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Old 10-22-2011, 11:53 AM   #1
taswira
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Talking 2/2/2012: Solo No More & Concierge on the Dream

I’m a strange one. Anyone who knows me will tell you that. I am sensitive, serious, opinionated, often reclusive, and frequently have a know-it-all attitude. I am married, but my husband is “just not into Disney” and has zero interest in cruising. Neither of us ever wanted children, so are happily child-free. Of my 14 previous DCL cruises, more than half have been solo. The rest were with my best friend, my mother, or my grown nephew.

I am the “crazy lady” who promoted Pal Mickey’s Grown-Up Pals Club’s “Pal Mickey Gathering at Sea” cruise and Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Cruisin’ Nuts and has a website for My Duffy the Disney Bear. One doesn’t need kids to occasionally act like one. I only do so on Disney property, land or sea, because I believe that holding onto that childlike sense of wonder and delight is key to maintaining a vibrant, youthful attitude, and that it slows the aging process. I am old enough to be a grandmother, but never having had children means I am rarely reminded of my age.

So I am doing something strange again. On the 2 February 2012 Disney Dream, my best friend and I originally each booked a virtual porthole room next door to each other. Neither of us like sailing without a verandah, but this was to be an inexpensive (Cat. 11A) 3-night cruise for the purpose of checking out the Dream and seeing the magical porthole. With us each having our own room and bathroom, I thought we’d be fine and simply spend most of our time out of the rooms. It would be a stark contrast to the 28 April 2012 Disney Fantasy, where we are sharing a Cat. T Concierge Suite.

But then my friend had to bow out of the Dream cruise. At first I handled it well, thinking it’s such a short cruise and I’ll spend time roaming the ship to look around and shoot photos and then relax in my cabin and look at the virtual porthole … and stare at it … and wait for the animations just after the hour and half-hour … and stare some more … and order room service so I won’t have to be eating alone out in the crowd … and watch movies on TV … and do other such things that I NEVER do when cruising.

Then in my mind I started to panic. I wanted the cruise to be over and it hadn’t yet started. This was not good. I needed to think. I needed to plan. I knew that in THAT room, without my friend next door, I would end up hibernating. I considered upgrading to my usual of a verandah category. Then I could at least enjoy my verandah, the view and the fresh sea air, albeit alone. But I started thinking about all those treks I’d make to the crowded drink station and back. I saw only one solution: Concierge!

Going Concierge would give me a larger room and verandah. Most of all, it would mean access to the Concierge Lounge for beverages, snacks, etc., eliminating the hikes to the drink station. In addition to my verandah, there would be the private Concierge Sun Deck for lounging. These factors were enough to make it worthwhile, to me, to upgrade. I am not wealthy and it’s quite a stretch for me considering I’m doing Cat. T on the Fantasy next spring, but I made the decision and switched my Cat. 11A to Cat. V Concierge Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah – totally solo.

Those with friends or family sailing with them wouldn’t be in danger of “hibernating” in the cabin I originally booked, but I would. In person, I can be shy and unsociable with strangers, yet outgoing and outspoken with friends. That’s just me and my ingrained fear of rejection. Being the first to say hello to people I don’t know takes a lot of effort for me ... unless they are Cast Members. I know I’ll have at least one friend aboard – a server I am hoping will be assigned to me, and whom I requested. Beyond that, there may not be anyone unless CMs who transferred from the Magic or Wonder … and possibly the Captain.

Bringing a Furry Familiar: It is my personal opinion (We are each entitled!) that whether an adult or child chooses to bring a “furry familiar” (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Tigger, Duffy the Disney Bear, etc.) on a Disney cruise should be no one’s business but their own. Children like their “plush” mostly for security and amusement. I like mine for photo ops! It can be FUN positioning Chip, Dale or Duffy in various places around the ship, posed with signage, statues, food, etc. No plush of mine has ever deprived a Guest of a lounge or chair. Humans have priority and my “furry familiar” will vacate a spot as needed! Those who think Cast and Crew on DCL don’t like to see adults carrying Disney plush should think again. In addition to being good for a laugh or smile, it promotes a Disney product, and THAT is what it’s all about, folks!

Will I or won’t I bring a Disney plush on this cruise? I haven’t yet decided. If I check a bag, I may bring Duffy the Disney Bear (My three upcoming cruises are on HIS calendar - lol) or a small Chip or Dale, to make my photos more interesting. If I do carry-on only (very easy for me on such a short cruise), I won’t bring any.

My goals for this cruise are to experience and explore the Dream and to relax on this 3-night getaway. I think that’s now do-able even for a middle-aged Disney addict going solo in Concierge.

UPDATE 12/14/11:
Jump to post #59. ThePhantomsGirl (Holly) is still going on this one. We will now be in a Cat. T.

Last edited by taswira; 12-14-2011 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Updated info
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:00 PM   #2
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Good for you! I wish you were going on our cruise - our bears could be friends, even if WE're too shy to speak.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:02 PM   #3
taswira
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Good for you! I wish you were going on our cruise - our bears could be friends, even if WE're too shy to speak.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:44 PM   #4
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And I applaud you for going solo! (and I wish that I hadn't had to cancel on you). I'm one who knows you well, and you are one of the most intelligent, interesting, and worth-while to know people in the world.

I also love your sense of fun! Bring Duffy and the heck with those who think it's strange. I tend to think it's more that they are too self-conscious to have fun, or too worried what others might think - so they act like they are too good for things like that. Too bad, they miss out on so much.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:33 PM   #5
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Wow, Holly - I think you just drowned me in compliments and you know I can't swim!
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:42 PM   #6
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I meant it!

And I am hoping that your February cruise is so much fun that you'll get tired of smiling and laughing!
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:44 PM   #7
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Well, if I don't, perhaps everyone else will!
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:58 AM   #8
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I am almost 30 years old and my build a bear still travels with me everywhere! He's my comfort object

I think as a solo traveler, you will have plenty to keep occupied during 3 days plus if you don't want to eat in the dining room, there's always room service!

I am sure though that there will be others on the board traveling on the same cruise and in the next few months, you may find new friends to explore with
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:04 AM   #9
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LdyMags - Thanks, but I will always dine in the main dining rooms or Palo, as I think that is a big part of the overall experience, and in particular on a new ship I have not yet sailed on. I even prefer sit-down (full service) breakfast and lunch also. However, since I will be in Concierge, there is always the Concierge Lounge for snacks and beverages, etc.

It is getting "down to the wire" at 102 days to sailing now, and our cruise thread is still barely active. Of the few who are on it, I believe they are mostly families with young children. DCL tries to sit solo adults with other solo adults, which is good unless a married solo like me ends up at a table full of singles - lol. Anyway, I'm sure I'll have a good time.

Since I am a Platinum Castaway Club member, at 120 days out I made my Palo dinner res for early the second evening. Even solo, it's a nice meal in a lovely, quiet environment. Since as a Platinum there is no charge for my Palo dinner (although I still tip) and since I haven't yet dined at the one on the Dream, I couldn't turn it down. I did post on our cruise thread that if any adult is unable to get a Palo res and would like to join me, to let me know because there is never a problem adding one to a solo, but since everyone seems to be a family or couple (except PERHAPS one lady with a young daughter - - I'm not sure), no one responded. I'm fine either way. I've dined alone at Palo a time or two in the past. The only unsettling thing is SOMETIMES being stared at and whispered about by other Guests. There are SOME people who don't understand why anyone would dine alone at Palo, but it really is not that uncommon.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taswira View Post
In person, I can be shy and unsociable with strangers, yet outgoing and outspoken with friends. Thatís just me and my ingrained fear of rejection. Being the first to say hello to people I donít know takes a lot of effort for me ... unless they are Cast Members.
Wow - that sounds alot like me! I applaud you for going solo. I wish I could do the same thing. However, my husband and kids would never let me do that! I will just live it though your trip report.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:39 AM   #11
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Add me to the list of people that will surely be living vicariously thru your trip! My dh is not a disney person We had been 4 times with our kids as a family when he said "I'm done - I never need to see that again" - He also does not in general like to travel - Somehow even as polar opposites it works for us! My kids are still young enough where the 3 of us travel together..but my oldest is going off to college next year and I forsee solo travel in my future - although I will be much older which may play into it a lot....Which honestly frightens me a bit...so I am going to follow along and I'm sure enjoy every minute of your trip report! - Can't wait to read more!!!
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:22 PM   #12
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Subbing in. As you know we will be on the same cruise, I'm also disappointed at the lack of activity on the meet board. I will be traveling with my kids, but have convinced my mom who has never been on a cruise to come with us. She is also shy and said that she did not want to feel like a third wheel. I'm counting the days til I can reserve palo, I think we are going to do it the 1st night, i know the kids are going to be anxious to go to the kids club as they had so much fun there this past summer. Do you know if palo brunch is available on the 3day? I think I remember when we were on the 4day that they only do it on sea days and since we have none on the 3day it's just wishful thinking.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by princesscinderella View Post
Subbing in. As you know we will be on the same cruise, I'm also disappointed at the lack of activity on the meet board. I will be traveling with my kids, but have convinced my mom who has never been on a cruise to come with us. She is also shy and said that she did not want to feel like a third wheel. I'm counting the days til I can reserve palo, I think we are going to do it the 1st night, i know the kids are going to be anxious to go to the kids club as they had so much fun there this past summer. Do you know if palo brunch is available on the 3day? I think I remember when we were on the 4day that they only do it on sea days and since we have none on the 3day it's just wishful thinking.
Hello, princesscinderella! Unfortunately, they do not offer brunch (or even tea) on the 3-night sailing. There just isn't time because there is no sea day. The shorter cruise also makes it more difficult for everyone who wants to get a Palo res, which is why I put out the "invitation" for someone to join me if they couldn't get a res.

BTW - I chose early (6 pm) on the second night because that will be Nassau night and pirate night. That allows time to dine without worrying about getting to the deck party in time, and also frees up the evening for club or lounge time. Just my preference, since I am otherwise late dining (by choice). I personally never like being in Palo the first or last night, due to the sometimes rougher seas then.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:59 PM   #14
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Thanks for the palo tips we missed the pirate night festivities at dinner last cruise so we want the kids to experience it this cruise and they are going to do birthday festivities at dinner for my kids my DS turns 7 on jan 11th and my DD turns 4 on debarkation day the 5th. I remember feeling the most movement that first night too, well here's hoping for great skies and smooth seas our entire cruise. My husband's employee was on the freedom of th seas that got caught in the bad storm earlier this month and she said it was so scary, and the captain came on and told everyone good luck.
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:11 PM   #15
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The reasons the first and last nights can get particularly rough on the Bahamas sailings are because the ship is generally traveling faster (to cover the distance) plus is crossing the Gulf Stream and its currents. One thing I do NOT want to be doing is sitting by a window looking out while dining the first or last evening. I have never been seasick, but I don't want to be. I do know the feeling of looking out a window in rough seas. I try to avoid that. Not saying it is always that rough, but it certainly can be, and especially in January and February!
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