Aug 25, 2011





Crossing paths with Irene


We got up around 7pm that morning, had a shower and got dressed, took our passports and cruise paperwork for the next cruise and walked downstairs to Animatorís Palate  for breakfast. We were seated and exchanged gifts with our tablemates before ordering our breakfast. Everyone ordered drinks and as always I ordered Hot Tea, but this is the one time in all our cruises I have never received it, so I ordered some orange juice as well.

Needless to say that despite that we had a lot of fun with our servers, that Hot Tea never made it to our table this time around either. I ordered the Almost Home, Corn beef hash, fried eggs and bacon skillet topped with fried onions, while Tom had ordered the Route 66, scrambled eggs, bacon, grilled sausage, grilled ham and hash browns. We were talking so much and exchanging email addresses that I completely forgot to take photos. All too soon it was time to say goodbye for the last time, one more hug and everyone was off in another direction. One more thing to note, from now on I was always offered and brought my Hot Tea as Pete, Paige's father had mentioned to Sapto and Ana that I always order it, and never receive it.

So they both took good care of me and my tea. Once we had left the restaurant it was time to head off the ship. We signed off, took the escalator down to where they store the luggage and asked for the line for international passengers. It snaked around the far right of the room and we were soon in front of the officer, who looked at our paperwork and then congratulated us for being able to go back on the ship. Once outside we asked where to go and were pointed towards the elevator that went up to the terminal building again.

They told us to take a seat until they opened the check in desks, which was supposed to be at around 10am and then we could check in again and would be given a boarding number, which would allow us to board the DREAM as the first passengers again. We sat down, Tom edited the photos, we took a few more pics and waited. After some time a few more back to back cruisers arrived and we finally found some that were in our meet group, so we started chatting. It didn't take long and they actually started checking the back to back cruisers in. We got in line and were asked to step aside and wait until they had found a Cast Member that was able to process the check in for international cruisers.

We were handed a new set of lanyards and off we went to wait a little longer. Around 10.30 the first new cruisers came upstairs and our group was called on board. The DREAM was empty and we had them to ourselves, so we went to take photos of the Atrium, then had a fun visit to a completely empty Royal Palace restaurant and the Walt Disney theater, which looked even more impressive, now that it was empty.

Our next stop was another set of restrooms which were incredible with Mickey shaped mirrors and tiled walls. Then we walked up to deck 5 to check out more enchanted art and try to follow Tink to Neverland. We then went on deck 4 and watched the crew getting ready to greet the first guests. We were standing at the balcony and suddenly I felt a tap on the shoulder. I turned around and there was Goofy, laughing away and offering a pose for a photo or two. Needless to say we jumped on the opportunity. After a few photos Goofy waved at us when he left and we watched the first guests being walked onto the ship. We still stayed for a while, before we went to the Enchanted Garden for lunch again.

This time we were much earlier and the restaurant was still empty and the line at the buffet fairly short. We signed in, were led to a table and ordered our drinks, then walked up to the buffet to get some lunch. I am not a fan of buffets, so this time I decided to just get a real meal lunch plate and put some salad, some asparagus, mashed potatoes and a slice of prime rib with gravy on my plate. I was really happy with my plate. Tom tried a lot of different things again and enjoyed his lunch too. There were lots of yummy desserts so we returned for a sweet treat. I picked up a piece of Key Lime Pie and two Chocolate Chip Cookies, while Tom opted for a Fruit Bowl and Chocolate Chip Cookies as well.

Since we could not get to our stateroom by then we walked around the ship and started to play the MidShip detective agency. Shortly before 1.30 we walked up the stairs to our stateroom and came across a couple that was wearing bride and groom ears. We knew that there was a couple on board that we knew from the Tagrel Board and was to get married the next day. They looked familiar, but what are the odds of it being them on a ship that has 4000 passengers? We stopped and I just asked the young woman if she was Michelle. Low and behold she was! We hugged and chatted about her wedding for a few minutes and were sure we would meet again soon.

Laughing we walked up to deck 10 and  were finally able to get back to our stateroom and say hello to our stateroom host again. Since we didn't have to unpack we just sat out on the veranda for a while after redecorating our door. We were just chatting in the stateroom when I heard a knock at the door and went to open it. There were people outside who looked somewhat familiar and once we started talking we discovered that they were indeed members of the DISboards and in our Fish Extender Group. AlisonUK and her family had been checking out the DREAM, passed our stateroom and had recognized our Fish Extender and we had caught them when they were looking at all our magnets.

