First Timers Trip Report w/photos - Disney Dream Cruise Apr 14-18
I know I'm new to this section of the boards, but thought I'd share our trip report from a first timers perspective. Not only is this our first Disney Cruise, but it was our first cruise ever. I think Disney might have ruined us for ever attempting to try another cruise line. :rotfl:
I'll write about the trip giving a basic overview and thoughts, then follow up with links to flickr photo links and attaching some of our favorite photo's from the trip.
We arrived a day early on Saturday afternoon in Cocoa Beach Florida so we wouldn't have to rush getting to Cape Canaveral and going through check in for our first time. We spent the night on Cocoa Beach Pier and had some of the best seafood and enjoyed spending time on the beach. Not sure, but I kept thinking, "why doesn't this place look like the show Cougar Town?" lol
We checked in early around 10:30am and were one of the first 6 groups to board. I was amazed and how easy and fast it was. Very few people were there when we arrived, so it was very quick. We boarded upon The Dream, having our names announced which was such a nice touch, while cast members/crew welcomed us aboard. The Lobby is amazing. We had to stop and take tons of pics of that alone. We spent the first hour waiting for our friends to board and ran around the ship, having drinks and taking tons of pics while the ship was quite empty. It was great to snap shots of the bars, restaurants, lobby and anything else that caught our eye while all of that was empty. We then met up with our friends and went to Cabana's for lunch buffet which was pretty good, check out our cabin with the veranda, then headed to the Launch Party, which was a lot of fun and of course done in complete Disney style. Very cute.
We continued touring the ship that afternoon, having a cocktail and relaxing ever so often. One thing I will remember for next cruise is to bring a watch. Knowing you can't use your phone, we were constantly wondering what time it was since we never saw a clock anywhere. We could have carried out phones on airplane mode, but figured next time it would be good to just bring a watch. We saw The Golden Mickey's show at 6:15pm and of course our friends somehow convinced them to interview me on the red carpet segment. So embarrassing! After the show we ate at The Enchanted Garden, which was absolutely beautiful and the food was amazing. This is where we met our Server, Grace, Asst Server Merrick and Simone our Head Server. All three were so sweet and friendly. It's great how the same crew follows you to each restaurant which I didn't know happened. After dinner we headed to my favorite bar/lounge called Pink, which specialized in Champagne. I knew I would be spending a lot of time here. Had some great champagne cocktails and talked before heading to bed for a big Day Two.
We woke up in Nassau Bahama's. We quickly got ready and headed off the ship to our Dolphin Excursion at Atlantis. We were able to spend some time walking around the beautiful hotel and grounds and also enjoyed The Dig (aquarium) before heading to our Dolphin encounter. We felt rushed, but was able to get tons of pics. Meeting Dolphin's up close has been on both mine and my partners bucket list. I can't tell you how incredible this experience is to swim, touch and even kiss a Dolphin. Something we'll never forget. Once finished grabbing our photo's and some merchandise, we headed back back to the ship barely in time for our scheduled Champagne Tasting at Pink Lounge. This is where we fell in love with Taittinger Pink Champagne, exclusive to the Dream Pink Lounge only and learned about Moet Ice Champagne, which is only served in clubs and on ice. Of course we couldn't get out of there without purchasing four special bottles to take home, including one Moet bottle covered in Swarovski crystals. After the tasting, we found my 2nd favorite bar on the ship, Meridian which is located at the back of the ship in between the restaurants Palo and Remy. Great quiet place to relax and watch the ocean. I love no matter where we went, they always remembered what we liked to drink and the service was amazing.
We then headed to the theater for the show Villains Tonight, which was one of my favorite shows. Afterwards, was dinner at The Royal Palace for a much more elegant experience in dining. This is where I actually tried Duck and Wild Boar for the first time. The Boar I loved! Wasn't crazy about the Duck. We then headed back to the Meridian for a few more cocktails before ending the night.
We woke up in Castaway Cay. The ocean was so blue and crystal clear. Our weather, as it was up to this point, was beautiful and sunny with a slight breeze. We passed the family beaches and headed straight for the adult only beach, Serenity Bay. We lounged on the beach, drank Bahama Mama's and enjoyed swimming in the ocean, watching the Stingray's which got quite close a few times. I was surprised at how cold the water was! We then decided to swim out to a sand barge and enjoyed relaxing there for a while before heading back to the beach. My partner unfortunately left his iphone in his pocket. lol Saltwater does a lot of damage, let me tell you.
We ate lunch at Serenity Bay BBQ before heading to do some shopping for merchandise only found on the island. While our friends stayed for a bit longer, we had to head back to the ship a couple hours early to get our Fire and Ice Mani and Pedi's at the Spa. The girls were so great, talkative, friendly and we had a lot of fun with them. So much in fact, my girl decided to have some fun with me and started painting mickey and minnie heads on my big toes while I was staring out at the ocean view, thinking I wouldn't notice. I thought it was hilarious and loved it. My partner got mickey heads on his toes too after seeing mine. My girl was so worried I was going to be upset. Not at all! Although I did get a lot of people looking at my feet the rest of the cruise. lol
That night we passed on the Magic show and decided to spend some time relaxing, since we hadn't had much of that since we started the cruise. We ran down to the shops and purchased some silly pirate ears and then joined our friends for Pirate Night dinner at Animator's Palate. It was another great night of food and spending time with our friends. After dinner we headed to the pool deck for the Pirate Deck Party, which was a cute show. The show's finale was the start of a great fireworks show right off the starboard side which was really great. We had the best view. I loved how you could see the other cruise lines surrounding us, stopping to watch the show. Maybe next time they'll book a Disney cruise. ;) As always, we headed to Meridian to finish up the night.
