We had problems with our airlines a few days before our flight- they had cancelled our flight from John Wayne Airport so we had no choice but book a flight through LAX instead so we can make it to Port Canaveral the night before the Cruise. We didn't want to take a red eye as we'd be all groggy once we board the ship on Embarkment Day.
It was a long flight with a 3 hour lay over in Denver. Good thing, my brother's family were with us on the flight so my kids played with their cousins during the lay over. My daughter developed UTI during the flight so we were up all night hours before we board the ship. We only had 2-3 hours of sleep. We ended up seeing a doctor onboard that after noon. Disney has their own Health Center onboard wherein you can see a doctor and a nurse on board.
Day 1(August 25, Thursday)- We took a Shuttle from our Hotel to the Disney Port in Port Canaveral which was about 5 minutes drive. Although we saw the ship the night before (right before we checked in) we were amazed on how massive the Disney Dream Cruise Ship is.
|The disney dream cruise ship right before we went inside the port|
|Minnie Mouse was there to welcoming the guests at the Port|
We were done with the check- in process at 1pm. The Staterooms were not ready until 1:30 pm. So once we got on board, they had our pictures taken per family. And Chip and Dale where there to welcome us right before we entered the Atrium. The Cruise Ship Interiors were exquisite and very detailed. Reminds me so much of Titanic, the huge chandelier, the grand stair way at the Atrium. I loved the blue chandelier, marble floors, glass tiled bathrooms.
|Stairs close to our stateroom|
We went straight to the Cabanas which is right next to the Pool Deck and had a buffet lunch there. It was packed. After Lunch, we went straight to our Staterooms to rest and unpack. They gave us a navigator with all the information on schedule of activities, important telephone numbers, etc. We went right back to the Lobby Atrium at 4:45 for the Sailing Away party.
|The Disney Characters at the Sailing Away Party|
We were assigned to the 5:30 dinner. We had dinner at the Royal Palace, which was a formal setting. I noticed that hardly anybody dresses up for dinner and most people wear what I call cruise outfits, sundresses or tops and shorts for the ladies and t shirt and shorts for men. We learned that evening that there is one Dining Room Server and an assistant server that was assigned to us for the rest of our cruise. We are assigned a different restaurant every night and our servers follows us every night. Breakfast and Lunch was open seating at the different restaurants or buffet. So you definitely get to know your servers and they get to know you as well all through out the cruise. Our Server and his assistant was good, very attentive to our dining room needs, made suggestions for appetizers and main course, and even entertained us (especially the kids with their magic tricks). The food was good too but at times was ok for me. Everything was gourmet specials so I can't complain. I forgot what I ordered the first 2 nights - should've written it and took pictures. For the kids, they usually have a choice of mac n cheese, chicken strips, pizza, spaghetti with meatballs which is mainly what we ordered for our kids. They also serve fruit bowls at the beginning of every meal for the kids and dessert consists of a choice of ice cream, mickey bar, i forgot the other choices. There are specialty cocktails and non alcoholic drinks (which what I usually order) every night.
|The Royal Garden Interior|
|Elegant Light Fixtures of the Royal Palace Restaurant|
After dinner, we watched the Musical (The Golden Mickeys) at the Walt Disney Theatre. They described their musical shows as Broadway caliber and it is. They introduced the Cruise Director who was in charge of fun activities on board and the executive officers (including the Captain). I feel bad that my daughter missed this show as Rapunzel and Flynn were in it singing "I see the light". She was back in the stateroom with a fever and seasick that first night.
After we put the kids down to bed and my Mom agreed to babysit. My sister, hubby and I explored the The District ( An Adults only section). We went to the Evolution Club where they were having a 70s party. The Dancers and the host wearing 70s outfit and the DJ playing 70s music. When 11:15 came, it the host segwayd for the evolution dancers and they were dancing to the current dance tunes. The host and the dancers were encouraging everybody to dance to keep the party going. Besides the Evolution club, there was also a skyline lounge (A bar where in the skyline scene to different cities such as Hong Kong, Paris, etc), the 687 lounge and the Pink bar (where they serve only Pink champagne- wish I could've taken pictures there was a lot of pink in this room :).
Day 2 (August 26, Friday) - Nassau Bahamas. Since the Ship had to take a different route to the Bahamas to avoid the Hurricane. The Ship docked at Nassau at 11 am (2 hours late than originally planned which was 9 AM). Good thing, I haven't booked any excursions yet as I wasn't sure if the Port Adventures were open at all that day given that the Hurricane hit the Bahamas the day before. The Disney Dream Cruise Ship was the first cruise ship to dock right after the Hurricane.
