Disney Wonder Merrytime Disney Cruise – Christmas on a Cruise?

group picture during Merrytime Disney Cruise with the cruise ship at the background
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group picture during Merrytime Disney Cruise with the cruise ship at the background

When I first booked our Merrytime Disney cruise, I was a little bit apprehensive. As most of you know, I am absolutely nuts about Christmas. My Christmas tree is up in December and wrapped presents start appearing under it shortly after. I collect Christmas moose, can usually be found searching stores for new ornaments almost weekly and aspire to have my house look like Clark Griswold’s on the outside one day. So leaving my house over Christmas – and not spending Christmas with my parents for the first time ever- had me flip-flopping over the decision.

A few things had my eyes rolling heavenward in thanks that I made the decision.

  •  Everyone back home in Alberta was (and continues to be) hammered with horrible winter weather and I don’t say horrible lightly. Freezing rain, flash freezes, snow and more snow..while I am so sorry that everyone has to put up with it I am seriously happy that I went away this year!
  • I didn’t have to cook turkey dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook or obviously I wouldn’t write this blog for a living. However what a treat it is to not cook, clean or prepare!
  • We didn’t buy many presents and honestly this was the nicest part! Oh, don’t get me wrong I love shopping but you cannot imagine how it lightened the load on my shoulders not having to worry or put up with malls!

The cruise itself was absolutely wonderfully Christmasy.

The entire ship is decked out in Christmas decor, with Christmas tree’s all over the place. We decided to join the people in formal wear on Formal Night and get our pictures taken in front of the Christmas tree in the main lobby.

In our pajamas.  On Formal Night.  

However we wanted to send this picture out to my parents on Christmas Day and seeing that Formal Night was Christmas Eve and we wanted our pictures professionally done, we had no choice but to do it.

Yup. That’s what happens when you let us out of Alberta. We dress up in our jammies for Formal Night pictures!

Family picture in red pajamas taken in front of the Christmas tree

Christmas Eve was wonderful. When you arrive back at your stateroom, a little tableau awaits you on your turned down bed. This year guests received a Disney Cruise calendar, a box of Disney truffles, a little Santa hat and a lithograph.

a box of Disney truffles, a little Santa hat and a lithograph on bed

The truffles are tucked away in my suitcase to enjoy when we get home, they are SO lovely!

close up of truffles during Merrytime Disney Cruise

I must admit, I was over the moon to receive a special holiday sailing lithograph….

close up of a special holiday sailing lithograph

….because it was an Ariel one! Oh, this is getting framed as soon as we get home! Disney, a mermaid and Christmas? Can we say all of my favorite things in one picture!!??!

Disney mermaid Ariel in a Christmas theme lithograph

Each night you are treated to a towel animal, chocolates and your personal Navigator, which outlines all the ship’s activities for the following day. It is amazing how many activities there were to do on the ship!

The Christmas activities had Santa in the main lobby on Christmas morning, carols being sung, a midnight mass on Christmas Eve and another service on Christmas Day.

Personal Navigator with the outline of all the ship's activities for the following day

As you left dinner on Christmas Eve, the cast was handing out Snickerdoodles (!!! my favorite Disney cookie!) and milk that the kids could leave out for Santa.

The kids gleefully got ready Christmas Eve and set out the cookies and milk.

kids holding Christmas stockings

We decided that Santa would only be filling stockings this Christmas and leave the large present at home. We didn’t buy any presents for the kids this year as the cruise itself was the present.

two Santa stockings on top of the table

Christmas morning saw three very happy kids (my nephew and sister joined us on the cruise as well) opening stocking, exulting that Santa had eaten those Snickerdoodles and eating chocolates galore.

Three very happy kids sitting in the couch holding stuffs

The day was spent very lazily. We ate breakfast at the Beach Blanket Buffet and the kids went to the Oceaneer’s lab to play. Christmas Eve was spent in the Cayman Islands so the whole family was ready to just veg out.

We chose to eat at the Beach Blanket Buffet again for lunch and were surprised with a fabulous seafood buffet! Oh, snow crab legs, crawfish, shrimp and mussels oh my! What a lovely Christmas lunch this was!!!

Beach Blanket Seafood Buffet - snow crab legs, crawfish, shrimp and mussels

I do believe that naps were had, books were read, there was no mess to clean up or dinner to cook. There weren’t any presents to put away nor unwrap and I didn’t miss it a stitch!

Dinner was a few traditional selections such as ham and turkey and I must admit, the turkey dinner was fabulous. Moist turkey, cornbread stuffing, sweet potatoes and beans, it was perfect!

Dessert was traditional English pudding with rum sauce and I ordered a Yule Log as well, because well, it’s Disney and two desserts is not unheard of!

Moist turkey, cornbread stuffing, sweet potatoes and beans in a plate

There are so many touches that Disney adds to make this cruise feel Christmasy. There are meet and greets with the characters who are all in holiday dress. Christmas songs play on the speakers, the kids can build gingerbread houses, there is a tree lighting ceremony, so many things to bring you Christmas cheer!

I also love that it is unabashedly, 100% Christmas.  The cast members wish you Merry Christmas all the time. The captain comes over the loudspeaker and wishes you Merry Christmas. It’s all about celebrating Christmas together, as a family in the middle of the ocean, with everyone else doing all the hard work for you!

I could book another one right now. I loved it, nay, absolutely adored every minute of it.

Actually, to be truthful, we are already looking at booking another Disney cruise, perhaps not Christmas but most certainly we will be heading out on another cruise soon! Stay tuned for more posts on the cruise!

Thanks for stopping in!



Make sure to check out all of my posts on cruise ship food, cruise ship rooms, cruise ship tours, travel and information as well! 

Cruise Ship Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas

What’s A Transatlantic Cruise Really Like?

Disney Wonder Dining: Triton’s

Disney Wonder Dining: Animator’s Palette

Disney Wonder Dining: Goofy’s Galley

Disney Wonder Dining: The Parrot Cay

Disney Wonder Dining: The Beach Blanket Buffet

Disney Wonder Dining Rotation & How It Works

Ten Things That Will Surprise You On Your Disney Cruise

What is There for Kids to do on Cruise Ships?

Disney Wonder Cruise : Review of Dolphin Extreme Swim & Turtle Farm, Grand Cayman

Disney Wonder Stateroom Review and Walkthrough: Cabin 6083

Disney Wonder Stateroom Review and Walkthrough Cabin 6630

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. thatcriticguy says

    Food was delicious. Can’t wait to rebook another one.

  2. Shelley Jones says

    You are so dedicated. We did a Royal Caribbean cruise at halloween and were disappointed ( and so were the kids) at the lack of holiday centered activities. Nice to see Disney did things right!

  3. Peggy Doyle says

    we did a Norwegian cruise the week before Christmas once, loved all the decor, etc. Glad you guys had a wonderful time

  4. The Kitchen Magpie says

    I know everyone has been waiting for these so I am writing them before we are even back! And yes, that seafood buffet was GREAT!!!

  5. Shelley Jones says

    I’m loving these posts! I started drooling over the seafood buffet!

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