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Old 07-23-2014, 03:29 PM   #1
Lauren1027
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Our First Disney Cruise! Pre-Trip Report for our 5 Year Anniversary Aboard the Dream

Hello, all! My name is Lauren and I am a twenty-something Orlando resident who is DISNEY OBSESSED. I live with my boyfriend George and Disney has been a huge part of our relationship since the very beginning. Our first actual date was at Disney in December of 2009. We had our first kiss at the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Lights (can you say magical?), and we have now been WDW annual passholders for over 4 consecutive years (though each of us has had annual passes with our families in the past). We visit the parks at least once a month, if not more, and we simply love everything Disney. Since our 5 year anniversary is coming up this December, we've been trying to come up with a fun way to celebrate this milestone, and what better way than with a DISNEY CRUISE!?!

I'm very excited to say that as of today, we are officially booked on our VERY FIRST Disney cruise! Words can't even explain how excited I am! We will be traveling to the Bahamas out of Port Canaveral aboard the Disney Dream and we depart on January 30, 2015 (December cruises were waaay out of budget). While we are on a budget, we splurged a little and booked a deluxe stateroom with verandah so that we could have the extra room, as well as a balcony with beautiful views. We also plan to book a dinner reservation at Palo, if available. I really can't wait to explore the ship, go to Castaway Cay, and eat all the delicious food my heart desires.

So here are the players for this Disney cruise: Me (Lauren) and DB (George). Here we are at our happy place on my birthday last year!


A little bit of background...this will be my second cruise, but my first aboard the Disney Cruise Line. The first cruise I went on was over 7 years ago and it was basically the same itinerary (Nassau/private island). This will be George's first cruise and he's not 100% sure if it will be the type of vacation he enjoys, which is why we stuck to a short itinerary. However, being the huge Disney fanatics that we are, I think both of us will love it! While I'm a bit bummed to be going on the same itinerary as the first cruise I went on (I found Nassau to be pretty boring), I know it will be a completely different experience because of the Disney difference. I'm honestly more excited about actually being on the ship (and going to Castaway Cay, of course) than going to Nassau again.

So that's my story on how we booked out first cruise! I'm sure I will continue to update this pre-trip report as we get closer to the cruise and I continue to plan things to do. Before I go, I do have a few questions to throw out there to some of you cruise veterans. First, has anyone taken a cruise to the Bahamas in January/February before? I know that Florida's weather is completely unpredictable for those months, but how has the weather been in your past experiences? I'm terrified that it'll be freezing the whole time. Also, do they still do the pirate party even on the 3-night Bahamian cruises?

Any tips or advice for this first-time Disney cruiser would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!


