Aug 24, 2012





It’s the DREAM


We woke up around 7am, had showers, then checked all through the villa if we had forgotten something and hauled our luggage downstairs.

Part of it had to go on the back seat, but as long as everything fit, we were fine. Around 9am we finally said goodbye to Old Key West and drove over to Downtown Disney. As always when we go on a Disney cruise we wanted to have breakfast at Wolfgang Puck’s Express first. We found a parking spot right behind the Once Upon A Toy store and headed right over to the restaurant. Knowing the menu by heart there was no stopping to read the menu and we went right up to the first counter to place our order. The girl behind the till could even remember us as being Maritza’s friends and informed us that she was even here that day.

So we picked up our drinks and went to find a table. Maritza came right over to bring us some cutlery and to thank us again for the cake-pop we had given her and to tell us that one of the managers had thought it was something “free” and had eaten half of it. But she had enjoyed the rest together with her little boy. We chatted some more and then she went to pick up our breakfast. Tom again had ordered Wolfgang's Breakfast Pocket, Scrambled eggs, peppers, Niman Ranch Bacon, onions, mushrooms, mozzarella and cheddar cheese baked into Wolfgang's pizza dough, while I had again ordered the Smoked Bacon Pizza, scrambled eggs, tomatoes, mozzarella and cheddar cheese and Ranch Dressing.

While we enjoyed our food we came up with a nice idea on how to surprise Maritza again and use up our left over snack credits. So once we had finished our breakfast and said goodbye to Maritza we walked over to Goofy’s Candy Kitchen and picked up two more Mickey Cake Pops, a large lolly for Maritza’s little boy, a Mickey shaped brownie and some some other long lollies, which came in bags as fish extender gifts. When we finally got to pay for them, the Cast Member at the till informed us that we still had another snack credit left, so Tom went back to get another bag of lollies. Finally having spent all our snack credits we quickly stopped outside the store, took pics of the goodies, so we knew what we had spent our credits on and then we wrote a quick note, saying that these were Maritza’s goodies and then attached them to the Cake Pop. We headed back to the restaurant and the girl at the till was surprised to see us again. Maritza came right over asking if we had forgotten something and then we presented her with her goodies. She was so surprised and hugs were exchanged. And while we were handing our gifts to Maritza, the other girl jokingly asked where her Cake Pop was and the surprise on her face was just priceless, when I reached in my bag and handed her the second one we had bought. More hugs were in order and it was fun to see the surprise on other diners faces when we all said our goodbyes. So we were on our way back to our car, but there was just one more thing we wanted to buy. A soft cuddly Mickey Mouse for Angelina.

She loves all things Mickey and we thought it would be nice for her to have one. Mickey in hand we headed back to our car and were on our way to Port Canaveral by 10.30. The drive there was without any problems and soon we were getting close to the Port.

It is always so exciting to catch that first glimpse of the ship and soon we crossed the bridge and there she was, waiting for us. In no time we were driving up to the luggage drop off, handed over our luggage, tipped the porter and off we went again to the Dollar office to return our car. We were amazed at how much further down the road than Hertz the office was, but finally we made it there and it did not take long until we had finished the paperwork and were looking out for the shuttle. We must have waited for no longer than two minutes and the shuttle returned. The driver told us that he had a 5 minute break and we were welcome to wait in the car. So we loaded our hand luggage inside and got a seat while waiting for the driver to return.

We were the only people on the shuttle when he returned and we were off quickly. He dropped us off at the front gate and we showed our passports, let them know our stateroom number and joined the rather long line for security. Right when we got in line one of the security guys came over and told the couple in front of us to follow him, as they had opened another line. We were next and it had cut our wait down terribly. Security behind us, we used the escalator to go up to the check in area. We were shocked to see it so full and to see the long lines, but one look to the side and we noticed that there were just a few people in the non-US line. We filled out the health form and told the CM at the lines that we were non-US, walked down the line and were waved right over to a counter. To us this is like a Fastpass line – seriously FAST.

I had been able to secure an early boarding time, so after we had been handed our lanyards we were already able to board. We skipped the photographer and headed right on board. There is something about getting on board for the first time. Such a beautiful and majestic atrium. After we had been welcomed we headed right to the Enchanted Garden for lunch. We were led to a 4 top and a server was on hand to take our drinks order. Our luggage was parked towards the back of the table and we headed to the buffet. The line was short and we quickly were handed a plate and filled it at the buffet. When we returned to our table our drinks had already been served and we sat down to enjoy our lunch.

Once lunch was done we headed to the Royal Palace to find out if we could change our seating arrangement. We were second in line and the lady at the computer did her best to change everything for us and then told us that our request for a table for two had been granted and that we should ask for Zan, when checking in for dinner that day. We knew we were in luck as we know Zan from former cruises.

There was only a little time left until our staterooms were to be ready, so we slowly made our way up and we could not believe it, but even before the official time our stateroom was ready and even some of our luggage was already there. We headed into the room, found the Castaway Club Gift, a backpack, sitting on the bed and walked right through and out onto the balcony. It felt real good to be back on the ship and enjoy that view. We pulled our suitcases inside, started to unpack and when I went to look for more suitcases I met our stateroom host, Oana. We talked for a while and asked to have the second bed made up at night.

