RAIN, SCHMAIN, AND HURRICANES: Our 9/2011 Cruise: NEW ANNOUNCEMENT!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by sleepydog25, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. sleepydog25

    sleepydog25 Been here awhile

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    Well, someone might have been interested in taping, ummmm, the kids' slide below. . .though not necessarily taping just the kids. :rolleyes1 Oh, and I distinctly remember having multiple conversations that went something like this: luvvwl: "You should do the taping 'cause I'm not as good at it as you are." Moi: "So, you'll take the pics, right?" luvvwl: "Yes." :rolleyes:
     
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  3. luvvwl

    luvvwl Mouseketeer

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    Pretty sure it was the mom in the bikini at the kids' slide below someone was taping, not the kids' slide.

    just sayin':rotfl:
     
  4. rsquared

    rsquared Earning My Ears

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    You two are adorable! :hug:
    We all want more!!
     
  5. luvvwl

    luvvwl Mouseketeer

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    Oopsies!!! I totally lied!! We DID buy the welcome aboard picture. And. Here it is!!! (I think I resized it, but we'll see!)

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  6. sleepydog25

    sleepydog25 Been here awhile

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    Well, then, you're in luck!!

    Before proceeding, let me back up just a bit, before the sail away party, before all the giant rubber hands waving goodbye from the restaurants lining the channel to Port Canaveral, before the “When You Wish upon a Star” tooting from the smoke stack. Instead, let’s see just how I wound up dancing in front of a group of strangers in Hawai’ian attire. :scared1: After unpacking (we didn’t get all our bags at once, but we did get them all in time to completely unpack before the lifeboat drill), we attended a DVC members program in Evolution where there were perhaps 60 people in attendance. We were split into four groups, and each group named a team captain. You get once guess who was our team captain and how he got selected. Once on stage with the emcees, each team captain got a name based on what characteristics the emcees felt that person and the team possessed. Dopey. I got Dopey.

    These teams were led by their captains in such activities as mini-scavenger hunt, trivia, and in one memorable moment, the aforementioned dress like a Hawai’ian game. The items for dressing up had to come from your team, so I wound up with a medium-sized DVC rucksack as my skirt and a collection of lanyards as my lei. However, another team captain had actually secured a plastic lei and strung together two ball caps in front aping a coconut bikini top. Brilliant! But, that wasn’t all, ohhhh, no. Then came the pronouncement, “Now, team captains, time to dance!” Each of the other team captains were women and had no issues swaying to imaginary drums in a hula-style dance; however, I knew that would not be a pretty sight if I attempted to do the same. I was last, and just as it came time for me to strut my stuff, a moment of sheer inspiration (desperation?) hit me. I jumped out on the small stage, surrounded by newly minted friends, and did my very best imitation of the Maori war dance from New Zealand! I stomped, growled, yelled, threw back my head, clapped, and did my best to intimidate my foes. Needless to say, I wasn’t very graceful—and I thought the emcees were going to bust a gut laughing. . .but I was a hit and got a near standing ovation from the crowd when it came time to crown the champion dancer by acclamation. In fact, I jumped up on the riser stage at the back and exhorted everyone to cheer for me. Yes, I realize a Maorian war dance ain’t Hawai’ian, but you gotta admit it was a good job of quick thinking on my part! Not only did I have a blast, but we also wound up with a horde of goodies: lanyards, pins, the rucksack (two, actually, but I gave one to a sweet Brit couple on our team), and ball caps. Did I mention they plied us with unending mimosas the entire time? pirate: It was a scintillating start to our Dream adventure.

    And one must never forget the unforgettable—the lifeboat drill. It never ceases to amaze me how people can’t follow the simplest of instructions. All we had to do was show up at a designated time, at a designated spot, with a designated room key, each requisite being loudly proclaimed over the ship’s intercom repeatedly and on the cabin TVs. Yet, there were still people showing up late, at the wrong spot, and sans key. :cool2: Despite this annoyance, the procedure still didn’t take more than 20 minutes, and soon we were able to head back to the room. . .only we didn’t. Instead, we went to Senses Spa to take a look around. We had missed the guided tour (I was busy dressing up in hula gear ;)), but one of the CMs there gave us our own quick tour which included the gym, the massage rooms, the rainforest showers, and the hot tubs. There we found that you could get access to the showers and hot tubs for only $99 per couple for the entire cruise! Done! By then, we realized that dinner time was fast approaching since we had the 5:45 seating, so we scooted back to the room to change and freshen up. Now, back to the future. . .

