Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Thoughts from the Be Our Guest Podcast Cruise 2.0

Well, last week, I discussed the highlights of my trip to Walt Disney World in July.  It was a wonderful time and I learned a lot of stuff that will be helpful for future trips.

This week, I'm discussing my experiences on the Disney Dream.  We went on a four day cruise to Nassau and Castaway Cay, plus had a day at sea.  Brian and I ended up using our Nassau day as another day at sea because we ended up recording the podcast in Evolution right smack in the middle of the day.  Made it hard for us to really go do anything.  Not complaining though.  It was really nice to have the extra day at sea.  Especially on such a short trip. 

Here are the highlights from this trip on the high seas.

  • The ship:  Really you can't even imagine how beautiful it is.  Yes, you can see pictures, but it will simply not prepare you for how gorgeous this ship really is.  From the vibrant colors, to the clean lines, to the way things are situated on board.  While the ship is massive, it's really quite easy to figure out most areas.  Really, I'm just a fan of the ship overall.  I cannot say enough great things about the Disney Cruise Line ships.  (Even though I've only been on one...I'm assuming the rest are just a fabulous, even if they are all a bit different.)

  • The Cast Members:  They are all just simply fabulous.  We had amazing servers on our rotation, our server for Palo (Heinrich) was extraordinary, our room attendant actually ended up being the same great room attendant we'd had the cruise before (Bart).  Every Cast Member we came in contact with was so happy you were on board.  You don't get that everywhere.  I love that Disney hallmark.  

  • The kids areas:  So, this time, we all did a tour of the kid's areas, which are open to adults when the ship is boarding, so that parents and kids can find out what they're all about.  We took this opportunity to be children ourselves and explore all the clubs.  They are so much fun!  If I were a kid, I'd be in those in a heartbeat.  There are a ton of activities to do, not to mention the special things going on each day.  Really, go check out the kids areas.  They are really neat.  
  • The Weather:  Ok, so this isn't really a highlight, but more a bravo to Disney.  The weather was not really fantastic during our trip.  It was just ok.  It was only sunny really one day.  The rest of the time it was more or less gray and/or rainy.  However, that being said, Disney did a fantastic time keeping up the excitement and the fun.  Even the night of the Pirate party, which completely got rained out, they still attempted to throw a fun experience for guests, albeit indoors. Not exactly the same, but the effort was certainly was still there.  And for that, I applaud them.  It didn't dampen our spirits one bit.  (Get it?)  I do still find it weird that they did fireworks basically during the day.  I mean, the sun had set, but it was still like daylight.  I applaud them for setting them off still, but it was just a bit bizarre. 
  • Getting to record in Evolution:  It was truly an honor to be able to get together with our BOGP family and get to chat with them, albeit with us on a stage and them looking at us.  (A little different than me sitting in my pajamas looking at my desk when recording.)  It was so great to see that almost everyone could show up, what with it being the Nassau day and being at noon.  It was also really cool to see our logo on the screen...just wow!  I loved the opportunity to get to see each one of our listeners who were on the ship and tell them thank you.  We had a blast and I'm sure that some of the kids are still having fun with their pirate swords!  

  • Palo:  We had two experiences at Palo this trip and every time, I love Palo just a bit more.  The adult's only dining that costs a bit extra to dine there, is worth every penny.  The service is always top notch, offering great suggestions and even bringing surprises.  (Mmm...mocha ice cream...which tasted like burnt marshmallows...and just interesting flavors...) Both the dinner and the brunch are incredible offerings.  I will say that the brunch does take a bit longer than I expected (I think we were there for two - two and a half hours or so) but it is A LOT of food, so make sure you come with your extra stomach.  Oh...and of course, two words: chocolate souffle.  Yum!  

  • Random Character Greetings:  You know what I don't remember a lot of last time, but really was quite prevalent this time...random character greetings.  I know that a lot of times, the characters are set to a schedule, which is great, to make sure you get photos with the characters that you want to make sure you don't miss.  But for someone like me, who doesn't necessarily have to have character photos, one of the BEST parts of this cruise were the times where we were just walking up or down the stairs and all of the sudden...boom...character!  It was such a cool aspect, like these characters were cruising, just like we were...and best of lines.  And the interactions were great.  Loved this!

  • Match Your Mate:  This was a hoot.  My friends ended up getting on stage...and well...all I'll say is that Deck two will never be the same again.  Also, make sure to go see this show on your next cruise.  It's really a blast.
  • Rainforest Room:  I said it before and I'll say it again.  I love the Rainforest Room.  What was even better was that this time, half of the people who got passes were people that were part of the BOGP family!  So it was fun for us to see who was in there with us and get the chance to chat and relax together.  The people who didn't know us were all probably very annoyed with us by the time the cruise was over...but we had fun.  This is another aspect that is worth every penny.  I just love those chairs and those hot tubs.  Just perfect.  

  • The Pirates of the Caribbean Buffet:  Ok, I think this has a different name that I'm blanking on... but it only happens on Pirates night at midnight.  (Or was it 11?  Gosh...I am blanking here...) It was so much fun!  I loved the carved fruits, the food was quite eclectic (hello giant turkey legs), and while it was hard to stay up for, I would do it again next time in a heartbeat! 
  • The District:  Ok...if you couldn't find me in the Rainforest Room, you would most likely find me in here.  Strange place for a girl who doesn't drink.  But it was just so great to get to go in here and unwind with friends.  We particularly loved Skyline, where the scenery magically changes after about 15 minutes or so. Also, if at any time you are hungry for munchies late at night (who could just ate a ton?) you'll find them in the District on the little buffet full of appetizers and snackies. 

  • The Friendships:  Ok, I know I said this the last cruise, but really...the friendships that form out of these cruises are spectacular!  It's incredible how much people who didn't really talk much before the cruise are now the best of friends after.  This goes for both children and adults.  It's just so great and so amazing that this happens each cruise.  And it's just one of the best parts about taking a cruise with "friends" from a podcast in the first place.  :)  
So, that's the best of the best from this past cruise!  It really was an amazing time and while different than the last one, much like each Walt Disney World vacation is equally was still just as much fun as the first one. Yes, they are a lot of money, but once again, I walked away feeling that my money was well spent.  I can't wait until 2015 when we do this all over again!  

No comments: