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Old 07-02-2013, 08:48 PM   #76
Jenntx
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Thanks for explaining about express disembarkation. I had never heard of that before now. Sounds painless & a pretty simple. Thanks including the process in your trip report. Really enjoyed reading your report!
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:01 AM   #77
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Thanks for explaining about express disembarkation. I had never heard of that before now. Sounds painless & a pretty simple. Thanks including the process in your trip report. Really enjoyed reading your report!
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

The express walk off is so simple and I would definitely do it again.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:31 AM   #78
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We just got back from a family vacation in Tennessee so I haven't been able to scan my navigators yet.

Final thoughts and my answers to questions that I see a lot on the forum:

Is DCL a good choice for adults traveling without kids: In my opinion, yes, it is a good choice. We had a wonderful cruise and enjoyed visiting all the adult only areas on the ship that we had not been able to visit before. The only possible downside is that there is not a ton of stuff going on during the day for adults. It is mostly exercise/yoga type things. Luckily, we just wanted to relax on our cruise so it worked out great.

Is a 3 night worth it: If we had travelled with our children, I don't know that a 3 night would have been a good choice because they would have wanted to participate in some of the activities and watch the shows and I just think everything would have felt rushed. We have a 7 night booked next year with the kids and I think the least we will ever do with them is a 4 night. I would certainly take another 3 night with just DH and I because we never felt rushed at all but we skipped the shows and really the only scheduled activity that we took part in was mixology and dinner. A 3 night is perfect for a quick getaway or added on to a trip.

Can I show up to the port earlier than my PAT: I see this one a lot. I would not recommend showing up much earlier than your selected PAT. We had an 11:00-11:30 PAT and got to the port shortly before 11:00 and were given boarding #3. Even if you show up earlier than your PAT your boarding # is directly linked with the PAT that you selected so you still have to wait for it to be called. Example- You select a 12:00 PAT and arrive at 11:00. Your boarding # will still be higher than those that had an earlier PAT and you will still have to wait to board so I really see no reason to arrive more than a few minutes before your assigned PAT because you will just be sitting around in a crowded terminal. Boarding does not start until around 11:30 and I think open boarding starts between 12:30-1:00.

Is Palo worth the additional $20 Per person: ABSOLUTELY! The fee is very small considering all the food that you receive and the quality of the meal. We will book Palo on all of our future cruises if possible and we are hoping to try brunch on our 7 night. I've read that others think it is not much better than what is served in the MDR and I respectfully disagree. Of course food is very subjective and while I loved my meal in Palo others may not.

Is service lacking on the DREAM: In my opinion, absolutely not. Of course I have only sailed on the Dream so I can't compare it to the other ships. I honestly think we received better service on our 3 night than we did on our 5 night and we had great service on our 5 night. Our servers were excellent this time and every CM we encountered was wonderful. We did not feel that disconnect that a lot of others complain about with the shorter cruises. We will continue to sail on the Dream every chance we get.

To be continued......
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:32 PM   #79
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Parking at the port I did not like having to pay $60 for parking but I don't think we will do it any other way in the future. I can't tell you how convenient and quick it was having our car there and not having to wait for a shuttle. We tried a hotel with shuttle service in 2012 and found it "okay" but I like to be in charge of when I get to the port and how quickly I get on the road home. We may try one of the area hotel/motels that offer 40% off parking at the port to save money for our 7 night next year but then again, we really liked the Double Tree. We will see.....but either way we will be parking at the port.

Do we need trip insurance- Only you can decide if you and your family need trip insurance. We did NOT purchase insurance for this cruise since it was a relatively inexpensive trip. We did however get insurance for our 5 night last year and I purchased trip insurance through Travel Guard for our upcoming 7 night cruise. I wasn't as concerned about our 3 night but with our 7 night easily costing over $5000 before excursions/hotels/etc. I wasn't willing to risk not having it. I purchased it within 14 days of making our deposit onboard so that it would cover any pre-existing conditions. Also, with Travel Guard Gold, kids are free.

Is the food good on DCL- I see this ALOT. Food is very subjective and what I may like you may not. With that being said, I enjoy most of the food on DCL. I did not enjoy much of my lunch in Royal Palace but I absolutely love dinner in Royal Palace. I didn't care for the pasta pursettes in AP last year but loved them this year. I did not have the pirate menu on our 3 night but I did not enjoy it at all last year. It was by far my least favorite menu. Try something and if you don't care for it just get something else. Order as much or as little as you would like.

Mixology- We loved mixology and look forward to doing it again next year. The cost is $15 per person and in my opinion, it's a real bargain for the number of drinks that you get. We had lots of fun going behind the bar and mixing drinks. The bartender prepared us 4 drinks then we all had a shot plus "tastes" of 3 other drinks. I highly recommend this class. Lots of fun.

Bringing your own alcohol onboard-We brought more than we needed because we ended up buying quite a few of the drinks of the day instead of what we brought but we will still bring some on in the future. Since we don't fly it really isn't inconvenient for us. We brought the opened bottles of liquor home with us so yeah, it was worth if for us.
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Last edited by tweis; 07-18-2013 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:04 PM   #80
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Your last two posts are awesome recaps! So informative for first time cruisers.

I have been sorta regretting that we are planning to park @ the port bc of the price for four days is expensive. But after reading about your express check out (don't think it's called that!) & being able to go straight to your car- not having to wait for a shuttle, or DCL transportation to take us back to WDW or stand in the rental car line the cost is now sounding totally worth it to me. Thanks for all your tips!!

I think I am most excited about Palo after your review.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:22 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Jenntx View Post
Your last two posts are awesome recaps! So informative for first time cruisers.

I have been sorta regretting that we are planning to park @ the port bc of the price for four days is expensive. But after reading about your express check out (don't think it's called that!) & being able to go straight to your car- not having to wait for a shuttle, or DCL transportation to take us back to WDW or stand in the rental car line the cost is now sounding totally worth it to me. Thanks for all your tips!!

I think I am most excited about Palo after your review.
I'm so glad my report and recap have been helpful to you. I am seriously not wanting to pay $120 for parking next year on our 7 night but it is so convenient. There are some hotels in the area that offer 40% off the price of parking at the port so we may look at those because I would much rather pay $72 versus the $120. But even if we have to pay full price, the convenience factor makes it totally worth it.

Palo was amazing and I can't wait to try it again. DH is still talking about the Tuscan White Bean Soup. It was wonderful. Don't be afraid to get different things. I was worried about that going in because I wanted to try a couple of different things, but our server made it so easy for us. She suggested that we get an additional appetizer to share and that we have a small pasta course and she of course brought out the additional dessert items without us asking for them. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Have a great cruise
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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
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3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators http://www.disboards.com/showthread.p?t=3121863
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:24 AM   #82
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Final Thoughts

We loved our 3 night cruise and would love to take another but with DCL changing the day of the week that the 3 nights leave in late 2014, I don't know if it will be possible. I think Disney is great for everyone and not just families with children. This was such a relaxing trip and we never felt rushed at all. I would love to do a 4 night with DH just so we could buy a pass for the rainforest room. In the past, I have not been a fan of sea days but I think that would be a lovely way to spend the day. We didn't feel like we would have been able to take advantage of the rainforest room on our 3 day so we decided to wait til next time to give it a try.

I don't think there is anything that I would change about our cruise except that we would start taking Bonine the day before we sail. We absolutely loved riding bikes on Castaway Cay even though we got hot. It was fun to be carefree and act like kids again when so often we are stressed from everyday life. I did miss my children but a week away was wonderful. We are thinking that a vacation without the kids may be something that we start doing every year. Of course we will still take our kids on vacation but every couple needs some time for just the two of you.

