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Old 07-26-2013, 03:12 PM   #1
HNW999
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Disney Dream Review for 4/25 - 4/29 3 day cruise

Review of Disney Dream Cruise 4/25 - 4/29
Room 8096


DAY 1
Embarkation:
We arrived at Port Canaveral at 12:45 ish. DH (Darling Husband) dropped us off curbside. Out suitcases we taken by a very polite porter and we watched him place out luggage on the baggage truck. DD (Darling Daughter) 17, DS Darling Son 14 & I went through security on the 1st floor. This was easy, (walk through metal detector and empty pockets, day bags through the X-ray machine) less than 5 minutes. We proceeded upstairs for check in. The line was long but moved very quickly, so quickly I did not think DH would get upstairs in time. We were told not to worry he would be checked in and get his picture taken later. He wound up showing up just in time. I estimate that the line was about 15 minutes long. They announced embarkation for all and we proceeded to get our picture taken (another 5 minute wait). Once the picture is taken you proceed on the gangplank and announced into the lobby.

The lobby is so impressive. My first impression (and continual impression was) clean and large. We were just like everyone else we stopped and took a couple of pictures. The lobby was loud and flashy so we moved on. We were allowed to go to our rooms immediately. The elevators midship (the lobby) were packed so we took the stairs up the 4 flights to our room.

Our room, 8096 beat our expectations. So clean, bright and larger than I thought it would be. Our host (Ewan) introduced himself and knew our names. He told us how to reach him if he was not around. We check out the whole room and veranda.

We proceeded to Cabanas for lunch. Upon entering a very cheery CM offered everyone a hand wipe (she stated they go through 10 huge containers a day). There were many options at that lunch. While it was busy and rather full were able to scope out a table easily. The food was good. I even tried swordfish (our family doesnít do fish, usually). I told DH it tastes like chicken...his response was ďchickenís cheaperĒ LOL. I should disclose that I had a sinus infection so my ability to judge food taste will not be talked about in this review.

After lunch, we found our luggage outside our room, standard operating procedure on most cruise ships. The kids were eager to check out the Vibe. DH & I changed, unpacked, decorated the door and hung our Fish Extender. We then left to explore. The kids were already up at the VIBE and were at home already. They had already gotten a new key (Vibe is exclusive and the kids get a new KTTW that allows them to key into the Vibe). The kids loved the idea that we were not allowed in their space. The Vibe was big and bright colors. We were given a brief tour and then our DS asked us to leave :-)

DH & I explored the rest of the ship. Everything was clean and there was always someone cleaning or painting or maintaining the ship (not in an intrusive way and they were ALWAYS nice and stopped to greet you).

Before the ship leaves port there is a Muster Drill (no ketchup just muster!) Our meet place was in the theater. I thought we would muster near the lifeboats but that was not the case. We did not need to bring our lifejacket. A CM gave us a briefing then called out room numbers to ensure all room numbers were represented. This is one thing that made me a little mad. Very few people paid attention and talked over the CM (oh and not children but adults!)

Leaving Port - We tried Deck 11, where the going away party was, but it was very crowded with happy people. Deck 4 was our sweet spot. They have loungers with cushions and it was quiet. Deck 4 is also the track (2.5 times around is a mile).

After leaving port DH & I went to the 70ís music trivia in one of the bars. We also did some more exploring. We loved the animated artwork and started the The Midship Detective Agency game (you get a game card at a kiosk and then look for clues in the various pieces of artwork on the ship).

We did not do any shows. We had late dinner (8:30). So knowing DS hates most foods, he went and had pizza & chicken tenders on Deck 11. The Drink waiter at dinner was very funny and had a puzzle that stumped us all! We saw very little of our server and the only request we made of him was for extra bread, but he did not bring it. I really would like a dinner buffet option on this cruise but there was none. I had the chicken and DH & DD had the steak the DS had already eaten and was just wanting more bread. Dinner was 1 1/2 hours long and they did try to rush us along. I can not give an opinion on the flavor of any foods as I was fighting a sinus infection the entire cruise.

