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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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k8einwdw

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

When I left off, we had dashed back to our room after “Golden Mickeys” to drop some stuff off before dinner. Now, it was finally time for our first dinner on the ship! Our first night, we dined at the beautiful Enchanted Garden.

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I loved the theming here! Who am I kidding, I loved the theming everywhere on the ship. We were seated, and very quickly met our servers for the cruise. Frank from Peru, and Hery from Indonesia. They were both very friendly and personable, and definitely made our cruise experience that much better! Now, on to the food!

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For apps, Mom, M, and I all got the smoked bacon and mushroom tart. This was similar to a quiche, and very tasty! A got the Lobster ravioli. Frank said his favorite app was the Ahi Tuna Tower, so he brought one of those as well. I don’t eat seafood, so I sat that one out, but everyone else said it was good, especially seafood-lover M. Another note since I see it in the picture - I loved that there was bread service at every meal. That’s something you don’t see at many WDW restaurants these days.

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Now, onto mains. Mom, M, and I all got the prime rib. A got the glazed portobello mushroom. We all loved our entrees. The head server came over to the table and noticed that A had gotten a vegetarian dish. He asked her if she was vegetarian. She actually went through a vegan phase for a while last year, but now eats meat again. He asked if we liked Indian food, which we all do. He said that they would make something special off the menu for us for the next night’s dinner! That’s the Disney difference!
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For desserts, two of us got the chocolate garden torte, and two of us (including myself) got the warm sticky date pudding. I was on the fence between the orange yogurt cake (I love citrusy desserts) and the pudding, but I’m glad I chose the pudding! SO good!
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After our dinner, we headed up to the D Lounge for an animation class. We got to draw Goofy, and we got a special surprise at the end! I’m a sucker for the animation classes, they are so fun!
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I just love this goof. And doesn’t he look dapper in his tux? 😍 After our class, we didn’t have to go far, as Mom wanted to do the “So You Think You Know Your Family” game that was right there in D Lounge immediately following the animation class. The game was a Newlywed Game type format, where they would ask a question about either the kid or the parent, and both would have to write down their answer, and hold up their boards to see if they matched. We think we were the wrong audience for this game, because it seemed like every family they were picking had 7-10 year old kids. Old enough to understand the questions, but young enough to still be cute. We ended up leaving about 3/4 of the way through.

By this point it was pretty late and we had all been yawning since dinner, so we hit the hay. I slept on the couch bed, A slept on the bunk above the couch bed, which made some *very* questionable noises like it was going to fall on top of me in the middle of the night. M slept on the bed by the window, and Mom slept in the queen bed. I forgot to mention earlier, I had pulled a muscle in my back the day prior, while...wait for it...blow drying my hair.

So, I was a little concerned about the bed situation. It ended up being pretty comfortable, and I was able to sleep well all night!

Up next: Nassau Day
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Taking a page from @akneeconnors book...Just wanted to take a moment to say my heart really goes out to anyone who has had to cancel their vacation plans due to the Coronavirus. I’ve been in that situation before (Hurricane Irma), and it’s a very tough and very sad decision to have to make, canceling your trip that you’ve been planning for months/years. Also a shoutout to travel agents, many of whom have spent literally all day today and will probably spend their entire weekend on hold with Disney, getting their clients taken care of. Healthcare providers - thinking of you, hoping you get the rest you need soon. Most of all, thinking of and praying for any of you who are directly affected by the virus, whether you or a loved one is sick, or at a high risk.

I am fortunate in that I am able to work from home when necessary, and they’ve told us office staff we’re all working from home for the time being, starting Monday. With J’s profession, he has to physically go to work in order to get paid, so if they decide to shut down his plant, he’ll either have to use up all of his PTO, or go unpaid. We’re thankful that we just got our tax return this week, so that can help alleviate the financial burden of being out of work, if need be. It was supposed to go toward a down payment for a new car for me, but some things are more important.
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Now, back to the magic!

February 15th - Nassau Day - Part One

I was awakened by the sunshine coming in through the curtains. I shot out of bed - “Did we miss our brunch reservation?!?” Nope, thankfully it was only 7:00! 😂 The ship hadn’t even pulled into Nassau yet. I decided to go ahead and get out of bed, and I noticed something missing in the room...M was still sleeping soundly, there was a sheet-covered human-shaped lump in Mom’s bed...I looked up, and A’s bed was empty! Bathrooms are empty...where’s A? I go into panic mode, and start whispering to wake up Mom.

