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May 2020 Booked!

Herdman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#1
We just booked a 3 day cruise on the Dream for May 22-25, 2020!! It will be the first cruise of any kind for our family. We will be celebrating our daughter's college graduation and my wife and I's anniversary. We are visiting WDW before the cruise, not sure where we are staying yet. We've made several trips to WDW over the last 10 years. We are really looking forward to our first cruise!

If anyone has any tips on "must-do" or "no need to do" things on the ship please feel free to comment. I've already gathered that spending much time off the ship at Nassau is not something that we should do. Our TA said if we wanted to at least say we got off the ship that there was a small shop with souvenirs/jewelry as you first come into town that was pretty reasonably priced. Maybe this will help satisfy our daughter's desire to say she has been to Nassau. :)
 
#2
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We just booked a 3 day cruise on the Dream for May 22-25, 2020!! It will be the first cruise of any kind for our family. We will be celebrating our daughter's college graduation and my wife and I's anniversary. We are visiting WDW before the cruise, not sure where we are staying yet. We've made several trips to WDW over the last 10 years. We are really looking forward to our first cruise!

If anyone has any tips on "must-do" or "no need to do" things on the ship please feel free to comment. I've already gathered that spending much time off the ship at Nassau is not something that we should do. Our TA said if we wanted to at least say we got off the ship that there was a small shop with souvenirs/jewelry as you first come into town that was pretty reasonably priced. Maybe this will help satisfy our daughter's desire to say she has been to Nassau. :)
Congrats, on the cruise, the anniversary, and everything else!

We just returned from a cruise on the Dream for our anniversary a few weeks ago. I would say Palo is a "must-do" on the ship, as it is a reasonable extra fee ($30 per person), but an amazing experience. Also, if you like pictures, get the photo package ahead of time. We left with 60+ high-quality,printed, 8x10 photos of us with all of the characters, plus some family photos with a variety of backgrounds. The shows are an obvious "Must-Do"! Nassau is pretty much what you make of it. Some good excursions, if you want to pay, but not much else going on there. Soo much more to share! I may PM you with some extra info. :)
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
#3
Don't worry about must do's on a 3 day cruise - you will just end up rushed and disappointed.

Go into this with the mindset that you are not going to be able to do everything that you want to do - you do not have enough time. Case in point, you were told above that Paolo is a must-do. Somebody else is going to tell you that you "must" eat in all 3 dining rooms - guess what, you cant do both.

In my opinion, what you must do, is you must have a plan each day. Not a "DCL Commando" plan, but a reasonable plan. You will get a list of the next days events each evening in your state room. I suggest having a different highlighter color for each person in your party. Sit down each night as a group and look at what is being offered the next day. Each person highlights the activities they want to do. Be sure to leave some time in the day to just enjoy the ship. Don't be rushing around with your head down to get to the next event and miss everything going on around you. If you don't have a plan, you are going to be all over the place, and end up missing events.

Finally, I would recommend not spending a lot of time ashore in Nassau. There is a market just off the pier with a bunch of touristy things in it at reasonable prices. If you leave the markets, there is a lot of shopping in the surrounding five block area or so. Maybe do that, take 2 hours or so to just go to the market and and surrounding area. Unless there is something that you always wanted to do (like swim with dolphins) and you don't think you will ever ever get the chance again, I would skip those sort of excursions. They will take up the bulk of your day in Nassau - easily.
 
#4
Don't worry about must do's on a 3 day cruise - you will just end up rushed and disappointed.

Go into this with the mindset that you are not going to be able to do everything that you want to do - you do not have enough time. Case in point, you were told above that Paolo is a must-do. Somebody else is going to tell you that you "must" eat in all 3 dining rooms - guess what, you cant do both.

In my opinion, what you must do, is you must have a plan each day. Not a "DCL Commando" plan, but a reasonable plan. You will get a list of the next days events each evening in your state room. I suggest having a different highlighter color for each person in your party. Sit down each night as a group and look at what is being offered the next day. Each person highlights the activities they want to do. Be sure to leave some time in the day to just enjoy the ship. Don't be rushing around with your head down to get to the next event and miss everything going on around you. If you don't have a plan, you are going to be all over the place, and end up missing events.