The drink server go that DS did not want to be there anymore. When DS said he wanted nothing for dessert, DS was brought a plate with the word ďnothingĒ written in chocolate syrup script. He still talks about it. With dinner over the kids told us the Vibe did not close till 1am and we would see them when it closed.

I was feeling tired and my only experience ever with sea sickness, so I took a power nap (yes at 10pm). The room had already been prepared for the night. Chocolates and a towel animal on the bed. DH went to check out the bars. I joined him later. The little seasickness I felt was gone upon waking up. Revolution is a dance club with a light up dance floor. Others seemed to be having a terrific time dancing, though at 12 midnight there were less people than I thought there would be. The DJ had an open window where you could request music. They played 70ís, 80ís, 90ís thru current.


DAY 2
I am an early riser, so I go up and we were already in port in Nassau. I went upstairs for breakfast at cabanas. Had all the basics and then some. After I finished my breakfast I explored the ship some more. The pool area was quite as it was early. I then delivered the FE gifts we had made. I tried to sort them according to deck number and location on the deck Many of the decks to not go all the way around. It kinda felt a little maze like, but nothing too bad. Itís a great way to check out the ship and get a little exercise too.

We had booked the under water viewing boat excursion before we went on the trip. We met at a lounge on level 4. They check your tickets and asked if we had ID so that we would get back on without problems. we left the lounge and headed to level 2 and walked down the gangplank on to the dock in Nassau It was very busy and there were many locals trying to get your attention. We were led by guide to a boat to take us to the underwater viewing boat. This boat took longer than the actual view boat, but you pass by beautiful estates and Atlantis and the water was crystal clear and turquoise blue. The underwater view boat was ok, The glass was scratched and there was definitely a funk to the air. We did get to see some fish. They throw chum in the water to attract fish to the boat. We were dropped off at port right next to the boarding area but it is a crazy mess. Parents hold onto young ones hands tight.. lots of people moving about in various directions. Lots of selling of wares. We were not into that and of course we had pulled the kids out of the vibe to have some family time LOL. They couldnít get back on the boat fast enough and get back to the Vibe.

Me and DH went back on board too, we had tickets to the cocktail making class ($15.00 a person and you get 3 drinks with that price). You learn a little about the different liquors and they give you a history about them too. It was fun. I would do it again. We went to another trivia contest (80 music trivia). The CM in charge was fun and energetic with some good come backs. We did not win but we certainly got a lot of them right.
We went back to our room to just relax, got some cocktails and sat on the veranda. The kid next door threw up. and if that wasnít bad enough, they used a towel to mop it up and made more of a mess and it got all over our veranda floor and on the seats. We call the cabin attendant and he was there immediately. He had 4-5 cleaning products and big plastic bags and just went to town. He was so incredible that we joked you could eat off the floor after he was done. There was not a surface on the veranda that was not cleaned then re-cleaned. very thorough. The other family never called. ewww!
He was their cabin attendant too so he told us that when they leave the cabin he would go in and clean it up.

That night the kids did not want to eat at a restaurant so we skipped it and thought we would hit cabanas for a buffet, except there isnít one. They served a sit down meal with waiters and served the same menu we had the night before. This time DH had a hamburger and I had the chicken. The view of the sunset was spectacular. It still took an 1 1/2 hours to do diner, but It was far less cowed and less noisy. We loved the location. DH and I played the Magic Detective Agency game. It was fun and interactive. We each took our own cards (many different cases to solve). We only hit about 4 decks but there are about 2 per floor on many of the floors. We also checked out the art gallery. (DH surprised me for Mothers Day with one of my favorite prints in the gallery). We also check out the photo area. Unfortunately we did not have many just the embarkment photos and the first night dinner photos. I thought there would be some of the kids from the vibe but there were none. DH & I were both kinda tired and turned in. It was weird that the kids were coming in later than us, but the cabin and veranda was relaxing. The shower was nice and had a big shower head The clothes line pulled across the tub. I liked the shampoo and conditioner and soap. The bunk bed had been pulled down (by CM only, they have a special key) and the chocolates and towel animal was done before we came back from dinner. There was very little hallway noise and the seas seemed calm. There were no vibrations or ship sounds and the neighbors seemed to be quite. The blackout curtains were just that. It blocked out the light that was left on, on the neighbors veranda.


