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View Full Version : Waaa!! We had to come home!!


noahsketomom
02-08-2012, 09:22 AM
Yes, our cruise had to END. :sad1:

We were on the Dream 4-day 1/29 sail. Our only major regret? Not booking another on board. It was THE MOST RELAXING TRIP EVER with our four kids (5,6,9,10). Although I don't have time to do an official TR, please don't hesitate to ask questions, or PM me if you need pics or something.

A couple of thoughts:

1. Cleanest ship I've ever been on. Clearly from the top down as I saw an officer stop on the pool deck to pick up a napkin.

2. FOOD - Food was very good, but there was no dish that I would absolutely have to have again. We enjoyed the dinner food in RP the best, and AP the least. The Enchanted garden was the best decor, I thought. Cabanas breakfast buffet was exceptional. Something for everyone for sure. My hubby loved the peel and eat shrimp and probably ate his weight in it over 4 days.

3. SERVICE - Our dining room servers were just okay. Other than the night when we were their only table and they really engaged us, they seemed busy, and just going through the motions. Our Cabin Steward, Budi, however was FABULOUS!!! We had two connecting veranda cabins with 8 people in in (4 kids) and we always came home to arrangements of stuffed animals, shoes, accessories, etc.

4. NASSAU - We got off the boat in Nassau! My mom took a private cab tour of paradise island, where she had honeymooned with my dad. Other than crazy driving, she loved it -- her cabbie was very personable and it brought back memories. Our family got off the boat around noon and just meandered into town --- I was nervous due to the warnings of this, but my DH wanted to show the kids what it was like and we had a BALL! Not sure if it was the time of day (after the rush) or the fact there was only one other ship in port, that the girls had already had their hair braided on board, or that my hubby is 6'11" and nobody messed with him? We felt safe and extremely welcomed by everyone we encountered. Some random guy even jumped in behind the kids who were posing wacky and we went on to have a long conversation with him about the area. We didn't spend long, but enough for the kids to see a new area and to buy some local souvenirs at the straw market -- which was not busy at all.

5. CC - wished the day wouldn't end. The 5K was great and well worth doing. Our parasailing got cancelled due to wind, but we swam, ate, snorkeled, rode slides, played basketball, and drank way too many konk coolers. :sad2: We crashed hard before the fireworks and one pirate fell asleep at dinner!!!

6. SHOWS - loved Golden Mickeys and Believe. Didn't go to Villians since my 5yo was freaked out by Ursula's tentacles in the Golden Mickeys. They went to the Muppets instead. My mom loved the ventriloquist though!

7. OTHER STUFF - Kids loved the Aquaduck and pool and other than the at sea day the pool (Donald one) didn't seem crazy crowded. We never got into the other one as it seemed too young for my kids. We did the tequila tasting and the guy who ran it - Oscar - was fantastic! It was my mom's 60th bday that day and he treated her very special!! :lovestruc We also did the 80s trivia and Sports trivia which were both fun. Detective agency is cool and the kids did it almost themselves --- my sister and I were running to keep up with them!! :rotfl:

8. KIDS CLUB - My 6yo and 9yo loved them. It was a bit annoying for my 10yo, as he turns 11 at the end of the month. We gave him sign out privileges and that helped a ton. He could go, hang for a few, then leave. My 5yo wasn't gaga about them either -- I kept telling her to stay in the club instead of the lab (where her sibs were usually), but I would get a text that she wanted to be picked up. In general though they didn't spend too much time there -- but we did use "Dine and Play" most nights.:thumbsup2

9. PRE-POST CRUISE: Used Avis both ways. No problem other than a short wait after debarkation for a shuttle. They stored the booster seats for us. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Cocoa Beach and we had no complaints at all. Nice view, close to beach, nice heated pool, decent breakfast. Nothing fancy, but well worth the good price! Ate at coconuts on the beach (yum!) and some nearby BBQ joint for dinner which was totally fun -- even though the mohito was AWFUL. After the cruise we stayed for 2 nights at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek and....Wow. Great place! Some crazy # of pools, lazy rivers, water slides, etc. and lots of kid activities. PERFECT post cruise relaxation spot. Hit DTD, but did NOT go to the parks as planned as we just wanted to swim more in the warm weather!!!

10. PICTURES -- my only major complaint is that Shutters is awful. Their photos are beautiful, but the service is confusing and nobody could help me print any 5x7s. I pre purchased a 10 credit pass, and all I had to choose from was 8x10s. Who the heck uses 8x10s anymore? Seems pretty old fashioned, IMHO. Only one character photo was printed in 5x7, but that wouldn't help me as I needed at least 2 to make an even # of credits. I felt like for $90 that 5 8x10s were not what I really wanted and I thought it was a waste. I scanned them in and will print 5x7s.

