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Old 01-25-2014, 07:40 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 206

It felt like a DREAM! Honeymooning with the Mouse -10/3 - 10/6 3-night Bahamian

Hey Everyone,

The Disboards have been the best thing I have run across in a long time! They have helped me plan our wedding and have since inspired multiple WDW staycations (we're locals) at Disney-owned resorts, planning tips and tricks for faraway Disney vacations, and a good laugh every now and then when reading about peoples fun, exciting and sometimes crazy days with the Mouse.

I have since written our wedding PJ and did a PTR for our very first Disney cruise! I would love to write about more trips, but I don't always have the time and would hate to start and then not finish (hence the reason why it has taken me so long to start this TR).

I hope that this TR will help someone in their decision to travel, take a walk down memory lane for a similar trip you have done or simply be a nice and easy read during your free time.
Without further ado, I am here to report on our first DCL and first cruise, in general!

*Here is a link for the PTR that I had made for this cruise*

Let's start off with our cast of characters, which consisted of hubby (Sean) and myself (Shana).

In case you don't have time or just don't feel like bothering with the PTR, I will give you a brief rundown of how this came about.
DH and I were married in July of 2013, but due to so much family coming from overseas (who I hadn't seen in years) and finances being really tight, we opted for a later honeymoon. DH was also unable to take off from work any longer and I was, and still am, in grad school, so the timing just seemed to be off. Anyhow, every year for my birthday we go to EPCOT's Food and Wine festival and spend all day there sampling all the goodies. We also decides that, this year (2013) we would take a few days off and just head to the beach for a romantic getaway, which would be our honeymoon. I was in full planning mode at that time. The more I planned, the more the idea of just going to the beach, when we already live in Florida, appealed to me as a 'honeymoon'. I wanted that feeling of being away from everyone else and being somewhere new. The next thing I knew, I found myself on the DCL website browsing cruises. I needed something that wouldn't break the bank, but would still give us a few days alone. There she was... the 10/3 sailing of the Disney Dream to the Bahamas. The timing couldn't have been more perfect, as my birthday and F&W was planned for 10/2 and I even was able to add MNSSHP, which neither one of us have ever been to, to the end of our trip.

There we have it - 5 fun-filled Disney days... and the best part - hubby had absolutely no idea!
I booked the cruise on 8/24 and was planning to keep it a secret until the day of the cruise. I am terrible at keeping surprises, but I managed to make it all the way to the day before the cruise. At that point, i just couldn't focus anymore because I was so excited and I just had to tell him; the look on his face was priceless!

So, to not bore you any further, I just have a last detail to give: I had worked out the final plan:
10/2 - Check into Art of Animation Resort and go to Food & Wine
10/3 - 10/6 - Disney Dream Cruise here we come!!!
10/6 - Check into Coronado Springs and go to MNSSHP

Stay tuned for day 1 of our whirlwind Disney trip!

Last edited by ShanaMouse; 01-29-2014 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:05 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 206

Day 1 - My Birthday and Food & Wine

In short, day 1 of our trip pretty much consisted of eating!
I love food, so this was right up my alley!

DH and I woke up early and headed to a local breakfast place to eat my obligatory birthday pancakes (any kind) and get our game faces on for Food & Wine. We would also be staying at Disney's Art of Animation Resort for the very first time so we were both VERY excited!!!

At around noon we headed down to the World, which is about a 40 minute drive away and headed to Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom is sort of our lease favorite, if I can even say that. It's not like we don't like it, but of the 4 parks, this is the one we go to the least. Today, however, was a different day! I wanted to go on Safari and ride Dinosaur, both of which we did!

Before we knew it, it was 2:30pm and we made our way over to Art of Animation for check-in. The process was smooth and simple and was the first time we got to really use our Magic Bands!
The grounds are enormous and we were in the Little Mermaid section, all the way down. We grabbed the car after check in and made our way to the end of the resort to find our room, decked out Little Mermaid style from top to bottom... I LOVED IT!
Here are some pics of the resort/room:

Our plan was to hit up F&W as our 'dinner' so we wouldn't want to eat again late evening time, so we hung out in our room and then went for a walk around the resort to check it out. I loved how colorful and.. well... animated everything was. It was definitely DISNEY!
At this time it was only 3pm, but neither one of us had eaten since breakfast at 8am so we decided to check out the food court. We both wanted to get something small to hold us over until we get to EPCOT, but couldnt make up our minds.. so instead we just split a bowl of create-your-own pasta. Honestly, this was some of the best quick service food I had eaten on Disney property and was just enough to get rid of the hunger, but make sure that we were hungry again by 6pm.

