The Prebiltastics take on the ocean! June 16-20, 2013 Dream Cruise

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Madzac, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. disneymom727

    disneymom727 DIS Veteran

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    I read your first part last night but have a ton more to read tonight but can I just say that, so far, my favorite picture is the one of your son in front of Mr. Potato Head! His expression is priceless!!! :goodvibes
     
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  3. jennorthernireland

    jennorthernireland Mouseketeer

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    This is such a beautiful report! You all look so happy to be there and that's how I hope my family will be feeling when its our turn in August. Looking forward to reading more!
     
  4. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! That is JUST his personality too!
     
  5. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much! You are going to have the most wonderful time! It was truly the most magical vacation we have ever had!
     
  6. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    Wednesday June 19, 2013

    After another wonderful night sleep on the world’s most comfortable beds, we woke up around 8am once again. I had listened to everyone who said to pack less clothing than needed and we were running out of clean clothing! We didn’t wear our clothes all day, but the boys got things dirty and things were sandy and well we needed some clothes so we put in a load right down the hall from our room on the way to breakfast. It was very convenient having laundry on each floor.

    Today we decided we would try out Royal Palace which was the only sit down option for breakfast. With young kids while buffet is nice to get a lot of variety, it isn’t always as relaxing. We were seated quickly, but the meal took a LONG time. IT was good though! I had the waffle sandwich which was two waffles with dulce de leche in the middle, yum! The kids had a variety of pancakes, waffles and French toast and Adam had eggs benedict. Everything was great but the service was pretty slow. I think I would hit Cabanas more in the future. While we were waiting we looked over the navigator for the day to try to figure out how we wanted to spend our last day on board, our day at sea. We were all getting sad the trip was going so fast!

    After breakfast, we decided we wanted to head up to the future cruise sales desk first thing when it opened. If you rebook a future cruise on board you get 10% off, only pay 10% down and you can get up to 200 dollars in onboard credit. We talked about it at breakfast and everyone agreed we were having such a great time that we definitely wanted to do it again! We knew it would be 2-3 years but had heard you could book a “dummy” or placeholder date to get the benefits and then move the date when you knew when you would sail and still retain the benefits. We talked with one of the cast members who was wonderful and booked us on a cruise in Dec. 2014 that is pretty far out and pretty inexpensive, in the lowest room category. We only had to put about 230 down and are all set! This was really exciting! We would be cruising again!! Hopefully longer next time! This seemed like a dream since this trip was supposed to be our once in a lifetime. Little did we know how it would make us all feel!!

    The other business we attended to was to stop at guest services for a couple of things. First of all, we had decided that our servers and room host were so wonderful we wanted to add some additional tips to what we had already prepaid. Second, Adam discovered that morning that he had lost his wedding band! We have no idea when it came off and were shocked he hadn’t realized it sooner. We filed a report but it has not been found… maybe some snorkeler at castaway cay will find it someday, lol!

    With business taken care of the kids were ready for the clubs! Maya headed off to see what was going on in Edge and we took the boys to the Oceaneer club. It was open house time for a short while longer when anyone of any age can go in so we went in with the kids. The cast members were doing a fun session on the magic playfloor so we joined in and the five of us had a wonderful time dancing and playing games together. It was so much fun! My husband and I work opposite shifts to be able to avoid childcare and we just dont get a ton of all together family time. These times were so special! We then dropped the boys at the lab so they could attend the super sloppy science session and they were off quickly. Adam went to change the laundry and Tessa and I went to our favorite spot on deck four and hung out in the lounge chairs. She quickly fell asleep so when Adam arrived we headed up to the top deck to see what was going on. It was very very busy up on deck and the pools were pretty packed. It was a full sailing we were told and honestly there were times it was busy but it never felt overwhelmingly so, even on sea day. No you couldn’t find a lounger mid-day like that, but it wasn’t overwhelming I didn’t think. We went up to deck 12 and found a couple of loungers and relaxed for a bit before lunch time. Maya meanwhile finished her time at Edge and caught up with us and we went to get the boys.

