Disney Dream Cruise 2016 {Our Trip}

We kicked off the summer with an extended family voyage on the Disney Dream!!  For our party of ten, with ages ranging from 3 to 68, it’s our very favorite place to go!!  Even though we’ve all been before, the splendor of the boat still gets us.  There’s nothing like that minute when you walk on and the cast members announce and welcome your family.

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This time we had an “obstructed” veranda state room on deck 7.  We loved the space and being able to sit out on the balcony.  There is an extra beam out on the veranda, which means you still have a wonderful ocean view, but save some money on the booking.

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One of the littles’ favorite things about cruising is the room service.  It’s included and extra magical to these two.  They stayed in the kid’s club every night until it closed and we would have them BLTs waiting on their return :-)  My favorite is to order the cheese plate before dinner and enjoy with a glass of wine on the veranda.

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The littles still love the “bedspread” animals each night.  The fact that chocolate squares are typically used as an embellishment is the icing on the cake.

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To give y’all an idea of how a party of four fits in the room, the sofa turns into a bed and then a second bunk pulls down out of the ceiling!  We love the little starry night above the top bunk.

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We always pick the earliest possible port arrival time (10:30ish) and scoot up to deck 11 as early as possible for swimming and sliding before the boat is full.

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Disney movies and trivia are extra magical when watched from the pool in the middle of the ocean!

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Being able to enjoy it all with Mimi, Daddy-O, Sister and her Mister, CeeCee, Bird and my crew is the best thing of all.

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We were thrilled to find out that John was big enough to ride the AquaDuck alone this year, and Whit and Jay were big enough to ride it together!!  They had a blast!!  Of course, Honey and I did a few rides ourselves, not to be left out of the fun.

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Free flowing soft serve ice cream might be this kid’s favorite thing of all.  Not sure how many of these he consumed.

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We were happy to find that all of our crew still LOVES the Oceaneers Club!!  This automatic hand washing / drying contraption gets me every time.

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Adults are generally not allowed in Oceaneers, but we all went on the first day for open house to check out the new enhancements.  My hula-hoopin nut was pleased that this is still an option.  Andy’s Room and Pixie Hollow looked just the same.

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The Star Wars addition was fantastically imagineered!!!  R2D2 lights up and moves, and there are a couple of stations with game devices.

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But it was driving the Millennium Falcon that had my boys jaws on the floor.

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They were also in love with the new Disney Infinity lab.  Game kiosks and every character imaginable were there for the playing!!

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Another sweet update to the Dream is Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats Shop!  I was skeptical before seeing and tasting.  But it quickly became a daily stop for us!!  In addition to bags of hard candy, the gelato was amazing (with honey comb being my fave).  There is also a sweets case with things like rice krispie treats, cupcakes and the likes.  The prices were all VERY fair.  (ie. $2.50 for a big cupcake)

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One of the things we love about this cruise is that there is always something new!  Whether it is new to us or a new addition, we never have the same trip twice!!  This time we checked out the Jedi Training Academy.  We had no clue what it was, but ended up being entertained.  One thing to note is that they did have about 8 kids come on the stage to be trained.  I have no clue how they chose them (they were already picked when we arrived) but it is worth finding out if you have a little Jedi.

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The Mid-Ship Detective Agency was a favorite daily (indoor, air conditioned) activity for our entire fam!!  They now have three different mysteries to solve, and we each did all of them.  Whit loved being old enough to do them on his own this time.

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Mother and Daddy-O signed us all up for the Mixology class and we had SO MUCH FUN!!  I’d highly recommend this adult activity!  (Kids can go to the kids club).  We learned to make – and then go to to drink – five (or was it six?) different cocktails.

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Our family is nothing if not competitive.  We always enjoy a friendly game of shuffleboard…

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… until we lose.  HA!

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There are tons of activities that we’ve done in the past that we didn’t even get to this time – top of mind are mini golf and basketball.

The shows and entertainment are always top notch.  Somehow we landed front row for the Sail Away Celebration!!!  (We went straight from the required muster.)  The littles nearly wore themselves out clapping, singing and dancing!!!  Oh wait, that was Sister and me.

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If you are a character loving family, there is nothing better than the Disney Cruise to see all of your faves!!!  The lines are shorter than you’ll ever find in the parks.

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And when your littles ditch you for the kids club, you just go as adults.  Never grow up, y’all.

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And then when your husband ditches you for the sports bar, you go with your niece.  Thank goodness for little girls!!!  Woody and Buzz were new to us on the boat!

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Since we usually all have different things we want to do during the day, dinners are our big family event!  The service is remarkable, the food is yummy and plentiful and the company is always entertaining.  Animator’s Palate remains our very favorite.

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Our waiter was incredibly entertaining!  He dazzled the littles with magic tricks every night.

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Since we’ve been on the boat a few times we were fine with the littles ditching us for the kid’s club after dinner each night.  So, we had dates to the shows, lounges, lounge chairs, movies and characters.  The Golden Mickey’s is my favorite show, and Villains Tonight is Honey’s fave.  We both really enjoyed seeing Alice Through the Looking Glass, which was a surprise after reading unfavorable reviews.

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Since we cruised just before Sister’s birthday and I’m always looking for a good gift for her, I treated her to a Fire & Ice Pedicure in the Senses Spa.  I booked it too late to also be able to score an appointment for myself, so instead I purchased two Rainforest Room day passes for Mother and me!!  First things first, Sister said the pedicure was wonderful!!!   She was able to join us in the rest of the spa facility after she finished.  And, as far as the day passes, I must recommend these!!  They are $16 and I purchased in advance through the floral and gifts link on the Disney Cruise Line website.  They were left in my room.  They give you access to the locker rooms, rainforest room, hot tubs, spa robe and shoes, steam rooms and sauna.  You can use them as many times as you like that day, with re-entry privileges.  We used them on our day at sea.