She rolls over, and it’s A. In Mom’s bed. So where’s Mom? Turns out, she’s already outside on the veranda. It must have been her adjusting the curtains to get out, that woke me up. After my heart started beating again, I joined Mom out on the veranda. I got some beautiful pictures of the sun coming up over the water.

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Around 8:00, M and A are still sleeping soundly, so Mom and I decided to throw on some clothes and head up to Cove Cafe to grab some coffee and watch the ship pull into Nassau. We got up there to find the place practically empty! We both got a fancy coffee with a character on it...
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We took our coffees out onto the deck area outside Satellite Falls, and settled into some comfy chairs to sip our coffee and watch the ship pull into port. The area was practically empty, save for a few families coming up to watch the ship pull in as well.

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Land ho!
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We pulled into port alongside several other ships, and Mom and I headed back down to the room to get ready for brunch. When we got to the room, A and M were up and getting ready as well. The captain gave the all clear for people to go ashore, and we were not sad to be missing out on those crowds! We had all done Nassau before and didn’t have any desire to do it again, so we were staying on the ship all day.

Up Next: The best meal of the trip!
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
February 15th - Nassau Day - Part Two

After we were all dressed and ready, we headed down to Palo for our 10:00 am Brunch reservation. We were seated right away at a table by a window, where we could look out onto a Royal Caribbean ship. In fact, it was the Mariner of the Seas, which we cruised on way back in 2004! The couple at the table next to us kept calling it “the poor ship.” 🙄 Seriously, how highly do you have to think of yourself to say something like that? This wasn’t the first time they made a bad impression...more on that later.

We quickly met our server, David from Portugal. David was a fantastic server - very friendly and attentive. He took our drink orders - I got a mimosa, I think Mom got champagne, M got coffee, and I believe A got juice - and explained to us how the menu worked, and what some of his personal favorites were.
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At Palo, you order off the menu, and there is also an amazing buffet that you can get food from. Once we had all ordered our entrees, he gave us a full tour of everything at the buffet. We could have easily made a great meal out of just what was at the buffet! We all put a handful of things on our plates(didn’t want to get too much since we had a lot of food coming).
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From the buffet, I got some arancini, a warm sticky bun (David’s recommendation), some salami, a caprese salad type thing with the BEST, freshest mozzarella I have ever had in my life, and my personal favorite, the Chocolate Chip Brioche. Oh, the chocolate chip brioche...I could write a 90s R&B love song about this stuff...it was truly heavenly.
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For our entrees, we all got different things. I got the Strawberry Mickey Waffle and the Chicken Parm, Mom got the Apple Cinnamon Waffles and...something else, M got the Eggs Benedict and the Chicken Parm, and A got I believe pancakes (?) and the artichoke ravioli. My strawberry Mickey waffle was incredibly delicious! If you’ve only ever had the Mickey waffles from resort quick services and food courts, do yourself a favor and get Mickey waffles from a table service breakfast sometime. So warm and fresh, slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside...yum yum. It is seriously a different experience.
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I ate about half of my waffle before my Chicken Parm arrived. What can I say about this Chicken Parm, or as Tom Haverford would fall it, Chicky Chicky Parm Parm?
This was David’s recommendation, and it was insanely good. Remember how I said the caprese featured the best mozzarella I’d ever tasted? Well this stuff was covered in it. Perfectly crispy chicken, gooey delicious cheese...my mom makes a good chicken parm, but Palo’s puts hers to shame (sorry, Mom!).
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After our delicious entrees, we still had one thing left to conquer - dessert. We were all stuffed to the gills, but David insisted that we needed to try some of the desserts. Speaking of David...remember that rude couple from earlier? At one point, David came to bring them a special dessert for their anniversary, and the woman scolded him and said that she just wanted to be left alone with her husband on their anniversary. Um...if you want to be alone, maybe you should have stayed in your room and ordered room service? The nerve of some people...
Anyway, back to desserts! I got a cannoli, the tiramisu, and the cappuccino Creme pot. I think we all got pretty much the same thing. All of them were good, but I think the cappuccino Creme pot was my favorite!
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Once we were done and settled the bill, we rolled back to the stateroom to get ready for the rest of our day on the ship. Overall, Palo Brunch was a fantastic experience! The food was phenomenal, the service was outstanding, and it felt very secluded. I highly recommend it, and 100% plan on booking it for my next cruise!

