2011 Holiday Trip, With A Cruise In The Middle

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That cruise looks so amazing....I want to go now

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More sights around the Disney Dream.

These were taken on the very top deck of the ship.

The view, out into the ocean, during the cruise.

The water feature inside the Enchanted Garden, one of the dining areas, on Deck 2.

Zz.

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We interrupt the sequence of events with the cruise to bring you news that last night, I attended a MVMCP and managed to capture a picture of the candy cane castle and the gingerbread castle during the Magic, Memories,and You show. I'm very happy about that, especially when there isn't any "head" that walked right in front of my camera in the middle of both that show and Holliday Wishes afterwards.

And now, back to our regularly-scheduled trip report sequence.

Zz.

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Our first port-of-call was Nassau, Bahamas. It was a gorgeous day when we pulled in. We can see the Atlantis resort from the top of the ship.

Other than that, it was just your typical tropical paradise. Smile

Getting off the ship allowed us to take a closer look at the Disney Dream. it is a very impressive ship. In fact, there were a couple of other cruise ships there already when we pulled in, and many of the passengers from those two ships took pictures and videos of the Disney Dream. I think the exterior design of the ship is a lot more interesting than your typical cruise ship.

We didn't do much in Nassau, just walked around the city in the immediate vicinity of the port. The only thing that I wished that I had known was that there were several places that had free wi-fi. I could have checked my e-mail and did a bit of trip report had I brought my laptop with me during my short excursion there.

The ship was in Nassau till about 2 am before it pulled out of port.

Zz.

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OOoooooo! I miss being on the Disney Dream! I took my first cruise this year on that ship and it was so elegant and magnificent! I'm sure that it's been wonderful. Did you get a chance to eat at Palo? I think it may be one of my favorite restaurants ever.

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Kristen K. wrote:
OOoooooo! I miss being on the Disney Dream! I took my first cruise this year on that ship and it was so elegant and magnificent! I'm sure that it's been wonderful. Did you get a chance to eat at Palo? I think it may be one of my favorite restaurants ever.

We wanted to try Palo, but we had someone under the age of 18 in our party. Even though we could, we just didn't want to have a separate dinner with her and her family. So we all stuck together and had our assigned dinner.

I definitely plan on doing Palo on our next cruise.

Zz.

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We arrive at Castaway Cay on our third day. I will say right off the bat that this is one of the highlight of our cruise. The weather was perfect, and it couldn't be any better.

Here we are pulling into Castaway Cay.

To say that we were anxious to get on shore was an understatement.

They had a nice Christmas tree right at the loading dock.

After we were cleared, we made our way onto land and got another look at the impressive ship.

We then made our way on foot to the main beach area, while continue to snap many pictures, including of the Disney Dream.

Just another boring day in paradise...

Zz.

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Continuing with our port-of-call at Castaway Cay, Mickey was there welcoming everyone.

Picture of the main family beach at Castaway Cay.

We didn't stay there long, but instead, hopped on a tram to the adult, more serene beach of Serenity Bay.

We caught Capt. Jack Sparrow walking along the beach of Serenity Bay. I wonder if he's looking for his ship...

After a relaxing morning, a filling lunch, and another lazy early afternoon by the beach, we rented bicycles and explored some parts of the area. We found the observation tower and climbed up. From up there, it looked as if the Disney Dream was floating on a bed of trees.

Part of the trail leading to the observation tower.

A tree-lined bike trail.

Soon enough, it was time to head back to the ship. One last look at the Disney Dream from a spectacular vintage point.

Goofy was at the dock to welcome us back.

It was a perfect day in paradise. I can see why people really like coming to this island.

Zz.

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It's a rainy night here in the Most Magical Place on Earth. It is our final night here. I'm glad we made no plans for this evening, and will probably be just staying in tonight and start packing. We leave tomorrow afternoon. It has been an amazing 10-day vacation, the highlight of which is the cruise on the Disney Dream with party of 12 friends.

We are already starting to plan our next Disney cruise, but that is still very much in the air. Right now, we have very loose plan on coming back to WDW in late April of next year. Have to finalize this soon in the next month or so. But right now, this vacation is certainly one for the books.

Zz.