After eating we headed back to the room, watched some TV and then got ready for Food and Wine. As luck would have it, I had my Little Mermaid shirt picked out and ready to go!

From there we caught the Bus to EPCOT and had a wonderful evening at Food & Wine. It was nothing too outside of the ordinary, so I won't bore you with those. Also, I only have one picture from that night because I needed my hands after getting in the gate to hold my food and wine

Next up: Day 2 - undue stress at 5am, embarkation, and a (tiny) tear of joy!
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:18 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Orlando, FL
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Day 2 (part 1) - "I can't handle this excitement"


As Sean and I slowly made our way back to AoA from Food & Wine, we both were talking about how amazing tomorrow would be: we would sleep in a bit, head to breakfast at the AoA food court, get everything packed up, drive down to Port Canaveral, check in, and then let relaxation wash over us.

Well, that's not at all what happened.. at least not in the morning.

I woke up at 5am (I am a terrible sleeper and wake quickly). I was contemplating staying awake and watching some TV or rolling over and trying to get a bit more sleep. I opted for the ladder.
I also decided, since these were the last few hours of a functioning phone and internet, to check the bank account one final time so I know where we stand and how crazy we can get on this cruise. What I found were charges from another Downtown Disney Hotel for a night's reservation. This did not sit well with me and, at this point, there was no going back to sleep for me.

A little back story; I made a reservation at a non-Disney owned resort in the Downtown Disney area when I initially booked the cruise, but cancelled this as soon as i had booked a room at AoA and even had a confirmation of cancellation.

I needed to get this straightened out before we left for the port, which was around 10:30am. Of course, when I called, no one answered... why isn't anyone in accounting at 5am?!??! I was so irritated that I was missing a couple hundred dollars and was counting on that money to be available during this week. In the meantime, DH woke up as well and stayed up with me. at 6:30, I think, I finally got through to someone, but they stated that the accounting department wouldn't be in until 8am and to try back then. So, in the meantime and since we were up already anyway, we headed to get breakfast. By this time, the adrenaline rush of dialing my fingers off to find out why I was charged had worn off and I was exhausted.
First order of business... Coffee!

Hubby, on the other hand, was wide awake and fully energized. After my coffee, so was I! We each had a breakfast plate, which I don't remember exactly which one's we had, at the food court and then waited for 8am to roll around so that we I can call the hotel again.
When we got back to the room, I contacted the hotel and was connected to the right department. There, a lady that was assisting me had claimed she had absolutely no record of my name, my card, my address, or anything else that would have linked me to the ressie and said there is nothing she can do to help me. She said she will call me back in a few minutes. A few minutes went by and.. nothing.. still nothing... nothing... and more nothing. Finally I called back and she, basically, said the same thing to me again. At this point i was getting quite frustrated because I even had the cancellation notice directly from the hotel. By this time, it was 9am and we had to head out by 10:30am. They still claimed they had no record of me and needed to get back to me. I decided to take a shower and hubby got ready too. At 10am i got a call back from the hotel and, when I answered, all they said was "We will be refunding the money back to your account at this time" - after that, I sorta just spaced out, because that's all I wanted from the beginning. i didn't even bother to ask why they claimed they didn't have me in the system, but suddenly had my CC info on file to refund the money. Fact of the matter is, I will not reserve with them again.

Now that everything was back on track and 10:30am was nearing, we packed up our stuff and we were ready to go to Port Canaveral. I sort of couldn't believe that we were actually going on a cruise and a Disney cruise, at that. It didn't feel real!

The ride to PC was pretty uneventful with moments of complete silence followed by random "WE'RE GOING ON A CRUISE" outbursts.