    We arrived slightly tardy for dinner, somewhere around 5:52:25, but we obviously weren’t the only ones running behind as there were many groups showing up after us. We slid in the side door to Royal Palace where we were greeted warmly and immediately whisked off to Table 115. Or should I say we began our trek to the table. I won’t say it took a long time, but I did become quite familiar with a few tables that we kept passing by:
    “Hi, Tom! How are the kids since we saw you earlier?”
    “Oh, fine! How’s the hike going?”
    “Good, really good. We should be quite hungry by the time we get seated. See you next time around?”

    We were finally seated at our table set for two, and that’s when we experienced one of the few minor disappointments that we had on the cruise. Though our servers—Matjia and Jessica—were delightful, we had no tablemates. One of the cool facets of a cruise is getting to meet new people, sharing your stories of the day over dinner, and we weren’t able to do so. We love intimate dinners for two, but we had been looking forward to dining with others and getting to know them. Alas, it was not to be. On the other hand, we had booked Palo and Remy for our last two nights, so perhaps that had something to do with not having anyone else at our table. Regardless, it was a minor issue.

    Dinner itself was an hour-and-a-half of good food and, of course, wonderful company. We’re not one to take many pictures of food, so our apologies there (thankfully, others DO post great pics!).
    Appetizers: My lovely DSO had the pomegranate duck while I sipped the creamy cauliflower soup. While the duck was tasty, chilling duck reduces the flavor profile unless it’s smoked which this was not. Meanwhile, my soup had salmon caviar and mini-croutons that made it a real treat. We agreed my dish was the superior of the two.
    Entrees: I had the wild boar served on a “cake” of sweet onion/potato hash with a red wine reduction. The boar was tasty, if a bit bland, and the accompanying side of hash did little to add punch to the dish. The boar was also slightly overcooked, though it was still quite tender. I’d rate my entrée as average. On the other hand, my partner’s main dish was mustard-crust, double-cut rack of lamb and it was perfectly prepared at medium-rare to rare. Her side was potato au gratin which had roasted notes that complemented the creamy sauce. Lamb is easy to overcook, but the staff nailed it on this dish. Easily, this was the better of the two entrees.
    Dessert: While LOMF went with both of the two sugar-free dishes, I opted for the. . .wait for it. . .Grand Marnier soufflé. Her two sweets were fields apart: the mango cheesecake was dry and barely had any taste despite the mango gel on top of the slice; however, the chocolate ganache was quite tasty and rich, having succinct notes of dark chocolate and a hint of mocha. Very good. But. Still. The soufflé was much better than either of them. Jessica brought it warm to the table, gently tapped open the shell of the soufflé, then lovingly poured in the small urn of Grand Marnier cream sauce. Though not quite on par with the chocolate soufflé in Palo, it was nonetheless delightfully decadent. I very well may have licked the ramekin that held the soufflé, it was that good. :teeth:

    By the time we finished dessert, we had just enough time to stumble through the gift shops on our way to the Walt Disney Theater for The Golden Mickeys. We saw a few items we wound up purchasing, but overall, the selection was just average. From the shops, we quickly stepped over the theater and decided to sit in the balcony as the main floor was fast filling up. Although our seats were good, we soon realized that by sitting there, you missed out on the small interactive bits of the show, and by that I mean no bubbles and no glittery golden Mickey foils fluttering into your lap. Still, the sound is great and sightlines good from the nosebleed section. The show itself was fine, but it’s beginning to look old and tired, as if the performers weren’t terribly inspired (not that such mattered one whit to luvvwl since her hunka-hunka burning love—the inimitable Tarzan—came swinging in all his muscular glory. I have six-pack abs, too. . .buried behind three layers of pudge. Just sayin’). We did enjoy The Golden Mickeys, and I’m sure we’ll see it next time we cruise, as well, but it was our least favorite show.

    Our original plan had been to take part in Match Your Mate, but when we walked out of the show, we looked at each other and knew the miles and excitement had taken their toll on us. Instead, we strolled arm-in-arm down the burnished hallways, past the storied atrium, and soaked up the sights and sounds of our first night on the Dream. It had been a long time coming, and we were thrilled to finally be there. Our turndown service had left a serpent of some sort, with chocolate eyes, the next day’s Navigator, and our DVC keepsake box with lanyards. What a lovely finish to an intoxicating day. Sleep beckoned. . .:tinker:

    Next up: You Saw What at Nassau?
     
