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morehousemommy
02-07-2012, 09:44 AM
Our family will be sailing on our first ever cruise. We set sail on May 17 for a 3 night cruise on the Dream. I have been reading things on this site since I booked the cruise a year ago. There is just soo much information on the good the bad and the ugly. Can you guys help me make this experience a good one? Can you give me the Do's and Don'ts of a 3 night cruise on the dream?
Thank you for all of your help!

jdb in AZ
02-07-2012, 09:51 AM
Our family will be sailing on our first ever cruise. We set sail on May 17 for a 3 night cruise on the Dream. I have been reading things on this site since I booked the cruise a year ago. There is just soo much information on the good the bad and the ugly. Can you guys help me make this experience a good one? Can you give me the Do's and Don'ts of a 3 night cruise on the dream?
Thank you for all of your help!

Since you've been reading the boards for a year, you probubbly already know most of the ins and outs. Just pack a smile and your patience and you'll do fine!

Conservative Hippie
02-07-2012, 10:11 AM
First of all, don't believe anyone who tells you it is impossible to have a great time on a 3-night. Yes, it's short and yes, it's crowded, but I still loved both of my 3-nights and I love the Dream. So here is what works for us - keep in mind my kids are preschool/toddler aged so YMMV.

- Pick a few things that are important to you. Is it important that you ride the Aquaduck? See a show? Be right in front for the Pirate Party? Make those things priorities and decide what you can save for next time. For us, we don't mind if we don't get to the Aquaduck, and we decide to only see one show per cruise.

- Read your Navigator cover to cover and mark what you want to do.

- Don't try to get in the pool on the first day, or at least not until the evening. The pools on the Dream really are very small. We prefer to swim in the ocean at Castaway Cay. DD loves the Mickey slide and we've found the crowds at the Mickey pool manageable at times, but in two cruises I have yet to set foot in the family pool.

- Instead of the pool, we like to take the first day to take our time at lunch and do all the open house activities.

- If it's not very important to you to have a front and center view (which will be shoulder-to-shoulder crowded), watch the Sail Away and Pirate Party from deck 12. For whatever reason, deck 12 starboard was more crowded than port, so we parked ourselves on the port side. The Family Zone on deck 13 port side is a great place to watch the fireworks.

- Avoid the midship elevators (take them at least once, there is a neat little surprise) and take the stairs whenever possible. We really enjoy staying on decks 9 or 10 and just hopping up the stairs to deck 11.

- For Castaway Cay, and if you go to Nassau, don't try to be one of the first off (unless you have to be for an excursion). Both mornings we enjoyed a nice breakfast at Royal Palace, then gathered our things and went down to CC at about 10:00 or 10:30 - no crowd whatsoever (we have yet to get off at Nassau).

- Same thing on the last morning - don't try to be one of the first off unless you have to be for a flight. We got out of our rooms at 8:00, had breakfast at Cabana's, then ran around outside on deck 4. Vista Cafe on deck 4 was also still open and I got a coffee and the kids got some last minute pastries. We saw another family playing Midship Detective, so we did that, then disembarked at 9:45 with no line.

- We have always had early dining, and we book the nursery for about 7:00-9:00 every night. Then the kids eat their dinner while we are having appetizers and salads, and one of us runs them up to the nursery and club. Then we get to have a "date" for our entrees and desserts! We decided to go to Believe on the last night of our most recent cruise, so we booked DS longer in the nursery and did not take DD to the club. She got to have dinner with Mom and Dad by herself and go see a show - boy she thought she was grown up!

- Mini golf on deck 13. We love it, and we're usually the only ones up there.

Let me know if you have any questions! Again, it is possible to have a fantastic cruise on a 3-night!

morehousemommy
02-07-2012, 10:45 AM
First of all, don't believe anyone who tells you it is impossible to have a great time on a 3-night. Yes, it's short and yes, it's crowded, but I still loved both of my 3-nights and I love the Dream. So here is what works for us - keep in mind my kids are preschool/toddler aged so YMMV.

- Pick a few things that are important to you. Is it important that you ride the Aquaduck? See a show? Be right in front for the Pirate Party? Make those things priorities and decide what you can save for next time. For us, we don't mind if we don't get to the Aquaduck, and we decide to only see one show per cruise.

- Read your Navigator cover to cover and mark what you want to do.

