Aug 21, 2011





Falling in love with the DREAM


It was time for part two of our trip, our back to back to back cruises on the Disney Dream. Tom made some coffee and we had one last breakfast of coffee and Krispy Kreme doughnuts on the balcony before we packed up all of our left over belongings. We then hauled everything downstairs and tried to fit it in the car. Well, some things needed to go in the back seat, but that was okay. Around 9am we got in the car and left our resort to drive over to Downtown Disney. That early in the morning there were lots of parking spaces to choose from and we parked right closest to where Wolfgang Puck's Express is. Got out of the car and sped over to the restaurant. There were a few people outside and a Cast Member standing in the doorway and since we didn't know what was happening we walked up and asked. They were not opening until 9.30 on a Sunday, so we had a little time to spare and still a few snack credits to use up, so we walked over to Goofy's Candy Company an picked a few bags of gummies. After strolling through a few more shop we decided it was time to head back to Wolfgang's. They were now open and there was already a line up to the counter. We spent our last Counter Service credit on our breakfast, picked up our two Diet Cokes, then went to find a table and waited for our breakfast to arrive. Again, Tom had ordered Wolfgang's Breakfast Pocket, Scrambled eggs, Peppers, Niman Ranch Bacon, onions, mushrooms, mozzarella and cheddar cheese baked into Wolfgang's pizza dough and served with breakfast potatoes.

I was boring too and ordered my favourite, the Smoked Bacon Pizza, scrambled eggs, tomatoes, mozzarella and cheddar cheese and Ranch Dressing. While we sat and munched our breakfast we talked about the adventures that were ahead of us, cruising on the Disney Dream. Once we had finished our breakfast, we walked back to the car, put the new purchases into one of our bags and started our drive towards Port Canaveral. It didn't take long and we were cruising along on the highway and soon we were close to the port.

It was really exciting to see the ship in the distance and the excitement grew the closer we got. Once we had made our way to the port we drove towards the baggage drop off and after showing our cruise documents and passports we were directed towards the drop off zone. We both got out of the car, took the top down for easier access to the back seat where some of our luggage was and there were porters right on hand, as well as security with dogs who checked our luggage and then took it into the storage room. We left the top down and drove back out onto the road that leads into Cape Canaveral. After a very short drive we had made it to our destination, the Hertz rental car, car return.

We parked the car, took out the hand luggage we still had left and got the paperwork done. The shuttle had just left, so we had a few minutes until we were ready to go back to the port. Some other passengers arrived and we all waited and once the shuttle arrived we made sure our hand luggage was stowed securely, then climbed into the car and sat in the very back row of the shuttle. Our first stop was for Royal Norwegian and two men got off, then we were off to Disney Cruise Line. They let us get off right in front of the first check point. We showed our passports, were crossed off the list and off we went. There was quite a line for security and just when we wanted to get in line, someone waved us over to the other side, where literally no one was in line. So we sailed through the security check and were up the elevator and in the terminal. The lines were quite long, both for Castaway Club and regular check in so we asked where to go. As we were international guests we were sent towards a totally different line and were stunned. There was NO one in line and a Cast Member waved us over immediately. I told him that we hadn't known there was a FastPass lane for check in as well.

We all had a good laugh and again in very little time we had our Cruise IDs in hand and were sent towards the entrance as our boarding number had already been called and we were allowed to board. We quickly took our luggage and got going. There was a very excited family with little kids ahead of us and we kept talking about the cruise and how it was their first cruise and they couldn't wait to get on board. We all had our pictures taken and then were announce when we set foot on the Dream. The Atrium was breathtaking and we stood in awe and looked around us. While we were still looking a Cast Member approached us and told us that lunch was now being served and we could either go to Cabanas or the Enchanted Garden.

We chose the Enchanted Garden since we know we would be seated and our drinks served and the buffet is about the same as at Cabanas. Down we went to Deck 2, were handed a wipe, wiped our hands and got in line to be seated. We checked in at the restaurant and a host took us to our table, a nice tucked away 4 top. We stowed all our belongings against the wall and walked up to the buffet. They told us that both lines had the same items and we chose the side with the shorter line. Since we were wearing the custom made T--shirts we had gotten from Jennifer, we got a lot of attention, so much attention that the server who handed out the plates at the buffet, thought we needed a special plate and handed us the kids plate. Okay, fine with me! The buffet was plentiful and well stocked and we filled our plates with lots of goodies. While we were still enjoying the food a server came by to offer the drink of the day, the Bahama Mama. Needless to say we needed one. There's nothing like kicking off your cruise with a "spirited" drink.

Neither of us felt like dessert, and since they were about to open the gangways to the staterooms we wrapped up our meals, took the rest of our drinks with us and walked to the elevator. Up to the 10th deck we went and low and behold the gangway was already open and our stateroom only 2 cabins down. Tom scanned the key and we were able to open the door and were surprised again. One of the surprises was the Welcome Back gift from Disney Cruise Line, which we expected to be in the room. The other gift was unexpected and very sweet. Our friends Stefy and Dave had sent us a sailaway present.

There was a garland, a hanging decoration and a standing decoration and a wonderful Cake, all with plates, silverware and napkins. We were stunned and very grateful about the thoughtfulness of our friends. Once we had gotten over the initial "shock" of so many surprises we went to check out the stateroom. The layout is similar to the staterooms on the Disney Wonder, but there were definitely new touches. We enjoyed the Veranda for a while and the view of the terminal building. And after emptying our carry ons and stowing them away we were ready to head out again. We got as far as the door. Most of our luggage had arrived by then and we hauled everything inside and put the contents on hangers and on the shelves.

