Aliens, F&W waddle & food porn-Oct2014 BCV & 1st time DCL (Updated 19Apr2015)

saintstickets

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 30, 2009
This has been the longest I have waited to do a trip report but there are extenuating circumstances. Being gone for the 10 days this trip took, it means I have that much more to do at work when I returned. In addition, shortly after we returned, my 81 year old father suffered a collapsed lung, was in the hospital, got out, had it happen again in a few days and then was transferred to a hospital about 5 hours from where I live. He was in that hospital for nearly two months and then in a rehab facility for two weeks that is about 3 hours from here. Finally, he is at his home and seems to be on the mend. During that time I’ve had to take care of his affairs, make numerous trips to see him and deal with other family members. Now that things have settled down somewhat, I am going to attempt to write this TR.

This trip was originally supposed to be just DW and I. We had a trip to WDW back in June, 2014 that included DS1, DDiL, DD and DSiL. That trip report link is here. DS1 and DDiL had to cancel out on that trip so we asked them if they wanted to join us for the WDW portion of this trip in October. Fortunately, we were able to change our 1br at BCV to a 2br for the October trip. About a month before we were to go on the October trip, DDiL found out she would be unable to go. DS1 decided he would join us anyway so we were finally set….I think. Having to cancel rooms for the June trip, change rooms for the October trip, rent out the unused DVC points, change FP and dining reservations from 6 to 4 for the June trip, change FP and dining reservations from 2 to 4 and then to 3 for the October trip made me slightly crazy. That’s not an abnormal condition for me but this was in addition to my regular crazy!

For those of you that have followed previous TR’s of mine, you know they are pic intensive. This one will not be different. I took over 750 photos during this trip but do not worry, I promise not to post them all or even most of them…well, I promise not to post them all! And if you like food porn pics, you will love this TR!

This TR will be somewhat different for me because in addition to our 6 nights at BCV during F&W, we also sailed on the Disney Dream with a 3 night cruise prior to the WDW stay. This was our first Disney Cruise and for me, my first cruise period. DW has cruised before when she was younger. She’s been talking about a cruise for years but with so many stories about couples cruising and one of them mysteriously ending up overboard, I wondered about her reason for wanting to go on a cruise! We’ve been married for over 32 years and I’m sure once or twice something I said or did was taken the wrong way or misunderstood and there is a chance, albeit small, that she might have not forgotten about an obvious misinterpreted point in time, right? To avoid any temptation for retribution, I informed her I would go on a cruise only if I could cancel my life insurance for the duration of the cruise. It apparently worked because here I am to tell the story!
 

saintstickets

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 30, 2009
Now for the itinerary…

Wed – 10/01/14 – Drive the 640+ miles from our home to Port Canaveral, FL
Thurs – 10/02 – Board the Disney Dream in a Cat 4C stateroom #7602. This is an ocean view stateroom with a verandah.
Fri – 10/03 – Dock in Nassau, Bahamas. DW has a massage scheduled for 9:15am. Afterwards we go ashore for a while and return to the Dream for reservations at Remy’s at 6:00pm
Sat – 10/04 – Dock at Castaway Cay. Rented jet skis for a noon excursion
Sun – 10/05 – Ship returns to Port Canaveral. We drive to BCV at WDW that morning. DS1 arrives via DME mid-afternoon. FPs at Maelstrom, Soarin’ & Mission Space that night. ADR at Via Napoli.
Mon – 10/06 – DHS today. FPs at Tower of Terror, Star Tours & Toy Story Mania. ADR at California Grille.
Tues – 10/07 – MK today. FPs at BTMRR, Splash Mountain & Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. ADR at F&W’s Hibachi Experience at Epcot-Japan-Teppan Edo.
Wed – 10/08 – AK today. FPs at Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest & Kali River Rapids. ADR at Ohana’s in the Polynesian Resort.
Thurs – 10/09 – EP today for F&W. DW has a massage at noon while DS1 and I attend a Beverage seminar featuring beer from Iceland’s Einstök brewery. FPs for Mission Space and Test Track. All three of us will attend a Culinary Demo at the Festival Center at 5:00pm.
Fri – 10/10 – DS1 leaves on MDE for his flight mid-afternoon. DW and I have ADRs at Victoria & Alberts in the Grand Floridian.
Sat – 10/11 – Long boring drive home.