  7. Shelby5514

    Shelby5514 <font color=87005b>John Taylor is my guilty pleasu

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    :thumbsup2 Hi guys! Excellent start!
     
  8. luvvwl

    luvvwl Mouseketeer

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    Hmmm. I wonder why????:rolleyes1

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    It was HILARIOUS!!!! And. I wasn't even embarrassed to be with him. lol. Probably because of those 12 mimosas, but hey? What's a girl to do?

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    I do wish we had known about that spa deal sooner, because it's such a good deal. Each shower in the rainforest room is a different theme with varying lighting, water spray intensity, water temperature and scents. And. The hot tubs were kind of like infinity pools. Plus those warmed lounge chairs! We have such a great photo of us there on our Nassau day. But. You'll have to wait until then to see it!


    It did take a looooonnnng time to find our table. Probably the fact that the person seating us HAD NO IDEA where it was might have had something to do with it. Honestly, at one point he led us directly through one of those stations off to the side where the servers dispose of dirty dishes! And. It was disappointing not to have tablemates. But. It did give us plenty of alone time, which I also loved having. :love:

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    I did not care for the duck AT ALL. I expected it to be heated, which is how I've always had it. I no likey it chilled. My potatoes were to die for!!! Although, that could have to with my strict, no carb, have to look good in my bikini diet I was on for the two weeks leading up to the cruise, lololol!!

    PS~ babe? I think Jessyca spells her name with a "y". Just helping you out!:lmao:

    The shopping was, well, Disney shopping lite, really. They did have some nice inaugual cruises merchandise, which we bought. But other than that, not so much.

    And. The show. THE Tarzan Show, ummm, oh, I mean The Golden Mickeys, yeah, that's what I mean. :lovestruc

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    And dreams of Tarzan, uh, I mean Nassau. Sure. That's EXACTLY what I meant!
     
  9. sleepydog25

    sleepydog25 Been here awhile

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    Start?! START!? If you only knew what it took to get that last chapter written (can you say I lost the entire thing not once but twice. . .or twice-st as they say here?). But, thanks, Shelby!! Good to see you here!
     
  10. sleepydog25

    sleepydog25 Been here awhile

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    Well, you may have dreamed of Tarzan, but. . .:teeth:
     
  11. Yzma and Kronk

    Yzma and Kronk <font color=darkcoral>I survived the Pie-fest<br><

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    Hey. I'm here too.

    Lovin' it so far. Great pics.

    And I noticed that GREAT bag right away :banana:
     
  12. sleepydog25

    sleepydog25 Been here awhile

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    Yay!! Great seeing you! There's a bag? :confused3 ;)
     
  13. tony64

    tony64 <font color=blue>Should've been a Cowboy<br><font

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    Hi guys, I'm lovin' your report, keep um coming. :thumbsup2
     
  14. NAB

    NAB <font color=green>That first page just got too hea

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    I thought the pictures were so blurry because she was laughing so hard she couldn't keep the camera straight. :laughing:

    Nice pic of Tarzan, I will have to remember to sit down below to catch the confetti stuff since we will have one kid with us that loves that stuff.

    Love watching the "Mate" game they play. It can be pretty funny and it is usually the old couple that are the best at making you laugh.

    Can't wait to hear more.
     
  15. Yzma and Kronk

    Yzma and Kronk <font color=darkcoral>I survived the Pie-fest<br><

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    This bag!!!

    Not you in the chair but the most excellent one to the right.

    Sheesh, luvvwl even pointed it out.

    I suppose, they didn't call you Dopey for nothin'.....:rolleyes1:rotfl2:
     
  16. sleepydog25

    sleepydog25 Been here awhile

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    Thanks so much! We'll do our best. :thumbsup2

    Well, that's always possible because it WAS funny. . .at least if I can judge so by the amount of laughter and cheering I received. :lmao: Yeah, we learned quickly that the main level was the place to be for souvenirs. . .unless you opted to steathily "find" some affixed somewhere else. :rolleyes1 I think the Tarzan pic may be a background picture on someone's camera or tablet. . . We did plan to play the "Mate" game, and I think we'd have done well and better than that had tons of fun had we participated, but all the miles and excitement of the past few days finally took their toll, and the stateroom bed won out over the stage.

