Hallo-Dream Trip Report! 10/13-17

Hi all,

I came here this morning with a list of questions and they are a little all over the place so I thought maybe I would just compile them here since we’re getting so close!

A little preview for your trouble. The crew is me, DH, DS8, DS5, DMom and DDad! We have adjoining balcony rooms on the 10th deck. Our cruise departs out of the port of Manhattan which is very convenient to us coming from just north of Boston. We are driving to CT on Thursday evening. We have a 12:15 PAT on Friday so will do the 2ish remaining hours that morning.

  1. Does anyone have any advice on the beer mug or wine packages? My mother purchased a room celebration for my boys and then we ended up down these package rabbit holes. They do not appear to be of a fantastic value for 4 nights.
  2. Palo brunch and champagne tastings: Do I go straight to Guest Services to book these on board or the specific locations themselves?
  3. Does anyone have specific experience with “Halloween” at sea? I have been trying to watch some videos and it sounds like there is a whole day of Halloween. I’m frustrated that this is our only port day. Are we going to miss stuff? Should I skip a sit down dinner this night?
  4. Is the photo package worth it? I’ve asked this before and I’m so on the fence.
  5. When does the schedule show up in my app?

That should be in the app if they are available. If not, you can definitely go to guest services and double check, and always keep an eye open because they pop up last minute a lot. I got my champagne tasting the morning of, just a few hours before the event.

IIRC it populated on the day of embarkation automagically!


Ok, I’ll keep hounding the poor app!


Yay cruise questions. Ok, I gotcha!

I don’t know much about the beer package but what I do know is it allows you to get a 22oz serving for the price of 16oz and that when you finish your drink you exchange the mug for a chip/token that you hand back in for the next 22oz mug (at a 16oz price).

The wine packages will be done through your serving team at dinner. Starts at $100 for a 3 “Night” package (Night = bottle of wine). There’s a standard list of bottles available & then for more (I can’t remember how much more) a premium list available as well. You pick a bottle from the list & can share with as many people as you like at the table, they will bring a glass for everyone (21+) that you tell them to. Once you finish a bottle you can get the next bottle. If you don’t finish a bottle, they will cork it & have it waiting for you at dinner the next night. If you go through your bottles before the end of the cruise, you can upgrade to more nights. And you can bring up to one bottle home, I believe. I got the wine package to have 1-2 glasses each dinner and shared with extended family on our 5 nights on the Dream and I had thought we would end up upgrading to 4 or 5 nights but we didn’t go through wine as quickly as I thought, so I was glad I had listened to my server and started with the 3 night package to see if I got through that first before upgrading to more.

When the schedule pops into your app, look for a specific Dining Requests under the activities. Their location will be listed in the app (usually at one of the restaurants that’s not being used immediately or some other central, large location). Head there for Palo reservations (and any requests related to your main dining room rotation, table location, dining time, etc). If it’s not in the app, then I would check Guest Services or you could try directly going up to Palo but I don’t think they open it that early on embarkation day. But worth a shot if you strike out everywhere else.

I’m not sure if this dining team could help with champagne tastings but if you stalk the app you should be able to find things as people cancel/solidify their plans in the last 3-7 days before the cruise. You could also stalk the app for Palo brunch too & it might pop up, especially once connected to the wifi at the port.

I haven’t done a Halloween sailing, but I’m curious that a) you already know it’s going to happen on your port day and b) that it’s scheduled for your only port day. If it’s similar to Pirate night there will be crafts and other small games/activities throughout the lounges that are centered on the theme throughout the day, but the party doesn’t get started until the evening and they design everything to work either between or after the main dining room times. They also usually don’t have a featured entertainment show (might do a smaller variety act or simply show a movie at the Walt Disney theater) to lessen the chance you’re missing out on the themed party or one of the main shows.

I personally wouldn’t skip main dining for the activities, but main dining is one of the highlights for us on a cruise, so if it’s not yours/your kids’ favorites, then it’s totally doable. You can let your dining team know if that’s what you’re going to do & you can either get pool deck food or room service whenever during the Halloween festivities you can fit in food.

Select the pre-purchase package now to lock in the discounted price and you have up until Shutters closes the last night of the cruise to cancel it, so long as you have not downloaded any of your photos. You can see them on the app or they have screens at shutters to look through the photos. You can see what photos you get & make a better decision there if you’ll want to get it or not. You won’t get charged for it until the folios settle the last night.

The app will come to life once you connect from port. Everything will be there but not any sooner. I wish it would pop up the week before. I would even take 3 days before. You can always call DCL and ask them for the schedule over the phone (for main shows, what your dining rotation is expected to be) but they will tell you it’s all subject to change so to check the app once you’re at port/onboard.