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We are all almost packed and about ready to leave our pleasant 1-bedroom unit at SSR. It has been a great vacation. We will spend the morning and early afternoon at the Studios before making our way to the airport.

I will continue with the rest of the trip report after I get home and recover a bit. Ugh! I have to go to work tomorrow too! I'm not looking forward to catching up with the stuff that will need my attention. The only consolation (and a small one at that) is that the weather in the Chicago area won't be as cold as it has been for the past few days. Still, it will be a shocker after having all of this warm weather for the past week.

Zz.

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Excellent pics and TR, ZZ. These are some the more interesting details I've seen to date about the ship. Thank you for sharing.

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I love your whole trip report, especially the cruise! We are going on a cruise, leaving Jan 1st, but not Disney. I'm sure it will be fun, we've never been on a cruise, but I'm thinking we'll do the Disney line someday.

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I'm back. Tired, but back home.

The group of us who went on this cruise are already talking about planning for the next cruise. We had that much fun. But we all think that before we can go on another one, we need to seriously exercise and go on a diet. Really, I could not remember ever being hungry since the first meal on the ship! Holy cow! I had something to eat almost all the time! That soft-serve ice-cream station should be illegal! Smile

One of the reasons why chose the inside stateroom on this cruise (besides it being the cheapest), is the virtual portholes. Throughout the cruise, whenever we were in our room, we tried to keep an eye on the porthole, because periodically, characters would appear! They only appear for a brief moment, so often times, we missed them. But here are the ones that I've managed to capture with my camera.

Gimini cricket

Carl

Goofy

Peach

Pooh

I think Carl was the best one. The balloons he was hanging from were very colorful. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to snap the balloons. He was moving up too fast.

Zz.

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ZapperZ wrote:

In fact, there were a couple of other cruise ships there already when we pulled in, and many of the passengers from those two ships took pictures and videos of the Disney Dream. I think the exterior design of the ship is a lot more interesting than your typical cruise ship.
Zz.

I'll never forget when I was headed back to the Dream in Nassau. A Carnival ship was next to us and it's passangers were in awe of the Dream. Then I hear one of them say "Why are there all those submarines on the sides?"

LoL.. he was talking about the yellow lifeboats. laugh

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Thanks for the porthole pics! Do you think you'll wait and book on the Fantasy when it's available?

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Lizzy_B wrote:
Thanks for the porthole pics! Do you think you'll wait and book on the Fantasy when it's available?

I'm not sure. So far from our Vacation planner guide, the Fantasy seems to be going on longer cruises when compared to The Magic. We will have to discuss this with the rest of the gang when everyone is back.

Zz.

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The thing that I haven't mentioned in this trip report is that, the reason why we had such a large group of people going (we had a group of 12) was that two of us, including yours truly, will be celebrating our 50th Birthday on Jan 1st and 2nd of 2012. A group of us decided to celebrate it by going on this cruise. However, since a cruise over New Year and into early January is very expensive, we decided to push it ahead by a almost a month when the cost and points (for DVC members) are more reasonable. Essentially, this was our birthday cruise.

During our dinner at the Animator's palate, we had a birthday dessert at the end of our meals.

On our last day at sea, our friends and significant others arranged for a private party on one of the rooms right at the top of one of the stacks, and we had a reception and birthday cake.

Needless to say, it was a lot of fun, and made the cruise even more memorable.

Zz.

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Well Happy upcoming 50th Birthday Zz.

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Yes Happy early Birthday Zz!

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What a great birthday present for you. Happy early birthday.

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Thank you for the early birthday wishes, everyone. We still plan on having a party on Jan 1st for the two of us, and for all our friends, including the ones who can't make it for the cruise.

BTW, as a quick update, remember this hat that I mentioned earlier in this trip report that we saw at World of Disney before we left for the crusie?

Well, after we got off the cruise and got back to WDW, this hat could no longer be found! They were sold out practically everywhere!

The sad thing is that we didn't buy it before the cruise because, well, we will have to bring it with us, and then bring it back to the park. We thought we'd just buy it after we got off the cruise.

So for a few days, we were frantically searching for the hat. It was completely sold out in Downtown Disney, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom.

Luckily, a couple of friends saw the last 2 of the hats at, of all places, the pin store at the Hat in DHS, and got us the two. We also needed 2 more for 2 of our friends, and found them (barely) at DAK. It appears that WDW is running very low on these gingerbread Mickey ears hat. Unless they have replenished the stock, I'd say that they have ran out of these hats already by now!