As in previous TRs, I will use a rating system for our dining experiences. Here it is -
A+ Fantastic. Hands down best of the best.
A Superb but something keeps it from being an A+. It could be something small that only happened this visit but we will return without a doubt.
A- Excellent but maybe small portions, pricey, atmosphere, etc keeps it from being rated higher.
B+ Great, great place
B Very Very Good and definitely worth going again
B- Very Good and will visit again but not first choice
C+ Okay food but probably will not go again
C Edible but will not go again

Those are the plans but as I’ve quoted in previous TRs from Robert Burns – “the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry”. Read on to see how we fared.
 

saintstickets

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 30, 2009
Wednesday – 10/01/14

We left home about 7am local time and got about 10 minutes from the house when DW realized she had forgotten the bag that has her medication in it! Thank God we were only a few minutes into the trip and not hundreds of miles away. A pessimist would say this is not a good start to the trip. An optimist would say we were very fortunate to realize this so early. I say it was pixie dust and hope it continues…especially when onboard the Dream, at night, on the verandah, far away at sea….(See concerns in previous post!)

The long trip was pretty uneventful. A little rain here and there, gas prices were falling, no speeding tickets and my GPS Garmin didn’t get us lost so all in all, a successful drive. We stayed at the Radisson in Port Canaveral. It had numerous positive reviews by people on a Disney Cruise Line blog. One of the primary reasons we decided to stay here was that they would allow you to leave your vehicle while away on the cruise and provide a free shuttle to and from the cruise lines. Once we arrived, we experienced a bit more pixie dust – a room upgrade! I’ve NEVER had a room upgrade at any place I’ve ever stayed. Woohoo!! We are now in a suite for the price of a regular room. Here are a few pics of the room









We ate at the hotel that night and for breakfast the next morning. It wasn’t anything spectacular but edible. Typical hotel restaurant food I would say. No review needed on this. Thus endeth the first day.
 
  • TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    Joining in - you had me a food porn!

    Hope everything is now ok with your Father - sounds pretty stressful

    Really interested to hear about the F&W Hibachi Experience and also the seminar featuring beer from Iceland’s Einstök brewery - always into exploring new and different beers

    Clearly we have a bit in common - though I am much more apt to quote C. Montgomery Burns than Robert Burns ;)
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Marking my territory!

    I will be back to read the beginning updates in a bit, but you know I am excited to read all about your trip, with a particular interest in the the BCV parts!!!

    I did read your intro and I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I hope that his condition continues to improve.

    :thumbsup2
     
  • saintstickets

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 30, 2009
    Joining in - you had me a food porn!
    My kinda person!!

    Hope everything is now ok with your Father - sounds pretty stressful
    We're getting there. Thanks for asking.

    Really interested to hear about the F&W Hibachi Experience and also the seminar featuring beer from Iceland’s Einstök brewery - always into exploring new and different beers
    Stay tuned...definitely worth the price of admission for both.

    Clearly we have a bit in common - though I am much more apt to quote C. Montgomery Burns than Robert Burns ;)
    Monty and his nuclear power plant?! :rotfl:



    subscribing
    Glad you're here!



    Marking my territory!
    :rolleyes1 I'm trying to be good so I will refrain from comment! :lmao:

    I will be back to read the beginning updates in a bit, but you know I am excited to read all about your trip, with a particular interest in the the BCV parts!!!

    I did read your intro and I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I hope that his condition continues to improve.

    :thumbsup2
    Thank you ma'am and things seem to have settled a bit. Let's hope and pray he doesn't have to go through this again!



    Joining in.
    Pull up a chair and welcome!



    Looking forward to following along! Definitely glad she caught her meds so quick!
    Welcome to the party and ditto about the meds. That would have been horrendous to get far away and realize we had to go back! :eek:
     

    KatMark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2007
    I'm here...going to read now.

    ***Okay, back and caught up.

    I am so sorry to hear about what happened with your dad. That must have been very scary the first time and then yet another time. I know how exhausting and time-consuming it becomes when our elder parents get ill.:hug:

    I'm glad your wife remembered she forgot her meds before you got too far away.

    And :woohoo::woohoo::woohoo: for an upgrade at the hotel. It looks like a very nice suite.

    And I can't imagine your wife ever wanting to throw you overboard. :goodvibes
     
  • MEK

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 8, 2005
    Caught up. Your poor dad Did he have surgery the second time his lung collapsed. Glad he is on the mend from that long recoup!

    Yay for an uneventful drive. Your pre cruise room is lovely. Nice upgrade and yay for a free shuttle! We stayed at Ron Jons post cruise. It's a holiday inn now. It was awesome. We could walk to the beach and watch the cruise ships go out. Much cooler than I thought it would be.

