When my FIL gets something in his head, there’s a 99.9% chance he’s going to make it happen. We’re all really lucky that most of the time we’re all the benefactors of such ideas! :) Months ago, he decided all 14 of us should take a Disney cruise…
The whole family’s been counting down the days until our cruise on the Disney Dream. I’ve read every blog post and article on tips, planned out coordinating outfits, and made list after list of what we needed to pack!
Aunt Kate got AB the Minnie Mouse backpack that was her carry-on, and she thought she was big stuff carrying her own swimsuit in it!
The magic started as soon as we stepped foot aboard the Disney Dream…There was a tunnel of crew members waiting to greet us and “Disney Cruise lines welcomes the Whitehurst family” was announced over the speakers. I think every member of our party of 14 was beaming from ear to ear. There’s just something about Disney that does that to people, or maybe it’s doing Disney with kids…that’s the real joy for sure!
I nearly fell out when I saw the hand dipped ice cream on the buffet. I mean seriously? I was prepared for the standard soft serve ice cream machines (which I LOVE, don’t get me wrong), but leave it to Disney to blow my mind with hand dipped ice cream. My favorite was the pineapple coconut and I will be dreaming about it until we go on another Disney cruise and I can have another scoop. (and YES, there will be another Disney cruise!) :)
We had inside rooms, but the “magical porthole” made it feel just like we had a real window. The portholes are screens that show the actual view from the boat. AB LOVED it…especially when different Disney characters would scroll by!
I’d read that the doors on the ship are magnetic and that people usually bring magnets to decorate their doors. So fun! I had Carrie get the Journal crew to make us a magnet for our door and it turned out so cute…
We changed into our swimsuits and headed for the pool deck. The Aqua Duck was top priority. We’d read that it wouldn’t be as crowded on that first afternoon. AB had been watching videos of the AquaDuck (the water-coaster on the ship) for weeks and had planned out who all she was going to ride it with. Much to her (and our) disappointment, though, she ended up not being tall enough to ride on it. She handled it so much better than I thought she would! Since the line was short, Pappy & Nie-Nie took AB and Mames in the pool and me, DW, Adam, Lauren, Kelsey & Taylor all rode the Aqua Duck. I felt super guilty for riding since AB couldn’t, but it was really fun and I ended up being glad we did it. PLUS, I knew it was really the only chance I’d have, because I would not get on it when the ship was actually moving…hello, what if the pipe broke?!?!
We splashed in the pool and splash park with the girls for a couple hours before heading back to the room for the safety drill.
We were 4 hours into the trip, but I already knew this would definitely not be our last Disney cruise.
We’d planned for everyone to wear red, black or white (Mickey Mouse colors) to dinner on the first night and had hoped to get a group picture of the whole family afterward. Unfortunately that didn’t happen… But everyone did look cute coordinating! :) Our girls wore their Disney cruise dresses that my BFF, Carrie found and called me about literally a week before our trip! They turned out so cute and we got lots of compliments on them.
The Dream has three different dining rooms, so you go to a different one each night and each is very different. Our first night, we had dinner at The Royal Palace. It’s the fanciest of the three dining rooms and your bread is served in carriages, of course. Because, what else? Mames had a rough start to dinner the first night. It was totally my fault though, because I had packed lots of things to keep her entertained during the long dinners, but left it all in our room that night. She and I took a walk back to the room, which worked out great because we ran into our room attendant and were able to ask him to put down the top bunk for AB.
This blur is AB who was sitting on her Pappy’s lap when one of the characters came up to her during the finale that night. We sat in the same spot all three nights, and every night something like this happened to us! So fun!
After the show, we called it a night and headed for our rooms.
AB was SO EXCITED to see her bunk bed when we got to the room! It had stars on the ceiling above her bunk and the next morning she told me she’d seen “Peter Pan’s boys” in them. Sure enough, some of the stars made characters. So cute. The girls did so great sleeping in the same room with us (and each other) the entire trip. I was so proud of them. I think it helped that they were so exhausted every night by bed time, too!
