Cruising on the Disney Dream


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A couple of weekends ago we traveled down to Port Canaveral to take a quick 3 night cruise on the Disney Dream. We stayed in a family suite with balcony and I was amazed by the amenities in the room and throughout the ship. It truly was a dream!

The room itself was spacious. When you walk into the room, you enter a small foyer with two 1/2 baths on one side and a large closet on the other. Each bath has a sink and either a toilet or a shower/bath combo. Past that is a queen size bed with nightstands on either side. A pulled back curtain shows a living area with desk, tv and couch. At night a bunk bed descends from the ceiling and the couch is converted to a second bed. The curtain can be drawn between the queen bed and bunk beds to provide some privacy and a sense of two rooms. The balcony was not huge, but has room for two chairs and a table and was an excellent place to watch the sunset or enjoy a morning cup of coffee.

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The ship itself was one of the largest in the Disney fleet. Both the Disney Dream and the Fantasy are the same size. The Dream has 14 levels with the pools on the 12th level and theaters, shows, shopping and dining mostly on levels 3 through 5. The ship was beautiful. Photos really do more justice than my mere words, so check it out!

The middle of the ship didn’t even feel like being on a ship! When we moved at night, the only time I felt the ocean was at dinner. Somehow staying seated did give me a minor need of Dramamine, but once I was walking around again I was fine.

Food. Did I mention food? It’s good that we only went for 3 nights our first Disney Cruise. My waistline could not take more. The food was AMAZING. There are three restaurants on the Disney Dream and each night you dine in a different location. Each restaurant has a different theme and is a completely different experience. We were assigned a server (Victor), assistant server (I Gede)  and head server (Selo) that followed us to each restaurant. It was wonderful to have the continuity each evening and get to know each of our servers. The restaurants were amazing. The architecture and design that went into each establishment was breathtaking. Realizing that it was on a ship made it even more amazing.

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Ok. Now to the kids. Most families choose the Disney cruise line for the kids. They know how to make an amazing experience even better and our cruise was no exception.  My boys are 6 and 12 which fit perfectly into the demographic for the maximum amount of activities. The Oceaneer Club and the Oceaneer Lab are for kids from 3-12.

When we checked in at the terminal, the kids were given a wristband that identified them and us as their parents. The band remained on their wrists until the last night of the cruise when we returned it for a deposit. This band was amazing. when the clubs operated in secure mode, the staff could tell us exactly where our boys were at any given time. This made pick up at the end of the evening much easier as these clubs on the Disney Dream were huge.

 

Part of the club was recently remodeled to fit the Star Wars theme complete with a Millennium Falcon cockpit. The lab and the club both consisted of a large main room and many smaller themed rooms. Disney movies played, iPads and computers were available and the entire Disney Infinity console line was represented for play. On the last night, Riley did not want to leave until they closed. Unfortunately, we left the ship early the next day and could not let him stay until midnight!

Our cruise visited Nassau and Castaway Cay. We chose to stay on the boat at Nassau as there was so much to explore and we had visited Atlantis on our first cruise ever (on a different cruise line). Many other people had the same idea and the ship was very busy.

The second day landed us in Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island and cruise stop. Our day at port was super, super windy.

We did not know it at the time, but there were sustained winds that were just at tropical storm strength. We tried to go to the beach and Cameron and Gavin even went swimming for a bit. Riley hid out from the sand and tried to nap.

About an hour after getting off of the boat, the rain rolled in and we hid out until the heaviest storms passed. We then made our way back onto the boat and rinsed the sand off. The kids decided they wanted to go back to the magical Kids Club/Lab and we stumbled into a cupcake decorating class.

Freshly decorated cupcakes were a great way to get our minds off of the experience of being sand blasted. I spoke with some of the cast members in the kids club and they said that they had never seen it as windy as it was that day. While the kids hung out, Cameron and I watched Bridge of Spies in one of the movie theaters. (They have first run movies on board!)

