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Old 02-07-2012, 01:09 AM   #1
BeeTeacher
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First Timers on a DREAM Anniversary Cruise 2/2/12

I've never done a trip report and haven't posted much--soaking it all in. I have learned so much from other's trip reports, maybe this will help someone.

Our Backstory:

Dave and I are high school sweet hearts. We graduated in 1984 from Cocoa Beach High School. Back then, there were no cruise ships out of Port Canaveral other than one and 2 day cruises to no where. I did a one day our senior year, but that was my only cruising experience.

We were married in May 1987 and with our 25th anniversary coming up, we decided to cruise for something different and exciting. So, the search began and I had quotes from every major cruise line that sails in Florida. But I kept looking at DCL site and wishing we could afford that. In May it would have been $1600 for a 3-nighter. Just was not going to happen. We don't DO credit cards--we pay cash or it doesn't happen.

I was just about to book a RCI cruise, feeling like I was "settling", when a friend texted me to check disney, that FL resident rates had opened up. The rate was almost HALF the cost of the RCI. FINALLY, a cruise I could get excited about! We sat on the hold for 48 hours -- I was unsure about celebrating in Feb for a May anniversary--and then booked it. It was 78 days from sailing.

We will just celebrate early!!

So, those 78 days passed by so fast with holidays, 2 DDs bdays, and a major history fair project in the middle. I have been reading the disboards and learned SO much by reading questions, answers, and trip reports.

Suddenly, it was time to pack! Aack!

This was the plan:

Stay the night at Cocoa (not cocoa beach) Holiday Inn Express (nice place if you want a cheaper alternative), then a friend of ours would drop us off at the port on Thursday am. He would also pick us up on Sunday. PERFECT.
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1st Cruise 3 night DISNEY DREAM 2/2/12
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:35 AM   #2
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Day one--embarkation and sail away!

We arrived at the port around 11:15, checked in quickly, and then went outside to look at the ship. I had seen the Magic and the Wonder in port but never the Dream. She was GINORMOUS! Wow!

Before we knew it group 4 was being called. It was fun walking through the big ears and having our name announced. Once we stepped into the atrium I think my jaw was on the ground. Photos don't do it justice!

We don't care too much about swimming, but we were hungry so we walked down to Cabanas and looked everything over before grabbing a plate. It all looked so good I wanted to try one of everything. All the servers were so nice and the drink servers were a little obnoxious, and I eventually gave in and bought a Paradise Punch so it works.

After lunch we hung on the pool deck and when that got noisy we left for quiet cove. We found a big round chair and sat in there looking over the port out toward the Space Center. It was nice and relaxing. DH took a nap.

About 1:45 we headed to our stateroom. No mob for the elevators, we just walked down one level as we were on 10. We found our room easily and it was prettier than I had imagined.





Our room was a Category 5A Deluxue Oceanview Stateroom w Verandah. We were on Deck 10 room 10532.

Now, this was my first dissapointment. I expected rose petals, maybe a heart shaped towel art, something. None of that. I also thought DH would have had flowers sent, but I shoulda known better, he's never been one to do that kind of thing.

I brushed that off and we began unpacking, setting up the room, hanging up our clothes, decorating the door...all the fun stuff. We watched the Muster video. Then they said the drill would be in 5 minutes and STILL, I nearly jumped off the veranda when the horns blasted. Duh!

Here's a view of the deck 10 verandah overhang. It was not horrible, but I would not book deck 10 again, for a few reasons.





After the Muster Drill it was time to head to the Sail Away party. My kids were back home watching on web cams, and they were texting me every 5 seconds. It was insane. We watched the party from deck 12 right by the Aquaduck funnel, we had a great view there and no people around. I thought people would hog the rail at sail away but we were not crowded at all.

This was taken deck 12, forward, as we left the port.



We had late dining so went to the early show. The only thing I hated about this was we didn't get to watch us leave land as long as I would have liked.