11. Can't think of anything else other than again to say that I wish we had booked on board. Was a GREAT WAY for our family to vacation and I felt soooooo relaxed afterwards....not like I do after the parks when I need a vacation to recover. Just sad to come home!!!!

Sorry to go on so long, but please feel free to ask me anything if you need to. The boards were so helpful for us!!!

Best,
Beth

jaimeadk
02-08-2012, 09:55 AM
In general, did the ship feel crowded? I've read previous posts about the Dream where it seemed like people talk about feeling like they are in noisy, overcrowded nightmare. We are scheduled for the Dream and I'm seriously thinking about switching to the Wonder.

noahsketomom
02-08-2012, 10:10 AM
In general, did the ship feel crowded? I've read previous posts about the Dream where it seemed like people talk about feeling like they are in noisy, overcrowded nightmare. We are scheduled for the Dream and I'm seriously thinking about switching to the Wonder.

In general, no. The pool deck was always BUSY, but I really never felt crowded at all. Other than the first night, the kids clubs weren't crowded either! I was surprised by the reviews of the sailing right after ours about the crowds, but maybe the following facts might make sense as to why ours didn't seem as crowded:

1. We did 4 day Sunday - Thursday and it was NOT during school vacation. Maybe the 3day (THurs - Sun) might have more kids due to it being a weekend? IDK?

2. Our cruise was fully booked at time of sail, but I know there was a BIG influx of CMs, Florida residents, etc. at the end. Maybe it was folks who had sailed a lot before and did different things than we did.

3. Our stateroom was on deck 8 closest to the aft elevators, so if we used elevators at all, we used those, generally. The midship elevators seemed to always have a wait. Since we were on deck 8 though, it really was only 3 floors down to kids club or 3 floors up to pool deck, so we often took the stairs.

4. We got off at Nassau at noon - walked right off. We got back on at maybe 3pm? again, walked right on -- maybe a line of about 5 folks. We got off at CC at different times (me at 9am for the 5k -- walked right off. My family at 10am and they walked right off) Getting back on the boat at CC was the only line -- and they had two spots to get on the boat, so it took no more than a 5 min wait. That and Goofy was there to take pics, so who really cared when I could hang with my favorite!!! :love:

5. ONLY time I felt crowded at all was if we got to dinner early and had to wait for them to open the doors! That is it!

6. ONE MORE THING --- I found Cabanas annoying at first. Nobody got the stations aspect of it, even though I knew from the boards. I just don't like being given dirty looks for "cutting". It did get better as time went on.

7. SORRY FOR ALL THE NUMBERING!!!! :rotfl2:

HTH

I thought about looking at the Wonder sailing out of Miami for next year....but my kids would be BUMMED OUT without the Aquaduck!! LOL

Im_A_Princess
02-08-2012, 10:18 AM
You could have booked a cruise on board way out there date wise.
Like late 2013 and then moved booking around so you could keep on board discount. Or could always cancel it later.:goodvibes

noahsketomom
02-08-2012, 10:23 AM
You could have booked a cruise on board way out there date wise.
Like late 2013 and then moved booking around so you could keep on board discount. Or could always cancel it later.:goodvibes

I know --- which is exactly why we are soooooo bummed out that we didn't do it!!!! :guilty:

Im_A_Princess
02-08-2012, 10:25 AM
What room were you in (cat & # if can)?
Did you like it?

Im_A_Princess
02-08-2012, 10:26 AM
I know --- which is exactly why we are soooooo bummed out that we didn't do it!!!! :guilty:

BUMMER!!!! :sad2:

noahsketomom
02-08-2012, 10:38 AM
What room were you in (cat & # if can)?
Did you like it?

We were in #8650 and #8648....connecting deluxe veranda rooms.

Loved them --- the kids loved the "bunk" beds.

We found plenty of storage space too--- even with the fact that all 4 kiddos generally kept their stuff in our room (versus my mom/sister's). The only time we were out of space was when we ordered lots of room service...which we often did! OOOOh, I forgot:

1. Loved coffee, fruit, and munchies for the kids on the veranda every morning

2. "All hands on deck" platters when we were getting ready for dinner/shows, etc. and needed something to tide us over. DH liked the guacamole chicken wrap things? Not sure what they were really were as he scarfed them down so fast. He's 6'11" and can do some serious eating!

