Party of 5 takes Disney Dream Halloween Cruise w/photos! COMPLETE 11/22/11
Bio: We are a family of 5...I'm America (Erica), DH Jose, DD Alyzea (9yrs.), DD Layla (5yrs.), DS Jayon (3yrs.)...we live in Orlando, FL but orginally from New Jersey. Below is a detailed trip report.
To view photos from our cruise visit out personal family website at: http://www.josenerica.com/family/pic...ise/index.html
Disney Dream Cruise
Oct. 30-Nov. 3rd 2001
Oct 30th 2011
Arrival: We left the house around 10:00am. We needed to make a potty break for Jayson in Cocoa at a local publix…killed two birds with one stone, I need a few things and cash back so it worked out fine. We arrived at the port at 11:30am. We parked in the parking deck at the port terminal and walked across the bridge into a security check point where they checked our passports and ID’s. Had to go through a metal detector and get our carry-on’s checked before we could enter the terminal. Check-in went smooth and quick. We didn’t wait in line for more than 2 minutes. They gave us our Key To The World (KTTW) cards checked out passports again and took a quick family photo. Our boarding group number was 13. Then we were off to take photos with Minnie or Mickey. As we waited in line the first group was called, followed shortly by group 2… We waited in line for our first Disney Family photo for about 10 minutes. By the time our photo was taken group 9 had already been called. We had a few more groups to go so we went to get the kids checked into youth activities to get their bands. Waited in line for less than a minute, go the kids their bands, and as we were leaving the desk group 13 was called! We were so excited that we practically ran to the gangway entrances.
On the Dream: As we entered the gangway entrance Jose snapped a quick photo of the kids. We walked up to a kiosk and were asked for our KTTW cards and ID’s. We were cleared to board. Before boarding there are 3 stations of backdrops and photographers. We snapped our family photo first and a quick one of the kids. I think this is for their face recognition program they use on the ship for all your photos. We stayed to the left (seemed quicker) and were greeted by a young lady asking for our family name and where we are from. An announcement was made, “From Orlando, Welcome the Rodriguez Family!” We were finally on the Disney Dream! The Atrium was beautiful! We were then directed by another young lady where to go if we were hungry, which was Cabanas on the 11th deck. We wanted to head straight to Palo to make reservations since we could not do so online. We headed to Palo but it was closed and someone said to come back at 1:00pm. So we decided to eat lunch. We went down one deck to find Cabanas, an all you can eat buffet. There is someone handing out antibacterial wipes as you enter. The Disney Staff quick told us how Cabanas works, no lines, just grab and go. We found a table next to the window, dropped our carry-ons off and we headed to the buffet stations. Lunch was good…had all the basics, fruit, salads, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, fries, pizza, etc. We ate quickly so we could miss the rush of people wanted to hit the pool after lunch.
Pool Deck: The Pool Deck was buzzing with people. We grabbed some towels found a few chairs to leave our stuff and headed straight to the Mickey Pool. Jose (Husband) and Alyzea (daughter) headed to the Aquaduck. They came back and it was my turn! Alyzea and I waited about 15 minutes to get on and it was completely worth the wait. We got some great photos and videos of the kids in the pool and of us riding the Aquaduck. We hung around the pool until 1:30pm. We were excited to head to our Stateroom 7672.
Stateroom: Our stateroom was located on the 7th deck Aft. We had a Deluxe Family Stateroom Oceanview. Opening the stateroom door was a task. I could not figure it out for the life of me. Thank goodness our stateroom host, Cacila, was close by and she helped us get in. The room was small but comfortable. Very nicely decorated and clean. Lots of closet space and storage. Our luggage had yet to arrive so we left our room to explore the Oceaneers Lab and Oceaneers Club with the kids.
Kids Club: The club is located on the 5th Deck, between Aft and Midship. We asked a few questions we had about the clubs and they let us in to explore. A quick wash of the hand using their fancy hand washing machines and we were on our way. We first explored the Lab. The kids quickly ran to the nearest computer and started to play. I quickly ran to the nearest bathroom to make sure I knew where it was for Jayson, my 3 year old. We let them play for a few minutes while we shot some video. We then headed over to the Club. There is a long room with chairs and tables that connects the 2 clubs together so that children can come and go as they pleased from one cub to another. We headed over the Oceaneers Club where we found Pixie Hallow, Andy’s Room, more computers and a dance floor. We explored some more and were excited to see what else the ship had so we left and promised the kids we would come back soon.
Midship Detective: We headed towards Midship on the 5th deck and found the Midship Detective Kiosk. The kids wanted to sign up to be detectives so we went through the module and got our badge and map to visit the virtual art throughout the ship. Jose loved this so much! We started right away to find the missing puppies. The first piece of art we visited was on the 5th deck and I was so amazed to see the technology used to create a fun interactive game that all ages could enjoy. Our objective was to find out who stole the missing puppies but collecting clues given at each piece of virtual art. To make a long story short we finished on our day at sea and we were glad to see the person who stole the puppies was behind bars!
