I recently returned from sailing on my first cruise which was on board the Disney Dream and I thought I would share a little bit of my experience. I previously wrote an article, which discussed my excitement and some anxiety since I had never sailed before and didn’t know quite what to expect.
Walking on board the boat was literally a dream come true to me. Prior to arrival, I had looked at countless brochures and had done so much research regarding the Disney Dream. It seemed almost surreal to actually walk on board as they called our family’s name and see everything in person. I will admit, I got a little teary the same way I get every time I set foot on Main Street USA.
We immediately changed into our bathing suits upon arrival and jumped on the Aqua Duck! While waiting in line, we noticed there were camera crews filming a particular group of people. Being the nosey person that I am just had to find out what was going on and I discovered they were filming an episode of TLC’s Cake Boss. I found it fascinating to see the filming process and thought it added even more excitement to our cruise experience! I am greatly looking forward to seeing the episode when it airs in January 2012. Since we were in one of the first groups to board, we got to ride the Aqua Duck several times, which I’m glad because once everyone got on the boat, the lines did become rather long. My advice to future cruisers would be to ride as soon as you get on the boat and then in the evenings when there is a very minimal wait.
One of the first things I decided to do once on board was get a couples Rainforest pass at the Senses spa. My husband and I could use some relaxing and I was certain our son wouldn’t want to leave the kids club since that was the feedback I kept on hearing. This is where our vacation didn’t go exactly as planned. My son didn’t want to get dropped off by himself in the kids club. He wanted me to stay with him. As I’m dealing with this little issue, my husband, who NEVER gets sick, is suddenly not feeling so well. So he stayed in the room while I decided to go play in the Oceaneer’s Club/Lab with my son. To say the children’s areas are amazing is a huge understatement! It truly is every child’s fantasy made into reality. They have a ton of activities for children with all different interests to participate in each day. I was so impressed with the staff, the amenities, the activities, everything about it! Since my son wanted me at his side, I got to see a lot of the Oceaneer’s Club/Lab. Not exactly the way I had planned to spend my vacation but it was fun and I decided it made for some good “research” for my clients.
Regarding my fear of getting motion sick, I did learn that I needed to take Bonine and wear sea bands at night after the first night. After talking to the doctor at the health center, seems when the boat goes through a certain channel on the way down to the Bahamas and back, the waters can get a bit rocky. Most guests probably don’t even notice, since they are sleeping however, I woke up to feeling not so great in the middle of the night. Once I took the medicine and put the sea bands on, I was able to go back to sleep and I was fine for the remainder of the cruise. I actually didn’t even notice the movement on day 2 or 3. Not sure if I just got used to it or what but thankfully, no issues!
My husband proceeded to get more sick and unfortunately, had to be quarantined to our room per the doctor on board for all of day 2. This sickness was strictly a virus that had some very bad timing, it had nothing at all to do with the ship. With regret, I had to cancel our Rainforest pass which I had really been looking forward to and it was at this point I had to make a decision. I could pout about the situation and let it ruin my vacation or I could chose to make the best out of things and have fun regardless. I had waited so long for this amazing vacation and my husband was sick and couldn’t enjoy it with our family. After shedding a couple of tears, I quickly decided to end my pity party. Reality check: I was on an amazing Disney cruise out in the ocean, how dare I complain? I put on my big girl pants and decided to make the most out of things. I’ve learned a positive attitude can make all the difference in the world when things don’t go as expected and things don’t always go as expected sometimes… even on Disney vacations.
Despite our little issues, our cruise was absolutely spectacular! I’d love to go into so much more detail but I could go on forever. The service, the food, the amenities are all amazing. I couldn’t imagine how it would compare to going to our beloved Disney World parks and in my opinion, it’s just as great! I find the parks fun with all the rides and nonstop action. However, the cruise is extremely relaxing and you still get to enjoy that same Disney magic, just in a different way. Some of the highlights of our vacation were the interactive Midship Detective Agency, Sloppy Science at Oceaneer’s Lab, fireworks at sea, the spectacular food in general, and of course, Castaway Cay.
I find it a little ironic that the one thing my husband wanted to do on the cruise was eat and with him being sick, he only got to enjoy three meals total on the ship. Poor guy. By the last night my husband was feeling better and he and I were able to celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary at Palo. It was the best dining experience I have ever had and I can’t recommend it enough. Since Palo is an adults only restaurant, our son went into Oceaneer’s Club by himself. I will admit, I was a little nervous, wondering if he was having fun. When we picked him up, he exclaimed, “But I don’t want to leave!”. He absolutely loved it so another lesson learned, I should have had him try it solo earlier.
As I said, I could truly go on and on about our vacation. I absolutely fell in love with the Disney Dream. We did have our little bumps in the road, like some vacations can but what an amazing experience overall. Our family enjoyed it so much we have already booked another future cruise. So, Disney Dream, thank you so much for the wonderful memories. We will be seeing you again in September 2013!