Disney Cruise Line’s Halloween on the High Seas

Halloween on the High SeasI know Halloween was last week, but I wanted to share some of my experiences and pictures from my Disney Cruise last week. Halloween on the High Seas was a new celebration added this year by DCL to some of their fall itineraries. Having not been on a cruise before, I thought this was a cool added bonus to be able to experience Halloween on the Disney Dream.

When I boarded the ship I was so excited to see decorations right as we entered the atrium in the form of the Pumpkin Tree. I also noticed quite a few decorations on decks 3 and 4 in particular in the common areas. There were several activities spread out over the four day cruise to the Bahamas for Halloween that I wanted to see. As much as I wanted to, I could not get to them all, but the ones I went to were quite fun.

The characters were featured in Halloween costumes in the atrium for Mickey’s Mousequerade Party, which was great fun. Kids and parents alike participated as well, dressing up in costumes, trick or treating, and playing fun games and having a dance party. I also got to see the first part of the story of the Pumpkin Tree, which was quite a fun addition. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to make it back to see the second half of the story due to a conflict with show schedules, but was able to see the Pumpkin Tree in bloom. Also, each of the three rotational restaurants had really cool pumpkins carved and Halloween decorations at their entrances.

If you get a chance, I highly recommend booking a cruise for next year over the fall season with the hopes that Halloween on the High Seas will occur again on the Disney Cruise Line ships. As always, things are subject to change, but I hope they will bring back this fun celebration in the future.

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First Time Disney Cruise Planning

Photo Oct 15, 6 21 01 PMAs some of you may know, I am planning my first Disney Cruise coming up in a couple weeks. This was a very last minute trip, but I had kind of set aside the time off from the beginning of the year in hopes I’d be able to snag a cruise deal. I have literally dozens of friends and family members who have been on Disney and other cruises, but my mom and I have never been. The internet and friends have been a great source of knowledge, but I still feel like a fish out of water.

For someone who considers themself somewhat of a Walt Disney World expert, it is more than a little humbling realizing how different cruising is and how much I don’t know. What kind of cruise should I book? What stateroom type should I reserve? Should I start out with a shorter cruise since I’ve not been before? What is rotational dining? How much should I expect to spend above and beyond the cost of the cruise, taxes, tips, etc.? What are the absolute must dos on a Disney Cruise (where is Stacey when I need her)? These are just a fraction of the questions that are flying through my mind with under two weeks left to go before my cruise.

We decided on a four night Bahamian cruise on the Disney Dream that leaves on 10/27. I am so stoked to be going over the Halloween on the High Seas celebration to see what kind of fun extras are going to be added to the ship. I think the one tip that has been more prevalent than any other is to not miss out on brunch at Palo on my sea day. It isn’t available to book online since we booked so last minute, but we are hoping to get the chance to book it as soon as we board the Dream. I’ve found the FAQs on the Disney Cruise website to be helpful in answering a lot of my questions, but I’m still undecided on some things like whether to drive and park nearby or to have a friend drop us off and pick us up at the Port. I have been told not to bother getting off the ship in the Bahamas, but I’ve never been out of the country, so I want to go and explore at least for a few hours before heading back to the almost empty ship to explore.

I’ve looked at sample Personal Navigators from recent sailings on the Dream, so I at least have some idea of what to expect for onboard entertainment and such. One of the cooler things that is brand new that I’m looking forward to checking out is the Navigator App for Apple or Android devices using the ship’s complimentary wifi for the exclusive use of this app. They have just added new functionality where guests can use the app for messaging, I’m assuming similar to texting, to be able to communicate with others in their party while on the ship. I can’t wait to sit on our verandah with a book, or a glass of wine, watching the sun setting over the horizon.

There is so much I want to see and do on the cruise, like the stage shows, catching first run movies, pirates night, riding the Aquaduck, checking out the Rainforest Room in the spa, enjoying fantastic food, checking out activities like wine tastings, relaxing in the hot tub, and much more. It will be interesting as this is my first real vacation not going to a theme park or specifically to visit family or friends. I will try to balance my desire to do it all with the need to relax above all else. Do you have any tips for this first time cruiser? What do you wish you had known before taking your first Disney Cruise?
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