Finally, I would recommend not spending a lot of time ashore in Nassau. There is a market just off the pier with a bunch of touristy things in it at reasonable prices. If you leave the markets, there is a lot of shopping in the surrounding five block area or so. Maybe do that, take 2 hours or so to just go to the market and and surrounding area. Unless there is something that you always wanted to do (like swim with dolphins) and you don't think you will ever ever get the chance again, I would skip those sort of excursions. They will take up the bulk of your day in Nassau - easily.
We were able to do Brunch in Palo and still do our 3 restaurants for our rotation and didn't spend a lot of time in Nassau, so it worked for us. :)
 

Herdman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#5
Thanks for the tips so far. I really like the idea of sitting down together and looking at the next day's events each evening to form a small plan. From what we've talked about so far I see us doing the shows, eating at the three rotational restaurants, spending just a short amount of time off the ship in Nassau and enjoying the entire day at Castaway Cay. The rest of the time we would explore the ship and relax by the pool, maybe enjoy some of the nightclubs before bed. Our daughter will be 21 at the time of the cruise. I definitely know we won't be able to do everything we would want to do this first time. We'll have to pick and choose for sure, but I'm sure we'll have a blast!
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
#6
Thanks for the tips so far. I really like the idea of sitting down together and looking at the next day's events each evening to form a small plan. From what we've talked about so far I see us doing the shows, eating at the three rotational restaurants, spending just a short amount of time off the ship in Nassau and enjoying the entire day at Castaway Cay. The rest of the time we would explore the ship and relax by the pool, maybe enjoy some of the nightclubs before bed. Our daughter will be 21 at the time of the cruise. I definitely know we won't be able to do everything we would want to do this first time. We'll have to pick and choose for sure, but I'm sure we'll have a blast!
Just some advice about Castaway Cay.

Since everybody is an adult, you can use the adults only section - well worth it.

Do a bit of planning around your Castaway Cay day, there are some things that you may want to do that are better if you plan ahead.

- Any runners in your group? There is a 5K Castaway Cay first thing in the morning. You get rubber medal for finishing. If you want to do it, bring your running shoes and plan to be up early.

- Anybody into snorkeling - even a little. There is a snorkeling section at Castaway Cay. It's not the greatest, but it is OK. If you are into it, try to do it earlier in the day. Less people have kicked up sand earlier in the day. If you have any sort of interest in snorkeling, you may want to bring your own equipment. The stuff DCL rents out is pretty poor. You can get decent sets with shorty fins you can pack for just over the cost of a rental. You are required to wear a float vest, but if you have your own gear, they will let you use their float vest for free.

- You can rent and ride bikes around the island. I think it is fun, maybe you don't. If you want to do the bikes, plan accordingly (whatever that means for you - shorts? sneakers? a shirt? )

- I think the excursions on Castaway Cay can be good. They are right as you get off the ship, and many of them are quick and fun. For example parasailing. Leaves right from by the ship, goes out around the ship, and then comes back. Leaving you plenty of time to enjoy Castaway Cay.
 

Herdman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#7
Just some advice about Castaway Cay.

Since everybody is an adult, you can use the adults only section - well worth it.

Do a bit of planning around your Castaway Cay day, there are some things that you may want to do that are better if you plan ahead.

- Any runners in your group? There is a 5K Castaway Cay first thing in the morning. You get rubber medal for finishing. If you want to do it, bring your running shoes and plan to be up early.

- Anybody into snorkeling - even a little. There is a snorkeling section at Castaway Cay. It's not the greatest, but it is OK. If you are into it, try to do it earlier in the day. Less people have kicked up sand earlier in the day. If you have any sort of interest in snorkeling, you may want to bring your own equipment. The stuff DCL rents out is pretty poor. You can get decent sets with shorty fins you can pack for just over the cost of a rental. You are required to wear a float vest, but if you have your own gear, they will let you use their float vest for free.

- You can rent and ride bikes around the island. I think it is fun, maybe you don't. If you want to do the bikes, plan accordingly (whatever that means for you - shorts? sneakers? a shirt? )

- I think the excursions on Castaway Cay can be good. They are right as you get off the ship, and many of them are quick and fun. For example parasailing. Leaves right from by the ship, goes out around the ship, and then comes back. Leaving you plenty of time to enjoy Castaway Cay.
Awesome!! Thank you!
 
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