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Trip Report Disney Dreamin' of a night at AKL--a little bit of a different trip...COMPLETED

myhappyplace

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Well, this trip is coming up on us fast!

This will be a different trip, as we won't even be setting foot in a park--crazy I know! I hope I can manage. @Mrhappyplace has his doubts, but as I have a trip planned in June, I think I'll be ok.



The Details
Who: Myself, Amber, age 40-gah- at time of trip, and DH, Mrhappyplace.
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When: November 11th until November 17th
Where: several places! Night one will be at the Hilton in Cocoa Beach, nights two through five will be on the Disney Dream, stateroom #7572 to be exact, and then night six will be at Animal Kingdom Lodge, WDW.

From our home just north of Atlanta, it is 4 hours to Savannah, which I've always wanted to visit. Then a further 4 hours from there to Port Canaveral. So we're planning on stopping for a bit in Savannah before heading to our hotel in Cocoa Beach. The next morning we head to our cruise!

We booked this cruise while on our last cruise, which was December 2016. Actually, we booked the placeholder and then the (much more expensive) 7 night Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy. Being our 3rd cruise, and while we love the Dream, we had hoped to try a different ship and itinerary--and someday we will, hopefully. Just wasn't to be, this time, monetarily. We did book Palo brunch though, so excited to try that new experience!

Also, we've always wanted to stay at AKL but were hesitant because of distance from the parks. We decided that instead of making the drive straight back home after disembarking the ship, we'd finally stay there when we weren't planning on park days.

We will round out the trip with a dinner at California Grill--our first time! on the evening of November 15th, and then have breakfast at Olivia's Cafe at Old Key West the following morning before driving home. We will enjoy hanging out at AKL during the day on the 15th, hopefully enjoying the pool a bit, and then possibly getting DH to try Trader Sam's later the afternoon before our CG dinner. We're hoping to catch the fireworks from the Christmas party.

This trip report probably won't be as long as others, so I'll most likely just turn this pre-trip thread into the Trip thread.
 
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myhappyplace

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Time to turn this thread into a Trip Report and get cracking!


Sunday, November 11th- Travel Day/ Savannah/ Cocoa Beach
We got started quite a bit later than we intended. It wasn't really a big deal, as even though our plans included going a different route so that we could spend some time in Savannah (a first for both of us), we had no set-in-stone. We were going to try to meet up with my cute cousin who lives about 25 minutes away from the city, but since both of her kiddos had come down with upper respiratory infections, that didn't happen. Travel was easy- DH drove part of the way, and then I took over a bit later down the road; it took about 4 hours from our place to Savannah. We enjoyed listening to the "Dirty John" podcast. (And now I'm hooked on true crime podcasts) I'll include a couple of pictures, but with only a short time in the city, I knew I just wanted to walk through the Historic District. Had we more time (and maybe if the weather wasn't quite so brisk for southern GA that day), we would have also explored River St. Maybe another time.

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I really spent an inordinate amount of time trying to capture good images of spanish moss; to my frustration, they weren't really turning out. But I simply loved the streets, the brick homes, the cobblestones, everything.
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We walked to Colonial Park Cemetary ( I work in Gwinnett County, and so wanted to find the burial site of Button Gwinnett), the Cathedral of St. John, and Forsyth Park.

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Overall, we had a pleasant few hours (though I wish it hadn't been as chilly). We stopped for lunch at a dive called Tondee's Tavern. It was nothing much to look at, but the food was delicious! DH had the Fish Sandwich, and I had a burger with fried green tomatoes. It was excellent! We ordered a cheesecake in a jar-to go! We selected the peanut butter flavor.

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We got back on the road at around 4pm. The road from Savannah had pretty wildflowers all along both sides and in the median, and DH laughed at me because I said "it's such a pop of color!", so he of course had to point out everything else with color to it so he could say it was a pop of color. I tried to capture a photo, but this was the best I could do.

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Tuvalu

Premium Member
Em and I ate at Tondee’s in February and thought it was very good....wouldn’t put it in the “dive” category. 😉😊
 

myhappyplace

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We arrived at our Cocoa Beach resort (the Hilton) after 8pm. Since it was already dark, and we were tired, we just ate some snacks in the room. Overall, the hotel was fine, the room was big, but we did comment on how much they nickled-and-dimed us. Wi-fi, breakfast, etc. It just didn't impress us.

This was the light switch in our room...kinda janky for what we paid.
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After a good night's sleep (though I made sure to take my Airborne--I had been feeling a little stuffy), before it was time to leave our hotel, I spent a few minutes standing in the water.

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After that, we finalized our packing, and were off to Port Canaveral (which was less than 10 minutes away!)
 

myhappyplace

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Em and I ate at Tondee’s in February and thought it was very good....wouldn’t put it in the “dive” category. 😉😊
"Dive" was probably the wrong word. I think I had pictured eating at something historic and more Savannah-ish, whatever that is. So this was just a casual, non-fancy place...we were I think the only people eating there, though there were a couple of people at the bar. It was very good food!
 

Tiggerish

Resident Redhead
Premium Member
Well, this trip is coming up on us fast!

This will be a different trip, as we won't even be setting foot in a park--crazy I know! I hope I can manage. @Mrhappyplace has his doubts, but as I have a trip planned in June, I think I'll be ok.



The Details
Who: Myself, Amber, age 40-gah- at time of trip, and DH, Mrhappyplace.
View attachment 321226

When: November 11th until November 17th
Where: several places! Night one will be at the Hilton in Cocoa Beach, nights two through five will be on the Disney Dream, stateroom #7572 to be exact, and then night six will be at Animal Kingdom Lodge, WDW.

From our home just north of Atlanta, it is 4 hours to Savannah, which I've always wanted to visit. Then a further 4 hours from there to Port Canaveral. So we're planning on stopping for a bit in Savannah before heading to our hotel in Cocoa Beach. The next morning we head to our cruise!

We booked this cruise while on our last cruise, which was December 2016. Actually, we booked the placeholder and then the (much more expensive) 7 night Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy. Being our 3rd cruise, and while we love the Dream, we had hoped to try a different ship and itinerary--and someday we will, hopefully. Just wasn't to be, this time, monetarily. We did book Palo brunch though, so excited to try that new experience!

Also, we've always wanted to stay at AKL but were hesitant because of distance from the parks. We decided that instead of making the drive straight back home after disembarking the ship, we'd finally stay there when we weren't planning on park days.

We will round out the trip with a dinner at California Grill--our first time! on the evening of November 15th, and then have breakfast at Olivia's Cafe at Old Key West the following morning before driving home. We will enjoy hanging out at AKL during the day on the 15th, hopefully enjoying the pool a bit, and then possibly getting DH to try Trader Sam's later the afternoon before our CG dinner. We're hoping to catch the fireworks from the Christmas party.

This trip report probably won't be as long as others, so I'll most likely just turn this pre-trip thread into the Trip thread.
Sounds like a GREAT trip!! Excited to read all about it :)
 

Tiggerish

Resident Redhead
Premium Member
Lovely photos from Cocoa Beach, especially the footprint.

DH and I had a wedding in Hilton Head back in May,we flew into Savannah's airport but didn't see any of the city --we were too anxious to get to the DVC Hilton Head where we were staying!
 

Tiggerish

Resident Redhead
Premium Member
Omg! We were on the Dream for the November 12th sailing, too!! :cool:

Looking forward to re-living the fun!!
Aw, looks like we'll be ships passing at some time of day...we're on the Dream from June 19-23. Are you doing any park time pre-cruise? Just did my first Fantasy sailing in September, and it was amazing!!! Miss you!
 

Mrhappyplace

Well-Known Member
It was packed when we were there!
I feel it is worth mentioning that we were there around 4 pm on a Sunday, not really a time I'd expect many people to be dining. Regardless of how many other people were eating at the time the food was really good and the prices were reasonable so I would go there again.
 

cfry06

Well-Known Member
Aw, looks like we'll be ships passing at some time of day...we're on the Dream from June 19-23. Are you doing any park time pre-cruise? Just did my first Fantasy sailing in September, and it was amazing!!! Miss you!
Aww! Our park time will be post-cruise, the 30th to July 5th or 6th. We will be passing off the coast of Port Canaveral for sure! We tried the Fantasy first time in January and were smitten! Excited to take the kiddo for the first time. Miss you back!

Still a maybe/last minute for girls’ cruise 2019!

Sorry to hijack, @myhappyplace ! Disney Trip reports bring friends together!;)
 

myhappyplace

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm following along. Savannah looks really nice, it's one of the places I'd like to go.
Glad to have you along! It was, though I'd really like to go sometime maybe in the spring. I was really kinda nervous about navigating it myself, and trying to pack several things I wanted to see in just a few hours, but it really was a fairly easy city.
Sounds like a GREAT trip!! Excited to read all about it :)
Thanks for following along, it was!
Omg! We were on the Dream for the November 12th sailing, too!! :cool:

Looking forward to re-living the fun!!
Awesome! Look for yourselves in the backgrounds of any photos, though I usually try to cut people out so there may not be (m)any with people in it now that I think on it!
Lovely photos from Cocoa Beach, especially the footprint.

DH and I had a wedding in Hilton Head back in May,we flew into Savannah's airport but didn't see any of the city --we were too anxious to get to the DVC Hilton Head where we were staying!
Thanks! I had been to Savannah's airport one time, to fly in for a wedding there but only went directly to the venue, that was it. It is a beautiful historic city!
Yay! I've been waiting for this! Following along.
Woohoo! Will probably be putting more up tonight or tomorrow!
Love Savannah!

thumbs up for the "footprint" photo.

