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Joaljoe

Finally my DREAM Review w/photos!! Feb 12-19th

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Hi Everyone, this review is long over due! I'm finally getting the chance to sit down and write it. I came back from the cruise sick with a cold, the cough held me until just last week and I had two kids bdays to plan. Wooo....what a month! Why did I ever have them 2 weeks apart?? LOL Anyway, we sailed this time with our two wonderful kids, ages 7 & 9. (Now they're both 8 & 10, and VERY happy to be another year older!) This was our first time vacationing with our kids and it was a great time. We can't wait to do it again.

 

As my subject stated, we sailed the Dream from Feb 12 - Feb 19th. Visiting Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. We flew down a couple of days early and stayed at Pop Century in Disney. We were going to do a day at Magic Kingdom but it didn't work out due to a stomach virus. We drove from Toronto to Buffalo on the Wednesday night but that day when we picked up our son from school he wasn't feeling well. Within 2 hours of our drive he started having diarrhea and vomiting all over the car. Yikes!!

 

What a start! LOL It took us forever to get to Buffalo, I felt so bad for him and for us! Trust me - the car did not smell pretty!! We finally arrived at our hotel, The Millenium right beside Walden Galleria. Not the best hotel, but not the most horrible either. For the few hours we were there, it was perfect. We just left our car there the whole week. We only paid an extra $30 more than we would've at the airport.

 

Thursday morning, my son felt better but still couldn't eat much due to the diarrhea. Sorry! :P Before leaving for the airport we went to Target and bought some dry cereal with a box of crackers. I wasn't sure if they'd let us on the plane with this but thought we'd try anyway. Had no problems, and my son made it through the flight with no problems. By the time we got on our flight he was feeling much better. We were also delayed 1 1/2 hr due to a mask compartment that wouldn't close. They were waiting for maintenance, but eventually just taped it up by themselves. We didn't even make it to Pop Century until 11:30pm, by this time we were all pretty tired. But very excited that my sons 24 hr bug was gone and couldn't wait to visit Magic Kingdom the next morning!

 

Well... it's about 5am and my hubby wakes up running to the washroom. That's right, you guessed it... that little bug jumped into him now! He got it bad, and was in bed until 1pm on the Friday. Thank goodness we never bought the tickets, we never wait till last minute but this time we did and it worked out for the best. The kids understood why we couldn't go and enjoyed the resort instead. Even though it was a cold day and we had to wear our jackets. lol Later than evening we also took them to Downtown Disney. I don't know how DH made it through the night, he was quite the trooper I tell ya!

 

Here's just a few pics before I get onto the cruise. =)

 

The wonderful masks that delayed us...

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Checking out the Pop Century Resort

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Their favourite!!

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LOVED THESE TREES!! So glad to be away from the snow!

 

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This was the best...

 

Kids: What is that?

Us: A walkman

Kids: What's a walkman?

Us: That's what we used to listen to music. You put a cassette inside.

Kids: What's a cassette??

 

LOL... it was quite a funny conversation....

 

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Will be back with more goodies shortly. :)

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Saturday morning, we all wake up and everyone is feeling fine. YAY! We had a limo come pick us up at the resort and take us to the port. We booked with Orlando Executive Limousine. They were about 30 mins late but that wasn't going to ruin anything for us. The driver that was suppose to pick us up got rear ended so they sent out a new (bigger) limo for us. I was happy with that! They had water on ice waiting for us and some party blow sound thingies. The kids loved them! The driver was nice, although rushed us a bit. We now felt like we were just being squeezed into their schedule but we still enjoyed the drive to the port. The owner Michael is really nice and great to deal with.

 

We finally see her.... the Dream was everything we expected and more. I have no pics though, he was driving too fast to take any. LOL But I'm sure by now you all know what she looks like. :)

 

Getting ready for our first limo ride as a family.

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Okay, I must say...after a little bit those sound things were too much. lol

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Great start! I'll be going to the same hotel and the same ship in october.

 

Keep it coming!:)

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You'll have an awesome time Roxette! And I'm sure the weather will be a little better at that time. lol

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Embarkation: Easy, easy, easy!!

