3 Families doin' a Surf & Turf Trip! AKL CL & Dream...Good-Byes

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by hstrickland, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. AvasMommy526

    AvasMommy526 Mouseketeer

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    Yay cruise time!! I miss cruising and I've never even been spoiled by the Disney Cruise Line! As soon as DD is a little older we are definitely doing a spilt vacation, (because of course we can't be that close to WDW and not go! ;) )

    I'm glad your sisters family finally made safely and everyone is together! And the ship looks beautiful, love the Aquaduck! Can't wait to hear about the rest of the cruise :goodvibes
     
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  3. vassar36

    vassar36 Mouseketeer

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    that seafood buffet looks great!! what a great tip to go right to the Cabanas for lunch!!!:thumbsup2
     
  4. jcjen519

    jcjen519 DIS Veteran

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    I'm really enjoying reading all of your trip reports including the past ones. I completely understand your nostalgia for the mk resorts and although we are dvc members so have stayed at many of the other resorts, they will remain my favorite. Glad we decided to do a poly trip this year.

    I'm enjoying your poly club level posts as well. I had thought we wanted a 3rd floor room (also doing theme park view) but now I'm thinking first floor might be nice with our 3 year old :) We seem to like to hit the same restaurants. Glad to see another family that takes their kids to all the restaurants with them!
     
  5. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    You are making me quite nostalgic! Can't wait to cruise again. Thank you for all the wonderful pictures :)

    I was constantly amazed by the fantastic CMs and cleanliness of the ship. Everything was always spotless.
     
  6. hstrickland

    hstrickland Way Down South...

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    You might as well start creating a file on your computer of all the helpful hints. The Cabana tip was the best!! Get there before the crowd hits:thumbsup2



    The Disney terminal is great!! And they're super quick with the boarding process. If we ever do another cruise (which we will) I'll definitely be getting there early again in order to have that extra time on the ship to get settled.



    It was fairly crowded when we left. All the window tables were occupied....only tables in the middle were open and the lines had formed at the buffet, too. But even though there were lots of people, it wasn't unpleasant or loud.



    It was super nice to go ahead and get on, eat lunch at a relaxing pace, and then go to the room right away and unpack. Because I can't live out of a suitcase, I unpack everything....so it takes a while.



    My sister took that picture....guess I'll give credit where credit is due;) It is a pretty cool shot. And you can actually see some of the princesses, too.



    Bill didn't know I was posting that picture until it was already posted and he was reading it. He started laughing at himself.



    I know, right! Maybe that's something the crew is trained to do...they really go above and beyond the call of duty.



    That was a pic my sister got after lunch....I think they were headed to the kid's club for Open House. I was busy in the room unpacking :rolleyes1....I'm a bit OCD when it comes to getting my things put away in resorts/ships.



    Surprisingly enough, it was really tasty. I'm not a huge buffet person, but I was really impressed. The desserts were kind of buffet like....but still fairly good.


    Disney Cruise is definitely the best for kids. We threw the idea around about taking a cruise years ago, but wanted to wait until we could utilize the Kid's Club. They have a nursery for those children that are under 3, but I think you have to pay. The Oceaneer's Club is open for children 3 and up who are potty trained......such a GREAT benefit for parents. And our kids LOVED it!!! Thank goodness, right?! :laughing:



    Oh gracious....you're going back to my old TRs. You'll certainly see a progression in my ability to post pics, etc. My first one was a bit rusty :laughing:

    We REALLY liked the first floor at the Poly!! I enjoyed being able to literally walk out of my room onto the grass and having the beach just yards away. Since I'm an early risers, it was perfect.

    Funny you say that about the restaurants....the first time Jesse went to WDW, he was 3 and we did lots of signatures. I'm not gonna say my kids are the best behaved by any stretch, but they do ok. And they really don't have a choice....I love to eat, so they have to endure the sit down restaurants :laughing



    Ok...wasn't the ship like sparkling clean??!!! Even the restrooms!! I honestly couldn't get over it. We are still talking about the spotless Dream. I hate public restrooms, but never felt the least bit grossed out on the ship.
     
  7. amandaw

    amandaw DIS Veteran

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    I'm the exact same way! I feel like I can't really start enjoying the vacation until everything is unpacked & put away nice & neat.
     
  8. cdotla

    cdotla Trish

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    Well you have definitely captured the excitement of the first few moments on the cruise. I had also heard about that tip to get to Cabanas as soon as possible....I have heard tables can become scarce quickly, but it looks like you scored an awesome spot. And you are right...it certainly is very high up. But you have a great bird's eye view of all the Disney traffic as you say.;)
     
  9. hstrickland

    hstrickland Way Down South...

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    Cabanas is really spread out...kind of in a U shape. I'm assuming that the other side had the same offerings. At the time, I didn't realize it wrapped around the back of the ship or I would have checked out everything. It really is quite overwhelming not knowing where to go or what to do. Even though I read as much information as I could, first hand knowledge is always better;) Perhaps after several cruises I'll get the hang of things!
     
  10. hstrickland

    hstrickland Way Down South...