    I represent that remark. . .hmpf! :snooty:

    I apologize now for not getting another chapter written last night; however, I promise one will be forthcoming shortly. Meanwhile, I will say that the bed in our cabin was extremely comfortable and the pillows very, very fluffy. Additionally, it was so romantic to be able to walk out onto the verandah and just soak in the night air, the faint hint of sea spray on your face, and the quiet thrushing of the water below. I've read where someone said the staterooms are slightly smaller than similar ones on the classic ships, and while this may be true, we found there was plenty of space for us. The suitcases all fit under the bed; drawer space was more than ample; the closets were big enough for all our dinner attire and then some; and even the small table by the couch opened up for more storage if needed. It was a perfect room size for us. :thumbsup2
     
  17. DiznyDi

    DiznyDi <font color=darkcoral>If you remember, we are the

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    Oh my! How I'm enjoying your report..:goodvibes
    Anxiously awaiting the next installment....
     
  18. Ajsmom22

    Ajsmom22 Earning My Ears

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    I'm waiting too!!

    Amber
     
  19. princessnpirate

    princessnpirate Mouseketeer

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    LOVE your report!!
     
  20. sleepydog25

    sleepydog25 Been here awhile

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    Thanks to each of you and guess what? Look below!

    You Saw What at Nassau?
    Day 2 of the cruise. . .technically, it was our first full day after a marvelous start the day prior, but who’s counting? We slept in slightly (for us, anyway), though I woke to the slippety-slappety, bouncing antics of the woman next to me who was urgently whispering in my ear, “Let’s go!!” Eager hardly does her credit. Admittedly, I was ready to get going, too, and we were up in time to see Nassau approaching—she from the gym and I while running on Deck 4. Before falling asleep that first night, we had decided to skip going into Nassau proper, preferring to further explore the ship, hang out at the spa, grab some rays, attend the champagne tasting, and generally enjoy all the ship had to offer versus traipsing around onshore looking for straw hats. Being a country boy, I believe in a good straw hat now and then, but not on this trip. Off to work out we went.

    Now, I know that working out isn’t the average person’s idea of being on vacation and relaxing, but running fills me with those oh-so-wonderful endorphins, and given how much filling of our stomachs we had done (and were planning to do), we needed to work off as many calories as possible. As I mentioned, luvvwl headed for the gym and a date with a treadmill (“Maybe Tarzan will be there!” :yay:) as I wandered down to Deck 4 to run on a better surface—no Tarzan for me (or Jane for that matter :rolleyes1). I love running on a ship, perhaps because when I pass by people—crew members and passengers alike—it makes me curious about their stories, how they wound up working or cruising on this particular trip.

    After 27 miles—oh, wait, that’s 2.7 miles—I called it quits and dragged my weary tookus upstairs to find LOMF. We made our way to Enchanted Garden as we would be skipping it on the rotational dining due to our reservations at Palo and Remy. Though we enjoyed EG well enough, the buffet line simply wasn’t as bountiful, extensive, nor fresh as that of Cabanas. We decided on the spot that Cabanas would be our source of daytime meals for the duration of the cruise. Cabanas turned out to be one of the bigger surprises on the cruise as their selections were quite varied and tasty overall. For breakfast, they have made-to-order omelets (just ask) in addition to a big selection of breakfast foods, cereals, hot grains, smoked fish (usually salmon), and the like. At lunch, every other day featured sushi which we enjoyed immensely, hot and cold dishes, usually some sort of stir-fry, soups, salads, and fresh peel-and-eat shrimp. You won’t go hungry. The lines were never long given that there are two sides to the buffet offering the same items. We thoroughly recommend Cabanas.

    We freshened up a bit after EG, poured ourselves some sparkling wine into the souvenir drink glasses we had bought the day before, then headed to Senses Spa, home to warming beds, hot tubs, and the rain forest showers. We lounged on the warming beds for a few minutes before one of the kinda-sorta-infinity hot tubs opened up (they’re big enough for more than two people, but everyone seemed to like just being with one other person, so we obliged). The hot tubs were a perfect choice after exercising and eating, and they looked out over the water, though in this case that view also included part of Nassau. After 15 minutes, we got out and headed straight to the showers. The showers alternated between lukewarm and butt cold, with names such as Strawberry Fields Forever, Thai Basil Ginger Garden, Earl Grey Tea Party, Jasmine (and I don’t mean THAT Jasmine) Jungle, and Don’tLookNowYou’reGoingtoGetaColdStreamofWaterDumpedonYourHeadWhenYouLeastExpectIt. The options to come out smelling fresh and fruity are impressive, or as my late grandfather would have said, “you’ll stink good.” ;) We then caught a few rays, took a few pics, saw a few characters, stopped by Shutters (it wasn’t open but you could still see what pics you had at the kiosks), and headed to lunch at Cabanas which is where we first caught sight of the sushi, or as she would say, “Look! SUSHI!!” :yay: (I am forthwith adopting this bouncy character as the official icon of luvvwl--let it be decreed so throughout the kingdom).