 

When we arrived, the line was huge. We thought....., this will take forever. It was still a bit chilly too so we weren't looking forward to standing in this big line outside. But there was this lady walking around picking out the people with kids and let us all go through the VIP line. I felt so bad walking by everyone but it was nice that they did that. There was also an older couple behind us in line that we were talking to, so when the lady came up to us she pointed at them and said "Mom and Dad, you go too". heehee We chuckled and just told them to play along, they were quite pleased. :) The lines inside weren't too bad, we got called up pretty fast. Hubby took care of everything at the counter and off we were... I can't believe I have no pics of us entering the ship. Especially the kids, this is their first vacation!! Ah well, too much was going on for me. haha

 

We're in!!! Oh wait, picture time.... they were grabbing us from each side. We only said yes to one of the gentlemen though. Usually hubby and Iget on the ship pretty early, so we have a lot of time to check out the ship. But not this time! It was around 1:30pm, so we quickly headed to our room and dropped off our stuff. To the kids surprise, there were a couple of packages waiting for them on the bed. According to the note, it was from the captain. Wink, Wink! How nice of the captain to give out Bon Voyage gifts. lol We then headed straight for that Pasta Bar we heard so much about. We get up to the top of the stairs, they handed us 4 order sheets and a table #. We filled out our orders, handed them in and found a table...which wasn't hard since we were literally the only ones in there. Our pasta dishes came pretty fast and were all deelish! I only got a photo of mine though.

 

After we ate, we walked around the ship a little bit and went back into our room before we left for the muster drill. Our room Stewart knocked on our door to introduce himself. He was very nice and told us if we need anything at all to give him a shout. I already knew this was going to be a great week. On our last cruise, I only saw our Stewart maybe 2x. Muster drill was great, we made our way over to our station with no life jackets!!! This was a bonus!!

 

What a great captain...

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Cook was very nice. =)

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All the dessert. Yikes! The kids were in HEAVEN! LOL

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I had this dish twice that week. The 2nd time it wasn't done as good, I think they were rushing since it was busier but we still enjoyed it.

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Great review so far! Pictures too! I look forward to reading the rest. :)

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Camp Carnival Photos

 

Kids loved their times at Camp Carnival. We took a little tour when we were exploring the ship.

 

The 2-5 age group area.

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The older age group side...

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DS was in the zone! LOL

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MORE>>MORE>> MORE>>>>

Don't make us wait!!!

Great review so far. Can't wait to read and see more..

Thanks,

Carla

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A few more ship photos....

 

People were still entering the ship at this point. That's the background we chose for our family photo, which we didn't end up purchasing. There were way too many to choose from at the end of the week. LOL

 

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Sushi Bar

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A little dark, sorry! This was Club Caliente.

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Club Caliente

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The Piano bar. We spent no time in here though. Everytime walked by here it was very smokey. No biggie, we just sped up. =)

 

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We hyped the kids up for sail away so much but they didn't seem to care as much as we did. They were bored after 2 minutes and were more interested in what was going on down on the Lido Deck. So we made our way over there for them. They ended up joining the limbo. Then some dancing, which was cut short because we had to make our way over to the Camp Carnival orientation. That night CC had a little welcome party for all the kids at Club Caliente. Lots of fun if you like to join things. lol Hubby pretty much did everything with them, I was the photographer. They won a ship on a stick trophy for doing the Twist! That night DH also went up on stage for the Trivia Game Show! That was a blast! He lost but was soooo close!!

 

Dinner was great. We had a little booth upstairs just for the 4 of us. We felt like we had a lot of privacy and had a great view overlooking the downstairs. Our waiter was nice, a little quiet and awkward but still did a great job with us during the week. Although, he kept mixing up our names and wouldn't listen to us when we'd try to correct him. The Welcome Aboard show was full of laughter. We personally enjoyed Butch and his crew. He's a little geeky but that's what we liked about him. lol

 

After that show we made our way over to the Lido deck for the Laser Show. I must say, this laser show looks much better in photos than it does in person. We were a little disappointed with it. I don't even have any good photos to show. But I did get some later on in the week which I will post later on. All in all, it was a great evening!! =)

 

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This lady was amazing!! I don't know how she bent down so low! Great job...

