Saving the Galaxy and Taking a Cruise! A pretty chill trip report

So last Sunday I headed out of JFK Terminal 2 (heads up Delta…you need to step up your game at JFK…this terminal is right down there with old LGA…) to MCO for one night at Riviera and then a 4-night cruise on the Disney Dream!

Initially I was going to stay off property and just Lyft/Uber to Disney Springs to meet up with a friend for brunch at Boathouse, but when I got a ticket to the D23 Cosmic Rewind preview event, I started scouring availability for on-property lodging. A Tower Studio popped up, so I grabbed it.

I absolutely LOVED the room and staying at the resort and would totally do it again.

I LOVED that my room area was marked by Rapunzel’s lanterns!! LOVE Tangled!!

Amazingly my room was ready when I got there, so I dropped off my stuff, ran to the gift shop for sunscreen (it was cheaper to buy it there than to pay for a checked bag), and then headed to the bus depot to go to Disney Springs. I could see the bus at the depot and started trying to run, but I’m iffy on doing that in my Chacos so was just walking quickly but expecting to wait for 20 minutes (or tell my friend to swing by and pick me up), but the driver figured out I was headed his way and waited for me!

We were earlier than our ADR, but both hungry, so after Cristen got her name on the Gideon’s list we went into Boathouse to ask if there was any chance we could move our reservation up (neither the app nor Open Table was showing anything), and the girl at the check-in counter said it was no problem!

It’s not Boathouse without a Duck Duck Razz - and Cristen had the Boathouse Bloody Mary

(Ok, I had a second Duck Duck Razz too…)

Once again, they made the shrimp and grits gluten-free for me!!

As we were finishing up, Cristen got her text about Gideons, so we went for her to get a cookie to take home. And then we wandered to Salt and Straw. I had been VERY skeptical about them, but I tried the Strawberry, Honey, Balsamic, and Black Pepper and it was actually really good. The balsamic and pepper cut the sweetness of the strawberry. I’d get it again!

Then it was time for me to head to Epcot!!


That is adorable!

That sounds very interesting. I may need to try it.


Since we had to check-in at the main entrance, Cristen dropped me off in the drop-off zone on her way back home. I followed the “Special Event Check-In” signs and was super excited to be told as I got my credentials that we could enter then (it was between 3:30 and 4) and that they actually had it going for us and we could go as many times as we wanted!!!

One super happy and excited girl here!!

I LOVED IT!!! The first time I just went through, in awe of everything. The second and third times I took more time in the queue and if you do that, you see exactly how they wove it into Epcot as the first Other World World Showcase exhibit. Just as at something like a World’s Fair (which was initially how World Showcase was envisioned) they have exhibits from Xandar and are presenting some of their technology to us. If you spend enough time in the queue you hear about how Peter Quill helped to educate “World Brain” about it by talking about his trips as a child. In the “Good Morning Xandar” interview (that is constantly streaming so that you might not see all of it) he specifically mentions being excited to see Horizons, and Kitchen Cabaret, and hearing Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit.

The ride itself is so much fun!!! I only got three songs in 6 rides (Disco Inferno, Everybody Wants To Rule The World, and One Way or Another) - so I need 3 more to complete the set (I Ran, September, and Conga - Cristen slipped at lunch and said she hoped I got Conga since I love Gloria Estafan so much. No luck, but I did get Rhythm Is Gonna Get You on my way our one trip). I did 3 times when I got there, then gave myself a break and went to ride Remy which I hadn’t done. And I did 3 times at the end of the night.

After Remy it was time to head to the reserved viewing for Harmonious - which was between Port of Entry and the other shop there at the divide between Future World and World Showcase. And of course we stood there and watched clouds roll in. We could see some lightning, but were allowed to stay in place - though soon the people in charge came and told their CMs to go into the stores (shelters). When it started raining, most of us went to the stores, especially as lightning was getting more intense. Yes, that was the night Spacechip Earth got hit - THAT was a bright flash and LOUD crash of thunder!!! Harmonious was “delayed” and the D23 guy in the shop where the group I was with had gone for shelter said that we could wait it out or go over to the ride (things had lightened up a bit then). We’d get our souvenir after our last ride. I did 3 more times, then headed to the bus area to get back to Riviera.

I was glad I brought my larger backpack as the print slid into it without bending.

Time to sleep and then the next morning it was off to the ship!!


This! We flew home from there last week and the whole terminal smells really bad! And I was masked!

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That print is great! I can’t wait to ride again and again to catch all the stuff in the queue!