The suitcases fit under the bed and when we were finally done and headed outside we had decided on checking out where our assembly station for the safety drill was. And we were glad we did. We got lost twice on the way there and when we finally had found it we were surprised that we belonged to the lucky ones who were to assemble on the inside, in the Buena Vista Theatre. We still had a little time left so we wandered the ship, having a look at the atrium from above and then we were finally just a little early for the safety drill. They were already seating people and since you do not have to bring your life jacket, we just stayed and waited for the drill.

The room filled up fast, everyone got scanned, they called out the last missing rooms and finally we got advised on what to do in case of an emergency. We learned that we were in "Station F with our new friend Jeff". Everyone had a good laugh, but the station stuck. When the drill was over we had a hard time getting back to our deck again - the ship was packed and the elevators were swamped. We used the stairs and slowly climbed up to deck 10 where our stateroom was. We both grabbed our cameras and walked up another deck to watch the Sailaway party. Deck 11 was crowded, so we walked up to deck 12 and found a spot at the opposite side of the stage.

People were handed streamers and everyone waved and had a fun time. It was a different party to the one we had done on the Wonder and while it was nice, it was the only time we would watch it on all three cruises. There were a lot of characters involved and one thing that was funny though was that they never closed the pool. There were people having fun in the pool while all around people were dancing and waving their streamers. It truly was a funny scene to watch. Since both decks were still very crowded, we decided to try and get to our stateroom to watch us sailing out. It took us some time, but we made it just in time for one of the most fun experiences sailing out. When we approached Jetty Park we commented on how full the park was.

And laughed about the fact that there even was a police car out there. People were waving and we were waving back and right when we were about to pass the police car, the policeman got into the car and turned on the lights and the sirens. It was such a fun thing to witness. And once the sirens were turned off there was an answer from Captain Henry, using two of the ship's horns tunes. Everyone was cheering by then and it made our way out to sea extra special. Once we had made it out to sea we picked up the first of our Fish Extender gifts and went on our merry way handing them out all over the ship. When we returned we had earned a beverage out of the fridge and tried a piece of our cake, sitting out on the veranda. But not for too long.

Once we had finished our snack we changed and got ready to go to the Walt Disney Theatre to watch the first show of this cruise, the Golden Mickeys. We found a seat on the balcony in the front row and the show was as fun and professional as always. After the show we still had a little time left to relax before it was time to get to our dinner reservation at the Enchanted Garden, the same restaurant we had had lunch at. We arrived right before they opened and joined the queue that had already built up. Once we got up front we were led to a small extra room off the main dining room where we were the first people at our table, that was laid for seven people.

We were immediately greeted by Ana for Croatia who was our assistant server. Now, being surprised by being served by a "neighbour" we had a little chat until our head server Sapto arrived and introduced himself. It didn't take long and a very fun and friendly young couple joined us as well. Stephanie and her new husband Chris had been married just two days before and were on their honeymoon. And finally our last table mates, a young couple and his daughter from a previous marriage, Paige, joined us. Luckily we all hit it off and shared lots of laughter even before our drinks were ordered. Once they had arrived and we had all made our minds up, our orders for dinner were taken. First we were served two baskets of Multi Grain Loaf and Country Current Bread and two helpings of the Chickpea-garlic Puree. We all had a nibble and were pretty happy with the first taste of food for the evening.

Tom had chosen the Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower with crispy noodles and wasabi dressing as his starter and not even did it look very good, it tasted as good as it looked. My choice were the North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli with roasted garlic and sweet basil in a light tomato broth. Another very good choice as they were very light and tasty. For our main courses Tom had ordered the Pan-seared Sea Bass with a sweet pea risotto with a sweet chili glaze which he enjoyed very much, while I had ordered the Roasted Pork Tenderloin seasoned with Smoked Salt Citrus flavoured polenta cakes and oven roasted carrots, parsnips and caramelized Granny Smith apples. All the time Stephanie made us laugh with her litte anecdotes of her family and wedding.

Sapto really enjoyed playing tricks on her, as she really fell for them and seem to enjoy them. The whole table was in stitches when he showed her his magic tricks, which we all caught, but she didn't. It was hilarious. Soon it was time to order dessert. Tom ordered the Banana Foster Sundae with Rum glazed bananas, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and caramel sauce while I wanted to try the "Sacher" Chocolate Torte with apricot sauce, which is as Austrian as can be, so it was a must have. When it arrived at the table it had deconstructed itself and the taste was different from what we are used to here, but it was a nice attempt.

After dinner the newlyweds were surprised with some cake and sung to and everyone clapped and cheered. Then it was time to say our goodbyes and leave the dining room. We then went to check out the stores, since we were now out at sea. We enjoyed having a look at all those fun things and were sure to return later in the cruise to pick some of those things up. Then it was time to head back to our stateroom. We were happy to see that we had already received some Fish Extender gifts. We both had a small slice of the cake out on the veranda and a glass of wine before we finally called it a day and turned over the extra bed, so we both could have our own beds during the cruise. Once the lights were out, we were out too, it had been a really exciting first cruise day.