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Dream Cruise June 8-15


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How do I make the pix big?


I first upload the pics to photobucket. There are other sites that will work as well. On photobucket, when a single picture is pulled up, there are boxes to the side of the pic, which are links. One of them says "Direct". Clicking it should copy the URL. Then come back to CC. In the reply toolbar, there is a box with a mountain, sun, & yellow sky. It's the "Insert Image" box. After clicking it, the pop-up asks for the URL. Since it's already copied, you can paste it in there with a Ctrl-V. Hit OK, and the image should show up full size in your reply even before posting.

Edited by k2excursion
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I first upload the pics to photobucket. There are other sites that will work as well. On photobucket, when a single picture is pulled up, there are boxes to the side of the pic, which are links. One of them says "Direct". Clicking it should copy the URL. Then come back to CC. In the reply toolbar, there is a box with a mountain, sun, & yellow sky. It's the "Insert Image" box. After clicking it, the pop-up asks for the URL. Since it's already copied, you can paste it in there with a Ctrl-V. Hit OK, and the image should show up full size in your reply even before posting.


Thanks. Here goes!

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Let the review begin!


This was my 5th cruise, DW's 4th cruise, and DS's 2nd cruise. Last summer we took DS on a cruise for his 16th birthday. He was hooked.


We chose the Dream because of Port Canaveral and itenerary.


Our sail date was Saturday, June 8. We left NC Tuesday, June 5 at noon! The idea was to spend a couple of days at Daytona Beach (our favorite) to get work on our pre-cruise tan. We drove as far as Jacksonville. It rained off and on most of the day (thank you TS Andrea).


We arrived at the hotel around 9pm. We stayed at the Best Western Airport, Exit 363. I booked it through Priceline (name your own price) while having dinner in GA. I paid $40. It was fine for one night and breakfast was included the next morning. I saw signs for cruise and park at the hotel so if anyone is ever cruising out of JAX this might be an option.


By 11 am we were in Daytona! I knew it would be too early to check in but we went to the hotel anyway. We stayed at the Lexington Inn and Suites on the beach. We couldn't check in but they did let us use the pool area while we waited. It was overcast (thank you TS Andrea).


A cloudy day at the beach is better than a sunny day at work!




Around 1pm it started raining. We sat under an umbrella at the pool until it started raining sideways! We were able to check in around 2pm. We had an oceanfront. DW and I spent the afternoon on the balcony reading while DS texted and did other things that 17 year olds to with their phones.


We went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Daytona, Boondocks. This place sits on the Halifax River. It is very unpretentious. It is open air with plastic "walls" they can let down in case of rain. It is a favorite locals hangout. Wine is $3.50/glass and cocktails are $4.00. Can't beat that! I had fried shrimp, DW had blackened basa, DS had blackened shrimp alfredo. After a stop at Cow Lick's Ice Cream we rolled back into our hotel for the evening.

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Day -2 Thursday


We woke up to a downpour (thanks TS Andrea). DW and I spent the day on the balcony (again) reading. DS complained he was bored. I reminded him that a rainy day at the beach is better than a sunny day at school. He hushed.


TS Andrea finally wore out her welcome and left around 3pm. The sky cleared so DW and I took a stroll on the beach. DS stayed in the room and texted.


We went to dinner at another of our favorite places, Crabby Joe's. Crabby Joe's sits on the Sunglow pier literally out over the ocean. You can see the waves below you through the cracks in the floor. The food is great and the drinks are cheap (are you picking up on the pattern?). I had fried shrimp and fried basa, DS had a shrimp po-boy, and DW had steamed garlice peel and eat shrimp.


DS at Crabby Joe's




After Crabby Joe's we had to make an ice cream stop so we stopped at Dairy Queen. I know it's not real ice cream but I do love a peanut buster parfait. Of course, I spent the night sleeping facing away from DW (she had the garlic steamed shrimp!)

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Day -1, Friday


It's cruise eve!!!!!!


We awoke to a beautiful morning in Daytona. DW went for a morning walk (she ended up walking 7 miles). I sat in a chaise lounge looking at the beach and watching the sun rise and watching people.


Around 11am we checked out and headed south toward Port Canaveral. We had reservations at La Quinta Cocoa Beach. We got really excited when we passed the port and saw a cruise ship. It was an RCI Something of the Seas.


We arrived at the La Quinta. The front desk staff was very friendly and allowed us to check in and go to our room. We unloaded all 48 bags we had in the car and took them to the room. Now that there was room in the car we went to Ron Jon for some pre-cruise shopping.


Around 3pm a couple from back home joined us. They couldn't leave until after work on Thursday -- how sad! We drove to the beach (it was a long 2 blocks) and took a walk on the beach. As we were walking back we saw the RCI "Something of the Seas" sailing out into the ocean. How exciting it was knowing that would be us the next day.


Around 5pm another couple joined us. They are from Tallahassee. I knew them when I lived there and we travel together 3-4 times a year. Fortunately, the couple from Tally and the couple from home hit it off and got along spendidly.


We all went to dinner in Cocoa Beach. We were intending to go to Fat Kahunas. The reviews looked really good. When we got there it didn't look so hot. So we went to Coconuts. It is right on the ocean with lots of table space outside. It was pretty crowded but still nice. We didn't have to wait very long for a table.