    Shortly after noon there was a character dance party in the atrium. This was a lot of fun and we saw most of the regular characters who danced with everyone similar to what had happened on the island the day before. The kids had a good time!
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    For lunch today, we wanted to hit the fast food options on deck 11. We had been watching people with the pizza and chicken fingers for days and hadn’t made it there to eat yet! We needed more than 4 days to eat all the good food options!!! We never managed to order room service even! We all had pizza and chicken fingers. They had some yummy looking wraps and salads too, but hey I was on vacation and enjoying eating whatever I wanted when I am usually very healthy! It was very very busy at this point in time, and tough to find a table but we found one! After eating we went in to cabanas and grabbed some dessert… key lime pie, yum!

    We decided to go separate ways after lunch. The boys wanted to do the pool, which they reported was HOT and not refreshing! The girls and I went to the Disney animation session in the D lounge. We learned how to draw pirate mickey. Neither Maya nor I had the best looking pirate Mickeys at the end but it was fun! We had decided to go to the afternoon show today as they were offering a 3pm matinee for sea day. Today’s show was Believe which I had read was a favorite for many and I would have to agree it was my favorite as well! It was about a dad and daughter relationship and his journey to learning how to believe in magic helped by the genie from Aladdin. It had scenes from all the big movies such as princess and the frog, beauty and the beast, mulan, lion king, tarzan, peter pan, mary poppins, Pocahontas, jungle book… gosh I lost track of all the scenes! It was just wonderful and a tear jerker when he finally realized all he was missing with his daughter! Both Maya and I were all teared up! This show was Disney at its best for sure! Amazing!!!
     
  7. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    After the show we decided to do our last shopping. The kids still needed T-shirts and we found some! We headed back to the room and did a little packing and organizing before getting ready for our last dinner. My goal tonight was to get a good family picture! Shutters was only doing group pictures on the stairs this evening and the line was long when we arrived just after 5pm but my family humored me and waited. We waited almost 45 min! BUT success! We got a great family picture that is now on my wall!
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    We had read you could bring an item from home to have characters sign and leave it with guest services. I had bought a photo mat and this was returned to our room this last evening all signed and is now on our wall holding that wonderful family picture!

    We hurried off to dinner a little late. Dinner was at Enchanted Garden again with their standard menu.
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    The kids were happy to see Miguel and Alit. I loved the rotational dining and how we really got to know them and them us! It is so neat that you get to rotate restaurants but keep your same staff. Tonight I had the iceberg lettuce wedge salad, prime rib and strawberry cheesecake for dessert. Adam and I also ordered champagne to drink. We had some more great magic tricks. Our servers reminded us to fill out the surveys and how important they are but we didn’t get any big speech on “excellent” as I had heard about. Miguel told us breakfast the last morning was available as a sit down with them at 645am since we were first seating or in cabanas until 830. We thanked our servers up and down and had our picture taken with them. The boys both threw their arms around them, they just adored them. Josiah was even teary leaving! They really made the cruise special for us! I had heard about people bonding with their dining staff but wow, I just couldnt believe how much my kids adored them and how they made this cruise that much more wonderful.
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  8. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    After dinner, there was a session of family Disney trivia to be happening in the D lounge and Tristan really wanted to go to that since we had had so much fun at the Mirror Mirror game the previous evening. We headed over and found out that Belle and Cinderella were meeting in the other half of the room. We were the second ones there so we waited and had the chance to meet them both. Tessa just loved this… she is suddenly all into the princesses! The lighting was kind of weird and the pictures didnt turn out the best...
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    After the meet we went to the other side of the lounge for the Disney trivia which was about to start. We were in teams of families or our team name was "The Prebiltastics". They had 20 questions. I know my Disney and thought we would do pretty good but we only got 14 of them… some of them were HARD!! One family got 18 and they won. Amazing the obscure disney trivia some people know! Oh well, we had a lot of fun working together as a family!

