Friday, October 24, 2014

Trip Report: October 11th-October 17th 2014 - Part 3

by Nick

Monday, October 13th

Despite having stayed up so late the night before, I was up early enough to watch the sunrise through our porthole.

After Barbie woke up; okay, after I woke her up, we went to breakfast at Cabanas, where there are several different food stations and plenty of choices.

We then took a dip, as well as a quick soak in the hot tub, literally overlooking the ocean, as there is a clear bottom.

Barbie in her "French Style" suit, 
which prevents as much sun as possible from getting to her fair skin!

We then headed to the Aquaduck, which opened at 9:00am, so there was almost nobody in line, in fact we rode twice in a row. The Aquaduck is the water slide which goes around and over the boat. It is really a lot of fun, not to be missed, but I suggest getting there early, as waits get very long as the day progresses.

We then watched as the Dream sailed into and docked in Nassau. 

We had booked the Discover Atlantis tour in advance. As our tour wasn't until 11:15am, we had plenty of time to get showered before heading to the D Lounge on deck 4, where we met with other people doing the same tour, and from there we left as a group, gathering on the pier.

We then walked to micro buses that transported us to Atlantis. The ride was an adventure unto itself, as people seemed to drive wildly all over the island!

Once we arrived, we were given headsets so that we could hear our tour guide, who, despite being extremely friendly and knowledgeable, was so soft spoken, even the headsets turned up to 11 wouldn't have helped in hearing her well.

Our first stop was the series of aquariums known as "The Dig," which, along with it's many species of aquatic life, offers what is supposed to be a look at debris from the lost city of Atlantis.

We then had a long walk to the next aquarium area and got to see some of the other areas of Atlantis.

The Predator Lagoon was our next stop.

Afterwards, we had the option to continue to other aquarium sections or the rest of the common areas of Atlantis, but we decided to return to the ship.

We had a late lunch on deck 11, at the outside food areas by the pools. The cheeseburger from Tow Mater's Grill was really delicious, better than the burgers found at the Disney theme parks. The chicken nuggets were also good. Barbie had a panini from Filmore's, which was good. We also split a couple of pieces of pizza from Luigi's. Yes, pizza on a cruise ship, and it's good! It wasn't as good as the pizza we'd had on the Wonder, but it was still tasty.

After eating, we went to the Atrium Lobby just in time to catch Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy dressed in their Halloween costumes.

We then headed back to our stateroom and showered and got changed into our Pirate gear, as it was Pirate night! Barbie sewed her dress and my vest weeks in advance of this evening!

We got photos with Peter Pan, Hook and Smee, then headed to deck 12 to watch as we sailed out of Nassau, and to see the sunset as we waited for the Mickey's Pirate Academy show at 7:45pm.

The Pirate Academy features Mickey looking for people to join his crew. We were trained in the ways of being a good pirate, just in time too, as Hook showed up with his crew, and challenged Mickey and his mates to a Pirate off!

Dinner was at The Royal Palace that evening. I had the prime rib while Barbie had the pasta with seafood. Everything was very good. For dessert I had the Rum Soaked chocolate cake which was also really good, and Barbie had the Coconut Cream Treasure, which she said wasn't bad.

By now, decks 11 and 12 were getting very crowded for the evening's Buccaneer Blast. We were very lucky to get a prime spot.
This 10+ minute stage show stars Captain Jack being pursued by other pirates for a gauntlet of great power.

Indeed, the gauntlet has the power to shoot fireworks out over the sea!

It was a thrilling ending to a long jam packed day.

Part 1 of the Trip Report can be found here, while Part 2 can be found here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Trip Report: October 11th-October 17th 2014 - Part 2

by Nick

Sunday October 12th

I didn't sleep as well as I would have like, but I've gotten by on less.

We headed down to Cape May Cafe with hopes of getting in without an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR), and were told we would be called when they opened at 7:30, and we were indeed.

We were lucky enough to get a a truly wonderful Cast Member, Adrienne, as our server. She was a delight.