DAY 3
The next morning DH & I were planning to do the 5k on Castaway Cay. Hereís some things they donít tell you.
1- Your kids can not leave the ship without a permission slip (and nobody had one to fill out)
2- The CMís were confused and told us we needed ID to get back on the ship on their private Island. Me and about 1/2 of the people had to rush back and get IDís. BTW You Donít kneed ID to get back on from their private island)
3). We did not leave the ship until 8:35 and thus were behind many people just walking off the ship for the day.
4). There is a good 1/2 mile ďwarm upĒ before you even start the race.
5) They have a bathroom break before you start. The race did not start until 9:15am and we were to get the kid off the ship at 10:00 so the timing was just not gonna work out for us. Dh was not happy (beacuse it was not explained to us) so he complained to customer service (more like suggested that there be more info on the race in the daily bulletin). Within minutes we had a knock at the door and we received 4 free tube rentals on shore for our trouble. Later that day we received a plate of chocolate covered strawberries (awesome and delicious) and the kids got free tokens in the arcade.

The Cay was beautiful It was not very crowed as it was mid April. The kids once again had their own area on the island and we did not see them all day. We did snorkeling but we were not in the right place to see the sunken statues of Mickey and friends. We snorkeled in the swim area that was closest to the ship. There was not to much to see.

Since it was just the 2 of us we decided to check out the adult only beach. It was nice, quieter. There was a waiter getting people drinks on the beach and plenty of chairs. The food a the adult beach was not very good at all the jerk chicken had very little spice the hamburgers had been cooked to long and were very hard with flies everywhere. next time we will go back down the beach to the main dinning facility. DH rented a bike and toured the island..It took 30 minutes and he stopped and took pictures. On our way back we noticed that the big swim structure in the family beach was closed. I think because the tide went out.

We had a notebook and pen to communicate where everyone was and the estimated time they expected to be back. I also left messages for the kids about when I needed them back for various reasons. It worked out very well.

We hung our in our room for a while and also on Deck four. This is also when we did most of our packing.

We joined an FE group and that was so much fun. We loved coming back to our room and seeing new stuff in our FE hanger. I made ours, it was too big, but still fit. Make sure it is no wider than 8Ē wide as that is the size of the wall that it hangs on. We got some really nice gifts that included 4 mugs, a music CD, picture frame, magnets, tote bags, personalized decorations for the door, candy, chap stick, pirate props and so much more. I would easily do this again as it was so much fun. Even DH got into it. He also was wondering did I give as good as we got (the answer is I hope so. :-) )

The other thing about joining an FE group is meeting people online before your trip and all the great advice we got even before we stepped on the ship. I highly encourage you to join an FE group. You do not have to be creative.

I went to the Rainforest Spa. Well worth the $16.00 for a day pass. It is adult only and very quiet. There are a few different shower stalls (with varying degrees of water temp and shower head styles and themes) The pass also included the use of the hot tubs, sauna and steam rooms. The hot tubs sat over the edge of the ship and had a spectacular view. But my personal favorite is the heated tiled loungers. Next time I will nap in one! I choose to go in the evening and it was empty. I had the place to myself for all but the last ten minutes. The exercise room is also in the spa area and is FREE to use, just tell them at the desk you are looking for the exercise room and they will direct you. It has a wonderful view too.

This was our ďformalĒ night (only if you want it to be). Forced DS to dress up and go to dinner. They offer free (no sitting fee or scheduling) professional pictures taken in the main lobby before dinner. There were 2 choices - the staircase or a backdrop of the ship. We chose the backdoor and the pictures came out great. The lobby was very loud with lots of people waiting to get pics taken. The lounge singer reminded me of the mom on The Suite Life on Deck, Zack n Cody. We went to dinner at the animators palette. I wish you could choose or request a seat next to the video screens. It kinda made me mad that so many people who could care less about the interactive animation sat at the tables closest to the video screens and ignored crush.

