Friday, December 6, 2013

Disney Dream Cruise

As I mentioned in my previous posts, Daxton and I were obscenely spoiled by my parents while Dallas was away.  When they first mentioned that they wanted to come visit, Dad threw out the idea of going on a Disney cruise.  They are wanting to go on a cruise through northern Europe at some point in their lives, but weren't sure how mom would do with her sea sickness.  They thought taking a shorter cruise to test out her sea legs would be a good idea.  So Basically Daxton and I got the extremely fortunate opportunity to help test grandma's sea legs!

I have to admit that by this point I was starting to feel quite guilty for having so much fun while Dallas was away working.  But then I guess that just means that we get do to it all again when daddy gets home...and in a few years when we can actually afford it! 

Our home for the next four days!
Disney Dream

After we checked in, we were all able to meet goofy, which Daxton was super thrilled by.  He kept grabbing at his nose and whiskers as well.

As we entered the Disney Dream, the "cast members" or staff, announced our family name over the ships intercom to welcome us with loud applause.  We also loved looking at all the decorations since the ship's entire theme was Halloween.

Dad reserved us rooms right next to each other that had an adjoining door.  Both rooms had private balconies attached with plexi glass in between the railings from top to bottom to ensure maximum childproof safety.  There was also a thick curtain that could be drawn to separate the room in half and a port-a-crib all set up and ready for Daxton when we arrived.  Basically it was a mommy and toddler's dream come true!

We spent the day exploring the ship, attending the sailing away dance party, and then went to dinner.  The Disney Dream has three main restaurants for dinner, plus an exclusive club, several informal eateries, and 24 hour room service.  Each night our dinner reservations would rotate from one of the main restaurants to the next.  What was neat was that our waiters would switch from restaurant to restaurant with us.  They knew us by name, what drinks we preferred, and would even draw pictures for Daxton throughout dinner.  It was incredible service!  Our first night we ate at the Royal Palace where our napkins were shaped like suit coats and our rolls were served in Cinderella's carriage.
Gotta love Disney and their attention to detail!

After dinner we literally ran off our dinner calories...
Endless hallways, decks, and floors for Daxton to run up and down to his little heart's delight.  He was in heaven!

Just some of the little details I loved in our estate rooms...

The next morning we woke to a gorgeous sunrise over Nassau, Bahamas.  It was amazing to walk outside in our pajamas with water surrounding us and watch as our ship pulled into port.  Daxton obviously loved exploring and climbing on everything in sight.

Our views as the ship pulled into Nassau...

Bonding with grandpa while watching the neighboring cruise boats.

My parents decided to do an island excursion that toured through Nassau, but I didn't think that Daxton would do very well on the tour (since it sounded similar to what we had done in key west but it was all day instead of an hour.)  So Daxton and I decided to stay on the ship instead of disembarking at Nassau.  It helped to know that we live within a few hours boat ride of the Bahamas now and fully intend to return with Dallas.  I figured that Daxton would have more fun running around the ship instead of trying to maneuver through an unfamiliar city.  We ended up having a very fun day together.

Views of Nassau and the Atlantis resort from the top of our ship.

Daxton and I had a lot of fun exploring the different play areas.  Disney is incredible and has created an entire youth program for ages 3-18, plus they have 0-2 year old babysitting available as well.  Each of the youth programs are filled with incredible activities and take place in some pretty awesome places.  One of the rooms we were able to check out was themed after the movie Toy Story.  All of the toys were built larger than life.  They even had a huge Mr. Potato head and barrel of monkeys.  Daxton had a blast climbing on everything.

Both Mickey and Minnie showed up for a dance party while we were visiting one of the youth groups, which Daxton was super excited about.  He started shaking his little belly and head right along with the older kids.

He got a really good nap in before we headed to lunch.  He was such a sweetheart and so well mannered that we even stayed for a three course meal at lunch just the two of us!  He was totally content eating his Mickey mouse pasta and playing with the napkins.  I love my little travel buddy!

After lunch we ran...and ran some more...and then ran some more!
Holy cow it was tiring keeping up with this little man.  Daxton was so entertained by everything and loved the endless room and freedom.  I guess I should thank him, because I somehow lost a couple pounds by the end of our cruise even after all the yummy food we were eating along the way!

In the afternoon they had a huge Halloween party with lots of different characters to meet.  Daxton was so sweet while meeting Mickey.  He was been a huge fan of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show and recognized each of the characters.  He would literally run into their arms and give each of them big hugs, often times playing with their noses or different parts of their costumes.  It was the most amazing experience to see such magic in his eyes.

Meeting Mickey for the first time.

He was especially sweet with Donald Duck as well and literally giggled out loud when Donald hugged him tight.  He's such a sweetheart of a boy.

That night for dinner the whole ship had a pirate night.  Several families dressed in elaborate pirate costumes.  Mom and dad found Daxton the funniest pirate shirt while shopping in Nassau and we were all given free pirate bandanas as well.  Daxton and grandpa were quite the duo, although Daxton pulled off his bandana after a few minutes.
That night we ate at the most incredible restaurant, the Animators Palate.  All of the walls were interactive screens where animated characters would talk and ask questions with you.  The technology was absolutely incredible and we all were laughing hysterically throughout dinner.  Daxton loved all the colors and character interaction.  After dinner we wandered around the ship once more, making sure to get all Daxton's energy out.
As you can see he was very well taken care of by his grandparents!

Our third day was spent at Disney's private island, Castaway Kay.  Daxton and I decided to explore the island on our own since mom wasn't feeling too well.  She had injured her knee and was finding it very difficult and painful to get around and didn't want to aggravate it further.  Daxton and I had an amazing day on Castaway Kay, which my next post will be devoted to, and then we met up with mom and dad for our last fun dinner.  After dinner, as we were walking back to our room, we even ran into the captain of the ship!  Daxton had a blast giving Captain Mickey hugs goodnight.

The whole experience was absolutely amazing!  I told Dallas that I'm not sure I will ever be able to do another cruise line besides Disney.  Every detail was thought out to perfection.  The service was incredible.  I loved that they broadcast the live performances to your staterooms, so that moms like me who had babies sound asleep could still experience the fun.  I loved the absolute security and lack of fear with Daxton's safety.  The rooms were great and I loved our balconies and adjoining door.  The entire experience was wonderful and even more so because I experienced it with my best little buddy and the two most generous and loving parents a girl could ever dream for.

Thank you Disney Dream!
We had a blast!

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