can do it vicariously through lovely people like you who are willing to share your experience!
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:00 AM   #15
kimwhitt93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Little Pixie View Post
Christmas Day:

I knew that Christmas morning Santa would make an appearance. So we were sure to get up early, open our gifts, then I sent my kids down quick to get in line for Santa. Luckily for us, our tablemates had the same idea and we joined them in line- family #4!


CM's/elves in the atrium, with hot chocolate, cookies, etc.


in line

This, I knew, would be the last year I could convince my kids to wear the matching jammies (14 and 11), and they were still young enough to want to go see Santa (or, at least entertain the idea cheerfully enough). They even consented to the Santa hats.

And here is the perfect moment: Just as my kids got up to see Santa, IT STARTED TO SNOW! I was blown away. I started to cry when this happened! Thank you, DCL, for giving me one last year of real magic with them.

You can see the snow by the carpet! So cool.

The later-in-the-morning folks had a VERY long line for Santa. I heard Santa was there for 4 hours, although the last I had passed by there was at 3 hours. Some people were very unhappy. At least with my kids, Santa really talked with them, not just a photo op. I imagine the pictures of each family/kid/etc took a realllllly long time. Plan accordingly!



Another neat thing I saw was a large, extended family opening gifts together in the Promenade Lounge. This was at 9 am or so? They were all in pj's. They looked like they were having a great time, and I thought, what an awesome way to spend the morning together. There was still plenty of room in there if other people wanted to hang out or have their own gathering.

DCL also had a gift for every child:


And of course, special photo ops with Mickey/Minnie and Donald/Daisy! Those were announced in the Navigator, we got there early in line and had very little wait.



We had brunch at Palo (fabulous as always), then there was a special dinner menu. It was our last night onboard so it wasn't the usual Til We Meet Again menu:




And before bed, our last parting gift:


Our cat now has a Santa hat too! He was not so thrilled.

We felt like the Christmas cruise was worth every last penny. It was great to have Christmas be JUST our family- no running around, no other relatives to entertain. I know that sounds bad, but it was nice to have it be just US. We enjoyed Christmas with the relatives when we returned home.

I'd be happy to answer any questions, and others can add their tips or special moments of the Christmas cruises! It was an amazing experience, and we have been on many DCL cruises. This one was just really special.
Thank you so very much for posting this. We will be on the Magic this Christmas. Reading your post and seeing your pics put a tear in my eye. I'm so excited but getting very stressed out. My kids are 18, 11 and 5. I am really stumped at what presents I should bring on board for them to open. It looks like you had a lot of big presents, did you take those or buy on board?

Thank you again for sharing you memories!
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