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Sunglasses, a drink, and a good time - A surprise Disney Dream Cruise PTR 10/3/13

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Pre-Trip Reports' started by ShanaMouse, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. ShanaMouse

    ShanaMouse Mouseketeer

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    Hi Everyone!

    I'm Shana and just recently got married at Walt Disney World to my amazing husband Sean.
    Here's a pic from our wedding day!
    [​IMG]

    We do live in Florida and due to so many friends and family coming from all over the US and Europe for our wedding day, we decided to skip out on a honeymoon to spend time with them, as we wouldn't know when we would see them the next time.

    Needless to say, once everyone had left, Sean and I were really missing the fact that we didn't ever have time for just the two of us to enjoy being married and quickly made plans to go on a honeymoon later on this year. As time went on and schedules got busier, those plans were scrapped too and we both were feeling the blues. Additionally, we had just paid for the entire wedding and finances were on the tighter side. Although we had cancelled our initial idea of a honeymoon, which was to be at Disneyland, we both still had approved time off that we had requested previously.

    Being the planner that I am, I went to work on something new that the two of us could do that wouldn't break the bank, but would still give us that honeymoon feel! I checked our finances, put some money aside and booked us on the Disney Dream 3 night Bahamas Cruise on 10/3/13!!!!
    The awesome thing about this is that Sean has absolutely no idea! He thinks that we are doing a staycation here in Florida! He's going to lose his mind when he finds out!!!

    We will be at WDW on 10/2 anyway, as this is my Birthday and we are going to Food & Wine that night and staying the night as well. The next morning I have a reservation at Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club. After breakfast, I plan on having us go back to our hotel room, pack our bags, and then I want to schedule a free call from DCL to announce the cruise. I plan on having DF answer the phone so he can hear the call. I'm pretty sure he will be quite confused at first and not know what to do. I then want to get a DCL T-shirt, hand that to him to put on, and then we make our way to Port Canaveral!:cheer2:

    It's going to be very hard to keep this secret, but I am so excited for this cruise, especially after having read all of these TR, that I can't wait to see his face!

    We are both going to be first time cruisers and the fact that it will be a Disney cruise makes it that much more special! We had been meaning to do a cruise for years, but just never got around to it!
     
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  3. ShanaMouse

    ShanaMouse Mouseketeer

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    Okay, so with less than 5 weeks until the Cruise (I booked it 3 days ago) I am overwhelmed with all of the information that's out there.
    I did end up purchasing the Passporter's Guide to Disney Cruises, and that helps out a lot, but I still feel very unprepared!

    My next mission is to make an itinerary for the 3 night cruise. Something I can print up and have handy, maybe of must-dos and any sort of excursions that we will be doing. Right now I haven't quite figured out what we are doing as far as excursions are concerned, but I am leaning towards the Atlantis tour in Nassau. I don't really want to swim with dophins or anything, as that's something that I can do here in Florida too; I am much more interested in doing something or seeing something that I can't see or do here at home. Sean and I love aquariums and it looks like there is a pretty big and beautiful one at Atlantis. As far as Castaway Cay is concerned, I also haven't yet figured it out. I am thinking we will just lounge in a beach chair, maybe get some snorkel gear and that will be our day. Any suggestions are more than welcome, however!!

    I have also been actively reading up on the way dining works on the Disney cruise. I know there is rotational dining (we have the second seating), but I also want to fit Palo in somewhere there. I did read that some people had made and early ressie at Palo for appetizers and/or drinks and then still headed to their normal dining rotation or vice versa. I just don't want to miss anything!! I am pretty sure we will cruise again and that there isn't enough time to see it all, but I want to do the most that I can!

    As mentioned before, I also want to either order DCL tshirts for Sean and I directly from the Disney Store or have some made. I always wear some sort of Disney shirt to the parks so it's only fitting to wear one on our way to the port. :)
     
  4. disneysailor

    disneysailor Mouseketeer

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    How exciting! Congratulations and best wishes!
     
  5. goofystitchfan

    goofystitchfan SSR Owners

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    Congrats to you both. Don't forget your passports!
     
  6. ShanaMouse

    ShanaMouse Mouseketeer

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    I logged in on DCL tonight to look at some shore excursions that DH and I can do and ended up booking the Discover Atlantis and Beach day excursion during our day in Nassau and then I just did the float rental on Castaway Cay. DH and I have gone snorkeling before and I think we would much rather enjoy just relaxing on the beach or floating in the water. If all else fails, I may buy our own snorkel gear, as the rental seems a little pricey.