I had previously reserved a parking spot with Cruise and Park, which was our destination. It was super easy to find and I couldn't have been more please with the service. We were greeted by a young guy who took our bags, parked our car, and brought me back the keys. Within a few minutes we were on a shuttle to our ship!
Here's a pic of us waiting for our shuttle and a pic from the shuttle of the DREAM:

When we got to the terminal, I was amazed at how smooth check in was - while there were a TON of people, the lines were moving quite rapidly and we were checked in within no time. I even caught a glimpse of Goofy!

Once checked in, we made our way to the mickey head entry way and I remember turning around to hubby and just smiling; I hadn't been this excited in a very long time! There we snapped a quick picture and we were shown which way to walk to get on the ship.

It happened so fast; at one point I was on the walkway to the ship and the next thing I knew I was already on it, hearing a cast member announce our names as we walked in. Immediately silence set in between hubby and I. I think we were both trying to take in this enormous grand entrance and the feeling of us cruising had kicked in. We just looked at each other, then looked away and we each started snapping pictures of different things, but in the same area. Thats where I could feel my eyes watering up a little bit... It was so pretty! I also never thought that DH and I would experience something like this, as money is always an object, so to be on this cruise, together, as our honeymoon, was nothing short of amazing!

Sorry for the blurry pic above; i was so excited! Also, in case you couldn't tell, the ship was decorated for 'Halloween on the high Seas', which was awesome!

Honestly, from here, we just took more and more photos of that one single area until both of us felt we had enough. We were right at Guest Services so I asked if my request to be seated by ourselves at dinner had been approved, but she directed me to one of the MDR's itself. Neither hubby or I felt like dealing with it, so we just said "we'll see where we sit when dinner comes".

Here are some more pics from our time exploring:

The number one thing I kept reading on the Disboards before we left was to head straight to Cabanas for lunch... So... we did! We made our way up to, what I think was deck 11, and were immediately greeted by two young gentleman with trays of cocktails in their hands. I had also read about this on the boards, but figured "eh, might as well; this is vacation". We snagged 2 cocktails and made our way over to Cabanas to find a seat. We sat outside the main restaurant since it was CROWDED!!! *there was a sign at guest services that the ship is at capacity... yeah...*

We sat down and just sort of let it all wash over us. We were both so happy, and I started studying the navigator we picked up earlier. Hubby went and got food first and I followed. By the end of the trip, Cabanas was one of my favorite eats on the cruise! I don't even really remember what I ate (yeah, it was that much), but most, if not all, was excellent!

When we finished, we headed over to the adult area and were amazed at how quiet it was over there. To be honest, I generally don't mind crowds, but the amount of people at Cabanas, all at the same time, was crazy, so this was a nice little change of pace. I found a lounge chair, where we sat until our room was ready.

Next up: Day 2 part 2 - our room, more exploring, and dinner!
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:11 PM   #4
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Day 2 (part 2) - "I'm so full"

Hubby and I quickly switched over to island time so, from here forward, I have no idea what time it is during any part of the day, except when we went to bed!

From the comfy lounge chairs we made out way down to our room, which was on deck 9. We opened the door and I couldn't have been more pleased (granted, I have no other cruise to compare it to, so take what I say with a grain of salt). We had a room with a private verandah, mid-ship, right by the elevators.

I had pre-booked the forts and junkanoo experience for our day in Nassau, but sadly we had a note in the room that this was cancelled, as there weren't enough people who signed up for it. I was sort of sad, but at the same time I knew that we'd find something else to do... and we did! Our bags hadn't arrived yet, so we made our way back down to guest Services, as I saw that they had a tequila tasting available. Since we werent going to be on our excursion, we decided to book that, which was $15 per person. Seeing as though the excursion was around $40 per person, I saw it as a pretty big savings. From there, we strolled the ship for a few minutes:

When we headed back to the room, our bags were there. We unpacked and headed back to deck 11. I'm not gonna lie, having been up since 5 am, on a few hours of sleep, being overwhelmed with everything that was going on... I WAS TIRED! not the tired where I wanted to take a nap, but the tired where I just wanted to put my feet up and lounge. At the same time, however, I wanted to see everything!

