Mount Rustmore

Friday- Ship Out
After 2 days at WDW that you can read about HERE, we woke up in our room at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to 10891520_763441243704327_2907771685156113491_nget dressed, have some breakfast, meet up with a friend for a few minutes, pack our day bags and head over to the meeting spot to be picked up by the Disney shuttle bus to the ship. That morning, we had one of the Cast Members pick up our luggage to be sent to the ship and would magically arrive by 5 on the ship in front of our staterooms. This is a great service and I ABSOLUTELY recommend you send you large luggage this way to the ship. On a side note, don’t pack all of your bras in that bag, sleepily pass the bag to the CM at the crack of dawn and go back to bed to wake up realizing you don’t have a bra until 5pm….. yeah. Learn from my mistake. How did that happen you may ask? Truthfully, I was tired from a day at the parks and my brain went on it’s own vacation. That’s all I got because otherwise I have no idea.

Anyways, the lady who took our names and made sure we all got on the bus was helpful and kind, but also someone who seems to have worked as a school teacher as she was very concerned about anyone disappearing out of her sight. I’m glad she was on top of things, but she kinda scared me a bit lol. While we were waiting we hit the snack area once more for some to-go cookies (which turned in to half a to-go cookie because it looked delicious), hit the bathrooms and then we were being lined up to go to the bus outside. All the food court CMs were all saying goodbye and/or that they wish they could go with us. Which considering the 30-40 degree weather in FL that week, they probably weren’t kidding.

The bus ride was fine, not as noisy as the ride from the airports to the parks, but there was still an air of excitement. They played some cute videos of the characters getting on their own bus to meet us at the ship and showed people how to go through security, check in and some things to enjoy on the cruise. After about 45minutes or so we arrived at the port and headed to security. Security is similar to the airport pre 9/11. There is a conveyor belt for your carry-ons, a metal detector gate and a slight line depending on how busy they are upstairs at the check in desk. We were halted for about 5 minutes or so because the CM on the top of the escalator told them it was too crowded in the lines upstairs. After they gave us the go ahead, we went through with no issues, went up the escalators and into the line to check in. A great perk of being on any Disney Cruise Line voyage before is you are auto”magic”ly part of the “Castaway Club” which allows some perks depending on your level. I was a silver level member, this was my second cruise, so we were able to bypass the longer line on the left and head to the slightly shorter line on the right. This line took us probably 15-20 minutes or so to get through, we checked in, had our photo taken for the records, received a free lanyard because of the Club status and we were on our way to the ship.
Once on the gangway, we scanned out new “Key to the World” cards and had our photo taken with a photographer. This photo would eventually end up in our photo folder. As you enter the ship through the door of the lobby they introduce your party and you walk through a line of cast members clapping and welcoming you on board. This became a bit muddled since we were myself, my mother and friend Liz so we weren’t really a “insert same last name here” kinda group. I’m not even really sure where they landed on names lol.

Disney Dream Cruise January 2015

As you can see, the sunset was not very picturesque.

At this point, we were all a bit exhausted and hungry. We went to the stateroom to freshen up, drop the carry-ons and hoped that maybe our bags had already arrived (as I was looking forward some support lol). This was not to be the case unfortunately, but there was a new bag for Silver members waiting for me and a lovely note saying I still had $100 onboard credit available because of my booking on the last cruise 2 years ago. That totally made my day, so we freshened up and headed to meet my Grandmother, Aunt and Cousin who were already on board at Cabanas (the buffet).

 

Cabanas was going to close within the next hour or so by the time we got up there so we quickly filled our plates with whatever we could carry and found a table. I’m not going to lie, most of my plate was shrimp lol. (this will also be the case at most breakfasts at Cabanas as well…) Anyways, we met up with the ladies, finished our food and then found a place to stand out on the “slightly freezing” deck for a bit. The weather had been cold all week so when we were leaving Florida we were all dreaming of good, sunny weather for the next couple days.

After the sail away party (which I have yet to actually see… maybe 3rd time will be the charm?) we spent some time on the deck, we all headed to our staterooms to get cleaned up for the show and dinner.
We had second seating so our first stop was the stage show in the Walt Disney Theatre. Tonight was The Golden Mickeys.
The Golden Mickeys is a “Golden Globes”-like award show where the guests have papparazzi CMs take

What the fake photo would have looked like.... but with like 4 more chin rolls I would assume

What the fake photo would have looked like…. but with like 4 more chin rolls I would assume

