Disney Dream 3/27 - 3/31 First Time Cruisers/Concierge Experience (Updated 4/6)
I spent so much time researching and reading everyone else’s trip reports before our first cruise on the Dream. I thought it was only fair that I repay the favor and post about our experiences! The cruisers were DH (39), me (39), and DD (9). We had a fantastic vacation from the very beginning until the moment we stepped off the ship. I’ll try to report on everything I can remember. Feel free to ask questions about anything I forget to mention!
The Day Before 3/26
We flew in to MCO on Saturday. We stayed at the Hyatt in the airport. SUPER easy. We’d definitely stay there again the night before cruising. Before I booked the Hyatt, I purchased a stay certificate for about $140. When we booked, I mentioned that certificate. Upon check-in, all we needed to do was present that certificate, and we were good to go. At check-in, we told them we were sailing on DCL. They handed us the list of instructions for the morning. Our room was nice.
The Morning of the Cruise 3/27
On Sunday morning, we got up early. We read all the instructions in black on our DCL sheet, but we still weren’t convinced our bags would be picked up. We had no idea how Disney magically knew where to get them. We tagged them and left them in the room as instructed (but planned to run upstairs before the bus got us to see if they were gone). We went to the DCL check-in on the first floor of the airport. Weren’t quite sure where to go, but an airport employee got us pointed in the right direction. The form said the counter opened at 8:30, but from reading posts here, I figured it would open earlier. It did. We got down there a bit after 7:30, and it was open. A very friendly CM helped us check in. He showed us on the Hyatt instruction form that there is a section on the bottom in blue that needs to be filled out and turned in to get your bags picked up. Not sure how we missed that! But we filled it out and gave it to him and then did not feel the need to go back up and check on our luggage. Since we were concierge, the CM actually couldn’t get us any further on the check-in process. We would need to complete our check-in at the terminal. By getting to the counter early, however, we were able to get on bus #1, Goofy. We had at least an hour before the first bus left at 9:30, so we grabbed some breakfast in the airport. Then we returned to the Magical Express check-in area to wait for our bus. They called the Goofy people to line up around 9:30. We chatted with a very nice family in front of us in line. I suspected they might be disboard members, but I didn’t want to seem crazy and ask in case they weren’t! ;) The ship boarding card numbers seemed to be passed out somewhat randomly. The family in front of us got a 4. We got a 2. I knew we’d be boarding with concierge, so I swapped our 2 for their 4. The bus ride took a little less than an hour. The cruise video and Disney cartoons made the ride go by quickly.
We entered the terminal around 10:30. We went through security…pretty similar to the airport except that you can leave your shoes on. We went up the escalator to the terminal. The concierge check-in was in the back. I glanced at the regular line, and it didn’t seem long. The kids club check-in line was HUGE. No way I’d wait in that. Register online and get your wristband sometime at the club that first afternoon. The concierge area didn’t have a line. We checked in with our passports and spiral book that we got in the mail from DCL. We were directed to the walled in seating area for concierge. We went outside to take a few pictures of the boat. Mickey came out, so we went and got our pictures taken with him. The photographer used both his own camera and ours. We went back to the concierge area, and DD met a friend her age. We boarded the ship from the concierge area, not under the ears, before noon. They took our picture. I’m not sure if they actually use that photo for facial recognition at Shutters or not. With the exception of dinner, every time we had a picture taken, they took our KTTW card and scanned it.
On The Ship
I wondered how they boarded everyone so quickly if they announced everyone’s family. It’s because there are 2 lines. As one CM is announcing, the other CM is asking your name. A different CM came over and escorted us to the elevator and told us to go to the concierge lounge. We were the first people to get up there. Not sure how that happened since several people boarded before us! Anyway, they had some fruit and cookies and drinks up there. They asked us to help ourselves. Then Lynda came over and went over our itinerary for the cruise. A kids club rep came by to make sure we’d registered (we had), and a spa rep came by to see if we wanted to sign up for anything (we didn’t). The lounge was nice. I agree with many others who have posted that you won’t find too many kid friendly snacks besides the cookies in there. It was great to be able to run up and grab a can of pop or water bottle, though.
We left the lounge and headed right for the Aqua Duck. We got in 2 rides with only about a 10 minute wait. It was fun. It’s definitely not a thrill ride, but it was still worth the short wait. After the Duck, we stayed by the pool knowing that it would be our best chance for DD to swim without a crowd. She hung out with the friend she made in the terminal and swam in the pools and went down the Mickey slide several times. It was a fun afternoon. The weather was perfect. Low 80s and sunny the whole trip. We just ate lunch by the pool. The chicken strips were delicious. Pizza was okay. Edible, but not fantastic. I liked how fruit was always available. I probably ate my weight in fresh pineapple this week!
We went to check out the room around 3:00. Everything was very nice. I loved being on the new ship. We didn’t have any trouble with our tv like some others have reported. The light switches were a little odd. Some dimmed lights, some turned them on and off. Never quite figured them out 100%, but we weren’t in the room very often for it to matter. We usually forgot to take the wave phones with us, but the 2 times we used them, they were nice and worked well. The fridge was stocked with a couple of Cokes, Diets, Sprites, and waters. It wasn’t restocked for us, but we could get what we wanted at the concierge lounge. I really liked being on Deck 11. It was so convenient if you wanted to run and grab a drink from the drink station or check out the pool or go to Cabanas for breakfast, etc. You could usually get an elevator quickly, too, because there was almost always one waiting on 11 since so many people head there for the pool. It was also nice being in the forward part of the ship since it was so easy to get down to the theaters. Our stateroom attendant, Nortel, was so friendly. She introduced herself and chatted with us every day.
Before the muster drill, we went to the kids club to check it out and get DD her wristband. The kids club area is nice. Had my DD gone on this cruise with a friend or relative, she would have spent a ton of time in there. As it was, she was by herself, so she only tried it once on her own and didn’t love it. Liked it. But got bored being on her own. There were plenty of things for her to do around the ship with us. We went to the muster drill. Our leader John was hysterical. We found out later that he also starred in 2 of the shows. He was Hades in Villains and the genie in Believe. We actually can’t believe how many roles each CM has on the ship. Scheduling all of them must be quite a task. We saw certain CMs popping up at almost everything we attended…shows, character meets, classes in the D Lounge, etc. They work very hard. Next cruise, DH and I are going to play a game and tally all the times and places we see certain CMs. ;) After the muster drill, we went to the Sail Away party. We really liked it. I haven’t seen the show on the old ships, so I have no comparison, but it was cute.
More to come on the show and dinner. I’ll also try to figure out how to add pictures!
We went to the Golden Mickeys on night one. There were 2 shows each night, so you went opposite your dinner seating on our cruise. We had the 6:15 show and 8:15 dinner. The Golden Mickeys was the favorite show of mine and my DD. Great music, scenery, costumes, etc. Nobody puts on a stage show as well as Disney! The theater is beautiful. There are drinks and popcorn available for purchase outside the theater. The bags of popcorn were very tasty! I wasn't crazy about the hour of "dead time" between the show and dinner. We wound up using that time to look at Shutters photos, take some pictures with characters, and souvenir shop. We learned very quickly to find something to do and not to stand in line waiting for the doors to open at the restaurants.
People would line up outside the restaurants 20 minutes before dinner. No need for that. Once they open the doors for dinner, they get everyone in and seated in about 3 minutes time. So we’d just show up at the end of the line at about 8:18 and walk right to our table. Since your table is reserved, there’s no need to show up early! Our table was #75. Our dinner rotation was RAEE. The first night we were at Royal Palace. Table 75 was the very first table in the round area in the center of the restaurant. During dinner, Aurora walked through very very briskly and waved to all the tables. The food was decent. I’m a super plain eater…steak and fries and white bread kind of girl, so I won’t be able to give much constructive feedback on the dinners! Both our servers were really nice guys. Brent, our head server, was our favorite. The assistant could have been a little quicker with the drinks, bread, etc. IF my DH and I were particular people, I think we would have been unhappy with the speed and accuracy of the service. For example, one night DH never got his salad. One night he got the wrong dessert. One night we never got the bread we asked for. BUT we’re pretty laid back, so little stuff like that doesn’t bother us, and we don’t complain. What’s the manager guy called?? Can’t think of his title…but he came to our table and talked to us every night. I know others have said they never saw their guy. Our guy was Ivo. The first night, dinner took way too long for our liking. It was after 10:30 when we got out. But by the last night, we were out at 9:15. Some people we met on the cruise weren’t so lucky. We saw them the last night at 10:45 when they were just getting out of dinner. They said they got out every night between 10:30 and 10:45 whereas our service got faster each night. That family of 3 also said they got placed with another family of 5, so that might have slowed them down. We had our own table. I’m guessing that’s because we were concierge. We didn’t request a table by ourselves. We just left it up to fate, and that’s what we got.
