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Trip Report ***COMPLETED*** Girls Just Wanna Have Sun ☀️

Hello friends, and welcome to my second trip report! I enjoyed writing my Disneyland TR so much that I’m back again to report on my next adventure! Let’s hop right into it!

What: A Disney CRUISE! 🙌🏼 I haven’t been on a cruise since 2004 (I was 13!), and I haven’t been on a Disney Cruise since my family cruised on the Wonder wayyyy back in 2002 (the Wonder was the newest ship back then!). Followed by one night at WDW.

When: Leaving GA the afternoon of 2/13, boarding the Dream for 3 nights on 2/14, in WDW 2/17-2/18.

Where: Nassau, Castaway Cay, and Port Orleans French Quarter (my favorite Moderate and one of my very favorite resorts!)

Who: You may already know me - Katie. I’m a Georgia Peach, WDW AP, and wife to my best friend and Disney adventure partner, Jason.

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Joining me are my mom (we’ll call her...Mom), baby sister A, and sister-in-law M (married to my brother D). I couldn’t find a pic of all four of us together, so here are a few pics with a mix of us in them.

A, M, and I on Thanksgiving a couple years ago
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A, Mom, and I at the Biltmore Estate this past summer...we’re definitely related 😂
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My brother D, M, J, and I on our way to MNSSHP 2018...J doesn’t do costumes 🙄
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Mom and I in Central Park this past April
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Fun fact: M and I are sorority sisters (for those of you who are familiarized with the whole sorority family tree thing...she is my Grand-Little). She and I met at a sorority event a couple years after I had graduated, when she was a freshman and my brother D was a sophomore. We figured out that she and D were in the same Lit class, and she said she was going to introduce herself to him the next class...3 years later, they got married. You’re welcome, D!

This will be my second Disney Cruise, Mom’s fourth, and M and A’s first. A was a baby when we went on our first Disney Cruise back in 2002, so she stayed with our grandparents.
 
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MinnieM123

Well-Known Member
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I really enjoyed your photo of the 2 Mouse ears on the dashboard, while the car was en route. Fun composition. :happy:
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Well, I’ve been back in Seattle...I mean...Georgia (seriously, STOP RAINING!!!) for a little over two weeks, and I’m finally in a place where I can start my trip report. The past couple weeks have been CRAZY at work. The 16th through the end of the month are always very busy for me, so anytime I take PTO in those days, I always pay for it when I get back. Actual footage of me the last couple weeks:

And me the second I get home every day...

But don’t worry about me, because...

Work has slowed down at least somewhat, and now it’s time for a trip report!
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
February 13th - Pre-Trip
The plan for this day was to meet up at my parents’ house when A got home from school around 3:00, so I worked half a day from home. Once Noon rolled around, I clocked out and it was officially vacation time! I grabbed a shower and finished some last-minute packing, and intended to leave the house around 2:30, but someone had other plans.
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I took Max out to do his business right before I intended to leave, and a neighbor’s dog decided to pay a visit, which Max was not happy about. Max chased the other dog around the house a couple times before I convinced him to cut it out and get inside, but by that point, he was covered in mud (it has been raining non. stop. here the past month or so). So, I got to give Max a bath when I was supposed to be leaving. 🙄 I ended up making it to my parents’ house around 3:15, and everyone else was already there waiting for me.

We loaded up Mom’s car, and left pretty shortly after I arrived. We made good time getting through Atlanta, and stopped in Valdosta (right before you cross over into FL) for dinner around 7:30. We ate at Cheddars, which is a special treat since we don’t have one near us. I texted J this picture, and he was super jealous. Check out that teenage side-eye up in the top-right corner. 😂
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Our server was new - as in, it was literally her first day. She forgot to put in our order, and it took an hour to get our food. We were all a little hangry at that point, but decided not to let it ruin our night. We ate quickly, and hit the road. We stopped for the night in Lake City, where we stayed at a Holiday Inn. There, Mom surprised with Valentines gifts - we each got a Disney-themed Tervis tumbler (mine is Minnie!) to use for the drink fountains on the cruise, and she had filled them with candy! 🥰 We all crashed pretty soon after we made it to the hotel, because we wanted to be well-rested for EMBARKATION DAY!!!