I'm in!
Yay! Thanks, fractal! I recall your stop in Savannah on one of your previous trip reports, and it made me want to visit River Street---we just didn't have the time, this time. Someday!
 

myhappyplace

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sunday, November 12th- Time to board the Disney Dream!

Driving to the port was a breeze, other than the jackhole who cut us off once, and whom we watched cut several other people off switching lanes like he was determined to be at the front of the line, like we all weren't going to get there. Then, once we approached the terminal, he felt he was important enough to take the buses-only entrance, as well. There are personnel out at the entrance to methodically feed cars into numbered spots along the curb for dropping off guests and luggage, and they even looked at a loss with this guy.

We dropped off a couple of bags, then approached the parking garage area, paid, and then for the second time in a row in three cruises, we missed the entrance to the actual parking garage structure. So, also for the second time, we parked in the open on the other side, which is fine too. Actually, I think it makes for a quicker and easier departure, so I was fine with it. (Later on, once we had a birds-eye view from the top of the ship, we saw where the entrance was and realized what we did).

Going through security at the terminal was easy as always, though it seemed to take a bit longer this time. Once in the terminal upstairs, we got to go straight to the desk, being Castaway Club (already sailed before). Easy peasy, got boarding group #2.

One of my pet peeves, at airports or especially here, is when people from later boarding groups stand around the entrance. It happens SO much. When they called #2, we followed another party we knew to be in the same group, and were cut off by a lady asking "are you with them?" I didn't know how to answer because we weren't WITH them, but we were all group #2, so I said "no", and she proceeded to swoop right in front of me. DH and I looked at each other like "ooookay" but no big deal. We get to the woman at the entrance checking boarding numbers, and the woman who had gotten in front of us didn't even have her boarding card! So then she proceeds to stand there and call back to the rest of her group that they need their boarding card, so I said "excuse me, we'd like to board", showed our cards, and entered.

Once we passed through the Mickey ears, all was good. We were introduced, and headed to Guest Services to check on our onboard credit, confirm our Palo time, and to our pleasure--book Mixology! Then it was up to Cabanas for lunch (we were starving).

Sorry for the word-heavy portion above, I wasn't taking pics at this time. But like any good cruise trip report, we begin with FOOD.

My plate. The mashed potatoes in the back left of my big plate were DELICIOUS. During our cruise, they had several holiday-themed type foods, different from their typical fare.
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DH's (first) plate:
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and his second.
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I mentioned earlier that while up in Cabanas, we could see the parking area, and where we erred. We also noted how dark the sky was, and changed our plans. We were going to go to the adult pool next, but decided to postpone that for a bit.
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We went to check out where our stateroom was, and though we weren't sure if they were "ready", our keys opened it and it seemed ready (minus our luggage). We put our carry-ons down, and took some pics.

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And, our Castaway Club gift:
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myhappyplace

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
When we left our room (we didn't want to stay in there in case they weren't officially ready yet), at the elevators right outside our room, we encountered an older woman in an ECV who was clearly frustrated, trying to call an elevator. [Keep in mind, people are still boarding the ship at this time, so the elevators were being used heavily.] She said (very grumpily) "This is ridiculous, I'm about ready to stay in my room the whole cruise and just order room service". We thought it a bit premature to call this already...

We looked around the art gallery, where I especially liked this print (I took a close-up of it in case I wanted to make it my phone background)
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We stood above the atrium, watching people arrive, and enjoying the Christmas decor.
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After wandering around a bit, we went back to our room where most of our luggage had been delivered. We were just still short our bathroom bag. Our stateroom host, ****chia, found it for us in no time. We spent some time unpacking and relaxing until it was time for our muster drill. Our station was in the Buena Vista theater this time.

After our mandatory muster, we went back to the room to change into swimming gear. Destination: adult-only pool! This was quite an adventure, because while in the deeper water of the pool, it felt like I was in the ocean's waves. SO FUN. I was literally being washed back and forth in the pool water, just because of the ship's motion--but it wasn't really felt on deck. This was during the Sail Away party (the madness was all at the midship family pool area). There were a few couples in the water with us at the time.

One peeve about the adult-only area is that there is a set of stairs that anyone can walk to and up or down, right in the middle of the pool area, thus essentially destroying the adult-only serenity. Case in point: the child who insisted loudly that she should carry a very full beverage up the steps, only to drop it when at the very top, cup and all, spilling soda all down onto the pool chairs. The poor employee had to take off all the cushions and replace them. I love children, but I think if you're gonna have an adult-only section, it should be an adult-only section.

After enjoying the pool for a bit, we dipped in the hot tub for a couple of minutes, then went back to our stateroom to clean up for dinner. MORE FOOD COMING UP!!
 
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