Since dinner got out late, and we had an early morning with the dolphins, we decided to head back to the room for the night. It was fun finding chocolates on the bed along with a towel dog wearing DH’s sunglasses. DD loved that. She also liked sleeping in the pull down bunk which Nortel set up for her rather than pulling out the couch. I was happy about that since then the verandah wasn’t blocked, and DH would be able to use it in the morning before we got up and check his emails with the free 100 minutes of internet access they gave us in concierge. Also, after dinner we found the next day’s Navigator. I don’t remember if that’s when we got the meet up information for our dolphin swim, or if Lynda gave us that info with our concierge folder when we got on the ship. The bed was so comfortable. Not sure if all the rooms have the same blankets and pillows as concierge, but if they do, they’re great! I also liked how the bathroom is split into 2 parts. It’s very tiny, but it’s convenient having a shower area with a sink separate from the toilet area with a sink. One other thing I liked in the bathroom was the retractable clothesline in the shower. Very convenient for drying out swimsuits overnight. Since I’m talking about the bathroom, I should probably mention the hair dryer. It’s fine. If I had room in my suitcase next time, I might pack my own. I have thick hair, and I like being able to blast it with hot air. There was only cool air on this dryer. It did dry my hair, but my dryer probably would have been faster.
I think that’s it for Day 1! I’ll post about our dolphin swim at Blue Lagoon next. Still trying to figure out how to post pictures!
Day 2 - Nassau
Blue Lagoon Dolphin Swim
Monday was the day I’d been waiting for! The reason we booked concierge was so we’d definitely get the dolphin swim. I didn’t want to wait until 75 days before to book as a first time cruiser. We chose the 9:30 time slot. Before the cruise, I didn’t know if that meant we’d be with the dolphins at 9:30 or meet up then on the ship. Turns out that’s when we needed to be at the Buena Vista Theater. We first ate breakfast at Cabanas. We wound up eating the breakfast buffet there every day. It had plenty for us to choose from…scrambled eggs and bacon, sausage, hash browns, pancakes, muffins, donuts, cereal, fruit, etc.
Then we went to the theater. Everyone going to Blue Lagoon met there. They checked us in and gave us wrist bands in the theater. Then we all left the ship together and took about a 10 minute walk to the little boat that would take us to Blue Lagoon. Although it took a while to round everyone up, I liked staying together as a group so I didn’t need to find my way around a strange place. After the trip, my DD said she felt a little uncomfortable having several Bahama natives running up to us for hair braiding, water, etc. They were harmless but very loud and pushy. In hindsight, I should have warned her that could happen. We waited just a couple minutes for the Dolphin Encounters boat to arrive. Our large group fit on 2 boats. The ride to Blue Lagoon was about a half hour. Beautiful blue water! The Dream was docked next to a Carnival ship, and I must say our ship was way better looking! I’ll post a comparison picture if I ever figure out how to post.
When we arrived at Blue Lagoon, there were people there directing us to go left for the beach day and straight ahead for the animal programs. There were probably about 10 families there for the dolphin swim. We listened to an informative presentation on dolphins. The man who did the talking was amusing, so it only seemed to last a couple minutes. Then we were able to put our stuff in lockers and get a vest (mandatory) and a wet suit (optional). We got my DD a wet suit (which wasn’t actually tight enough to keep her warm), but the lady passing them out talked DH and me out of using them. She’s said we’d be warm out in the sun. Actually, for the dolphin swim, they make you stay in the shade, so don’t worry about not being able to use sunscreen. You won’t need it! The water was cold for the first second after you slid off the platform, but once you got in, it was fine. Our large group was split into 3 smaller groups for the swim. We were with 2 other families. There were 10 of us total. Before you get in the water, you have to decide if you want the photo package. If you don’t commit to buy the $120 album full of 8x10s and 5x7s, they’ll only take 2 photos…a family shot with the dolphin and an individual shot of you being kissed on the cheek. With the photo package, they take those photos as well as a picture of each person in your family dancing with, feeding, hugging, and kissing the dolphin. They also take a few extra family shots. They took a good one of the dolphin splashing DH. I’m a scrapbooker, so obviously I got the photo package! That also comes with a photo CD (20 photos for my family of 3) and 2 keychains.