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    The Oceaneer Club Review
    (some of the information below was taken from several different sites)




    The Oceaneer’s Club and Oceaneer’s lab is a tremendous space located on Deck 5!! It’s an unbelievably magical area for children. This long hall spans down the side from the nursery to the lab.


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    You will find a list of daily activities for the club posted on Deck 5.


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    It’s a Small World Nursery is located on Deck 5, also….very close to the Oceaneer’s Club.



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    Travel a little further down the hall and you’ll find the Club.



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    On the first day, an Open House was offered. While I was unpacking, Bill, Stephanie and Sean took the kids. This is a time when parents are allowed to venture around and check things out. The Cast Members are super friendly and will answer any questions or help with any concerns.


    Before entering the club or the lab, the kids have to scan their bracelet then wash their hands....they were extremely concerned with cleanliness, which was much appreciated!!


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    The kid’s area is divided up….the Oceanneer’s Club & the Oceaneer’s Lab. The two are connected by a workshop and laboratory. In these specialized areas, kids concoct crazy experiments in an interactive science lab, stretch their culinary skills and participate in other hands-on activities.



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    Oceaneer Club


    This children's activity center located on Deck 5, Midship. It is the perfect place for children 3 to 12 years of age to immerse themselves in the imaginative worlds, while performing on stage, playing games and enjoying a wide variety of supervised activities.


    The Oceaneer Club's central rotunda is its main gathering place and, at the same time, a portal to other "lands". The room's focal point is a stage area where kids can join storytelling sessions and attend special visits by the world-famous Disney character, both in person and virtually.


    The rotunda also has a 103-inch plasma screen for watching movies and for magically awesome interactions with Crush, the animated sea turtle from Finding Nemo, who speaks like a surfer dude. The turtle personally chats with kids during his real-time animated appearances, asking them about themselves and the human world they inhabit.


    Oceaneer Club includes:

    *4 distinctly themed play areas

    *Computer banks with child-friendly computers

    *A reading area

    *Multiple televisions

    *Play structure

    *A giant TV screen



    Branching off from the central rotunda, there are 4 themed spaces:


    Andy's Room

    Inside this vibrantly-colored room, the world of Disney Pixar's Toy Story comes to life. Children feel toy-sized, because everything around them is built large scale. Throughout this space, kids can play with larger-than-life characters from the animated film, including Rex the dinosaur, Hamm the piggy bank and Mr. Potato Head. This room also features a huge Slinky Dog structure that kids can climb through.


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    Monsters Academy

    This area is based on the animated film Monsters, Inc., the centerpiece being an elaborately themed play structure, where kids can immerse themselves in the world of Monstropolis. It also boasts computers with unique interactive games.


    [​IMG]



    Pixie Hollow

    Inspired by the series of Tinkerbell movies, this fun interactive space transports children to the magical world inhabited by fairies. A pixie dust tree stands in the corner of the room, with glittering lights twinkling among its leaves, and fun acorn and mushroom stools are sprinkled about for children to sit on. This endearing and tranquil environment is designed for dress-up play, individual craft projects and storytelling sessions.


    [​IMG]


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    Explorer Pod

    Children can explore the Nemo Sub—a scaled version of a submarine inspired by the animated film Finding Nemo. The bright blue and yellow submarine surrounded by a seascape features virtual environments for children to discover. Onboard the blue and yellow submarine has 16 interactive computers stations for fun-filled individual or group games.



    Activities at Oceaneer Club may include:

    *Disney's Once Upon a Time

    *Bartleby the Bookmaker leads the kids through the art of bookmaking and wows them with his very special talent: When he reads the books, he makes the characters come to life!

    *Puzzle Playtime with Mickey and Friends

    *Mickey Mouse and his pals stop by to play some of their favorite games with Disney Cruise Line's youngest cruisers and their families.

    *Tinker Bell's Talent Show

    *Tinker Bell has come from Pixie Hollow to Disney Cruise Line to help young cruisers discover their Fairy Talents and to give them the opportunity to shine.



    Oceaneer’s Lab

    The Lab's main hall features a stage, where kids can hear stories of great expeditions and star in their own swashbuckling plays. They can also watch Disney movies on a 103-inch plasma screen and interact with animated characters, including the mischievous animated alien Stitch, whose unrehearsed, real-time antics are sure to bring laughter.


    [​IMG]


    Branching off the Oceaneer Lab's main room are several themed play spaces:


    Media Room

    Children can kick back and relax in bean bag chairs and watch movies, play video games or even read a book.


    Animator's Studio

    Designed as a working animation studio, this room allows children to create original, hand-drawn art or learn how to sketch their favorite Disney characters. With the help of a youth counselor, kids can even design and bring to life computer-animated characters.


    [​IMG]



    The Wheelhouse

    This space is all about technology. It features numerous computers and large, high-definition LCD screens. Here, young technophiles can compete in a unique Pirates of the Caribbean game exclusive to DCL.



    Sound Studio

    This interactive area is dedicated to children who appreciate music and want to create it.



    Craft Studio


    Children seeking a more tactile artistic experience can escape from technology to this creative studio and create hands-on arts and crafts projects.



