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Old 06-25-2013, 04:23 PM   #1
Madzac
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The Prebiltastics take on the ocean! June 16-20, 2013 Dream Cruise

Welcome to my first DIS trip report! I am so excited to share the story of our fantastic first ever Disney cruise… what a vacation!! It was beyond amazing and we had a fantastic time! I always write up a post trip report but decided I would share this time around as I so appreciated reading the reports here before our trip!

Who: Me,Tracy- Disney lover and planner who loves everything and anything Disney. DH, Adam- is learning to put up with Disney for my sake. Once every 3-4 years is enough of a park vacation for him, but he was up for trying a cruise. DD11, Maya- Disney lover like her mama, she could go to Disney every other week if you let her. DS8, Tristan, my high maintenance child, who loves roller coasters and rides and games, but is looking forward to seeing what a cruise is all about. DS5, Josiah, also a thrill ride lover, but adores all the characters and so excited. DD2, Tessa, our very attached toddler who has a recent fascination with all things princess.


When: June 14-20, 2013

Where: We drove from Iowa to Chicago and flew into Orlando. We spent one night with my cousin who lives in the Orlando area, one night in Melbourne, and then 4 nights onboard the beautiful and amazing Disney Dream.

How this trip came to be: We just had a week-long vacation to WDW last October. I had figured it would be some time before we were able to make it back. In December I had a nice surprise of getting a big check for money that was back owed to me from when I was a resident. We debated a very short time with what to do with this money… be practical or pretend it never came and sock it into a wonderful vacation. I have ALWAYS dreamed of doing a Disney cruise but did not figure there was any way we could afford it. Well suddenly we had this unexpected money which was enough to cover a whole trip!

We contacted a wonderful lady I had met through my October DIS group who is a travel agent. Having never cruised I knew we would need some help in what to book and any advice possible. Katrina had great advice on what rooms to book, and in less than 24 hours we were booked for June 2013! We had initially planned to just book inside cabins to keep cost down, but we wouldn’t have been able to choose our rooms which was important since we didn’t want to be on two totally different decks. So we ended up booking two Cat 9B rooms, midship, deck two.

Over the months that followed I did lots of research on cruises and arranged for rental car, accommodations before, and some special things we could do on the ship. I enjoy planning almost as much as the vacation! I read all I could about it, and joined my cruise meet thread on the DIS board. I even ended up being in charge of the fish extender exchange on board! We anxiously awaited the day to arrive!
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Previous trips: WDW:CBR 3/93, ASMo 5/99, POFQ 5/06, WL 5/09, windsor hills 10/12. DL: Offsite 2/07, 3/10. DCL Dream 4 night bahamas 6/13 (trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3131854)... next up Magic 7 night Western 3/2015, DL offsite 7/2016
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:33 PM   #2
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Friday June 14, 2013:
Friday morning we were up early. For once everyone was up without any complaining, and after donuts for breakfast and dropping our dog at the doggie hotel, we were off and on our way. I had booked air tickets back in Dec and the rates out of Chicago Midway on air tran were about 200 dollars less than anything else I could find closer to us. With that big of a price difference we felt driving was most certainly worth it. The drive was smooth. We arrived at the park and fly and they quickly had us and our luggage on board the shuttle and we were on our way to the airport. Once arriving, we curbside checked our baggage and were on our way. We had a lunch of pizza in the airport and everyone was in high spirits.

I had booked our flights on air tran. With the merger with southwest airlines in the works, we had notice two months before we left that one leg of our journey out had been changed to a southwest flight. I was really worried about this! I like choosing our seats and the idea of open boarding with the kids had me worried. Since I had booked on AT I was not able to add early bird check in. When I checked in at 24 hrs, we got boarding numbers B17- B22. Fortunately during boarding they called for any families with kids 4 and under to board after the A group. We were all able to board and there were about 6 open rows in the back of the plane. So yeah, we all got to sit together. And as an added bonus we got bags free BOTH legs of the journey!