When we got in the water, they introduced us to our 2 dolphins. We got to “pet” them and pose with them. Then they had us come up 2 at a time (DD and I were first in our group). That’s when we did the hug, kiss, feeding and dancing. After everyone got their turn at that, they brought 2 new dolphins in for the foot push. DH was first doing that. You need to lay on the water with your arms out, knees locked, legs apart, and feet flexed. Once the dolphins start pushing, you need to arch your back. Flying across the water feels incredible! It was so much fun. They switched our dolphins a second time and brought in 2 moms with their 2 babies. I was the first to go after the switch. I looked down after they started pushing me, and one of the babies was swimming right underneath me in front of the moms. It was amazing! We decided to get the video. They let you preview it after you get out of the water. By the time we got out and purchased our photos, it was 1:00. The 3 return times were 1, 2, and 4. We decided to stay for an hour on the beach. It was very pretty, and there were several inflatable trampolines, slides, etc. for the kids to play on. DD made a friend on the boat ride over, so she stayed and played with that little girl. We took the 2:00 boat back.
We ate a late lunch by the pool. DD and her friend planned to meet at the club for an hour after they showered up before we needed to be at the show. DD went but couldn’t find her friend. She played for a little bit with another girl she’d met. She listened to Snow White read a story. Then she played by herself for a while. As I was leaving the room to get her, I got a page on the wave phone saying she was ready to be picked up. She said she got pretty bored. I know she would have spent hours and hours in there if she wasn’t on her own. But it was fine having her stay with us since we had so many family things we wanted to do.
Show and Dinner
Monday night was Villains Tonight. That was DH’s favorite show. Our muster drill leader John was the leading man. He’s really funny. I preferred the songs and characters in Golden Mickeys, but Villains was still really well done.
We wasted our next hour doing our Shutters, character, souvenir thing. I think we even went up to the concierge lounge that night to see what they had going on. Foofy food. Don’t even know what all the things were. Definitely nothing for DD! We grabbed a can of pop, DH had an appetizer, and we left. They were already done with the free drink hour. We were never able to catch that. After getting a drink at dinner the night before and waiting about 15 minutes after we were done eating for the assistant server to bring us our receipt to sign, we decided we didn’t need any more drinks anyway!
Dinner that night was at Animator’s Palette. We knew as soon as we walked in that the restaurant was more our speed! We liked the more casual atmosphere than Royal Palace. It’s hard to describe where our table was. We had a good view, but we weren’t where Crush would see us to talk to us. That was fine. The beef tenderloin at RP was an actual steak whereas it was sliced in AP. It was tastier at RP, but I liked the bread much better at AP. The rolls were delicious. That’s where I asked for more but never got any. The “show” at dessert time was cute. You stand up and do a turtle dance with crush. Basically you swim and put your arms up and down. The only thing I didn’t like was that it happened at the same time they brought by delicious cookies and cream Mickey sundae, and I really wanted to be eating that instead! Each restaurant had a different kids menu that kept DD busy the whole time. Word searches, coloring, trivia, etc. Photographers also took our picture on the 2nd and 3rd nights. They do family and individual shots.
Speaking of photos, I was amazed at how fast they’d get those printed and in your folders. Shutters is on deck 4. You scan you KTTW at a kiosk, and it would tell you where your folder was located. Any time we walked through, we’d stop and look at our new photos. We put the ones we liked on top, and the not so great ones on the bottom.
When we got back to the room, a cute towel elephant was waiting for us with our chocolates and our Navigator for CC day. We had booked a cabana, so we also had a cute mini cardboard cabana waiting on the bed with an envelope of wristbands. More on that tomorrow!
Day 3 - Castaway Cay
We kept our tv tuned to station 1 so we could hear the ship announcements. Around 8:30, Ray announced that we could get off the ship. We ate a quick breakfast at Cabanas, then got off the ship about 9:00. Chip and Dale were at the post office taking photos. We got some really cute ones there. We also stopped at a photographer and had our picture taken in front of the ship. Then we hopped on the tram and rode to Pelican Point, the stop for cabanas.