This time we all ordered off the kids menu. I had a double plate of pasta Alfredo made with Mickey head pasta. It was tasty and more than enough food. After dinner we got dressed up for the pirate night party. The deck was super crowded and loud. The show was really good and the fireworks were fun. After the show they open up cabanas for a taco feast. There were many choices besides tacos.

DS loved the ice cream stand (by pool Deck 11). We laughed at how many times he would go get a cone from 1st thing after breakfast till 11 at night. Blessedly it was a 3 day cruise and that he is not a soda drinker too (thatís free and unlimited on Deck 11). The Ice cream stand was his favorite part of the cruise and the vibe is second. The ice cream stand CM told us that they go through at least 25 gallons of ice cream mix a day.


DAY 4
Itís not really a day, they want you off the ship VERY EARLY. They come over the speakers early to announce itís time to go a couple of times. The standard operating procedure on cruises is to leave your bags outside the night before and they come and take them away for debarkation. We do not leave our bags unattended, just not our thing. Once you leave the room in the morning you canít get back in so you have to take your luggage with you up to the buffet. Not a big deal for us (we travel light). We did make the mistake of rushing to disembark. Next time we will wait to they politely kick us off. We waited in the debarkation line for about 40 minutes. They asked a few questions about fruit or food and did we buy anything. We were then cleared and we were out of the line and out to the parking garage. Leaving the area was very easy. We did stop in Coco Beach to enjoy the surf and waves before we left for the airport.


Summary

We had a wonderful time. Everyone enjoyed themselves and thought that 3 days was not enough time. DS and DD both used the phase ďThe next time we go....Ē. I am looking forward to going back when I am not sick. DH liked it so much he is also talking about going again, but doing a 4 day or longer cruise, woo hoo!

Hope you enjoyed my review and I hope you have a fantastic cruise!
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:31 PM   #2
Tink-n-Belle
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Glad you had a great time. Me and my 2 DD's are going in 2 weeks on the 4 day cruise. DH will not be going this trip. The kids are 13&15

Can you tell me more about the Vibe? Thanks

This is my first Disney Cruise!! We just booked it Friday!
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:48 PM   #3
PoohJen
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Thanks for the report! Glad you and your family enjoyed it!
A 3 night cruise is really a 3 day cruise (the day you embark being "Day 1" - so Embarkation, Nassau, Castaway Cay), a four night is a four day (Embarkation, Nassau, Day at Sea, Castaway Cay). The day of departure is just breakfast and goodbye. Just as you like to get on the ship in time for lunch, they need everyone off the last cruise early to make that happen.

Thanks for the information re: your port arrival - I am surprised it was so crowded at that time (I wonder if the buses from WDW had started to arrive). Would you mind telling my what your "assigned" port arrival time was? This whole PAT assignment system is new to me, I'm curious as to folks' experiences with it.

TIA!
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:52 PM   #4
PoohJen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tink-n-Belle View Post
Glad you had a great time. Me and my 2 DD's are going in 2 weeks on the 4 day cruise. DH will not be going this trip. The kids are 13&15 Can you tell me more about the Vibe?!
Tink - which sailing are you on? We are going on the four day on 8/18. My kids LOVE the Vibe - plenty of opportunities for group activities or just chilling on your own. The first night they have a "411" - an ice breaker and opportunity for the kids on that cruise to plan what activities they want in the Vibe that week. My kids have always enjoyed various scavenger hunts, trivia contests, pool & pizza parties, late night dodgeball on the basketball court, make your own smoothies/sundaes, etc. Plus, tons of video games, I'm sure.

Google "Disney Cruise" and "Navigator" to see examples of what the daily itineraries are on each of the ships. disneycruiselineblog.com has a bunch posted there.
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