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Embark on Disney Dream

Updated: Apr 21

Day 3: Walt Disney World Resort & Disney Cruise Line | Disney Dream

The transition between Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line isn’t as seamless as I expected. We were staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and I booked a Disney transfer to take us from the hotel to the port. I had called a week before our trip to find out what time the transfer would pick us up. We wanted to eat breakfast at the hotel and I needed to know our transfer time to make our dining reservation. The cast member for Disney Cruise Line told me that the pick-up time was up to the resort and that we would find out during our stay. She also said that there were several pick-up times so we could go on a later one if the one assigned was too early. “Perfect!” I thought. I was expecting an envelope in our room with the details the day before we left for the cruise. We were at the parks all day and we returned to our room around 10pm. No letter. I saw we had a message on the phone. It was the front desk. I headed to the front desk and retrieved the letter. I opened it in the lobby. I had never been more disappointed for receiving free rounds of mini golf.

We woke up at the crack of dawn to pack our bags so they were ready for the 7am bellhop pickup time. We then headed to breakfast an hour before our reservation. Luckily, the restaurant wasn’t crowded at 7:30am so moving our dining reservation was easy. Our server was full of spunk and jokes and it was a fun breakfast. The restaurant is called Whispering Canyon Cafe and is one of my favorites at Disney. They are known for their all-you-can-eat platters, but I opted for a couple biscuits and bacon. It was too early for me to be stuffing myself with breakfast. My body was still in sleep mode!

Whispering Canyon Cafe
Whispering Canyon Cafe

The bus was decorated for Disney Cruise Line and the side of the bus had pictures of portholes along the side. There was no question which bus was ours. It was a huge coach bus for the handful of people it was transferring. We stopped at The Contemporary Resort and Port Orleans Riverside to pickup more guests. There were less than twenty people total on the bus. We had lots of space. Cartoons played on the TVs in the bus, but I was drifting in and out of sleep. I would fall asleep and then snore myself awake.

Disney Cruise Line Bus
Disney Cruise Line Bus

We arrived at Port Canaveral at 10am and I was concerned because our paperwork clearly stated not to arrive earlier than our allotted arrival time which was noon. It wasn’t an issue at all. Our first stop was the screening tents. I picked up a test tube which was inside of a bio bag and headed to a partition with a nurse. She walked me through the steps which was to basically open the tube, open the swab, swab each nostril, break the swab into the tube, and seal everything back up. We then moved to a waiting area where they wrote down our reservation number and names. They told us it normally takes 45 minutes for results. We headed to the “Royal Toilets” which was a portable bathroom trailer. We made fun of port-a-potties being called Royal. We were surprised when they were actually very nice. It was the nicest portable toilet I’ve ever experienced.

Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal
Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal

The 45 minute estimate was spot-on and we were cleared to enter the terminal. If you’ve never cruised, the port terminal is pretty similar to an airport. We went through security and couldn’t bring liquids through. I had to throw out my water bottle. They checked our boarding pass and passports and then we made our way to the giant waiting area.

Boarding began at 12:05pm with boarding group one. We were group 17 and our anticipated noon boarding time wasn’t looking good. Every few minutes a new boarding zone was called. When the screen said boarding zones 1-7 I made a joke that we should go and then say we misread the sign.

We only had our carry-on bags since our bags we gave to the bellhop at the hotel would be delivered straight to our cabin on the Disney Dream. That was pretty awesome! We went to Cabanas which is the buffet. It was amazing and I had mac and cheese, spinach orzo pasta, lamb, beef, and green beans. Everything was delicious and it didn’t taste like buffet food.

After lunch we strolled the ship until 2pm which is when our cabin would be ready. I was on day three of practically no sleep and it was catching up to me. I wanted so badly to take a nap but my schedule had other plans. I had a work meeting at 3pm so I did that using my phone to connect to the internet.

Oceanview Cabin on Disney Dream
Oceanview Cabin on Disney Dream

The cruise schedule said we would leave at 3:45pm so we headed to the top deck to watch us as we sailed away. The more cruises I’ve been on, the more I realize that cruise ships have the punctuality of a sloth when it comes to leaving port. It was 5:15pm when we were finally moving.

Relaxing with Coffee on Disney Dream
Relaxing with Coffee on Disney Dream

We were in the main dining which meant our dinner time was 6pm. Instead of one giant dining room, Disney has several smaller rooms and you and your wait staff rotate between them. The Enchanted Garden was our assigned restaurant for tonight. One of the things I love about Disney is their accommodations for allergies. They always ask and write down everything. It turns out on a Disney Cruise that the paper that the servers uses is considered a legal document and the cast members are required to adhere to it. This is good news for allergies. My allergy is to peppers which is complicated for restaurants. I specify peppers and also common spices that are peppers such as paprika, red pepper flakes, and allspice. Allspice is the problem child. The name is confusing and many people think that allspice is a mixture of several spices. This is not the case. Allspice is a very specific Jamaica pepper, but even after explaining this, sometimes servers only hear “all spice” versus “allspice.” When this happens, I get the most boring meal of steamed vegetables with a meat with literally no seasoning. Edible, yes. Avoiding the allergy, yes. Crushing my desire to eat a scrumptious meal that I didn’t have to cook, yes. This is what happened this meal. I asked to speak with the chef to clarify the allergy since something was clearly getting lost in translation. Verbally the crew seemed to understand what I was saying, but the food brought to me made it clear that they did not understand. Steamed vegetables are the worst.

The Enchanted Garden on Disney Dream
The Enchanted Garden on Disney Dream

The show tonight was Beauty and the Beast and the 8:30pm viewing was surprising sparse. They seated each group with three seats between parties. The social distancing and mask wearing on the ship has been really good. The show was nothing short of amazing. They didn’t use a ton of props, but they really transformed the stage with what they used. The choreography and seamless transitions between sets was impressive. I’m not really a show person, but this show was incredibly entertaining even though I knew the plot. The actor who played Lumiere was probably my favorite. Overall I was impressed. Hilary who lives in New York and grew up going to Broadway also said the show was amazing.

About the Author

Amaris is the owner of the Ohio-based travel agency, Adventures by Amaris. Her love for travel began at a young age when she traveled to her parents' home countries of England and Mexico. She continued traveling in High School by participating in a People to People program to Italy, France and Monaco. In college, she spent six weeks in Europe studying abroad and traveling. She visited Spain, Portugal, England, Wales, Ireland, Vatican City, and Italy in a whirlwind summer. Through her adult life she continues to make traveling a priority with her family. Her young son is autistic so navigating the world of traveling with an autistic child brings on new adventures. Her travel resume includes Mexico, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, Colombia, and Cayman Islands. She is an expert in planning family vacations across the world from Disney World to Europe to worldwide cruises.

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