We'd never had breakfast here before, but everything was very good, my favorites being the French Toast.

We got photos with Minnie, Donald, and Goofy.

Stop back for a full review of Cape May's breakfast buffet in the future.

Our Magical Express pick-up for transfer to Cape Canaveral was scheduled for 11:30-11:45, and by now it was 9, so we decided to take it easy and took a walk around the resort. I contacted my friend and fellow blogger, Lisa, who was visiting Walt Disney World at the same time, and we decided to just stop by Disney's Hollywood Studios to say hello. As it was very hot already, we hopped a Friendship Boat and took a ride over to the Studios where we met and spent some time talking to Lisa and her husband Raymond.

We hopped another boat back to the Yacht and Beach Club, and met other cruisers in the Solarium, where we were brought to our bus at almost exactly 11:45. Can you tell I was excited?

It seemed like a fast trip, and before we knew it, we were there.

Check in was very quick. We were greeted by a Cast Member who asked if we were Castaway Club Members, meaning we had sailed previously with Disney Cruise Line. We were, so we were directed to an even shorter line, and before we knew it, we were walking through the Mickey Head entryway and onto the Disney Dream!

As a bonus, it was exactly 1:30 when we boarded, and our stateroom was ready!
We had a Category 8D stateroom, number 5016. 

We dropped off our luggage and headed up to Cabanas, the buffet, for lunch and a tropical drink.

Like Cape May's Breakfast Buffet, I'll be doing a much more in depth review with many photos of Cabanas, and the Dream in general in future posts, we took A LOT of photos.

After eating we wandered around the ship, getting to know it, while we waited for the 4 o'clock mandatory life boat drill.

Doesn't everyone look excited to be at the drill?

After the drill we went up to deck 12 to watch the Sailing Away Party. The crew comes out and asks us to celebrate with Mickey and the gang, who then join them on stage.

We returned to our cabin, showered and got ready for dinner, and headed down to the Walt Disney Theater. We were unable to get the Main seating, so we went to the 6:15 show of Villains Tonight, one of the live Broadway type shows offered on the Disney Cruise Line ships.

It's an...interesting show. It stars Hades and his sidekicks Pain and Panic from Hercules as well as several other Disney Villains.
Hades sends out invitations to other villains to help him to bring up the evil quotient in the Underworld, or he will be evicted as ruler.
There are some unusual and not often used villains, such as Yzma from the Emporer's New Groove, a film, I confess, I am not a fan of.
The show had it's entertaining moments, but we wouldn't bother seeing it again.

After the show, we caught a portion of the show in front of the Pumpkin Tree in the Lobby Atrium, part of Halloween on the High Seas.

Guests are invited by the Haunted Mansion's caretaker to add "pumpkin seeds" to a bucket (the "seeds" made of paper, were handed out to each person after the Villains Tonight show) to help pumpkins grow on the tree.

Our rotational dining this evening, at 8:15 was in the Enchanted Garden.

One positive of second seating, which is much later than we are accustomed to eating,  was that second seating was not as crowded or noisy as main seating.

To start, we both had the Applewood Smoked Bacon and Wild Mushroom Tart, which was very good.

We also both got the Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower, which was excellent.

For our entrees, I got the Caramelized Sea Scallops with Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomato Cous-Cous. I really enjoyed the Scallops, but the Cous Cous, really, not good.
Barbie got Pearl Barley Cakes. They were awful, almost flavorless.

For dessert, I had the Date Pudding, which was pretty good.

Barbie, not wanting to risk being disappointed again, went with a can't fail Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar.

This had been a long day, but we decided to stay up, and at 10:30, went to see Nightmare Before Christmas in 4D in the Walt Disney Theater.

The movie was shown in 3D, the 4D was in the lighting, effects, such as fake snow, and at the end, Jack Skellington himself came up out of the stage. 
Afterwards, he took photos and signed autographs. 

It was a long tiring day, and we had no trouble at all falling asleep that evening.

Please stop back tomorrow for Part 3

Part 1 of my trip report can be found here: