A Mom, 12 Year Old & a Sausage on a Dream Voyage Jan 12! Complete 2/28!!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Tracerr00, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Tracerr00

    Tracerr00 DIS Veteran

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    Hello and welcome to my first trip report!! My name is Tracy and in two short weeks my DD and I will be leaving for vacation! :banana: I’ve been faithfully reading this board for over a year now in preparation for our first cruise – 3 nights on the Dream on January 12th. If I hadn’t found this board I don’t know how I would even be close to prepared for this! This trip includes a day at Universal Studios, the 3 day Dream cruise and 2 days at WDW!
    This is my DD Eilee (pronounced like eye-lee, rhymes with smiley) during our last trip in 2010. She is now 12 and she is very excited to be going on a cruise and also to get out of Wisconsin for a warmer destination in January! She’s in 7th grade and she is very social and goofy. She loves to make new friends so I have a feeling that I won’t see her much!
    [​IMG]

    And this is me. I did a dining review of my most recent trip with my sister so I’ll just steal the same photo from that report! [​IMG]

    I’ve only recently converted to Disney-ism (within the past few years) and now I’m hooked. I’m still learning about WDW – rides and resorts and restaurants – but I’m enjoying the research! I wouldn’t exactly consider myself a “foodie” but I do love to eat so I’m sure this report will contain lots of food photos too!

    Also along on this trip will be the Traveling Sausage. I know, I know. You are asking yourself “WHY would she bring a sausage along??" So here is the story. My sister and I take a trip every year and about 4 or 5 years ago we went to visit my cousin Paula in Puerto Rico. When we were on the plane we realized that we had not brought a hostess gift for her so as a joke we took the sausage out of the snack box on the plane and gave that to Paula. During our trip we ended up taking photos of the sausage and it became a tradition. The sausage goes everywhere with us! This is the sausage's second trip to Disney.
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    We will also be traveling with two other people – a mom Holly & her daughter Leah (also 12). Eilee and Leah have gone to school together since they were in kindergarten and her mom Holly used to run the after school care program in elementary school so they are friends of ours. When we booked the trip Eilee & Leah were good friends but now that they are in Middle School they are split up into two separate “houses” and they do not hang out together at all with two separate groups of friends!! I’m a little nervous about that but I’m sure they’ll be fine. We told them that they don’t have to hang out together all the time (even though I think they will!).

    Thanks for joining in on a newbie trip report and I will try to include information and photos of things that might be helpful for others when planning their trips!
     
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  3. Tracerr00

    Tracerr00 DIS Veteran

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    Our cruise is only 3 nights but we'll be taking a week long vacation. I wasn't sure where to put this report because it's kind of cruise but kind of land...I hope you don't mind!

    Day 1 - we will be flying from Minneapolis to Orlando. My sister and I used a great shuttle driver during our last trip so we're using the same fellow. He's quirky and tells corny jokes. He's also dependable and always early! So he will pick us up at the airport and we hope to arrive at the Holiday Inn near Universal around 9 pm.

    Day 2 - Universal Studios (hopefully a lot of Wizarding World of Harry Potter) all day and dinner at Mythos at 4 pm.

    Day 3 - The same shuttle driver will pick us up from the hotel to bring us to the port to board the Dream! I hope to figure things out so I can attend a champagne/margarita/martini tasing at some point! Holly doesn't drink but I'll test things out and tell her about them. :lmao:

    Day 4 - Nassau. I don't have any excursions here and I think we might just stay on the ship. Holly & Leah want to walk around Nassau so they will definitely go but it's a *maybe* for us.

    Day 5 - Castaway Cay! Again, we don't have any excursions because we'd like to see what the weather is like and if the water is cold. Depending on what it looks like, we'll rent bikes/floats and or snorkel gear.

    Day 6 - Off of the Dream on moving on to WDW! We plan to do some park hopping today or whichever park we feel like. We are on the dining plan so we also have dinner reservations at 'Ohana in the evening.

    Day 7 - I believe we are only doing Epcot on this day. It's a long story but we ended up with one park hopper day and one base ticket (so one day one park) so we are choosing to spend the one day/one park day at Epcot. We have lunch reservations at Le Cellier. Eilee and I are big steak eaters so we can't wait for this!

