February 3rd, 2011: 3-NIGHT DREAM CRUISE (lots of pics!) - COMPLETED 3/3!
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
Kevin (me, age 23) - 8th Disney Cruise
James (age 23) - 6th Disney Cruise
PERSONAL NAVIGATORS FROM CRUISE: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2651600
DAY 1 - February 3rd, 2011 - Port Canaveral (Part 1)
We left for the terminal at about 9:00 and arrived at approximately 10:10.
There was already a pretty decent line to get into the terminal by the time we arrived. James dropped me off with the luggage, I got in line, and he went to park the car.
At 10:30, the line started to move and thankfully it moved fairly quickly. Once inside and through the security checkpoint, we went upstairs, filled out the health form and went straight to the Castaway Club check-in line (where we received boarding pass number 4). We waited maybe 1 minute before we were at a desk checking in! They had our pictures in the system, so they didn’t take our picture again. We received our KTTW cards and we grabbed a couple seats before the terminal got super busy. Naturally, the night we reserved Palo was the night we were supposed to eat in Animator’s Palate (our rotation was “RAE”). Animator’s was the one restaurant we did not get to eat at on our 2-night Preview Cruise a couple weeks prior. Great. Looks like we would have to hit D-Lounge on the ship to get a different Palo reservation!
James sat down, and I took a couple of pictures around the terminal (here are some shots from the balcony of the terminal)
While on the way back to where we were sitting, I noticed an issue on our KTTW card. The show time listed for us on the card was 5:00pm. Ummm, we totally reserved 7:00pm to go better with our late seating at 8:30pm. (We prefer to get ready, go to the show, eat dinner, and be done with it...no break in between to wander around aimlessly.) Luckily, James brought along all our reservation documents and I took the one they sent us in October that said they put us in the 7:00 show (we reserved the cruise before they decided to have reserved show times for guests) and marched up to the check in desks. A lady just standing around told me that I would have to resolve this once we got onboard at Guest Services. Fine.
By about 11:45, they were starting to call boarding numbers. Our number was called at about 12:00 and before we knew it, our KTTW card were swiped, our embarkation photo was taken (note: this photo is important to have taken...it’s the one they use to link all your other photos together to be put in your “book” at Shutters as well as on your TV screensaver), and we were being announced walking into the atrium of this beautiful new ship! We went straight to Guest Services to try and resolve our show time issue, and even though we provided documented proof we were at the wrong show time, they pretty much told us we were out of luck since the ship was so full. Really?! They told us we could try and do “standby” for the show we preferred to attend and hope for the best. That doesn’t work out for me since I like to get the theatre about 30 minutes early so that when the doors open, I get “my” seats. :) I was pretty mad that, even though we had documented proof, they weren’t willing to do anything about it and all they had to say was that something must have changed between then and now. (Clearly!) We shrugged it off and went up to deck 11 to eat at Cabanas (on our preview cruise we went to the Enchanted Garden, so we wanted to try Cabanas this time). We walked up to the “podium” and they found us a table right by the window (score!).
Up to the buffet we went, and boy I could already tell coming to Cabanas was a better choice than going to Enchanted Garden. It was pretty much the same selection, but they had more “kid-friendly” food here (that I enjoy eating). And, it was a bigger buffet area which meant not having to wait in much of a line.
After we completed our wonderful embarkation lunch, we decided to go exploring for a little bit, since it wasn’t quite time to do our Palo dinner reservation change (that started at 1:00). We went down to deck 4 to check out the District since it was near D-Lounge.
After we made our walkthrough, we noticed D-Lounge was already open (it was before 1:00), so we went right in, sat down, changed our reservation to 7:00pm on the final night without any issue, and we were on our way! Way too easy!
Next, we went through the Vista Gallery (I LOVE how the Vista Gallery is set up...you aren’t forced to walk through it like you are on the Magic and Wonder. It has it’s own little area). We admired some of the pieces and were trying to figure out which one we might want to buy this cruise... :)
After that, we went back upstairs to try and ride the AquaDuck before the lines got crazy. We went by the atrium and took the midship elevator.
(On the elevators on the atrium side, they have images of Disney characters on the wall once you get above the atrium):
James didn’t get a chance to ride it the AquaDuck our Preview Cruise for a valid reason: We were in line (line was about 30 minutes long on the Castaway Cay day for this cruise), and the lady in front of us kept talking about disgusting food she’s eaten and how it’s made her sick, and blah blah blah. Mind you, at this point we were inside the funnel portion of the line with NO air flow and it was quite warm that day. And to top it all off, the teenage boy in front of us had something seriously wrong with one of his big toes. It had dried blood on it, and like dried pus/fungus looking stuff allllll over it. GROSS! With all these factors, James started to get sicker by the minute before ultimately turning ghost white and said he felt like he was going to throw up, so away he went. The sad thing was, we were like third in line to get on at this point! So, I tragically rode by myself while he tried to make himself feel better. When I got off, he thankfully didn’t end up throwing up, but still wasn’t feeling too hot.