Up next! Total Relaxation
 
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k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
February 15th- Nassau Day- Part Three

This is going to be a very word-heavy post, so I’ll try to keep it short! After brunch, we headed back down to the room to change into our swimsuits and cover-ups, because we were heading to the spa! Mom had gifted each of us with Rainforest passes for our Nassau day! The Rainforest is part of the spa onboard, where they have several different shower experiences, hot stone loungers, three (?) saunas, and a hot tub. The unfortunate thing about the onboard spa is that they are very. pushy. when it comes to selling their products. When we were checking in, the hostess asked us if we wanted to add any services (no), and told us to smell the scented scrubs (that they sell). A couple of us didn’t move to smell the scrubs (hello, I wasn’t born yesterday), and she was very rude and again snipped at us to smell the scrubs. Fine lady, I’ll smell your stupid scrubs.
After we had FINALLY ditched Miss Pushy Pants, we put on our robes and made a beeline for the hot stone loungers. There weren’t four together, because people like to leave their stuff unattended to claim a spot, and then literally leave the spa. 🙄 Eventually, one of the staff came out to gather up unattended towels, and we were all able to sit together. We all chilled on the loungers for a while, relaxing and reading, and A and M enjoyed the hot tub. This is the one pic I took of our spa experience. This is the ceiling above the hot stone loungers. It’s hard to tell, but there are little lights that I’m guessing they turn on at night. We discussed coming back that night to see it, but never made it back.
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After we’d all had our fill of laying around, we decided we’d try out the showers. Everything I’d read online sold these as “aromatherapy showers,” but I didn’t smell anything - maybe that’s why they want you to buy the scrubs? The showers are supposed to mimic rain and storms, and there are different settings you can tinker with, and some of them have flashing lights. The one thing I didn’t like about the showers? All but one of them were COLD! Like, freezing cold. Hi, I’m Katie, and I’ve been involuntarily nominated for the ice bucket challenge.
Then, we decided to try out the saunas. Two of them are wet heat, one is dry. I think I was the only one that didn’t immediately walk out of the wet heat ones - I said it felt like Orlando in September. The dry heat sauna was much more pleasant though. Maybe you’re supposed to do the saunas and then the freezing showers? The more you know...

Once we had our fill of the saunas, M and I decided we were ready to change back into clothes and head back to the room, while Mom and A stayed a little longer. When we went into the locker room, there was a woman standing Butt A.S.S. Naked, right in front of the door. There are multiple stalls you can change in, WHY are you making everyone else look at your naked body?

M and I both looked up at the ceiling as we went to retrieve our stuff from our locker. Problem was...the combination wasn’t working. A had gone back to the locker to get something earlier, so we wondered if it had reset. We had to get Miss Pushy Pants to come open it for us.

Overall thoughts on the Rainforest passes - while I didn’t pay for it, I did see that the day pass (at least if you pay onboard) was $49, which seems very steep. I had heard that it used to be reasonably priced, and that the price had increased significantly in the past couple years. If I were paying for it myself, I don’t know if I’d do the day pass. I might do a length-of-cruise pass for a longer cruise, but the day pass just wasn’t worth it in my opinion. I am glad we got the experience though, as we all enjoyed it.

Up next: a leisurely afternoon on the ship
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
February 15th - Nassau Day- Part Four

This will be another word-heavy update, so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. After we left the spa, we all headed up to the Satellite Falls pool. We were surprised at how crowded it was, we were guessing maybe a lot of people came back in from Nassau early. We laid by the pool for a while, and I eventually got hot and decided to head back to the room.
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On my way back to the room, I stopped by the soft-serve machines to see what today’s flavors were. One of the flavors was mango - yum! I of course grabbed a cone. I also popped in to Cabana’s to grab a picture of this cute mosaic wall I’d been admiring. I can not imagine how long this took to make, but it’s so beautiful!