“photos” of you as you the “celebrity” walks into the theatre. I will say a cast member took a photo of me and it was highly jarring. Thankfully it was fake otherwise I’m sure the photo would have looked a lot like the photo to the right. There were also cute interviews of younger guests happening in the lobby which were being shown inside the theatre. Anywho, the show is cute and the performances are a lot of fun. It was very much a grab-bag of various popular Disney movie songs. Loved Rapunzel and Cruella especially. The message was cute and it’s definitely worth seeing but not my favorite show I’ve seen on board.
Our first night’s dinner was at the Enchanted Garden. We met our servers who were absolutely wonderful. You could tell they really loved what they did and had a lot of fun with their guests.
Enchanted Garden- Disney DreamFrom my last cruise I learned that you could have multiple appetizers (or multi anything really) so to continue the tradition of “you paid for it so enjoy it” cruising mentality, I didn’t hold back if I really wanted to try something. Many of the soups and salads didn’t interest me anyways, so I just subbed it for a second app.
++My Personal Enchanted Garden Choices++
Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower With Crispy Noodles and Wasabi Dressing
North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli With Roasted Garlic and Sweet Basil in a light Tomato Broth
Grilled NY Strip Steak Thyme Roasted Vegetables, Double-baked Potato topped with handmade Herb Butter.
“Sacher” Chocolate Torte With Apricot Sauce

I liked everything. The Ravioli was delicious and the Ahi Tuna/Avacado was a nice refreshing cool option in between the ravioli and steak. The steak was fine, nothing extraordinary. The Chocolate Torte has an Apricot sauce that I was questioning at first, but in the end was a really nice compliment. Also presented with/before the desserts was a “Palette Cleanser” of sugar covered papaya cubes and small cubes of chocolate fudge. These I could have taken a plate back to the room with lol. They were so delicious.
The restaurant itself was very pretty. We were in a the back corner next to a work station so there was the odd weird commotion or two, but overall it was just fine.

I’m not really sure what we did after dinner that night at this point. I know we were all pretty tired from everything. I think we ordered Mickey Premium Bars for the room and just relaxed.

Saturday- Nassau
Atlantis

Liz, mum and I woke up sorta early to get breakfast and meet up with our tour groups for the day on Nassau. Liz and I had signed up for the Atlantis excursion and Mum was going with the rest of the ladies to walk around in the shops and markets on their own together. You can read all about that excursion here.

Moving right along, we arrive back to the ship, got some lunch at Cabanas and by that time the ladies were back and told us they we laying on the deck in chairs drinking. Liz and I headed up there to join them and we ended up going to do the Aquaduck. The line was listed as 30 minutes or so but seemed to go quickly than that. We joined the ladies back on the chairs for a while and then went to dry off and get ready for the show and dinner. Tonight was the Villains Tonight! and then Royal Palace.

 

Villains Tonight! was my favorite of the trip. I’m a huge Villains fan, especially Hades so the show was a lot of fun. The Cruella part with her all male backup dance team was perfect.

Royal Palace
we were sat in the Tiana room which is totally adorable! I had seen it on the Fantasy so I’m glad we got to sit there this time. Everyone also walked around to see all the murals and royal details after dinner.
10945689_769757649739353_1203840905864733319_nThis night was Liz’s birthday so we wanted to make sure it was special. Our servers were great and got all the staff together to sing and give her a little special cake. Liz was only highly slightly suspicious. The funny thing is the Head Server (who was a very sweet, South African lady) totally switched her name and called her Angela the whole time. They all walk away happy for the surprise and everyone was like “who the hell is Angela?” haha… This thus became Liz’s nickname for the rest of the trip. Poor “real” Angela, she probably got called Elizabeth the rest of the trip by her family lol.

My Personal Royal Palace Choices

Escargots Gratinés Herb-marinated Snails with Finely Chopped Mushrooms, topped with Garlic Butter and Breadstick
Iced Lobster and Jumbo Shrimp White and Green Asparagus, Micro Greens and Lemon-dill dressing with Horseradish Cream
Belle’s French Onion Soup With Gruyère Cheese Crouton
Royal Palace Aged Angus Grilled Beef Tenderloin and Lobster Medallions Sautéed Snow Peas and Marquis Potatoes with a Cognac Reduction
Chocolate Ganache Served with Breton Sablé and Mango Coulis

Everything was great except for the French Onion Soup. It came highly recommended by our servers and I normally like French Onion soup. It was a bit too much of a “chunky, mushy squish” with a soup base. Everyone else at the table loved it soooo I’m sure it was just me being weird-ed out by the texture. I did want to make sure we got an Escargots Gratines for the table. This is not something I, or probably most people, would order if you were at a pay per plate restaurant, but the last cruise we went on our table mates made us try it and I actually enjoyed it. I wanted to push the ladies to try something out of the comfort zone since they can try things without worrying about the price with the cruise. I think 3 other ladies braved it and I ended up eating a couple out of the 6-7 you get in the serving.

