Monday - Thursday plan: Nassau, Castaway Cay, enjoy the Dream
Theme of the trip: A mixed bag of ups and downs
We just arrived home in Ohio and I know this is the WDW forum and not the DCL forum, but I figured I’d post here for the sake of completeness.
After our hot and humid AK day last Sunday, I stayed up late re-packing our luggage so that it could be magically transported from Yacht Club to our stateroom on the Dream. This was challenging because we had a “standard” hotel room and not a suite, and everyone else was dead tired and wanting to sleep. So at 9:30pm I made a cup of coffee, shoved all the luggage into the bathroom area, and performed a few small miracles to get everything repacked without keeping anyone awake.
Monday morning we had a tasty breakfast at Ale and Compass after which I wrote trip reports 1-4 on the balcony waiting for our 11:30 DCL transport.
Walk to Beach Club. Board bus. Visit a few other resorts to pick up people. Drive to the port. Couple of quick security lines and a short wait at the top of the deck 6 stairs and viola! At about 2:00pm we’re in our stateroom and ready to get this show on the road! Er, sea.
Day 1: Nassau
After the park days we wanted an unstructured port experience so I booked a day pass at the British Colonial Hilton within walking distance of the port.
I had grand visions of spending the day with my kids building an epic sandcastle, and for this purpose I bought two packages of sand toys and dedicated an entire duffel bag to transporting them from Ohio to WDW and then to the Dream and then finally to the beach at Nassau. This was actually one of the things I was most excited about, so I was very disappointed to learn that DD9 has decided she hates sand. She refused to walk on it and spent the day at the hotel pool instead. (“I hate sand and refuse to walk on it” is sort of the thing a parent should know before planning a vacation to the Bahamas of all places, but whatevs)
Thankfully DS7 was into it and we had a good bit of fun.
The beach area at the BCH isn’t huge, but it was definitely not crowded and the lunch was decent. All in all, it was a good day.
This was supposed to be the highlight of the trip. It was and it wasn’t, in different ways.
We get the kids up for breakfast and they’re whiny and tired. We get everyone in swimsuits and load up all the swimming and snorkeling gear and get off the ship.
Then I realize that I forgot the sandcastle stuff, so I walk all the way back to the stateroom to get it, then walk back off the ship and make the 7-minute walk to the beach area and then walk up and down the beach until I locate my family. (Not having cell service makes it much harder to find people once you’ve separated!)
DD9 is still refusing to have anything to do with sand and since DW hates the beach too, we split up again. DS7 and I go off in search of the water play area and another sandcastle adventure.
We find a smallish water play area that he finds disappointing, and he says he wants to build the castle instead, but by the time we get to our chairs he’s screaming about how his armpit stings. I look and there’s this tiny little scratch or rash or something that I’m guessing the seawater irritated, and now he’s begging for mom, and telling me he just wants to go home, and so I give up. I take him back to the stateroom where we’re soon joined by DW9, DD9, and DS7.
With memories of AK fresh in our mind, we decide to sacrifice our daylight plans at the Altar of Screen Time And Poolside Movies, hoping that the blood sacrifice will turn the whiny-ass creatures that woke up in our kid’s beds back into tolerable human beings by nightfall.
But dammit, I wanted to see Castaway Cay, so after getting everyone settled in the pool I make my third trek off the boat and down to the island for a solo tour. And it was lovely. I had a delicious BBQ lunch. I took the tram to the adults-only beach and enjoyed Serenity Bay, where I was able to wade about 300 feet out to sea and the crystal-clear water was never higher than my waist. And I rented a bike for a short (very short, due to the heat!) ride.
A couple of hours later I was still having a blast but feeling guilty for being solo, so I joined the kids at the pool for a bit. I still can’t believe we sailed hundreds of miles out to sea to spend all day in a tiny pool, but to each their own. All in all I thought Castaway Cay was fantastic and I’m bummed that DW and DD9 are so opposed to beaches in general, because I may never get to go back.
Pirate night was fun, even though we didn’t do much except dress up. At least I caught the fireworks from my verandah while everyone else was asleep.
Slept in. Watched Nutcracker and the 4 Realms. Swam in the pools. Kid’s club. Date-night dinner at Palo. Generally speaking a fun day.
I thought the food on the cruise was pretty good. (Palo, the specialty adults-only restaurant, was excellent). My kids were less satisfied; DD9 did ok, but DS7 really struggled. The cheese pizza they offer is pretty gross and while the chicken strips were OK at best, after his 4th day of exclusively eating them he was ready to come home. Although we struggled at a bit at the parks as well, the variety of kid fare was welcomed; all things being equal, having 3 or 4 varieties of mediocre pizza is worlds better than having just one variety.
The Dream was an immaculately well kept ship. The carpets always looked freshly vacuumed. The bathrooms sparkled. Used dishes in the common areas vanished almost immediately. The same sense of cleanliness and upkeep that I noticed in the parks is here as well.
The kids club area was amazing and extremely well done. The theming and attention to detail is just as I
There were tons of activities to do. We sadly missed all of the shows, a consequence of early dinner rotations and kids that had no interest in (and in DS7’s case, no ability to) sit still for an hour in the evening. But there was always something that would have been fun, had I been able to corral the family to do it.