2018 Christmas Disney Cruise Part 4: The First Evening

We went on a Disney Cruise just before Christmas in December 2018 with our friends the Riedels. See more about it at the 2018 Christmas Disney Cruise page. When last we left, we had enjoyed lunch on the ship…

Monday, December 17, 2018 (Continued)

Finally, the time had arrived for us to go to our rooms. That sounds like a punishment of being sent to our rooms, but in this case it was a good thing. We made our way down to Deck 6, and we found rooms 6154 (us) and 6152 (Riedels) on the port side aft. That’s the right side toward the back for all of you landlubbers. We opened up the connecting doors, and we checked everything out. It was all pretty much just like every other room on the ship that we had been in, which is just fine. We knew that sooner or later we could get the room host to open the balcony divider for us, too. But that would have to wait until we saw him or her.

In our rooms were our Castaway Club gifts. Each family got a nice Disney Cruise Line sling bag. And us Burnses also had some luggage tags for being in Gold level members.

free Disney Cruise ebook

Once we had things settled a bit, we decided to go ship exploring some more. This involved just walking around the ship and passing the time. We walked around the Deck 4 Promenade for a while. I was interested to see that one of the lifeboats was lowered down to the Promenade level, and it was open so that we could see inside. I had wondered what it was like in there.

Walking on the Deck 4 Promenade.
Walking on the Deck 4 Promenade.
Always dancing
Always dancing

Some of our group played shuffleboard for a while, which is always a favorite for whatever reason. Others of us leaned over the railing and watched some of the last passengers making their way onto the ship, along with the last of the luggage. Some crew members who had enjoyed a shore leave were coming back as well. Although they did not have to go through the same security that we went through, they all had to stop and get smelled by a guard dog, which was interesting.

Shuffleboard Team 1
Shuffleboard Team 1
Shuffleboard Team 2
Shuffleboard Team 2

It was getting close to time for the mandatory safety drill, so we went back to our rooms. Most of our luggage was waiting outside of our rooms, which was nice, so we got our things put away. At one point, Katie was on the bed with her leg pulled up, doing some of her dance stretching. That led to several others trying to do the same. And that led to me taking photos of those trying to do it. Because I knew that I couldn’t do it myself. But I will spare you from those photos, for the safety of those pictured. And for the safety of the photographer.

I checked the map on the back of the door, and I was happy to see that our assembly station was on the Deck 4 Promenade instead of in the movie theater as it was on our 2017 cruise. That always seems to be pretty crowded with everyone packed in there, and at least on the Promenade you can look out and see the scenery while you wait. We made our way on down a few minutes before the actual start time. I had learned in the past that most people don’t wait until they hear the general alarm, so we didn’t wait, either.

We arrived at our station, and there were already several people there. We lined up and waited while everyone else arrived. It is always interesting to hear the comments of why do we have to do this, why can’t we sit down, when will this be over, please move over to take up less space, stay with your group, and whatever else is said.

It was also interesting to see the work that was going on in the water across the way. A barge was there with a crane. The crane would lift up a long, straight piece of metal with a pointed end and then drop it down into the water. Over and over again. It was pretty interesting, for whatever reason. I know they were trying to break up the bed below the water, and I guessed that they are looking at expanding the terminal area that was across the way. It was fun to see it go up and down and up and down. Judging by comments I heard, I was not the only one who found it interesting.

The crew members eventually found the one family they were looking for, and then we listened to all of the safety information, and the drill was over. Yay! We passed! And we are all going to be safe! Although they did not make us raise our right hand and promise or anything like that.

The drilling barge doing its thing.
The drilling barge doing its thing. This was actually taken a little later on, because I did not take my camera to the safety drill.

From there, we headed up to the Sail Away party, stopping by our room to get my camera, because I didn’t take it to the safety drill, knowing how closely they want us to pack in for that. We got up to the top deck, and we decided that we really did not need to see the dancers and the characters. We would rather just see us pull away from the dock.

Ready to set sail!
Ready to set sail!
Karen and Zach check out the view.
Karen and Zach check out the view.

At the end of the safety drill, Captain Robert (this was our first cruise with him as captain) mentioned that before we could leave, we would have to stop and pick up one of the lifeboats. We had seen it out in the water, and its place was on the side of the ship at the dock, so they could not very well get it while the ship was in port. We pulled away from the dock, and then we waited for a few minutes for the lifeboat to get loaded back up. And then we were on our way.

Someone grab that lifeboat so that we can get out of here!
Someone grab that lifeboat so that we can get out of here!

We did not stay to see us sailing through the channel, however, because we had plans. Karen and Katie planned to go to the Golden Mickeys stage show, which started at 6:00. The rest of us planned to go to the movie theater to see Ralph Breaks the Internet, since none of us had seen it. We went to our room to change for dinner, figuring that we would not have all that much time to change after the show or movie.

As we were leaving, we saw our room host down the hallway from our room. He said, “You are in 6154, aren’t you?” I have no idea how he knew that, since we had not met him before, but he was right. His name was Teja, and it was good to meet him. We asked him to open the balcony divider, and he said he would. He wished us well as we went along the way. It seemed like we got another very friendly room host. I am sure they all are friendly, but ours have always been extra nice.

Those of us going to the movie got to the theater just a few minutes before the movie started, but there were still plenty of seats for us. Interestingly, they started the previews early, so that the movie started at the stated showtime. Wouldn’t it be nice if the movie theaters back on the land did that? The movie was okay. Not the best, not the worst. I guess I was glad that I saw it, and it was nice that we did not have to pay extra for it. Besides, we had seen the Golden Mickeys show a few times already, including just last year.