Last edited by Lauren1027; 08-05-2014 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:05 PM   #2
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Cruising on the Disney Dream will be a dream! It's a very nice ship. I just sailed on it in December 2013 was on it for Christmas! Nassau is still boring. Castaway Cay is the greatest and most beautiful island! Be sure to attend the Broadway Shows and definitely book Palo! And yes, there will still be a Pirates Party which is a lot of fun and don't miss the great buffet in Cabanas after the party. Enjoy your cruise I think you will have a wonderful time!
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:48 AM   #3
Lauren1027
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Thanks, disanddisney! I'm really looking forward to it. And glad that we'll have the pirate party. Thanks for your advice!
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:22 AM   #4
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Congrats on booking your first Disney cruise! The Dream 4-night cruise was our first and we were hooked within an hour of being onboard!
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:51 AM   #5
Lauren1027
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Thanks, schmass! I will have to check out your trip report. January can't come soon enough!
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren1027 View Post
Hello, all! My name is Lauren and I am a twenty-something Orlando resident who is DISNEY OBSESSED. I live with my boyfriend George and Disney has been a huge part of our relationship since the very beginning. Our first actual date was at Disney in December of 2009. We had our first kiss at the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Lights (can you say magical?), and we have now been WDW annual passholders for over 4 consecutive years (though each of us has had annual passes with our families in the past). We visit the parks at least once a month, if not more, and we simply love everything Disney. Since our 5 year anniversary is coming up this December, we've been trying to come up with a fun way to celebrate this milestone, and what better way than with a DISNEY CRUISE!?! I'm very excited to say that as of today, we are officially booked on our VERY FIRST Disney cruise! Words can't even explain how excited I am! We will be traveling to the Bahamas out of Port Canaveral aboard the Disney Dream and we depart on January 30, 2015 (December cruises were waaay out of budget). While we are on a budget, we splurged a little and booked a deluxe stateroom with verandah so that we could have the extra room, as well as a balcony with beautiful views. We also plan to book a dinner reservation at Palo, if available. I really can't wait to explore the ship, go to Castaway Cay, and eat all the delicious food my heart desires. A little bit of background...this will be my second cruise, but my first aboard the Disney Cruise Line. The first cruise I went on was over 7 years ago and it was basically the same itinerary (Nassau/private island). This will be George's first cruise and he's not 100% sure if it will be the type of vacation he enjoys, which is why we stuck to a short itinerary. However, being the huge Disney fanatics that we are, I think both of us will love it! While I'm a bit bummed to be going on the same itinerary as the first cruise I went on (I found Nassau to be pretty boring), I know it will be a completely different experience because of the Disney difference. I'm honestly more excited about actually being on the ship (and going to Castaway Cay, of course) than going to Nassau again. So that's my story on how we booked out first cruise! I'm sure I will continue to update this pre-trip report as we get closer to the cruise and I continue to plan things to do. Before I go, I do have a few questions to throw out there to some of you cruise veterans. First, has anyone taken a cruise to the Bahamas in January/February before? I know that Florida's weather is completely unpredictable for those months, but how has the weather been in your past experiences? I'm terrified that it'll be freezing the whole time. Also, do they still do the pirate party even on the 3-night Bahamian cruises? Any tips or advice for this first-time Disney cruiser would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!
We are taking our family on the 3 night Disney Dream in December. This is our first family and Disney cruise. I, too, would love any advice anyone has to share. Our family includes myself, the hubs, 2 adult daughters, 1 son-in-law, and 2 wonderful grandchildren (3 year old girl, 5 year old boy). I hope you have a wonderful cruise in Jan. I have traveled many times in
Jan and have had both warm and cool temperatures. Fortunately with the weather apps available, it is much easier to prepare than it was years ago. You love Disney, you will love the cruise, I sure.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:29 AM   #7
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Planning Packets and Books Received!

I received all of my planning packets from Disney this weekend, as well as the "Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line" and have been reading them nonstop. While still 6 months out, I think I have almost everything planned to a tee. Call me crazy, but the planning process really helps with passing the time when you still have SO long to go. I've also been reading trip reports and listening to various Disney podcasts to pass the time.

Anyways, since out cruise is only 3 nights long and we definitely want to do Palo for dinner one night, we have to cut out one of the rotational dinings. Thanks to the Disboards, we've decided to skip out on Enchanted Garden this time around, but will try and stop there for breakfast one morning so that we can still see the restaurant. I'm also hoping that we can book Palo for the last night of our cruise since that is already to optional semi-formal night (I think) and I don't want to dress up twice. I definitely don't want to miss the pirate party so I really hope we can get reservations for either the first or last night. I seriously can't wait to eat all the delicious food on board. I made the mistake of looking at the Cruise Food thread and my mouth has been watering ever since.

I was originally looking into possibly doing a dolphin excursion in Nassau since swimming with dolphins is on my bucket list, but after looking at reviews and pricing, I think I'll find a better value of just going to Discovery Cove here in Orlando. Not only do you get the dolphin swim there, but you have all-day access to their scuba diving, seeing the sea otters, lounging on their beach all day, 14-day passes to Sea World and Aquatica, and breakfast, lunch, and unlimited alcoholic beverages are all included in the price. Definitely going to have to do that one of these days. As for Nassau plans, I think we'll just take it easy and walk around the Straw Market, grab a drink somewhere, and possibly visit the Pirate Museum, which I think sounds pretty cool since I'm a history buff. Has anyone been there before? Would you recommend it to someone who's into history?

For Castaway Cay, we plan on renting some bikes and doing the bike trails, then just relaxing at Serenity Beach. Despite what the weather may be, I'm sure the water will be COLD since it will be February. I don't really like swimming in the ocean anyways, so I'm more than happy to just lounge around the beach and ride bikes. I do want to go swimming on the ship though...do you know if they heat the pools in the wintertime?

I think that's all for now. Not sure when I'll be updating again, but I won't really be able to formally plan anything until November 16th, which is when we will be 75 days out. Hope the next couple of months go by fast!

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Old 08-05-2014, 08:18 AM   #8
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We rented bikes on Castaway Cay when we were there before, and plan to do it again next month. It's a great way to get to Serenity Bay, and to tour the island!

I think the pools are heated, but still not really warm enough for me. But I like my pools really warm, like over 88 degrees, so I might not be the best person to answer that question!
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:44 AM   #9
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We rented bikes on Castaway Cay when we were there before, and plan to do it again next month. It's a great way to get to Serenity Bay, and to tour the island!