Happy cruising

I can't figure out how to post my navigators here so I emailed them to the webmaster to be published and when/if they are, I will post a link here. I have scanned them and they are in PDF form but I don't know how to post them. All suggestions are welcome.
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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
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3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators http://www.disboards.com/showthread.p?t=3121863

Last edited by tweis; 07-18-2013 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:57 PM   #83
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LOVE LOVE LOVE your finished report...and the PALO review is making me hungry right now - how am i to get through the next 10 months????
Thank you for all the info on Palo - Cant wait until our cruise next year.
YUM!!! Those pictures..and you are spot on - I completely agree with your assessment on taking a 3 day without the kiddos and the longer cruises with them
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:04 AM   #84
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LOVE LOVE LOVE your finished report...and the PALO review is making me hungry right now - how am i to get through the next 10 months????
Thank you for all the info on Palo - Cant wait until our cruise next year.
YUM!!! Those pictures..and you are spot on - I completely agree with your assessment on taking a 3 day without the kiddos and the longer cruises with them

I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I was really hoping to be able to post my navigators but I'm having trouble with that and the admins on the forum have not posted them yet.

I don't know how I'm going to make it 10 months without having Palo again!! It was a great meal and I can't wait to try brunch also.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:23 PM   #85
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would love to see your navigators to help us plan thanks
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:02 PM   #86
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would love to see your navigators to help us plan thanks
I have scanned them and they are in PDF format but I can't seem to post them here for whatever reason. I have submitted them to the webmaster to be published on the boards and I will post a link as soon as they have been.
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3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators http://www.disboards.com/showthread.p?t=3121863
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:35 AM   #87
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UPDATE

I have heard from the webmaster and he has received my navigators and will be posting them shortly. I will post a link as soon as they are posted.
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3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators http://www.disboards.com/showthread.p?t=3121863
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:54 PM   #88
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UPDATE

I have heard from the webmaster and he has received my navigators and will be posting them shortly. I will post a link as soon as they are posted.
Awesome thanks!
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:27 PM   #89
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I have just sat and read through your entire report and enjoyed every second of it. I chose yours as a start point as we are planning an anniversary trip on the Dream in a couple of years time (never too early to plan right?), and I got some really good tips and advice so many thanks for that.
I admit there were a few of the acronyms that I didn't know but I am sure I will get used to them. I also have a few questions if thats OK?
You mentioned a particular motion sickness tablet. Do you know if this causes drowsiness. Both my wife and I suffer from motion sickness so would have to take something, we just don't want to spend our time sleeping as a trade off.
With regards to the rotation and PAT - what are these and how do they work please (or is that too much of a big question)
Thanks for the report - it will help us immensly
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:01 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Pegasus928 View Post
I have just sat and read through your entire report and enjoyed every second of it. I chose yours as a start point as we are planning an anniversary trip on the Dream in a couple of years time (never too early to plan right?), and I got some really good tips and advice so many thanks for that.
I admit there were a few of the acronyms that I didn't know but I am sure I will get used to them. I also have a few questions if thats OK?
You mentioned a particular motion sickness tablet. Do you know if this causes drowsiness. Both my wife and I suffer from motion sickness so would have to take something, we just don't want to spend our time sleeping as a trade off.
With regards to the rotation and PAT - what are these and how do they work please (or is that too much of a big question)
Thanks for the report - it will help us immensly
Thanks for reading!! I'm so glad I could help.

Ask anything you want and I will try my best to answer.

We took Bonine motion sickness pills with us and they did not make us drowsy. We didn't want to spend our cruise sleeping either and they did not make either of us drowsy even with alcohol.

When you check in at the port, you will receive your key to the world card (KTTW) and it will have your dining rotation on it. DCL has three main dining rooms (MDR) and you rotate through them. On the Dream there is Animator's Palate (AP), Enchanted Garden (EG) and Royal Palace (RP). We knew that we wanted to eat in one of the adults only upcharge restaurants so we requested a specific dining rotation because we chose to skip EG to eat in Palo. If you book through a travel agent (TA) you can have them request a specific rotation for you or call DCL if you booked direct. We did not request a specific rotation on our first cruise because we did not dine in Palo.

If you are a first time cruiser you will do your online checkin at 75 days out. At that time, you will select your PAT (port arrival time) and your excursions, adult dining, spa, nursery, etc. The earlier PAT that you have, the earlier you board the ship.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
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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
5 Night Disney Dream Double Dip June 2012
3 Night Disney Dream May 2013 Trip report W/Navigators http://www.disboards.com/showthread.p?t=3121863
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