As we headed to Animators Palate we stopped in the lobby to see if we could get photos but there was a small line and we were running late. So I took this one of the Atrium:



Dissapointment #2--We really hoped to dine with other adults and requested this. We were seated at table set for 2. It felt odd and so many tables were set this way I wanted to just move to one of them. I finally told my server I wanted table mates adn within minutes he moved me. We met Lisa and david from NC. Yay!

AP was so loud and shaking side to side. It made me nauseated. I ordered some kinda beef, and it was good, but my stomach was upset. Dinner ran til well after 10 so I missed our cruise meet. We were going to wander the ship a while but instead went to see WAR HORSE.

After that we went to bed. I was BEAT.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda67 View Post
Great start

May I ask why you wouldn't book deck 10 again?
One reason was the obstructed view. It was not so bad that we could not see out, but we could not see the sky at night, just part of it on the horizon. It was nice when it rained as the rain didn't get on the veranda, but otherwise it was annoying.

The other reason was the motion. Our cruise had high winds every night and I think we were always crossways to it. We didn't notice it much in the theatre or atrium, but our room was swaying so much it felt like we were going to tip over any second!

I will say deck 10 was quiet and seemed to have less people in the hall. We were right near the forward elevators and were worried about traffic noise and it was never a problem.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
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Looked over my Day 1 notes, a few things to mention:

The ship is cleaner than clean. It looks brand new. CMs are constantly cleaning.

Even though this cruise was full, and over 1400 kids, as travelling adults with no kids, we didn't feel that at all. On a ship this big, there were a lot of places to "get away". Deck 12 forward, where it overlook the teen pool, was a nice quiet place any time we went up there. I imagine this is where we will hang some on At sea days on our 7-niter and watch the world roll by...

The Golden Mickey's show was cute, but all the shows could be shorter. They were just under an hour and it seemed too long.

Our captain was Henry Anderson and the cruise director was Leslie.

Our Stateroom hostess was Sri from Indonesia (who didnt get the message it was our anniversary). She was sweet as could be. On Friday I was in hall going to Cabanas and she said "good morning Miss Paula, where is Dave". I was amazed. I barely remembered her name at this point. She was great.

Our Servers for the new seating were Ali (Head Server), Murat from Turkey (Server) and Alexandre from France (Assistant). Ali only stopped by a few times but he was nice, and Murat was GREAT. Alexandre must be new as I was having to ask for drink refills.

The diversity of the CMs is one of the things I think makes the cruise special. It was nice chatting with CMs about their home countries, how they like working w Disney, etc. They were very willing to talk with you.

Every CM is so nice and "on" at all times. This is how it used to be at WDW but has gone down hill some. It has been our personal experience that CMs from other lands are nicer and more "on" than CMs from the US. I think they just have a better work ethic in many cases.

We didn't take photos of our food because there are so many here. I dont often try new foods and so I wanted to do that this cruise since it was easy to get a different item if I didnt like it. I'm a very picky and bland eater, so I was really stepping out of my box.

At AP I had a shrimp/onion/cheesecake appetizer. It was better than I expected, but just odd enough I didnt eat the whole thing. The Baked Potato soup was delish--Murat brought me a 2nd one even though I didnt ask but he saw I didnt eat my appetizer. The beef tenderloin was undercooked so the next 2 nights I ordered medium well which was a mistake.

I was a little nervous about cruising so didn't sleep well that night. Morning came way too early!

We did not bring our own sodas or water and that was a mistake as we were FAR from the drink stations. But, room service did bring a glass of ice water at no charge, which is good to know.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:10 AM   #6
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DH and I just booked a 3 nighter for our 15th anniversary. I am enjoying your report.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:40 AM   #7
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Day 2: Nassau

Friday I woke early, I really wanted to watch us dock, as we were fasicnated by the whole "turn around and back in" idea. Turns out we were not even there yet! I turned on the TV to the Bridge View cam and we could see Nassau right ahead.



So I hung on the veranda in my PJs, then showered and came back out and finally we were turning around. I don't know why they back in, instead of just pulling in and then backing out... I hung out there a long time taking photos. This was our first time in another country and I didn't want to miss a thing.



The water was SO blue. I truly thought brochure pix are photoshopped.