After we were all finished, we caught back up with Karen and Katie. We knew we wanted to see the Tree Lighting Magic ceremony, and it was scheduled for 7:15. We found a good spot on the upper level of the Lobby Atrium and waited for things to begin. Soon, the characters came out, dressed in their Christmas clothes. They had a family with them to help them count down. At the end of the countdown, the lights on the Christmas tree and on the garland on the railings was lit. Pretty cool! After that, wee spent some time looking around in the gift shops. It was interesting to see what new merchandise they had, and several of us found some things that we thought we would get later on.

Christmas Characters: Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, Pluto
Christmas Characters: Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, Pluto.
Christmas tree and lights in the Lobby Atrium.
Christmas tree and lights in the Lobby Atrium.

It was time to go to dinner, so we headed down the stairs to the Enchanted Garden, which was our first restaurant for this cruise. It is sometimes a little tricky to find the right stairs to get down to Enchanted Garden, but we got it right the first time this time.

Katie sits in the royal chair off to the side of the Lobby Atrium.
Katie sits in the royal chair off to the side of the Lobby Atrium.

We were shown to our table, which was number 110. Not that the number really mattered. Once we were in our seats, we got to meet our servers. Curtis was our main server, and he was from Jamaica. Our assistant server was Don, who was from Thailand, and I am not sure that he spoke that much English. I thought it was pretty cool that I had been to both of the countries that our servers were from.

Our dinner was good, as it always is. I got some of my cruise meal favorites, the lobster ravioli appetizer and pan seared sea bass as my main entree. Both of those were just as good as I always remember them being. Even though we had been together all day, we had a good time sitting together, talking, and of course eating. Our head server, Lingam from India, stopped by and chatted briefly during the evening as well. For dessert, I got the chocolate brownie sundae, and it was also just as delicious as it always is.

Before we left, Curtis gave us an overview of the next day’s events, although he acknowledged that we probably knew most of it because we had all cruised before. He did point out that this cruise had a different itinerary, stopping at Castaway Cay first and Nassau second, instead of the other way around, but we did already know that as well.

Brant and Karen at dinner.
Brant and Karen at dinner.
Laura at dinner.
Laura at dinner. I took photos of all three kids as well, but they all ended up blurry. Oops.

Next up was another special event, Santa’s Winter Wonderland, so we went back out to the Lobby Atrium, this time finding a spot on the main floor. The singers and dancers came out to perform a few songs, and I always wonder how they do not fall running down the stairs. Then came the stars of the hour, Santa and Mrs. Claus! How cool was it that they decided to cruise with us? Especially considering Christmas was just around the corner. They said a few words, and then the characters came out again. And then, it started snowing! Not real snow, of course, but the cool fake kind. Pretty cool that it was snowing in the Lobby Atrium. That kind of thing never gets old to me.

Here comes Santa Claus! And Mrs. Claus, too.
Here comes Santa Claus! And Mrs. Claus, too.

After the show, we took some photos in front of the Christmas tree. It was a little tricky, because there was a lot of blue light on the tree. Jaylin looked rather blue as he stood in front of the Christmas tree, and not because he was sad. He was just blue. We enjoyed some time just hanging out in the lobby, and it got quiet pretty quickly when most people went to bed.

Jaylin was a little blue.
Jaylin was a little blue.
Laura in front of the Christmas tree.
Laura in front of the Christmas tree.

But we were not quite ready for bed yet. So we went back out to the Deck 4 Promenade for an evening walk. Some of us had been able to feel some slight motion in the ship at different times, but it never was too bad. In fact, I was hoping to feel it more than I did during our evening walk. But that was okay. We made a loop and then went back to our rooms

The main Christmas tree in the Lobby Atrium.
The main Christmas tree in the Lobby Atrium.
A smaller Christmas tree off to the side.
A smaller Christmas tree off to the side.

When we were arrived, we were greeted by the surprise that Laura had worked out at the Guest Services desk when we arrived. To celebrate Zach’s graduation, the Riedels’ room was decorated with several light-up ornaments. Some hung from the ceiling, and one was on the desk. There was also a hanging paper Christmas tree, and a cling on the window. They did not have an graduation celebration items, so we had just chosen the light-up holiday package. It was pretty cool.

One of the lighted ornaments hanging in front of the bunk bed. There was also a decal on the verandah door that you can see in the background.
One of the lighted ornaments hanging in front of the bunk bed. There was also a decal on the verandah door that you can see in the background.

We also had towel animals and chocolates on our beds, which had been turned down for the night. I think our animal was a seal. And it actually was a blanket animal, because it was made with the blanket from the foot of the bed. I always enjoy seeing those, even if I don’t always know what they are.

It had been a fun day, and we were looking forward to the fun ahead on the next day. So we all went to bed, occasionally being rocked by the gentle motion of the ship.

Check back soon for the next part of the 2018 Christmas Disney Cruise trip report, as we get some exercise on Castaway Cay!

2018 Christmas Disney Cruise

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Steve

Husband, father, photographer, webmaster, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography and stories through Burnsland.com.

2 Replies to “2018 Christmas Disney Cruise Part 4: The First Evening

  1. This post made me really want to take a Merry time cruise! I loved all the photos and details you included. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Shari! I appreciate it! Yes, we would definitely consider another Disney Cruise around the Christmas holidays sometime. I hope you have a chance to read the other parts of this trip report, too. 🙂

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