- Don't try to get in the pool on the first day, or at least not until the evening. The pools on the Dream really are very small. We prefer to swim in the ocean at Castaway Cay. DD loves the Mickey slide and we've found the crowds at the Mickey pool manageable at times, but in two cruises I have yet to set foot in the family pool.

- Instead of the pool, we like to take the first day to take our time at lunch and do all the open house activities.

- If it's not very important to you to have a front and center view (which will be shoulder-to-shoulder crowded), watch the Sail Away and Pirate Party from deck 12. For whatever reason, deck 12 starboard was more crowded than port, so we parked ourselves on the port side. The Family Zone on deck 13 port side is a great place to watch the fireworks.

- Avoid the midship elevators (take them at least once, there is a neat little surprise) and take the stairs whenever possible. We really enjoy staying on decks 9 or 10 and just hopping up the stairs to deck 11.

- For Castaway Cay, and if you go to Nassau, don't try to be one of the first off (unless you have to be for an excursion). Both mornings we enjoyed a nice breakfast at Royal Palace, then gathered our things and went down to CC at about 10:00 or 10:30 - no crowd whatsoever (we have yet to get off at Nassau).

- Same thing on the last morning - don't try to be one of the first off unless you have to be for a flight. We got out of our rooms at 8:00, had breakfast at Cabana's, then ran around outside on deck 4. Vista Cafe on deck 4 was also still open and I got a coffee and the kids got some last minute pastries. We saw another family playing Midship Detective, so we did that, then disembarked at 9:45 with no line.

- We have always had early dining, and we book the nursery for about 7:00-9:00 every night. Then the kids eat their dinner while we are having appetizers and salads, and one of us runs them up to the nursery and club. Then we get to have a "date" for our entrees and desserts! We decided to go to Believe on the last night of our most recent cruise, so we booked DS longer in the nursery and did not take DD to the club. She got to have dinner with Mom and Dad by herself and go see a show - boy she thought she was grown up!

- Mini golf on deck 13. We love it, and we're usually the only ones up there.

Let me know if you have any questions! Again, it is possible to have a fantastic cruise on a 3-night!

I am thinking of trying to book the Castaway Cay Bottom Fishing for my husband and son. If they had the morning time frame, would they have any sort of priority exit from the ship?

uziel5000
02-07-2012, 10:51 AM
Sometimes there is such a thing as too much.

You have been gathering information for a while and its easy to get overwhelmed. Don't. Step back, read your Navigators and pick the stuff you want to do. You won't be able to do everything no matter how hard you try so relax, pick your favorites and have fun. It IS a vacation right? ;)

Conservative Hippie
02-07-2012, 10:54 AM
I am thinking of trying to book the Castaway Cay Bottom Fishing for my husband and son. If they had the morning time frame, would they have any sort of priority exit from the ship?

I'm not sure - we've only done a boat tour in the afternoon.

morehousemommy
02-07-2012, 11:01 AM
Sometimes there is such a thing as too much.

You have been gathering information for a while and its easy to get overwhelmed. Don't. Step back, read your Navigators and pick the stuff you want to do. You won't be able to do everything no matter how hard you try so relax, pick your favorites and have fun. It IS a vacation right? ;)


That is exactly how I am feeling! We are super excited and are counting down the days.

One thing I am wondering about is clothing. From my understanding there isn't a "formal night", is this correct? What type of clothing should I pack? I am thinking two swim suits for everyone, sundresses for the girls and dress pants/shorts with polo shirts for boys. Is this acceptable or does it need to be more dressy?

Conservative Hippie
02-07-2012, 11:11 AM
That is exactly how I am feeling! We are super excited and are counting down the days.

One thing I am wondering about is clothing. From my understanding there isn't a "formal night", is this correct? What type of clothing should I pack? I am thinking two swim suits for everyone, sundresses for the girls and dress pants/shorts with polo shirts for boys. Is this acceptable or does it need to be more dressy?

That's correct - there is no formal night. The 3rd night will be "semi-formal optional." For dinners, my DH and DS wore khakis and a polo or button-down shirt, DD and I wore simple "Sunday" dresses. DH and I both wore sandals in the dining rooms (we are Floridians, we live in sandals!). Definitely bring 2 swim suits - I lost one of mine in the spa locker room on the second day and never got it back. For during the day, just shorts, t-shirts, capris, whatever you are comfortable in!