Bars on the Disney Dream


In honor of National Rum Day (yet another ridiculous fake holiday drummed up by marketers on social media), I poured myself a Coco Cadillac – one of the drinks we were taught during our mixology class on the Disney Dream.

It got me thinking about the beautiful bars and adult spaces on the ship. Wish I were there right now.

So on this Saturday night, after a couple of Coco Cadillacs, I thought I’d share a few pics. Enjoy.

Cove Cafe Disney Dream Drinks

After dinner drinks at Cove Cafe

Cove Cafe is ridiculously empty - and cozy

Cove Cafe is ridiculously empty – and cozy

Adults-only pool bar at night

Adults-only Quiet Cove pool bar – great spot to hear some live music

Quiet Cove Pool Bar Disney Dream

Can you believe we were the only ones at this bar? Insane.

Mixology class in the Skyline

Coco Cadillac ingredients in Skyline lounge. (Thanks, Bonnie!)

Champagne cocktails in Pink on Disney Dream

Champagne cocktails in Pink. Great way to end an evening! (It was almost empty, too.)

Animated pics in Cove Cafe

Animated pics in Cove Cafe

Cove Cafe bar Disney Dream

Cove Cafe is a great spot for breakfast the next morning. Very good cappuccino and pastries. And no screaming kids.

Disney Dream Day 2 – Nassau, Bahamas (with dolphins!)


For those of you who have been following my “first time cruiser” series, thanks for your patience. Life got a little busy there for a while, but I’m back and determined to bring you the rest of the info on our trip.

Day 2 of our awesome 4 night Bahamas itinerary on the Disney Dream brought us to the port of Nassau in the Bahamas. We woke up to find ourselves in port, with a view of Señor Frog’s. Not a bad way to wake up!

Senor Frogs from Port at Nassau Bahamas

The scene of my husband’s one and only Conga line

Nassau Bahamas view from Disney Dream

The view from our verandah

But there was no time to spend hanging out all morning on our verandah! We had to rush to the Walt Disney Theater for our morning excursion to Blue Lagoon Island. We’re headed to our Dolphin Encounter!

This has been a dream of mine since high school, and I was so happy to share it with my little girl. But first, we had to make it through debarkation in Nassau. Which sort of sucks.

First, everyone files into the theater.

Excursion debarkation on Disney Dream

Hurry up and wait

Then we chose one person from each party to go up row by row, present our group’s passports and vouchers, and claim our tickets and stickers. Everything went like clockwork (they do this at least twice a week every week) but it was just as you’d expect. Boring and annoying.

Then, everyone debarks and gets in a HUGE line outside.

Line for Nassau excursions Disney Dream

Hurry up and wait some more

Then finally, we were released to head to our little ferry to the Blue Lagoon Island for our Dolphin Encounter. if you’re curious about the ferry, here’s what it’s like.

After about a half hour ferry ride, we arrived at Blue Lagoon Island. Even though it is undeniably touristy, you can’t beat the white sands, blue water, and palm trees. Dare I say it, I enjoyed this beach more than Castaway Cay… YES! I dared! And I did! Even without the dolphins. But the dolphins were totally cool. And the pre-show was interesting, conservation-minded, and well done.

feeding the dolphin at Blue Lagoon Dolphin Encounter

Here, fishy fishy

hugging a dolphin at Blue Lagoon Dolphin Encounter

OMG that dolphin is huge and my kid is hugging it

Blue Lagoon Dolphin Encounter

Not freaking out at all…

So with our dolphin encounter over, we headed over to the beach to hang out until the next ferry. The beach is beautiful and not at all crowded. Pretty much the definition of paradise.

Private beach at Blue Lagoon Island Nassau Bahamas

Just gorgeous

Beach at Blue Lagoon Island Nassau Bahamas

Wow, this water is so BLUE!

Beach chairs at Blue Lagoon Island Nassau Bahamas

Swimming with dolphins is sort of exhausting

beach at Blue Lagoon Island Nassau Bahamas

Dad to the rescue!

So after a couple of hours on the island, we hopped back on the ferry back to Nassau, where we were greeted by some very cool views of the Disney Dream in port.

Blue Lagoon ferry and Disney Dream

The itty bitty Blue Lagoon ferry and the Disney Dream

Disney Dream in port at Nassau Bahamas

Isn’t she a beaut?

After a quick stop at the straw market to pick up Bacardi rum cakes and woven bracelets, we headed back to our state room to get ready for dinner. Mr. MouseChow and I had reservations at Remy, so Mini-MouseChow ordered room service before heading back to Edge. Her room service meal deserves a pic. She said it was the best meal she ate on the entire trip.