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I headed back to the room, and gave J a call. I had bought the International Day Pass from AT&T, so I was able to call and text J whenever we were in port. That’s assuming I had signal, which was not always the case. After I hung up with J, I looked at the Navigator and saw that quite a few characters were meeting in the Atrium, so I decided to pop down there. The lines for Minnie and Mickey were super long, so I decided to hang out in line for Daisy, who hadn’t come out yet. She’s my favorite anyway. :) All of the characters were decked out in their pirate gear, since it was Pirate Night. I had not put on my pirate outfit yet, so I felt a little out of place among all the people that had. It did feel a little lonely being an adult in line by myself, and it made me miss J even more. 😢Nevertheless, I enjoyed meeting Daisy, as I always do.
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After meeting Daisy, I hurried up to the room to get ready for Pirate Night. I don’t know why none of us thought to get a picture of all of us dressed up. You’ll just have to take my word for it when I say that we all participated!

Up next: Beauty and the Beast, and more shopping!
 
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k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
February 15th- Nassau Day- Part Five

When I left off, we had just changed into our pirate gear, and it was time to head out for the show! Tonight’s show was “Beauty and the Beast.” BATB is my very favorite Disney movie, so I had high expectations for this one. Side note - I loved how they changed the lighting in the theater each night based on the show. For BATB, the lighting was dark and mysterious.
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I’m happy to report, this show absolutely exceeded my expectations! All of the actors were phenomenal, the musical numbers were fantastic, the costumes were great, it was overall a wonderful show!

After the show, we decided to hit up the shops again. I took lots of photos of merchandise I loved, which I’ll share here:

These popsicle molds were too dang cute. I regret not buying these! If there had been a Daisy, I would have been sold!
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Another cute mug! J loves Sorcerer Mickey, so I had to send him a pic of this one.
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I can’t bring myself to spend the dough on a Loungefly bag, but this one is so cute!
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More cute mugs! I love anything with Captain Minnie on it. I’m not exactly Stitch’s biggest fan (Stitch’s Great Escape kind of ruined him for me), but his mug is pretty cute.
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I got so excited when I spotted this shirt. I have the Walt Disney World version that I wear all the time!
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I purchased one item (to be shared at the end of the report), and then it was time for dinner!

Up next: Royal Court dinner
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
February 15th- Nassau Day- Part Six

When I left off, we had just seen the phenomenal “Beauty and the Beast” show, and done a little souvenir shopping. Now, it was time for dinner! We headed down to Royal Court, which is Princess/Disney Royalty themed. I was glad to finally grab pictures of these mosaics without people sitting in front of them!
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I am kicking myself for not getting any pictures of the inside of the restaurant, as it is beautifully themed. When we sat down, I was delighted to look down at the bread basket and see Cinderella!
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My delight continued when they brought out the bread, and it was shaped like a pumpkin! Such a cute touch. The menus also paid tribute to Cinderella...
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Now, onto the food! For apps, I got the French Onion Soup, I believe Mom got the Duck Confit, M got a salad, and I have no idea what A got. I love a good French Onion Soup, and this one was great!
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Then, we were treated to a surprise! I mentioned earlier that the night before, the head waiter said that they were going to give us the “Indian Treatment” the next night, and here it was! There was a chickpea dish as well as a potato dish, and both were great! The bread was more like tortillas than naan, but we were impressed nevertheless!
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After that huge spread, we still had entrees coming! Mom, A, and M all got the lobster and shrimp pasta, and they all said that they preferred the Indian food. I got the Chateaubriand-Roasted Filet Steak, and I was a little surprised when it came. I guess I was expecting something along a filet mignon, and what I was given looked eerily similar to my prime rib the night before. Here’s a picture of the previous night’s dinner at Enchanted Garden...
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And now the entree for this night’s dinner at Royal Court...
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This was good, but it felt like a repeat of the night prior, so I only ate a little bit.

Somehow, after all the food we’d already had, we were somehow expected to eat dessert. I chose the Grand Marnier soufflé, M got the strawberry shortcake, and Mom and A both got the apple tart. While we were waiting for our desserts, Hery (our assistant server) entertained us with a magic trick! It was such a fun way to keep people occupied, and everyone (especially the kids) at our surrounding tables loved it! At last, our desserts had arrived...my soufflé was absolutely divine - I could have bathed in the Grand Marnier sauce! 😋
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After desserts were had, we bid adieu to Frank and Hery, and headed back up to the room for a little bit before we headed out for Pirate Night. When A opened the door, she was audibly surprised upon seeing that night’s towel creation...
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I’ll leave you with this image to haunt you in your sleep. I’m still not entirely sure what this was supposed to be, but it was crazy looking!

Up next: Pirate Night!
 

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