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Old 22 Oct 18, 01:10 PM  
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wilma-bride
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Fred, Wilma and Family - A Graduation is Cause for Celebration - Days 12-15 Grand Slam Thank U Ma'am

The title of this part of the trip report comes from a phrase coined by Disney cruisers – the Grand Slam - meaning to sail on all four Disney ships. Kim and Terry and Gary and I had all sailed on the other three ships in Disney’s fleet, so booking this short cruise on the Dream meant we would be completing our Grand Slam, something we were stupidly excited about.

Friday 31st August

The day dawned and, instead of feeling sad that we were packing up and leaving Disney World, I was excited that we were about to embark on the third part of our holiday – the 3 night cruise on the Disney Dream. I know, from experience, that these short itinerary cruises go unbelievably quick – and it did, therefore I will be condensing the whole cruise into just one or two posts.

We had decided to have a last breakfast at the Boardwalk Bakery and took the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful surroundings once more.



Then we went back to the room to collect our luggage, and congregated in the lobby to wait for our transfer to the port. We booked transfers through Fl Tours, to take us both to the port for our cruise and pick us up afterwards, to return to the airport. This was more cost effective than renting cars either end of the cruise or taking Disney’s massively overpriced transfers at $35 per person each way!

We had a free grocery stop included in the price of our transfer but told the driver we wouldn’t need it. However, a call of nature on the way to the port meant we ended up asking the driver to make a stop after all. He was very good about it and took us to a Publix near the port, where we were able to use the facilities and pick up some last-minute Oreos and some Caramel M&Ms for Linda, who had a newly found love of them, having got a pack a couple of days before at the Halloween Party. Sadly, Linda had been unable to come on the cruise with us, so we figured the M&Ms might make a good consolation prize.

We were soon catching our first glimpse of our home for the next 3 nights.



After a short wait to get into the terminal, we were soon checked in and, after a stop at the supervisor’s desk to switch us all around so we were booked into the right rooms, our boarding group was called and we walked right on board the beautiful Disney Dream. Wendy and Rich had arrived earlier and were already on board. We caught up with them at Cabanas, where we all sat to have lunch. We were delighted to bump into our favourite Head Server, Rakesh, here. We had requested his section and, after a quick look at our Key to the World cards, he confirmed he would be looking after us at dinner, which we were very happy about.

After the delicious buffet lunch, we took some time to explore the ship. Palo and Remy, the adult only restaurants, were absolutely gorgeous and I was a little sad we had decided not to dine at Palo while we were on board.









I loved the little detail on the back of the Remy chairs



The deck areas on the larger ships are (obviously) much more spacious but I still prefer the adult pool area on the smaller (classic) ships.















It wasn’t long before we were able to go down to deck 6 and check out our rooms. Gary, Daniel and I had a Cat 5E room, right at the back of the ship with an oversized balcony. It was amazing. Rea and Ben had an inside room, with a Magic Porthole.







Wendy had brought us some magnets and a little gift bag of useful stuff for the room.









While Rea and Ben continued exploring and Daniel disappeared to check out Vibe, the rest of us went back upstairs, found some seats near the bar and ordered drinks. My first frozen raspberry daiquiri of the cruise – cheers!



We then went back to the room. Our room host, Nikoya, introduced herself and told us she was going to go and find our luggage and, lo and behold, just a few minutes later we had 2 of our 3 cases and started to unpack. The third case soon appeared and we finished unpacking just in time to make it to the lifeboat drill. There was a bit of confusion here, as many people had started to go inside the room and we were all told to leave again and line up. Eventually the drill was over and we were able to head up to Deck 10 for the sailaway party. We lost Rea and Ben at this point so they had a little party of their own on the opposite side of the ship.





Back at the room we quickly freshened up and changed for dinner which, tonight, was at Enchanted Garden.





Our servers were Yaroslav and Sabina. They made us feel very much at ease and we had a really pleasant dinner. Rakesh dropped by to check on us and we had a bit of a chat. Half way through dinner Yaroslav mentioned to me that he knew that Gary and I were celebrating an anniversary and also Rhiannon was celebrating graduation. He asked if we would like to celebrate on different nights, which I said would be fine, and we agreed that they would bring Rhiannon a celebration cake tonight, which they did immediately after dessert. She was suitably embarrassed at the fuss!





After dinner, we went to get ice cream from Vanellope’s - this place is a sweet-lover's paradise! the ice cream is reasonably priced but the sweets/truffles were ridiculous at $2 each!







We then went to the movie theatre to see Christopher Robin. I loved the film, although it did irritate me that there were a lot of people who clearly did not care about movie theatre etiquette and were talking loudly and allowing their children to run around and misbehave. Kim and Terry were so annoyed by a rude family behind them, they ended up moving seats. I refused to move so just turned around and told them very firmly to be quiet so others could please enjoy the film. After the movie finished, Kim and Terry headed off to bed. Gary and I just wandered the ship for a while, watched some kind of party going on in the atrium and then went to bed ourselves.