Sail Away Party: After visiting the first few pieces of art we decided to take showers before dinner and get ready for our first main dining room experience. We headed straight to our room to find all 3 pieces of luggage had arrived. We still had some time before dinner so I unpacked and hung up all of our clothes. We got ready in our dinner attire which was casual and headed to deck 11 for the Sail Away Party. We had just started to leave port around 5:15pm and wanted to wave bye to all the people watching from land. We took a few photos. It was a windy day so we went to the pool deck to find some chairs to sit in while we watch the land fade into the horizon. We didn’t catch much of the Sail Away Party but that was ok. We had sometime before dinner so we went to the Atrium to wait in line for professional photos of the family. This is a must do if you are planning to buy a CD of all the images taken by the ship’s photographers, which we did!
Dinner: We got ready and headed to The Enchanted Garden on deck 2. We had the early dining at 5:45pm. We snapped some quick photos while we greeted by a long line of servers. The server at the end of the line escorted us to our table number 73. This is the table number you will have during your entire voyage at all main dining rooms. Enchanted Garden’s was beautiful. You felt like you were in a large courtyard while tons of flowers and greenery. During your dinner the sky colors would change from day to night. Our head server was Constantine, from Romania, and our assistance server was Armania from Jamaica. The food was good. Jose and I each ordered 2main courses and the kids ordered the basics, chicken and fries. We also ordered 2 desserts each so that we could have a taste of everything. Had a nice cup of coffee and it was time to head to our 8:30pm show, The Golden Mickey’s!
Show: We had sometime before the show so we headed to check out the shops just outside the theater. I quickly found an album for my scrapbooking and a kit of paper and embellishments for the album. I requested to have it delivered to our room so I didn’t have to carry it with me all over the boat. It was time to find out seats. Get there early, doors open at 8pm but the theater fills up quickly. It was just about show time when we were greeting by the ships Creative Director. She mentioned a few things about what’s going on after the show and what time we would get to port. Nice lady! Finally the show had begun. It was great, cute, funny, and for all ages! You have to see al 3 shows!
After Show/Party: After the show we dropped the kids off at the Lab for an hour or 2 while we went to go check out the Club Evolution where they were playing Meet Your Mate. We had to make a quick stop to our stateroom to grab our wave phones in case the kids need is. Meet Your Mate is a version of the newlywed game. All who attended were given raffle tickets to win a bottle of champagne. We found a seat and waited for the game to start. After the game was over they started to draw the first ticket for the free bottle of champagne and guess who’s ticket number they called? OURS! I was so excited to win something…It happened to be Country Night at Evolution we dance a line dance and left to pick up the kids. It was just in time too. We received a text on our wave phone saying the 2 little ones wanted OUT! There were a lot of kids there that night so I’m sure that contributed to them feeling overwhelmed. We head back to our stateroom for the night.
Sleep Tight: When we arrive to our stateroom we found our room turned down for the night. All the beds were ready and there was even a cute towel animal and “Sleepy” chocolate to welcome us to bed. We turned on the TV, took a look at the navigator for the next day and tucked the kids in and they were out like lights. There was quite a bit of rocking back and forth on the boat because of the storm that had just past. I didn’t get much sleep but the other 4 did. The bedding was amazing! I may have gotten 4 hours of sleep that night…not much but I’m used to it having 3 kids!
Oct. 31st 2011
Pulling into Nassau Port: We pulled into port at about 7am. But I woke up before then. We pulled the curtains to out HUGE porthole and watch us pull in to port. Got everyone ready for breakfast and headed to Enchanted Garden for buffet style breakfast. Before breakfast we went to the Princesses Meet and Greet in the Atrium for photos. DD Layla had tummy problems that morning and I gave her some tummy meds but it didn’t seem to help much. She ate very little at breakfast so we headed straight to the bathroom to see if she had to go…it had been almost 2 days. No luck! It was almost time to me out group for our excursion to Atlantis in Nassau. We quickly headed to the Sick Bay to see if they could help us. They wanted to charge is $149 for her to be seen. Even though we had DCL insurance we still needed to pay up front and wait to be reimburse when we sent in the claim. I said there was no way we would make our already paid for excursion so the nurse quickly gave us some meds to help her go and told us to give her lots of water and if she wasn’t doing well when we came back on board to come see her again. Thanks goodness by the time we were getting off the ship she was feeling 50% better without taking the meds. I continued giving her water and watch her throughout the day.