Salmon with asparagus and rice Disney Dream room service

She ate every bite. (Glazed salmon, asparagus, rice pilaf)

Our Remy experience deserves its own post, so stay tuned for the next installment. Until then, I’ll leave you with this pic that my sweet husband took while we were encountering the dolphins. I just love it so had to share, and it would make a great August calendar pic for the Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

sandpiper Nassau Bahamas

Watch the birdie!

Have you done the Dolphin Encounter in Nassau? Maybe you went to the one at Atlantis instead? Share your experiences in the comments!

And by the way, thanks to Deb for hosting her awesome blog hop!

Focused on the Magic

First Day Aboard the Disney Dream!


In my ongoing recap of our wonderful 4-night cruise aboard the Disney Dream, I last left off with our super-smooth embarkation. You can read all about that if you haven’t yet.

So what was the first thing we did when we boarded the ship? Well, we have our priorities. We went straight to the Aquaduck! I’d heard that the lines can get really long, but since we were aboard the ship by noon, we were among the first to ride, with only a handful of other kids and parents there.

It did not disappoint!

View of Deck 11 from Deck 12 Disney Dream

Decks 11 and 12 were practically empty!

According to Mini-MouseChow, Aquaduck is Awesome!!

So after riding a few more times, we sauntered over to Cabanas on Deck 11 for lunch. Cabanas is a HUGE buffet which circles Deck 11. There are two almost identical sides, and it’s really easy to get turned around and lost while moving through the buffet. If you start seeing the same stations you already passed, turn around. It’s themed with Finding Nemo characters, including a beautiful mosaic.

Cabanas sign

One side of Cabanas

The other side of Cabanas on the Disney Dream

The other side

Nemo Mosaic Disney Dream and Fantasy

Super cool mosaic

Seagulls Cabanas Disney Dream

Mine! (Watch your food!)

Buffet Stations Cabanas Disney Dream

A few of the many buffet stations. It’s not a line – just walk up.

Sushi at Cabanas Disney Dream

Sushi! (My kid’s favorite food.)

Crab claws Cabanas Disney Dream

Crab claws. Too much work if you ask me.

Chicken roulade Cabanas Disney Dream

Pretty good chicken roulade.

Roast beef carving station Disney Dream

A little heavy for lunch, but still good.

Desserts at Cabanas Disney Dream

There’s always room for Jello

Indoor dining room Cabanas Disney Dream

Should we sit indoors?

Heck no! We filled our plates and headed outside. I should mention how great Disney is about cleanliness, too. There was a cast member greeting us at the entrance to every restaurant with wipes for our hands. Then when taking our food outdoors, the doors opened automatically – no touching germ-y surfaces, and no jostling full trays of food. Perfect. We sat on the deck, and grabbed the drink of the day as the cast member passed by with a tray full.

Fruity drink Cabanas Disney Dream

Fruity drink is de rigueur.

While my husband and I hung out drinking our drinks and studying the Navigator (the daily itinerary of on-board activities) our kiddo left us to take a few more rides on the Aquaduck.

We had been told that we could get into our stateroom after 1:30pm, so at around that time we gathered up the kid and headed over to check it out. (Though she didn’t want to leave the pool area.)

We stopped for just a moment to savor one of the many comfy porthole seats on the way to our room.

Porthole Seating Disney Dream

Great spot for curling up with a book.

Then we started down the long corridor to our Deluxe Family Stateroom with Verandah,  stateroom 6112.

We loved our stateroom. It was really everything we could hope for. (My favorite part of this video is when Mini-Mousechow says, “And if we’re out here at the same time as our neighbors, we can say Hi!” and I say, “hmmm…” We are not alike in this way.)

There was plenty of storage for our bags under the bed, and the closets were very roomy. What’s not captured in the video was me telling my family to unpack and put everything away, both of them complaining, and me putting my foot down. It was a great thing to do and kept the room organized and tidy the whole time.

We also did use the over-door hanging organizer. I forgot to take a pic, but on the wall across from the bed there are three hooks on the wall. Our organizer came with three hooks as well, so we hung it on the wall hooks. It was perfect and I really do recommend it. Here’s the one we purchased from Amazon.

After we were all unpacked and changed out of our wet suits, we headed to the Sail Away party on Deck 11. This wasn’t our scene – I love the characters, but really it was just crowded and loud. Mini-MouseChow wanted to check out Edge, so we walked her over there, took a peek inside, and met the counselors. The entrance to Edge is located on Deck 12, conveniently close to the adult-only areas of the ship. We couldn’t pull our kid away from Edge once there, so we left her behind with her Wave Phone (which we’d practiced with in the room) and walked to the front of the ship to watch it pull out from the Port.