After Dinner I believe Liz and I did a bit of a cardio workout going up and down the ship trying to drop off our Fish Extender gifts. As much as I love Fish Extender groups, I think I’ll skip it next time I have a 3 day cruise. It’s hard to find the time to get it all in with such a short trip. If we had a sea day, I would have been able to bang those out a lot easier.

Sunday- Castaway Cay

uIMG_1289bLast day! I love Castaway Cay. It’s easy to navigate, you don’t really have to  worry about the normal issues of a public beach (lugging your own chairs, people stealing you stuff, etc) and there is so much to do I still haven’t gotten to the snorkeling part after trip 2 lol. (Next time it will be mine) We all got up around when the ship was docking, had some breakfast with all the ladies, said hello to our server during his shift in Cabanas and headed out to the island. Our destination was Serenity Bay, the adult only beach down the airstrip on the far end of the island from the ship. If you like sunbathing, swimming without children running around like crazy and an easy to access bar, this is the place to be. I didn’t actually do much relaxing the last trip so this one I actually wanted to enjoy the water.10934636_859639570725910_394769502_n
We took the trams over to the beach and headed about halfway down the beach to some open chairs/umbrellas. After recovering from that sand-walking workout with all the bags and such, I then realized I didn’t pick up my float rental…. which I looked at longingly from our chairs, tried to get someone to go with me with no avail and headed back down to the entrance of the beach to obtain my giant, clear donut. I then started dragging it down the beach to realize, “Screw this, I’m going to float back to our end” I then got in my tube around my chest and float-walked my way down the beach in about 4.5′ of water. I discovered that the clear donuts are not only comfortable but if you stuff your face into it (like a weirdo) you can use it as a way to look underwater without having to get a snorkel/goggle combo. This created about 30-45 minutes of me floating around with me face-first into a clear tube like a goober, but hey, it was fun.

Mum joined me and I eventually gave her the tube since she now wanted to stuff her face in the tube like a goober lol.
After about an hour or so on the beach it was around noon and this GIANT rainstorm came over the island like friggin’ Chernabog Bahamian cousin. It was pretty to look at, until the epic gale force wind and rain started. Everyone on the beach ran for cover and the food area for a bit of a “forced” early lunch. Because of this, I think we overwhelmed the staff a bit making lunch a bit less relaxing than our first cruise. We were going to get a later lunch at the end of the service so we could enjoy the beach…. well, “Bahamabog” changed that decision lol. After the rain let up, we headed to see the rest of the island with shops, water slides and such. We ran into Kristin who had dropped her daughter at the fun kid care spot and we spent some time with her.

After a while we were pretty beat so we headed back to the ship because mum wanted to do the aqua duck…. which didn’t actually happen because once I was dry I was pretty out of it. We ordered Mickey Premium bars from room service and hung out until those arrived. Now, we probably should have just went back to the island and just floated around on a tube for the next 2 hours…. but this didn’t happen either. What we did was go check out the empty adult club area and then went to a DVC interest meeting. DVC is Disney Vacation Club, Disney’s timeshare opportunities. The meeting was in Evolution on deck 4. It’s a butterfly themed night club bar that is usually the home of stand up comics and “adult rave” music. When we entered the club for the meeting we were welcomed with a nice, leather-esk, embossed pad book with DVC on the front, a DVC pen which died almost instantly upon being touched and information about the DVC. We were also greeted with giant, free, fruity drinks. I think mine was some kind of mango thing. Anyways, free drinks that would normally be upcharged to $12-14 is cool with us.
This is the Champagne bar that we kinda hung out in waiting for the DVC meeting <3 There are little pink Elephants that pop up in the bubbles <3 I want to do a photoshoot in here one day so bad 🙂


The rep was the usual “charming salesman” and he is very good at his job. There were fun prizes for trivia, we all walked away with a free, last years, DVC ornament and for the most part we just felt like we would have probably enjoyed laying on the beach instead. After this we had to bust ass to get back to the room and change foooooor uIMG_1269PIRATE NIGHT! Last pirate night I wore a corset under my pirate lady costume and well, corsets and cruise dinners are a terrible combo, soooo this year I was going to make a fun, Snow White wench costume! And then life happened and it’s still sitting half finished in my sewing pile at the apartment. Soooooo I went with a mermaid themed outfit of Hot Topic Ariel/Ursula leggings, flowy blue top, red wig, Ariel fascinator and my Ursula glowing shell necklace. Liz had a great wench-like Final Fantasy costume she wore which was super cute and mum wore her cute pirate Minnie ears with a peasant top. I actually went to shop between show and dinner and totally threw the CM off guard b/c my photo looked nothing like my red headed self lol. I had to assure her it was a wig and that it was me, woops.
Before the show was a deck party with all of the fab5 characters doing a pirate show battle against Captain Hook, Smee and crew. It was cute and the same as the Fantasy, but it was nice to see it at a different angle this time. The show tonight was…
Disney’s Believe. Another repeat from my travels on the Fantasy and really wasn’t the best show the first time around. The Genie takes a a brilliant botanist father on a journey through various Disney movieverses to make him “believe” in magic and pay attention to her magic loving daughter. I’m usually cool with repeated watching of live theatre since it’s going to be different every time but this show isn’t something I’d bother to see a third time if I end up on the Fantasy or Dream in the future.
After the show and some shopping we headed to our third and last dinner location of the cruise-
Animator’s Palette. I was excited for everyone to experience this place since there is just so much to look at and experience. No doodling and artwork dancing this time around but we did get to talk to Crush. He swam by to wish Liz a happy birthday and chat for a moment.
My personal Animator’s Palette Choices-
Sesame -flavored Rock Shrimp and Caramelized Onion Cheesecake With Asian Barbecue Sauce and topped with Micro Greens
Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup With Bacon Bits and Chives
Marinated Angus Beef Tenderloins Carved to order on Wasabi Mashed Potatoes with Bok Choy and a Tamarind Barbecue Reduction
Dense Chocolate Cake Brownie, Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream

Loved everything and they were kind enough to adjust the soup for me. I don’t eat pork so I had the bacon bits taken off the soup. (whether they were “actually” pork and not just a weird substance, I never found out, but better safe than sad panda) The cheesecake was really great. Savory cheesecake always weirds people out, but really, now is the time to try it. Worst that could happen is you don’t like it and you can request something different. The beef was good and wasabi mashed potatoes was excellent. I can’t say enough about the Dense Chocolate Cake. If you love chocolate, this is your cake. (you can also request this at other dinner locations if you think you’ll skip Animator’s Palette for a Palo/Remy night.)

Pirate Night Part 2
Now this is what kinda killed me lol. Pirate night on the last day of the cruise AND Castaway Cay day is a terrible combo. Everyone is tired from their activities, were told they must get their stuff to the hallway after dinner/second show and then “have” to stay up for yet another pirate show and fireworks was just deathly. It worked great on the 7 day since we had a day excursion and then could come back to the ship not needing to worry about vacating the day after. We threw everything into our bag, threw the bags in the hall and ran up to the top decks for the “fun.” I hadn’t gotten to see this show and fireworks during the 7 day because I stupidly took Dramamine after the “corset wearing” dinner and well, turned into a slug and fell asleep, so I was looking forward to actually getting there this time. Again, with all of the last night chaos and tiredness I really wasn’t “feelin’ it” again. The show was decent, but a bit long and the fireworks were … well fireworks. Over all it was a crowded deck, kinda boring show and there wasn’t anything all that different about the fireworks except they were over a dark water skyline. tumblr_n0ctihzl511tni5juo1_250Maybe if I had a child who was into fireworks or pirates I would have enjoyed the show more through their eyes, but over all I just wanted a nap I think. After the fireworks we were all determined to have more fun so we went to the other ladies’ cabin for drinks (thanks fish extender group), snacks (thanks fish extender group) and to watch on-demand Disney movies. I think we watched a romantic, live-action film? Or maybe it was about a dead dog? I don’t really remember because I got about 5 pretzels and half a drink in me before I passed out on the end of a bed. I was woken after the movie to be told I need to crawl myself back to the room to sleep lol After a really wonky sealegged walk to our cabin I proceeded to get into my PJs as lady-like as I could muster and passed out again.

Day 4- Disembarkment
(we loved you, now get off)

I don't care who you are, this is the last morning of a cruise.

I don’t care who you are, this is the last morning of a cruise.

Thankfully, by having second dinner we also had “late-ish” breakfast at 8am in your last dinner location or you can eat at Cabanas if you so choose. We went to Animator’s Palette to see each other, say goodbye to our serving staff and to pretty much not have to worry about “sleep-drunk” walking at a buffet. Foodwise, I think I had a weird “Tex-Mex”-like breakfast thing with eggs and chicken…. I really don’t remember truthfully. I should have just asked for some scrambled eggs and homefries. Anyways, we all said our goodbyes. Liz, mum and I were headed to an Airport bus to get us towards Orlando so we could be picked up by our friend Bry to go do Universal before out late flight. 10603646_770056366376148_5430567978419908782_nThe other ladies were going to be picked up by my Uncle to head home to the gulf coast a couple hours away. Disembarkment was much longer than before but manageable. I got yelled at for being on my phone trying to update Bry because I didn’t see the signs about it…. oops. We jumped on an airport bus and headed to the Universal store while waiting for Bry to pick us up for what would end up being the soggiest theme park trip of of our lives. THAT, will have to be another blog post I will link here soon. Or you could subscribe to my blog and get updated when I write that <3

Written by Christa

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