We went straight to the Lobby Atrium right before Breakfast to meet the Princesses.
|Her All time favorite Princess, Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)|
We spent the morning at the pool after breakfast. The kids enjoyed playing at Nemo's Reef.
|with my Brother and nieces|
|The Pool Deck with Funnel Vision Screen and the Aqua Duck Ride|
In the afternoon, after lunch, we dropped the kids off at The Oceaneer's Club (Play areas for the kids over 3 years of age ) and It's a small world nursery (a daycare for childrens 3 months to 3 years of age. There is a $6/hour fee).
|Toy Story Themed Play Room|
|High Tech colored floors|
|State of the art ceiling design|
We took a shuttle to Atlantis Resort. When we got there, we found out that all Port Adventures were closed that day. Most shops were closed as well. We were surprised that weather was great at Nassau that day without any traces of rain from the Hurricane the day before.
|The Majestic Atlantis Resort|
|The Atlantis Resort|
|Baby Sharks in the Lagoon|
|Different colored Fishes|
|not sure if this is a sting ray|
|Inside the Predator's Lagoon, sharks swimming above us|
|Inside the hotel|
|At Nassau Port, right before we went back to the ship|
After a couple of hours, we went back to the ship to get the kids and get ready for dinner. The theme on the ship that day was Pirates. So when we returned, we found red scarves in our stateroom given to us by our Hostess. We wore the red scarves while taking pictures with Captain Jack Sparrow.
Dinner was at the Animators Palate. The restaurant is a disney animation themed. We were seated right next to a screen where in we can talk to Crush (from Finding Nemo), the turtle over dinner. This is pretty much the same concept as the attraction in California Adventure. The kids were entertained during dinner so we got to enjoy our food.
After Dinner, The Captain made an announcement that the trip to Castaway Cay (Disney's own Private Island on the Carribean) was cancelled due to damages sustained by the island after being hit by Hurricane Irene. We were disappointed about this as we were looking forward to seeing Castaway Cay. Fortunately we found out later on that no crew members were injured during the Hurricane and they are cleaning up the Island to be used by cruise guests later on. We were informed that the cruise ship will just return to Nassau, Bahamas the next day.
We watched another Musical, Villains Tonight featuring most of the Famous Disney Villains at the Walt Disney Theatre. It was another great show and very entertaining. The kids got scared at first but turned out to be a funny show.
There was a fireworks show at the pool deck so we headed there next after meeting Tinker Bell.
|Tink signing autographs|
|she's curious who tinkerbell is|
The Pool Deck turned into Club Pirate. After the fireworks, we were surprised to see Capt. Jack Sparrow on stage and Pirates around the pool deck.. The Guest DJ played dance music after the show.
Day 3 (August 27, Saturday) Nassau, Bahamas
We didn't really care much about Nassau so we decided to stay onboard throughout the day to relax and avail of the different amenities the ship has to offer. We spent the morning in the pool deck after breakfast and lined up at the Aqua Duck, which took us about 30 minutes before we got to ride the water slide.
In the afternoon, we went to see The Pirates of the Caribbean- On Stranger Tides at the Buena Vista Theatre on 3D. I fell asleep during the movie and we decided to catch the matinee of the Musical - Believe! Instead. In my opinion, it was the best show I've seen on board as they made a recap of the different Disney magic moments (in the movies and musicals) we've come to love over the years.
|The balcony at the Walt Disney Theatre|
|Great ceiling details|
Dinner was at the Enchanted Garden, which was inspired by the gardens of Versailles in France (Oops, I just remembered I still have yet to post our pictures of the Actual Chateau de Versailles from our recent trip). Love the Colors all around the restaurant which has a calming effect. I had the Roaster Pork Tenderloin but regretted that I should've ordered the Pan Seared Sea Bass instead which was a lot better.
Good thing, our server gave us an extra plate. For Dessert, I had the Sacher Chocolate Cake.
|The Sacher Chocolate Cake named after the man in Germany who first made chocolate cake per our Server|
|The ceiling of the Enchanted Garden|
Last night was spent packing-( they gave us instructions to leave our luggages outside our stateroom between 8:30-10:30pm to be brought by the crew to the holding area prior to disembarkment), shopping at the stores, purchasing our pictures, taking care of our Stateroom hostess, Dining room server and assistant tips which you can do this through your key to the world car at the Guest Services if you don't have enough cash, and walking around the ship for last minute picture ops. They also had a going away meet and greet with the characters that night but we were too tired to line up as we have an early flight the next day.
Day 4 (August 28, Sunday) Disembarkment day. We were instructed by our Server to be at the Enchanted Garden at 6:30 for breakfast along with our day bags before we disembark. It was a good thing we were scheduled an early breakfast so we have enough time to catch our flight back to LA.
After breakfast, we handed our servers the tip envelope along with the tip tickets I got from Guest Services the night before. No need for check out unless you have questions about the statements of account that they left in your room that morning. Once we signed out at the Port, we went straight to Baggage claims and Customs which was surprisingly quick. The line wasn't that bad, we were in line only for about 5-10 minutes max. Then we called our shuttle to pick us up to take us to Orlando Airport.
We had a great time on board and thought of hopefully doing this again in the future as a family. It is very rare that we all get to go on a vacation like this. My sister was suggesting of doing this as an annual thing. My nieces and my daughter said they wanted to go back on a Disney Cruise real soon. But we'll see. We'll have to save up again. If we do this again, we'll have to book it earlier in the summer to avoid the Hurricane Season as I would definitely want to see Castaway Cay next time or probably book a different Cruise Ship. I think this is the best cruise line for Families with kids because they have all of the state of the art amenities from the day care to the Oceaneer's Club and Lab, the tween ages as well as teenagers and adults. Nobody entertains like Disney. The Cruise is filled with activities that you can't go to all of them at once. It has been worth the stress of a long flight and planning this trip altogether. It was great time to bond with my family, my parents, my sister and my brother and his family.