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We had an absolutely wonderful time and would happily sail with Disney again. Next time we plan to cruise a little longer to enjoy more of the experiences offered. I booked our trip through Brittany Sexton with Glass Slipper Concierge and she was a dream with work with – thinking of all the details and guiding me through the process of booking. If you need a knowledgeable person who loves Disney and wants you to have an amazing family vacation, email or call her and tell her I sent you.

** No part of this trip was compensated or paid for except through my own funds. All opinions are my own. **

My 10 most favorite things to do on a cruise. #SeasTheDay #RoyalCaribbean


A few short weeks ago I went on a 4 night cruise to Cozumel from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on the Liberty of the Seas. I joined 39 other bloggers to experience the bliss of a Royal Caribbean cruise through the Gulf of Mexico to the island of Cozumel. The trip was amazing and the camaraderie rejuvenating. It was the perfect winter escape to raise my spirits!

There were SO many things to do on and off the cruise and I tried to sample it all. Obviously there are only 24 hours in a day and only so many days on the ship, so here are my top 10 favorites, in no particular order.

1. Watch an Ice Skating Show. On a cruise ship in the tropics. It just sounds far fetched, but it is true and fun. Even better, find out when they have open ice skating and go do it. Here is a clip from the show I watched. I couldn’t do this on dry land, much less on ice on a cruise ship in the middle of the Gulf.

 

2. Eat. This is a given, it is a cruise ship after all. The expectation is that you will eat and in abundance. The food on the Liberty of the Seas was utterly delightful – healthful, fresh and flavorful. (Yes there are decadent, unhealthful options. I did my best not to choose them. Until dessert came around….)  One night I was torn between trying a cold soup as an appetizer or a salad, so I tried them both. They were both good and I’m glad I didn’t miss out. (In truth, I hit the stairs so much that I didn’t gain a pound on the ship!)2 appscheese souffle

3. Decorate Your Door. I know this sounds a little silly, but think about it. You are utterly exhausted from swimming, surfing, shopping, and rock climbing. Not to mention the 2 million flights of stairs you took because really, who has time for an elevator? Having a little something extra on your door helps you find it soooooo much faster. door decorating

4. Go Surfing. Or Bodyboarding. The surfrider on the Liberty of the Seas was awesome and great to watch as well. The wipe outs from young and old were well… hilarious. But fun. Oh so fun. surfrider

5. Learn to Decorate Cupcakes. The cupcake decorating class on the ship was so much fun. I don’t know that I would have tried it out on my own, but after learning more than I thought I could know about how to transfer 2 cupcakes into a dog I am hooked. Seriously, who can resist this face?dog cupcake

6. Order Room Service. Some mornings you just don’t want to go upstairs and eat breakfast in a room full of people. Room service is the answer. My roomie and I ordered eggs, toast, bacon and hash browns one morning and it was everything I had hoped it would be and more. room service

I even ended breakfast with a cup of coffee on the balcony. Pure bliss! coffee on balcony

6. Donate a Book to the Ship Library. After you finish your book that you read on the balcony with your cup of java, donate it! Most cruise ships have a library. They can always use more books.library

7.  Go Rock Climbing. This was my absolute favorite part of the ship. I went three times and would have gone back more if time had allowed. I love rock climbing and haven’t had much opportunity since having my boys. Since my family was home for this trip, I went often. I learned that I need to climb more if I want to get back to where I was many moons ago. rock climbingthe wal

8. Get a Massage. Or Facial. Or Both. During our port day I decided to forgo the typical excursions and instead do a bit of shopping and head back to the ship for a little R&R. Most cruise ships have specials for port days since the majority of passengers are off the vessel for other adventures. I got the Traveler’s Special which consisted of a facial, scalp massage, neck, shoulder & back massage and a foot rub. It was heavenly. I haven’t had a massage in at least a year and it was everything I had hoped it would be. I didn’t get a photo of the spa room but here I am with my wonderful spa tech. massage

