Hunter & Sawyer – Cruise Gear
Today was the day we had been looking forward to for a while – Disney Dream embarkation day for our 5 day cruise to the Bahamas! Emily did her usual amazing job getting us packed and prepared for five days of fun and sun at sea. We spent the morning locating and crossing off items on her laminated packing lists (really) and after item 22,541 was acquired we knew we were ready to go.
I packed the family roadster Griswold style and had to make a few tough choices, like if it made more sense to strap Sawyer or a few suitcases to the roof. I completed my game of car Tetris, and we were prepped and ready for our 45 minutes car ride to Port Canaveral.
Just before it was time to depart, Grandma and PopPa arrived at the house to see us off before our Disney Cruise. They are always so thoughtful and today was no exception as they gave the boys gift cards to use on the ship. We gave our hugs, said goodbyes and headed out, only to do a lap around the neighborhood and return for a well thought out bathroom break for the boys. And then we were ready to go.
We had planned to arrive early to the Disney Cruise terminal because we had a 10:30 check-in time due to Emily’s newly acquired Gold Castaway Club status. She was quite proud of this and took multiple opportunities to remind us over the week how lucky we were to be in her presence. Upon check-in at the terminal we received our lanyards, 1 gold and the three of us peasants got our silver lanyards. Emily quickly donned her new Trump bling as we made our way around the terminal. Our boarding number “3” was called as we excitedly got in line to cross the famous land to sea portal. As we weaved through the maze of stanchions we noticed the penny press machines just inches away, but of course requiring us to exit the maze of hope to crush a few Lincolns for our collection. This of course gave us a chance to greet all the nice Disney Cruise Cast Members for a second time as we once again traveled the maze.
DCL Navigator – Day 1
But it was all worth it as we walked the gangplank and finally arrived on the glorious Disney Dream! A really neat aspect of the boarding process on the Disney Cruise Line ships is that they announce each family as they arrive (of course I haven’t traveled others to know if this is a standard or not). Although he didn’t say anything, I think Hunter thought it was cool, too. One of the great things about getting on the ship so early was that many areas didn’t have any Guests in them yet. We decided we would head to Cabanas before it got too busy and grab some delicious food and a beautiful spot outside overlooking Cape Canaveral. The food was as delicious as we remembered, confirming that we were now officially in vacation mode.
After lunch we explored the ship with our first stop at the Oceaneers Club where we got the boys signed up for kids club and checked out all the cool activities. Now that Sawyer is 3 he is officially a “big boy” and can join his brother at the kids club. You could tell they were excited to have such an amazing playground away from their parents.
At 1:30 the rooms officially got turned over to Guests so we headed that way to put down our day bag and get situated. Luckily our suitcases were already there so Em decided she would stay and unpack the suitcases with Sawyer while Hunter and I suited up and hit the Aquaduck. As many of Dad’s brilliant plans go this one was in line as we stood and waited 45 minutes with other planful dads for the 45 second water slide ride. It was worth every minute to get to ride with Hunter though. After the Aquaduck Hunter wanted to take a dip in the Mickey pool with 3,000 of his closest friends which lasted for about 2 minutes until he wanted to get out. We enjoyed an ice cream cone together as the ship began to shut down to transition to the lifeboat drill.
The lifeboat drill has been a point of nervous confusion for Hunter after his first Disney cruise as a young child. I don’t recall it being terribly traumatic but Hunter cannot truly enjoy the cruise amenities until the lifeboat drill has concluded. I think it helped that our gathering location was the Walt Disney Theater, but there was still an obvious look of concern. I am sure it doesn’t help that he has taken an interest in Titanic because that story seems to end the same way every time we read it… but I digress. We made it through the seven short blasts and one long blast and now our vacation could truly begin!
We departed the Walt Disney Theater and headed to our favorite 4th deck destination, the Vista Cafe, for some delicious chocolate chip cookies before getting a photo with Pluto and heading up to the deck for the sail away party! The party is always a great time and reminder of the fun and relaxation that lies ahead. After the deck 11 performance we headed to deck 12 forward with our extremely overpriced drinks to get in position to see Grandma and PopPa waving from their on-shore spot at Jetty Park. PopPa was easy to spot from deck 12 as he was wearing his giant Mickey glove. As we rounded the corner and left the port we decided to head to our stateroom to get ready for the night’s activities.
Hunter Chats Up Mike Super
The whole family was excited because the first show of the cruise was Mike Super, a magician we had seen on a previous Disney cruise and loved. Because we had the late dining spot we got to attend the early show prior to dinner. As expected it was a great show which included levitation, a cool card trick and a really cool crowd participation trick with a die and a locked box. We all thought it was great and Hunter was blown away. After the show Mike Super had a meet and greet where we got an autograph and told him about a previous cruise where we ran into him getting a drink and he did a special straw trick just for Hunter, which he said he recalled doing. He was super friendly and signed our Daily Navigator, which displayed an ad for his show.
After our meet and greet the boys were chomping at the bit to do a little shopping (they must get that from me). We explored a few of the shops near the theater as the boys strategized their gift card purchases.
It was finally our time for dinner at Royal Palace so we headed to deck three midship. We met Eris and Som, our servers, who were super nice. Eris had a hand buzzer that he used every time he gave the boys a high five which cracked Sawyer up. The dinner was delicious and we were super excited when the boys got swept away to kids club so Em and I could finish our dinner and dessert in peace. Hunter as usual was a bit apprehensive about going to kids club but we knew that wouldn’t last long.
Following dinner Em and I walked the ship looking for a good spot to get a nightcap. After a few stops we finally ended up on deck 13 at Currents where we got a drink and walked the front adult section of the ship and almost got tossed overboard by the breeze. We took some silly selfies of us trying to keep our balance between gusts.
It wouldn’t be a cruise without cheese (not referencing my jokes this time) as Emily guided us back to the Vista Cafe where she picked up a cheese plate for a little late night snack when we got back to the room. We had one last stop as we circled past the kids club to pick up the boys who, although were walking zombies, didn’t want to leave. We agreed sleep would benefit all so we retired to the room, turned on Mickey cartoons, and crashed.