To wrap up our amazing adventure on the Disney Dream, we had a scheduled day at sea. For Kaitlyn, that meant spending as much time as she wanted in the Oceaneer Club; for Amber and I, it meant we got to spend more time in the less-crowded part of the ship, the adult area. We made our way up to as far forward as we could go, and it was pretty neat to see ocean all around us.
Of course, knowing that it would be her last chance to take a ride, Kaitlyn wanted to ride the AquaDuck a few times, and Amber and I were happy to oblige her. It is really difficult to describe the sensation of the ride, especially when you are 11 decks above water that is over 4,000 feet deep.
We made sure to soak in as much as we could on the ship, including views like the one pictured at left. Amber and I spent time lounging on deck 4’s walking track, and made it up to deck 13 aft one last time as well. We made sure that Kaitlyn got to see any of the characters she wanted to see again so that she could give them one last hug before the end of the cruise.
While Kaitlyn was enjoying her time in the Oceaneer Club in the afternoon, Amber and I took the opportunity to take in a tequila tasting. We got to try three different kinds of Patron tequila, and I was pretty impressed. At the end of the tasting, our bartender, Oscar, made margaritas for everyone; he “accidentally” made too much for everyone to have just one!
For dinner, our rotation took us back to Royal Palace (we were there for “Pirate Night” the previous evening). Kaitlyn went with chicken strips and a Mickey bar again, and also had a Princess Delight drink, which she really did not care for. Amber went with the shrimp and lobster appetizer, cauliflower puree soup with caviar, salmon for her entrée, and the sweet temptations trio for dessert (it was peanut butter mousse, crème brulee, and mango cheesecake). I had been looking forward to trying the specialty drink at the Royal Palace, the double Crowned, and I was not disappointed. For dinner, I had grilled pork tenderloin and also wild boar (it was really good), and for dessert, I had the peanut butter mousse. Once again, we were not disappointed in our meal. The night’s curry dish was shrimp curry, which Amber reported as being pretty good, too.
We were sad that we had to say “goodbye” to Gidion and Keisha. They took great care of our table, and we never really had to think about what we wanted since Gidion would provide his trademark seal of approval with a signature “yummy, yummy” when we seemed a little stuck. Kaitlyn was especially sad to see her new friend Karishma one last time; it is amazing to me how kids can make new friends so quickly. After about the first 10 minutes on the first night, Kaitlyn was out of her shell with Karishma, and by the last night, the two of them were wanting to take their respective mothers on one more trip around the ship playing Midship Detective.
As we were piling out of dinner, we made sure to take advantage of one of the better-kept secrets of cruising with Mickey, and that is the “See Ya Real Soon” going away party. Kaitlyn loved that all of the characters and princesses came out for one last visit, and she made sure to see both Donald and Daisy one more time. For the entire time we were on the cruise, she was probably the happiest after each character interaction, and I will have the image of her amazing smile etched into my memory.
We debarked early the next morning and made our way back home. It was the first day on our vacation we had any significant rain, and we later learned that we were in the middle of Tropical Storm Andrea.
Kaitlyn was really sad when we got home, and she let us know it, too. She did not like that we would no longer be waited on. She asked, “who will make our beds?” and was upset that she had to do chores again. For our part, Amber and I were upset that we would not know what to eat without Gidion telling us if it was “yummy, yummy” or not.
I never thought that we would be “cruise people,” but after our experience, we are for sure. We already cannot wait to hop on the Disney Fantasy next year, and are happy that we will have company; right now, we will be joined by my parents, my brother, and our nephew. Some friends asked us if we thought that taking a Disney cruise was worth the money, and lucky for them, we had an answer at the ready (it turns out we had the same discussion at our table the last night). I would say that it is worth the money. If you try to monetarily quantify your trip, you will find that you probably paid more than what you ended up doing (it is Disney after all). But the way Amber and I look at it, you really cannot put a dollar amount on the fun we had, and the fun that Kaitlyn had. That smile I wrote about above, how can I put a dollar figure on it? It I tried to, it would be worth way more than we paid for the cruise. All-in-all, I think that Amber and I probably ate close to $1,000 worth of food on our voyage, between the exquisite dinners and the breakfast and lunch buffets, along with the all-you-can-eat ice cream and unlimited soda and water.
I hope you have enjoyed each part of our vacation recap. I know this blog is about Kaitlyn, and I think I did a fair job in detailing what she did on a daily basis. Thank you for sticking it out and reading all of these (I know some were rather wordy). Our next Disney cruise is a long ways off, and I am sure that in that time, Kaitlyn will become even more of an expert than she already is about their cruise line (she announced that she is going to be a Disney princess on one of the ships in their fleet when she grows up). Who knows, maybe we will see you on-board the Fantasy next year!