    I, for one, want to see each and everyone of your pictures!
     

    saintstickets

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 30, 2009
    I am so sorry to hear about what happened with your dad. That must have been very scary the first time and then yet another time. I know how exhausting and time-consuming it becomes when our elder parents get ill.:hug:
    As you well know, we all are concerned about the patient but the family can have a pretty stressful time as well. Hopefully we are on the mend and all will be well for a while.

    I'm glad your wife remembered she forgot her meds before you got too far away.
    I cannot imagine what we would have done had we made it all the way to Orlando and realized they were missing. WHEW!!!

    And :woohoo::woohoo::woohoo: for an upgrade at the hotel. It looks like a very nice suite.
    It was a nice suite and I pushed my luck by buying a lottery ticket after the upgrade. Nope...didn't win.

    And I can't imagine your wife ever wanting to throw you overboard. :goodvibes
    You don't know that crazy woman like I do! She's gotta be crazy, she married me!!!


    Caught up. Your poor dad Did he have surgery the second time his lung collapsed. Glad he is on the mend from that long recoup!
    Yes to surgery. They somehow glued/pinned the lung to the inside of the rib cage to help it stay inflated. The doctor said this was common in smokers, tall people and athletic people. He is or has been all three.

    Yay for an uneventful drive. Your pre cruise room is lovely. Nice upgrade and yay for a free shuttle! We stayed at Ron Jons post cruise. It's a holiday inn now. It was awesome. We could walk to the beach and watch the cruise ships go out. Much cooler than I thought it would be.
    I'll have to remember that when we go back in April, 2016. How did you get to the cruise terminal?

    I, for one, want to see each and everyone of your pictures!
    WOW!! You're a glutton for punishment! :crazy2:
     

    saintstickets

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 30, 2009
    Okay...I'm going to ATTEMPT a new post on this updated software.


    Thursday – 10/02/14

    As previously stated, we had breakfast at the hotel and we were packed and ready for our shuttle to the port at 10:30am. The Radisson has two shuttles to the port at 10:30am and 2:30pm. There were about a dozen families waiting for the shuttle to the Disney Dream. Right on time the shuttle arrived and after a 10 minute drive, we were unloading our luggage at the port. We had an early boarding time but having never cruised before, I had no idea what to expect. Just like waiting in line for rides at WDW, there was a line that snaked back and forth. And just like checking in to a Disney hotel, there were numerous CMs lined up behind the counter to get you processed and take your luggage. They give you a boarding group number at this time. The whole process from when we were dropped off by the hotel shuttle until we were waiting to be called to board took about 45 minutes. A side note here, if you have children and you want to make reservations for the various offerings for kids aboard a Disney cruise ship, there is a desk in the waiting area that you can go to and make your reservations. I know nothing else about this process so if anyone reading this would care to let the readers know, please chime in. I only know this much because we were sitting near this desk and I overheard parents talking. After about 30 minutes, they announced that our group was ready to board! I can’t seem to find my pictures I took of the boarding area but here is one taken by the Shutters onboard photographers when you first board





    No, I don’t normally have a beard or goatee but there is a pirate night later on so when in Rome, or in this case, when on the high seas…

    By now it was around noon and with good advice from reading other TRs and Facebook blogs, we headed straight for the Cabanas buffet to eat and wait for our room to be ready. I’m not a big fan of buffets and have found very few outside of WDW that were good enough for a return visit. Obviously the folks at WDW and DCL were taught at the same culinary school because this buffet was very good. We didn’t eat a lot but here is one pic of a plate I sampled




    As I said, it was quite good and we found ourselves going back two more times during this cruise. I would rate Cabana’s a solid

    B

    It is a buffet and the dining room ambiance is simple (although depending on where the ship is during the cruise, the views can be spectacular). The CMs were top notch and very adept at removing empty plates. On your first day, I would suggest you get there as early as possible if you want to sit inside. Cabanas is on deck 11 and actually wraps around the entire back end of the ship (aft in nautical lingo) and is in reality, two buffets that fan out from the center of the ship. Both sides serve the same thing so don’t worry about the food, just find a convenient place to sit. There are plenty of tables on the deck outside but the weather is definitely a factor as expected. On a side note, I have been told that on some cruise lines, soft drinks are not included in the cruise price but they are included on DCL. However, the glasses are small so many passengers bring their own mugs to keep from having to go back for a refill so often. We didn’t find it a problem but to each their own.

