Trip Log Day 1: 4-Night Halloween Bahamian Cruise on Disney Dream – Port Canaveral with a Look at Dry Dock Enhancements

Trip log, day one. Port Canaveral.
4-Night Halloween on the High Seas Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral
October 26, 2015
Day 1 – Personal Navigator

Stateroom TV Map Day 1 Port CanaveralOn Monday morning, we loaded our suitcases into the car and drove over to Port Canaveral to board the newly enhanced Disney Dream. The arrival process at the port was similar to what we have experienced in the past. We quickly drove through and dropped off our bags before parking in the adjacent parking lot. One thing changed since our last cruise from Port Canaveral in March 2014 was that you now pay for parking when you arrive instead of on the way out. This would be a place where you could save some money if you were sailing back to back cruises! We pre-paid online and headed to park. We know there are cheaper options out there for parking, but we truly enjoy how close it is and not having to deal with shuttles. This is especially important to us for debarkation morning, where we will have to do express walk off to drive back to Orlando to work & school on Friday morning.

We made it through security and check in a rather short period of time. It was about 11:35am at this point. By now, they were already boarding group 8 so we were able to walk right on the ship. On our way up to Cabanas for lunch, we dropped our carry on luggage off in our staterooms. Since this was the first cruise following dry dock, the staterooms were already ready! We had a quick lunch and headed off to explore the enhancements made during dry dock.

Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats

Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats was the logical first stop on our tour being that it is located practically in Cabanas. Vanellope's Sweets And Treats SignVanellope's Sweets And Treats King Candy Race CarVanellope’s offers a variety of options including treats similar to those you’d find around Walk Disney World, bulk candy, pre-packaged Disney candy, macaroons and many different flavors of gelato. Vanellope's Sweets And Treast MenuThe prices were not bad for the gelato (one scoop for $2.95), but the macaroon for $2.00 was not worth it considering my wife thought it was previously frozen (not to mention TINY). Just for the sake of comparison we judge all macaroons based on the ones you can get at the France Pavilion at Epcot. Those are good; these are not. The bulk candy is just that — bulk candy. It is $9.95/pound & the variety was decent and may be a place to stop before heading to the Buena Vista Theatre for a movie. The prepackaged offerings were your typical Disney branded candies and the sweet treats ran the gamut of Mickey caramel apples to cookie sandwiches.Vanellope's Sweets And Treats First Gelato For an in-depth look, check out our dedicated article on Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats (coming soon). Oh, one last tidbit related to Vanellope’s. The soft serve Eye Scream remains available those that have been asking if this was going to disappear.Eye Scream Treats Disney Dream

Oceaneer Lab & Oceaneer Club | Disney Infinity & Star Wars

The time arrived to go see the changes to the Oceaneer Club. As soon as you walk in you will notice some major changes. On your immediate left, you will now a dedicated space to Disney Infinity in the same area that was once the Monsters Inc room.Disney Infinity Oceaneer Club Entrance Disney Dream The room is all white, almost sterile like a laboratory or better yet — Animator’s Palate, but quickly comes to life with dynamic lighting painting the blank canvas. One wall features a large HDTV with a life-size Disney Infinity base on the floor allowing children to interact with the game on screen.Disney Infinity Oceaneer Club Disney Dream The interactive experience is reminiscent of the Becoming Ironman experience on the Disney Magic where you are shown on the screen with overlays of the particular character. By moving around, you control your character on the screen.Disney Infinity Interactive Base Oceaneer Club Disney Dream The other three walls of the room have individual X-box stations set up to play Disney Infinity. Disney Infinity Game Play Oceaneer Club Disney DreamThe space is fully stocked with all the Disney Infinity characters which are stored in a nice locked, glass display case that will require constant Windex-ing. Come to think of it, the figures are then placed on the base in another locked box to help reduce the spreading of germs from all the kids handling the figures. Don’t worry, there is a back stock of Disney Infinity figures in the event more than one child wants to play the same character. Someone asked me on Twitter how Monsters Inc is irrelevant enough to be taken over by Disney Infinity…well that is simple… This new space should prove to be a great marketing tool for Disney Infinity especially for those who do not have the game at home. ‘Hey kids.. come here play Disney Infinity and go home and bug your parents for a video game systems, starter kit and countless figures and accessories.’ This was proven when I was talking to our daughter about the new space and she said she’d like to play this at home which require the purchasing of a video game system, a starter set, and countless figures and accessories… There are also the exclusive Disney Cruise Line unlockables that the kids can use at home by keeping the $13 MagicBand… sorry Youth Activities Oceaneer Band. According to the Youth Activities counselor I spoke with the process is the same as the Walt Disney World MagicBand unlockable, just place the Oceaneer Band on the Disney Infinity base at home. The Disney Dream’s Oceaneer Club’s Disney Infinity space is very nice and will provide kids with an awesome and memorable experience. Chances are this will also be a place where friendships are made. I will have a more detailed write up with more photos and video when I get home.