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Everyone enjoying their first night on board. =)

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Day 1 - Nassau

 

We didn't end up getting off the ship this day. We decided to stay on and just take advantage of the empty ship. We left the camera in the room and just had fun. For lunch we had BBQ from the Lanai. The ribs were really good but the sliders (small burgers) weren't the greatest. We found them to be a little dry. We took advantage of the pool, waterslides, mini golf and explored the ship. We signed the kids into CC in the afternoon and just enjoyed some "us" time. The day went by way too quickly and before we knew it, it was time to get dolled up for our first elegant night. DD and DS really enjoyed their lobster on this night. The waiter was surprised that they enjoyed such a variety of foods. He stopped bringing the kids menu after the 2nd night. lol

 

After dinner we went to the "family friendly" comedy show with Percy Crews. We always enjoy him, the kids loved his humour too. Think they wanted to go to the adult version!

Tonight's show in the Encore Lounge must have not been that awesome because for some reason we barely remember it. haha With that said we're very easy to please and enjoyed every show we saw. I guess some just stick out more than others.

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Day 2 - Sea Day

 

Today was a "Let's Relax Day"! So we did just that! Kiddies couldn't wait to go back to CC so early afternoon we signed them in. We went back to our room and wrapped up a small gift for them which we brought back from home. They were so happy when they came back to the room. The littlest things make them happy.

 

Tonight we just decided to eat at The Gathering. I like to do the buffet once or twice per cruise. We always have that off day were we don't feel like dressing up. No pressure on V-Day! LOL

 

Finally caved into Bingo tonight. But before Bingo started they had an Air Guitar competition.... hubby loves loves his air guitar. He wore his Poison shirt hoping to get picked!! Well, he got picked all right but came in 2nd. That's okay though, because then my daughter got picked to help out with Bingo and came down with a Ship on a Stick. Our goal was to try and get one for both kids. Mission accomplished! LOL THEN, we were only 1 number away from winning $600!!! No luck though! What a fun night it was....

 

View from our Cove Balcony

 

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Wish we could be back there right now....

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The ice carving...

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I must say, I loved the sparkly gold all over the ship.

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Atrium

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DH so should've won!! LOL

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Happy little camper..

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Now they both have one... Yay!

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I just realized that I never mentioned our stateroom. We ended up getting a Cove Balcony after hearing so many good things about it. We absolutely enjoyed it, being so close to that water was amazing! And you can't beat the privacy you get. We would definitely get it again. The highter up balconies just don't have the privacy, I would hate to go out in my PJ's to look up and see strangers starring at me.

 

Anyway, that's all for tonight unfortunately. The morning hours come way too fast. Tomorrow I will start off with one of my favourite stops... St. Thomas! Love that island!

 

Good Night All. :)

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We were in 2326. We loved the cabin and had no issues with noise. Except for the late party animals in the halls. haha

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Thanks for the review. I will be in cove room 2309 in a little over two weeks and I can hardly contain my excitement.:D

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This was the best...

 

Kids: What is that?

Us: A walkman

Kids: What's a walkman?

Us: That's what we used to listen to music. You put a cassette inside.

Kids: What's a cassette??

 

LOL... it was quite a funny conversation....

 

Too funny! I remember my walkman cassette player. Does that mean I'm getting old if kids don't know what one is? :eek: I'm loving your review. I think the picture of your kids with their ships on a stick is too cute. Can't wait to read more!

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LOL... yes, yes...we're all getting old! My kids even forgot they used a VCR when they were toddlers. They found a box of video tapes in the basement and asked me what the heck these were? haha

 

pdcat21 - Enjoy your cruise! We wish we were going back on....you'll be on the red team. Make sure to bring something red to wear for the deck party if you'll be joining in. :)

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Thanks so much for your review. We are doing the same Itinerary in November and can't wait. Looking forward to hearing more!!! Oyeah... I love the walkman bit.... I'm 30 and that made me feel SUPER OLD!!!!!LOL

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I know the feeling, I'm only 31 and sometimes feel much older. haha

 

Here are some towel animals we got the first couple of days. Kids loved them but we had no where to store them this time around. No space when you add on two kids with all their stuffed characters! LOL Didn't matter, they'd break them within the first few mins most of the time anyway!