Edge on the Disney Dream and Fantasy

My daughter’s favorite place in the world

Edge Interior Disney Dream and Fantasy

Heaven for tweens ages 11 – 13

More about the adult areas in a later post.

We had the second dinner seating, so regrouped at around 7pm to change, and headed down to our first rotational dining restaurant, Enchanted Garden. I don’t have pics of food because I tried to wear my new contacts, which messed up my vision so badly I couldn’t read the menu or see what I was eating. (That was the last time I tried to wear the contacts. You might remember my ridiculously vain post from the day prior to our trip…) Anyway, here’s what Enchanted Garden looks like inside. My daughter loved it. I thought the lighting was too cool and made it feel sort of clinical.

Enchanted Garden Disney Dream and Fantasy

Enchanted Garden

Entrance to Enchanted Garden Disney Dream and Fantasy

Entering the Enchanted Garden

Enchanted Garden Dining Room Disney Dream and Fantasy

Wish we had one of the round banquettes.

Fountain in the Enchanted Garden Disney Dream and Fantasy

Cute fountain.

So that was our first day aboard the Disney Dream! Stay tuned for Day 2, in which we swim with Dolphins in Nassau.

Disney Dream – Embarkation!


If you followed my previous posts about planning for our family’s first cruise ever on the Disney Dream, then you know how nervous I was. Let’s face it, a Disney cruise is not an inexpensive vacation. Plus, my husband really didn’t even want to go. So the idea of spending our family’s money on our one big vacation this year that my husband didn’t even want….well, I was determined that it would go smoothly.

So I’m happy to say, THE PLANNING PAID OFF!! In fact, I have never experienced a smoother start to a trip. Here’s the blow by blow recap of our trip to get to our trip.

You may have seen my post from the day before we left. That day I also packed and stopped by the bank to pick up $50 in $1 bills. These really came in handy for tips throughout our vacation. I checked in to our flights online, paid for our checked bags, and printed our boarding passes.

Then at 7:30am, our ride showed up in our driveway to whisk us off to Logan Airport. Right on time! By 8:15am we arrived at Logan and checked our bags at curbside check-in. We sailed through security – no lines! Our flight was on time and we had a little while to wait, so we moseyed on over to the Delta Sky Club and availed ourselves of the free breakfast pastries, coffee, and juice. (I have a credit card that provides this as a benefit.)

Mini MouseChow thinks she's a superstar in the Delta Sky Club

Mini MouseChow thinks she’s a superstar in the Delta Sky Club

Our flight was on time and weather was great, our luggage made it, and our rental car was waiting for us at Avis in Orlando. We threw our bags in the back and headed off to Epcot to spend the day at the Flower & Garden Festival. (A blog post for another day…)

After Illuminations ended, we jumped in our rental and drove to the Country Inn and Suites at Cape Canaveral. The drive from Walt Disney World to Cape Canaveral was just over an hour. The hotel was basic, clean, and very crowded with others embarking on cruises the next day. Check-in was smooth, and we went straight to our room and passed out. 

Morning of our Cruise!

Morning of our Cruise!

The next morning, we were up early for the free breakfast buffet, then packed our bags and hopped back into our rental car and headed to Avis to drop it off. A note regarding luggage. Don’t forget to bring your carry-on with whatever you’ll need for the day, like sunblock, bathing suit, book, medicines, etc. Also, put the luggage tags that Disney provides on your bags at this point.

On the way, we stopped at a little gas station and bought a couple of bottles of wine to take with us on the cruise. (Don’t forget the cork screw!) You can pop those into your carry-ons as well.

We got to Avis by around 9:30, but were told that they weren’t able to bring us to the port until 10:30am, after the prior cruise passengers had debarked. We chose to sit and wait. At around 10:10am they received the OK from the port to begin bringing passengers, so we hopped on our shuttle and rode to the port.

Now keep in mind, Disney told us to be at the port at 12:30pm. We arrived at 10:20am. They took our bags straight off of the shuttle bus and to the ship. (That’s why you put your tags on them earlier that morning.) Then we lined up near the gate at 10:20, and after 10 minutes were allowed to head into the terminal. We were one of the first families to enter the terminal, so there were no lines at all.

Outside the Disney Terminal at Port Canaveral

Outside the Disney Terminal at Port Canaveral

Disney Dream in Port

Look! It’s the Dream!

Waiting outside the Disney terminal

One is excited. The other still a skeptic.