    Our kids had a FABULOUS time at the club! :thumbsup2In fact, there were times when we had to beg them to leave. There was never a dull moment. This in itself was worth the price of the cruise!! Just be warned…if you lose a wrist band, you’ll pay $50 to replace it. Stephen did go the first night to the club, but ended up going to the Edge the rest of the trip and loved it!! As usual, Disney does it like no other!!!:worship:





    Up next.....time to show-off our stateroom!:cool1:




     
  11. WDWaddictt

    WDWaddictt DIS Veteran

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    My kids also loved the Oceaneer Club. It was great for them and also for us to be able to have some alone Adult time. Disney really rocked when they made these clubs!
     
  12. cdotla

    cdotla Trish

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    The kids' club /Oceaneer Lab looks fabulous. And getting a bit of downtime where the kids are also happy is going to be a big perk. This, in and of itself, to me will justify the extra cost of a Disney cruise.;)
     
  13. jennyjinx3

    jennyjinx3 DIS Veteran

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    Heather I just can't thank you enough for this trip report! We are now going on the dream in December 2013, (soooo far away!!:rotfl:) but all this info is so helpful. Love all the info about the kids clubs...my kids are going to lose their minds!;)
     
  14. shan23877

    shan23877 I make lists about my lists

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    The kids' clubs look amazing. Every time I see pictures of them, it makes me wish that I could play there!

    Can't wait to see the stateroom!
     
  15. amandaw

    amandaw DIS Veteran

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    The kids club is so awesome!! I still wish I could get those neat hand washers at my house. :rotfl2: I think Reid would have spent the entire cruise in the club if I had let him. :lmao:
     
  16. ProudMommyof2

    ProudMommyof2 DIS Veteran

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    Awesome update! Can't wait to hear about the Edge!
     
  17. hstrickland

    hstrickland Way Down South...

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    "Rocked" is the perfect word to describe it!!!:thumbsup2 When Bill and I went on a Royal Carribean Cruise, their kid's area didn't have anything near Disney's....not even close!!! As long as our children are young, Disney will be the cruiseline for us.



    Most definitely!!! It's like having a free babysitting service with extra added perks. One night when we went to pick up the kids, Faith told us that Stitch and Pluto had been in to play with them. Captain Jack, too, but we missed that.



    You will be so surprised at how quick your trip rolls around! We booked ours really far in advance, too. If you are one that plans, you seriously might want to start making a file :laughing:...no lie. There is just so many little things that come in handy.


    Well...you can! Just book a cruise and go! :teeth: Too bad it's not that easy :laughing:



    You can let him....on the Fantasy! Now that he's older, Reid will probably enjoy the club even more!! I never felt guilty about leaving them there simply because they kept asking to go....too convenient.



    That will be coming up! We had to MAKE Stephen spend time with us. We kept reminding him that we were on a Family vacation :laughing:
     
  18. AvasMommy526

    AvasMommy526 Mouseketeer

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    OMG! Can I please go to the Club/Lab?! That looks awesome, what a wonderful amenity for the kids! I can't wait (I can but for cruising purposes lol) till DD is a little older and we are def doing a Disney cruise!

    Glad to hear the beginning of the cruise went well :goodvibes
     
  19. pas130

    pas130 Always missing Florida....

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    All right heather Forget the fear of boats I have....Sign me up for the Kids' club and someone to cut my food...I'll fib about my age...I'll make up a disease that even though I am an adult i think I am a child...and must not be corrected or I'll flip out...hmmm...will that work....:rotfl:
     
  20. princess_momma

    princess_momma DIS Veteran

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    I have been half lurking through this tr...so sorry!! I am still here as before just being less vocal for some reason! :confused3 Sorry!! But de-lurking is better so I'll stick to that. :thumbsup2

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your detailed pics of the kids clubs. I want to see a story come to life and all that virtual stuff on that super awesome floor. IT LOOKS SO COOL! Seriously. SO MAGICAL
     
  21. hstrickland

    hstrickland Way Down South...

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    Since yall love Disney, one of their cruises is a must for your future. It's of course very different, but still has all the magic that Disney surprises us with. Before going, I knew that the kid's club was going to be be great. I just had no idea how GREAT! The size of the area is quite impressive. I kept worrying that the club would get crowded, but we never encountered that at all....even on our day at sea. And for us (JMO ;)) it was better that our kids were old enough to attend the Oceaneer's Club. Of course there were lots of little ones on the cruise having a blast, but it looked like lots of work for the parents. Go ahead and start planning now ;)



    You're funny! You've got to get over the fear factor and go for it!!! Your family would really love it, Pas!!! Seriously!! You get the best of both worlds....time with the children and family and time with the adults....PLUS all the magic from Disney. The waiter told Faith that "she wasn't supposed to peal her own shrimp....princesses should NEVER do this while on vacation" He was so acccommodating, to say the least.



    :rotfl: no problem.....Bill is the biggest lurker on the Boards!! Or perhaps I should say stalker :laughing: He kills me....he is forever saying "did you know?"...."would you look at this!" You know you can subscribe to a thread without having to actually post....my sister informed me of this. Which ship are yall sailing on? Bet your family is super excited:thumbsup2
     

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