We invited them in and they had a good look around our stateroom, which still had Stefy and Daveís decorations up. When they left we sat outside on the veranda again for a while and watched them load the DREAM again and the passengers getting on. When it was time for our DISmeet we walked down to the Vista Cafe, ordered some Coffee, which was delivered and cute cups and saucers and they even served some Chocolate Chip Cookies to go with it. We were very pleased and settled in the comfy chairs and waited for our new DISfriends to make their way over to the cafe.

It didn't take long for the first DISers to arrive and we all sat together and chatted. More and more people joined and all too soon it was time to take a few photos. We asked the very friendly Cast Member that had served our coffees to take some photos and he agreed, not knowing that he was about to take the same photo again and again with several different cameras.  It was time to say goodbye and then head our own ways as it was time for the safety drill. We walked back to our stateroom, dropped the cameras and off we went to the Buena Vista Theatre for the safety drill where we remembered that we were again "in station F with our new friend Jeff". The weather wasn't really good, so the Sailaway party took place in the Atrium.

We decided not to watch, but walk out on the veranda to see the DREAM sail out. We grabbed another drink out of the fridge and checked if there was an update on our itinerary because of Hurricane Irene. We sat out on the veranda and watched them pull in the ropes and then it was time to sail out of the harbour.

You could tell that it was very windy and that the seas were rough, but we didn't mind. The only difference to other cruises were that there were lots more tugboats going out next and behind the DREAM. Because of the weather there were not as many people watching and waving from the restaurants, but there were still quite a few. No policeman this time, and the further we went out the more you could feel the ship moving. Having been on the ship for four days already we didn't mind too much and went out to hand out the first Fish Extender gifts. We picked up another one of the Midship detective agency card and started playing but sadly we never finished the game. When we got back to our room our stateroom host had left us another towel animal.

We skipped the Golden Mickeys in the theatre and instead watched it on TV for a while. From time to time we would walk out onto our veranda and we could tell that we were cruising pretty close to the Florida shoreline. Our dinner that night was at Animator's Palette and we walked down a little early to find a long line waiting to get into the restaurant. By then the ship was rocking quite a bit and several people had "lost their lunch" all over the ship. Once they opened the restaurant we were seated quickly and low and behold we were assigned a table for two. Ana and Sapto were over quickly to greet us and Ana told us that it was the first time she felt really seasick. Many other diners must have felt the same way, as half the dining room was empty.

And so the servers had more than enough time to tend to the remaining diners. Funnily enough Tom and I were really hungry that day. We again had brought some candy for our servers and they thanked us for it over and over again. And then it was time for dinner. First we were served some bread. It was Herb Foccacia and Ciabatta bread and a Roasted Garlic dip. We both enjoyed it very much and went on to even order a drink that day. Tom had the Blueberrillicious, Tequila, fresh blueberries, passion fruit juice, triple sec and sour mix, while I ordered the Golden Breeze, Vodka, amaretto, galliano, orange juice and pineapple juice. After we had placed our order for the food it didn't take long until our starters arrived. I had ordered the Black Truffle Pasta Pursettes, Pasta purse filled with truffle scented cheese and coated with a delicate champagne sauce and Tom had decided on the Smoked Salmon Tartare, Capers, onions and micro greens topped with American black caviar, seasoned with Celtic salt and both were very good. Being so hungry that day we both had ordered a soup as well. We both had decided on the same soup, the Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup with bacon bits and chives. Then it was time for our entrees. There were lots of yummy things to have and I had my heart set on the Animator's Trio of Veal, Grilled tenderloin, pulled shank and tortellacci pasta with a sun-dried tomato and sage reduction and garnished with a potato crisp. Tom had ordered the Grilled Pacific Black Cod, with sauteed morel mushrooms on a yellow split pea puree.

We were in food heaven. While we were enjoying our food the walls next to us came alive and Tom had a fun little conversation with Crush, who swam by. Then it was time for dessert. Again there were quite a few things on the menu, and when I was finally able to make my mind up I ordered the Lemon Mousse with mango coulis and dark chocolate, while Tom got the Dense Chocolate Cake, a Brownie, caramel sauce and whipped cream. We were pretty full when we had finished our dinner and we said goodbye to Ana and Sapto. Tom and I were pretty tired and used the elevator to get up to our deck. When we walked towards our stateroom we could see that there were already some presents in our Fish Extender again.

 We took them inside and had a look at all the goodies we had got. Tom took a beer out of the fridge and I had a Diet Coke and we sat out on the veranda for a while before we called it a day and went to bed.