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Old 01-08-2013, 11:24 PM   #1
Dave Dizney
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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The Lloyd’s – Just Us Two on a Dream Cruise – January 2-6, 2013

Table of contents (work in progress):

Part 1 - Pre-Cruise - DW & Travel (below)
Part 2 - Day 1 Sail Away
Part 3 - Day 1 - Embarkation - Evening
Part 4 - Day 2 - At Sea - Morning
Part 5 - Day 2 - At Sea - Afternoon
Part 6 - Day 3 - Nassau - Morning
Part 7 - Day 3 - Nassau - Afternoon
Part 8 - Day 3 - Nassau - Evening
Part 9 - Day 4 - Castaway Cay - Morning
Part 10 - Day 4 - Castaway Cay - Afternoon
Part 11 - Day 4 - Palo - Evening
Part 12 - Day 5 - The sad goodbye



OK Im home, sitting in my home, with luggage strewn about the living room, its a cold grey day outside, suffering with PDD (Post-Disney Depression) at even a higher scale since this is the more severe PDCD (yeah, Cruise in the middle). Heres a little introduction of us and our cruise, which ended just two short days ago&

Introduction:
My DW and I had planned to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary 5 years ago had it paid for and everything, but had to cancel because of an unplanned relocation and decided to put it into siding on our house so it would sell better. Wed go outside at sunset and say ahhhh, theres our Disney cruise on the side of our house.

Zip ahead now five years, and here we were, ready for our Disney Dream 30th anniversary cruise. I surprised my DW last summer by having Mickey call her but he called late, and we were outside and didnt have the decency to leave a message. That was the only real misstep by Discorp on this entire trip.

Our youngest daughter was finishing her 5-month Disney World College Internship, so this cruise coincided with our time to bring her home. Now if all the weather, helpful planning from the DIS boards, and planets aligned, we might be able to eek out a decent trip. So, before I dive into the entire trip and photos, I can sum up the trip in three words&

AH&MAZE&ING!!!!

This trip report is from the aspect of newly empty-nesters taking a trip without kids. Does it work well for adults without kids? Absolutely! As a result of the great tips on this board, heres a quick list of my top recommendations:
  • Get to know others on your cruise on the DIS Meets boards - I actually met a family from our own home town! We also had a short meet & greet the first day - and met more DIS people during the trip! They're all the BEST!!!
  • We brought a French press and our own coffee. Anytime we wanted coffee, wed order a pitcher of hot water.
  • Since it was January, we knew the water would be cold. We locally bought 2.5mm shorty wet-suits. My thin Californian wife never had a problem in the water we even snorkeled for an hour and a half.
  • Late dining rotation worked great we caught the early shows, had a late dinner, and partied in the clubs in the evenings.
  • We bought a waterproof container for our digital camera online. It cost about as much as a waterproof film camera, and worked great.
  • We ordered chocolate croissants and hot water each morning as our wake-up call.
  • Treat the cast members well tip them extra talk to them about their home. The payback is well worth the effort, and youll get to know some extraordinary people.
  • Make full use of the adult areas on the ship theyre wonderful.
  • Make a playlist of music youd like on the cruise, and bring portable speakers. Ours began playing each time our keys turned on our stateroom lights
  • Go walk the beach on Paradise Island then shower off your feet and walk around Atlantis. Cost = free.
  • Oh, theres a number more, but well get into those with the pictures&



One additional note, for those who remember way back when, our family was one of the host families on the show Fans Guide to Walt Disney World on the Travel Channel/Discovery HD way back in 2004. You can watch that show still today on You Tube, but its quite dated. Im that over-planner that so many loved to hate. This cruise would be our first trip w/o the kids at a Disney venue. Because of the wonderful advice here on the DIS boards, all the planning I did made for a fantastic trip. Lets start out, shall we???


Early trip:

Yep, we drove all the way from the KC area in a large rental. The reason; our daughter was moving back from Disney, and we needed to move back all her stuff. We left the frozen north-land, and made a two-day trip down to Florida.

A sideline, along the way we stayed with some friends in the Jacksonville area. It was a great place to put away our long pants and put on short-sleeves. While there, they dragged us to their favorite local breakfast hot-spot, that I now highly recommend; Metro Diner in Neptune Beach. More food than any human should consume at one sitting, but sooooo good.



Yes, thats Eggs Benedict on top of chicken and waffles. Oh, so wrong but, oh, so good. Then we had to spend the rest of the day on the beach. Too cold to swim, but a beautiful day on the beach.



So after a couple days, we were finally off to Disney World to help move our daughter out of the College Program housing and visit the parks. She worked in DAK as a Kilimanjaro Safari guide, and we got to see her do her thing a couple last times.



This was New Years Eve the Magic Kingdom was gridlocked that day, but Animal Kingdom was wonderful. The weather was bright and in the 70s. We ate at Tusker House our first time it was OK. The evening was cool enough for a jacket and by the time we left (which was around 8:00pm), it was dark outside which Ive never seen there very dim night lighting which was quite nice, and nearly empty. Later that night, we toasted the New Year at our room in the Royal Plaza near downtown Disney (not a real Disney property, but good for the price during this CRAZY season).

The next day we made it to the Magic Kingdom. Though we had gone to the cast preview of the New Fantasyland in October, we made reservations for Be Our Guest for dinner the day they opened reservations. The park was crowded, but as you know, Im the man with the plan so we got in everything we wanted. It was strange being there without kids I kept looking behind me to see which one we had lost. But then again, it was a lot of fun being there with just my wife. We didn't have to take a vote to see what our next attraction would be we just went! We had lunch at Tortuga and rode Pirates a couple of times since that was pretty much the theme of the next part of our trip. If you havent seen the new Fantasyland, its beautiful. We also got a better look at the Tangled tower (restroom) area its also looking very nice.



Dinner at BOG is a lot of fun. The Beast makes an appearance, snow falls outside the windows, and the food is quite good. This has been sorely needed for the MK. I had the bread-bowl seafood DW had the Salmon, and DD had the Ratatouille all quite good.



Desserts included the mango pastry, strawberry cupcake, chocolate cupcake and since we were getting ready to celebrate our anniversary, we got the grey stuff!



We had a great time exploring the new restaurant.



Then we walked around the kingdom and said goodbye to the castle dream lights.


We bid goodbye to our daughter for 5 days and high-tailed it to Coco Beach. We found a great deal (thanks to some folks here on the DIS boards) at the LaQuinta Inn there that included parking for our car and a shuttle. The hotel was better than I expected nice pool and HUGE rooms.


The next morning we repacked from our trip leaving items not needed in the car, and waited for our shuttle. The van arrived on time (Road Runner) and had a nice driver who filled us in on a lot of the history of Coco Beach.


Before we knew it, off in the distance we saw her&


The Dream is beautiful it takes your breath away.

Much more to come as I keep uploading the photos!
__________________
Dave "Dizney" Lloyd -- Travel Channel Disney Fan
Co-Hosts of the Travel Channel & Discovery HD's "Fan's Guide to Walt Disney World"
Click here to see our Jan. 2013 Disney Dream Trip report!

Last edited by Dave Dizney; 01-17-2013 at 10:07 PM.
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