Clueless in Paradise
If Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth and Magic Kingdom is the most magical place on Earth, you best believe that happiness and magic extends to the sea! I had the opportunity to sail on a 3-night Bahamian Cruise on the Disney Dream with a few of my amazing co-workers from David’s Vacation Club Rentals. After experiencing my very first cruise, I must say, a 3-night cruise is a perfect way to test the waters, without going overboard on a vacation.
Whenever you try something for the first time, it can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if it consists of 1250 staterooms, weighing 130,000 tons and is longer then the Eiffel Tower! Where do you even start? Oh boy! Let’s follow the mouse and find out!
Before the adventure even begins you will receive a cruise booklet in the mail. This booklet is a lifesaver; all the information you need to know is in this book (vacation checklist, embarkment information, vacation itinerary and so much more.) Also included are luggage tags – my co-workers, and I stayed at a Disney Resort (Old Key West) the night prior to our sailing. We arranged ground transportation with the Disney Cruise Line from the resort to the port. We put our luggage tags on our bags and at 8:00am the morning of the cruise and a resort Cast Member collected our bags from our room. From there on we did not have to worry about our checked bags; they were put on the motor coach and arrived at the port. Our bags were waiting outside our stateroom shortly after arriving on the ship.
Walt once said “that’s the real trouble with the world. Too many people grow up.”
To make sure we didn’t disappoint Walt and keep the magic alive we made sure to embrace the Disney magic every chance we could. When I started to do some research on what to bring/do on a Disney cruise a few things stood out to me. The first thing was that many Disney cruisers decorate their doors! Once I told my co-worker who I was sharing my stateroom with she agreed it would be fun to decorate our door. It was the perfect way to get into the spirit prior to sailing! Everything must be magnetized; you can buy decorations online or get crafty and make your own decals (like we did) and then magnetize the back or use fridge magnets to hang it up.
Walt also said, “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.”
One worry I had as a first-time cruiser was would I be able to navigate the ship? While the Disney Dream may look overwhelming from the outside, once inside it was very easy to navigate. Yes, there are maps and Cast Members to ask for directions when you need, but in true Disney fashion, they have made a fun and interactive game that will get you moving all over the ship! The game is called Mickey’s Midship Detective Agency. With a few different cases to solve this activity is fun for all ages. Highly recommend!
I absolutely loved our stateroom even though the majority off the time we were exploring all of the fun activates the Disney Dream has to offer. We stayed in a category 05A Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah on Deck 9 midship. Our room accommodated 4 guests with a queen-size bed, convertible sofa and wall pull-down. We stayed in stateroom 9064, and my other two co-workers stayed in stateroom 9062 their room accommodated three guests with queen-size bed and convertible sofa. We even had a connecting door between the staterooms.
I was very impressed with how much room our stateroom had to offer, even though it was only a 3-night cruise I definitely over packed my large suit case but it slid right under the bed no problem. There is also a closet and drawers to place your items in, it never felt crowded. Every stateroom there is a stateroom host or hostess that will make sure your room remain perfect the entire stay. They will refresh your amenities, prepare your room for turndown service with converting the bedding and even leaving cute animals from the runner on the bed and leave chocolate!
There are honestly so many activities that will keep your entertained. We ended up going to a few different trivia games and at night the adult only section of the ship, they even have a silent disco! We spent a lot of time in the District area, we became friends with quite a few Cast Members and fellow cruiser that consistently participated in the different trivia and games we played. If you download the Disney Navigator’s app you will be able to see what is going on every day (time and location). My one co-worker who has sailed a few times on the Disney Dream was recognized her from previous sailings, which I thought was pretty cool. You always leave feeling like a family with Disney!
My co-workers warned me about the about the abundance of food and I can confirm the food is endless. There is a dinner rotation between the three restaurants for each night, Enchanted Garden, Royal Palace and Animator’s Palate. Among these restaurants, as well was the buffets from the pirate party and buffet on Castaway Cay, we decide to pay the additional charge of $40 per person to have brunch at Palo. The service was top notch and I felt like a princess! Once interesting thing, I learned, was my co-worker when she originally booked the brunch reservation, she was only able to make the reservation for 2 guests. On the first day, if you head down to Deck 2, there will be Cast Members for each of the restaurants at a table in front of Enchanted Garden. If you need to add guests to your dining reservations, or switch dining rotations or seating, they are able to look into these requests and if available, they are able to make the changes. We were successful in changing our brunch reservation from 2 guests to 4 guests without any hassle.
Another highlight for me personally was, my co-workers and I became addicted to pin trading on this trip. We were all excited when we found out that pin trading is not just at the Disney parks and resorts, but on the cruise as well! At each gift shop on the ship there is a binder full off pins ready to be traded. However, the coolest part of pin trading on the ship, is there is one night where you get to trade pins with the captains and crew of the ship.
The Disney difference, is definitely noticeable. Not only do they have the friendliest Cast Members that will keep you smiling all vacation long, amazing entertainment and endless activities. There are a few things they do that I notice that other cruises may not do. For one they make sure everything is kept clean and guest health is important as there are so many people on the ship. They hand out sanitary wipes before you enter each restaurant. At each port, when you leave or return to the ship there will be a water station and a hand sanitizing station prior to boarding the ship.
I hope some of these highlights and information will help you first-time cruisers stress less when planning your Disney cruise!
“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” – Walt Disney
Experiencing a Disney cruise as my first cruise has me dreaming of when I will be able to sail again! Yo ho, Yo ho, a Pirate’s Life for Me!
~ Stephanie S