The cabana check in shack was clearly marked when you got off the tram. They offered us a ride to the cabana or told us we could walk. We wanted to look around and see where things were, so we walked. (I’m sure we would have walked anyway! Everything is within a minute walk.) We got to the cabanas, and Tobias was there to greet us and show us where things were. LOVED the cabana. Loved everything about it. SO worth the money. When we cruise again, we’ll be staying concierge and getting a cabana for sure. It made the day perfect. I can’t stress enough how everything about it was great…having a safe, a fridge full of drinks, fruit and chips, a ceiling fan, lots of big towels, wet cold washcloths, cushioned seats, little tables to eat lunch at, our own shower, sand toys, floats, “free” bike and snorkel rental, etc. etc. I think the absolute best part, though, was having so much private beach and ocean. It was like having your own island. If you’re debating whether or not it’s worth the money, I really think it is! They do have CMs at the ropes to make sure nobody without a wristband enters the beach or water area reserved for cabana guests. There was one older man, however, who decided to go for a walk along the water in the reserved area. A CM chased him down and explained that it was for cabana guests only. He blew her off and just kept going. The CM looked a little flustered and helpless. I told her she made a good attempt! So they do TRY to stop people from going through, but they’re pretty much defenseless if someone ignores them.
We were told there was a chance of showers. We got a few drops of rain for about a minute, and the rest of the day was sunny. We went for a bike ride first. One guy at the bike rental told us we’d still have to pay for the bikes even with our wristbands, but a lady overheard him and explained we got them for free. The ride was nice and easy, even for our DD. It’s nice and flat. The path is easy to follow, and there are plenty of water stations along the way. After the bike ride, we tried snorkeling. That was a disaster for DD. She got really good practicing in our pool, but the ocean is obviously a different story. She really didn’t like the salt water, and the flippers were too hard for her to master. It’s quite a distance out to where there’s anything to see. By the time we got that far, DD and I turned back and let DH continue on his own. After that, DD played in the sand, we all played in the water, had lunch, got a couple of character photos at Gazebo 2, etc. The restrooms and Cookies 2 were a minute walk from Cabana 5. Nice and close.
We were invited to a private character reception on the concierge sundeck at 4:25, so we left CC at 4:00. Even though we hated to leave a moment early, many people had already cleared out by then. By the time the reception started, they blew the ship’s horn for everybody else to get off, so really we only missed less than a half hour on the beach. Goofy was the character that came to the reception. He went to each family for photos. They had some snacks and drinks out for everyone. That was about it. We left after we saw Goofy, so we could get showered up and ready for pirate night.
We went to see the magician/ventriloquist show. He was pretty good. We went up to the pool deck to see the pirate show at 7:45. It was fun for the kids. DD was doing the song and dance for the rest of the trip. Then we went to our pirate dinner at Enchanted Garden. We got one of the large booths they show in the pictures. I’m guessing that was a little hidden concierge perk. It was definitely nicer than being squished in at one of the little tables. I don’t remember much about the food. I pretty much had some sort of beef and fries and pineapple each night. They were selling special smoothie drinks for the kids in plastic cups with light up Tinkerbells or Hooks that night. DD got one. She wore her light up Tinkerbell on her pirate costume, but she realized she forgot her cup when we got upstairs. We ran all the way back downstairs. Her cup had already been cleared off the table, but our servers were very nice and gave her a new one. On our way back up, I noticed a photographer standing by the plain white background with nobody waiting in line. I asked him if he could do the photos where you added Tinkerbell into the picture. He said yes and proceeded to take some of my favorite shots of DD from the cruise. She was wearing her pirate dress, so she looked really cute holding Tink in the palm of her hand. As far as pirate outfits went, I noticed several kids wearing them, but I didn’t see any adults wearing more than the bandana and/or a pirate t-shirt.
The pool deck was packed for the fireworks. I remembered reading on these boards that you could see the fireworks well from Deck 13 by Currents. We headed up to the starboard side and got great, very private, seats up there. I’m not sure what we missed out on by not being by the pool, but we could hear the music clearly and had a great view of the fireworks, so we were happy. We had a cute monkey towel waiting for us with our pirate coin chocolates on pirate night. It had been a super day.