This was our day at sea. We spent the morning drinking coffee on our veranda (which I think we'll always book a room from now on with a veranda. We enjoyed that aspect of the room so much), wandering the ship taking pictures and then headed to Palo for Brunch. What an experience this was and our waiter Marco from Italy was so attentive and wonderful. After that, I spent the afternoon riding the Aquaduck, while my partner napped. I had to nap after some time in the sun, and afterwards, we both went back up with our friends so my partner could experience the Aquaduck as well. I wish we would have spent more time by the pool and riding the Aquaduck. Next cruise. ;)
Later that night before dinner, we saw our final show Disney's Believe, which was the only show that I almost shed a tear. Yeah, I'm a sap. I can't hold back when I hear Baby Mine from Dumbo. After the show we had dinner again at Animator's Palace. Since it wasn't Pirate Night, it was nice to see the interactive show that surrounds you on the walls, involving all the characters from Finding Nemo, which interacts with the guests. By this point of the cruise, we were pretty exhausted. We went and had a drink with our friends at Meridian to enjoy the quiet and ocean, before spending out last night wandering the ship up above at night. We purchased some of our photopass pics, did some last minute shopping before heading to bed for an early morning.
We woke up our last day back at Cape Canaveral, packed and ready to go. We had breakfast at Animator's Palate, said our goodbye's and gave lots of hugs to the staff who specifically asked for us to stop by before leaving. We then went through customs which was nerveracking since we had to stand there and explain why we had purchased SO much merchandise and explain ourselves. It was crazy. We then headed back to the bus for our ride back to the airport.
It was an amazing trip and definitely got us both hooked on taking cruises. We're already booked for our next cruise in August of 2014 for 7 days to the Caribbean which includes days at St. Martin and St. Thomas, as well as Castaway Cay. For those who have never gone on a Disney cruise, we both highly recommend it. The ship is immaculate, the food is amazing, the staff is some of the best you'll encounter and the overall experience is something you won't forget.
We're total Disncy Cruise addicts now. :)
IMG_4725 by DallasDisneyDork, on Flickr
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Glad to see another Disney addict.... We went on our first Disney cruise a few years ago my wife swore she would never cruise... I talked her into it... Shortly after our fist cruise of 3 nights we booked our 2nd cruise yes my wife love it!!! We were aboard the dream when she was 2 mont old.. We booked our secon just after the dream was a year old was a 4 night... Once again we loved it... Well shortly after the second cruise was done we decide that was it for awhile this year was our first year with out goin on a cruise since the dream set sail:( kinda sad but what can I do... Anyway after talki to my father inlaw he would like to go on a cruise sure anywhere else would be cheaper but we recommend Disney... So now we have our 3rd cruise booke on the dream again for march 2014 with my father in law who has never cruise ... We are Disney spoiled sure you pay more but I know others who have tried Other cruise lines... They recomend Disney so that's where we will stay!!!! Working toward becomein a gold castaway member good luck an wish you the best... Book another Disney!!
IMG_5010 by DallasDisneyDork, on Flickr
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Enjoying our last few moments on the ship before heading back to the cabin. The last night few moments are always bitter sweet.
IMG_5177 by DallasDisneyDork, on Flickr
We booked on the ship for our next cruise for August of 2014 on the Fantasy, so we would get the 10% discount, onboard credits and travel agent credits. We're so excited. We're definitely hooked. :) I'm sure you all will have a great time in March and look forward to hearing about your trip!
Thanks so for posting the pictures. It's making waiting the 29 days till our cruise on the Dream (our first Disney thing ever!) even harder to bear.
Curious about a couple of things! We're going alone (you guys had friends) so we're a bit wary that some not so open minded passengers might not have a qualm expressing their opinion about a gay couple. I am assuming you didn't experience anything like that? We're hoping we might get a dance or two in together in the night club and hope that won't be an uncomfortable situation. :sad:
And on a lighter note, when you guys were announced while boarding, how did they announce you? Did they use your first names? (Welcome Tom and Jerry) Or did they announce both of your surnames? (Welcome the Jones-Smith Family). (Sorry if I missed your names in the post.) :hyper:
One another note, if you're going to the Bahama's, don't be stupid like me and wear a rainbow pride shirt in a country where it's against the law to be gay and also a very religious country. It was noticed.
Don't worry, you'll have a great time!
Your pictures are amazing!!!
Your pictures are amazing!!!
My wife and I went on the Dream a year or so ago with one of our same-sex couple friends, and not only were there no weird looks, they were selected as one of the couples in the "Match Your Mate" game. It's basically DCL's version of the Newlywed game. Christopher was wearing his formal kilt after dinner at Remy, and the host was from Scotland, so that may have had something to do with it. But even in such a public forum, nobody in the bar said or did anything negative. They did get some loud laughs when the answer to "what's your favorite part of your partner's body" was "his furry chest".
Sounds like you had a blast. Love your pictures. What kind of camera do you use? Looking for a new one for my Mediterrean DCL cruise.
How did you have them announce you guys when you boarded?
:thumbsup2 Beautiful pictures! I love a trip report with lots of pictures!
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