    Now onto the surprise.. as I was logged into my account, I was filling out the information for the online check in and when I got the end, it gave me an actual room number. I booked an oceanview room and just wanted to see if there were pictures of it online, other than what DCL has on their site. When I googled our room, i kept getting pics of verandah rooms on deck 9 and after asking online about upgrades and how they work, and realizing i initially booked a GTY room, DH and I are now officially in a verandah room. I couldnt be more excited, since that's what i wanted, but figured that oceanview would be just as nice and we would have the extra money for shore excursions. Now it just sort of all worked out!

    Thats all for tonight! If anyone has done the Atlantis Excursion, was it worth it? Mainly I wanted to do this one with DH because of the aquarium, as we love aquariums and try to go to as many as we can just for the experience.
     
  7. Justacruiser

    Justacruiser Military Veteran

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    sound very nice. You are very sweet to do this surprise for him.

    Haven't done the Atlantis thing but I am sure you will have a good time.

    Don't worry about booking the stuff at CC. You can pick it up there if you want. The DW and I love Serinity Bay, more quiet. It's up to you if you want the privacy. They have their on place to eat back there at the far side of the island.

    Call DCL and let them know you want to celebrate your honeymoon on the first night. They will do a shin-dig for you at the MDR.

    Any more questions, ask away.....
     
  8. ShanaMouse

    ShanaMouse Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for the tips! I will definitely also keep in mind to let them know that we are celebrating our honeymoon!
     
  9. ShanaMouse

    ShanaMouse Mouseketeer

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    I am getting more and more excited for this cruise, especially since DH has no idea! I am not going to lie, it is really hard not to say anything because i want him to share in the excitement with me, but at the same time I know how excited he will be when i finally do tell him, just the way I had planned to. That's the only thing that keeps me from not saying anything now :rotfl:

    Right now, DH thinks that we are going to Vero Beach after our day at EPCOT's F & W, which works out perfectly because he can pack his own bag and will include everything that he would need on the cruise as well. I just ordered him one of those DCL hats from the Disney Store that I plan on giving him as well (he loves all of the Disney hats he has so far, so I knew he would throw this one into the rotation). Originally, my plan was to tell him after breakfast on the day of the cruise before we head out. Now, however, since we have to drive part of the same route to Port Canaveral as we would to Vero Beach, I am going to tell him on the drive there. Haven't quite figured out how just yet, but that's my plan so far.
    I also just ordered DH some new swimming trunks and a couple of nice shirts to wear to dinner while on the cruise. All of that should start trickling in this coming week.

    Other than that, I am trying to read every PJ that I can get my hands on and I watch videos online to make sure that I am as prepared as I can be, since I am the only one who knows and I want to make sure that we can do everything that we want in the short time frame, since I am not sure when we can go on our next cruise.

    I am assuming we should be getting some sort of packet in the mail with our luggage tags sometime soon. I keep reading that people are getting those a few weeks out, so hopefully we will be getting ours. I need to make sure to hide those very well, so that DH doesn't accidentally see them.

    Well, that's all I have for now. Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday!
     
  10. veggiemama

    veggiemama Mouseketeer

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    Love the report so far Shana! Wedding at WDW looked fabulous!

    I don't know how you are managing to keep the cruise a secret - I cave almost right away when it comes to stuff like that! I thought I would be able to keep these types of trips a secret from my DH or kids but I just get so excited and I have to share all the fun planning stuff with them. I do keep secrets - just more like things about the trip that I don't share or special surprises leading up to the trip.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that you are able to hide the cruise papers well! :goodvibes
     
  11. ShanaMouse

    ShanaMouse Mouseketeer

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    Thank you, veggiemama!
    I dont know how I am keeping this a secret either!:rotfl:
    Every night I want to turn to DH and say; "guess what we are doing???" and then I have this whole scenario in my head of how its going to go, which usually ends with me being mad at myself for having told and not being able to keep a secret hahahah.
    In our relationship, I am always the one that surprises him, either with a spontaneous dinner at a new restaurant, bringing something home with me that reminded me of him or making reservations for behind the scenes tours at Disney that he has no idea about. He is definitely used to this, but I don't think that he thinks that I can pull of a secret like this! Luckily, I only have to keep my mouth shut for 30 more days... it is going to be tough!
     
  12. ShanaMouse

    ShanaMouse Mouseketeer

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    Okay, so DH and I were going to stay at one of the non-disney ownes hotels in the downtown disney area from 10/2 to 10/3, since we are planning to be at Disney all day on the 2nd for the Food and Wine festival and since its my birthday. We chose to go with one of the DTD hotels, since it is cheaper and we are already spending quite a bit on everything else.
    Last night I saw that Art of Animation's standard rooms were only $15 more than what I would have paid at the Hilton at DTD. Then I went back and forth about 30 minutes if I should just cancel the Hilton and go with AoA or stay with my original choice. i asked DH what he would rather do and, like a little kid, he jumped up and said "AoA all the way!"
    So... now we are officially booked in the Little Mermaid room for one night on 10/2. I am really excited! DH and I usually do the DVC resorts, but weren't able to for this particular stay, since we didn't have any more points this year (we used them all during the wedding for family and friends).
    Has anyone ever stayed here? I figured we wouldnt be in the room that much but to sleep anyways.

