Aboard the Dream: I’m Going Cruisin

Here’s some exciting news: I’m going on my first cruise next summer. And, duh, of course it’s a Disney cruise. It’s all set and booked: a 5-night sailing on the Disney Dream with Dan from At Disney Again. Two stops at Castaway Cay and one stop at Nassau. And I am stupid, stupid, stupid excited.

And a little bit scared. I’ve always been afraid of open water. But everyone swears that I’ll be able to see the land at least 80% of the time and that I won’t even feel like I’m in the ocean on such a large ship. So. I’m cautiously optimistic. And I’m lucky enough to have a doctor who’ll prescribe a small amount of clonazepam … just in case.

Disney Cruise Line (At Disney Again)
So. Much. Water.

But really I’m excited. And I can’t wait to start planning. Last week, I started poking around, doing some research. Five things that jumped out at me:

> There are three main dining rooms and five nights on our cruise … so we’ll repeat restaurants?! (Unless we upgrade to Palo and/or Remy, of course.) That’s weird and wonderful! Do I want to repeat? Do I want to try them all? Can we book one of the fancy spots for brunch on the at-sea day? (The Hipsters did brunch at Palo, and it looked cool.) Which one has better brunch? So many questions …

> Tickets. Actual hard-copy tickets?! Delivered to your room every morning? That is so so so weird to me. I would think that it would be easy to implement Magic Bands onboard the ship, but then again, it’s sort of nice that the times and places are written down for your reference. I imagine time doesn’t have a ton of meaning on a cruise ship.

> I very much hate that the DCL website is like, “Times vary. Check your Personal Navigator.” Why can’t you just tell me what time something opens?! But I do like the idea of a hardcopy, printed newsletter delivered to your door every day. Delicious, delicious organization makes me happy.

> Dinner times. Dan says he’s heard that the later seating is “better” because there are fewer kids. Anyone have any advice on this one? I like the idea of dinner and then a show. A show and then dinner just seems … off to me. I wanna eat, digest during a show and then have some belly room for cocktails or whatever. Also kids don’t really bug me.

> Did you know the private cabana rental on Castaway Cay costs $500?!?! That’s absolutely absurd.

That’s where I am right now. It’s a lot scattered.

Here’s my problem: I have all of the resources I need to plan a WDW trip in my head (and links on this very site!), and I have a collection of stellar Disneyland references for when I start pipe-dreaming about that, but where does one turn for advice about the must-dos on a Disney cruise adventure?!?!

Disney Cruise Line (At Disney Again)
Excursions, ahoy!

Dan will be some help, of course—he’s already sailed on the Dream once before, and he has an idea of how it works and things he wants to do. But … I have no idea! And I’d rather not go down the Disney message board rabbit hole. So, short of reading up on the Disney Cruise Line website and visiting my favorite bloggers (This Happy Place Blog and Disney Hipster Blog both have fun coverage), I’m not sure where to start!

What’s your favorite resource for info on Disney Cruise Line, dear readers?

Share your DCL memories, advice and resources in the comments, folks! I appreciate it! 

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