Next up - embarkation day!
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
February 14th - Embarkation Day - Part One

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It’s here, it’s here! Cruise day is here! We awoke on Valentine’s Day without our respective Valentines. 😢 J and I had celebrated the weekend prior, and he even surprised me at work with flowers...
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But it was still weird not being with him. We were up bright and early this day, and left the hotel around 7:45. We headed over to the Chick-Fil-A next to the hotel for breakfast, and we’re met with a massive group of teenagers waiting to order - based on their conversations, it seemed like they were a church group. Anyway, I, being the vastly intelligent woman that I am, whipped out my phone with my handy-dandy Chick-Fil-A app and saved the day via mobile order. We had our food before half of the huge group had even ordered!

We scarfed down our breakfast, and were piling in the car to leave around 8:15. We made it to Port Canaveral in great time, arriving shortly after 11:00.

I sent this *high quality* pic to J as we were driving down - we always know that we’re getting close to WDW when we start to see the bird walls!
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As we were approaching the port, we were all giddy with excitement. We had booked this trip over a year in advance, and the day was finally here! I grabbed these pics on the way in - I SEE OUR SHIP!!!!
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We waited in the long line to park, dropped off our luggage, parked the car, and excitedly headed into the terminal!

Up next: Checking in, and boarding the ship!
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
February 14th - Embarkation Day - Part Two

We headed into the terminal, and got through security very quickly. Mom has been on a few Disney cruises (I *think* this cruise bumped her up to Gold status), so we got to use the Castaway Club check-in line, and we were checked in in no time! We were given boarding group 17, and they were already calling for group 3 when we arrived, so we anticipated a short wait. While we waited, we met a very special someone...
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I guess if I can’t be with J on Valentine’s Day, Mickey is a pretty good substitute! Minnie was taking pictures when we first got in line, but she took a break and Mickey took her place before we got to the front. No worries, there were plenty of opportunities to see Minnie on the ship! This would be the only time anyone wanted to meet a character with me on this trip, and I pretty much had to drag them in line for this one. The rest of the gang aren’t “Disney people” like J and I are. Obviously they all like Disney, otherwise we wouldn’t be on a Disney Cruise, but they aren’t super fans like we are. It’s one of the things that made me miss J even more on this trip. :confused:

A nice lady in line offered to take our picture when she saw us trying to take a group selfie. I made our ears and headbands, and bought the matching shirts as Christmas gifts.
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After meeting Captain Mickey, we found a place to sit until our group was called. We weren’t sitting for long though, as our group was called right around 12:15! I snapped this pic while we were getting in line to board - so cool!
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We took our *very* rushed boarding picture - seriously, the photographer didn’t count down or anything - and then it was finally time to step foot on the ship! So as I’m sure you’ve probably experienced, heard about, or seen in videos, they announce your group as you’re boarding the ship. They normally just announce you as the “Insert your last name here” family. My mom decided that she wanted to shake things up, and said that she wanted to be announced as “A Marvelous Medley of -Insert my maiden name and everyone else’s last name that starts with an “M” here-.” The rest of us tried to talk her out of it, but she paid for the cruise, so who were we to tell her no. So when the cast member asked for our last name and she gave that long spiel, M, A, and I were all like...

After that, we were finally onboard, and it felt so surreal! I had seen so many pictures and videos of this ship, and it was crazy to finally be here in real life!
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We could have just stared in awe at the beautiful atrium, but we were on a mission! I hadn’t been successful in securing a Palo brunch reservation for our Nassau day ahead of time, so we rushed up to Palo to see if any were available. We got a reservation for 10:00, success! Mission accomplished!