    Day 8 - Back on the plane to Minnesota and home to Wisconsin :sad2:

    By the way, Holly & Leah are sharing hotel rooms with us before and after the cruise but we have our own rooms on the Dream.
     
  4. mjbradeis

    mjbradeis Mouseketeer

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    We did the Dream in early December, and then followed it by WDW/Legoland. Hope you have fun!
     
  5. jlemieu1

    jlemieu1 DIS Veteran

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    Since you are only at Universal Studios one day, I recommend getting the express pass if the park looks busy at all. Although it doesn't work for the new Harry Potter ride and Rocken roller coaster.
     
  6. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    You had me at the sausage! My brother and I had a stuffed Squirrel dog toy that we took everywhere we traveled....It went all over the world!

    Sounds like a great trip!

    Jill in CO
     
  7. Tracerr00

    Tracerr00 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! Were you very tired after getting off the Dream and then heading to WDW?

    Thanks for the tip! Our TA hadn't mentioned that but now I will look into it!

    LOL about the squirrel! We love our sausage. I think I get more photos of the sausage on vacation than I do of my child!
     
  8. Emlauren

    Emlauren Earning My Ears

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    I have one suggestion for Nassau! I have 2 daughters 11 and 14- and we have been on 3 cruises! Even if you don't have any excursions on nassau, I would highly encourage you visit the island! There is a straw market that is a short walk from the ship. It sells purses, scarves, shirts etc for a very cheap price! We bought a fake coach purse for $15 and we love it! There is also a Starbucks and other restaurants... Also many picture opportunities! It also doesn't have to be an all day thing, on our cruise last summer we went to the straw market and got starbucks, and got back on the ship an hour later! Very recommend!:hippie:
     
  9. mjbradeis

    mjbradeis Mouseketeer

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    We drove down down from NJ; so it made more sense to us to have the cruise first. In hind sight it would have been much better to hit the parks first then relax on the cruise.
     
  10. PrincessSophiasMom

    PrincessSophiasMom Mouseketeer

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    I can't wait to ready your trip report!!! I also have a DD (she is only 20 mths old) and I can't wait until she gets old enough to do a Mommy and DD trip of our own.
     
  11. Tracerr00

    Tracerr00 DIS Veteran

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    Ok, now I might have to check out the straw market if I can get a Coach purse for $15!! Thanks for the tip!

    Thanks! I remember when my DD was 20 months old - I think every stage gets to be more and more fun! Thanks for joining in, glad to have you along!
     
  12. Tracerr00

    Tracerr00 DIS Veteran

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    Well - only three more days until we leave on our trip!! At this point, the weather is forecasted to be this...scattered thunderstorms on our Universal day. Ugh!! Figures! I sure hope this changes in the next few days however sail away day and our two days at Disney when we come back will be nice and sunny. Right now it says sunny and 75 for our Nassau day and showers and 72 for our Castaway Cay day. I guess there are more good days than bad so we'll make the best of it!

    I got all of our travel documents from our travel agent, we are mostly packed and I bought a book for my DD and a book for me to read on the plane/ship! Yep, I think we're ready now!! Luckily I've got a busier than normal one and a half days of work coming up so the time should fly by!
     
  13. Toria

    Toria It all started with a mouse

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    Have a blast! We took our first cruise on the Dream last Sept. It was so much fun. I hope the weather gets better for you.
     
  14. Tracerr00

    Tracerr00 DIS Veteran

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    We just got back last night and we had an amazing time!! Our first cruise was everything we thought it would be!

    Our 3 day Dream cruise left on a Thursday but when we booked it a year ago, we knew that the Wisconsin weather in January could be unpredictable so we decided to spend two nights in Orlando at Universal prior to the cruise just to give us some time in case of a blizzard! So I worked the most stressful half day EVER on Tuesday before leaving (late) to pick up the friend that was going with us and then we went to the school to pick up our DDs (both 12 years old). Our friends are (mom) Holly and (DD12) Leah. The flight was uneventful and our shuttle driver was there right on time to pick us up (we've used him before so we knew he was reliable) and we arrived at the Holiday Inn right across from Universal around 10 pm and went to sleep shortly after that.

