Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Disneymoon Part 3: Our First Disney Cruise

On Monday January 5, we debarked on a our first cruise. We had decided to do a 4 day cruise in the Bahamas on the Disney Dream. 

We actually got to Port Canaveral the night before and just made sure everything was in order for our departure.   Brittney, our travel agent from Main Street Memories, got us a room at Hampton Inn that had a shuttle to and from the port, so we could leave the car in the hotel lot with out paying the port's price for parking.  

The shuttle pick up was at 10 am, so we actually got to sleep in a little bit compared to the week before. After getting all nine bags to the lobby for the cruise, I don't know why we needed nine bags but we did, we patiently waited on the shuttle. There were a few other families taking advantage of this service, one I recommend. Once loaded and on the way it didn't take long to get to the  port. 

The Dream was the first ship we saw coming in, but we had one couple that was taking a Carnival cruise, so they were dropped off first. As it was our first time cruising, we didn't know what to really expect once we got off the shuttle. 

Walking into the terminal it all got real pretty fast. The line for checking in was pretty long and we were nervousness that we forgot to fill out something. It was great to see that they had different areas for entertaining while waiting to board the ship. Mickey and Pluto made appearances in front of a model of the Disney Dream at the center of the terminal foot some pictures, while that also had a sitting area with tvs for the kids. 

We made our way through the check in line, that was moving surprisingly fast, I believe we only waited 10 minutes. A couple of castmembers were scattered through out the line to make sure you had everything filled out and in hand.  Checking in was fast and simple. They gave us a boarding group, but told us it didn't matter now that it was all aboard. 

Making way on to the ship was probably the most excited I have been in a while for a vacation. Something new for us, while the familiar Disney feel to keep us comfortable. We got our pre boarding pictures and then made our way on board. 

If you've never been on a Disney cruise, coming on the ship for the first time is amazing. There were six castmembers at the enters be, three on each side, on would ask your name and as you come aboard, they welcome you family over the speakers in the atrium. We pretty much walked into the center and dropped our stuff, only five bags now as we had checked four, and just took in the beauty. I had read that the Christmas decorations would have come down before our cruise, so it was more surprising to see that the decorations were still up. 

The rooms weren't ready yet when we got on the ship, but lunch was. We had our choice between Enchanted Garden and Cabanas, we chose the first. There was a lot of hype for me when it came to the cruise food. I had heard great things from multiple podcast about the food on any cruise, and I was not disappointed. Seeing crab legs, steak, sushi, and much more on the lunch bar knew that I was in fact in paradise. 

We took our time eating, but soon made our way to where are room was. Belle had come out for pictures, with a line that was a mile long, and we bumped into Captain Hook on the way. Our hallway was closed off due to the rooms still not being ready, but it only took a few minutes before they opened it all up. 

Room 5042 was our home for the cruise. It was a family deluxe with oversized verandah. Besides being small, we didn't know what to expect, but it was still above our expectations. Everything just made us feel at home.  The verandah was a lot larger than I expected, and while it was used, we couldn't use it enough. 

After getting settled, we made our was to Deck 11 for the sail away party. Finding that we were a little late we head up a deck to get a good view of everything, and were able to move around a little more so Beth's parents might be able to catch us on the live stream of the ship departing. The sail away party was really enjoyable. Not to long but leaves you wanting a little more. 

We took some time after the party to walk around the ship. The point of this cruise was to relax after the busy week in Disney World we had. There was a DVC meeting for members in Evolution, so being members, we went. One of the only times that I saw on the cruise that there was free alcohol and bottled waters or soda being given to the passengers. It was entertaining, with a name that song game, and then info on the different DVC.  Beth left with a nice bag for telling the engagement story, and we were told to go to the DVC desk each night for a free gift. 

By time we made it out of the DVC event, It was almost time for dinner. We had the early seating for our meals. And of course you had the choice of eating in your rotation, Cabanas, Remy, or Palo. We wanted to stick in our rotation and meet the people that we had been grouped with. Our first night was actually back in Enchanted Garden, and sat with 2 couples, one from New Jersey that had been married for about 6 years and the other from Canada and been married only a couple of years. We ended up getting along great with the couples as they all love Disney about as much as us. 

Each night had a different Broadway style show in the Walt Disney Theater, and the first night was the Golden Mickey's. This show was my second favorite that we saw on the ship. It is Disney's award show, but it centers on the theme of the movies. With spectator sets and the classic songs, it is a must see. 

We ended the night by going and seeing Big Hero 6 in the Beanu Vista Theater, which was just down the hall from us. While smaller than your average theater, it was a lot better than the theater at home. The only draw back was that the snacks or drinks cost extra. 

Tuesday was our day in Nassau. Like I stated before, we were on this trip to relax. We had not booked any excursions for either days off the boat. This gave us the time to sleep in. Beth and I had talked and chose not to spend all day on the island, but more so on the ship, as many people were getting off to enjoy the  Bahamas. We did go in to Nassau for a bout an hour and a half and returned to the boat. 

On the ship that afternoon we to a plunge in the adult pool, watched some of the cartoons on Funnelvision, and waited in line to try the AquaDuck. We throughly enjoyed every minute of it.  We took a few minutes out and ate our first meal a Cabanas. Once again I was surprised at the amount and quality of the food served at this all you can eat resturant. It was also on this day that I discovered the all you can eat ice cream, I gained way to much weight because of that machine. The only time I didn't eat ice cream from there was when we ordered room service and got our Mickey bars that afternoon. 