Atlantis: We met our group at 10:45 at the D Lounge. We showed our tickets, KTTW cards, and ID’s. We were then give wristband to where. We were escorted off the gangway where we had to walk quite a long way to a waiting bus. Immediately there are bohemians practically charging at you to get your child’s hair braided, asking if you need a taxi, or selling water. I quickly grabbed the kids and got on the bus. We had an excursion planned for an Atlantis Beach Day which also included The Dig. . It was about a 10 minute ride to Atlantis. We meet our tour guide at the hotel entrance. She was very nice and welcoming. She showed us where the casino was, the shops and took us to their private beach where we could spend the day. The surf was extremely rough that day so we moved the pool that was just across from the beach entrance. We enjoyed a few hours pool side and snap so photos. Kiddies were starting to get hungry so we packed up our things and head to quick service food station that was included with our excursion. We ate hamburgers and hot dogs. Food was just okay, nothing special. We had 4 hours before we had to be onboard so we headed to The Dig. The Dig is Atlantis’ aquarium. Nice aquarium but I’ve seen better. The kids enjoyed seeing the giant manta ray and the sharks. We were all getting tired and cranky so we headed to where the buses where they took us back to the port entrance. Jose wanted to do some last minute shopping so the kids and I sucked it up and went into a few small shops and into the straw market to grab a few gifts to take home to Grandma. We finally made our way back to the ship, straight to our stateroom to get everyone bathed and ready for dinner.
Dinner/Show: On this night we were eating at the Royal Palace. It also happened to be Halloween so we all dressed up and headed to the dining room. Food was good as usually but I had to eat while carrying Jayson in my arms because he had fallen asleep before his meal came. Poor boy was completely knocked out. I’m surprise that the girl made it all the way through dinner without a yawn. We finished dinner and by the Jayson had started to wake up from his brief nap. We had some time before our show so we headed to one of the professional photo set up in the atrium so we could grab some cute photos of the kids in their costumes. After that it was time to watch “The Villains”, another great productions Disney has created! After the show we did a little more shopping and headed to our Stateroom to get a good night’s rest for Castaway Cay day!
Checking in :)
Great TR so far! :)
love your report so far and your pictures are beautiful!! Kids are adorable- did you make the tye die shirts??? Amazing!!!
Your kids are so cute!! And I love the tie dye shirts!
Also, how did you get Goofy in your portraits (when the kids are in green) is that something they normally do if you schedule the session?
great report! thanks so much for sharing.
do you happen to have the Halloween night navigator?
were costumes being worn in the dining rooms?
Yes, costumes were being worn in the dining rooms. It seemed like at least 70% of people were wearing costumes! Some really great ones too...
That's really great to know about the costumes at dinner. We're two years away from our Halloween cruise on the Dream, but very interested in how the holiday was on the ship. Your cruise is the first for this, so I appreciate all the Diser's who are graciously taking the time to do a trip report.
We're sheduled to embark on Halloween day, which should be interesting. Oh the possibilities!!!!
I sent you a pm.
Nov. 01, 2011
Nov. 01, 2011
Pulling into Castaway Cay Port: We all woke up early on the Castaway Cay day. Me first since I hadn’t gotten much sleep that night. The kids and Jose slept soundly. We all got ready with bathing suits on to eat breakfast at Cabanas. The kids had their favorite, Mickey Waffles. We adults had our morning coffee and a few bites to eat. The ship had been moving a lot the night before we our tummies were uneasy! On our way down to the gangway we saw Peter Pan. We had to stop for a quick meet and greet. From there we made our way to Deck 2 where the gangway was and we were let out.
This was the view from our stateroom:
Castaway Cay: We walked toward the aft of the ship where we were greeted by someone handing out towels. We grabbed our 5, rather big, towels and headed to the first photographer that was snapping photos of people in front of the ship. We waited our turn and moved on to the next photographer. We did this 2 more times until we go to the tram depot. We took the tram to the first stop. At that stop there was a wagon/stroller pick up area. We quickly grabbed a big red wagon put all of our things in there and headed to the Minnie Mouse meet and greet on the Island. A short walk from Minnie and we were at the Mickey Mouse meet and greet. We waited no more the 10 minutes in each line. After that we head to the first gift shop to grab a pail & shovel kit for the kids to play with while on the family beach. I also picked up a new pair of sunglasses! No more than a 20ft walk there was a path to the family beach. The beach was already filling up with families. We grabbed the first set of chairs under an umbrella. I lathered the kids up with tons of sunscreen and they ran, not walked, to the clear waters of Castaway Cay. I think they expected the water to be warmer than it was. So they ran back up to say how chilly it was. I kicked off my flip-flops and headed to the water and oh yes it was chilly! I wasn’t going to let that stop us from getting in the water. We all slowly made our way into the water except Jose. Jose is from the Dominican Republic and he claims that since he’s an island boy that he’s body can’t take the cold water…yea right! So he just sat by the water edge taking photos of the kids. I went back to our chairs to grab the snorkel gear. I had to go to the rental shack to get a yellow life vest that is mandatory if you are going to snorkel. It was given at no charge if you brought our own gear. I put on the vest a headed straight to the snorkel area that was right next to the family beach only divided by ropes with buoys. I swam out to the statue of Minnie Mouse and found that I was pretty far out. I had left Jose with all 3 kids so I thought I’d head back and let him snorkel a bit while I played in the water with the kids. He went out even further and was quite fatigued when he game back. It was nearing lunch time so we headed over to Cookies 1 to see what smelled so good from where we were sitting.