    In the morning on our first day we decided to head over to Universal right away so we could spend the whole day there as they closed at 6 pm. Prior to the cruise I visited my doctor because I tend to get motion sickness and I wasn't sure how I'd be on a cruise. So she prescribed the Scop patch and she said that it might also work on theme park rides as I love them but tend to get queasy when I ride them. So I put on a patch in the morning (they last three days) so it would last until the second day of the cruise and then I'd put on another. We grabbed some Center of the Rolls from Cinnabon and kept walking towards the entrance. We picked up our tickets and headed straight back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

    [​IMG]

    We decided to ride the Forbidden Journey first and it was a 15 minute wait. But there are so many things to see while in line that it didn't seem like it was even close to 15 minutes. The ride was incredible. My sister and I went on this ride back in September and we both got sick afterwards. This time with the patch...I was completely fine!!

    My daughter decided to try the butterbeer and she ended up loving it so much that we split three of them. Can you believe it?? Three!! But we split them so it's like we had 1 1/2 right? And that makes it ok!

    [​IMG]

    The crowds weren't too bad so we went on each ride at least twice and while I'd wanted to eat lunch at the Three Broomsticks, we were ready to move on to see more of the park. We ended up eating at a cafe near The Hulk rollercoaster. I knew that Holly & Leah were picky eaters but I didn't realize that there were only three things that they would both eat - chicken nuggets/strips, french fries and pizza. I'd made dining reservations at Mythos at Universal for dinner and several dining reservations after our cruise at Disney so I was hoping all would work out ok. For lunch my DD and I split some chicken alfredo which was just meh. Holly & Leah split chicken fingers and fries. Then we rode as many rides as we could (including The Hulk three times!) and more of The Forbidden Journey.
    And the sausage made it's first appearance at WWoHP!
    [​IMG]

    And then my DD at the castle as well!
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    At 4 pm we had reservations at Mythos inside the Islands of Adventure and it was very close to WWoHP. Holly & Leah decided to order off of the kids menu so they could have chicken fingers and fries, Eilee ordered the steak which came with mashed potatoes and asparagus and she loved it! I ordered the pasta of the day which was an alfredo pasta with asparagus, cherry tomatoes, onions and blackened shrimp. I don't eat shrimp so I ordered without that.
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    It was fantastic!! I ate every last bite. It was perfectly al dente and the sauce was very tasty. Mythos gets a big thumbs up from me!

    After the park closed we went to the hotel, the girls went swimming with Holly for a while so I stayed in the room to read a little bit and answer some work email. We tried to get to bed at a decent time so we could get up early to get ready for Disney Dream sail away day!!!

    Coming up - Day 1 of the cruise!!
     
  15. queenreen

    queenreen Mouseketeer

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    I am excited to hear about your trip DD9 and I did our first Disney Cruise in Sept and are waiting to go back on this year. I hope you loved it!
     
  16. Tracerr00

    Tracerr00 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you - we LOVED it too! I have a feeling that I'm hooked now too so I can see why you're already interested in going back!
     
  17. jecskc

    jecskc DIS Veteran

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    Joining in !! We sail in April and I can't wait !! Looking forward to reading more of your trip to see what I can learn, and to of course see your photos :-) And your sausage .... LOL
     
  18. Joanna71985

    Joanna71985 <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien

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    Following! I am sailing for the first time ever in Feb (3 weeks!!!!), and I am anxious/excited about the cruise
     
  19. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    I'm joining in. Great start! I really want to visit Harry Potter some day too.
     
  20. DISNEYFOURME

    DISNEYFOURME Mouseketeer

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    we were on the Dream on the 12th as well.. waiting to read what you thought. We totally enjoyed our cruise!! Wish we were there this weekend as the Chicagoland area is under a lot of snow! :eek:
     
  21. Tracerr00

    Tracerr00 DIS Veteran

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    It was the morning of our cruise!!! I tend to wake up early so I got up, showered and got ready before I woke up the rest of the crew. Holly & Leah had ordered a pizza the night before so they would have something for breakfast so while they ate their pizza, Eilee and I went downstairs to the “kids eat free” breakfast buffet at TGIFridays. I don’t take photos of buffet food plates because I don’t think they look all that good but it had all of the regular breakfast foods!