We headed to the Spa and took the tour (which I also read about on the Dis), but sadly didn't win anything. I was, however, very enticed by the amount of services they offered and really wanted to book one, but felt as though they were a little pricier than I had anticipated. Then we walked around up there and took in the beauty of this giant ship:

At this time, it was time for the Sail Away party. I was excited! We managed to find an open spot and parked ourselves there for the duration of the show. It was awesome! everyone was pumped for the cruise, kids were laughing, adults were smiling, cameras everywhere you turned, and not a sad face in sight.

I don't really remember how long the show lasted, but I am guesstimating about 30 minutes or so. Afterwards, hubby and I made our way back over to the adult pool to relax and watch the ship pull out of port. On our way, we stopped at the little quick service kiosk and grabbed some more food. Why? because I could!
From there we relaxed for what seemed like another hour or so, grabbed some more drinks (this time 2-for-1) and truly had nothing else on our minds besides being in the moment!

Now it was time for our very first show! I had read and heard so much about these shows and couldnt wait to see for myself: The Golden Mickeys! The show was amazing! It was what you truly expect from Disney and entertaining!

Afterwards we headed back to our room, showered, changed, clothes, and were off to dinner. First up: Royal Palace!

We saw this restaurant when we first got on board so I was excited to eat here today. To be honest, the food is always the best part about vacation, at leas to DH and I. We love to eat local cuisines, try different things, and have a food memory, based on a place we had been. That being said, prepare for food pictures!!!

When we entered the restaurant, it felt very formal. We were greeted by our head and assistant server, Kruno and "P". P's name was so long that he shortened it and just told us to call him P to make it easier. Forgive me, because I don't remember the exact country either were from, but Kruno, I believe, was from Europe and P was from Asia.

Hubby and I both had an a cocktail (which we have a lot of on this cruise), an appetizer, a second course, an entree, and dessert. I don't remember what everything was, but pics to follow:

After dinner, both of us were soooo full! It was a lot of food; not to mention the food we had already eaten prior to coming to dinner! We made our way to the top deck and walked around, strolling the Dream. As you can see, it was VERY windy!

Both of us weren't ready to go to bed so we made our way over to The District to check out the lounges. I head read about Skyline, which was our stop for the night. The lounge was so cool! I loved how the scenery changed, which sort of made me feel as though I needed to get a new drink every time to fit the mood. Hubby and I each got one drink and chatted about how awesome of a day it had been. I, again, don't remember which drink either one of us had, but I had to switch with hubby because mine was too sour. It ended up working out perfectly, because he really liked it!

After drinks we made our way over to next door, where they were hosting a game of 'match your mate'. The nightly entertainment for adults was one of my favorite parts! We ordered another drink there and hung out until... no idea!

Off we went to bed to one of the best nights of sleep I had had in a very long time!

Up Next: Day 3 - Nassau! - 90 degrees, fishes, tequila, and Pirate Night!
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:46 AM   #5
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Great report!! can't wait for more
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:35 AM   #6
Earning My Ears
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Enjoying your report so far! Love your peach dress with the beige sweater and shoes! So cute!
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:08 PM   #7
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Great report and pictures! Looking forward to gearing about Castaway Cay.
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:30 PM   #8
Earning My Ears
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cruise in fall

Your trip was in early October, correct? The Boyfriend has given me the greenlight to book our cruise for this fall and I am a little nervous about "hurricane season". I worked on a cruise ship 20+ yrs ago so i don't really remember what the fall is like. Would you go in October again?
1st trip to WDW July 1978
DS 1st trip to WDW Jan 2003
DS 2nd trip to WDW June 2007 (star wars wknd!)
40th bday Feb 2010
Won a trip June 2012
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:20 PM   #9
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That looks like a fantastic day at Castaway Cay!

I'm so sorry your husband lost his wedding band. He must've been devastated! I'm glad it didn't end up ruining the day. Like you said, accidents happen!
My first trip report! - A Magical Three-Day Birthday Cruise from Port Canaveral
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:52 PM   #10
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What a nice trip so far! Well except for your DH losing his wedding ring! Love all the pics!
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:19 PM   #11
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Love your report!!

Too bad about DH ring... At least it can be replaced!

I'm trying to convince my soon to be DF, to take a 3 day cruise. He's worried about kids. I'm definitely going to show him your report. You and your hubby look like you've had a great time! You haven't mentioned kids being a "problem" on your honeymoon at all.


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