    When trivia was over, the kids and Adam changed into their suits once again. They wanted to ride the aquaduck one more time! Since Tessa couldn’t swim, she and I first went to Shutters to buy the two pictures I wanted to take home and then headed up to deck and sat in a lounger up on deck and watched the big funnel vision and people watched for a while waiting for the kids to finish the pool and aquaduck. It was a glorious evening, just perfect weather the entire trip!!! When they were finished we headed back to the room and packed things up. We had to have the suitcases out in the hallway by 1030 pm that night so we sadly got everything ready to go and tagged.

    The one final event of the cruise we really wanted to attend was See you Real Soon which was being held in the atrium at 1015. We knew it involved characters but that was it. IT was wonderful! We danced in the lobby to the musicians that were playing before and then the event started. There were so many characters… three princesses and all the regular guys and gals. We had 20 min to meet as many as we could and the staff moved the lines through quickly. The lighting again was weird in some spots and not all the pictures turned out unfortunately.
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    We met Chip and Dale, Goofy, Mickey, Minnie and Daisy before the time ended. Then the characters headed up the stairs one at a time and waved goodbye. All the kids loved it and poor little Maya was just sobbing by this point; she was so sad that the trip was ending! I was fighting tears. So hard to believe this was our very last night.

    After the character event we headed up to deck and grabbed our last ice cream cone and hung out together as a family enjoying the night air. I think we could have sat up there all night long. It was such special family time all together. Maya was super teary but we kept reminding her how we had rebooked and would be back someday. It was really emotional, as the end to any trip is. This one just seemed more so since it was all such a dream and it seemed to be so special for our family. Despite the fact there was so much we hadn’t managed to do like the midship detective agency, the mini golf and much more, we knew it was time to head to bed. We dropped the kids’ bands off at the kids clubs since they were done and headed back to our cabins. We enjoyed one more night of towel animals and chocolates and snuggled into bed knowing we would wake up back in FL before we knew it.
     
  9. ArmandXG

    ArmandXG The Great Baldini: Master of Time, Space and the I

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    Love your report! The last day always sucks. I cry too at the See Ya Real Soon party. Glad to hear that you booked another cruise... you are officially HOOKED! ;) We have #'s 3 and 4 coming up and I am so excited! You are right that there is not enough time to do everything. We have done 4 day and 7 day cruises and still didn't manage to do it all. All the more reason to go back and finish the list!
     
  10. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    Thursday June 20, 2013

    Thursday morning came much much too early and when we looked out the porthole we were back at Port Canaveral. We had decided the night before that we would have breakfast in Cabanas instead of trying to get up and out of our rooms by 640am. The boys were really upset about this and cried wanting to see our waiters one last time. We felt we had said goodbye already so we overruled them, but it was touching how much they had meant to them! We got up around 7am and packed up our carry ons and got all organized. We all wore our new Disney cruise shirts. I was so glad our waiters had told us about Cabanas, as it was not advertised in the navigator that it would be open. If you had second seating breakfast was at 8 which would have been more manageable, but 645 was awfully early. There were lots of open tables and while the buffet in Cabanas was not as extensive as the previous days, it still had everything we needed and we got our last fill of Krispy Kreme donuts and the yummy fruit! We had received a print out of our on board charges to review and we looked over that at breakfast. We had a 100 dollar on board credit plus we had put our Disney rewards dollars we had accrued since our Oct trip on there and we did well, we had 16 dollars we didn’t spend that went back on our rewards card! After breakfast we made our way to the atrium one last time. There were lots of people just hanging out. I bet it isn’t easy to get everyone off the ship by 9am! It was sad leaving and everyone was waving as we left the ship… didn’t we just get waved to as we boarded? How does it all go so quickly!

    Debarkation was a breeze. Our cards were scanned as we left the gangway and we headed down to the luggage area. Our luggage we had left out the night before was all right there in character coded sections and quite easy to find. After we got our luggage we headed through customs. Lines were huge and I expected to be in for quite a wait but it moved super fast. They looked at our passports and glanced at our customs forms we had had to fill out and we were on our way out. We walked over to the terminal and loaded up the luggage. We were very glad to have parked right there, it made it so convenient to not be worrying about a shuttle or anything, though it didn’t look terribly congested surrounding the terminal at that time.

