A dream is a wish your heart makes and the boy made a big wish prior to our holiday cruise on board the Disney Dream. He wished to be the Holiday Prince of the Sea.
It all started last winter when we were planning and dreaming about our upcoming Disney cruise. We had watched a video on-line of the tree lighting ceremony that included a boy being crowned and then lighting the tree. When our son knew there would be a tree lighting ceremony during our sailing, he began to inform us that he wanted to be the boy who lit the tree. My response, “Ask when you get on the ship.” And that he did.
As soon as we boarded, he began to ask various crew members about the tree lighting ceremony, which was that evening, and let them know he would be willing to do the job. . . he was up to the task. No one could give us a firm answer or knew for sure how the child was selected to perform the ceremony. They did, however, take his name and thank him for his interest.
We went to dinner in the Enchanted Garden, prior to the tree lighting ceremony, still not sure of the plan, other than we were going to attend the ceremony at 7:30 pm. We made our way to the Lobby Atrium at 7:15 and the boy saw more of the cruise staff, in their bright red shirts, gathered near the grand staircase. He approached one more time to inquire about the ceremony and got a big surprise. They knew his name and informed him that he was going to be the Holiday Prince of the Sea. He was thrilled to say the least.
Prior to the ceremony, he was whisked away to the next floor and we were told to stand off the side of the staircase, as we would join the ceremony momentarily for a photo—even being told where to look. Disney thinks of everything!
The excitement built with music and lighting and Trent, the Assistant Cruise Director, appeared to conduct the ceremony. Here’s the video:
Then it was time for the tree to come to life, followed by snow falling in the Lobby Atrium. Here’s the video:
And, the boy after the ceremony being returned to his parents. . .
The boy was on cloud nine not only that night, but for the rest of the cruise. There was even more to this story that kept unfolding days later. . .
The next day the husband and I went to a Disney Cruise Line Trivia Contest while the boy was in the club. Callie, one of the cruise staff, was hosting the event. She told us that this was the first time they ever had a boy ASK to be the Holiday Prince of the Sea and they were thrilled and flattered. She said that typically they have to ask 4 or 5 boys before they find one willing and who still fits the criteria: boy, certain height range not too tall and not so short as they can’t see over the railing when lighting the tree, certain age range. . . not too young that they can’t follow directions or run away and not old (see height range). So, the cruise staff was thrilled that there was a boy who was willing, able, and fit the criteria. Before the ceremony, they told the boy that this was a serious ceremony, hence the look of seriousness in some of the photos. Callie said the boy talked their leg off back stage before the ceremony and was very excited. That’s our boy!
Also, during Disney Cruise Line Trivia—which we smoked the others—we met a couple, Mark and Susie Perry, from Atlanta. Mark said he had captured photos from the tree lighting ceremony the night before and offered to send them to us. I was happy to provide our email address. Many of the photos in this post are from Mark. Thanks, Mark!
The magic of wish kept going throughout the cruise, as a bag appeared on our door with a certificate for the boy from the “Magical Moment” of being the Holiday Prince of the Sea along with a Perry the Platypus stuffed toy. Hmmm. . . how did they know he liked Perry?
The boy became attached to Trent, the Assistant Cruise Director, and Natalie, the Cruise Director during the cruise so much so that he wanted them to sign the book that Santa brought along with Captain Henry. Santa delivered Ridley Pearson’s The Shell Game as a gift as it takes place on the Disney Dream. Trent, Natalie, and Captain Henry were all happy to sign the boy’s book.
The last night of the cruise during the Sea Ya Real Soon celebration when the characters come out for one last appearance, a fellow cruiser asked to take a photo of the boy. He said he hadn’t gotten a picture of the Holiday Prince of the Sea. He smiled for the photo.
Being chosen as the Holiday Prince of the Sea was a highlight of our cruise and something our son will always remember. In fact, it changed him, transformed him, and gave him more confidence. It also showed him that dreams really do come true. For that, I am ever grateful. Thank you, Trent, Natalie, and Callie!