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Family Halloween Cruises

by Elyse Glickman

Oct 23, 2017

© Pavel Ilyukhin | Dreamstime


In theory, there’s no holiday more all-inclusive than Halloween. Over the years, it has evolved into a celebration of storytelling, creativity and imaginations run wild. Nobody ever gets too old to dress up in crazy costumes, eat tasty treats, tell spooky stories and meet a cast of unforgettable characters. Although many Halloween cruise activities are geared for adults, and stray from kid-friendly fun, there are cruise lines that make it a point to invite everybody to the party.

Disney Cruise Ship at Night

© Irishka777 | Dreamstime

It’s no surprise Disney Cruises has the whole family Halloween thing down on the ships with frighteningly entertaining activities, themed entertainment for different age groups and an evolving Halloween tree and decorative elements only the minds behind the Magic Kingdom could dream up. Through October, Halloween will be in full swing aboard most voyages of the Disney Dream (the Bahamas), Disney Fantasy (Caribbean destinations), Disney Wonder (Baja, Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal cruises) and Disney Magic (Canadian coast and the Bahamas).

The youngest creatures will have a blast at Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party with a collection of ghoulish games, trick-or-treating, dancing and favorite Disney characters bedecked in Halloween attire. Older kids will have wicked fun at Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing and Scream,” an interactive movie experience followed by a meet-and-greet with Jack Skellington and Sally. While parents, kids and teens can enjoy age-appropriate costume parties on board, there are plenty of seasonal treats all family members can enjoy together, including “Creepy Cabaret” musical performances, campfire-style storytelling on deck (“Haunted Stories of the Sea”), mask-making and pumpkin-carving.

Halloween is always a good time aboard the aptly named Carnival Imagination, and this year’s festivities from Oct. 1–31, will be taken to another level with a month-long spook-tacular aboard three- and four-day jaunts departing from Long Beach, Calif., to Ensenada, Mexico, and Catalina Island. The craft will be in full “haunted ship” mode with an elaborate “spooky tree” in the atrium and team members decked out in costumes while leading “Thriller” dance classes and other frightfully fun activities.

Carnival Cruise line

© Lawrence Weslowski Jr | Dreamstime

Spooky seasonal delights include costume contests, age-appropriate dance parties, a bone-chilling story-time, s’mores, warm apple cider, pumpkin-carving demonstrations and Dive-In Movies Horror Night screenings of classic scary movies. The ship’s supervised camp program for kids ages 2–11, meanwhile, packs its schedule with arts and crafts classes and games focused on Halloween they can enjoy with new friends. The grand finale of the cruise comprises trick-or-treating for kids and adults and a Halloween parade along the Promenade. To maintain a family-friendly vibe, house rules dictate costumes with masks and weapons will not be permitted.

In addition to all the Halloween-themed fun, guests sailing on Carnival Imagination can enjoy delicious, hand-crafted burgers at Guy’s Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri and savor authentic tacos and burritos at the Blue Iguana Cantina.


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