Up next: lunch at Cabanas, and stateroom pics!
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
February 14th - Embarkation Day- Part Three

After securing our Palo brunch reservation, we joined the masses at Cabana’s for lunch. Holy moly was it crowded! We walked around for a few minutes in search of an open table, and finally managed to snag one by window.

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We took turns going up to the buffet. M is a big seafood eater, so she was in hog heaven. Mom and A also eat some seafood. I, on the other hand, don’t eat any seafood, so my plate looks pretty pitiful. A chicken finger, a slice of pizza, some mushroom pasta salad (this was really good), and a salad. There were definitely more options I could have enjoyed, but the place was packed, and I didn’t feel like fighting crowds to get more food.
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We all got the same thing for dessert - carrot cake (Mom’s fave) and cookies and cream cheesecake. 😋
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Once we were done eating, it was just before 1:30, so we decided to go see if the stateroom was ready. A family saw us getting up, and rushed over to claim the table. In the process, they blocked us from getting out. I should have sat back down until they moved out of the way. :cautious:

Once we had escaped the madness of Cabana’s, we headed down to the 8th floor to see if our room was ready. The hallways were still roped off, but it was just before 1:30 when they were supposed to be ready, so we decided to wait it out. We waited...and waited...more people joined in our waiting, and eventually the elevator area was packed. Finally, around 1:40, someone came by to let us in, and we were allowed to get into our room!

Up next: Stateroom Pics!
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
February 14th - Embarkation Day- Stateroom Pics

Finally, we were in our stateroom! We were in Room 8112, which is a category 04B, midship deck 8. This particular room category has four separate beds (the queen, the couch bed, the pull-down over the couch, and a pull-down by the door to the veranda. I may have made everyone stick their stuff in the bathroom so that I could get pics without stuff everywhere:hilarious:

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And that’s the last time we’d see the stateroom this clean the entire trip. Four women sharing a tiny stateroom definitely gets a little crowded.

Up next: Is this safe?
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
February 14th - Embarkation Day- Part Four

When I left off, we had finally gotten into our stateroom shortly after 1:30. There was a Disney Tune Trivia game in one of the lounges that Mom wanted to go to at 2:00, so we were on a bit of a time crunch when we got to the room. I had promised J that I would FaceTime him to show him the stateroom before we left port. It took a good 15 minutes to get my FaceTime to work, which was frustrating. I finally got through to J, and everyone else was leaving for trivia, so I decided to hang back for a few minutes to finish up my call with J. By the time I finally got to trivia, it was 2:15, and the group was failing miserably - again, they’re not Disney nerds like J and I. I managed to get the last few questions correct, bringing up the score a little bit, but not enough to win. Trivia was over at 2:30, and there was a ship tour that Mom wanted to do that started at 2:30, so we immediately zipped over for that. We only hung around for a couple minutes though, as the tour headed right back into the lounge area that we had just left. There was something else Mom wanted to do right after the tour, but the rest of us were anxious to get back to the room to unpack, so we vetoed...sorry, Mom. My dad always wants to lay around in the room or by the pool when he and Mom cruise together, so I think she was trying to make up for lost time by doing every. single. activity the ship had to offer. Thankfully, she mellowed out a bit after the first day. On the way back to the room, we fell victim to the siren’s call that is the self-serve ice cream machines on the pool deck. 😋

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After our treat, we headed back to the room to unpack and get settled. We also put our adorable magnet on our stateroom door!
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Pretty soon, it was time to head out for our safety orientation. I kind of wish that they would split this up into 2-3 time windows, because oh. my. gosh it was MADNESS! Our muster station was on deck 4 just outside Shutters, and it was an absolute zoo trying to get where we needed to be. You don’t realize how many people are on the ship until everyone is forced out of their rooms at once. I work in the fire protection industry, and all I could think the whole time was what if the ship was on fire and we had to evacuate? People would be stampeding all over the place! It did not feel safe in the slightest. Also, I feel like we were waiting around forever for some people in our muster group to show up. It makes me wonder, do people really think that they can get out of going? They know you’re onboard, folks!