It was nap time and Tessa just wanted to be held so it was not a pleasant flight… she cried at least half of it. So sorry to our fellow passengers!! I was so glad when we landed. We had less than an hour in the airport in St Louis and fortunately she fell asleep and stayed asleep when I put her in her car seat on the night flight. The last leg was smooth and easy and we arrived in Orlando around 730pm. It took quite some time to deplane, and for our luggage to come. Once it finally did it was almost 830. We had rented a minivan with Dollar and are dollar express members so we were able to go right out to the garage. It was awesome, our van was waiting for us and we were in the van and on our way within 10 min. I love the ease of dollar, this is the second time we have used them!

As we pulled out of the airport I called my cousin. He and his family live about 40 min from the airport and had invited us to stay the night with them. We hadn’t eaten yet so we had a quick dinner at chick-fil-a and then headed to their house. We didn’t get there until 10pm, but it was wonderful to see him, his wife, and their three kids who I had never met. What a wonderful family! We talked about an hour and then turned in for the night!
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Previous trips: WDW:CBR 3/93, ASMo 5/99, POFQ 5/06, WL 5/09, windsor hills 10/12. DL: Offsite 2/07, 3/10. DCL Dream 4 night bahamas 6/13 (trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3131854)... next up Magic 7 night Western 3/2015, DL offsite 7/2016
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:47 PM   #3
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Saturday June 15, 2013:
I didn’t sleep well, I think due to excitement, a strange house and sleeping on a not very comfortable pull out bed. It was overcast and warm but a nice day. We all headed down to the lake area in their subdivision and the kids had fun jumping and swimming in the lake.



After the lake we headed back and the kids spent a little time in their pool as well.



After lunch and the kids had more time to play, we packed it up and by 230 we were on the road. There was a lot of traffic getting through and around Orlando but before we knew it we had made it to the 528 expressway which would take us all the way to the ocean! We couldn’t wait! It had been a long time since I had seen the ocean and the kids either hadn’t seen it or didn’t remember it! As we came over the bridge, crossing the water, the terminal came into view and what was there, but the Fantasy, getting ready to take off for its week long voyage. What a beautiful and exciting thing for us to see!! It got us so excited that we would be checking in there to board the Dream in the morning!

I had initially booked a hotel in Cocoa Beach for Sat night to be close to the port. Well, I had had a really negative experience at a Radisson at a dance competition back in January and I ended up getting a voucher for a free night. There is a Radisson at the port but it didn’t have room big enough for us so I did some searching and found the one in Melbourne, just 25 miles down the road. It is right on the beach and I thought it might be fun for the kids to get to spend some time in the ocean. They even had family suites which had a bed, pull out and set of bunks. Its not easy finding rooms to fit the six of us without having to get two rooms. We were able to get the room for only 50 dollars for the night with my voucher. We LOVED the hotel! We checked in and headed up to the room only to find a beautiful balcony and full view of the beach and ocean! We were in heaven!!!


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Previous trips: WDW:CBR 3/93, ASMo 5/99, POFQ 5/06, WL 5/09, windsor hills 10/12. DL: Offsite 2/07, 3/10. DCL Dream 4 night bahamas 6/13 (trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3131854)... next up Magic 7 night Western 3/2015, DL offsite 7/2016
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:53 PM   #4
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Saturday part two:

We quickly put on our suits and headed to the beach. The kids had a wonderful time playing in the waves and we spent a good hour plus here. The kids just loved the ocean and had a blast swimming in the waves! We could have spent all night here!




After the ocean we went up and swam in the pool and hot tub for a bit too.
After our fun time swimming, we headed out to find somewhere for supper, finally finding a cracker barrel which is one of my favorite places to eat. Yum!