We had arrived during happy hour so drinks were half price! DW had her usual chardonnay and I had my usual screwdriver. DS had coke. For dinner I had shrimp tacos -- my first. They were quite delicious. DW had crab legs. She said they were great. They are too much work for me! DS had fried srimp.


After dinner we went back to the hotel and sat around the pool for a couple of hours while FL and NC couples got to know each other better.


Bedtime! But who can sleep?

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DAY 1!!!!!!!!!!


Finally, it has arrived. I was up by 6:30 and wandered down to the free breakfast. They had eggs, sausage, make-your-own waffles, cereal, etc. Not bad, not great, but free!


It was finally time to leave to board the shuttle! Now, Carnival had sent this email saying not to arrive at the port until 1:30. Yea, right! We booked the 10:30 shuttle. Because our room was not close to the shuttle pick up point, we loaded all 98 bags back into the car and I drove to the pick up point and unloaded all 142 bags there and drove the car back to the parking area.


We are excited!





The hotel had booked us on Road Runner Shuttle. 10:30 came and went, 10:45 came and went, 11:00 came and went. Finally they got there, loaded us up and we were on our way.


We had a contest to see who would see the whale tail first. DS won. He's younger and has better eyes!


The Dream in port.




We loaded our 218 bags and watched as the porters loaded them on the wagons. We got to security around 11:25 and were on the ship at 11:45. It would have been sooner if we didn't have to stop to get our picture made so many times.


Lines were non-existant. I guess everyone paid attention to the "don't arrive before 1:30" email. Our friends from NC had faster to the fun but we actually got on the ship 2 people ahead of them.


After we got on we all took our carry ons to the room with FTTF. We went to the bar to pay for the unlimited soft drinks for DS. After that we headed up to the Lido deck for lunch. It was not too crowded but, of course, all the window tables were taken. No big deal. We ate lunch and then started exploring the ship.


The decor is typical Carnival glitzy. We've been on Carnival before and knew it was not going to look like the Waldorf-Astoria. We found where all the necessary things were -- casino, bars, restaurants, coffee bar, Club O2, etc.


At 1:30 we went to our friend's room to collect our carryons. We went to our room, 9401 (balcony), and all 638 bags were there waiting for us. We went in and unpacked everything. Fortunately, there is room under the bed for empty luggage.


3:30 was muster time. Our meeting place was in Club O2. There was lots of room there with chairs. They explained the process and did the typical "this is how you put on a life vest" thing and explained what to do in case of hitting an iceberg.


After this we hit the deck to enjoy our sail away!

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Day 1 (part 2)


I did manage to get a few pix of the cabin before we trashed it too badly.


DS on the sofa that turned into his bed.



Our bed with the luggage protector still on. You can see the Disney Magic off our balcony.




The toilet



The shower



The sink



If you are looking for spaciousness, go somewhere else! You won't find it in this bathroom!


We headed up on deck for the sail away.

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Day 1 Part 3


The Disney Magic was in port. Looks huge! Way too much Mickey Mouse for me.




Port Canaveral



The Ecstacy was also in port.



Looking toward NASA



This is where we spent all of our deck time. Deck 11 aft. Clouds are rolling in.



DW with her chardonnay as we leave!


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Day 1 Part 4


DS texting until the last possible moment.



A Casino ship in port. Love it!



Out in the ocean. Lots of rain back on shore.




We went back to our room to get ready for dinner. We early seating in the Scarlet Dining Room. While I would prefer to dine later so I could enjoy the outdoors longer, it is nice to be finished with dinner before 10pm. I don't think we would like ATD because we loved our table and our wait staff.


Friends from Tallahassee.



Friends from back home in NC.



DW and DS


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Day 1 Part 5


Dinner was great. I couldn't decide so I had the spring rolls and the chicken tenders for my appetizer. DW had gazpacho, DS had shrimp cocktail and ceasar salad.





Chicken Tenders



We all loved our appetizers. For the entree, I had the beef brisket. It was very tender and tasty. For dessert, DW and I had creme brulée. Mine was a bit watery. DW's was perfect. Oh well. It was the least favorite dessert of mine on the trip.


After dinner I changed clothes and went to the casino. I always change because of the smoke. I wear the same shirt each night in the casino for that reason. That, and I did it last year and won a ton of money. I play blackjack, never slots. I ended the evening down $200. I'll try and make it up tomorrow night!


A word to my readers -- we are pretty boring cruisers by some standards. We don't go to shows, or karaoke, or hairy chest contests. I'm a university professor. I teach music and music theatre. I'm pretty critical when it comes to the entertainment, so I just stay away. Besides I do it for a living, I don't want to spend my vacation doing the same thing!


DW went up on deck for a while until the rain started. We both love feeling the ocean breeze (wind) and the warm air as we sit (and snooze) in a deck chair.


We assumed DS had a good time in the Club O2. He didn't come in until 4:30am. I have no problem with this. They won't let him drink alcohol, gamble, or go to the adult shows. What trouble can he get into? He had a great time meeting new kids. He's still facebooking and texting them 2 weeks later.


We crawl into bed lulled to sleep by the gentle motion of the ship.

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