    Our same shuttle driver was coming to pick us up at 10 am and it takes about an hour to get from Holiday Inn at Universal to the port. He was right on time and we arrived at about 11 am on the nose! As we were driving in we could see the Dream and it made my heart skip a beat. And here is a photo of the Dream before we went into the terminal. Isn’t she beautiful?
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    When we arrived, we checked all of our bags with the porter at the curb to be delivered to the room and that included our suitcases as well as our carry on bags and the only thing that I kept out was my purse and the folder full of our travel info from the travel agent. We then walked into the terminal where we were told to fill out the health forms before we could check in. It only took a few minutes to fill out the form and we got in line to wait for an agent to check us in. This only took a few minutes and the line moved quickly. Holly and Leah went to an agent and then I got the next available agent. I went up and we presented our signed forms and then the agent asked for our passports. And guess what…? I’d left our passports in the carry on bag that we checked at the curb!! We had no way of knowing where that bag was now and my heart sank. Luckily our travel agent had made copies of our passports to put in our travel folder and I pulled that out. The agent made some calls to make sure they were valid and that all of the info matched up. Thank goodness they were willing to do that because it was all my fault for not thinking of that. And thank goodness for my travel agent making copies!

    The agent gave us a boarding card with our boarding number on it and I was psyched to see that we were boarding number 4!! Just then Holly & Leah came over and asked what our boarding number was and we said #4 and Holly was upset that they were #30. The agent said that your boarding number depends on when you did the online check-in. I checked in on the very day the online check in opened up for us and then I texted Holly to do the same but she never did. Holly told the gate agent that they were traveling with us so they should get #4 too but the agent said that it wasn’t her decision.

    At that point it was probably about 11:20 am and we went out the doors of the waiting area to go outside to check out the Dream some more. Here is a photo from that area.
    [​IMG]

    We were out there for about 5 minutes and when we came back inside they were already boarding group #1! At about 11:30 am they called boarding number 4 so we told Holly & Leah to text us when they were in and we’d meet up with them. I couldn’t believe that everything went so quickly, from the time we got to the terminal to the time we were boarding, because I’d wanted to take more pictures of the boarding process! We went inside and the line to take photos was taking forever. I knew that we wouldn’t purchase any photos nor would my DD and I take any photos with characters so we asked if we could skip it. They said that this was the photo that they use for face recognition to categorize all of our other photos taken during the cruise but we said that was ok and we didn’t regret that decision because we never got our photos taken for the rest of the trip. Ok, only once at dinner but we wouldn’t have bought that anyway! DD is 12 and in Middle School so she thinks she's too cool for photos with characters. :sad2:

    So we walked towards the ship and while we’d thought of all kinds of names to use when we were “presented” on the ship, we just blurted out our real last name! So they announced our names and we walked onto the ship. It was amazing! I don’t think Eilee had ever really seen photos of the Dream prior to this and she was blown away. A CM approached us to tell us about lunch at Cabanas but we were going to wait for Holly & Leah. So we felt a little out of sorts at this point and didn’t really know where to go or what to do. So we decided to find our room (even though we couldn’t get in until 1:30). We found our room and placed the magnet on the door (I’d ordered it off of ebay because I’m not crafty enough to make my own!).
    [​IMG]

    Then we went up top to check out the pools and the Aquaduck. Here is DD then!
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    And this is what deck 11 looked like when we got there!
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    We’d worn our suits under our clothes so we could ride the Aquaduck between the time we got there and the time that our rooms were open but again, we didn’t want to go without Holly & Leah! So we’d read on the Navigator that they had an open house at The Edge (the tween club) so we decided to go and check that out. It was supposed to open at noon but no one was there right then and there were about 10 – 15 people in line as well so we chatted with the others and then Holly & Leah texted about 12:15 to let us know that they were coming on board now so we told them where to go to meet us at The Edge. And just as they got there the counselors arrived to let us in. I can’t believe I didn’t get any photos of that! It was pretty cool with computers and various rooms with games and such. DD ended up loving this place and loved the counselors.

    We’d heard that the earlier you get on the Aquaduck, the shorter the line and we found this to be true. As soon as we were done at The Edge we went to give it a shot! We just left our stuff on one chair (it still wasn’t super busy on decks 11 & 12 at this point) and got in line. There was a line at the bottom of the steps and the CM that was attending this line would open the rope and let people up. Basically she let us right up, we climbed the stairs and we got right on! You could easily ride several times with no line. Also, several times during the ride water pours into the raft so just know that you will get fairly wet!
    [​IMG]

    By this time it was time to get into the rooms.

    To be continued...
     

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