When we got back, the sun was almost down and we decided to all take a nice walk on the beach in the water. What a beautiful night! What must it be like to live on the ocean and walk on it every day! We had such a great time walking in the water, picking up shells, just having a great time together. After our walk we headed back to our room, showered and turned in for the night to prepare for our busy day to be.. finally boarding the disney Dream!
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Previous trips: WDW:CBR 3/93, ASMo 5/99, POFQ 5/06, WL 5/09, windsor hills 10/12. DL: Offsite 2/07, 3/10. DCL Dream 4 night bahamas 6/13 (trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3131854)... next up Magic 7 night Western 3/2015, DL offsite 7/2016
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:59 PM   #5
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Enjoying your trip report so far!
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4 NIGHT MAGIC 2014 The Magic is better than the Dream.....I'll be the judge of that!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3272639

3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators Link is broken so "google" "Our dreamy anniversary cruise"

5 Night Disney Dream Double Dip June 2012
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweis View Post
Enjoying your trip report so far!
Thank you! Your report was a huge help in getting me ready for our trip... especially the seasickness tips!
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Previous trips: WDW:CBR 3/93, ASMo 5/99, POFQ 5/06, WL 5/09, windsor hills 10/12. DL: Offsite 2/07, 3/10. DCL Dream 4 night bahamas 6/13 (trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3131854)... next up Magic 7 night Western 3/2015, DL offsite 7/2016
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:24 PM   #7
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Sunday June 16, 2013:

Sunday morning we got up leisurely. Maya and I were dying to get back out on that beach so she and I took another nice walk. It was so peaceful! We had breakfast of yogurt and granola bars and juice in the room. We had an 11am port arrival time, but I had read they often open the terminal around 1030. We left the wonderful Radisson at about 10am and made the drive up the coast. How exciting as we neared the port to see the beautiful Dream! What a huge and wonderful looking ship. We were in awe of how big it was! The excitement of seeing the ship for the first time is just amazing! We couldn’t wait to get on board and see all the things we had read all about.

We pulled up to the luggage drop off zone and gave our bags to the porters. We had decided to just park at the terminal instead of returning the car for ease this first cruise and this was a great decision. It seemed silly to pay to park a rental, but we had room to leave one of our suitcases and the carseats in the car which was so nice. We made our way to the terminal where we were asked our names and checked off the list. We then had a quick trip through security before going into the main terminal. This is quite the place! It was huge. Everyone was so helpful and friendly too. We saw Mickey greeting guests standing in a huge line. We were directed over to the check in lines. It looked long but it was so efficient. We had to fill out the health questions to make sure we weren’t sick and turn those in. When we got to our turn, they scanned our passports, gave us our key to the world cards, our boarding number which was 5, and talked to us about our dining rotation and what to expect. They also took a picture for facial recognition. The whole process of waiting in line and checking in couldn’t have taken much more than 10 min. It was very efficient and I was impressed. I wish I had taken pictures in the terminal but no luck because...

As we were walking away from the desk, we had the most amazing thing happen to us! This DCL CM came up to us and asked if we would like to be the family of the day!!! We said sure! We were all wearing our matching Mickey/Minnie head shirts which I think helped us stand out. It was so exciting, we felt like royalty! They walked us to our own table to sit at and the kids could color. She then took me and the boys to the front of the long line to register for the kids clubs, and they quickly were given their mickey bands. She then walked us over to where mickey was meeting and told us to hang on another minute or two because Minnie would be arriving soon and we would be the only ones to get a picture with both! The kids were so excited… we got to go right to the front of the line!




Not much longer after this, we were told it was time to board and we would be first. They walked us over to the huge mickey ears and we were announced as the family of the day and then brought onto the ship. We had our boarding photo taken first.


AS we walked into the elaborate atrium, they welcomed us by name to the ship with applause. What a cool touch!!!
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Previous trips: WDW:CBR 3/93, ASMo 5/99, POFQ 5/06, WL 5/09, windsor hills 10/12. DL: Offsite 2/07, 3/10. DCL Dream 4 night bahamas 6/13 (trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3131854)... next up Magic 7 night Western 3/2015, DL offsite 7/2016
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