Our dinner that night was at Royal Palace. It's good to note here that our service team was amazing. I'm not a vegetable guy, so I ordered fries instead, they remember the rest of the voyage that is my side of choice. Beth has a gluten allegory, not serious, but it does break her out. It had been noted on our reservations, and confirmed the night before, but this night Beth wanted a piece of cornbread out of the tables bread and when she reach for it a member of the wait staff reached and slapped her hand because they knew she was allergic to gluten and was afraid of cross contamination. Its good to know they look after you, but it was a funny event for us at the table. Once again our table friends were great and we exchanged details of the day. 

We decided to go to the show that night, which was Villian's Tonight, despite our friends telling us it wasn't the best. I sadly agree with them, as it did become my lease favorite show of the trip. Hosted by Hades, the show focuses on him trying to refill the evilometer. It just didn't grab my attention and felt long. 

Castaway Cay was our next port of call, and the one we were looking the most forward to. Everything we had heard about the island was positive and with high regards. We were about to not be disappointed. Once again, we slept in for a couple of hours but made it out on the island in plenty of time. 

Our day started out by snorkeling on the family side of the island, which was beautiful. We spent around an hour in the water seeing the hidden items that were placed in the water. Once we got out of the water, we made our way to Serenity Bay, the adult side of the beach. And while the family side of the island was fairly quite, Serenity Bay was just peaceful. I am not one to sleep on the beach, but I did make the exception this time. The lunch from Cookies Too was awesome, even if it was just a burger. We spent a few more hours in the water and on the sand before heading back to the ship to get ready for the evening. 

There was no Broadway style show that night, but there was a comedian. However we were looking forward to the Pirates night that was going on that night. Dinner was once again in Royal Palace, but with the pirate theme. We chose not to wear our pirate attire due to not knowing if anyone else would be wearing it as well. The crew members had dressed up, and one of the couples at the table had a pirate theme, but no all out costumes for our table. 

The Pirate Deck party was that night, something I had been looking forward to since booking the trip, so after the pirate dinner we went and changed in to our pirate costumes. This was the night of the fireworks at sea, which Disney Cruise Line is the only ships to have. The preshow was entertaining, and the crowd grew bigger as the show went on. Finally it was time, the fire works went off in the starboard side of the ship. These fireworks are nature friendly, so everything is edible or biodegradable in the ocean. Because of this, there weren't to many colors, but it was still a sight to be hold. 

We made our way down to Deck 3 for some pictures with Tinkerbell and pirate Mickey. We were surprised to see the Captain down taking pictures on this night, we were told he would have been out the second night to greet guest. We waited for just a few minutes for each picture, and called it a night after that. 

Thursday was the last full day on the cruise, and it was our sea day. We had made some plans to play some of the games on the ship, and take some time in the pool, but nature had another plan. I got sick that day, horrible head cold  we are talking barely able to breath, massive headache, and a fever. We went to breakfast, and after that I went to a shop to grab some medicine. And then slept all day trying to get better since I had marathon weekend to participate in the next day. 

I was up and and about by 4 that afternoon, enough time to get ready and for eat at Animators Palate. I told Beth I wasn't going to miss this dinner no matter what. Ever since seeing the first resturant on the Magic, I have wanted to eat here. Although not the same as the original, it was still awesome. We had some time to talk with Crush, and enjoyed the company of our new friends for our final dinner. I can't remember the main course to much, but dessert was the best, Cookies and Creame sundae and a piece of double chocolate cake. All of us but Beth, due to gluten allegories, had gotten two desserts. It was marvelous, well besides the part where they said breakfast was at 6:00 am. 

We had a little time before the last show of the trip, so we did a little shopping,as the stores would be closed the next morning. The show that night was Believe, and by conclusion, was my favorite show. It was the most Broadway style play of the three, with a solid story, good acting and wonderful original songs and Disney classics. The story revolves around a father and daughter. It's the daughter's birthday and all she wants is her dad to believe in magic. With the help of the Genie, he is shown the power of believing. It can be a tear jerker. 

Once the show was over we had to make sure bags were ready to go, and placed outside the room, and we did one final check of the room to make sure we have everything, because 5 comes early. 

Waking up was the worst part of the departure day. We had been sleeping in so much, and the horrible seas that wouldn't let anyone sleep (the wait staff even said it was bad) weren't ready for such a early day. Breakfast was in Animator's Palate for us, but every resturant had the same menu. Typical breakfast, pancakes, waffles (not Mickey), eggs and a meat  this would be our last meal with our new friends and a fairly quite one after the rough seas that night. 

After getting the last few bags out of the room, we made our way off the ship. The Christmas decorations were coming down and the crew was getting ready for the next guest to come aboard. We really enjoyed our time on the Disney Dream, and we are looking at booking our next cruise to be on the Wonder next summer. 

Remember, if your looking to book your Disney World, Disneyland or Disney Cruise vacations, contact Brittney with Main Street Memories. She did a great job on our Disney Cruise and is helping us with the first Disneyland vacation this year! 

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