Moving clockwise around the Oceaneer Club we arrive at Pixie Hollow which remains mostly the same. There are now iPads loaded with Disney apps that have replaced the computers. The printer is also gone so much to our daughters dismay; no more making and printing you own fairy.Pixie Hollow Oceaneer Club Disney Dream

Next to Pixie Hollow along the back wall of the space previously occupied by the Nemo Sub full of computers is now the home for Star Wars and the Millennium Falcon.Oceaneer Club Disney Dream Play Floor Millenium Falcon Star Wars This area is extremely well executed in the center you have the cockpit for the Millennium Falcon where kids can sit and fly the spacecraft. In a way, it was like controlling your own Star Tours because it is the same video used in the attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Star Wars Millenium Falcon Cockpit Oceaneer Club Disney DreamOn the left side there is an area with iPads loaded with a few Star Wars apps.Star Wars Millenium Falcon Port Area Oceaneer Club Disney Dream To the right of the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit is a nice booth table with an HDTV on the wall which will be used to display Star Wars related video during special programing.Star Wars Millenium Falcon Starboard Area Oceaneer Club Disney DR2D2 has a dedicated spot in the space and appears to interact with you if you stand near the droid. Star Wars Millenium Falcon Port Side Area Oceaneer Club Disney DOn Tuesday, we are going to go back to check out the Jedi Training Academy during open house and I will have a more detailed write up with more photos and video when I get home.

Last, but not least… Andy’s Room inspired by Pixar’s Toy Story was left unchanged and is still Andy’s Room.Andy's Room Oceaneer Club Disney Dream

Over on the Oceaneer Lab side, there is an alcove for Disney’s latest interactive toy, Playmation.Playmation Oceaneer Lab Entrance Disney Dream

Overall, the enhancements to the Oceaneer Clab are great and really focus on keeping the 8-12 year old crowd occupied! That is not a typo, I think It will be easier to refer to the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab as the Oceaneer Clab since kids can easily move from side to side when there is no open house.

Midship Detective Agency

Pepe the King Prawn from The Muppets now has his own stateroom on the Disney Dream so he can now split time between the Dream and the Disney Fantasy.Pepe's Stateroom Door 5148 Half Midship Detective Agency Disney The reason for Pepe’s door, which is not rubberized like the counterpart on the Disney Fantasy was added because Midship Detective Agency was enhanced to include The Muppets game which was previously exclusive to the Disney Fantasy.

Edge & Vibe

Our daughter wanted to check out Vibe and Edge, two locations she is still too young to enjoy, but still wanted to see.Vibe Main Room Disney Dream Vibe had a wall knocked out to expand the side room.Vibe Side Room Room Disney Dream Vibe Side Room Floor View Disney Dream Vibe Side Room Alcove Disney Dream I think I know where Isabelle will be spending her time when she is a… teenager.Vibe Sun Deck Disney Dream Similarly, a wall was removed to open up the space. Edge Disney DreamEdge HDTV Wall Disney DreamSince our kid is too young for these spaces, I do not really have much experience in these locations to tell you what is new or enhanced. Hopefully, these photos will provide you with some insight on any changes.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique was added on deck 5 replacing the conference rooms because we all now makeovers are more profitable than meetings. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Entrance Disney DreamSorry, I couldn’t resist. I realize this was probably due to guest demand, but remember, I’m a jerk. Plus, again, in the theme of being different, we do not have a princess-crazed daughter (nor has she ever been in her younger years), so this isn’t something personally we will be doing. The space looks just like the one on the Disney Fantasy. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Interior Disney DreamThey are selling an exclusive Celebration Package with a t-shirt and a really nice looking tutu that you can only get in the package. This would be a great addition to the gift shops on its own as I know one adult who purchased the Disney Fantasy tutu which was available in the gift shop for her runDisney races. I’m sure this particular person is not the only one that would buy one for a runDisney race who doesn’t need/want the full package.Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Celebration Package Tutu

