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A Full-Out Trip Report of my Cruise on the Disney Dream

I’ve returned from my first ever cruise. We sailed aboard the Disney Dream to Nassau and Castaway Cay this past week.
It was really a phenomenal experience.  I’m not really a big pool/beach person, so I was a little hesitant on going. But once we were on the ship, all that went away, and I had a great time.

Day 1- Welcome Aboard!

Pulling up on the ship, it looks huge and overwhelming. I had seen it before (pictures, videos, even from Kennedy Space Center), but I didn’t expect it to be this big. I was afraid it would be tiresome to walk around it. But by day 2, I was walking from end to end with no problem. It became really homey and comfortable.

Once on board the ship, we really just explored. Hung out on the deck and looked at the other ships in the port (Dream was the biggest and best looking one). It’s a beautiful ship, inside and out. As a fan of Art Deco decor, I really loved the furnishings and whatnot inside. As a Disney fan, I adored the Disney tributes and artwork on the ship. For example, each floor had artwork of things like old cartoons, Mary Blair movie concept art, and character sketches hanging on the walls.

Before watching the ship pull out, we played mini golf. They themed it perfectly: Goofy’s How to Play Golf. Each course was inspired by a punny play on various golfing terms.

Once out, it was time to go to the Walt Disney Theater. Now, what a great tribute to Walt. Pictures of him with a camera, awards, and plenty of other pictures lined the golden walls around the theatre.
First night’s show was “The Golden Mickeys”. People seem to really like this show the best. Personally, I thought it was bland and a little unoriginal. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the best.

For dinner that night, we dinned at the Animators’ Palate. Food was good, (as it was everywhere on the ship), atmosphere was nice. I just don’t know about the name and theme of the restaurant. It doesn’t make much sense. It’s supposed to be inspired by hand-drawn animation and all, with paint brushes and pencils and sketches everywhere. But then it becomes The Seas with Nemo and Friends. It’s conflicting themes. Fantasy will be doing this restaurant much better when she sets sail.

Day 2- Nassau

Really had no interest in going to Nassau, so we didn’t. We stayed on board, knowing that most folks would go ashore, leaving the boat empty.

So that day, I took my first ride on the AquaDuck. At first I was worried I’d get soaked. But I went in and enjoyed it! The launch off the ship is really cool. You can’t really see strait down, seeing as that’s where your raft and the water are, but you can get a panoramic view of everything else (like the bland-looking Carnival ships docked next to us). Once you go through the forward smokestack, it’s a leisurely ride over the deck.
They did a great job creating this thing. It was especially fun to do it while on the seas, with the sun setting in the distance. Quite a sight. On a side note, they were using Crush n’ Gusher tubes. Must’ve ran out of AquaDuck ones

Later, I took advantage of the Buena Vista Theater and saw The Muppets again. Great movie, yet again! Great theatre, too. Beautiful ascetics, awesome sound system. Only issue I had with it was that they sell drinks with the light-up characters for you to take inside. So people would be bringing in their lit-up Buzz Lightyear into the dark theatre.

I also started playing the Midship Detective Agency (MDA) game. This is a brilliant activity. It really gets you to explore the ship and see new things. The game is, in a way, the precursor to the upcoming Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game. It follows the same idea of cards activating various things on screen. Based on what I’ve seen of SotMK, I think MDA does it better though.  It’s screens are disguised as paintings throughout the ship. They’ll even start moving if someone walks past them. Some paintings even interact with others, notably one of the Fort and one of the Ship from POTC hanging next to one another. They’re a fantastic little gem.

I went to check out ”The Vibe’ , which is the teens-only club, later that day. I suppose still being a teen has it’s benefits, as it’s the only open deck area on the front of the ship. While you can’t go stand on the nose of the ship and be ‘king of the world’, you can get a look at the control deck.

That night’s show was “Villains Tonight”. No one seems to really like this show, yet it was my personal favourite. For once, a villains show that doesn’t totally centre around Maleficent. It was the most interactive of the shows, the most comical of the shows (as Hades will often reference pop culture for a joke). Very good show.

Dinner was at The Enchanted Garden. Great atmosphere, great food. There, I tried the most interesting soup I’ve ever had: Carrot and Apple. Was good.

And to wrap up the night, FIREWORKS! Leave it to Disney to end your day with fireworks. The Carnival ships that were docked with us at Nassau had followed us out to watch our fireworks. Just goes to show that Disney is so far ahead of anyone else, and no one else has anything to compete with. Well done, Disney.
The show was great! It wasn’t just lame flares or anything, it was a full out Disney fireworks show. Park fans would love it because the show uses a lot of the original Pirates of the Caribbean ride audio snippets! Fantastic.

Day 3- Castaway Cay…kinda

We woke up that morning to a very violent shaking. Outside our veranda, we could see the Cay no more than a mile away.
The waves and winds were too strong. Captain Henry was pushing the ship’s engines as hard as he could, but could not combat the current. An hour later, we tried again. Still no luck.
Captain Henry is one valiant man! This man tried as hard as he could, for a long as he could. He did his absolute best, and I thank him for that.