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Our favorite day is always Castaway Cay – Disney’s private island.  It’s so beautiful and colorful.

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There are tons of Disney friends to meet throughout the day.

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There is a FUN and fast Pelican Plunge waterslide.

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There are little bars and drink stands dotted around the island, and everything is wonderfully themed!  Lunch is served at Cookie’s and Cookie’s Too BBQ.

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There are splash pads, basketball courts, crab races, dance parties and SO many things to do!  You can rent bikes (we’ve never done), run the Castaway Cay 5K (we opted out this year), snorkel (Honey and John spent HOURS doing this!) and so much more.  There is also an adult beach and a kid’s club right on the island.

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But, we rented floats and spent our day right on the beach and in the water!  Honey and John ducked in and out to snorkel, and saw a huge sea turtle and lots of “sunken treasure”.

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After a loooong day with loooots of fun in the sun, we retired to our room for a cheese plate and wine for the adults and cartoons for the littles…

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… until it was time for Pirate Night!!!  The Disney Dream now has it’s very own Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique which turns into The Pirate’s League on this very special night!  I made reservations for the littles well in advance and found these darling invitations in our stateroom the first day.  I tucked them away until the day of and left them out for a surprise announcement!!

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John’s costume from when we did The Pirate’s League in the Magic Kingdom for his 9th birthday still fit him, so I brought it from home.  I signed him up just for the makeover without a costume.  Whit outgrew his costume a while ago, so I signed him up for the package that includes a costume.  They both LOVED the experience and being so dressed up for the night.  People do go all out for Pirate Night so we fit right in.

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We were excited to meet a bunch of characters out in the pirate get-ups.

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And then at dinner, Sister surprised Bird with a birthday celebration!!!  We’ve done the special order Mickey cakes in the past, but this time she ordered cupcakes from Vanellope’s and they were DARLING!!!!  She simply purchased 4 cupcakes ($10 total) and they delivered them to our dinner table looking absolutely fabulous.  Jay was the envy of the dining room :-)

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Pirate Night wrapped up with a huge Pirates in the Caribbean deck party and fireworks at sea.  The littles all opted for the kid’s club this year, so we had a great evening on the adult deck.

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Nassau was our other port of call this voyage and, for the first time, we made plans to leave the boat!!!  Sister had to strong arm me a bit, and my fear-of-missing-out kicked in, so we joined her family on an adventure to Dolphin Cay and the Aquariums at Atlantis!!!  I’ll have a full review tomorrow!!

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Our voyage concluded with the bittersweet See Ya Real Soon send off.  The past two trips I’ve gone to this all by my lonesome :-)  Kids in kids club, Honey with the men, you know…  It’s so happy and so sad all the same time!

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It was a magical, memorable and incredible week with the family!!!  I’ll be back with an updated tips and tricks post later this week!!!  If you are looking to plan a cruise or for more information, definitely read back through all of my past posts to see ALL of the fun things to do aboard the Dream.

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As an independent consultant with Glass Slipper Concierge, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise LineDisneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and other delightful destinations.
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15 thoughts on “Disney Dream Cruise 2016 {Our Trip}

  1. Disney Cruises are always the best! We took the Disney Fantasy a couple of years back and I can’t wait to bring my daughter to one of the cruises soon! Glad you all had a blast!

  2. This is a pretty bold statement but I do believe these are the best family photos you have ever posted and that is saying ALOT! They couldn’t be any cuter and bartending “Marme” steals the show! The one of you in the raft with your pointed ballerina toes (!) and Jay as Captain Hook, the list goes on and on for truly your most entertaining post. (I will, however, keep Whit scootering in the famous bee boots close at heart!) What a priceless time and wonderful memories for your family. Keep pourin’ the Blue Curaco! ;-)

  3. Everything looks so fun! Is the pirate night included or a ticketed event? Would you recommend the 4 day cruise over the 3 day? Thanks for sharing!

    1. Pirate night is included! I would recommend the four day. It seems like the perfect amount of time and the extra day at sea gives you time to explore the boat AND enjoy the ports.

  4. What a fun time!!! We are counting down the days til our Dream cruise in late August…can’t wait!!! I wasn’t able to get Palo brunch for our sea day, so booked dinner on our CC day (6:00)…curious as to your thoughts? Is it worth it to miss the Pirate night dinner, but attend the party/fireworks? I’m going to keep trying for brunch, but hate to miss the chance to go to Palo. Thanks!!! : )

  5. Thanks for this post and for these pictures! I love how recent and relative everything is within this post. My sister and I are surprising our families with a Disney Dream trip that leaves in 16 days (but who’s counting?!) and your post just made me that much more excited!

  6. Thanks so much for this post! Incredibly helpful as we prepare for our spring break cruise!! Would love to know where you found some of the cute clothes the kids are wearing. :) Gray swim trunks and red polos for the boys? Your niece’s clothes were precious…do you know where the black and white dress is from or that adorable Tinkerbell costume!? Thanks so much for all of the inspiration and help!!

    1. Aw, thank you!! My mom made the swim trunks (Added mickey) to solid gray and we had a friend monogram red polos from Target with the mouse heads. I will find out where CeeCee’s stuff is from!

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