We had a 9:45 excursion meet, so ate a quick meal at cabanas (again I think I tried everything!). Then we went down to the 687 Lounge to meet for the excursion, which was the NASSAU HARBOR TOUR. Once everyone checked in we walked to the dock ( about 10 minute walk) and were hounded by the hair braiders and horse drawn carriage drivers. Cabs everywhere. They are in your face but got it when you say No Thank You. Only one hair braider kept bugging me.

Our excursion guide was pretty funny, but he did talk alot about booze and getting drunk, so if that kinda thing turns you off, consider that when booking this tour.

A few sights:

Looking back at our boat:



A rusted out boat, beautiful in her own way. I enjoy photography but didnt have my SLR with me and I wont make that mistake again! This is pretty good for a Sony Point and Shoot:



Atlantis:



About 30 mins in the group doing the Sea World Explorer See and Sea or whatever it was called got off our boat and onto another boat. We later learned it was like the old 20,000 leages under the sea where you look out portholes at fish and sea turtles, etc.



While we were gone the Norweigian Epic Showed up. We had to wait a while for her to dock, then finally we just went around her.



After we docked we walked around Nassau a bit. We stopped at a drug store to get some postcards and sodas as well as a litre bottle of water. We bought some tee shirts from a man on the street--his were 3 for $21. Surely slightly irregular but my kids would love them--they were the embroidered style rather than screen printed so that was a good deal even so.

Then we wandered through festival place looking for something interesting for my mom (never found it) since she kept the kids for us. Mailed our postcards, then walked over to customs and had our passports stamped.



Then we headed back to the ship. We got a good look at the EPIC, and her odd shaped back end. It looked like a floating apartment building.



A nice lady took our picture:



Once we got back on we freshened up and went to Tow Maters for lunch. Now comes my BIG MISTAKE. I brought my DOTD glass and had it refilled with a yellow bird at Frozone--and watched her really pour a good amount of booze in. I was SO thirsty I drank half of it before we got our burgers. After we ate at Tow Maters, and chatted with a nice family, I took my Meclizine for the upcoming evening.

We went back to the room and planned to go to the Rainforest, and then the adult pool. While DH was in the bathroom, I laid my head down as I felt dizzy from the Yellow Bird. After a while I was awakened by a screeching flock of seagulls at our verandah. DH was out there reading. I looked at the clock--2 hours had passed!! TWO HOURS! I yelled at dave for not waking me up, then was mad we could not do rainforest, etc.

Instead, we went for a walk to explore some of the ship.

We went out onto Deck 4 and walked the whole way around and only encountered one family and one CM.



A rare good shot of me:



There is a lot of talk about the heavy crowds on our trip but we didn't feel it like some others did. Its all about timing. This is the Atrium at 5:51 on Friday:



One annoying thing--this staircase is almost always closed. Its a photo prop rather than a means of getting from one deck to another!

After our walk we headed to the VILLIANS TONIGHT show. I did not like this show. Maybe it was my "haze" still around from the Meclazine/Yellow Bird mix. Maybe it was that Hercules, being my least favorite Disney Movie that I have only seen once, I just didn't get it. I had another short nap.

Then we went back to our room to get ready for Pirate Nite! A quick shirt change and we were good. More on attire later!

In our room we found a giant sea turtle and my missing sunglasses!



After dinner we headed out to the deck for the Pirate Party. We were late but it didnt seem like we missed much. It was fun watching everyone and their costumes. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.



Dh and I are not big costume people so we wore pirate-ish clothes. This is a shirt I found at WalMart and ironed on a pirate bling:



Hubby Wore a Miami Ink shirt with a harley riding skeleton pirate. It worked.



Afterwards we walked some and then watched fireworks from the Currents Bar area on deck 12. We had a front row seat!

Afterwards we had a nice walk out to Dec 12 forward, snuggled a while on the big round benches, and when it got too cold, we headed in, excited for castaway Cay the next day!
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1st Cruise 3 night DISNEY DREAM 2/2/12
Trip Report Our First Cruise
WDW: Too many times to count!

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