Disney Vacation Planning Center

The new Disney Vacation Planning Center adjacent to the Vista Gallery in the area previously used for Shutters digital photos selection strikes me as a time share office that I want to avoid at all costs, but I know I will eventually visit to rebook onboard. Disney Vacation Planning Center Sign Disney DreamThe relocation of the Disney Vacation Club kiosk and Onboard Booking Desk into this central area along with Adventures By Disney, Walt…..you get it. It is a catch all location to sell you Disney Destinations. The room features DVC on one side and two booking desks on the other with a table with tethered tablets to explore the various vacation options.Disney Vacation Planning Center Disney Dream

Satellite Falls Pool

The new Satellite Falls pool on deck 13 forward should put a smile on the faces of many adults looking for a quiet getaway away from the kids. Unlike the Disney Fantasy, the mechanicals for the pool are not well integrated due to the retrofit. I’m sure there is a reason, but it would have made more sense to build the mechanicals in between the pool and the concierge wall. Regardless of the new layout, the pool is a great addition to this area of the ship.Satellite Falls Pool Disney Dream

If you are familiar with the Disney Fantasy there is a little pool near the forward funnel.Funnel Puddle Pool Disney Dream

A similar Funnel Puddle Pool was added on the Dream along with new shaded areas, but at least on embarkation day the chairs were absent. There is a Donald Duck hat that is like a sprinkler/waterfall for the kids to enjoy.Funnel Puddle Pool Shade Area Disney Dream

Scenes Spa & Salon

We toured Scenes Spa & Salon for the first time on either the Dream class ship. Emily has been a regular visitor of the gym, but we have never explored Senses. Our tour guide for the day was Amy who showed us all the unique spaces.Senses Rainforest Room Disney Dream We almost went for the Len Testa suite, I mean the Rainforest Room package, but on a 4-night cruise we did not think we’d have time to make it worth our while although I am sure our daughter would not have a problem with more time int the Oceaneer Clab. Emily received a massage demo and I had the opportunity to lay down in the special bed in the seaweed treatment room. WOW, that experience was literally like a warm hug! My fear is once we go Spa there is no turning back. During dry dock, the Senses Juice Bar was added.Senses Juice Bar Counter Disney Dream

Senses Juice Bar Disney DreamThere are some seats facing out the windows and a bar against the wall to enjoy the drinks.Senses Juice Bar Seating Disney DreamHere is a look at the Senses Juice Bar menu.

Senses Juice Bar Menu Disney Dream October 2015

The District

Our next stop on our self tour was The District to check out 687 and Pink which I will cover near the end of this article as we returned after dinner. I’ve always loved 687 because I thought it was a closer match to my original favorite, Diversions on the Disney Magic before it was O’Gilled. 687 received a nice makeover with an expanded bar and more importantly, an expanded draft beer system.The District 687 Expanded Draft Beer Selection Disney Dream While I know some may still say the choices are blah, I say it is an overdue improvement. The District 687 Menu A Disney Dream October 2015The District 687 Menu B Disney Dream October 2015The menu now features some pub grub which frankly is nice, but there is nothing on the menu that I’d pay extra to get. For the life of me, why doesn’t the pub grub feature mozzarella sticks, potato skins, buffalo wings, onion rings, soft pretzel sticks, or any other appetizer I’d order at a sports bar to go with my beer. Thankfully, the late night snacks are still available, so this should be considered as an added option rather than a nickel and dime tactic by DCL. Nothing has been taken away from what was normally included so I can’t fault DCL. Besides, you know if it was free people would be ordering the food just because it was available for free and there would be a ton of additional waste.

