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Old 01-04-2011, 08:47 PM   #1
Dicecatt
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Christening AND Maiden Voyage of the Dream...6 heavenly nights! COMPLETE

Trip report time! I'm going to combine my voyages since they are so close together.

I will also be saving pages for each day, that worked out wonderfully for my med report so I'm doing it again!

Trip #1:
Cast: me, obviously Disney obsessed as I plan trips for a living and own a company mainly devoted to Disney
DH: Dicedawg, along for the ride and mostly a good sport but occasionally earns the nickname "Grumpy"
DDalmost12: AKA Drama, she is a competitive cheerleader but is not whining about missing practice for this!
DSalmost12: AKA Goofy...my darling son is much "easier" than his high maintenance twin. They turn 12 on Jan 26 so although I'll be out of town, this is quite a present...
DD5: She just loves everyone and everything and just lost her second front tooth.
DD16: AKA Irritated...she doesn't get to go. She can't miss school...darn high school...so is staying with a friend while we party on the Dream. I will bring her a present. Maybe a Dream Dooney??? We'll see

Plan:
Arrive January 17th in the late evening, WL for two nights
January 18th: Animal Kingdom during the day, then off to MK at 6 for the private party (woo hoo) and Dream celebration in a closed park!
January 19th: board transfers around 7 or 8 AM to be taken to port...where the Christening will be held at the terminal and repositioning of the ship (from what I understand).
January 20: Castaway!
January 21: Goodbye, Dream...for 5 days!

I'm still waiting anxiously for more details on this trip...I was given a cabin for five, so I get to see one of the new oceanview 5 sleepers (and I do have my cabin number already, but NO docs)

Trip #2:
I'm tagging along with my friend Grlzmom and a few of her kids. This was a just in case I didn't get on a prior cruise, but I'm very happy about it still...gives me lots of time on the Dream and I love Jeanne, we met on the DIS last year and clicked (some of you know how that is)
Plan:
We have two connecting inside virtual porthole cabins.
January 25: arrive around noon. Still debating on Country Inn & Suites or a night at Universal, where Grlzmom and her crew will have been after her B&G Dream preview. Leaning towards some Harry P...
January 26: Board the ship for an awesome party!
January 27-30: more fun onboard, and then back to my neglected family.

I will be posting live on the Christening!

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Old 01-04-2011, 08:48 PM   #2
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Pre Cruise info: Christening





This cool treasure box was my invitation!

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Old 01-04-2011, 08:48 PM   #3
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January 17th, time to leave!

After some nervousness as a result of weather reports predicting "slushy, patchy rain", we flew successfully and on time! We picked up our own bags since we arrived at 8 PM and didn't want to wait for DME to bring our bags. There was no wait at the DME counter, and no wait in line...right on the bus...

Check in was smooth. We were club level last night, and had a few dessert type snacks while checking in. Room is courtyard view, I've had much better as this was sort of to the side, but doesn't matter, we didn't have that room for long! I really, really love the Wilderness Lodge, it is one of my favorites.







I received a really cool envelope from DCL with 5 two day park hopper tickets that don't expire until the end of May, and meal vouchers. Very cool, and extra generous!

After settling in and watching some TV, we hit the hay, excited for the morning.


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Old 01-04-2011, 08:49 PM   #4
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January 18th, Animal Kingdom

Not a bad sight to wake up to:





We decided to do Whispering Canyon Cafe for breakfast. Everyone but me ordered the skillets, I ordered the eggs benedict brisket and it was yummy. I can't breathe, so I went to the shop to get some decongestant. Came back to a soda about as big as my head:




DD11 with her ketchup:



I loved my breakfast...DH was underwhelmed with his.

On to Animal Kingdom!

This is what Dinoland looked like when we arrived at about 9:10 AM:



DD5 rode Expedition Everest for the first time and LOVED it!








We rode Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Triceratop Spin, walked the Pangani Trail, saw Its Tough To Be A Bug, and then left, gifting another family of 5 with fast passes for the safari. We had late checkout till 1 at the hotel so didn't want to push it. All in all, it was a fantastic morning...no waits, low key, just really enjoyable.


Here was a hilarious meerkat (did I spell that wrong?) that was sunning itself:



Awesome gorilla having a snack (video is pending, it is taking forever to load)

Gorilla Snacking
Here is some boredom on the bus fun:



Back at the hotel, we had a snack in the club lounge, and then went to the lobby to check in for my new rooms that we are now in right now. Then we headed up to the third floor where they have a hospitality room set up. It was full of cruise line employees, and there was snacks and drinks. I got a cool blue envelope (I know, I'm a dork):



Awesome lanyards to wear to the party tonight and then on the cruise, and we got our boarding passes.

Then we went swimming (well, DH and the kids swam, I sat on the lounger looking through my cool blue envelope) and ate at Roaring Forks, where the vouchers came in handy as lunch was over $63.

More details:



I am super excited to tour the staterooms!

Last edited by Dicecatt; 01-19-2011 at 07:03 PM. Reason: Updated
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:50 PM   #5
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January 18, private Dream party at Magic Kingdom

Details:

7 PM board bus in front of hotel entrance for transportation to the Magic Kingdom

7:30 PM-10 PM Experience select Magic Kingdom park attractions and entertainment including special dinner party


So...what information do I have? We have dinner, and the park is open. Besides that, it will be a surprise!

************************************************** *********************************

Almost midnight now here...and WOW, what a night.

I have to say, I consider this night one of the coolest ever...

We headed down to the Wilderness Lodge lobby around 6:45, and it was full of other party goers. CMs were passing out different lanyards:







So, as you can see, there was an "itinerary" of sorts...a few rides, several places open for dinner, a presentation and Wishes.

We were loaded onto buses, and then taken a back way into Magic Kingdom, through the scary gates, and then past a bunch of buildings including one that stores pararde floats and another that looked like a craft station, complete with treasure chest in progress! We were led through a makeshift baggage search area with a cowgirl perched in one of the parade floats talking to people. Then we entered the park through Frontierland, and were greeted by dozens of CMs, holding trays of beer, wine (gasp, yes! Alcohol at MK!), water, and sodas, and welcoming us to the park. So classy! DD11 and DS11 both wore birthday buttons today, they are about to turn 12, so everyone said Happy Birthday. And dozens of people tonight talked about their hats, they just loved them.

We walked through Frontierland, and took pics with Jesse, Woody and Bullseye together, and played with the Country Bears. Mickey and Minnie were together but the line was too long. We eventually also visited with Davey Crockett Donald, Clarabelle, and a few others...Aladin and Jasmine spent about 10 minutes with the girls! Tons of characters were out.




There were little stands everywhere with beverages and popcorn. We played in the Shootin Gallery first (free), and then headed to eat at Liberty Tree. There were more beverage stands inside, and a buffet with pot roast, chicken, mashed potatoes, salads with cute little squeezy tubes with dressing, antipasta in cute little square dishes, flame cooked shrimp skewers, and kid choices.





Haunted Mansion was open, and we got stuck right by the knocking door for about 10 minutes, which was pretty funny. Then we rode Pirates, and instead of riding Magic Carpets (which was the other open ride) we stopped to hang out with Jasmine and Aladin and the ride closed. We then went to the dessert party in the Castle Hub...I am not doing a good enough job describing just how cool it was. We had magnificent, front row seats for the unveling of the new promo "Let the Memories Begin" and the Castle Projection Show, which was FREAKING AWESOME. It was unbelievable technology, and was just amazing. I heard from a Dis friend that some people are already complaining about the show...I refuse to read anything negative...it was just so cool. My Youtube video has about another hour (lol) of uploading before I can post, but I will link it in this report.



Added: Video of Castle Projection Show

We stayed put for Wishes, which wasn't ideal for the lower fireworks because we were really close to the Castle, but I took some wonderful photos with my new camera.




After Wishes, we walked down Main Street towards the main exit, and were given warm chocolate chip cookies, Mickey krispie treats, milk, soda, cotton candy...the kids had armfuls. And I discovered that the photopass card we received have free digital downloads!






I am very, very excited for what tomorrow will bring!

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Old 01-04-2011, 08:50 PM   #6
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January 19th, Christening ceremony and boarding the Dream

To watch the Christening ceremony at 10:30 Eastern time, go here: Christening Ceremony

I will add pictures to this, but my connection is too slow to load my high quality photos, so for now, just words!

We woke up early, because they told us to have our bags ready by 7 AM, and although we didn't have to meet until 8:15, we weren't allowed to bring anything larger than a purse, so we all had to get up and change and finish getting ready so we could put everything in the bags.

Luggage finally got picked up around 7:45, and we went downstairs to the chaos that was the lobby. We were given little tickets with Goofy on them, and when Goofy was called, we went outside and grabbed breakfast in Contemporary bags (yogurt, fruit bowl, granola bar, two muffins, cheese stick, orange juice). We left pretty quickly. About 40 minutes into the drive, DD5, who had been sleeping on the bus, woke up and threw up. Thankfully, it was in one of the handy Contemporary bags. I make it a point to never give her milk or dairy when we travel, because she gets carsick or airsick if she has it. She sat with my husband while she ate...and ate YOGURT. Okay, so, awesome. But she didn't make a mess and she felt fine...her stomach just rebels against dairy while traveling. Sigh...

We arrived at the port and seeing the ship was very exciting...it was next to the Carnival Pride...and you could just tell that not only the passengers of that ship were jealous but the ship itself was jealous of the Dream. We were led to a gigantic line around the back where some of the performers were loading, there were several different lines, and they led us into the area that is usually used for baggage pick up and customs, then out the back. On the way, they offered us bottled water, and we walked through a red carpeted area past the Dream which was anchored out a bit and into the stadium area. There was a large bleachers section, some seats on the floor, and a gigantic screen and stage.









The show itself was pretty exciting...lots of singing, dancing, characters, huge characters, and a helicopter taking the champagne bottle to the ship for the Christening. Many of you no doubt watched, so I won't spend too much time on it, but the whole thing was incredibly impressive. I have to admit, I felt extremely cool and privleged to have been invited, and it is a memory I will always keep with me.

We followed the herd back through the building where we were led out front, where there were small tables and servers walking around serving champagne, bubbly cider, and water. The appetizers they had were completely non child friendly, probably because this cruise has a huge ratio of adults to children (you could really tell in the clubs which are usually not that busy). They were serving apps in little tiny cute cups with teeny spoons...lentil salad, curry chicken, beef and corn, caviar.

We headed back inside and spent the next LONG time sitting in the customs area, out of the sun but just sitting. Struck up a conversation with a family next to us, turns out the Mom is media and had very little information about what she was going to be doing, but she gave me scoop...celebs onboard include John Stamos and some of the Dancing with the Stars peeps (Lacey Schwimmer is one). DD11 also got Jennifer Hudson's autograph, she was really sweet to the girls.

We finally got to head upstairs, and sort of by accident on purpose we boarded with the boarding group 13 (we were 17). I'm not exactly sure how it happened. I went to the kids area to sign up DD5 for the kids club since I hadn't been able to do it online, and when I came back I joined my husband in line and boarded. Only then did I realize we weren't supposed to be on, oops.

Stepping foot onto the Dream was very exciting...they announced our name, and we stepped into a truly magnificent atrium. It is simply gorgeous, as is the rest of this stunning ship. The little details really make a huge difference...it is clear that attention was paid to every single little tiny thing.

Right away in the hallway we ran into Pluto, who promptly fell on the floor and begged for DD5 to itch him. She happily obliged.




Our cabin was ready but we headed to Enchanted Garden for lunch. No kids buffet, we found out when we got our food...but we dealt with that. What a truly pretty restaurant...I'm going to be hard pressed to have a favorite on this ship. Great server who gave the kids tiny paper birds, and we dined on shrimp, crab claws, and other yummies. At times, I could see the line going into the aisles of the tables, which isn't great but hopefully won't be an issue. The booths are super cute, but only fit up to 4...our family of 5 would not fit.

Next up, the cabin. I have an oceanview family cabin that sleeps five, and although there was some confusion and changes with my cabin, ultimately I have an 8D. LOVE it. This is actually my first oceanview cabin, although I have seen them before. The window seat is great, and this cabin is extremely roomy. The decor is fantastic, more plugs, little touches I love like double clotheslines for wet clothes over the round tub, a magnifing mirror built right into the main mirror, an extremely long desktop, an adorable red desk chair, and of course the awesome red pillow on the bed. The coffee table/trunk is very cute. I don't love that the closet doors open instead of slide...while the slide was sometimes annoying during rough weather, this way makes movement a little hard in the hallway. There IS an ice bucket in here, but I don't see a card to request ice. We have no wave phones, they aren't working right so they took them out.









Some other cool things about the cabin...the drawers have a mechanism that stops them from smashing fingers, you push it shut and it closes the rest of the way slowly. The bed is extremely comfortable and I love the comforter...and the fact that it is white makes you feel very clean. The coffee table/trunk is used for the pillows when the room steward flips the couch into a bed. The red blanket they use for the flipped bed is SO SOFT. There is a nightlight feature which is really cool, and a light up on the top berth near the stars ceiling, and lights in the murphy bed as well. Phones were weird, they gave us a letter with extensions on it, I'm not sure that those phones will actually be the phones in the room. The bathroom doors opening to the outside are annoying, because the closet doors do too, and they aren't compatible with one another. The square shape of the bathroom does give the feeling of more space.

One side of the bathroom smelled sewer-ish, I know that sometimes happens while in port but it was pretty bad. We called and they sent someone up immediately who fixed it. Later today I had to call guest services again...the people next to us in the connecting cabin weren't in there (and I knew that because their luggage was still out in the hall) but an alarm was going off in their room for a LONG time. We could only take so much of that.

They gave us little slips informing us that each person (including the kids) received a $30 OBC for alchol. However, it worked out that it was just deducted from the entire bill...cool!

After getting semi settled, or as much as you can get settled with no luggage, DH and DD5 stayed in the room and I took the twins on the stateroom tour. I saw a Concierge Family cabin, a one bedroom suite, and the Roy two bedroom suite. One word...awesome.

I took so many pictures of the Roy Suite and the one bedroom and the family concierge room that they won't fit in this space (max 20 pictures per post) so I started a new thread: CLICK HERE for those pictures

We then checked out the Edge and the Club and Lab. A news crew was filming in the lab so we left trying to get out of their way.







Muster with no life jacket needed, I like that, so much easier. We came back to the room and I realized I missed the 5 PM TA reception onboard...oops...

DH took twins swimming and to AquaDuck while I took DD5 to the shops at 6. Lots of Inagural merchandise available, but many things held back for the Maiden...vinylmations, Dream Dooney & Burke, other Maiden specific merchandise. They were very clear that the Maiden voyage is considered the first "real" voyage.



Through the atrium we ran into Captain Mickey and Aurora, DD5 got a ton of time with each.



We met them outside...the pools were empty, and there were only a few people in the hot tub by the family pool. They rode the AquaDuck but DD5 is too short, she was very upset.



A word about shows...we aren't really show people, so no show report found here. I did get some awesome theater pictures though.

We ordered room service, and minutes after it arrived we got a call saying that the only way we could get our server request (Grisell) was to switch to Main dining. Wouldn't work since we just received food, but they promised to put us near Grisell. Later we found out that the other table Grisell had requested her as well, and then proceeded not to show up the second night. Plus, she was also supposed to have Whoopi, who was of course in Palo and Remy instead! It was great to see her though. Her husband is now in Remy, he is French so that was no surprise. Our drink server was Anthony and server was Krista. Both are brand new...Krista came from P&N. Drinks were slow in coming and not always accurate, but both were very friendly and tried hard to please.

Dinner was at Animator's...it was cooler than I thought it was going to be. At first, I thought it looked a bit like a conference room, the way the walls were set up...but the screens around the restaurant are really very awesome. Food was the same well known and well loved food, including rock shrimp cheesecake and potato soup. The dishes were adorable, the cutest butter forks and a Mickey bread basket that I WANT.







The kids were itching to get to the kids' clubs. We made them sit with us, but they whined and begged pretty much the whole time, DD5 especially. We were told there was a "surprise" and thought it was probably Mickey, but it was just the normal Crush ending to Animator's, which was cool, but the kids were mad we made them wait. Silly us trying to have a quality family time dinner.

Kids went to the clubs, very very happy, and we checked out the nightclubs. They were pretty full...I think Media and Travel agents are big drinkers, lol. Pink was really cool, and Skyline is really awesome..they have the COOLEST menus, and a great backdrop that changes cities periodically (hard to describe but it is really great).

We collected DD5 (and she was not happy to be collected) and the twins came in and begged to go back out...we let them stay out and they were thrilled. We tried to squeeze in as much as possible but crashed...time for bed!

The room set up in the evening is awesome. What was not awesome was seeing luggage tags and customs forms ALREADY, on the first night of the cruise .

We received an awesome gift, a crystal ship in a bottle, so cool.



One last awesome thing...on the TV, which was just running various photos around the ship and of guests, popped up a pic of DD5 and Princess Aurora! We were shocked and amazed!

More kids clubs pics click HERE

For 42 pictures on the Cat 8, click HERE

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Old 01-04-2011, 08:51 PM   #7
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January 20th, Castaway Cay on the Dream

We had breakfast at Royal Palace. Beautiful restaurant...pancakes are like cardboard as usual, and my "well done" bacon was listless and fatty. Waffle was okay. I'm not sure why DCL can't get breakfast right...it all tastes, well, kind of tasteless. I did enjoy my cream of wheat but I'm one that LOVES brown sugar, and a lot of it, and it is sort of annoying that they won't leave the little silver boat on the table.

Atrium:





We decided, despite the limited amount of time we had onboard, that we would get off on Castaway for a little while. So glad we did...it was really very empty. Everyone on the tram except us got off at the first stop where Pelican Plunge is located...we stayed on and enjoyed a peaceful isolated area on the other part of the family beach. It was really great...DD11 tumbled and attracted a lot of attention as usual, while we kicked back with Bahama Mamas.

Something different...pool towels weren't given out on Castaway...not sure when they started this (it wasn't this way in November), but they were given out one per person in red mesh bags. You can see them on the couch in this picture:



After a while we rented a hobie cat for 30 minutes, although they let us stay out much longer than that.



Headed back onboard by 11:30 or so...had lunch at the quick service locations by the pools. The bacon and brie sandwhich I like was there, and the BBQ chicken pizza was yummy. The food stations are not convenient to the drink stations.

A word about the pools...They are really very small. It is the one glaring "deficiency"...although we don't spend time at the pool on busy times anyway. No deck chairs were out since there were film crews all over the place. We took turns staying with DD5 and riding AquaDuck, SO FUN...and then let the kids swim in the Mickey pool in the middle of news crews filming.

Videos: AquaDuck 1 AquaDuck2









Got dressed...DD5 was dying to go to the Club (it opened at 3) so we headed there at opening and the rest of us went up to the sports deck to check it out. Mini golf is cute and the simulators should be very popular. Twins went to the Edge and DH and I wandered around, checking out Shutters which is very innovative. The problem with it is that it uses facial recognition technology, and the system decided another family looked like us. We had to delink that family. Also, if a face isn't in there (like when they caught DD11 in a back tuck mid air) it won't be in there. There was also a pic of me and DD5 that was on the rack instead of in our folder. However, it is an awesome way to organize and much better than before.



First we went by Quiet Cove and DH got a coffee. We saw Samantha Brown there, her assistant told us she is doing something for the Disney Channel. We also heard word Teri Hatcher was there but I didn't see her.

We headed to The District where I took a ton of "empty" pictures, except Skyline, because that was closed for a special event. I also skipped Palo, Remy, the Vibe and the Spa, I'll see them next week.








We ordered a snack from room service, and I took a nap. The Club called the room (we had no pager or Wave phones) and said DD5 tripped on a princess costume and wanted to be picked up, lol. Later we found out Belle came in and read the kids a story.

We went to the new Pirate Show at 8 PM, and it was pretty cool. The talking skeleton on the screen was pretty funny, and there were some hilarious aspects to the show. The kids had their pictures taken and I think will be on the Orlando Sentinal website today...can't find it yet but I will!





On to dinner. They had told us we had Animator's first, then Royal Palace, when they switched our dining the first day. Wrong...we went to Royal palace only to be told we were at Enchanted Garden. No problem I did catch a glimpse at the awesome bread basket there during breakfast, a carriage...I WANT that one too!

Menu was brand new...and okay. Nothing jumps out at me as being a favorite, although the twice baked potato was very good. We spent a ton of time with Grisell as her families weren't even in the dining room.

After, the kids vetoed our suggestion of Pirate party and fireworks and headed to the clubs without a backwards glance. One of their favorite things is the new handwashers, which are pretty fun to do (of course I had to try it). DH and I went to check out the shops, much of the Inagural merchandise was cleaned out, I'm sure they'll restock today in Port Canaveral. Then we went to the Waves.

One annoying thing is that by each elevator, there is a sign that tells you which deck everything is on, but not where on the deck. I wish it said "aft, midship, forward" because we kept getting lost.

Waves was empty, and we actually found a hidden, quiet spot and had a pretty much private viewing of the fireworks. Awesome! Then we went to the center and caught a glimpse of Captain Jack aluding capture, strolling away with his two wenches.

We headed to The District, and settled in at Evolutions. Good but weird music...like Journey mixed in with Justin Timerlake. I'm so NOT into Journey. There were some, um, interesting dancers...I really think TAs and Media might be lushes by nature, because the dancing was quite enjoyable to watch. DH was fascinated by a really gorgeous blond that must have been European, because no American woman aside from a couple of professions would squeeze their feet into the massively tall red stillettos she was wearing, nor would they wear tube tops with jeans that were painted on. However, she was quite attractive so more power to her. Her boyfriend liked her, I can tell you that much

We decided to skip putting the luggage out and carry it off ourselves, which worked fine. I packed, sort of, and when the twins got back went to sleep. I could not get the internet to connect last night.

Our gift last night was an awesome hard bound making of the Dream book and a chocolate Dream!




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Old 01-04-2011, 08:52 PM   #8
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January 21, Debarkation, goodbye for now!

We decided not to put our luggage out the night before and just haul it, so we had a wake up call. We actually called guest services for it, the phone in the room came with a sheet of paper with instructions on what extensions to dial for what, but I'm not sure that will be the actual phone in the room since there are no automatic buttons.

We were just going to go to Cabanas, normally I hate buffets but it wouldnt' be very crowded on this day. However, we were finished by the 7:45 AM time for Enchanted Garden so we headed there, and got to spend some more time with Grissell! She told us that the Magic and Wonder people did things differently, and when they came together, everyone was confused, especially the new hires

Breakfast was mediocore. Again, I had cream of wheat which was good but again they wouldn't leave the silver boat with brown sugar. What I did find totally weird was that they left the ketchup bottle on the table, and on the tables next to us! That is certainly new. So they won't leave the silver boat, but they will leave the ketchup bottle?

Debarkation was easy, we just hauled our luggage off ourselves, no lines. Then we headed to the buses and went to the airport to spend a delightful (not) many hours there waiting for our flight.

Since this part of the trip was so boring, I will fill it with pictures!

Club pictures:

The District











Bathroom



The District Lounge









Pink














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Old 01-04-2011, 08:53 PM   #9
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Club Pictures

DLounge









Skyline (didn't get many, too many people, then it was closed for a private event, I will get more next week)





Video of light up menu: Click HERE

Video of wall change: Click HERE

Evolution





















687










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Old 01-04-2011, 08:53 PM   #10
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January 25th, Arrival and pre Dream

The plan ended up being French Quarter. I arrived around 10 AM today, and Jeanne and her crew met me here and we headed to Epcot. Ended up being really fun...we walked the World, had a beer in Germany, Grey Goose Slush in France (yum!). We leisurely walked around, rode Test Track twice and Soarin twice mostly with fast pass (Soarin was a walk on at one point, weird right), Living with the Land and Spaceship Earth. While on Living with the Land, there was a Tornado warning, and the roof above the plants was black, the rain was crazy. I thought they were going to have to put us in the basement at Epcot (and I was kind of excited about seeing what that might look like.

We ended up walking through the rain, a lot, to leave, and managed to catch the bus right before it left.

I have to say, it has been a while since I've stayed at French Quarter, and I really, really like it. I sell mostly Deluxe resorts but when I sell a mod, 9 times out of 10 it is French Quarter, and this stay has reinforced why I choose it. We are in two refurbed rooms, rooms that were just completed today (and maybe not fully completed as I had to crawl on the floor to connect the ancient internet cable, ancient because, isn't it about time Disney wi-fied?) Anyway, the rooms are cool, with queen beds, and the food in the food court is quite good. I'm looking forward to beignets for breakfast! I also received a phone call from the CM that checked me in, making sure everything was well. And three other phone calls...the usual one about checking out the next day, and two more. One stating the water would be shut off from 11-2 and one stating there is fire alarm testing from 11-2, lol. They are still working on this building (4).

Here are some photos of the newly refurbished rooms:






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Old 01-04-2011, 08:54 PM   #11
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January 26th...oh yeah, the party begins!

We arrived around 10:30, and the line was very long outside the gates. They were not letting anyone through the gates yet, and the people that were sitting outside for long were wet, as it had been raining!

We got inside, and the port was nuts, very, very busy. It was very congested by where boarding would be, and what really didn't make sense was there was a lot of people that had high numbers that were clogging up the area...I'm not sure why the people with high boarding numbers were standing right by the entrance, making it tough for the ones with earlier boarding to get through.



Once on, we headed to Enchanted Garden. Downside once again is there is no children buffet but they'll bring the kids a few options to the table. Upside is you don't have to deal with the nuttiness that is a buffet on embarkation day on a ship, and you can sit down and they'll bring you drinks!



We got to see our friends' cabins, Cat 9 Handicap and Cat 9 forwards, which were really cool to see (and huge). It ended up being really bad for them though because of the noise from the teen club.

Handicap Cat 9 forward:



Non handicap:




Then onto our Virtual Porthole cabins!








A couple of virtual porthole videos:

Virtual Porthole 1


Virtual Porthole 2

I toured the teen club: To see Teen Club pictures, click HERE

I explored the ship a bit more, then it was time for muster drill, and then Sailaway. Then started the saga of the Maiden Champagne glasses. They are very cute, and we got several. But there were people carting off boxes of them, and some guests didn't get any because they came up too late...so we watched throughout the cruise as people would desperately try every bar every so often to see if they found them some glasses. I ended up with a few because I like me some champagne, lol. We were also able to keep the bottles, they are really cute with the Dream 2011 label. One bottle they gave me was almost half full still so that was really fun!



People were seriously P.O.ed over the glasses. Later that night at Skyline I was talking with some guests I met and they asked me if I was one of the people that had a whole box. I said no, I just drink a lot so I have a few, lol. It was a very touchy subject with many people!

The shops were due to open at 6:30, but they opened earlier than that...when we got there around 6:20 it was a freaking madhouse. People were sucking up the Maiden Merchandise like a starving person scarfs food. It was quite scary! I did buy some things...a few shirts, an ornament.

Dinner was at Animators, then we went from bar to bar...first Pink, and then we ended up at Skyline. I want Pink to be my favorite bar, but it is Skyline...I really loved the CM Adrianna and was shocked to find out it is her first cruise ship job...she is destined for a good career. The other server was equally good although I can't remember her name.










Met some great people...we chatted for quite a while. I ended up back in the room around midnight, so not too late

I did stop by guest services and had them apply a $200 gift card. What actually happened is they charged me for a $200 card, so that was fun to straighten out (NOT). I also realized that Best In Show was on demand on the TV and I TOTALLY LOVE that movie so that was a pleasant surprise.

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Old 01-04-2011, 08:55 PM   #12
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January 27th, Nassau.

January 27th, Nassau



Up, and headed to Enchanted Garden for breakfast. The CM that seated me was my regular dining assistant server…and we wandered around for several minutes while she tried to find the table. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but day after day she was just awful…no getting around it. My first and hopefully last time I didn’t tip someone, but that is a story for the last night! I also waited until about halfway through the meal before anyone even came over to take a drink order...but I did end up having an awesome conversation with the server about his home town of Romania and politics of all things (let me point out, I do not know anything about politics in Romania) but as my sister was in the Peace Corps in Moldova, we did discuss a few things and it was really a nice breakfast conversation.

No intention of getting off in Nassau, so I just hung out. The RSP pick up was in the morning and throughout the day…they had tables set up in front of the shops and you stood in line at your time. I think there was a bit of a problem because some CMs were letting people buy extras of things, and I’m not sure there was actually enough merchandise in some cases to do that...I received everything I wanted, which was two Captain Mickey ear hats in really cool boxes, a large Viynlmation and two sets of small, and a couple of pins. The woman that was in charge of the whole thing seemed pretty frazzled but she was super nice…later I stopped by and let her know that she was doing a great job!

Lunch at Cabanas…very fresh food, love the crab claws and shrimp! Just hung out…I took my Nook up to deck 12 and had a drink and read, something I never do at home, so that was really, really nice.

Every single time we passed Guest Services there was a nasty line…and it wasn’t until the very last day they got the idea to use ropes to guide the line…

At 2, there was a Gold and Platinum event held in the Walt Theater…they gave us champagne and a DVD, and then there was a talk about what the future holds for Disney. I actually ended up leaving early, I adore champagne but it makes powder room visits more frequent. As I passed the bar area outside the theater on the way to the restroom, they held out another glass of champagne…well, oakyyyyy, if you insist.

The line for the Dream Dooney’s started about 5 hours before the shop was opening. I won’t go into the looney toon madness that I believe must be involved in that…there apparently were many people talking about how they were putting them right up on ebay, which angered others. I talked to a CM later that night that told me his job was threatened many times…over purses…poor guy. The purses are cute, with a slick, wavy textured feel, but no lines for me…



Dinner at Enchanted Garden was good. A couple of our friends were dressed up to go to Remy and looked awesome. Food was good, assistant server appeared to be slightly better, she handed me my drink before I even asked for it, then proceeded to be just as bad as before with no refills, only part of our party getting drinks…it was pretty awful. She appeared to have no clue what to do. She even told one of my table mates that you order alcohol through the main server…which was not true. Our server was decent and tried very hard to make up for the deficiency. Our head server, Ivo, was great, I really like him.





I watched fireworks again from the secret spot I found on the Christening, and I enjoyed a cocktail and no crowds.

After, I headed out for a while again, and again ended up in Skyline, and again met some great people and chatted! I love meeting new people like that! I didn’t stay out too long…tomorrow, spa appointment in the morning!

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Old 01-04-2011, 08:56 PM   #13
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January 28th, Day at Sea

January 28th Day at Sea

I had a bamboo massage scheduled bright and early, and they told me if I came in extra early I could take pictures! So I had a great time taking empty spa pictures.











The massage was very good, I like that one. I am bummed though that the Dream doesn’t have single Villas, I will miss Alone Time.

After, I went up on deck 12 and watched the show, we rendevoued with the Magic which was docked at Castaway Cay, and there was a horn war! It was really fun to watch, and although the area I was standing in was packed, everyone was in a great mood, moving for others so pictures could be taken, and there was a general jolly feeling to the whole event. Every time the Dream would let loose some awesome horn sound “Yo ho yo ho” for example, and the Magic would do the same sound it usually makes, all of us would laugh. A few times the Magic just answered with a short “brrp” sound, which was hilarious.

Videos (pending)
Horn War 1
Horn War 2
Horn War 3 (with Pirates Life for me)









Very, very smart on Disney’s part…everyone on that island wants to go on the Dream now! After, Donald Duck was going to ride the Aqua Duck…I skipped that, too many people for me.

I shopped a little, many people had returned some Maiden merchandise and it wasn’t so nuts. Then it was time for the Galley Tour!








Honestly, although it was cool to see the Galley, the tour itself wasn’t great…no one could hear our guide (one of the chefs from Palo). I did like the champagne and cookies at the end though!

So, for the last couple of weeks I had been “sick”, meaning I had a cold and an earache. It got better and I felt much better on the Christening, but on this day, started to get worse and worse. Soon, I couldn’t hear out of my right ear, it was completely clogged. I took some medicine and tried to wish it away…I skipped dinner and spent some time in the empty hot tub in the Cove, which was nice…got a great couple of shots of the sunset.



I ended up just going to bed early, got a nice surprise on the bed, a copy of the Dream book I received on the Christening. Still nice


Tomorrow…lets hope I can hear! Castaway Day!

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Old 01-04-2011, 08:57 PM   #14
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January 29th, Castaway Cay



Castaway Cay!

Really, there is no better place on earth. Weather was good. I headed straight for Serenity Bay...no hammocks available unfortunately although not too many were actually ever occupied by bodies, but just stuff saving the hammocks. The breeze made it a bit chilly so I faced backwards, not towards the water, to soak up some sun. I was hoping it would help my cold and ear situation! I read my Nook and happily just laid around. I listened to a conversation between two couples, they were almost directly in front of me so I couldn't help it, where one of the men was telling the other couple that when they sailed NCL they had a suite, and some lady thought he was far too young to be able to afford a suite...and he was going on and on about how he retired early (he looked to be in his late 30s) and no one thinks they can afford anything nice, but they are rich...and then he said bye, nice meeting you and walked away! I think the couple sitting there didn't really know what to say, lol. It was amusing.

I decided to do the waverunner excursion, never done it and it looked fun but we usually have the kids so this was my chance!

After getting a safety briefing, we boarded the waverunners. We were supposed to stay in a line, the lady in front of me was slow and I was afraid to pass her, I thought I'd get in "trouble" for getting out of line, but then the guy behind me moved in front of her so I figured it was okay. We went really fast, it was so fun, and stopped a few times. I got to touch a starfish, and we saw sea turtles too. Then we were going to race back...and that is when my waverunner decided to go granny on me...and was going about half the speed as before. One of the men in charge offered to switch with me but I wasn't excited by the thought of switching in the middle of the ocean, so I just chugged along back and was the last to pull in. PART of the ride was a blast! The malfunction was a let down on the way back, for sure.

Although it was a lot of fun, I wasn't feeling great...again. I spent some time packing, set aside a couple of things to return to the shops...took a nap, and decided to skip dinner again. Eventually I ordered room service, and then forced myself to go out for a little while...I medicated, and ignored my lack of hearing in my ear. First I returned a couple of things to the shops, and then I went in at second seating and tipped my head server and server. I skipped the assistant server, even though she was standing right there, and felt bad...but I don't know why. She was truly awful. Truly. And I'm not demanding...I just wanted a soda occasionally, or refilled water. I couldn't make myself tip her! I've never done that before, but to me, I was thinking that tipping her would not tell her she needed to improve! She truly deserved nothing...but that was a hard decision for me, I always overtip. Then I went to Skyline. Had a delightful time with two couples, we chatted and laughed for quite a while.



Before bed:




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Old 01-04-2011, 08:59 PM   #15
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Janaury 30th...Goodbye for a while this time!

Woke up still under the weather, and still partially deaf medicated again. Went to guest services (wow, there are ropes now) and when I finally got to the front desk, asked why I had an $800 charge when it should only be $400. Bottom line, I applied a $200 gift card at the beginning, and instead, they charged me $200, so I was overcharged by $400. That was fun. They fixed it, and it was credited back in a couple of days. There was also some confusion with the RSP, because that was supposed to be charged directly to my credit card, but instead they put in on the shipboard account which they said they weren't going to do. That took them a while to figure out, because I didn't understand why I had over $200 in shop charges from the night before when all I did was return a couple of things. in the end, they figured it out.

I left my room, and went down to the madness in the Atrium. I held back a while, not intending to stand in line if I could help it since I wasn't in a hurry. I went up to deck 11, got soda, came back down...nasty, nasty. Finally I got in line, sick of standing (might as well stand in line instead of standing in a corner) and didn't clear customs until around 10...it was crazy, there as still a sea of people behind me.







Reminded me of the Dooney line, lol. Just kidding. But it wrapped completely from Guest Services, around the shop, by the theater, back around and then down the center of the Atrium. It was a mess because the elevators are shaped open to the Atrium, so people would get dumped off the elevator in the middle of the line, and then get yelled at by those in line. Cast members were nowhere to be found except by the survey box and at the exit, there was none guiding anyone. I have never seen such a mess...it was way worse than embarkation and that was bad. Hopefully it has improved since then, what a disaster.

Thankfully my driver waited (I love him) and off to the airport. Calling home, I discovered my Grandma (who hadn't answered my last couple of emails) had been in the hospital and my little sister was in ICU with a blood clot in her lung ( I knew she went in, but it got worse). Crazy!

At the airport I tried to work, but there was only ONE plug station and several people sitting or sleeping next to it with nothing plugged in, so I parked myself on the floor next to it, the people just glanced at me and didn't offer to move which I thought was kind of rude since there were seats right there by them. Oh well, can't teach adults manners. Take off and landing was no fun with my ear issue, I don't think I've ever been quite so happy to be home. I missed my family like crazy, although the trip was amazing, obviously!

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