Zz.

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What great pictures and reports, Zz! Now I want to do a cruise. I love those portal pics.

Early Happy Birthday wishes!!

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The following are reports and pictures from our final day on The Disney Dream.

More photos around the atrium of the ship.

The gingerbread house

The details on the gingerbread house

Princesses meet-and-greet

More photos around the ship. Many of these were taken early in the morning before it was crowded.

cont...

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... cont.

On our last night, there were a small "ceremony" called "See Ya Real Soon", that bid farewell to the passengers.

They also had some of the ship's officers coming down and trading pins with the guests. And yes, I did bring a handful of trading pins to trade with them.

The captain of the ship also had a singing session. Here, my partner was having a picture of the captain of the ship (Captain Gus) taken with Perry the Platipus. Wait till you see the picture of the captain with Donald. I can't show it here because Donald is saving it for his own trip report on my blog, which will be written soon, I hope.

These next set of pictures were taken during the very early morning on our last day on the ship, before sunrise. It was my last walk-about on the ship.

As you can see, we had already docked at Port Canaveral.

We had our last breakfast on the ship before we had to leave. This was the front of our breakfast menu.

Soon, it was time to leave the ship. I wish these cast members weren't so cheerful! It was a sad occasion!

And yes, I did not want to leave.... My wonderful cruise was over! Sad

Zz.

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On the day that we left the Disney Dream, that afternoon was the DVC Condominium Association meeting, held at the Contemporary. I've already written a bit on what transpired there. So here are some snap shots of the event.

We had the Main Street Band serenading the crowd in the hallways, and also inside the convention hall.

We then had the "meat" of the meeting, presided by the new DVC president, Claire Bilby.

After the meeting, we had a performance by the Dapper Dans, or more specifically, TWO groups of Dapper Dans.

We had refreshments, cookies, and were given the new DVC Vacation Planner and a commemorative pin.

Zz.

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Oh.. I love all of your Dream pictures so much. Just looking at them has me wanting to take the whole family on a cruise again! I'm thinking that it may be the perfect graduation gift for my son in June 2013. That's the absolute soonest that we could get back though. Maybe I'll start doing a little planning wink Or head on over to Cruise Critic and talk Disney Cruise until I turn blue LOL!

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The day after we ended our cruise was our MVMCP. It was a Friday night, and we were dreading the possibility that MK was going to be crowded and unbearable, especially along Main Street where we intended to set up our tripods and take still pictures and videos. Turned out that wasn't the case. It was still busy, but not horribly so.

Here we were walking in late afternoon into MK.

After doing a few attractions, we set up "camp" in Frontierland for the parade. We had good viewing area for our entire group.

As soon as the paraded passed us by, we gathered our personal belongs and tried to make our way to our most favorite spot on Main Street. We had to wait a while because the rear of the parade was still making its way through. But as soon as the last of the parade was gone, we immediately got to the middle of Main Street and set up our tripods. Being with a larger group of people also helped. We placed several of the "shorter" members of our group in front of the tripods hoping that no tall person/s will walk and stand right in front of them to block our view. It worked fairly well through the rest of the evening. You may judge this for yourself when I uploaded the videos that we took later. Till then, this photo of the castle that we took as soon as we set up our stuff should tell you the kind of view we were getting.

cont....

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... cont.

Soon, it was the time for the Magic, the Memories with the holiday tag, and You show. I've already posted earlier the 2 photos of the castle with the Gingerbread and Candycane light themes. Here are some more from that show:

Soon, it was time for Holiday Wishes.

It certainly was as spectacular as I remembered it from previous years. It is just that, for the past several years, they had shortened the show, just like they did for HalloWishes.

On the way out of MK, I took several more photos around Town Square.

That ended our lovely evening at MVMCP.

Zz.

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WOW! I LOVE the last picture of the fireworks and the castle... that is absolutely stunning!! I know you had a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing all these great pictures!

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emmaanne wrote:
WOW! I LOVE the last picture of the fireworks and the castle... that is absolutely stunning!! I know you had a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing all these great pictures!

You're very welcome. Glad to share! Smile

Zz.

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