For the most part we had seen all of the new enhancements on the Disney Dream. We still had some time before the muster drill, so we returned to the stateroom to unpack our suitcases which were waiting for us outside our stateroom. Following the muster drill we returned to the stateroom for the sail away, as the deck party was moved inside due to some light rain at Port Canaveral. As we were sailing out of the port between Fish Lips and Jetty Park, the Disney Dream sounded her new horn… Do you want to build a snowman?  Yes, this is not a drill, like it or not, the Disney Dream now has a Frozen horn!

Emily ordered Isabelle a caesar salad from room service and I went to get some grilled chicken from Flo’s to complete her dinner.Room Service Ceasar Salad And Flo's Grilled Chicken Isabelle headed off to the Oceaneer Clab and we made our way up to Palo. We arrived a little early so we waited in Meridian where we saw a new (to us) addition to the menu… a Light Tastings add-on option.Meridian Light Tastings Menu Options Disney Dream October 2015

We had a 6 o’clock reservation and ended up being the first party seated this evening at a lovely table facing the sunset. We met our wonderful server for the evening, David from Hungary. Although we saw Ross, who was the Palo sommolier during our summer cruise on the Disney Magic, neither of us opted for the wine pairing menu tonight. As usual, we started with the antipasto plate drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar & chili infused olive oil & bread.Palo Antipasta Plate Disney Dream Palo Bread Service Disney Dream Emily ordered a glass of Taittinger champagne. Palo Tattinger Disney DreamFor appetizers, I went with my tried and true white bean soup and Em chose the calamari. Palo White Bean Soup Disney Dream Palo Calamari Disney DreamWe both chose the gnocchi with gorgonzola cheese for the pasta dish, and for entrees, I chose the turbot and Em chose the scallops. Palo Gnocchi Disney Dream Palo Turbot Disney Dream Palo Scallops Disney DreamFor dessert, I went with the panna cotta with gelato and Em the tiramisu.Palo Panna Cotta Disney Dream Palo Tiaramisu Disney Dream Dinner in Palo was nice. David was a fantastic server and the meal was paced just right.

After dinner we headed down to another dangerous place on the ship… the gift shops. The Halloween on the High Seas merchandise was well stocked, but it was the same design as last year. Halloween On The High Seas 2015 MerchandiseI was all prepared to buy this year’s Halloween on the High Seas shirt and Tervis so I thank you Disney Cruise Line for saving me money.  However, I gave that savings right back with a red tagged Nike pullover. I still feel like I made out on the night considering I would have likely purchased the pullover anyway.

Earlier in the day, Emily saw a new-to-her Moet & Chandon Vintage 2002 champagne bottle in 687. She asked about a price, but it was not yet in the new POS system. Pink Moet Vintage 2002 BottleThe bartender suggested the she try the Champagne Trio Sampler in Pink for $25 which included the 2002, so we headed back to check out Pink which is now labeled a ‘wine and champagne bar’ based on the new graphics on the entrance. The space feels much bigger and open. The District Pink Disney Dream October 2015While Pink is a cool theme I/we much prefer the ambiance of Ooh La La on the Disney Fantasy. While the space may not be our liking, the bartenders were amazing and knew their product very well. Emily ordered the previously mentioned Champagne Trio which was served in a very cool stand with baseless champagne flutes. Pink Moet Trio Sampler Disney DreamThe trio was all Moet & Chandon champagnes. Emily was told to start with the 2002 grand vintage, then the Imperial, followed lastly with the Moet Ice. Emily is no newbie to Moet & Chandon champagnes, so the only new one was the 2002 Grand Vintage, which was her favorite. She jokes about going back each night for the trip, and I am betting this is not a joke. It’s a terrific value – although it’s not full glasses, it’s not 2oz tasting pours either. We are going to see if we can get an answer to on the 2002 Grand vintage glass/bottle prices as well. On a side, but very serious note, I’d buy the Pink tie in a heartbeat if it were sold in the gift shop!Pink Bartender Jan Elephant Tie

I skipped out of Pink leaving Emily to pay the bill — yeah I know, I’m an awesome husband — to head back to the Clab to get Isabelle. The two of us headed over to the Vista Cafe for her late night snack of parmesan cheese, grapes and carrot sticks, then headed back to the stateroom to call it a night. I tried to type up this post, but the bed was too comfortable and once the lights were out I couldn’t keep the eyelids open. I will say this, I am sorry of the delay posting the enhancements to the Disney Dream. I do a much better job sharing the new stuff in real time on Twitter if you can deal with my frequent nonsensical tweets about things unrelated to DCL, but often Walt Disney World related.

