About halfway through this week’s adventure, my husband turned to me and said, “There is no way if we were living anywhere else that we could justify traveling down for a three-night cruise.” Ah, the benefits of the Florida life. Grab breakfast, drop that cats at the kitty hotel, pick up daughter from school, head for a late lunch at Cabanas as we set sail away for a weekend on the Disney Dream (and still have time to get daughter back to school on time on Monday).
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our pre-cruise breakfast at My French Café, located a short distance behind the Magic Kingdom in Windermere. Between the quality of the food and the prices, it makes for a delightful treat. I had this sugar crepe (which, if unfolded, would have more than covered the entire plate), and only set me back $4. And yes, that whipped cream is heavy cream that has been whipped, not stuff from a can.
Time flies when you’re on a sugar rush, and soon we were headed out 528 towards the port. I love the position of Disney ships at Port Canaveral, as you get little glimpses of the ship as you get closer and closer to the port.
We had booked a category 6B GTY (Deluxe Oceanview with Verandah), and when I checked to get our stateroom number before we left, we had been upgraded to a 4A–as high as you can be upgraded without going into concierge. Sweet! We dropped off our luggage, headed through the check-in process, and then on the ship and up to Cabanas for lunch. We were walking into the port terminal at 12:30 and sat down with a plate of food by 1 PM. The check-in process was smooth and efficient as always. Lunch at Cabanas was high-energy with people excited to get underway.
Rooms become available at 1:30, but it was closer to 2 when we wandered down to our room on Deck 10, Aft. The room was very spacious, and having the murphy bed meant that we had the sofa available in the evenings while our daughter slept. I would certainly do this room again. (Who am I kidding–if given the option to cruise, I’d sleep on a blanket in the engine room!)
Once we dropped off our stuff, it was time to get a MagicBand for the kid’s club for the kiddo, and get rainforest room passes for the adults. It was open house for the Oceaneer’s Club, which meant that the adults got to go in and see all the surprises. I had heard that “some Star Wars stuff” had been added, but had tried to stay somewhat in the dark about it all. (Spoilers begin here.) There was a new Disney Infinity room, which may have appeal for some, but the other addition is what had everyone’s attention: Star Wars. There’s several sections to the Star Wars room, but the biggest attraction is the Millennium Falcon cockpit. There’s space for a pilot and a co-pilot, and the screens take you on the flight missions from Star Tours.
Seeing my daughter manning the controls made me wish I could stay in the club for my whole cruise. The counselors did a fantastic job of making sure that everyone got a chance to try a hand at the controls.
Once we had explored the kids’ club and headed up to Senses to get our Rainforest Room passes paid for, it was almost time for the safety drill. We stopped by Flo’s (the counter-service area on Deck 11) to grab some food for the sail away, which we planned to do in our room, dropped it off, and headed to our profoundly hot safety assembly point. Because it was brutally hot, we had already decided to skip the sail away party, and we went to grab some drinks from Vista Cafe. In addition to coffee drinks, they now have several iced tea specialty drinks that were really fantastic. While we were getting our drinks, we noticed two things: First, the ship had already started moving. Second, there was next to nobody there. Instead of heading to our room, we grabbed a comfy chair and watched the scenery go by in air conditioned comfort. Eventually we stepped outside to listen to the horn, play a little bit of shuffleboard, and then head to open seas.
The next few days zipped by, with stops at Nassau and Castaway Cay. For Nassau, we briefly got off the ship to visit the Nassau Straw Market, but spent most of our time on ship.
We spent more time on Castway Cay, however the water was a little too chilly for my personal preference to go swimming.
By the time the days were done, I had amassed photos and information to write many more articles in upcoming weeks. Our goal, in addition to relaxation, was to see what sort of new and interesting things we could try outside of the normal “big ticket” experiences. In the end, I had a variety of unusual photos that aren’t the standard photos that people see from their cruise experience, but wanted to share them here.
During my time on ship, I received some questions via Twitter about merchandise for sale. While I was looking around, I found two items that I had to take photos of to share. First, Swatch watches, because I grew up in the 80s when they were totally cool.
Next, some shoes for….I’m not sure what occasion you’d wear these for.
Star Wars was certainly present throughout the ship, even though this was not a Star Wars at Sea cruise. It’s hard to tell if my favorite was seeing R2D2 in the Oceaneer’s Club.
Or spotting Stormtroopers marching through the halls.
Whether you say we ate at Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats a lot or we ate a lot at Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats, you’d be correct.
To balance it out, some nights we had nothing for dessert.
I ended up taking photos of little details that most people wouldn’t, like the addition of the Shanghai castle on the mural behind Guest Relations.
Or the addition of doors on any of the trams that would carry children on Castaway Cay.
And even though this is what I was feeling like when I had to get up to head for home….
I do know it won’t be real long before we “See ya real soon” on our next cruise.
And until then, this sign will be the one that I see as I head to and from home, living each week as the Best Week Ever.