Once you pass through security (a breeze), head to the long row of agents at the check-in desk. Hand over your pre-printed and filled out documents (remember those?) and your passports. You’ll also need to fill out an affidavit stating that no one in your party has had a stomach bug for the past few days. Then they’ll take your picture and assign you an embarkation number. We were in group 14. So by 10:45 we were chilling in the terminal, and had our picture taken with Captain Mickey!

Waiting in the terminal - with Disney cartoons!

Waiting in the terminal – with Disney cartoons!

For parents with younger children (under 11), line up immediately to sign your child up for the kids’ clubs and get their bracelets. Trust me – this is so important to do right away. The line was HUGE by 11am. If your kids won’t be going to the Oceaneer’s Club or Oceaneer’s Lab, you don’t need to do this.

At a little past 11am the first group was called to embark. This process went quickly, and our group (14) was called by 11:40. We walked on up to the giant Mickey ears, and stepped into the line to embark.

Gateway to the Disney Dream!

Gateway to the Disney Dream!

In line for the Disney Dream

Anticipation building!

Our picture was taken, and then we were welcomed aboard the Disney Dream!

By the look on my husband’s face, I think he was suitably impressed.

The lobby of the Disney Dream

Told you so…

Oh…and remember how we weren’t supposed to show up to the terminal until 12:30pm? Yeah…we were on board before noon. Score!

Stay tuned for the next installment – our stateroom and the Aquaduck!

So let me know – did our super easy experience jibe with yours?

12 Neurotic, wacky, obsessive things I’ve done to prepare for my Disney Cruise


Other than blogging every step of the way? Oh yeah…

Here’s a short list that has me thinking that I need to add significantly to the “cost” of my vacation.

1. I wear progressive lens glasses every day all the time. Today I went to the eye doctor and got contact lenses so that I could look pretty without my glasses on the cruise. Then I had to go to Walgreens to buy reading glasses so that I can see with my contact lenses. THE DAY BEFORE WE LEAVE.

2. I was getting concerned that my skin was too dry and I wanted to look my best for the cruise. KNOWING that I have extremely sensitive skin plus rosacea, I used moisturizer with SPF 30 on my face because it’s all I had on hand. I had such a bad reaction that I looked like I’d gotten a massive chemical burn. My face peeled and was red, dry and itchy for a week. Then my rosacea flared up because I aggravated my skin so badly, so I got red acne-ish bumps all over my face. Now I’m using an antibiotic cream from my dermatologist to fix the damage.

3. I went on a serious diet (Medifast for those of you keeping track) the day after I booked our cruise. This was partly fueled by seeing pictures of myself from the awesome Disney blogger Northeast meetup in February. (Pics here.) I’ve been limiting my caloric intake to about 850 calories a day for the past two months. The upside is I’ve lost 21 lbs. This is a great thing (and the diet is very healthy – I feel awesome). And of course I’ll look much better on the cruise . But still, rather wacky and somewhat expensive. I can’t wait to eat and drink again tomorrow!

4. I’ve bought at least 5 different sunscreens since the awful incident with my skin because I’ve realized I’m allergic to sunblock. Each one I tested left me with a giant red itchy rash on my arms and legs. I finally called the dermatologist and got a recommendation – pure zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Bought it, tested, problem solved. (Also bought two hats.)

5. I’ve also bought two different types of self tanner. Have not used them.

6. Purchased sugar scrub to see if it would buff out the cellulite on my thighs. No luck.

7. Weekly manicures, bi-weekly pedicures. Last one was Wednesday – I actually got gel polish on my toes so that it wouldn’t chip. (I’m a 45 year old married woman – who is looking at my toes?)

8. Bought one of those over-the-door hanging shoe organizers because so many people on the Dis Boards recommended them. It’s sitting here on my kitchen table making me feel like a dork.

9. Am having constant dreams about buffets. This may also be related to the 850 calorie-a-day diet.

10. Got an annual physical (overdue anyway) just so I could get a sea sickness patch prescription.

11. Bought all three of us practically an entirely brand new summer wardrobe. Forced my husband to buy a suit jacket.

12. Totally online stalked the Disney Dream. Did you know there’s a Port Canaveral webcam? You can also track it’s movements here. And my new Twitter friend Scott @TheDCLBlog has kept me happy with videos and weather reports at the Disney Cruiseline Blog.

I’m sure there is more, but I’m too excited to think about them right now. Still haven’t packed!! We leave tomorrow!!

Thanks for coming along for the planning. Many pics and reports when we return. (I promise!) Oh…did I mention I bought a new camera…?