    (Continued in next thread)
     

    saintstickets

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 30, 2009
    (Continued from previous thread)

    After eating, we walked outside on deck 11 to look around. Cape Canaveral is not too far away




    We made our way to our stateroom about 1:30 and it was ready although our luggage did not arrive until about 2:15. Here are a few pics of stateroom # 7602 – category 4C, ocean view room with a verandah


















    There’s not much of a view from the verandah while in port but if you decide to pay to park your vehicle, this is where you park



    (Continued in next post 2)
     

    saintstickets

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 30, 2009
    (Continued from previous post 2)

    We had reservations for Remy’s and DW had a massage scheduled so both info packets were waiting for us in the stateroom.




    Not having sailed before, we didn’t know you could take drinks onboard. We ordered a six pack of Sprite for DW. It was $10.06! Live and learn. While waiting for room service to deliver the soda, I took the ice bucket and headed out of the room to find an ice machine. Out in the hallway was our Stateroom Host – Foster from Puerto Rico. Talk about a perfect Stateroom Host! He saw me with the ice bucket and immediately stopped what he was doing and introduced himself. I asked where I could get some ice and he said he would get it for me. I am perfectly capable of getting it myself but he very politely informed me that this was his job and there was no way he was going to let me take his job! He was such a character. In five minutes he returned with ice and every night when we returned from our daily activity, there was a fresh bucket of ice in the room. It seemed like most every time we left our room we saw Foster and he always had a smile and asked us if we needed anything. CMs at WDW are great but they could take lessons from Foster!

    Again, not having sailed before, I had no idea what to expect about food once we first boarded and I wanted to surprise DW so I pre-ordered a cheese plate to be waiting for us in our stateroom






    Since we had just eaten at Cabana’s it was unnecessary to have ordered the cheese plate but DW appreciated it. Remember, I’m trying to make sure she has no reason for someone to have to shout “Man overboard!” :sad2: We put it in the mini-fridge and snacked on it during the cruise. It was very good and hit the spot for an afternoon snack. You can have numerous foods, cakes, drinks and gifts waiting for you upon arrival from $16 and up in price. There are also adult beverage packages where you can have different drinks delivered to your room each night if you are so inclined.


    We had time to walk around so we made our way up to deck 12 to locate Remy’s. There is a lounge there called Meridian that separates Remy’s and Palo’s. Here is a pic of this small lounge




    The outside smoking area on the port side (left side of the ship if you’re facing the front)




    And another area just outside the lounge on the starboard side (right side of the ship if you’re facing the front)



    (Continued in next post 3)
     

    saintstickets

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 30, 2009
    (Continued from previous post 3)

    At 2:30 we made our way to the D lounge on deck 4. There was a meeting for Disney Vacation Club owners. There were some trivia games, some that required dancing and a drawing for $200 onboard credit. No pixie dust here for us but all in attendance did get free adult beverages and a certificate to redeem for a surprise gift at the DVC desk later that evening. A couple of pics while we were there






    There is a required mandatory safety demo for all passengers that afternoon prior to sailing. I can’t remember when we were told where to meet for our assigned spot (it was either at check in or in our boarding packet) but they do take names so be sure to show up. It doesn’t take that long but you are outside so dress accordingly.

    The “sail away” party in on the main deck and begins promptly at 4:30. It was cute and if you have kids, be sure to go to the main deck and participate in the party. A few pics from the party














    Or you can relax in the pool while watching the show




    Or you can ride the AquaDuck









    (Continued in next post 4)
     

    saintstickets

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 30, 2009
    (Continued from previous post 4)

    Time to leave the harbor and set sail








    Meanwhile, back in the room, this is one reason to get a room with a verandah








    After freshening up, we make our way for our first dinner assignment. We have time and walk around enjoying the entertainment and beautiful ship








    Since this cruise is in October




    For those that have a light fixture fetish (you know who you are)





    (Continued in next post 5)
     

    saintstickets

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 30, 2009
    (Continued from previous post 5)

    On the Dream, there are 3 main restaurants – Enchanted Gardens, Royal Court and Animator’s Palate. EG is on deck 2 while RC and AP are on deck 3. For those of you that have cruised before, you are aware of how this works. On a 3 night cruise like this one, you eat at a different restaurant each night. If your cruise is for 4 nights or longer, you will rotate thru each restaurant a second time (or third time for longer cruises). Prior to your cruise, you select whether you prefer the early dinner seating (5:45pm) or the late dinner seating (8:15pm). We chose the late seating.

