Can You Help Me Out? Disney Dream Questions!!!

Photo by Disney

Disney Dreamin’ 2011 is a reality, people! In two short months, we head south to embark on our first ever cruise on the Dream. Yes, we have a countdown calendar going but I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to give too much specifics online (paranoid, I guess). So I’m moving into overdrive on the details. Excursions? Check. Brand spanking new 9th edition Passporter DCL book? Check. But I still have questions, and I need the advice of my “oh so knowledgeable” friends who are cruising experts. So PLEASE post comments to any and all of my queries. I would SO appreciate it!!!!

1. Seriously, what time should I register for check-in? Any advantages beyond the obvious to “getting in early” besides being able to gawk at everything and take tons of photos of the ship uninterrupted? (Yes, I am dorky like that!)

2. To spa or not to spa? Sounds crazy to question it but the price is really blowing me away because all I can think is how many treatments I can get back home for the same money! I know, it’s the Dream, live a little, but deep down, I’m a frugal gal, and it’s hard to get past that budget-conscious self.

3. Ok, we’re doing a 3 day cruise so do we stay onboard at Nassau, go ashore part of the day, or dive in and do stuff all day in Nassau? I’ve heard mixed reviews of this port of call, and am leaning towards doing the pool and Aquaduck while the masses head for the shore. Thoughts?

4. What souvenirs do you like to pick up? Or what have you gotten home and thought-shoot, I wish I had gotten that! I know Disney Store online is now carrying some DCL items, but would love a heads up on what are your hot-ticket items!

5. Castaway Cay-stingray encounter: yes or no? (Kiddos are 10 and 6.) And if not, what DO you recommend?

6. Have any of you done second seating for dinner? If so, how did the whole “pick the kids up at 9PM so grownups can linger over dinner” thing work out for you?

Thanks, everyone!

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“My Yard Goes Disney” Inspires Disney Dream (literally)!

Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

OK, so if you haven’t heard about HGTV’s My Yard Goes Disney, then you should check it out! (Mondays at 8PM) Because you never know what might result from watching an innocent little show…
So here’s the backstory: my kids and I are sitting in the den, cozily curled up in front of the TV to watch this new HGTV show which pairs two of my favorite things: home improvement and Disney! My kids like the show because 1) hello, it’s Disney and 2) they love to see the kids reactions to the amazing yard transformation! My son always prefers the youngest kid-go figure! Well, on this particular show (titled Disney Shaped Pool if you’re interested), the Farrell family had recently cruised on the Disney Dream and wished to have a Dream-inspired backyard. And the Imagineers obliged them and simply went wild! They designed a Mickey shaped pool complete with lighthouse slide! Who has a Mickey pool in their backyard? That is sick (in the cool sense)! But the episode also showed footage of the Farrells on the Disney Dream, along with the kids splashing down the Aquaduck, the ship’s 765 foot waterslide!

Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

And that’s when it happened…my kids vaulted off the sofa, hurtling toward the screen and screaming, “We want to do that! Can we go there? Please, Mommy?” If witnesses had been present, they would think my kids lived a caged existence by the way they reacted. It was as if they had never been ANYWHERE before (akin to when you send them in public and they eat like you never feed them). Hanging on every word of the show, the kids had been transported to the Disney Dream, and they knew one thing: they want to go there for real! Well, unbeknownst to them, my husband and I had been talking about a tropical getaway, but hadn’t reached the planning stage yet. And now I had my marching orders: the kids vote clearly was for a Disney cruise!

Of course, the concept of a Disney cruise really floated my boat (bad pun, I know) but I wasn’t so sure about Hubby. We’ve never cruised before, and someone in our family who shall remain nameless is prone to motion sickness (ahem, I am the designated roller coaster rider just to clarify). He was on the fence and needed some selling on the idea. But when you combine two cherubic faces intent on sailing with Mickey, a fanatical Disney mom, and the Disney Dream itself, you will soon find yourself with a confirmation number and a squealing family! So I owe it all to a little show called My Yard Goes Disney for the inspiration that catapulted us in the direction of the Disney Dream!

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