9. Catch a Musical. The last night on the ship, they had a performance of Saturday Night Fever. The costumes, the set, the actors were all wonderful. They did an amazing job of recreating the feeling from the original 1970’s film and brought it to life on the stage. sat night fever

10. Stay Up Late and See The Quest. This is an audience participation in-room scavenger hunt. The room is divided up into 6 sections and a male and female are selected to be the leaders for each section. Summer was selected from our group and she was PERFECT. Summer in Quest Summer guided us through obtaining lipstick, a photo of the white house, putting men in women’s shoes and ultimately – dressing one dude as a lady. quest guys This photo shows the outcome of each section’s offering for the final challenge. The game was irreverent, engaging and hilarious. Our announcer Jerome was super witty and made the game the event of the cruise.

 

Even though this is only 10 things – the real number of opportunities on the ship is easily in the triple digits. There is so much to do. Mini golf, arcades, swimming, hot tubs, fitness center, yoga, boxing, spinning, spa, acupuncture, etc. What are YOUR favorite things to do on a cruise ship?

 

 Cruise provided by Royal Caribbean and Brandfluential. All opinions are my own. (Always.)

I thought I hated cruises. Turns out I was doing it wrong! #SeasTheDay


Last November I went on my first cruise with my husband and two boys. The room was super cramped, the food was meh, and it honestly felt like they were trying to drain every last penny from our wallets. During the ship orientation one of the staff actually said that since we were on vacation, we needed to open our wallets. While the boys did enjoy the trip and my youngest has asked repeatedly to go back on the boat, if I knew cruising was like that experience you would never get me to step foot back on a ship.

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Fast forward to last week. I was invited with 39 other bloggers to #SeasTheDay with Royal Caribbean on their vessel Liberty of the Seas. The Liberty of the Seas is a freedom class ship and the third largest cruise ship in the world. It was AMAZING.
Exhibit A:

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This was the room on the previous ship. The kids slept in bunk beds over our heads. We were near the engines and could hear the stabilizers throughout the evening.

Versus Exhibit B:

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This was my room on the Liberty of the Seas. I shared my room with Heather from OurKidsMom and after we were settled on the cruise, our room steward separated our bed in two twins.

There was so much to do on the ship.
A rock climbing wall…

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A wave rider…

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A fitness center complete with boxing ring…

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Seriously, if you gain weight on a cruise it’s because you chose to, but because of a lack of things to do. I took the stairs between the decks as much as possible and that alone had my calves screaming by the end of each day.
Even the kids areas and arcade were amazing.

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The promenade with shops was beautiful and the coffee shop with specialty coffees was my favorite place.

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So if someone were to ask me now, “should I go on a cruise?” The answer is a resounding YES! The activities, the food, the shops and places to explore are wonderful. It’s a great reprieve from the day-to-day and even for those of us that live in vacation spots, it’s a worthwhile endeavor.

Cruise provided by Royal Caribbean and Brandfluential. All opinions are my own. (Always.)

Seas The Day with Royal Caribbean


I am so excited!! In a few short weeks, I will join 39 other bloggers on a trip of a lifetime – a 4 day trip to Cozumel on the Liberty of the Seas.
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Royal Caribbean is sponsoring our group on a wonderful adventure. The Liberty of the Seas is a freedom class ship with tons of activities on board including a rock climbing wall, ice skating rink and even a full size basketball court and boxing ring! While I’m not entirely sure I will make it into the boxing ring, I can’t wait to scale the rock wall a few times.

This will be my second cruise. I went on my first cruise back in November to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral. We sailed to Freeport and Nassau. We had a blast at Atlantis and the kids still talk about going back on the boat. I know that this voyage with Royal Caribbean will be my best trip yet and I am so excited to go!

The next thing I need to plan – my shore excursion. What do you think I should try?

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Follow along with my adventure on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! Search for #SeasTheDay to follow all the bloggers on the trip!