    When I booked the room, I was also selected to try out the new Magic Bands for that stay :dance3:.
    i got to customize them and everything and it stated that these would be shipped to our house. Really excited to start using these along with FastPass+.

    So now that the room is in place, here is our itinerary so far:

    10/2 -
    • Breakfast at home, courtesy of DH for my Bday
    • Spend the Morning at Hollywood Studios
    • Lunch location TBD
    • Check into Art of Animation Resort
    • Go to EPCOT's Food & Wine until park close (EMH: 9-11pm)
    10/3 -
    • Breakfast at Cape May Cafe
    • Leave to Port Canaveral for the Disney Dream Cruise
    10/4 -Nassau -
    • I booked the Discover Atlantis and Beach Day excursion
    10/5 - Castaway Cay -
    • figured we would just veg out on the beach all day
    10/6 -
    • Return to Orlando and cry that the cruise is over :)

    Have a great rest of your night, everyone!
     
  13. ShanaMouse

    ShanaMouse Mouseketeer

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    So... I was sitting on the couch reading through my Disney Files Magazine that came in the mail today and read that the Disney Dream only will have special Halloween touches starting September 22nd through Halloween. I then went onto the cruise website and it says that there will be a special deck party on pirate night, trick or treating, a nightmare before christmas with the opportunity to meet with Sally and Jack Skellington, and a Halloween movie marathon. Not sure why exactly, but I am super excited!! I loved a nightmare before christmas, so that may be the reason :)

    On another note, we got our Disney Cruise Line travel booklet and luggage tags. So far, I have been carrying it around in my purse since I dont want DH to see it! :rotfl:
    I also received my order from the Disney Store, which had the DCL hat I got for DH. I actually really like it! I read some negative reviews about the quality, but it seems sort of standard for their hats, from what I know.

    Getting super excited for this entire trip, a big part of it is knowing that DH doesnt know and revealing the surprise. I still havent quite figured out how I am going to tell him. i was thinking of making a little packet for him with the Passporters Guide, our travel docs, his hat, and some other knick knacks that he can look at on the drive to the port, since its about an hour from where we are.

    Well, happy weekend everyone!!
     
  14. SigalTchelet

    SigalTchelet Mouseketeer

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    How exciting and sweet. Sounds like he will have a blast! Btw-Happy early birthday! Mine is the 3rd! I will be thinking of you boarding the Dream on the 3rd!!! :D
     
  15. ShanaMouse

    ShanaMouse Mouseketeer

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    Yay for October birthdays :) :banana:
    Happy early birthday to you as well!!
     
  16. ShanaMouse

    ShanaMouse Mouseketeer

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    Today after work I called DCL to prepay our gratuities. I am trying to pay everything I can before we actually board so that the bill at the end won't give me a heart attack :rotfl:

    I happened to be speaking to one of the friendliest cast members that i have ever interacted with. She was telling me about all of the ins and out of a the Disney cruises, told me some must do things that she felt we would be interested in, gave me advice on when to do what, and even told me that our room is going to overlook Castaway Cay when we dock. She told me that, what they do, is order room service for breakfast that morning and eat while the ship is docking overlooking all of the Cay. This seems like such a calm and relaxing way to start our day at Castaway Cay that I think we will actually go ahead and do this, rather than going to one of the other breakfast locations on board. I also put in a request to have a table just for DH and I for dinner. I know it is not guaranteed, but I wanted to try anyway, just in case!

    Other than that, not much has changed since my last post. Well, actually... I almost forgot! DH almost saw our cruise packet. As stated in a previous post, I had been carrying the little booklet around with me in my purse as he was always around and I didn't want him to think something was up if I quickly rush away to another room and stuff something somewhere. Well, the other day we had taken an impromtu trip to Savannah, GA just for one night and DH had asked if he can grab something out of my purse. Not thinking about what was in my purse, i didnt say anything. Suddenly, it dawned on me and I said "NO!":rotfl2: DH looked at me like I was crazy! I told him that what he was looking for wasnt in my purse anymore and I just realized it. He looked at me and gave me a look that said "you don't have to be so intense when you say no" hahahaha. Luckily, he was fine with my answer and let it go! Whew!!