3. cookies & milk for kiddos at night

jas0202
02-08-2012, 12:10 PM
On your cruise did you receive anything for completing the Castaway Cay 5K? Seems like reports are varied... Everything from nothing to a bib, certificate, and medal! Hoping to do this in September if my knees cooperate...

noahsketomom
02-08-2012, 12:18 PM
On your cruise did you receive anything for completing the Castaway Cay 5K? Seems like reports are varied... Everything from nothing to a bib, certificate, and medal! Hoping to do this in September if my knees cooperate...

Too funny. I think I just responded to another post about somebody walking it. I got a bib when we started, a medal at the finish line, and a certificate in my cabin later. They said they were going to stay at the finish for about an hour, but I finished fairly early for me(I ran pretty fast to run off all the food/drink I had been enjoying!!) Then I headed off to find a spot on the beach, so not sure how long they ended up staying.

But the highlight of it all was that Goofy sent us off from the ship. Did I mention how I feel about Goofy??? :love:

Dallas_Lady
02-08-2012, 12:28 PM
So glad to see a good review! We have a 5 night planned for this summer and I was starting to think we were about to waste a whole lot of money.

Im_A_Princess
02-08-2012, 12:51 PM
This is great!
I am really reluctant to try the new ships. Mostly because of their bigger size. I don't want to miss the Disney "magic" that the Magic & Wonder have.
I love the size of the Wonder & Magic.
We have a 7day Fantasy cruise booked this summer. Glad we booked a verandah based on your comments! :goodvibes

kellyb2000
02-08-2012, 01:13 PM
6. ONE MORE THING --- I found Cabanas annoying at first. Nobody got the stations aspect of it, even though I knew from the boards. I just don't like being given dirty looks for "cutting". It did get better as time went on.


I thought about looking at the Wonder sailing out of Miami for next year....but my kids would be BUMMED OUT without the Aquaduck!! LOL

I hated that part of Cabanas and felt that someone needed to explain this concept better to everyone.

My family tossed around the idea of going back to the Magic or Wonder, but it kind of came down to the aquaduck - my son (Noah ;) ) LOVED it!

bzkds
02-08-2012, 01:25 PM
We did our first cruise last July, 4 night on the Dream. I was upset after we got home that I hadn't talked DH into rebooking on board. About a month after the cruise, I got a card in the mail with a 10% discount offer. Maybe you'll get one as well? We just booked a 7 night on the Fantasy using the discount (well, the offer expired after a month, so I booked a dummy cruise and then just moved it again after I saw the 2013 itineraries for the Wonder). My ds13 was VERY happy that Fantasy also has the Aquaduck, he was a little bummed that we were planning to go on the Wonder and it doesn't have one!

renae3
02-08-2012, 01:26 PM
Wow...thanks so much for your positive trip report. Just when I am seriously thinking about canceling my upcoming May Disney Dream 4 day....I read this! I had just a couple of quick questions if you don't mind.

1. What time did you arrive at port and what was your experience? What did you do...eat, pool....how were the crowds?

2. Did your kids like the pools?

3. Did you feel you had enough to do? I have 3 kids ages 9, 6, and 3....still worried about the 3 year old being on the young side.

4. Were the kids clubs crowded? Kids on there own? How were the staff?

5. THis is so funny...we were thinking about doing WBC after the cruise too, for 3 nights. How did your kids deal with just being there and not doing Disney? Not sure how my kids would do being so close!

6. Also, what size rental car did you have? We are a family of 5 and trying to figure out what we will fit in with all our luggage too!

Thanks so much!!!

noahsketomom
02-08-2012, 01:39 PM
We did our first cruise last July, 4 night on the Dream. I was upset after we got home that I hadn't talked DH into rebooking on board. About a month after the cruise, I got a card in the mail with a 10% discount offer. Maybe you'll get one as well? We just booked a 7 night on the Fantasy using the discount (well, the offer expired after a month, so I booked a dummy cruise and then just moved it again after I saw the 2013 itineraries for the Wonder). My ds13 was VERY happy that Fantasy also has the Aquaduck, he was a little bummed that we were planning to go on the Wonder and it doesn't have one!


That is encouraging --- here's to hoping! :goodvibes

noahsketomom
02-08-2012, 02:23 PM
See in red below!! Have a great time!!!