 

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Day 3 - St. Thomas

 

I could not wait to go back to this Island. I absolutely love it!! I ended up waking up early for some reason (I like to sleep in) but I stood up, went to the washroom and on the way back to bed peaked outside. It was just beautiful!! We were coming up close to St. Thomas, the sun was up and right beside us I see Oasis of the Seas. I grab my camera, wake up hubby and out we go. The view was just amazing, the warm morning air and the ocean sounds were a great start to the day. About an hour later we finally woke the kids up and made them come enjoy the view with us. Here are a few photos from that morning.... it's so hard to choose what to post. In total, for the 10 days we were gone I took 2660 photos. We just got a new camera before Christmas so I had loads of fun with it.

 

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Celebrity Constellation docked at the other port.

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Love that the Cove balconies are so close to the water..

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We got ourselves together and got some breakfast. DD loved going to the omelet station and ordering her own, the cooks were always really nice to her and she loved being independent. Once we ate we were ready to get off the ship, I must say.... I was a little nervous with the heat. This was my first time travelling since being diagnosed with MS and with many people the heat makes the symptoms worse. I wasn't sure what to expect! We purchased cold water before leaving the ship and the kids filled up their water bottles they got in their Bon Voyage packages. So glad we had all that water, it was HOT, HOT, HOT and we LOVED it!!

 

Our first destination - Paradise Point! We purchased our tickets through Carnival, it's just a tad cheaper. After being stopped by a few taxi drivers we finally made it across the street. We got our wrist bands and started making it up the stairs, then out of no where this gate opens up half way up and a guy walks out asking if we need a taxi. LOL We tell him we're going up to PP right now and he responds by saying "Oh, you're going up there? Okay then, maybe on the way back". Kind of a weird guy too! And if I wanted a taxi, I think I'd feel more comfortable going back down to the street instead of going behind this fence with you.

 

Once at the top, the view was incredible. They had little shops, a place to eat and had a live band playing. The atmosphere for us was just perfect. We did a little shopping, enjoyed the views, took many many pictures and slowly made our way back downstairs. Skipped the taxi guy and did some more shopping at Havensight before going back on the ship for lunch. We went back to the Pasta Bar figuring it wouldn't be too busy since most people were off the ship. Once again, our food came really fast....another great experience in the Pasta Bar. Although, I don't think we'd come back to the ship for lunch again. We thought it was smart to bring our souvenirs back and to save on food but it took too long. It's a good thing we were in port until 8pm that day.

 

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My favourite view!!

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I love the path back to the ship.

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Great review! What kind of camera do you have?

 

I love that you kids didn't know what the walkman/cassettes were. Reminds me of the time when my dh picked up DS in his work van. The work van has the manual handles to roll the windows down. DS saw the handles and asked what are they and what do they do?:p

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Great review! What kind of camera do you have?

 

I love that you kids didn't know what the walkman/cassettes were. Reminds me of the time when my dh picked up DS in his work van. The work van has the manual handles to roll the windows down. DS saw the handles and asked what are they and what do they do?:p

 

I know off topic, but THAT reminds of the time, not too long ago, when my remote control to open the car doors was dropped in water and no longer worked. How in the world was I going to get the doors open. Oh yeah, use a key. Duh!!!

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I am enjoying this review!!! Thanks for sharing and the pics are great too.

 

I'm torn on if I want to ever sail on Dream... I'm not sure I want to sail a ship THAT big. Or should I say w/ THAT amny guests. I kinda like my smaller classes. But your pics are starting to make me think about it a little more.

 

I'm glad you like Butch.. I feel in love w/ him last year on Liberty!! He was a ton of fun as a CD prob my favorite thus far.

 

Guess he is just another reason to consider Dream

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cuted126 - Thank You! We have a Canon 2Ti, just perfect for us. We also bought an extra lens for those close ups I always wanted!

