Christmas Eve @ Magic Kingdom 2019 AND 3-day Disney Dream Merrytime Cruise

Just as a follow up to my post (below) from December 2nd, we DID end up going to WDW on Christmas Eve. It was a madhouse. I knew it would be busy, but at one point we got stuck in the hub…

OK, let me back up briefly… lol

We went on December 20th - 23rd on a quick 3-day Merrytime Cruise on the Disney Dream. Got a sweet deal rate on a mystery balcony, which was a sufficient sized room for two people, but it’s a smaller sized one, so I wouldn’t recommend it to a party of more than (2). No bunk bed hidden above the couch.

As this was our 2nd cruise on the Dream, I knew a little bit of what to expect. They really have the on-boarding and off-boarding process down to a science. I can really appreciate the time and effort that goes into the process, and compared to Carnival (aka - the Spring Break of cruise ships) and Royal Caribbean (which sails out of Baltimore with a much older boat, so I’ll withhold comment), it was a very efficient process.

Can’t recommend taking your on-boarding lunch at a table restaurant highly enough. For some reason, people seem to take to the buffet line like there’s going to be a food shortage. Especially when it comes to things like pizza, grab-n-go type items. We had a much more relaxing time at Animator’s for that 1st lunch, and Royal Palace for every morning breakfast(s), save the last morning. That’s the morning you eat breakfast at the restaurant you were scheduled to eat dinner at the previous night, so you can thank and tip (extra, hopefully) the waiters that followed you each evening.

First day on the boat, we ran into some inclement weather overnight. The ship was noticeably rocking back and forth, but we had our BONINE already, and ate the early dinner. It was quite comfortable to be rocked to sleep. Walking… not so easy. I was getting queasy putting away the luggage items after dinner, so I did it quickly and took a break lying in the bed, which was much better and more comfortable! lol

After a while, we got up, got dressed, and went to the spa to buy passes to use the RAINFOREST ROOM for the entire 3-days of the cruise. They have scented showers (which I haven’t tried yet), a private steam room, and private whirlpool baths… but most importantly, they have heated ceramic loungers. They are really just the thing to melt your back muscles into happiness! We were so comfortable, even in the rocking waters, that we ended up staying in the mostly deserted area for 90 minutes - delightful!

There were some couples that would drift in and out of the area, as you had to walk through the lounger area to get to the whirlpools. Someone sat up on the ledge, and the ship rocked them right onto the floor - thud! We all sat up and went to help, but they were OK - thank goodness! The inebriation prior to the tub probably helped relax their fall. Still, owwie.

The next day on the tram @ Castaway Cay to the adult area, Serenity Bay, we heard a lot of people complaining about the rocky boat and the weather that previous evening. One lady dramatically told how she put her children to sleep in their beds, “…like in the TITANIC movie…”, and then lay down in her bed to cry herself to sleep… sure she wouldn’t live to see the next day. I think it was her first cruise. If she had been on the ROYAL CARIBBEAN out of Baltimore, well, that’s just par for the old ricket’y course.

We got to the beach, and while I scored two chairs under an umbrella, my hubby managed to get one of the four hammocks on the beach - score! He’s always wanted to just rock in one all day, so that was his task, and he did it happily. We were near the bar, so I made fast friends with one of the bartenders, and we were very well taken care of all day. Got DH a plastic coconut filled with a non-alcoholic mango and coconut concoction, and I enjoyed a VERY LARGE glass of pink wine, followed by some rum, rum, and other flavored rum drink.

I couldn’t convince DH to wear sunscreen in December, so while I was a-OK, he got quite the sunburn on his inner thighs and calves. DCL sells aloe on the ship, so he was OK with that and my ibuprofen. No spa Rainforest room heated loungers for him that night - owwie! I tucked him into bed and slipped away to see the fireworks, and brought him back a treat from the dessert buffet. They have these little fruit tarts, and this lovely sliced fruit, that make a fun late night treat.

The next day was an AT SEA day, and we had gotten to the adult only area on the forward area of the boat early to get two loungers. He stayed there all day, while I was there for an hour or so at a time between going to do other things. Played bingo, sat next to a winning table, and that was a fun event. Got us lunch, which we ate while we read or listened to an audiobook. I tried to get him to come to the final bingo tournament, but he’s not into people as much as I am, so he kept his spot on deck.

My second bingo experience was so exciting - and I WON a pot by myself, of $306 - whee! It felt so exciting to call out BINGO! The final pot was a close one too, I was one number away from the $4k, but the winner was very animated, which made for a fun experience.

They were showing first run movies on the boat too, which was great! STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (which had just come out the Thursday before we boarded… and which we saw that night before we got on the boat) and FROZEN 2, MALIFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL, etc. I’m not a fan of the seats in that theatre, as they don’t really support the back as they go into the full back rock, and that means people can’t really get down the aisles without people standing up, but it was a full sized theatre on the ocean. Really cool.

The concession stand sold those themed CHRISTMAS popcorn buckets, and some Star Wars ones too - so we got the Christmas Tree with the Mickey standing next to it, and the Gingerbread lanyard dangling from the candy cane straws for our cups. Super cute - I have a bunch of photos on my phone.

The next day, the sad day, when you get off the boat, it was so easy to transfer to POP! Century resort. I can’t recommend the porter service to get you through the process the first time highly enough, because if you have a bunch of bags and tired cranky people in your party, you’re going to want someone that knows where to go and what to do to get to the right bus and through customs. Bring your tip money.

My next update will be about getting onto the RISE OF THE RESISTANCE ride, a quicky breakfast experience in France (yum!) and around Epcot, a breakfast buffet with Disney Jr. characters at DHS, our awesome waiter at LIBERTY TREE TAVERN on Christmas eve, Gingerbread houses that taste fantastic, the amazing cast members at MK and the other parks, and the CRAZY crowd situation at MK on Christmas Eve.

And just when I was in overload, and finally we broke free of the crowds, it snowed on Main Street… and tears, and joy, and everything Disney.

Continuing the discussion from I need to ask some experts… Disney 12/25 thru 12/28 - is this a bad idea?:


I’m enjoying your trip report. I am curious, as I live near Baltimore and have thought about cruising from there, if the RC ship is worth cruising on. I have not cruised before.

Great start! I am looking forward to reading your full report!

Lol, I was just reading that RCCL is “retiring” that ship to another line. Some people are crushed but I think it is more about the crew than the ship.

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Wow, glad to hear that, it needs to take a powder.

That ship (the Grandeur of the Seas) has issues more regularly than I think is normal. On our one trip, one of the engines died… they had a hard time stabilizing it, and it was wobbly all the way. I had a large, hot cup of tea scald the skin off of part of my chest, and they didn’t want to give me any medical assistance. They offered me vaseline, and after the fact when I called them to complain about the medical assistance, they offered me a $25 gift certificate off of future drinks onboard… lol.

The emergency room near our home said it was 2nd degree burns and gave me silver cream. That stuff is fantastic!

Still, very cute Captain. Love a man in a uniform. :wink:


My quote button will not work tonight but thank you for that last sentence! You made me laugh and I really haven’t done that often lately- thanks!