Three Days on the Disney Dream

A family trip report

My kids on the Aquaduck water coaster

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Day Three on the Disney Dream

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Click here for Day 2

Our last full day on the Dream, we docked at Castaway Cay, Disney's private Caribbean island, an exclusive stop for passengers on the line's four ships (the Magic, the Wonder, thei and the Dream). But before we disembarked, I had one more tour to take, that of the ship's four kids' clubs. My kids had been only to the Edge, for tweens, so it was great getting a peek at the spaces for babies, kids up to 10 and teens (click here for photos and details).

After a breakfast buffet at Enchanted Garden, which my husband and I had missed at dinner the previous night due to our Palo interlude, we grabbed our Key to the World cards and some sunblock and headed down to the gangplank to Castaway Cay. It was a windy, choppy day (as you can see from this picture taken at the boating dock), which meant that, for our second time at Castaway, the excursion we had so been looking forward to — parasailing — was canceled due to weather. (Apparently, they could get us up in the air but couldn't promise they'd get us down again!)

No matter. We had enjoyed the tube floats, Pelican Plunge slide and beach views on our previous trip, so this time we headed over to the bike rental shack. Wheeled and helmeted up, we rode over to the Lookout Tower (which gives a great view of both the resorty and unspoiled sides of the island), then over toward the adults-only beach (there's an on-island kids' club to leave parents unfettered here, too), past a golf cart carrying a waving Captain Jack Sparrow, fresh off a meet-and-greet. The path was smooth and the 5K ride left us hungry for some BBQ at Cookie's, all part of the inclusive meal plan. We had a bite, shot some hoops and played ping-pong in the sports lean-to, then made our way back to the ship in time for one of our favorite Disney experiences — character drawing class.

We first tried our hand at drawing Disney characeters during our third trips to the Orlando parks, at the wonderful Animation Academy in the Magic of Disney of Animation building at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Over our visits, we've drawn Buzz Lightyear, Dopey, Pluto, Stitch. A lower-key version of this program is offered on the cruise ships, and it just wouldn't be a Disney trip without getting our sketch on. Held in the all-ages nightclub D Lounge, this class focused on side views of Mickey and Pluto. I won't be hired as an animator anytime soon, but I was pretty happy with my handiwork this go-round.

After class, we packed our luggage so we could enjoy the last night aboard without the onerous chore hanging over our heads. Dinner was in the Royal Palace, a marquis restaurant space decked out with princess portraits and a chandelier adorned with Cindy's glass slippers. Menu highlight: the escargot appetizer, with meaty morsels and crusty bread in a yummy buttery sauce. My kids first tried (and loved) escargots on our Fantasy trip and they devoured the dish once again. Because we had to disembark the ship early the next morning, we'd miss our appointed sit-down breakfast. So this was our last chance to say goodbye to Storm and Estawar — and time to give them their gratuity envelopes. Disney makes tipping the easy, charging a standard amount per crew member to your stateroom, then providing you with a printed coupon whose total you can adjust before you turn the envelope over to your hard-working server or stateroom host. 

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