Another brain wave I had about champagne tastings. I have read that some people get chatty with the bartenders in the adult only lounges on that first night & from having a good conversation/vibe with them, they’ve had the bar tender invite them to be added to a full tasting class they are running on the sailing. So another avenue if that’s your jam & you can’t find a spot & the dining team doesn’t have the ability to magic you a spot.

you can actually bring two bottles per person over 21 or a 6 pack of beer per adult.


I’m getting ready to do my 3rd Halloween on the High Seas. They will have two Halloween parties and trick or treats that will be between the dining times to allow each in group in each dining time to experience both. You can still do dinner at your regular times. You won’t miss anything by going in to your port and you don’t need to skip dining. It all happens at night. Wear your costumes to dinner.


The wine packages and tasting have all increased in price over the summer. When I went to book those, I was surprised at the increases, especially for the tastings. I want to say the champagne one was $60 or $70 per person. I book all my tastings as soon as they become available. Since I have silver status, I think that was 75 days before the cruise. I’ve never waited to book until I got on board but I know you can see if there are any openings. I’d stalk the app before the cruise. In my facebook cruise group, lots of people are posting that they are cancelling various activities they had planned.


Thank you!!

Ok, helpful. I guess I had assumed we had to do the 4-night one since we are on the cruise for 4 nights.

Fantastic advice and I will do just this!

This is just up my mother’s alley! I’ll put her on that.


This makes me feel better! I was also able to find a Navigator from the Wish a couple of weeks ago so hopefully our schedule looks like this.


IIRC that’s the amount for bringing onto the ship. My bringing up to one bottle home was in reference to if you get the wine package and the limit that you can take home with you if you don’t use all your purchased bottles. I believe it was just the one you could bring home, but I could be wrong.


Yay for your cruise being so close. Your boys look so cute in their costumes.

Totally agree with @lolabear_la
Also, if you look at what the cost is for purchasing 10 or 20 photos, the unlimited package seems more appealing. Our last cruise was a 7-night and purchasing 20 photos cost almost as much as the unlimited package pre-purchase would have cost. Plus I had to spend way too long (I don’t make decisions quickly) deciding which 20 photos I was going to get instead of spending that time doing fun cruise things.


YES! So much this!! The cost for 10 photos was just $50 less than the unlimited package on our 4 night cruise so because we did more than 10 nice photos that I wanted, I decided to still get unlimited photos. And we didn’t even do all that many photos.


Yes, I am sure this is the case. I bought 3 photos on Royal Caribbean for $45 I think? I fell in love with one of the pictures so I knew I had to buy it. But I only even thought about the photos on the last day and only had 5 to choose from. I think I would have sought out the photographers more if I had known I was even interested in buying pictures. So I feel like with the characters I’ll definitely want pictures on Disney.


I’m excited for your cruise, too, because I think I am sailing the same itinerary as you–just 2 weeks behind. :slight_smile: This will be my 5th Disney cruise, and it is the first time I am buying the photo package, which I have pre-selected for the savings. (I think it was slightly under $200 for the 4-night cruise). Although I don’t feel I missed out in the past by not purchasing (I have paid for a photo or two a la carte), my thinking this time is more just that this is a splurge I want to make. So instead of waving the photographers away because I know I won’t want to buy or select photos later, this time I am going to wave them in. Take all the photos. Enjoy without having to think much about it. Commemorate as must as I want!! I similarly have the photo pass with my WDW AP, and I love that too–so I think enjoying that photo pass is affecting my calculus as well.


Woohoo! I just found out Erin Foster from Touring Plans is on the same itinerary that left NYC yesterday. She posted some very cool pics of NYC on TwitterX and I already messaged her a couple of questions. I’ll take as many pictures as I can.


We had a lot of great character experiences on our last cruise that we did want to remember so I’m sure you will experience the same.

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Good morning from Austin, Texas! I’m on a work trip for 3 days which is a great way to ensure that the time flies by before we leave. I am supposed to fly back to Boston on Wednesday night but JUST IN CASE I have all day Thursday to fly directly to New York City. I’m not missing this ship. But in that event I have everything packed for everyone at home already so that’s a nice feeling!

Tell me you are going on a Disney cruise without telling me you are going on a Disney cruise…

Saw these fun things in the airport last night. I did not fly Southwest but I WISH I had gotten on the dia de los muertos plane!


Can confirm - this is how we got into mixology on the Dream in January. We actually had it booked and cancelled because I was worried about being too tipsy for our Remy dessert tasting, but the bartender talked us into adding it back in and added us to the full class. 100% worth it. Have a wonderful cruise!


Wow, you are one amazing mom, wife and woman to be able to pack that far in advance and go on a work trip just before the cruise. I would be a wreck!!!

I saw a post this on my Facebook and immediately thought of you! It was taken on the Dream too. Looks like they raised the price a hair. But hopefully it helps you decide if you’ll do the wine package and maybe help decide if you want the premium vs. classic.