    Our flight didn’t leave until 3pm and it was just after 9 so we had quite a bit of time to pass. Initially we thought we might head to Downtown Disney, but the kids had spent their money and we were pretty shopped out at this point. We weren’t sure we wanted to make the drive there or spend that much money on eating there since we had spent our rewards dollars... or be that close to the parks and not be able to go. We toyed with going to the beach in Cocoa Beach but we didn’t have towels or relish the idea of flying home all sandy. We decided to go to Merritt Island and take the wildlife drive. We made a few wrong turns so it took us awhile to get over there and when we did we didn’t see much wildlife… though we did spot some birds and an alligator!

    After the drive it was lunch time so we hit a McDonalds and then made our drive back to the airport which was an easy drive. I think next time we will try to make our flight out just a little earlier or stay another night. There wasn’t much to do that could be done in 2-3 hours. We arrived at Dollar, dropped off the car with ease and checked in for our nonstop flight home. I was SO glad we had a nonstop! After landing in Chicago, we grabbed our luggage and went outside to call for the shuttle but found one waiting already. The service for the park and fly was excellent and it was 8 dollars a day instead of 14 at the airport where we would have had to shuttle to the long term lot anyway. I would use it again. I had initially booked a hotel room for the night half way home, as I wasn’t sure how tired we would be following the long travel day. We decided pretty quickly that we just wanted to get home at that point and no hotel would compare to the Dream so we called and cancelled it. We made a quick stop for pizza for supper and had a smooth drive home pulling in after 11pm and sticking four tired kids and two tired parents into bed.
     
  11. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    Final thoughts:

    We had the most magical vacation! Yes there were moments of frustration when Tessa was fussy or the boys were rambunctious, but overall it was the best vacation we have ever had. We felt like we had lots of time together as a family, and unlike a vacation to the parks where it is go go go, we had a nice balance of entertainment and activity and relaxation. We spent most of the trip together but did have a few times the kids were in the clubs, even though Tessa didn’t go to the nursery at all. It was so incredible though, and had tons of Disney magic that I love with a balance of other things which helped my husband who doesn’t always love wdw enjoy himself.

    My favorite things- the shows, the meals, the friendliness and incredible service of the cast members, the fireworks at sea, and of course the amazing castaway cay. What a paradise!

    What I would do again- we really liked deck two and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again. The ocean view rooms were fine. I am not sure we would have used a verandah a ton, though Adam thought at times it might have been nice. Maybe when the kids are bigger and off more. We did like looking out the porthole in the mornings seeing where we were. We weren’t in the room much though and I am sure an inside room would have been fine too. With a larger family and having to have two rooms, two verrandah rooms are a bit out of our price range! It was nice to have connecting rooms though. We enjoyed the FE exchange and the kids liked seeing what we got. I would probably participate again if it wasn’t a huge group. I also really liked early dining, late would have been too late to eat comfortably and for our youngest especially. I liked seeing the show after dinner too.

    What I would do different- we enjoyed our day at the Hilton in Nassau and I am glad we got off the ship for our first time. If I took a cruise to Nassau again though I would just stay on board. There simply wasn’t enough time to do everything on board and we were bummed we didn’t manage to do the detective agency and some of the other activities. I think the kids would have liked to do more in the kids clubs and hopefully could on another cruise. They didn’t fully warm up to it until the last day. I also would make sure to get my frozen drink next time! I kept meaning to and was either too full or we had other things going on! And room service… we never did get any! See you need more than 4 days! 3 would have been miserable... there is just so much to do! People think cruising is just about sitting around... well you can sit if you want, but you can also go non stop the entire time. I loved that balance!

    Cruising with young kids- the kids had a blast and there was plenty to do both as a family and for them in the clubs. They actually decided they liked cruising more than wdw and want to cruise again for our next big vacation! Our youngest at 2 did very well. She fortunately can nap easily on me so did get her nap times in without me having to go back to the cabin always which helped. She ate well and seemed to really enjoy herself. She is still talking about Florida, the ship, the characters and having mickey ketchup, lol! I do look forward to when she is bigger and can do some excursions though!