I think the pools are heated, but still not really warm enough for me. But I like my pools really warm, like over 88 degrees, so I might not be the best person to answer that question!
Yah, I'm a huge wimp when it comes to water temperature too. I don't need to stay in the water too long, but I'm DYING to ride the Aquaduck....and hopefully multiple times. It looks like sooo much fun!
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:15 AM   #10
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Yah, I'm a huge wimp when it comes to water temperature too. I don't need to stay in the water too long, but I'm DYING to ride the Aquaduck....and hopefully multiple times. It looks like sooo much fun!
You should be fine on the Aquaduck. I rode it several times and was fine. It's a little cold at the end, but definitely worth it!
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:10 PM   #11
Bheannaichte
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1st Disney Cruise

What an wonderful way to celebrate 5 years! If you are on the 4 night cruise, try to take advantage of the Palo brunch (offered on the at sea day). I enjoy the dinner at Palo but enjoy the brunch a little bit more. Also if you just want to relax try the day Rainforest pass at the spa (I try this every time I go and consider it a great way to unwind, especially the heated stone/tile couches). I know you will have a great time building wonderful memories.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:19 PM   #12
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Oops - first time cruiser

You did post that it was 3-night cruise, sorry. However, the brunch will be something to look forward to when you book your next cruise. Time at Disney, whether the parks or cruise, is something you can't do just once. I go once a year and live in the midwest. Still, hope you can get time at Palo, and don't be discouraged if you can't book before the trip, go to the activities desk when you first get onboard and try there (it has worked for me before). Again, enjoy!
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:01 AM   #13
Lauren1027
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You did post that it was 3-night cruise, sorry. However, the brunch will be something to look forward to when you book your next cruise. Time at Disney, whether the parks or cruise, is something you can't do just once. I go once a year and live in the midwest. Still, hope you can get time at Palo, and don't be discouraged if you can't book before the trip, go to the activities desk when you first get onboard and try there (it has worked for me before). Again, enjoy!
Thanks! I would have loved to do the Palo brunch as well, but could only fit in a 3-day trip this time around. If DB ends up loving to cruise (like I think he will) I'm going to try and convince him to do a 4 or 5-night Western Caribbean cruise for my 30th birthday next October. We will definitely do the Palo brunch then....dying to try that grape and gorgonzola pizza I keep hearing about!
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:41 PM   #14
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Just saying hello. We're also planning an anniversary cruise (10th), and I enjoyed checking out your PTR. We went on a 3 night for our honeymoon and loved it. FWIW we are doing a 7 night this time, but if we were doing a shorter cruise again we would skip Nassau all together and just spend the day exploring the ship. There is so much to do on the ship, and we didn't get to take advantage of that at all last time. Plus, as an added bonus, it will be less crowded. You will love Castaway Cay though. It was the highlight of our trip, and we can't wait to be back.
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:58 PM   #15
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2 Months to Go!

We are less than two months to go until our first Disney cruise and we are beyond excited! November 16th was our 75-days out so we were able to log onto the Disney cruise site and make all of our reservation.

I logged on right at midnight and was able to score a Palo dinner reservation at our desired time for the first night of our cruise! I'm so excited that we get to celebrate our special anniversary dinner splurge on the very first night. No shore excursions for Nassau, as we'd rather just walk around at our leisure and then go back to the ship early to enjoy time there. Same with Castaway Cay...I just want to enjoy my time on the island and not have to worry about being somewhere for an excursion.

The very next day, I read on the Disney Cruise Line Blog that some 3-day Bahamian cruises were now offering Palo brunch on their Nassau day as a test. I quickly logged in to my account to see if this was an option for me and it was! I booked that brunch faster than you can say brunch, as I've heard sooo many amazing things about the Palo brunch. Needless to say I'm probably going to need someone to forklift me off of this ship with a Palo brunch AND dinner, but I'm so excited!

The only other thing I'm really interested in trying is one of the mixology or drink-tasting seminars, but I know you can't book those until the day of. I'm not sure what will be offered on my sailing, but the mixology class seems super fun. Has anyone tried any of these seminars before and would you recommend them?

I think that's all the updates I have for now. I'm just relieved that I finally got this cruise paid off and got all my Palo reservations in order. DBF and I's actual 5-year anniversary date is in just a few more weeks and I know he's got reservations at one of the WDW signature restaurants for us, but won't let me in on the secret. I'll let you all know if its anything exciting
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