Trip log, day one. Port Canaveral.
3-Night Halloween on the High Seas Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral
October 12, 2018
Personal Navigator – Day 1
Florida’s first “cold” front of the fall is moving in and we are not ready to say goodbye to summer. So, we are escaping to Bahamas for the weekend. Halloween on the High Seas, here we go! Today started off a little different than usual for us for a sailing from Port Canaveral. Isabelle had to go to school for a 1st period quiz before we drove over to Port Canaveral. The last few years, she’s had a four day weekend with Friday and Monday off which has been perfect for a weekend, Halloween cruise on the Dream. However, this year the school calendar changed with days off being Monday and Tuesday.
We arrived at the port a little later than normal and cars were beginning to back up. The port staff managing the traffic did a great job at moving the cars along and we were through to luggage drop off in just a couple of minutes. The line to enter the port was backed up.
I dropped our one suitcase off then parked the car while Emily and Isabelle got in line while. By the time I parked and walked over, we were just one family back from entering the terminal.
The security line was something else. Within the last month, there have been some changes. There is a new company operating the metal detectors and x-ray machines. Now, guests are required to take out larger electronics which is really slowing up the security line. One of the security staff told us this was a recent change that was requested by DCL. This was also the first time we’ve encountered security requiring guests to pour out open liquids and to throw away open food. I’m all for security, but regular security lines at airports are much more efficient. Scott, what’s your point? Well, I guess this is my way of saying, pack your patience. It’s the last bit of work you must endure before you can enjoy your vacation.
DCL’s well-oiled machine continues to amaze; the check in process was a breeze and within 20-30 minutes the boarding process started.
Pop quiz, what is the first order of business when you get on a Disney Cruise ship? Embarkation lunch. We were one of the first to be in Cabanas, which is always nice because it makes for a quiet lunch. Animator’s Palate is now offering the sit down embarkation lunch along with the always enjoyable Cabanas buffet.
After lunch we previewed the offerings in Vanellope’s before heading off to other areas of the ship. It was nice to see that Whozits & Whatzips was open while in port. We asked the cast member and she said they were open to see sundries, such as sunscreen. To be perfectly honest with you, this may be normal and is just the first I’ve noticed it. This is the spot to pick up a DCL Spirit Shirt Rash Guard.
Regardless, the small shop, located near the midship elevators on deck 11, features swimwear, sunscreen, and other aquatic merchandise one may need to enjoy the pool deck on embarkation day.
Our next stop was in EDGE so Isabelle could meet the counselors and get her sticker for her KTTW card letting the counselors know she is of age.
Our walkabout continued with a stop in The District. We noticed the beverage seminars included an embarkation Champagne tasting in Pink at 2 PM, but it was already booked solid.
Tastings are available to pre-book online.
Over in 687, the defacto sports bar had an incredible deal. For $19 you can get a souvenir 1 Liter Oktoberfest beer mug and get refills for $9.75. Now when I asked, I was told I could get it refilled with any of the draft beers, not just the Oktoberfest. Tomorrow is football Saturday so I may see if this is indeed true.
There was still a bit of time before the stateroom was open. We dropped off our rebooking form in Disney’s Vacation Planning Center which now has a display explaining the placeholder voucher.
After some window shopping at the shops, we grabbed a seat at Bon Voyage for a Negroni which is infused right at the bar. It never fails, the bartenders always seem to question the order and ask if you’ve ever had a Negroni. I look a the Negroni as the balance to the sweet cocktails all over the drink menus.
Emily was a bit shocked when they served the Negroni on the rocks with a STRAW. She did not think that she had to order it neat, because that is the way it is usually served. Note to self for next time.
For this cruise, we booked a unique stateroom. Our room is a category 8A and it is huge with two full portholes and a wall separating the side with the bed and side with couch. This particular room is on deck 5, as the 8A rooms on deck 6 differ a bit. I’m already loving this room. I’ll put together a proper review of this stateroom along with video after the cruise.
If you haven’t checked out VIBE on the Dream and Fantasy, head over during an open house. The outdoor space is fantastic. Emily tried to stay there all day.
This afternoon has been pretty chill, no big plans, no real agenda, just enjoying the ship. Our luggage was delivered to the stateroom and after unpacking it was time for the muster drill and then the sail away party.
The Sail Away party seemed different, to me it felt like it was part commercial like something that would be put out to sell a cruise.
Isabelle stopped in Vanelopee’s for a small bag of bulk candy. She loves Cry Baby tears. As it turns out, the candy and suckers are considered merchandise, so you can use your Gold & Platinum Castaway Club 10% discount!
Dinner tonight was in Palo. Isabelle opted for room service before heading out to play Midship Detective Agency. I contemplated asking to sit outside at Palo, but it was rather humid. The table looked so inviting.
Dinner was great. I think it is safe to say Palo is back to living up to its reputation. The only thing better than the food was our server Predrag from Serbia.
Following dinner, we ran into Isabelle on the stairs on the way to the shops. A lot of the merchandise in the shops is also available online from shopDisney.
There is still a decent amount of merchandise exclusive to the ships such as the 20 Magical Years and Halloween on the High Seas designs. I was asked to look for a new Castaway Cay Pandora charm and sure enough, it was available in White Caps along with the anchor and ship charms.
Recently, Disney increased the price of the popular Spirit Shirts at Walt Disney World by $5 and this is also the case on the ships. There was a rack of Spirit Shirts that were marked down to $22! Guess who now owns a coral Disney Cruise Line Spirit Shirt? Me!
Oh, the Tiffany & Co pop-up store is no longer. It was a test run, but that is all the information we were able to get out of the merchandise crew. The area of White Caps is back to normal. Additionally, the print on demand merchandise area that was set up in the side room of the Vista Gallery is gone.
We all returned to the room and called it a night or so I thought. Friday night college football was on and the USF vs Tulsa game ‘forced’ me to stay up which led me to watch the Arizona vs Utah. Well, that game is now in the 3rd quarter and appears to be over. This post is written so I going to call it a night.
Complete Trip Log Index
- Day 1 – Port Canaveral
- Day 2 – Nassau
- Day 3 – Castaway Cay
Scott, that room does look huge! I’d be interested in seeing more pictures and finding out the room number as it looks like a room that I would like to book!
Whozits and Whatzits has always been open embarkation day for us on both the Dream and Fantasy.
Looks like you guys have the same cabin we had in August #5020 ??
Really love this room, how many are like this on the ship and where are they? Seems great for multi age family group. We’ve been in the two porthole room on deck 6, but only had a pole in the center of the room, not a wall. I think I like yours better. Really enjoy your blogs
Is that a Castaway Cay charm? price?
Oh no, they didn’t have the other Pandora charms? They’ve had a three charm set with the dangle ship, a glass 2018 bead and Steamboat Willie, I was hoping to get it on the Dream in a couple weeks. I also NEED that CC charm and would love to know the price as well. Thanks
I agree with you that the Sail Away party on the Dream and Fantasy feels more like a commercial. I love the sense of ‘heading out on an adventure’ that the Magic/Wonder show gives.
Wow, this may be why I’ve never really enjoyed the Sail Away parties since my first cruise. I first sailed on the Magic in 2011 and have sailed on the Fantasy and Dream since. We don’t even go to the Sail Away party anymore – we just enjoy Sail Away with champagne on our veranda (we also don’t have children).
Our daughter does not like the party either