ANYWAY, I sent him up to ride the AquaDuck by himself so that I could try and snap some photos of him. He pretty much got right on and enjoyed a wonderful first ride on the AquaDuck. (Although, a chilly one as it was only in the low 60s.) He got off, and then we both went on it together...brrrrr! Well, AquaDuck, check! And with no lines! We dried off and went back downstairs to stare in the gift shop windows in preparation for their opening later in the evening.
At this point, it was about 1:20 (my we’ve done a lot already!). So, we trekked up to deck 9 forward to wait for our stateroom to be ready.
At 1:30 promptly, they opened up the hallway and it was off to check out our Category 8B Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom. We tapped our KTTW card to the sensor on the door, opened the door, and our mouths dropped! What a gorgeous (and rather larger, considering) stateroom! And that HUGE porthole! WOW! I snapped some pictures, and we dropped off our carry on bag, before heading back out!
(If we looked out our window and to the left, we could see one of the "wings" of the bridge!):
Since we were “stuck” with our 5:00pm show time, we were “forced” to attend the first sail way party at 2:45. So, until that time arrived, we (surprise, surprise) did some more exploring! We went up two decks and decided to check out Senses Spa. We got our own personal tour of the WHOLE spa. And boy was it bigger than I thought!
After our tour, we went midship to explore the funnel that contains Edge and the Outlook Lounge and a few other areas.
(Quite Cove Adult area):
(Looking through an opening of a window to the secluded Concierge deck area):
(Vibe outdoor area):
At this point, 2:45 was quickly approaching, so we went to stake out our spot for the sail away party, but not before grabbing a couple BAHAMA MAMAS! Yum! I know there’s been some negative response for this new sail away party, but I honestly like it! I was a HUGE fan of the “Adventures Away” song from the Magic and Wonder, but I wasn’t a fan of all the “fluff” stuff before the characters came out and performed. With this new sail away party (“Sailing Away”), there is no fluff! It’s all characters the whole time, with two cruise staff members as hosts. The main song is catchy, too! The characters give us an overview of the cruise and what all there is to do, which is kind of nice for people that might feel overwhelmed with the ship. At the end, the ship’s horn belted out “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” which got me a little teary-eyed, I’m not going to lie.
Upon completion of that, we went back to our stateroom to see if our luggage had arrived, and it did! We unpacked, chilled for a few minutes, then decided to head out to our assembly station for the lifeboat drill. Our station was located in the balcony of the Walt Disney Theatre. Our assembly station leader was a familiar face that we recognized as one of the performers from the mainstage shows from our Preview Cruise. The balcony got jammed packed as the drill was happening. By the time the drill ended, the person scanning IDs to make sure everyone was there, barely got through everyone and people were stuck all the way up and down the stairs. There was not an empty space anywhere! So, it took some time to get the heck out of there needless to say. But, we got out and went exploring around the District some more (mainly, I wanted to see if there was a new scene in the Skyline Lounge).
Before we knew it, it was 4:30, which meant it was time for us to be outside the doors of the Walt Disney Theatre so I could be one of the first in line! :)
"THE GOLDEN MICKEYS" are tonight (my favorite show)!
TO BE CONTINUED...
Love, Love, Love, your cruise report!! We are hoping to go on a June 2012 trip on the Fantasy. Your pictures are awesome. I can't wait to hear more about your trip!
Great report so far. Love your pictures. Can't wait to read more!
Great report and pics! :thumbsup2 Looking forward to the rest.
Just out of curiousity, what was your stateroom #? We'll be on the Dream in a few weeks on Deck 9 forward (8B) in stateroom 9000.
enjoying this so far, can't wait to read more.:cool1:
Loving your report thank you.
loving your report -- we go next week -- i am almost smell the ocean from here!
thanks for the info on lunch at cabanas and any idea what time the aquaduck opened on the first day?
and any change you have a navigator to let me know what time the oceaners club hours are for the first day....
and what did you do in nassau?
oh and my son really wants to know - are the pools fresh or salt water....
getting excited! we are on the 8th deck! do you chose to ride the elevators or walk the stairs to the diffferent decks - with so many people on board curious about the elevators.
ANd one mor thing..that i have not found an answer to; for the safety drill can we bring a bag like with camera/water bottle or do we have have nothing with us for the drill checkin.
and sorry to jump ahead -- how did last day go for getting off the ship? we want to have the shuttle van pick us up at 10 as we are headed to orlando for a few days, is that a good time to pick?
my countdown...... 7 more days til a family dream comes true
can't wait to read more. My DD and I were reading this last night and were so sad at the end!:rotfl2:
loving the report, thanks! can't wait for more.....
Great report and great pics! Can't wait for more!
Most excellent start! Love the pics.
Thank you everyone for all your kind words! I am working on more, but since I'm in between shifts right now, I'll try and answer some questions real quick.
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