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53 thoughts on “Trip Log Day 1: 4-Night Halloween Bahamian Cruise on Disney Dream – Port Canaveral with a Look at Dry Dock Enhancements

  1. Jodi Dougherty

    OMG! I’ll take those changes to the ales for SURE! SO hoping that these changes are made to the Fantasy before we sail in January….just the beer…..Please, please, PLEASE! lol

    Reply
  2. Erica

    Awesome commentary and photographs. Keep ’em coming! Seriously though, enjoy every second (I’m sure you will!). We’ll be there in 10 days, 23 hours, 43 minutes, 14 seconds…but, hey, who’s counting? Happy cruising! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Craig

    Great post, Scott – I’m also enjoying all of your tweets this week. We’re boarding the Dream on Nov. 9, so I really appreciate you sharing your experience with the updates.

    Reply
  4. Amy Disney

    It is still a long way aways. I won’t board for 400 more days but I am beyond excited about all these changes. Only sailed on the smaller ships so far. Can’t wait to try out the larger ships.

    Reply
  5. Marion

    Spectacular Scott, both the review, and the twitter fun. Your post is graphic heavy, and it’s making me wonder how the wifi bandwidth is treating you?

    Reply
      1. Marion

        LOL enough said. Looked at the first blog and my reaction (besides drooling over the champagne presentation) was “Hope he’s staying in a Royal suite this time… (for the free wifi)”

        Reply
  6. snleding

    Would you recommend the wine pairing at Palo’s? We are headed out in December and we have never done the Palo dining before….we usually ate with our kids in the rotational dining…..now that they have grown up, we let them do their own thing……so we are going to participate in some adult dining this time around!

    Reply
  7. Christy

    I hate that the enhancements to the Oceaneer’s club seem to be so electronically oriented. I know we’re in the minority, but we do not own a gaming system, and our eight year old does not have a tablet. He enjoyed the Sloppy Science activities, and other active/participatory events when we were on the Dream in 2012 & 2013. Hopefully there will still be plenty of things like that on the schedule too.

    Reply
  8. Beth

    Thanks for the details, hope you are enjoying the cruise! I couldn’t see the pub menu clearly – could you please tell me which ciders they have on tap and in bottles? Thanks so much!

    Reply
  9. Rae

    Thanks so much for the photos on the updates! LOVE the new champagne trio. Must try if/when I am ever on the Dream again. Or perhaps it will find its way to the Magic, which is “our” ship. We really wish Disney would improve their beer options. It looks like they are trying, but they have such a long way to go. That Pub Grub menu is ridiculous.

    Reply
  10. Pam

    I too appreciate your trip report and pictures! I have a question though. What do you think about DCL charging for the gelato at Vanellope’s? I know it’s just silly to nit pick about a couple scoops of gelato, but I was actually surprised by that. Disney seems to be adding more and more food and dining choices, and I think that’s great! But I am getting a little worried that the items they will continue to add will incur additional costs to guests. Are the days of “everything is included in the cost of your cruise” going away?

    Another way to look at it is that the Disney cruise ship experience is absolutely wonderful and unlike any other. However, they have added so many things that cost extra. Specialty dining (Palo and Remy), Spa experiences (Including those for teens), Specialty experiences (BB Boutique), Specialty snacks (Vanellope’s) and Specialty pictures with Characters (Leave the ship with your pictures in a scrapbook). All those things are in addition to the expected costs of port excursions, gratuities and souvenirs, I can see how a family of 4 or 5 could easily rack up a huge visa bill from their on board account. I realize that all those things are voluntary, but they are also what makes Disney unique and why we all love it so much. I am just worried that the cost of the added “Disney exclusive” experiences are really starting to add up.