    Disney cruise line- I know Disney is one of the more expensive cruise lines, but like so many things in life you do get what you pay for! I loved it! We loved it! I was able to get my Disney magic. I loved that the shows were family friendly and I didn’t worry about what my kids would see. I loved all the characters, the family activities and dance parties. We loved that soda was included as well as the free ice cream! We loved the unbelievable Disney service, especially from our dining team. And above all we love love loved castaway cay! For now we will continue to cruise on Disney. I just think Disney when I think vacation, as do my kids, so I think disney cruising or the parks are where it is at for us!

    The future- we will definitely be cruising again! I was so excited to rebook onboard as I didn’t figure we would be doing that! Everyone wants to cruise as our next big vacation and they want to go longer! I have looked at march vs june options. They really really want to try the fantasy on a 7 night voyage which I think would be amazing! It’s expensive though that is for sure. We have talked a lot about it since we returned home and even DH agreed he wants to do it. He even came home and started a vacation account to start putting money aside each month so we can afford to go in two years! That is so exciting and makes it feel that it will really happen. We also will put our yearly bonuses into that account. We are still trying to decide between March and June. I worry a little about weather in March as I have read it can be too chilly in the water in March, especially at castaway cay, so we may just do June again. It will be really cool when Disney releases the dates for 2015 to be able to really book and start planning again! Can’t wait!!! The kids grow so fast and family time is so precious… before you know it they are grown and off. We need to make time to make those special memories now. After all that is what we work for, right? We dont live extravagantly by any means, and these special times together are what memories are made of!

    Hope you have enjoyed reading along! I would be happy to answer any questions!
     
  12. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    That last day DOES suck!! No other way to put it! But yes, everyone was right, you do get hooked. I never thought we would fall in love with something even more than WDW but we did! It brought our family closer and made such special memories. What more can you ask for?!
     
  13. tweis

    tweis DIS Veteran

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    I see you are hooked and ready for a 7 night cruise! :thumbsup2 I also see that you are debating between March and June, is that due to school? We also cruise only during school breaks/summer but we found that the end of May is a lot cheaper than June. Of course school lets out down here the last week of May so that's helpful. We did a 5 night on the Dream during June of last year and I think we got a pretty good deal. Then of course DH and I sailed at the end of May and at the time I booked, it was a few hundred dollars cheaper than in June. We have a 7 night booked on the Fantasy for May 24, 2014 and we saved over $1200 versus booking in June. So if at all possible, I would avoid the month of June but I know that's difficult with school. If you have to cruise during June, then I would definitely book on opening day to ensure the best price. :goodvibes
     
  14. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    We get out around memorial day but my oldest has danc e commitments through the second weekend so we are limited! May would be perfect...darn school!!
     
  15. JayhawkFans

    JayhawkFans Mouseketeer

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    Thank you SO much for your detailed review. Loved reading it. Sounds like you guys had a very very nice vacation.
     
  16. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much!! It was the best vacation ever!
     
  17. Branan5

    Branan5 Earning My Ears

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    Great trip review! We cruised DCL for our 5th Anniversary; before DD3. We really can't wait to cruise again with her. Thanks for giving a cruising with kids perspective!
     
  18. disneymom727

    disneymom727 DIS Veteran

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    Finally made it through!! It was a great TR! I loved reading it and now I'm extra excited for our trip, we're only doing a 3 night though so I'm bummed too already wishing we could have booked for longer. Thanks for all the info, it was awesome!!
     
  19. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! My advice would be to stay on the ship in Nassau. Otherwise there will be so little time to enjoy what the ship has to offer! And board as soon as possible that first day. I know you will have a blast!!!!
     
  20. Madzac

    Madzac DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! Your DD will love it and it is such special family time!!!
     
  21. disneymom727

    disneymom727 DIS Veteran

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    We had already planned to pretty much stay on the ship. I think we may get off for like an hour and then head back. My DS10 want to be able to say they "went" to another country and I think he thinks it won't count if he doesn't step foot in Nassau. ;) We arrive at MCO at 10:45, but we're taking ground transport. I'm hoping that won't take too long!
     

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