Wednesday, October 25, 2017

10 Disney Dream Insider Tips - Disney Cruise Line

We spent an amazing 5 days on the Disney Dream last month. It was a wonderful family vacation! This was our 2nd Disney Cruise Line vacation. Disney fans love planning so I wanted to share my insider tips for the Disney Dream.

1. Figure out when your online check in window opens and be ready! You must be paid in full and then first time cruisers can check in 75 days ahead, Silver Castaway Club members (1-4 cruises) can check in 90 days ahead, Gold Castaway Club Members (5-9 cruises) can check in 105 days ahead, and Platinum Castaway Club Level (10 cruises or more) can check in 120 days ahead. The most important thing is to grab an early Port Arrival Time (PAT), book Princess and Frozen Meet and Greet tickets (limited quantity), book Palo or Remy, and book shore excursions (don't sell out as fast typically). I put in just the basic info to grab a PAT and then go back and add flight, transportation, and passport info later. I also registered my son for the kids club online and was able to skip that line in the terminal. Print your paperwork when you are done. 3 days or less before your cruise you cannot make changes online or print documents again so make sure you print before then. If you forget the documents you can still check in, it just speeds up the process.

2. Each adult can carry on 6 cans/bottles of beer or one bottle of wine at embarkation and at each port. This is the policy as of October 2017. Save a little money and bring your own wine or beer.

3.Pack a day bag with swimsuits, important documents like passports/birth certificates and medicine, and give the porters the rest of your luggage. Your room won't be ready until 1:30pm but boarding usually starts around 11:30am. We always head straight for Cabanas for a yummy lunch at the outside tables and head straight for the AquaDuck water slide and pools. The day we embarked the pool deck was HOT so flip flops or sandals are handy.

4. Go to the spa raffle on embarkation day (3:30pm) for us. Not only did several people win $50-$100 spa gift cards, at the end of their quick presentation they ran $100 off special on the bliss package (hot stone massage, scalp massage, foot rub, and facial). I wasn't planning to book a spa treatment but did for the 1st night between dinner and the show and had an amazing 1 hour and 45 minute service. So relaxing! 

5. Book Palo brunch for your sea day. It was amazing! The food was so delicious, the service was great, the view was nice, and the adult only atmosphere was wonderful. Brunch on a sea day means you don't have to miss any of your evening meals and you don't have to worry about excursion timing. The Palo Lasagna, Veal, and Chicken Parmigiana were all some of the best food I have ever had. The cold buffet and desserts were pretty great too. Yum!

6. Check out the Midship Detective Game on deck 2 or deck 5. This wasn't overly promoted but it was a super fun game. I played one night with hubby and our 5 year old. My kids ended up doing all 3 missions over the course of the 5 days.

7. Play family Bingo! It may seem expensive or lame but it's not. It is a ton of fun. Even my teens loved it. Photographic evidence below!

Teens smiling at bingo!

8. Castaway Cay, a Bahamian paradise! I love Castaway Cay, my favorite port. So gorgeous. My insider tip is run the Castaway Cay 5K, it's a ton of fun. If you have kids too young to run, don't worry, the kids club on the island opens early just for them. Bring your swimsuits with you and change into your swimsuit after the race and enjoy a relaxing beach day. We found on the Dream, where there are more passengers than the Magic, the first family beach near the climbing structure was less crowded than the 2nd family beach near the Pelican Plunge water slide. Take time to ride the water slide, especially if you have small kids, they can ride a big water slide with a life jacket on. Adults, I highly recommend checking the kids into the kids club on the island for an hour and having lunch at Serenity Bay and enjoying some adult only time. Even more beautiful and peaceful than the family beach area.

Serenity Bay adult only beach at Castaway Cay

9. Room Service, use it! The cheese plate and the cake of the day are two of our favorites but you know what we loved this cruise? Pre-ordering room service breakfast the night before. Just hang the door hanger found in the desk drawer out the night before with a 30 minute time slot you select. I chose the time my alarm was set for and woke up to hot coffee, donuts, and fresh fruit. My 5 year old asked if someone would bring him donuts in bed once we were back home. Sorry buddy, real life isn't anything like a Disney cruise!

10. Dress up for events! Depending upon your itinerary you may have a semi formal, formal, pirate night, Halloween night, or other special night. My advice is dress up and participate! When else do you get to go all out and have fun? Our 5 day cruise had a Halloween night, a pirate night, and an optional semi formal night. We participated in them all! 

Semi formal night

There are pirates out in those waters!

Kids during the Halloween on the High Seas Celebration

Prince Eric and Princess Ariel

There were several times during our cruise where I looked over at hubby and said, "is this real life?" Our whole trip was amazing and we can't wait to do it again!


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