Friday morning we woke up in Nassau. The girls woke up to find surprises from Mickey & Minnie in our room! I got this idea from my friend SaraBeth…AB loved it and bought right into it. She was so excited to wake up every morning to see what Mickey had left. We thought it would be a fun treat for her, plus it would save us from buying tons of souvenirs and stuff on the boat. (I sprinkled the mickey mouse confetti that AB had gathered up from the deck party the day before and she loved that!)
DW and his Daddy, along with Adam & Lauren took a snorkeling excursion on a catamaran that morning. This is an underwater pic of DW and a whole bunch of fish…Nie-Nie & I took the girls to the princess gathering in the lobby. AB had her Belle dress on and we got in line about 10 minutes before the gathering was scheduled to start . The line was already pretty long, but AB really wanted to see Snow White (she’s the only one of the main princesses she’s never seen and she’s not been at Disney any of the times we’ve been)… Peter Pan was also scheduled to be in the lobby and AB wanted to see him, too. (She JUST watched Peter Pan for the first time, the week before when it came on the Disney channel, so she was excited to hear he was there). The princesses were all introduced and came out to take their places around the staircase and we hunkered down, prepared to wait A WHILE… Then, some of that Disney magic happened and Snow White and Peter Pan were the ones who were walking up and visiting guests while they waited in line!!! WHAT are the chances!??!?! AB got to see both of them and we only had to wait about 15 minutes! Perfection! I told Nie-Nie that I feel like Disney just always seems to work out for us! :)
The kids swam while Mames and I took a little stroll around the ship. I thought she might catch a nap…but there was too much too see and too much ice cream to be eaten. We got a cone and headed back for the pool where everyone else was having a snack, too. Unlimited pizza and french fries poolside is something they could all get used to.
After lots of splashing and some lunch, the girls and I headed to the room to get Mamie a nap. DW got back just as Mamie was laying down, so he took AB to the theatre to see Oz. The ship has a movie theatre on it and shows movies that are currently in the theatre! It was even in 3-D.
Aunt Carrie & Allie Claire got AB the Disney cruise necklace that she was wearing that day…it was so cute and she LOVED it!
We’d planned to take the girls off the ship when Mamie woke up from her nap. I texted DW when she got up on our wave-phones (Disney gives you two “cell” phones that work on the ship so you can text and call each other if you separate…how awesome is that?!?!) AB & DW left the movie early and we got off the boat…
We walked down by the water and took some pictures. AB couldn’t believe how green the water was in the shallow parts. She kept saying, “its just beautiful.” I knew she’d love the water the next day at Castaway!
After Mamie got to stretch her legs a little and run free, (as free as you can be with a “leash” attached to you) :) we made our way back on the ship to get dressed for dinner. (You can see in that picture how mesmerized she was by the big boats…she even said “boat” for the first time on the trip!) That night was Pirate Night on the ship! We’d read up on it and had all packed our pirate best.
During dinner, the portholes on the wall come to life and interact with guests. Our table, where our whole party of 14 was sporting our pirate get-ups, got chosen! :)The Turtle, “Crush” from Nemo came on the screen and started talking to Nie-Nie…He called her “Pirate Lady” and asked her name…then asked why she had such a big group of pirates with her. He wondered if we were celebrating a birthday or anniversary or something?? She told him, we were just celebrating LIFE! :) He went back and forth with her and kept calling her by name, it was the craziest thing. The kids were loving it.
(AB told me later she loved it when “that turtle called Nie-Nie, KELLEE!!!”). Later on, when she was taking pictures, he came back and posed and told her take his picture, too. It was such a fun dinner!
There were pirate games, songs, dancing and more eye patches than you could count!
The deck party ended in true Disney fashion with streamers and confetti!
There’s still more pirate fun and another whole day of the cruise to recap, but I’ll save that for next time…