She was a really fun person, laughing a lot and we came to really like her a lot during our cruise. Once all our suitcases had arrived and we had “somehow” unpacked we went to sit out on the balcony for a while, but it was soon time to head to the DVC presentation. We arrived a little before it was supposed to started and found a nice seat. A server came around quickly to offer us some champagne and a few nice canapés. This presentation was quite different to the ones we had seen. They played lots of games which we would have expected to be played at a kids birthday party, threw in a bit of presentation and a raffle. Not as interesting and fun as the ones we had seen before. Also the reps were very pushy, trying to sell add ons.

The presentation over we headed over to the Vista Café, where the DISmeet for our group was in full swing. We handed Angelina her Mickey and she was pretty happy about. Since we had been late we were introduced to all the other attendees, but stuck with Michelle and her family as most of the other people were in conversations. It didn’t take long and the meet was over and we had to return to our staterooms in order to get to the lifeboat drill. Tom and I took our DVC loot back to the room, had a quick drink and then headed out to the lifeboat drill again. This time we were in an outside location and it was hot and I had forgotten my sunglasses in our stateroom, so I was not a happy camper.

It took quite a while until the drill was over and we were allowed to head back inside, which was not easy with all the guests trying to do the same thing. We walked up all the way to deck 10 as the elevators were jammed and sat outside on the veranda for a while again. When we noticed that they undid the ropes we grabbed our cameras Mickey gloves and went up onto deck 12, to watch the DREAM sail out. We found a nice spot to stand along the railing and once we got into the channel we put on our gloves and waved to the people on shore. It is such a fun thing to see the reactions of the people on shore, pointing and waving back.

It takes quite a while until we reached the open seas and when we wanted to remove our gloves again we were asked to wave one more time by some other guests. They had seen us wave and thought that might make a fun picture, so we happily obliged. Photo done we headed back to our room, ran into our stateroom host again and then stood out on the balcony while the pilot boat picked up the pilot and headed back to Port Canaveral. We chilled for a while, freshened up and then headed down to check out the shops and make ourselves familiar with the ship again. Time just seemed to fly by and it was soon time to get ready for dinner.

Since we knew we would see Zan at dinner, we took some chocolate with us and headed downstairs to the Enchanted Garden. They had just started taking people to their tables and there was a bit of a line, but it did not take long until it was our turn. Zan’s first comment when he saw us, was, “Where’s my Milka?” and it cracked him up that we had indeed brought some chocolate with us. We all had to hug, which got us some really funny looks from the people around us and then we were informed that we indeed had a table for two and that he would change our server team so we would have someone special since our favourite servers Ana and her husband Matija were on vacation.

We were led to our table and our server came over to greet us. Funnily enough he was from Hungary, so from a neighbouring country to Austria.

THe made his recommendations and left us to have a look and find something we would like. he assistant server took our drinks order and was quick to return with two Diet Cokes. On our table we found our bread selection for the day, Multi Grain Loaf and Country Current Bread, with Chickpea-garlic Puree, which we nibbled on until our server returned to take our order and quickly brought out our starters. Tom ordered the Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower, with crispy noodles and wasabi dressing for his starter while I had my heart set on the North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli, with roasted garlic and sweet basil in a light tomato broth. They were both wonderful and once we had finished them we were served some soup. Tom had the Curried Carrot and Apple Soup, garnished with yogurt drizzle and croutons, while I went for the Cream of Green Asparagus soup they offered. They were both silky and tasty and we both enjoyed them very much.

Then it was time for the main course. Our server had asked us for any preferences and told us that he was going to surprise us. So for Tom he brought out a huge slice of Prime rib over double baked potatoes and red wine jus, while he brought out the Pan-seared Sea Bass, with a sweet pea risotto with a sweet chili glaze. And while we had had no say in what we would eat, he nailed it the first time around. Both dishes were absolutely wonderful. Once we were done and everyone was handed a dessert menu, he just blinked at us and told us that since he had done well with the main course, he would surprise us with dessert as well. When he came back he loaded our table with sweet treats.

He brought us the Steamed Lemon Buttermilk Pudding, with citrus reduction, the Banana Foster Sundae, Rum glazed bananas, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and caramel sauce AND the Sweet Temptations, a trio of Sacher cake, Strawberry Cheesecake, and a small Lemon Meringue Pie. We did our best to conquer them all, but did not really succeed. Before we left Zan came by our table and asked if we had liked our servers and if everything had been okay. Then it was time for us to wobble back to our stateroom. When we arrived the Fish Extender was loaded with gifts, which we took inside. Oana had turned down both our beds and left some more gifts.

Some chocolates, a box from DVC and our extra gifts from DCL for being gold castaway club members and our Cabana wristbands for the next day. We had a feast opening all our goodies before we grabbed a beverage from the fridge and headed outside onto the veranda. Sitting there, in the light breeze we talked about that day’s events and a little later we were so tired, we HAD TO go to bed.