Cookies 1: Cookies is a buffet style grab and go food service. The food was being prepared behind the buffet stations. They had all types of BBQ...ribs, burgers, coleslaw, potato salad, corn on the cob, breads, huge cookies and desserts. I grabbed a little bit of everything just so I can say I tasted it all. Jose liked the ribs but since he smokes ribs at home often I do have to say his is better! The kids had the kiddie basics, hot dog and hamburger. My picky eater Layla didn’t eat much since there were no French fries or chicken tenders. She did have a lot of fruit though. We took our trays of food to a covered picnic area with tables. Music was playing in the background and we just enjoyed having a nice lunch outside on such a beautiful little island. After lunch I headed to the ice cream station. They were having problems with the ice cream freezing that day so I just took what I could and went back to give the kids their sweet ending to a good meal. I also made my way to a fruit buffet station where they are cutting fruit right in front of you and filling the station with tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, watermelon, grapes, and oranges. The mango wasn’t ripened enough to our liking so I just grabbed some grapes of everyone to share.
More Beach: We then headed back to the family beach for one last dip in the ocean. I took my beach chair, sat it in the ocean and just watched the kids playing the water. I didn’t want to leave that place. We stayed another 30m minutes or so. I took our life vest back to the drop off baskets and headed back to where our red wagon was under our umbrella. The kids did flight us on not wanted to leave but I wanted to explore the island a bit more before it was time to leave.
Dino Dig: The kids wanted to try the Dino Dig and since it was fairly close we said ok. Another family was there digging away and had found several teeth of a dinosaur already. The kids grabbed their shovels and started digging. There were 2 cast members there helping out. They were supposed to be scientist and let me tell you they would not break character! The kids were having a hard time finding teeth so Jose took a huge shovel and started digging. With his help the kids found 2 teeth. It was getting close to dinner time so we washed the sand of our bodies and headed back to the boat. I had a plan…bath x5! Those split bathrooms were a godsend!
Dinner/Pirate Night: Tonight on the Dream was Pirate Night! We went back to our stateroom to get all cleaned up and ready for dinner. When we arrived to our room there were pirate Mickey bandanas wait for us with gold chocolate coins. I especially made pirate shirts with our names on them with iron on transfer sheets. Before dinner we went for a few photo ops and then it was dinner time! We were eating at Animator’s Palate. Jose and I had an 8pm reservation to Palo that night and our intention was not to eat but let the kids enjoy the pirate festivities. But of course our server, Constantine, could not take no for an answer and he made up order something…we did and what we ordered was AMAZING! Then we took the kids to the kids club and made our way to Palo.
Palo: We walked into Palo’s Meridian Bar to wait to be seated. It took about 15 minutes for us to be seated. Our server was very nice and helped us make our selection. We were concerned about making it to see the fireworks that night but she assured is she would help us get out in time. We had an amazing antipasti platter, an appetizer (a pizza), a main entrée, and dessert. If you want the soufflé order in advance…can take awhile to bake. We were too hungry since we ate a few bites earlier but it was nice to just get away just the two of us to reconnect. This is a MUST…get the chocolate soufflé and get 2 of them! It was out of this world! As promised our server got us out of Palo just in time. We went back to get the kids in our fancy outfits and took them up to the pool deck. It was quite windy out, glad we brought the kids jackets with us. We stop in the middle of ocean as did 2 other boats to watch the fireworks and the pirate stage show. The 2 little ones, Layla and Jayson were getting tired and cold so I took them back to room while the other two party animals made their way to the dance floor to dance the night away. Jayson feel asleep as soon as he hit the bed and Layla didn’t fall too far behind. The “party animals” made it to the room about 30 minutes later all sweaty from the dancing! It was nice that Alyzea got some Daddy time. We had a full day ahead of us at sea tomorrow so I popped 2 Tylenol PM’s and slept like a baby!
Photos and more to come!
We'll be on the Dream in January with my 7 and 9 y/o dds so I'm excited to read your report! :yay: Your pics are great and I can't wait to see more!! How did your 9 y/o like the clubs? Did your kids participate in any of the scheduled club activities (pj party, making flubber, etc?) Did they meet any characters in the clubs or just in the meet and greets? I am getting so excited for January! Thanks for any info you can give!!!
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