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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Our First Day On Board The Beautiful Disney Dream

We made it through winter flying—delays and all, had a great overnight stay at the Hyatt in Orlando International Airport, enjoyed the bus ride to Port Canaveral, and now it is time for us to board the beautiful Disney Dream.  It is our second time on board the Dream and our fifth Disney Cruise.  Here’s our first day on board:

Our group boarding number (2) was called and we made our way through the Mickey shaped portal.  First stop was pre-boarding photo area.
After the picture was taken, it is off to the gangplank to board the ship.

How can a guest not love when they are announced on a ship?  It is one of our favorite parts and so appreciate Disney Cruise Line doing this on all of its ships!
From the Lobby Atrium we took the shiny midship elevators to Deck 11 to Cabanas.  It was time for lunch.
 The boy found pizza, chicken strips, mango juice, and a lot more.  He needed both hands!
The Donald Pool or Family Pool.
 After lunch, we found a spot on Deck 11 for our stuff, the guys changed into their swimsuits that we had in our carry-on bag, and they enjoyed the water features.
That's the boy on the AquaDuck.  He was tall enough to ride by himself this trip!
 The Mickey Pool and Mickey slide came next.  The afternoon guests board the ship is a great time to take advantage of the pools and other water features as the ship isn't as crowded. 
The men in the hot tub with the clear glass bottom.
 While the boys continued to play on Deck 11, I headed to Guest Services to add a gift card to our on-board account and then bumped into some Disney friends.  I stopped to say hello and get a picture.

 At 1:30 pm, Guest Staterooms are accessible to guests.  Here's our stateroom 5022, which we have now stayed in twice.  It has two porthole windows.
The guys soon came to our stateroom.  We decorated the door, then it was off to join the ship's Walking Tour at 2:00 pm which we found listed in the Navigator for that day. 
We took the stairs to meet up for the ship's Walking Tour and on our way we bumped into a royalty--Princess Tiana!
Here we are with the crew members who will lead the Walking Tour.  It was a great way for us to re-familiarize ourselves with the ship, and meet some of the crew.  We highly recommend this tour.  The meeting location was Deck 3 forward, near the shops and entrance to the Walt Disney Theater.
By 3:00 we had split up again.  The husband and boy went to a Port Shopping session--they were giving away free prizes (and the boy won one!) and I headed to the Spa tour--where they were also giving away free prizes.  Click here to read more about the Senses Spa.
Next was the mandatory drill.  Here are the guys at our evacuation station in the Walt Disney Theater.  The drill does go quite smoothly and we appreciate that we no longer have to wear the life-vests which are found on the top shelf of your stateroom closet.
After the drill, we headed back upstairs to Deck 12, overlooking Deck 11, and enjoyed the sail away party. (Click here to read more.)  Our favorite part is the horn as it plays notes of "When You Wish Upon a Star."  When the ship started to move, we made our way to the front of the ship and took the elevators back to deck 5.  It was now time to change our clothes and get ready for dinner.
 Don't they look sharp?  We were just sailing past the last of land when we explored Deck 4 before dinner.
 Also before dinner, we stopped to say hello to some more Disney friends.  We knew were and when to find them because of listings in the Navigator that we found in our stateroom upon our arrival.
Belle in her holiday finest.  She told us about the books she was reading.

Princess Aurora, also known as Sleeping Beauty, was wide awake.
 Our dining rotation had us at Enchanted Garden, located mid-ship on Deck 2, for our first dinner on board.  We took the grand staircase from Deck 3 to Deck 2 to get to the Enchanted Garden.
The boy in front of the icon for the Disney Dream--Admiral Donald--in the Lobby Atrium.

 Dinner was exceptional and we met our serving crew--Travis and Rachael for the first time.  They would then be our serving team for the rest of our dinners on board.  We had the main seating or 5:45 time for dinner.

The tree lighting ceremony was after dinner (7:15) in the Lobby Atrium.  The boy had been trying all day to get to be the Holiday Prince of the Sea and light the tree.  His wish came true!  Click here to read more.

 You would think after that much activity that it would be time to turn it, but no.  We still have a show!  At 8:30 it was our chance to watch Villians Tonight!
Pain and Panic were in the Walt Disney Theater interacting with audience members prior to the show.  Absolutely no photography can take place during the show, so just take my word--it is a great show.
Amazingly enough, after the show, the boy wanted to check out the kids club as he hadn't been there yet.  So at 9:30 he headed off.  He was to be back by 11:00 (yes, those words crossed my lips)--click here to read more.

 And as always, when we returned to our stateroom, we were greeted by a towel animal, sleepy time chocolates, and an advertisement or preview of what was to come.  This is also when guests receive Navigators for the next day with a list of activities and happenings throughout the ship.

Whew!  What a great day!  And, that was just the first day on board.  One of the tips we tell prospective cruisers is to make the most out of your first day on board.  As you can see, there is plenty to do, but unfortunately, some people think that their vacation starts tomorrow when they wake up on the ship.  Well, not when sailing on a Disney ship.  We are on vacation the moment we leave home and it ramps up when we climb the Disney Cruise Line transport bus to Port Canaveral.

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