    When you checked in, you were given your room key




    I understand that DCL is probably going to begin using Magic Bands in the future but for our cruise, we still had room key cards. As you can see on the card, it includes your sail dates, DCL ship, passenger name, DCL Castaway member number and your dinner information. My card says - 8:15 seating, dinner rotation of ERA and table number 120. The dinner rotation ERA is 1st night at Enchanted Gardens, 2nd night at Royal Palace and 3rd night at Animator’s Palate. The table number will be the same at each restaurant.

    As the card tells us, our first night is here




    Once you are seated, the Shutter’s photographer comes around for pics




    The table is ready




    Now here is where things start to get interesting and challenging. As I’ve stated, we’ve never cruised before but I guessed that the early dinner seating would have more children so I picked the later seating. On this cruise, it proved to be correct. Since there were only two of us, we also guessed we would be seated with other passengers. I was surprised there were so few people dining at this seating. At our table for 6, it was just DW, myself and a couple from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Their names were Paulo and Vicky. He was a corporate medical doctor for a large oil company in Brazil that had about 5,000 employees. She was a corporate psychiatrist for a different large oil company in Brazil. Interesting right? The challenging part is that he spoke little English and she spoke none. Neither DW nor I speak Portuguese so this was going to be a challenge trying to communicate.

    We realized that we were going to be the only two couples at our table for this cruise. Once we were both seated, our servers came by and introduced themselves. Our Server was Bertram from Jamaica, our assistant Server was from Winaya from Indonesia and our Head Server was Ivan from Bulgaria. You mainly interact with just the Server and we could not have asked for a better one than Bertram. More on that later.

    We were given our menus and to our surprise, it was a decent selection




    For appetizer, we had the Ahi Tuna and the Lobster Ravioli






    For the soup and salad course, we each had the spinach and raspberry salad




    The main course menu




    For the entrée, we had caramelized sea scallops and pan seared sea bass






    The dessert menu




    And we had the Esterhazy cake (a Hungarian dessert) and the trio combo with Sacher torte (a dessert that originated from Vienna), strawberry cheesecake and Esterhazy cake.






    My rating? A solid

    A

    If you remember my ratings, what keeps an A restaurant from being an A+ is a small thing that probably only happens at this meal. Now for that small thing…our table mates. Not being able to speak their language and the husband only speaking passable English makes for a LONG, LONG meal. He’s trying to translate to his wife the menu and to us their conversation and queries. DW and I are trying to use proper English and no Southern colloquialisms which would confuse him faster than Dale at Talladega (I’m not a NASCAR fan BTW but you get my drift). We did find out their professions as I mentioned earlier. I found out he likes American blues music so I asked him if he was familiar with where our home State of Mississippi was in the United States. He knew the name and when I told him that B B King was from Mississippi, he instantly knew who I was talking about since he likes blues music. He had seen him in concert in Brazil and owned a Gibson guitar like B B King’s famous guitar called Lucille. He asked me if I rode Harley motorcycles. What?!? :scratchin Does my beard make me look like a biker? I asked him if he was going on the AquaDuck water slide and he said he had a bad knee but he has found a NEW miracle drug in Rio – Osteo Bi-Flex. We just politely nodded as if in awed acknowledgement because we didn’t have the heart to tell him it was in every WalMart and drug store in the US. In fact, it was probably in the stores onboard!

    With the meal finished and the conversation, as it was, waning, we bid adieu to Paulo and Vicky. I don’t think DW and I said two words to each other on our way back to the room. We were exhausted. I would’ve never guessed that having that much trouble conversing would be so mentally taxing that it would drain one physically. Fortunately the Dream is beautiful




    With lots to see






    And when we returned to our stateroom, Foster had this waiting for us




    Between the Dream, the towel animal and the moonlight view from our verandah, we were able to clear our mind and relax




    And so ends our 1st day aboard the Disney Dream.
     

    KatMark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2007
    I am NOT even ready to try to multi-quote your stuff to comment on. Holy batman on the updates though.

    I'm glad boarding went well.

    The lunch buffet looks very yummy.

    Yay that your room was ready rather promptly. How sweet of you to order the cheese tray for your lovely bride.

    Sounds like you had a stellar cast of CM's thus far.

    I think my biggest fear for cruising is sitting at a table with tablemats who don't understand you or who don't want to talk to you.

    Those scallops have me drooling all over the place.
     



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