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lovinmommy
10-22-2012, 12:40 PM
We just got home a couple of days ago from our 'Dream' trip. I just wanted to give a little summary as to what we thought since it was our first cruise with Disney, and also our first cruise ever.

We travelled with myself (33), DH(33), and DS(6).

We thought it was an amazing time. We stayed at the Hyatt at MCO overnight pre-cruise. The Hyatt MCO and DCL transfer process worked great. They took our bags right from our room to the cruise as intended. We checked in quite early at the DCL desk in the airport and was the first bus after concierge. We had boarding number 2.

When we got on board we had a nice lunch at Cabana's, toured the open house at the kids clubs, and then toured the ship while doing the Mid-Ship detective agency. My son absolutely loved that. It was really fun.

We went to our room about 1:45 and our bags were just starting to arrive. We thought the room was fabulous. It was a verandah cat 5D #6074. The bed was super comfy and we had plenty of storage space. I was worried because I didn't bring the over the door hanger as advised on these boards, but we had plenty of room. They really seemed to take advantage of every nook and cranny. Closets were plenty big as well. I also didn't bring the power strip that others advised. We were fine without it, as all I had to plug in was my camera charger. The hair dryer worked better than my own hair dryer does, so I'm glad I didn't waste the space to pack it.

We did the Discover Atlantis excursion in Nassau and found it pretty informative. That's a beautiful place. We didn't walk around anywhere else in Nassau, we just took the shuttle straight back. We were really only interested in seeing Atlantis. My husband has always wanted to vacation there. DS liked the aquariums.

Castaway Cay was absolutely gorgeous. It was a bright, sunny, and very warm day. We swam in the morn, had Cookies Too for lunch which was ok but not too impressive. We did the stingray encounter in the afternoon which was fun. DS, however, was afraid to feed the rays and then couldn't get the hang of the snorkel gear, so he pretty much just walked around for a little while through the lagoon. I couldn't see much underwater - I think because the sand was being kicked up. Afterward we sat on the beach with our frozen drinks. I didn't like the Konk Cooler and was jealous of DH's Pina Colada. He liked it so much he wouldn't switch. I had big plans of riding bikes and getting one of those aqua trikes, but there's just not enough time for everything!!!

Dinners were outstanding in my opinion. I really like the rotational dining. It was nice to see different places and different menus. Our servers were Kiat and I Wayan. They were so very nice. We felt like royalty. We don't eat too fancy usually, so I was all giddy when they came and reset my silverware each time there was a new course. DS was totally impressed with how they poured his ketchup into Mickey heads - and Minnie the last night. Kiat showed him lots of Magic tricks which he also ate up. We were very happy with the Dining.

The entertainment we also thought was outstanding. All 3 shows were great, Believe was our favorite. We are early morning people, so we found it hard to stay awake much longer after the shows (we had first dining, so shows were 8:30). I know, we are old. I wanted to go to the Family games shows and Dance parties in the evening, but we were all just so tired. We also saw Frankenweenie one day, which we all thought was a waste of 2 hours. We should have seen Nemo 3D, which was still playing on our cruise.

DH and I had day passes to the rain forest room. We loved that. It was the most relaxing 2 hours of the whole cruise. DH fell asleep on the tile loungers, and I was loving the dry sauna.

DS loved the Oceaneer Club and Lab. The counselors all seemed nice enough, but we didn't use it as much as we thought. It pretty much all boils down to my summary :

We need a longer cruise. I've read it time and time again on these boards....you won't have time for everything. Totally true. Maybe if you didn't get off at the ports. After one whole day in Nassau and one whole day in Castaway Cay, we really only had the one full sea day on the ship. The evenings were full with dinner and shows, and characters....speaking of characters, the character interactions was wonderful. We never waited more then 5 or 10 minutes to see any character, and we got pictures of them all with our own camera.

We were a little disappointed with Shutters. There was an option to make a photo book at the kiosks, but they are just stock pages that you can't change, add, or take out. And you can only use pics that they took. I like to make my own photo books with my photos. Well, I noticed that on the Disney photo pass site (we did the World after cruise) you can upload your own photos and then make a book. They even have tons of Cruise Line pages and stickers. I'm going to try that. Just a tip if anyone else is interested.

On the last morning we did the scheduled 6:45 breakfast. We didn't feel rushed and our servers were still nice as could be. We did increase their tips because they were great. We were off the ship by 8:30ish. We shouldn't have hurried though because we had to sit on the DCL bus for awhile waiting for more people. DS started crying as we were pulling away. He's still saying that he misses the ship.

Just briefly, I mentioned that we went to Disney World after the cruise. We stayed at a value resort and were very bummed when we walked into our room. It seemed so run-down and dingy after being on the ship!! We did Magic Kingdom and Epcot...all three of us felt tortured. We just wanted to be back to the ship. We didn't want to wait in line or bump into all those people. And we already saw tons of characters in a much nicer environment on the ship.

We had a fabulous time, and I hope to sail again on the Fantasy in the future. We did not book on board only because DH does not want to only cruise. He wants to look into other vacations as well. I would go back in a heartbeat. So would DS....In his words (now, remember, he's 6)..."next time we should stay on the ship for all the 7 days and skip Disney World". That about sums it up for me as well!!!

Hope this helps some of you in your planning. Please let me know if you have any questions, and I'll be glad to answer if I know the answer!

:beach:

FOV
10-22-2012, 01:31 PM
Thank you for sharing your trip. We will be taking our first family cruise in June and I love reading about other people's experiences. Glad you had a great time.

SnowWhite2
10-22-2012, 09:31 PM
Sounds like our kids after their first cruise when they were 7 and 9. And we were on a 7 night! The kids are 16 and 18 and still love DCL.

ecahoy
10-22-2012, 10:30 PM
We were on the same sailing! Our experiences were similar to yours...if only the cruise had been just a few days longer. ;)

lovinmommy
10-25-2012, 08:51 AM
We were on the same sailing! Our experiences were similar to yours...if only the cruise had been just a few days longer. ;)

Perhaps next time!!!!:thumbsup2

lilbuddy88
10-25-2012, 10:00 AM
Now I think I may have messed up. My first Disney Cruise was the 12 night Northern European cruise with my mom, niece, and 18 month old. It was the best ports and ship. Now we are going on a 4 night really just to see the Dream. Not really interested in getting off in the Bahamas. After reading your review I think I'm going to be like your son and just want more time on the ship. Oh well 4 nights are better than nothing. I've never taken a cruise that was less than 7 nights so this should be interesting.

lovinmommy
10-25-2012, 10:30 AM
Now I think I may have messed up. My first Disney Cruise was the 12 night Northern European cruise with my mom, niece, and 18 month old. It was the best ports and ship. Now we are going on a 4 night really just to see the Dream. Not really interested in getting off in the Bahamas. After reading your review I think I'm going to be like your son and just want more time on the ship. Oh well 4 nights are better than nothing. I've never taken a cruise that was less than 7 nights so this should be interesting.

I would love to go for 12 nights!! You will love the Dream. And if you don't get off in the Bahamas then you'll have that full day on the ship. Any cruise would be great with me, regardless of how many nights it is. So don't worry, you'll have a great time. Just enjoy!! pixiedust: