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Old 09-12-2013, 10:29 PM   #1
n8nally
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Sept 1, 2013 Dream Trip Report

Hi all!

I am so excited to get to write this trip report! I never imagined in a million years that I would be able to take my kids on a Disney cruise! I am recently divorced (1.5 yrs) and there were some really hard times when I felt like I was never going to be happy again, or be able to do things like vacations with my kids. so this trip really meant a lot to me and my children. On a very personal level, it meant that I survived.

Also, I am so grateful for everything I learned here on the Dis and to all of you who helped me plan and organize my trip.

Now, on to the trip report! I am going to try to be really thorough so it may end up being very long!

We are local Floridians and live about an hour from Port Canaveral. My plan was to just drive out in the morning and park at Park-n-Cruise. I got a special rate ($5.99 a day) since I was originally booked at one of the parking lots undergoing construction. We had a port arrival time of 11-11:30 and I aimed for getting to the parking place at 10:30.

We made great time, but arrived to an extremely chaotic parking facility. I do not recommend Park-N-Cruise and will be searching for other parking options for our next cruise. Very crowded, stressed out employees and very disorganized process. Plus it was so hot and no A/C anywhere. The entire process, unloading, parking, getting on the shuttle and getting to the port, took 45 min and we got to the terminal at 11:20. I was bummed to be "late", but so excited!



The terminal was pretty packed and the line to meet Mickey was SO long. We checked in (easy peasy!) and received a boarding number of 5. Not bad.

Within five minutes of getting our KTTW cards and being all good to go, they started boarding! It went very quickly and we were able to get on the ship by 11:45!! So exciting! Yes, I cried when they announced our family, lol! And how wonderful that they have cast members there to help you out right as you get on!

Our cast member (Maria, from Mexico) took pics of us in the atrium and with the Donald statue and guided us to Guest services (actually, she wanted to take us to the concierge desk for tasting/dining reservations, but I saw there was no line at Guest Services so I opted for that). At Guest Services I dropped off our two items to be signed. We had a photo matte and a pink apron that my daughter chose. We bought it at Michael's and had her name embroidered across the front. The characters signed all around it. (She loves to cook!)

After Guest Services we knew to head up to Cabanas for lunch. On the way there, I passed the bar stand near the drink station and snagged myself the Drink of the Day in a souvenir cup!



Cabanas was amazing! So many wonderful choices for lunch and we were starved!



Desserts!



And tons and tons more but I didn't take pics, lol! Too hungry! But there was a carving station with roast beef and turkey, mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese, pizza, grilled salmon, salad bar, fruit, fried rice, lo mien, chicken tenders, breads and rolls, fried chicken and on and on! It was nuts, lol!

When we were done eating it was about 1pm and decided to just walk a bit and take some pics while waiting for the room to be ready. Right at 1:30 they dropped the rope on the stateroom corridors and we found our room. Two of our suitcases were already outside the door waiting for us! We dropped our carry-ons off, unpacked and checked out our lovely 5A verandah room! After maybe 10 min, we went to leave, only to discover that our last suitcase had arrived. We went back in and unpacked and then out the door to check out the ship!

We took advantage of the open house hours and toured the Edge and Vibe. The kids played foosball and met the counselors and checked it out. Both spaces are really neat, but Vibe wins hands down. Just a great area! We also checked out the lobby atrium, walked outside on deck 4, checked out the pool and AquaDuck and window shopped the closed stores, lol! I also went to Royal Palace to try to change my rotation (I did not get my requested one) because I wanted two nights at Enchanted Garden as it always struck me as a little Alice and Wonderland-y and that's my favorite! They had a rotation I liked with two EG nights, so I asked for it, and they switched us over no problem!

At this point we headed back to the room because it was getting close to muster drill time and they were making an announcement. We located our life vests, tried them on, (left them in the closet), and headed to our station. They swiped our cards and we watched the cast members demonstrate how to put on a life vest. It took about 20-30 min.

We headed up to watch the Sail Away Party. From reading here I skipped deck 11 and went right up to deck 12 to grab a spot. The show was so cute and the horns made me cry again! We stood on the starboard side and waved at the Port Canaveral web cam and were on our way! (About 10 min late, not sure why).



We were pretty hot at this point so we went back to the room and ordered a little room service.

All Hands on Deck Platter



And some wings:



We really just relaxed in the room for a little while and got ready for the evening. We had second seating so we went down to the Walt Disney Theater for the show. The first night's show was "The Golden Mickey's" and it did not disappoint! Spectacular! Such talented cast members on those ships! We were thrilled with it. We got great seats even though we walked in after Darren the cruise director had already started talking.

We had more time in between the show and dinner than I had anticipated, so we did more walking around and taking pics. We stopped off at the room and found out first "towel" animal, which in this case was a lobster made out of the extra comfy blanket that's in the room:



Then dinner was at Royal Palace.




That's it for part 1. I'll try to get part 2 up tomorrow.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:45 PM   #2
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Yay! I am loving your report. We leave on Thursday! Only one more week to wait!
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:51 PM   #3
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So happy to hear you survived AND thrived, and had the opportunity to sail DCL. It is a wonderful experience. It's also great to hear, at least so far, it met you expectations, especially after reading these boards.

Fwiw we pay more for the convenience of PC parking. Live and learn. Hey... perhaps next time. Of course most love/enjoy offsite parking.

Did you enjoy yourself enough to realize you may sail DCL again and book a future dummy date onboard, to take advantage of the 10% discount and the OBC?

Did you check the PC webcam archives to see if you were captured? http://portfever.com/#top
Actually, looking at the video they didn't capture much that sailaway. Sometimes they really zoom in on the pax and capture the whole length of the ship. It appears that was not the case this sailing unfortunately.

Great report and awesome pics.
Thanks for taking the time to report.
Looking forward to more.

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Old 09-13-2013, 08:20 AM   #4
n8nally
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear3412 View Post
So happy to hear you survived AND thrived, and had the opportunity to sail DCL. It is a wonderful experience. It's also great to hear, at least so far, it met you expectations, especially after reading these boards.

Fwiw we pay more for the convenience of PC parking. Live and learn. Hey... perhaps next time. Of course most love/enjoy offsite parking.

Did you enjoy yourself enough to realize you may sail DCL again and book a future dummy date onboard, to take advantage of the 10% discount and the OBC?Did you check the PC webcam archives to see if you were captured? http://portfever.com/#top
Actually, looking at the video they didn't capture much that sailaway. Sometimes they really zoom in on the pax and capture the whole length of the ship. It appears that was not the case this sailing unfortunately.

Great report and awesome pics.
Thanks for taking the time to report.
Looking forward to more.

You betcha!!!!
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:28 AM   #5
tweis
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Really glad to hear that you and your family had a great cruise. Sorry, to hear about your offsite parking experience. Honestly, that is the very reason why we chose to park at the port this last time. We tried the shuttle thing from the Radisson last year and I decided that would be the only time that we depended on someone else to get us to the port. Yes, we paid more for parking directly at the port, but knowing it was entirely up to us when we get there and being able to leave directly after debarking is priceless to us. We may take advantage next time of one of the area hotels that offer the 40% off coupon for parking at the port next May since it is a 7 night cruise and I don't want to pay $120 to park.

Can't wait for the next installment.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:02 AM   #6
Lisa Lisa
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I'm enjoying your TR so far! It sounds like this cruise was just what you and your kids needed -- so glad you were able to make it happen! DH and I were on the same sailing, so reading your TR is extra fun. You did a much better job than I did with taking photos. I'm looking forward to your next installment!

ETA: Love, love, love the lobster "blanket animal." I've never seen that one before!
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Disney Dream ~ September 1-5, 2013 * Trip Report: Living the Suite Life on the Dream ~ Sept. 1-5, 2013
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:38 AM   #7
crusescott
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Sailing at end of Sept

Thanks so much for this update...I have been looking for someone who recently sailed to get an idea of what we are going to experience. What movies were showing on the ship when you sailed? Lokking forward to your part 2
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:55 AM   #8
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Following along.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:33 AM   #9
IBelieveInTheMagic
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Nice to see another 9/1 cruiser! I also remember when we were posting our cabin assignments and how excited you were then too!

We did a lot of the same things, even though this was my fifth DCL cruise and third time on the Dream. It appears we even had the same dining rotation! Where you guys in main dining? We were and had table 23. Just curious if you were near us.

Looking forward to reading more!

Heather
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:03 AM   #10
tigger309
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I was on that cruise as well. The movies were The Lone Ranger, Wreck-It-Ralph, Monsters University, Finding Nemo, Iron Man 3, and Planes.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:03 PM   #11
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We were on this cruise also

LOVE your towel animal! Did you do the towel animal class by chance in the D lounge? We did, and it was a hoot. Our towels didn't quite look like theirs LOL
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:14 PM   #12
n8nally
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We were on this cruise also

LOVE your towel animal! Did you do the towel animal class by chance in the D lounge? We did, and it was a hoot. Our towels didn't quite look like theirs LOL
We did! I'll post pics when I'm not at work!

BUT...............we remember seeing you guys! Your little girl's dress was stunning on embarkation day and my daughter and I were commenting about it! We must have been waiting to board at the same time. I think we saw you guys as you were getting that pic in your siggy taken! We were standing to the right of you :-)
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:17 PM   #13
n8nally
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBelieveInTheMagic View Post
Nice to see another 9/1 cruiser! I also remember when we were posting our cabin assignments and how excited you were then too!

We did a lot of the same things, even though this was my fifth DCL cruise and third time on the Dream. It appears we even had the same dining rotation! Where you guys in main dining? We were and had table 23. Just curious if you were near us.Looking forward to reading more!

Heather
We had second seating and we were at table 52. More on that later tonight! I'm supposed to be working now
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:58 PM   #14
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Following along. Glad you had a great time.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:50 PM   #15
n8nally
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Sept 1, 2013 Dream Trip Report Part 2

So, our first dinner was at Royal Palace. We walked in and in all honesty, I thought it was very nice, but not amazing. It is my least favorite of the MDRs. However, it was also the beginning of a wonderful relationship with our amazing serving team!

A little background. I am Mom to DS15 and DD12, Between the three of us we are allergic and/intolerant to about a dozen things. But not all the same things. So eating within our limitations can get really tricky. The main things for us are: DS15 (most allergic) has a true dairy allergy, a gluten intolerance (pretty severe) and a much more mild soy intolerance. DD12 has a lactose intolerance. And I have gluten and dairy intolerances as well as severe allergies to some seafood. all of these things were noted on the reservation.

When we arrived at the restaurant we had to wait for the restaurant manager to assign us a table since we had changed to this rotation after boarding the ship. we were assigned table #52 and once there met Menfis, a lovely young lady from the Dominican Republic. She promptly brought water and soy milk for the kids. And then after reviewing our varied dietary needs came back with gluten free dinner rolls which were actually good!

Our Cinderella's carriage Bread Basket



Filled with yummy gluten free rolls!



We met our wonderful server, Feridun, and tried to order appetizers, only to run into issues with the official allergy listing on our reservation. It seems that once you say "allergy" all control for what you eat is taken away from you. We did not like this at all, since we are not all allergic to the same things, nor are all the things we are sensitive to actual allergies.

For instance, DD12 can eat gluten, and she wanted the regular bread as opposed to the gluten free, but they did not bring it out for her. So, after some awkward communication with Feridun, he had the head server, Selo come over. Both Feridun and Selo are from Turkey and while both are fluent in English, there still seemed to be a bit of a communication breakdown. For a little while there it was tough and I was worried our dining experiences for the cruise would be ruined. They were trying to do their job and adhere to our limitations, while the chef in the kitchen (whom they kept going back to talk to) was trying to protect himself (and us) from potential consequences of a severe allergic reaction, and we were trying to convey that WE wanted to have control over what to order and we would be willing to assume the risks. It was challenging for about 15 min.

What it boiled down to was that Feridun and Selo were both SO unbelievably patient, warm, and caring that we were finally able to come to an understanding and they were able to get the chef to understand and it all worked out beautifully in the end. I was so extremely grateful to these wonderful cast members for going above and beyond to understand what we needed and wanted in order to have a safe and enjoyable dining experience!

And of course there was the crazy pampering!



After dinner we did the photo thing again and snapped some more pics all around the ship.



We went back to the room and changed into more comfy clothes for a walk around the upper decks to check out the ship all lit up at night. Just stunning!





Since dinner had taken so long on this first night and it was pretty late and we were exhausted (and sleepy from all the food!) we just headed back to the room to go to bed.



Bahamas tomorrow!!!
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