Where to begin?
Well, after champers in the V Room at London Gatwick and an easy flight into Orlando (I love Virgin Atlantic, I do) and the excitement of being picked up by Disney’s VIP service (woo!), we headed to our hotel for the night, the Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. The place is absolutely vast – 65 acres to be precise – and has an equestrian theme, based on a real place called Saratoga Springs which was famous in New York in the 1800s. The resort is made up of lots of different self-catering villas all set in lush landscapes around a huge lake. It’s just beautiful:
We headed out to Epcot at Walt Disney World to the Hacienda restaurant based in the Mexico part of the park. The food was amazeballs, as you can imagine. And check out the margaritas! The one on the left was mango, blueberry and basil, and mine was an avocado margarita (yes, really) with Tequila, melon liqueur, fresh avocado, agave nectar and fresh lime. It had an amazing Hibiscus salt rim as well. Yummers:
The next morning, after a really lush breakfast, we headed off to Port Canaveral to board the ship (don’t call it a boat, you just upset the crew!). This was our first glimpse:
It really is a huge beast. And by this time we were so excited there was quite a bit of squeaking coming from Liz and I. Through customs, we were welcomed into the foyer by no other than Minnie Mouse:
About the Disney Dream
- The ship itself takes about 4,500 passengers and weighs 128000 tons.
- It’s all-inclusive on board, apart from booze and some of the adults only fine dining experiences (oh, the food – I’ve got a lot to tell you about the food). There are 6 restaurants, plus 3 food court areas including a pizza restaurant, fast food joint and ice cream parlour open ALL DAY! So basically you can stuff yourself silly all day (which we did, of course).
- It’s home to the Aquaduck, the world’s first on-ship ‘water coaster’: a 765ft water ride, a section of which actually goes out over the side of the ship.
- There are 1,250 staterooms (that’s what you call the cabins, although I managed to show myself up by calling ours a ‘chalet’ on several occasions).
- There are three pools: an adults-only, two children’s pools – one Mickey-shaped one for tiddlers, plus a lovely splash area for tiddlers with little fountains and jets.
- There is an amazing adults-only entertainment area with nightclubs, lounges and bars.
- There are tons of kids clubs, from a nursery for teeny guests (3 months to 3 years), through the Oceaneer Club and Lab (3 to ten years), Edge (for ‘tweens’), right up to the amazing Vibe – an entire area for teenagers 14 – 17, including a club, a great outdoor area with pools, and dedicated entertainment staff. Once registered, teens get a special card which opens the teens-only door – no adults allowed!
- It’s a cash-free ship. Everything is charged to your ‘Key to the World’ room key, and settled up at the end of the cruise by cash or credit card (but watch out, the shops are fabulous).
The staterooms are certainly compact, but you don’t spend any time in them. There’s one of those beds in the ceiling too which is great fun to sleep in and has a starry ceiling!:
‘Sailing Away’ is absolutely phenomenal. There’s a huge party on deck with a show (and lots of characters, naturally) and loads of people line up on the shore to wave goodbye (including a police car with its lights flashing). As the ship glides out of Port Canaveral the ship’s horn parps the first few notes of ‘When you wish upon a star’. It’s just amazing (we were there with a film crew – this is Paddy the Producer’s ear):
So we were off! LOADS more to tell you, but in the meantime, if you want to see more photos from our Disney Dream trip – check out my Facebook page: facebook.com/englishmumdotcom