    What do you think Scott?

    Reply
    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      I think I mentioned this in the post but I’m ok with DCL adding add on extras as long as what is has normally been included and the quality of the normally included offerings are not impacted. If DCL scales back the included or quality of included offerings the. I will take issue.

      Reply
  11. Beth

    Love your trip report. We feel the same about the heavy reliance upon electronics in the kids club: a big negative for us. I know we are probably in the minority on this. One of our children said he stayed away from video games in the kids club because no one would ever give him a turn. Our other kids did not express interest in the games at all. Also not thrilled with the theming on the candy store. Is wreck it Ralph that popular? To us that is also a gaming thing. We have a wide age span in children in our home but no gaming at all. It seems like a goofy candy store or something like that would have been better. But your trip report is really great.

    Reply
    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      I think Vanellope’s is a nice nod to the previous occupant, the Arrr Cade (spelling). Yes, it is base on a video game inspired film and environment, but it I do not feel it is promoting video games. More so the racing aspect of the game.

      Reply
  12. jarrod

    Great Report…I sail on Nov 16th woohooo.
    I love all the additions that I am seeing.
    The only negative thing I have to say is that I wish that they would have added more stuff for adults.
    At some point i hope that they start to see that the adults also need entertainment besides just drinking locations.

    Reply
  13. Susan Sheehy

    I’m so excited to read your blog. I didn’t know about the satellite falls going in. I also didn’t know that the vista had late night snacks. Guess I should have been reading your blog sooner!!

    Reply
  14. Shelia Adam

    Spectacular review! I thought the Dream was perfect before but the changes are really great. Only thing I think they could have done without is the candy store!

    Reply
  15. cc

    Thanks for all the info. We are sailing on the Dream 12/14/15. I do have a question. Are they still doing the glass beer mug deal? I purchased one last year and wanted to know before I got on the ship.

    Reply
  16. Kathleen

    This was great and so helpful! Thank you so much! We’re sailing on the Dream on April 18, staying in cabin 5650 with the extended balcony, category 4e. I’m wondering if it’s still as oversized as it was before dry dock. Thanks again!

    Reply
  17. Janet

    Thanks for all the info and pics, leaving on 11/9 on a four day on the Dream. Excited to see the Taylor Mason, an awesome ventriloquist and performer is suppose to be on the trip.
    We booked Palo for the first night and tried to get the brunch for Palo or Remy but they show full. Do you know what are the chances of getting one of those once we get on the ship? We have done Palo before but not Remy, what are your recommendations to do next, should we just book Remy dinner?

    Reply
    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Janet, just stop by the podium outside Meridian on embarkation day to inquire about a reservation. If it was anything like our cruise they were advertising openings over the PA system the first day.

      Reply
    2. Scott Sanders Post author

      If you really want to dine at Remy I would suggest trying to book once you board the ship. As for your question on what to do next… I’d say if you do not want to miss a rotational dinner go with brunch first, then try dinner the next time. Ultimately, pending availability, try to pick which fits your overall cruise agenda the best.

      Reply
  18. walt

    Scott. Platinums get a free treat at Palo. Can I reserve a brunch at Remy and pay the different. Or will they allow you to do Palo and Remy on the same cruise of the week? Me and my wife would like to try Remy at least once in our life. By the way I love the pictures of the Dream. We have not been on the Dream for awhile. Trips are just too short for us since we are not Floridians. I am in love with the Fantasy too.

    Reply
  19. Alex

    When I went on the Fantasy, I heard the “Do you want to build a snowman” horn. So it is not just exclusive to the Dream.

    Reply
  20. Elizabeth McKay

    LOVE the blog: I am sailing Oct 31st (friends’ wedding on the cruise on 11/1/2016). My first Disney cruise (Princess to AK for 10 days about 14 years ago that was amazing). So far have just read this ‘day one’ post—-want to ‘absorb’ each one it as it were. Just wanted to say THANK you for the great information and voyeuristic view of the cruise!

    Reply

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