Unable to dock at the Cay, we now had an extra sea day. Not bad, as they had a lot planned out for the day.

We started out by playing ‘Disney Cruise Line Trivia’. Unsurprisingly, I won with a score of 14 out of 20. Really had some tricky questions in there, though.

Later, we went to see a presentation on how the Dream was made. This featured a few videos on ship construction, history of the cruise line, Walt’s cruising days, all the way up to the Dream’s initial planning and construction. Great presentation, learned some great facts about the ship.

That night’s show was “Disney’s Believe”. It was an alright show. Typical Disney fluff with magic and believing and whatnot. Some sequences in it seemed rather disjointed and nonsensical. Great choice of characters for the show, great special effects, and some great music in the show. Tinkerbell even flies over the audience! Wonderful!
Still, wasn’t my favourite. I’d put it above The Golden Mickeys, but below Villains.
After the show, Captain Henry was out signing art and meeting guests. It’s a shame the line to meet him wasn’t longer, he did a great job!

Speaking of art, they had quite e bit. A lot of it was on clearance because they were for the inaugural cruise year. That was nice, but the detailed ship model I would have loved to get was $200 (50% off!). I wound up getting a picture of the ship, which I had Captain Henry sign.

Dinner that night was at the Royal Palace. The most adventurous dinner for me, as all 3 courses came with foods I’d never had before (Duck [good!], Caviar[awful!], Lamb[good!]). Food was good, atmosphere nice.

In Conclusion

 In conclusion, I miss that ship. It was so much fun! Even though the days on the ship were really long, they kinda rolled by without getting boring.  There was always something going on, always something to do.

For the first time ever, I saw the sun actually set. I noticed it was already half way down when I said we should stay a few minutes more and watch it. Quickly after saying that though, it was gone. But it was worth it.
The seas are big and open. It’s amazing, really.

As a big Parks fan, I loved all of the Parks tributes all through the ship. The main eatery had clocks with the time of each Disney Park around the world. The opposing wall had pictures of all the castles drawn out in sand. The lampshades in the stateroom was a map of the world, with castles marking where each park is.Even the nursery is themed to it’s a small world! How brilliant is that? The murals that tell the story of Cinderella one can find in Cinderella Castle is recreated in the atrium. Very pretty.
As a Disney fan, I enjoyed the artwork and references. The characters are so eloquently woven into the ship to the point where you see them, even though you don’t notice you see them.

I did find that there was a lot of Pixar (especially Nemo) on the ship, though. Between Animators’ Palate, Nemo’s Reef (kid water play area), Remy (adult restaurant), Flo’s V-8 Cafe/Mater’s/Luigi’s Pizza, and Cabanas (main eatery), that’s a lot. But, I don’t care. Maybe if they were spread out a little more, and there was more big things themed to other films, it’d be more tolerable.

The bars/lounges looked very nice and well themed, but I’m not old enough to go in them. I did walk past them, and they looked fancy. Really, the whole lounge area, ‘The District’ was very nice. I got lost in it (as I had to walk through it to get to our statehouse) with all it’s wavy walls and occasional DVC booth.

Castaway Cay….I  must visit it one day.

After going on Dream, I don’t think I would be able to go on Magic nor Wonder. After looking at pictures of them, they seem microscopic. I’d do Dream again, and I’d go on Fantasy.

Though I didn’t get ‘sea sick’, I was rather woozy during our sea day. I would never be able to do the 16 day Hawaiian cruise!

We tended to be in the shows or inside whenever the horn was blown. I only got to hear “When You Wish Upon a Star” (both parts) and  “it’s a small world”. Disappointed I didn’t get to hear them all. Then again, you could hardly make out what they were with the all of the echoing they made.

Would I go again? I honestly hope I get to go on another Disney Cruise. It was fantastic.
So, thanks Mom and Dad for taking us on the trip. It was awesome!

Photos 

In addition to the cruise, I also got a new camera (Nikon Coolpix L120). So, expect better quality pictures from me from now on!

The most beautiful chandelier ever.

Even the ship celebrates the holidays!

Lobby Atrium

Admiral Donald Duck

Classic Mickey Pool

AquaDuck awesome!

BACKSTORY! Huey, Dewey, and Louie built the AquaDuck. Donald wanted the first ride. Afraid he'd get stuck, the boys cranked the water power to as high as it could go. This proved to be too much, and sent Donald into the smokestack.

I know the answer to that one....!

Inside the Walt Disney Theater

Castles made of sand!

Here's the view from our veranda

This is as close as we got to Castaway Cay

I hope you enjoyed this report. Stay tuned to the D-History Podcast, where I’ll be talking more about my cruise. Any questions you’d like to ask about the cruise? Put them in the comments, and I’ll answer them on the show!
You can follow me on Twitter, @Imagineer2017.

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Posted January 2, 2012 by Imagineer2017 in Opinions, Parks

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