    I also rebooked the shore excursion that I had planned in Nassau. I wanted to do the Discover Atlantis and Beach Day one, but somehow I was never 100% set. Not sure why, but it just didn't seem like that was 'it' for us. I went ahead and switched to the Nassau Forts and Junkanoo Discovery tour. I am actually much more interested in this, as I love sightseeing and learning about different cultures, etc. I think DH will like this one much better as well. He went to Belize for an archeological dig a few years ago and he always talks about ancient ruins so I figured he would like exploring some of the 200 or 300 year old forts and the queens staircase a lot! Another good thing about this excursion is that we will be able to say we have 'been there' AND we get to be back at the port by 1pm, leaving plenty of time to either go back onboard and make use of the ship or maybe explore a little more in town. With the Atlantis excursion, we would have been gone all day, so I am really pleased with it being this way now, since it's also our first Disney Cruise. I also found an open timeslot for Jet Skis on Castaway Cay. I have always wanted to do this!

    Lastly, I think DH and I are going to request and additional day off. I made it seem as though it will just be the day to get back to reality after the cruise, which he really liked. He always says we need an extra day after a vacation to get back to our normal routine. What he doesnt know is that, once he tells me the time off has been approved, I am going to get tickets for the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party for the day we get off of the ship. We get off on Sunday and would go to MNSSHP that night. We wouldn't get home until very late, but we would then have all of Monday to get back into our normal schedule. I feel as though this would really round out our short vacation, beginning with food and wine, then getting on a cruise, and ending with HalloWishes fireworks at MK. Neither DH or I have been to MNSSHP and I have heard nothing but good thing, so I am super excited, if this does work out.

    Happy Tuesday everyone! Talk to you soon!
     
  17. ShanaMouse

    ShanaMouse Mouseketeer

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    Okay, so our additional day of time off was approved so I just got us two tickets to MNSSHP for the day we get off of the ship, which is Sunday, 10/6/13. I am super excited for this. I got the advance purchase DVC discount, which helped a bit! I havent told DH yet and contemplating whether or not I should. I do want to dress up just a little but, nothing outrageous, but I will need to tell him if that's what we are doing.
    I then have also been contemplating adding on another day at a resort for that Sunday to Monday so we dont have to drive home after MNSSHP, but it's another couple hundred dollars and I am just not sure as of right now. We will see how I feel in a few days, i guess. I mean, technically we only live an hour away, but I dont know if I want to drive an hour home at midnight after MNSSHP and after having been on our feet all day long. Then again, I feel as though it's sort of a waste to get a resort room because we only live an hour away. Ugh.. decisions decisions... :rotfl:

    That's all I have for now! :P
     
  18. Scrappygrrl

    Scrappygrrl Mouseketeer

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    Hi there - your honeymoon sounds lovely. Can't wait to hear the DH's reaction!

    If you want save some cash for hotel after the cruise, I would consider staying on the boat in Nassau; you hardly have any time to explore the ship on a 3-night. Trust me, you won't be bored!
    I would also say you can skip Palo. Order room service appetizers for the night you leave CC and sit on the verandah and enjoy. Just as romantic and free!

    Boom - you probably just saved enough for the extra night's room!

    Just my $0.02; feel free to disregard :-)
     
  19. ShanaMouse

    ShanaMouse Mouseketeer

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    Wow! I hadn't even thought about ordering food through room service as more of a dinner option! Thats perfect! I didn't want to do Palo or Remy anyway, as I figured we can save that for another cruise that's a little bit longer, as I though that we would be able to then experience the 3 MDR on the 3 night cruise.
    I am still trying to decide between getting a room or not during MNSSHP. I actually just went through our budget and it did look like we had more left over than I initially thought, so it's definitely back on the table!

    Thanks for the tips and suggestions! :)
     
  20. ShanaMouse

    ShanaMouse Mouseketeer

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    Just a quick update! I am really excited about this, as I finally feel as though this is now a completed Disney vacation. I ended up booking Coronado Springs for our final day of vacay!! Yay!!! :dance3:
    I got a really good deal with the Fall Florida Resident rate. I was initially leaning towards Pop Century, as it was on the cheaper side for that last night, but with the discount I ended up choosing Coronado, as it made more sense!
    Here's a quick outline:

    10/2 - My BIRTHDAY!!! Food & Wine and checking into Art of Animation
    10/3 - 10/6 check out of hotel and get on Disney Dream Cruise
    10/6 - Checking into Disney's Coronado Springs and MNSSHP
    10/7 - check out and going back home :(
     
  21. BusyBeesMom

    BusyBeesMom Earning My Ears

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    So exciting! Can't wait to hear more.
     

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