Day 4 - Sea Day
Day at Sea
I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough for us to do on our day at sea, but we kept busy. We slept in a tiny bit later. (We, meaning DD and I! DH was up early using up his 100 minutes of internet on the verandah!) We liked Cabanas for breakfast, so instead of trying a sit down breakfast in one of the restaurants, we just went back to the buffet and ate at the tables outside.
After breakfast, we went to Deck 5 to play the Midship Detective game. We all LOVED that. So clever. We found the missing puppies. Each time you play there are several similar clues, but they do make each game a little different. For example, the kid in front of us at one piece of art was on the same clue. He had to use his card to “dust away” some dirt blocking the clue. DD had to use her card as a squeegee to remove the dirt. On the clue where you use your card as a magnet to move cans, a lady in front of us had her clue hidden behind a different can than DD did. The game does involve a lot of stairs. We did all the artwork on the forward stairs first, then did the artwork in the aft, then came back up the middle. That way we weren’t zig zagging the whole ship. I played the game once. DD and DH went back later in the afternoon and played 2 more times (all 3 rounds were different) while I packed.
After the detective game, we wanted to go to a 12:30 movie. We had some time to kill, so we did our purchasing…souvenirs, shutters photos, and tips at guest services. We wound up buying the photo CD. It was $249. I was expecting $299, so I was happy about that. DH purchased that on the kiosk. I also bought a ½ price photo package. I bought the 40 credit package for $75. That got us a bunch of 8x10s and 6x8s. I loved the borders on some of the photos. The Snow White border was probably my favorite, followed by the Mickey border on the photos at the terminal. Later in the day, Shutters was mobbed, so I was glad I purchased in the morning. Also later that day, DD got a photo with Tink that I wanted instead of a pirate picture I’d picked out. I found a Shutters employee who said it was no problem to swap the photos, so I brought the pirate one back, put it back in our folder, and took the Tink one instead. I needed to return to Shutters Thursday morning to pick up the CD.
For our souvenirs, I needed to get a scrapbook for all my pictures, of course! There were 2. I picked the one with cruise colors and Mickey on the front rather than the really shiny one with all the characters. They also had scrapbook kits, but I like the supplies I already have better, so I didn’t get anything besides the book. DD used her souvenir money to buy a large dressable Duffy. I pitched in and got Duffy an outfit. She’d already gotten a sailor Minnie pin on CC when I bought my dad a hat. And she’d gotten a pirate Mickey pin to wear on her pirate costume the night before. I bought my mom some DCL playing cards. I was really tempted by the Ariel Precious Moments and a DCL nightshirt, but I was good and didn’t spend any more money! DH didn’t get anything at all! Guess he’s too cool to wear a Mickey shirt. ;)
After all our shopping, we grabbed a slice of pizza to tide us over until our late lunch. We went to the theater around noon for the 12:30 Mars Needs Moms show. We got great seats, but by 12:30 the theater was full. I had brought some candy from home, and DH got us some popcorn from outside the theater and drinks from the concierge lounge. The movie was fun. DD doesn’t usually like 3D, but she didn’t complain about the glasses.
After the movie, we went right to the D Lounge to take an animal towel folding class hosted by the stateroom attendants. We learned how to make a dog (easy!), elephant, monkey (a little trickier!), and a dinosaur. DD is able to make the dog on her own. She’s been practicing at home so she can make them for her grandparents.
After the class, we headed up to the sports deck for some mini golf. Max was scheduled to be there at 3. He came out right when we finished to play a hole and take pics with the kids. He spotted Lindsay right away and came over to take a picture with her because of her hair being like his ears. The golf course was easy and fun. Beautiful views of the ocean up there. We probably had to wait a minute or 2 at each hole for the families in front of us, but it still moved pretty quickly. After this, we should have gone to the arr-cade, but we totally forgot about it until the flight home! We never got in there to check it out. After mini golf, we went for light lunch part 2. We had some chicken strips to keep us until dinner.
Evening at Sea
There was a 4:00 matinee of Believe on sea day. We went to that. Believe was good, but it was actually the least favorite show of all 3 of us. I expected it to be amazing, especially since it’s about a dad who works too hard, which is similar to a certain dad I know! But I thought the storyline was pretty weak. The performers all did a good job, though. After the show, DD and DH went back to the midship detective game, and I packed. It was tricky trying to figure out what to put where so that we’d have everything we needed for dinner and the next day! I kept the tv tuned to Channel 5 and listened to Ray explain all the debarkation info about 2 dozen times while I packed, so I’d know what was going on the next morning. I also went down to Deck 10 to use the ironing board.