1. What time did you arrive at port and what was your experience? What did you do...eat, pool....how were the crowds?
We had 11am port arrival. My DH dropped us off at 10:30, dropped the rental car, then met us in the terminal. We had boarding #5 -- so as soon as they started boarding we were there. Moved pretty smoothly. We headed straight up to the pool deck. Kids were more interested in swimming than eating -- so we just grabbed food and brought it to the pool area. Watched them swim, do aquaduck, swim, do aquaduck, you get the picture.... Cabanas was disorganized, but crowds were not bad.

2. Did your kids like the pools? Could not get them out oftentimes. I have tons of pictures of my 6yo floating on his back watching the funnelvision. We called him "scuba steve" since I couldn't get him out of the water ! They were BUSY and a bit crowded, but the only time I thought there were TOO many folks in it was on the at sea day.

3. Did you feel you had enough to do? I have 3 kids ages 9, 6, and 3....still worried about the 3 year old being on the young side.
Oh yes, PLENTY TO DO!! In fact, you couldn't possibly do it all!!! (But we all try, don't we??)

4. Were the kids clubs crowded? Kids on there own? How were the staff?
My 5yo is a bit shy, so she was definitely not keen on the kids clubs, strangers, etc. She much preferred it when I could go with her -- which I only did once, really. She hung with her sibs a couple of times and went a couple of nights using "dine and play." My 6yo and 9yo loved loved loved them, the activities, everything. They could have spent more time there than we did! My 10yo was okay with it, but almost everybody was younger than him. Once we gave him the ability to sign out on his own and he could come and go as he pleased (within reason), he was fine. The staff was in general great and even got to know my 5yo after a day or so and would call her by name so she would feel more comfortable.

5. THis is so funny...we were thinking about doing WBC after the cruise too, for 3 nights. How did your kids deal with just being there and not doing Disney? Not sure how my kids would do being so close!
I'm not sure if it was just that we are from RI and the kids loved the warm weather or what, but those pools were FUN and other than wanting to hit the lego store in DTD, all they wanted to do was play in the pools! They also had all sorts of activities going on for kids too - bonfires, movies, ice cream sundae socials, etc. But my kids just swam, went in lazy river, waterslides, etc. Happy as clams! (Which makes a happy mom too!)

6. Also, what size rental car did you have? We are a family of 5 and trying to figure out what we will fit in with all our luggage too!
we had a minivan and it had plenty of room. Stow and go and all. Wasn't a problem.


Thanks so much!!!

zealandsmom
02-08-2012, 02:33 PM
What time did you eat dinner? Main or late?
I'm having real anxiety thinking that the main dining will be too early and I will have too much time in between dinner and show and the kids will konk out or we will get sidetracked and miss the show!!

noahsketomom
02-08-2012, 02:37 PM
What time did you eat dinner? Main or late?
I'm having real anxiety thinking that the main dining will be too early and I will have too much time in between dinner and show and the kids will konk out or we will get sidetracked and miss the show!!

We had the late dinner --- changed to it actually. It was late, but I much preferred not rushing and having the earlier show. We usually ate a late afternoon snack and the kids meals were ready SUPER fast. It was a bit late for my 5yo though......

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx61/thegilpins/Cruise/th_c-02-CourtsCruisepics054.jpg

Not sure if this will work? Nope -- can't seem to get my pictures to work anymore..... sorry it's so small. At least it's there now!

tufbuf
02-08-2012, 02:42 PM
That's exactly how we feel after disembarking each and every DCL cruise... That's Why we keep going and going and going.... ;)

renae3
02-08-2012, 03:43 PM
Thanks so much...you have talked me into keeping my reservation!! Thanks again!

Time4disney
02-08-2012, 08:21 PM
Who was the cruise director? We are going on the Dream soon and are hoping we would have Clayton.

tufbuf
02-08-2012, 08:47 PM
Who was the cruise director? We are going on the Dream soon and are hoping we would have Clayton.

We had Clayton on our Dec. Dream cruise. I think he rotates with Rachel.

SoCaOC-Mom
02-08-2012, 10:15 PM
We had the same servers as you :)

Night 2 we weren't at the restaurant because we were at Remy.

It was so nice to meet you and I am glad it was everything you hoped for.

noahsketomom
02-08-2012, 11:08 PM
We had the same servers as you :)

Night 2 we weren't at the restaurant because we were at Remy.

It was so nice to meet you and I am glad it was everything you hoped for.

Hey you!

Was so great to meet you too! They only had us that night and were very personable.... He even did a magic trick for the kids. The other nights they seemed stressed or tired and he was always talking about the Magic, which I gathered he preferred working on.

Their service was fine though!

Hope you all had a great trip too!!!! We had fun with your friend at the tequila tasting!