 

Funny about the window handles, it kind of threw me off last summer going into my sister's jeep. When you have power locks for so many years, it's kind of weird! lol

 

mom2lillirissa - LOL... yes, the key was a good idea! ;)

 

hlb76 - I don't know, I never felt like it was over crowded. It was a little big and I think there are still spots that I never made it too... and got lost pretty much right up until the last day. lol But it was an adventure everytime we went somewhere. The only place we had no problems going to was Camp Carnival and the Ice Cream machines!! haha With that said, I loved the ship and would recommend it to anyone at least once.

 

We hope to do the Magic next, just not sure on the intinerary and port. We prefer the Pride's or Splendor's for next April. We shall see.... either way, we'll have a great time.

 

As for Butch, he made my kids feel special everytime he saw them. They absolutely loved him and wish he could be on our next cruise. It's been a month and they still talk about Butch!

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After lunch we decided to go to Magen's Bay. There was only 1 taxi standing out in front of the ship at this time. So I guess she thought we'd get in no matter what price she gave us. She told us she wanted $10/pp, so I politely said no thank you and told her we found some cheaper ones out a bit further. She didn't seem impressed, and said "Fine, then it's $6". What a jump down! I was expecting the $8 that everyone else was asking for. After talking to her for a couple of mins we ended up getting into her van. She told us that she did say $8 at the beginning, but I know what we heard and know what she was doing and why. We just left it alone though and told her we heard wrong. LOL In the end, she ended up being a very nice lady. She was very informative during our drive and was very pleasant. Just trying to make business. =)

 

The drive over the mountain was very pretty. It was weird driving on the other side of the road though, and I find that some of them drive a little too crazy for my liking. There was a little fee to enter Magen's Bay, which I'm sure most of you know. I hope I'm remembering this correctly, the kids were free to get into this beach and we (adults) paid $4 each. The beach was not overly crowded that day (we also got there later in the afternoon) and the water was nice and cool for this hot day! I wasn't a big fan of all the little fishies we were feeling around our feet. My DD kept saying they were nibbling on her toes. LOL I don't think I could ever snorkel....

 

For these beach photos, I used our waterproof Olympus camera. I was paranoid to bring the new one.

 

DS stepping on Caribbean sand for the first time. lol

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All the fish in the water.

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Really beautiful surrondings on this beach.

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Drawing in the sand.

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We had the moon on one side and the sun on the other, very cool.

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By the time we got back to the ship, it was almost dark. We took a quick shower, got dressed and went for dinner. We didn't make it back for our early dinning so again we went to the buffet at the Gathering. We wanted to be on deck for sailaway but decided to go to the Encore Lounge to get seats. Tonight was the Dancin' in the Street show which we heard is amazing and tough to get seats. We made sure to be there early for it, ended up getting good seats off to the side. It was a full house that night!! The show was just as great as people described, you do not want to miss this one. DD & DS were very entertained as well and loved all the dancing, costumes and props. You will not regret going early to get good seats. Of course I have no photos since we're not allowed to take any. Although, I saw people taking them anyway.

 

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Time to get back on the ship.

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Everyone waiting for the Dancin' in the Street show.

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After the show we head for some ice cream...mmmmm

These machine's were our bestfriends!

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mama_2_boys - Thank you, glad you're enjoying it. :) They really do have great personalities!! They made this vacation a complete different experience for us, we loved having them there and will always take them with us on each cruise we go on. I don't think they'd have it any other way. haha

 

Thanks Mike&Shell as well. You'll LOVE the Dream!! :D

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mama_2_boys - Thank you, glad you're enjoying it. :) They really do have great personalities!! They made this vacation a complete different experience for us, we loved having them there and will always take them with us on each cruise we go on. I don't think they'd have it any other way. haha

 

We are taking our boys (ages 2 and 4-almost 3 and 5) on their first cruise in May. Even though they are quite a bit younger than your kids I think we won't ever want to go back to cruising just us (well maybe every few years) either. They have great personalities too and even though they are a handful (b/c of their ages) we can't wait. They are counting down the days...well we all are! ;) Ok back to your fabulous review... :D

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Great review! I love your picture of the cove balcony, it is close to the water.

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