Aside from being a well-known kids' dreamland, Disney Cruise Line is renowned for constantly developing fun new on-board programs so returning guests don’t repeat the same experiences over and over again.
This fall, for example, cruisers will enjoy Disney’s "extra-spooky" celebration of "Halloween on the High Seas." This series of celebrations takes place on most voyages aboard Disney Dream from late September through October. Once the Halloween decorations have been stored away at the end of October, get ready for "Very Merrytime Cruises," beginning November 9 on Disney Fantasy and Wonder and November 10 on Disney Dream and Magic.
What can your family expect if you’re sailing Disney Dream during the Halloween festivities? Get ready for Halloween-theme parties, as well as holiday-themed entertainment and décor—and be on the lookout for the new Halloween Tree, which transforms throughout your voyage.
Disney Cruise Line fans are already smitten with Disney’s Pirate Night deck party, with its games, dancing, crewmembers in pirate dress, and evening fireworks extravaganza. Now there’s a second, spookier deck party to look forward to: "Mickey’s Calling All The Monsters Mouse-Querade."
For those with a soft spot for "A Nightmare Before Christmas," there’s a special "Sing and Scream" interactive experience where guests can get in on the action. Kids will even be able to meet Jack Skellington and Sally after the movie screening.
Young sailors will want to carve out time in their cruise to attend "Haunted Stories of the Sea," where a mysterious sea captain will tell scary stories of ocean exploration. For adults on the cruise, "Creepy Cabaret" in the adult nighttime district may be a more appropriate festivity. Throughout your time aboard Disney Dream you can expect Halloween-season activities like pumpkin carving and mask-making.
Disney Dream isn’t the only ship in the fleet to pay homage to All Hallows Eve. All Disney ships will throw Haunted Parties with Disney characters dressed up in Halloween costumes, along with plenty of live music, dancing, and candy. Spooky movies will also be shown in the Buena Vista theatre, on Funnel Vision by the family pool, and in guest cabins. In the restaurants, don’t miss the array of Ghoulish Delights—special sweet treats Disney chefs have developed for the occasion. There’s a delicious chocolate cake with pumpkin filling, a "spider" cake, and a special "Witch’s Brew" beverage.
Once the calendar turns the page to November, every ship in the Disney fleet will launch a series of Very Merrytime Cruises. King Triton’s Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off each cruise as young cruisers help light the three-deck-tall tree in the ship’s atrium. Storytellers will regale guests with tales of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. You’ll meet oodles of Disney characters dressed for the season and they will even introduce you to their pal, Santa Claus. Don’t miss the "Deck the Deck Holiday Party," where you’ll sing and dance with Mickey and friends, do some hula hooping, and limbo under an oversized candy cane. When you visit Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, you’ll be wowed by its holiday makeover that will be complete with "snow flurries," a Christmas tree, and island-themed holiday music.
Andrea M. Rotondo is a freelance writer based in New York City. She covers cruise news and luxury travel trends for Fodors.com and writes for a variety of outlets, including her website Luxury Travel Mavens. Follow her on Twitter: @luxtravelmavens.
Photo credit: photos courtesy of Disney Cruise Line.