At 7:45, DD and I went to the D Lounge for a character dance party while DH packed his stuff. Donald and Pluto came out to dance with the kids first. They don’t stop for pictures. There’s just a mob of kids dancing with them on the dance floor. DD had fun. Before the next characters came out (dogs were mentioned…so I’m guessing Goofy and Max), DD was ready to leave. I think that’s when we swapped the Tink picture at Shutters. Then we met DH down at Enchanted Garden for dinner at 8:15.
Since everyone knows where their table is that last night, there’s nobody seating you. They just have a line of CMs applauding as you enter. Our service on our last night was by far the best of the cruise. It was really fast and accurate. We were out by 9:15! Had it been that way the whole cruise, we would have tipped a lot better! As it was, we gave our assistant server and the manager guy the recommended amount. We gave our head server extra just because he was so friendly. For example, on the second morning of our cruise, he was working at Cabanas. He spotted us and came over to talk to us. That little bit of personal service really goes a long way, I think. I had the opposite experience with Lynda, who is in charge of concierge. We saw her a few times on the ship, and we’d start to smile and wave, but she’d just walk right by not acknowledging us in any way. We never asked for anything special as concierge and honestly didn’t expect anything, but as head of concierge, I’d think she’d be a little more on the ball and at least recognize and say hello to her 40 families when she sees them. That would have impressed me. As it was, I was underwhelmed with her. Having said that, I still wouldn’t cruise any other way than concierge!
At 10:15 that last night was the See Ya Real Soon party in the atrium. (They also had one at 4.) The major characters came out to take pictures for 20 minutes. There was Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale. We made it through every line in the 20 minutes. We had a line strategy throughout the cruise that worked very well for us. DD and DH would stand in one line. I’d hold their place in another. So by the time they got one photo, I’d be close to the front of the next line, so they could quickly take another. After the 20 minutes were up, the characters all went to the steps to sing a little song and wave goodbye. Gold Mickey confetti dropped from the ceiling. It was a nice little event.
Afterward, we went for one last ice cream cone at Eye Scream on Deck 11. We had a towel rabbit and chocolates waiting for us, but very sadly no Navigator. Boo hoo! Our last night had come to an end.
Last morning and final thoughts
Thanks and look forward to hearing more about your cruise.:):thumbsup2
Enjoying the report so far-- Thanks for posting
Did you use the concierge sun deck at all? What was it like?
Were the sundeck and lounge crowded ?
ESN, we went to the sundeck 3 times. We checked it out once on the first afternoon. Besides Rafael, we were the only people there. DD loved the huge round loungers. I took a picture of DH and DD on the chair. Rafael came over and offered to take a picture of all 3 of us. The second time we went in the evening. Once again, we were the only people there. We just sat and drank our sodas. The third time we went was for the concierge reception on CC day (I'll write about that tomorrow!) Besides that reception, I think any time you want to use the sundeck to read or nap or relax, you will have it to yourself. You can't see the water since deck 13 wraps around it, but it is so peaceful. If DD had spent more time in the kids club, DH and I would have spent more time reading there.
The lounge was obviously crowded the first hour after boarding since everyone in concierge was directed there, but after that, I only found one family in there every time I went. I went in usually once or twice a day. DH was probably in there an extra time each day to grab a coffee for himself or waters for all of us.
Anyone know how I can change the thread title so that I can show when I've updated the report?...
NEVER MIND! Finally found it. :)
Great TR! Thanks for the info
We will be on the Magic for a 7 night eastern in less than three weeks! Our family make-up is similar to yours with me, DH and DD9. We've considered booking a cabana and after reading your TR I'm really leaning towards it! Thanks! I look forward to reading more about your adventures.
Loving your TR. We will be sailing concierge on the Dream on May 12th. Just DH and I to celebrate our 25th!
I didn't have time to proofread today, so I hope the Sea Day post makes sense! Let me know if I left something important out.
Great report so far!
Great report! I was thinking of doing the same with the Hyatt certificates but wasn't sure if they'd still make us pay the difference in the rate. Nice to know what time the DCL desk opens and to look for the blue spot on the forms for our luggage!! Thanks!
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