Aaaaanyway, once everyone made an appearance and we were dismissed from the safety orientation, we swam back through the sea of humanity and took the stairs up to our stateroom, hoping to avoid *some* of the crowds. We only stayed in our room for a few minutes, and then it was time to sail away. Rather than joining the rest of the ship in the main pool area, we made a beeline for the adults pool area, and went all the way up to the top deck, where there were very few people. It was SUPER windy up there, and I wanted my hair to last for a couple days, so I was not loving the wind (vain, I know). Mom got a couple suuuuper flattering pics of me freaking out over my hair, that will never see the light of day. 😂 I sent a couple pics to J, before going to hide from the wind in the glassed-enclosed area.
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And then we were off! Once we had pulled out of the harbor, we headed back to the room to change and get ready for the first show of the cruise!

Up next: Golden Mickey’s and all the souvenirs
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Can't wait to read more!!! What don't I love??? 💖 Love your Mickey ears and matching headbands, your awesome sail away t-shirts, your door magnet. Love that you got to spend this time together.
Thank you for following along, and thanks for all the love!
Love your door magnets, particularly the 🥥🍹.

There always seems to be that one family that turns up late to the muster drill. It’s like their time is so much more important.
I loved getting to pick out a girly door magnet, I thought this one was perfect for a girls' cruise!
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
February 14th - Embarkation Day- Part Five

After we left Port Canaveral and our cruise was officially underway, we headed back to the room to change and freshen up for the show and dinner. On our way out of the room, we met our stateroom host, Sigit. We made sure to leave him a note that we needed all four beds, eight pillows, and that we wanted a paper copy of the Navigator each day. Sigit was very friendly, and did a great job throughout the entirety of the cruise!

The first night’s show was “The Golden Mickeys.” We arrived about 20 minutes before showtime, and got great seats! The premise of the show was that it was an awards show, and various characters were winning awards for heroism, friendship, etc. There were lots of songs from different Disney movies like Snow White, Princess and the Frog, 101 Dalmatians, Mulan, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and quite a few others. The show was really good, and I may have shed a few tears. I wasn’t the only one though! I’ve always thought that the music from Hunchback was absolutely beautiful, and the story itself is so moving, so when the cast performed “Out There,” the tears started rolling. The finale song “Who Knows Where a Dream Might Lead” got me as well.

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After the show, we still had some time to kill before dinner, so we decided to peruse the gift shops outside the theater area. Man oh man, are there some good souvenirs on the cruise ships. I’m so used to seeing a lot of the same stuff over and over again since we go to WDW so often, that I felt like a kid in a candy shop being in a totally new environment! The prices are also cheaper on the ships than they are in the parks, so that’s definitely a plus. I took pics of some stuff that I liked...

The first thing that grabbed my attention was this hat. J has the black version with Mickey on it that he wears CONSTANTLY in the parks...no really, he’s wearing it in almost all of our photos! I thought he might like a blue version so he could mix it up every now and then. These hats are a little steep at $35, but J says they’re super breathable, so very comfortable for wearing out in the Florida heat.
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The next thing that grabbed me were these cute mugs! I love a good Disney mug, and this one is adorable!
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Speaking of adorable, check out this cute tank top!
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I also liked this mug. It was a little less girly than the other mug, but no less cute!
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I purchased one item (I’ll get to souvenirs at the end of the trip report), as well as a reusable shopping bag. They’ve seemingly eliminated plastic bags on the ship, so you either had to purchase a reusable bag, or carry your items on your person. I don’t mind buying the reusable ones, as I use them all the time at home when I’m doing any shopping. After browsing the shops for a while, we hurried up to the room to drop our purchases off before heading down to dinner. To our delight, Sigit had already serviced the room, and left a surprise for us!
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I thought it was really neat that they did something special for Valentine’s Day! The red and gold heart-shaped thing is a sponge that’s infused with scented body wash, and ladies always love chocolate!

Up next: Dinner at Enchanted Garden
 

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