    By then, it was time for our first tasting—champagne at Pink, hosted by the Dream’s “chef sommelier” Georg from Croatia (or was it Jorg from Slovenia?). He led us through a brief history lesson and some facts regarding champagne versus sparkling wine. We sampled four champagnes/sparkling wines then had a champagne aperitif to finish. It was $30 well-spent, and Pink is quite a treat for the eyes. We shuffled out of Pink to the atrium where we took some pictures with Disney characters—Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, and Chip-n-Dale. C-n-D were very happy, to the point I wondered what sort of chipmunk food and drink they’d been consuming. :drinking1We had a blast, and just when it seemed the party was ending, it was time for more imbibing, this time at the Skyline lounge for Mixology.

    We were one of five couples there which maxed out the bar area, and this experience wound up being one of our favorites. Here, the bartender briefly explained how to make a drink (the main alcohol ingredient first, the additives or secondary spirits next), but then had each couple join him to make a mixed drink. In order, we had a dirty martini, mojito, Sunken Treasure, margaritas, and then a huge shot made of Bailey’s, Kahlua, and a small pour of Grand Marnier. LOMF and I were responsible for the margaritas, and I must say, we had a blast. We are not shrinking violets, so this was right up our alley as we served our fellow mixologists :banana::cool1:. But, I must say, the best drink of the session was that Bailey’s/Kahlua/Grand Marnier mega-shot. Smo-o-o-o-o-th. :teeth: It was also about that point where we knew ordering wine at dinner that night was unnecessary. ;) And with on that note, we stumbl. . .umm, headed off to our room to dress for dinner.

    Next up: Animator’s Palette or How the Turtle Turned the Tables
     
  21. luvvwl

    luvvwl Mouseketeer

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    Actually, Mr. Man, I didn’t intentionally wake you up. I was already up and dressed for the gym when you woke up all by you little lonesome. And. The frivolous side of me WANTED a straw hat but the admittedly teeny tiny practical side of me knew I’d never wear it outside of the cruise. I may be a shoe girl, I’m obviously a purse girl, but a hat girl? Not so much. Besides, it was only our second day on that beautiful ship and there was PLENTY to see and do.

    I promised myself I would try to work out every day and use the stairs as much as possible to avoid that huge weight gain everyone seems to aquire on a cruise and guess what?? You CAN eat and drink pretty much whatever you want and not really gain weight! And. Watching the approach to Nassau and the big, blue, beautiful ocean slipping by isn’t a bad view to work out to. Tarzan WOULD have been better, but alas, he must have had a different workout schedule than I did.

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    And. Just for good measure. :angel:

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    Cabanas was AWESOME!!!! Fresh and plentiful, and the most excellent eggs benedict! And, actually, we stopped at Cove Café for a latte before we went down to Enchanted Garden. Not quite Starbucks, but very, very good. FYI, there is an out of pocket fee here, but well worth it IMO.

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    Enchanted Garden is a very pretty restaurant, but the buffet was just average, for breakfast at least. After this first time, we opted for Cabanas for breakfast for the rest of the cruise.

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    I think we also wandered around the top deck enjoying our coffee on the way to EG and took just a couple of token pics of Nassau. Although, I’m pretty sure this is a shot of the view from our balcony.

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    Aaahhh, the spa!!!

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    (why, oh why is it that in just about EVERY picture, I have zero makeup on other than some mascara and lip gloss????)

    Oh, and I guess the really awesome shot at the spa with Nassau in the background was just of me, lolol!!! Oopsies, but great picture taking abilities, babe!!

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    Again with the no makeup?????

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    OMG!!!! This was the MOST FUN ever!!!! Of the three tastings we did, this was by far the best. Very informative plus the interactive nature of it. Unless you’re dull, of course. Which we aren’t. Obviously.:rotfl2:

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