Our towel animal was a sausage dog - cute! Who had quite rudely borrowed my Tiffany's sunglasses without asking - not so cute!





Saturday 1st September

I was shattered this morning. Unfortunately, Daniel had taken full advantage of the freedom he’d been given and didn’t come back from Vibe until 2.30. Since I wasn’t able to fully relax and sleep until I knew he was in the room, I had ended up wandering the ship at 1.30am trying to find him, as I was mistakenly under the impression that Vibe closed at midnight. This resulted in a very grumpy Mum and a not really much less grumpy Daniel.


Today was our first port of call - Nassau. After breakfast at Cabana’s, we spent a relaxing morning at the pool since we had been ashore at Nassau a few times, so were taking the opportunity to stay on the ship and chill. Rea and Ben were slightly more adventurous and went ashore to visit the Queen’s Staircase.









After a delicious lunch of a ham and cheese Panini, we went to the pub for movie music trivia. Since we were limited to teams of four people, we ended up with two teams – Kim, Rea, Wendy and myself in one team and Gary, Rich and Terry in another. Unbelievably, we came joint first and won a couple of packs of playing cards.









Back up on deck, we had to get a drink – another raspberry daiquiri for me.



Continued in the next post.
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Old 22 Oct 18, 01:46 PM  
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Continued from above...

After spending some more time at the pool, we went back to the room to get ready for dinner and watch us leave Nassau from the balcony.





Tonight was pirate night and we were dining in Royal Court. I loved our table location, right by the window. Dinner was a real laugh; I had bought some pirate ‘photo booth’ accessories online, which we all had a lot of fun with.







And, after we had all declared we were too full for dessert, Gary and I were surprised beyond belief when we were presented with this magnificent Anniversary cake! It really was so completely unexpected. Of course, we all had to have a piece – and then we shared the rest with our table neighbours.



It didn’t seem like the pirate party was going to happen as there was a lot of bad weather in the area – it had been raining heavily on and off all afternoon – so, after dinner we went to Skyline bar for a drink.







Again, we were pretty tired so, after finishing our drinks and not hearing anything about the pirate party being held after all, we retired to bed.

Tonight's towel animal was a pair of canoodling swans



And a naughty, sunglasses-stealing monkey!



Sunday 2nd September

We had requested room service breakfast the night before, so that we could eat early and get off the ship. However, Daniel had decided the night before that he wanted to do the teen excursion on Castaway Cay today. I was a tad peeved (Mum code for pretty peed off) since we had asked him numerous times the previous day and he’d said he wasn’t interested. This meant that Gary and I had to stay on the ship until the teen club opened, to be able to sign the paperwork to allow him to participate.


Rea came to our room to check out the view of Castaway Cay from our balcony.



We told her and the others to go ahead and get off the ship and made arrangements to meet up with them on Serenity Bay, the adult only beach. I took the opportunity to go up to the future cruises desk and fill in the placeholder card. Once we’d signed Daniel up for his excursion, we disembarked and took the trams down to Serenity Bay. It was a truly beautiful day, not too hot, just gorgeous.















After a very lazy morning on the beach, we made our way over to the BBQ area for lunch. I love the lunch offerings on Serenity Bay and we had a fabulous lunch. As we were finishing up, we noticed black clouds gathering in the distance and made the decision to head back to the boat so we wouldn’t wind up getting caught on the island in the thunderstorm. Wendy and Rich wanted to ride bikes so they decided to stay and so the rest of us caught the tram back to the ship.



Up at the pool area, we got ourselves a drink at the bar.



The threatened rain eventually came just a few minutes later and we took cover. We got in the hot tub for a bit and then reluctantly decided we ought to head back to the room and start packing.

We all met up for a drink before dinner, in the District Lounge, and lamented over how quickly the cruise – and the whole holiday – had gone by.





Dinner tonight was at Animator’s Palate. We were sat very close to the screens where Crush talks to guests.



Sadly, people were making a lot of noise and most people were completely ignoring him. He made several attempts to talk to a little boy at a table near us but the boy seemed far more interested in drawing.

After dinner, Rea and I did some shopping and then it was time for the long-awaited Beauty and the Beast show. I was so excited to see this show, I could barely contain myself. Sadly, it was not to be. I won’t go into too much detail but, suffice to say, the rude behaviour we had witnessed from passengers throughout the entire cruise was prevalent in the theatre and I really couldn’t stand it any longer, so I ended up leaving just a few minutes into the show. I watched it on the TV in the room which just wasn’t the same.

After the show, Wendy messaged to see what we were planning to do, but I was tired and grumpy, so I told her we were probably just going to go to bed. Gary came back to the room, we went up to Deck 10 to get some soft drinks and then we did indeed go to bed.

Tonight's towel animal was a law-abiding (mainly due to the fact that glasses were packed) elephant.



Monday 3rd September

So, the sad day had come. It was time to go home and face reality – boo! We were awoken very early by the vibrations as the ship docked back in Port Canaveral, so we were ready quite early. As we were getting showered and dressed, we heard the “Get off my ship” announcement, the final reminder that the magic is over.

Having put our cases out the night before, we just had to sort our hand luggage, which was quickly done and we were soon heading up to Cabana’s to meet the others for breakfast. The pelican appeared to be mocking us, suggesting the door to leave the ship is that way...



We had the opportunity to say a final goodbye to Rakesh and, before long, we were heading back to the room to collect our hand luggage before making the sad trek off the ship and back to real life.



We collected our luggage and proceeded through customs, then waited outside for our driver. He was a few minutes late arriving but we were soon loaded up and on our way to the airport and being dropped off at Terminal B.



It was too early for Kim and Terry to check in so we went across to Terminal A, where we all checked in for our flight home with Delta. We had a look around the shops and I was able to pick up a gift for a friend of mine, whose baby had been born the previous day.

Kim and Terry could now check in so they went to do that and then we grabbed an early lunch in the food court at Chick Fil A.

Our flight to Atlanta left at 1300 so we decided that we ought to go through security. We all went through together, but then had to go our separate ways after security as Kim and Terry were flying from a different gate. It wasn’t too sad saying goodbye this time as we knew we would see them again in less than a year.

The flight to Atlanta was short and uneventful, then we had a 3 hour layover before our final flight back to Heathrow. We had a final meal at P F Chang’s, which was average at best. My 'fortune' was promising though.



I do think that the duty free shops at Atlanta might want to think about the lasting images they are leaving in the heads of their visitors. Needless to say, I didn't buy any



The flight back to the UK was the usual hellish combination of over-tired adults and children, crap plane food and grumpy cabin crew. I’m sure it’s everything to do with the fact that you are in that mindset where you just want to get home but it seemed to be more unbearable than usual. I couldn’t get comfortable, Daniel was over-tired and irritable and refused to try and sleep, despite the fact that sleep was what he desperately needed. Then, of course, he did the usual of falling asleep about an hour before breakfast was served so he missed breakfast and was impossible to wake up when it was time to get off the plane. There was a minor drama when a gentleman collapsed on his way to the bathroom, banging his head off the seat of the lady sitting next to Gary. When we landed, we had to remain in our seats while the paramedics boarded the plane, to see to the poor chap who, by now, was sitting next to Gary, the lady having taken his seat further forward. Passport control was quick and painless and, after a very quick breakfast at the airport, we caught the train home.

Thank you to everybody who has been reading along. I had forgotten what a complete overhead writing a trip report is, so I really appreciate everybody who comments to let me know it’s not all in vain. I am lucky enough to be heading back over to Disney World in less than 5 weeks so I am not even all that depressed about it being over. I’m actually just relieved that the trip report is complete

Until next time…

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Old 22 Oct 18, 07:15 PM  
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Thank you for taking the time to do your trippie I have really enjoyed reading along. Sounds like you all had a great holiday

Joan
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Old 22 Oct 18, 07:51 PM  
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Thanks for your trip report, the cruise ship looks beautiful and the photo on the hammock on the beach is definitely envy inducing!
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Old 30 Oct 18, 10:04 PM  
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Finally all caught up!
Sad that your TR is over but looking forward to seeing you in the parks in a few short weeks 😊
PS. Thanks for the M&Ms (which didn't last long!)
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Old 31 Oct 18, 09:27 AM  
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wilma-bride
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Originally Posted by mick View Post
Thank you for taking the time to do your trippie I have really enjoyed reading along. Sounds like you all had a great holiday

Joan
Thanks for reading and commenting Joan, it's nice to know that somebody is reading and enjoying the trippies

Originally Posted by Palm trees View Post
Thanks for your trip report, the cruise ship looks beautiful and the photo on the hammock on the beach is definitely envy inducing!
I wish I was there now - it's blinking freezing here! Thanks for reading along.

Originally Posted by Dogwalker View Post
Finally all caught up!
Sad that your TR is over but looking forward to seeing you in the parks in a few short weeks 😊
PS. Thanks for the M&Ms (which didn't last long!)
23 days and counting. I need some sunshine (and some more caramel M&Ms) See you soon!
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Old 31 Oct 18, 10:06 AM  
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Thanks for sharing looking forward to your next trippie already👍
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Old 2 Nov 18, 10:16 AM  
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Originally Posted by Cinderella View Post
Thanks for sharing looking forward to your next trippie already👍
Thanks for reading and commenting - I am hoping I have time to make enough notes for the next one, as we have an action-packed week!
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Old 17 Nov 18, 05:41 PM  
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Fab report Jo, just caught up. Still can't believe how Daniels grown, like where have those years gone?

Another trip round the corner, how fab, could so do with some more sun right now, even though we've been twice this year already.

Enjoy xxx Sharon
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Old 18 Nov 18, 12:22 AM  
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Enjoyed reading a long thanks for taking the time to do such a detailed report
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