Saturday, June 23, 2012

Conclusion of Disney Dream Trip Report

Music Videos:
Part 1 (WDW)
Part 2 (Cruise)

Trip Report Links:
Day 1 Getting There
Day 2:  EPCOT (Part 1)
Day 2:  EPCOT (Part 2)
Alternative Day 2:  Hollywood Studios
Day 3:  Magic Kingdom
Day 4:  Embarking the Disney Dream (Part 1)
Day 4:  (Part 2)
Day 4:  (Part 3)
Day 5:   Castaway Cay
Day 6:  Nassau
Day 7:  Day at Sea
Day 8:  Revisiting Castaway Cay

I'm not going to write much about our last morning on the ship.  It was short.  We had breakfast at 6:45 a.m. in Animator's Palette.  And it was still a lot of food. Muffins/donuts came around on a tray, plus we could order various types of main entree plates.  We said a last farewell to our serving team.

While we were eating, there was an announcement that the ship had cleared customs and we could leave.  So we did leave after breakfast.

We first had to find our luggage (that we had put outside our door the night before).  A Disney porter got it for us and wheeled it through customs for us.  There were only about 3 people in line ahead of us at customs.  It was a breeze.  Then we called our shuttle company and they picked us up within 5 minutes.  And we were gone by 8:30 a.m.!

About our flights home...I will just say they were difficult.  We had 3 tired kids with us.  Enough said.

We didn't buy too many souvenirs on board.  The gift shops sold some of the same merchandise that was available in the parks.  And not much DCL clothing for kids.

But we got this Disney Dream model:

A DCL picture frame:

A DCL Christmas ornament and a mug:

A DCL Tervis cup:

A DCL bath toy set (Goofy was in the set, too):

A DCL tote bag:
And a bath towel (not pictured).

Family member favorites:

Brian--The day at sea.  No place to go, lots to do right at our fingertips.

Nancy--The day at sea, and the second day at Castaway Cay.  Renting bikes. Date dinners. Mango soup!

Nathan--both Disney World and the cruise equally!  Especially Star Wars Weekend and Space Mountain.

Joshua--meeting the characters, both at the parks and on the ship.  The Mickey slide, pool and hot tub.  The Caribbean Beach Resort pool.

Alyssa--dancing with the characters on Castaway Cay.

Things we would do again:

*  The DIS board meet-up and the Fish Extender.  It was great sharing information with people online before our cruise, we learned so much.  And the kids especially loved the Fish Extender gift exchange!

*  Dinner at Palo

*  Bike rentals at Castaway Cay

Things we would do differently:

*  Not stress about getting on the Aqua Duck the first day.  There were plenty of other opportunities when the line was short.

*  Have more professional pictures taken of our family each night.

*  Not make our kids sit through the Pirate Night dinner.  Especially the younger ones.  Next time we would either ask for their food to be brought out right away, then take them to the kids' clubs in between our courses.  Or feed them before our dinner time and then take them to the clubs.

*  Make sure we see the sunset on more nights.  Relax more with a book on Deck 4, the Vista Cafe, or the Cove Cafe.

Things we would make sure we try next time:

*  Dinner @ Cabanas instead of our rotational dining room each night.  Even if just for the view alone.

*  Goofy's miniature golf.  Yes, it's just miniature golf, but the view can't be beat!

*  Midship Detective Agency interactive game

*  The family games or family/adult classes (trivia, cooking classes, etc.)

*  A comedy show (adult version) late night at the adult night clubs

*  Pelican plunge water slide on Castaway Cay (just Nancy, the boys all made it there)

*  Take a longer cruise!

We had a really great vacation.  This was our first vacation that we've ever had some "couple" time in addition to time with our kids, and time with each child separately.  The cruise was completely different from any of our previous trips to Disney World.  The service we received from the Disney crew members was outstanding.  The nursery and the kids' clubs were amazing.  Brian said that the cruise was the first vacation that he wishes would have lasted longer (because usually at the end of a vacation, we are all ready to go home).

We hope to go on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean (Virgin Islands, St. Martin) cruise in 2014.  The timing will be right around our 10-year wedding anniversary.

If you have any questions about our trip, feel free to ask!  It's my favorite subject right now.

Also, a special thanks to our travel agent, Tracy Whipple at Travel on a Dream.  She's been helping us plan this cruise for almost 2 years!



  1. When I was working (before quitting my job to be a SAHM), I would travel a few times a year to Florida. On more than a few occasions, on my way back to California, I would end up on an airplane full of families that were also on their way home from a Disney cruise. Let me just say, those were some of the most unpleasant flights I've ever been on, LOL! The kids were so tired, by then the parents were exhausted and arguing with each other, the babies were screaming, etc. I always felt sorry for the parents and made sure I was a little extra patient and tolerant during those flights because I sure felt sorry for you all :) But all that action gave us passengers traviling alone some good entertainment and the flight ended up going much faster as a result! he he he :)

    I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your trip report, I know how much work goes into writing posts, so thank you for taking the time to do it. Not sure if our family is ready for a Disney cruise yet, but I sure know who to come to for advice when the time comes!

  2. I loved reading your posts Nancy! I loved seeing all the pictures and comparing the trip to our Disney cruise. Castaway Cay has really improved since we were there almost 9 years ago. There were not any water slides and I don't remember there being bikes. You've definitely made me want to start planning another cruise soon. I think 2014 is the earliest we could go so as you start planning yours make sure and let me know if I'm missing important deadlines, etc. I bet you are having back from vacation blues - I always get that especially after a trip like that where you spent so much time preparing for! We'll have to get together soon to catch up! Would love to hear more!

  3. Thanks for "taking" me with on your vacation! I finally got through your trip report and it sounds like you had a fantastic time. Definitely have to do a longer sailing so you all can enjoy the days at sea even more.

  4. I LOVED reading about your cruise!!! Only 179 more days until we set sail!!!

    1. You're going to have an amazing time!

  5. It sounds like you guys had a great time! So glad that it ended up being a great vacation for y'all. I told you DCL was awesome! :) It was interesting reading your perspective on having kids in tow, as we haven't taken Austin on a cruise yet. We're kind of waiting until he's "kids club ready"!