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When I got back, there was a letter in my room to meet in Voyager Lounge at 7:45 for an 8:15 departure. Luggage would be collected beginning at 7am. I pre-ordered breakfast from Primo Piatto and left my suitcase by the door while I went to get it, but it was still there when I got back. But picked up shortly after.

Soon enough I was on the bus and we were off!

We went to CBR to pick up some people and initially were told we’d go to OKW as well, but then SURPRISE!, after CBR we were on the road.

Nothing like the first view of the ship as you crest a bridge!!

We were led from the busses to the testing tents. Things are always changing, but at this point it was a rapid antigen test at the port to board. Once I swabbed myself and put the swab into the vial I was given (labeled with my name and birth date and reservation number), I was directed to tent “C like Cinderella” to wait for results to pop up on a screen - or in your email and Safe Passage account, which happened first.

A lot of us got the info at the same time and were ready to head out when Grumpy (not really but she’d make a good one) came in to yell that they were not ready for us in the terminal and they would tell us when we were released. As we were sitting back down/finding standing space, someone from Inspire Diagnostics came in and called for one family. None of us could even look at them we felt so bad as we all knew that meant someone came positive on the antigen. They’d do a PCR to verify, but if you pop positive on a rapid antigen, you’re almost guaranteed to be positive.

Soon we were allowed to go over to the terminal to wait for boarding!!

My parents were arriving later and we had discussed if I would go on board and wait or wait in the terminal. They said for me to go on ahead, so I did and went to Deck 4 across from the door to take a video of them coming in (I’ll try to put it here later - it’s on my phone and I’m on my computer). I got a good view of Captain Mickey waving people in.

Once my parents were on board we went to Cabanas for lunch

And then it was time to get in our cabins

Muster Drill now consists of you going to your station and using the app to take a picture of it, then you watch a video on your device or in the cabin . The alarms do still sound at a set time, but you don’t do the stand all mushed together with everyone thing anymore.

Sail Away was nice

but delayed as there was a “medical” situation. (I put it in quotes because we watched stuff from our verandas and there were sheriff’s cars there and someone walked out under her own power and was speaking with a sheriff as an officer brought out her luggage. She did go and sit down, then moved to the bumper of a fire truck that arrived where she spoke with them and they did things like take her blood pressure. An ambulance came and she was loaded in. I’d apparently gone inside before a family - apparently part of hers - was led off with luggage as well. But while we were waiting, we saw fish being really weird…

It was a very busy cruise - over 2000 people on board. There was a “Podcast Cruise” group from a podcast I will not say much about here because I know there are people who love them. But I can say the entitled behavior I saw exhibited by some of the attendees AND the head of the group (who almost ran us over as he was storming around about something with an officer in tow one afternoon) just confirmed my gut feelings about many of them. Enough said on that. They were also shooting stuff for “Disney 365” which I guess is a Disney Channel show? so we saw that happening a lot. They weren’t disruptive though.

The show the first night was The Golden Mickeys, but the first showing only got partway through the Best Villain section as there was a massive technological failure and Cruella’s car failed to come up. They tried to get it going again, and the assistant cruise director and a couple of cruise staff people did Disney trivia with us to pass the time until it was eventually called. (They did get it running for the later show.) Even before we left, they made the call that they would re-do it on Wednesday night, so kudos to them!

Dinner the first night was in Animator’s Palate for us. That’s where Crush goes around and talks to some tables, there is other animation going on, and then Crush teaches us all movements. Our assistant server did origami and we each got a little turtle that night!

My sister was able to get permission to eat with us - but she got a call partway through and said she had to go immediately. We’d find out later why that was…

It was a bit rocky that night as we crossed the Gulf Stream, but I LOVED being back at sea!!


Forgot my towel animal from night one…

I woke up early the next morning - the moon was still out and gorgeous!!

I walked around a bit and got some beautiful ship and sunrise pictures…

The Carnival Liberty was following us into Nassau.

Then my dad and I went to Cove Cafe - they can put art on the drinks!!

I took my parents to Palo brunch for Mothers Day and Fathers Day. I didn’t take many pictures of the food, but I did the flatbread - which the chef made gluten-free for me and put fresh mozzarella on it!!

We had a nice view of Paradise Island

And a beautiful sunset

Dinner was in Enchanted Garden. I was so bad about not taking food pics this trip!! Sorry!!!

That night’s towel animal was an elephant


Wednesday was Castaway Day!!!


I’d gotten up early and was going to head out and grab chairs and an umbrella for my parents and me (sis had to work). I was eating in Cabanas when my iMessage pinged with a message from my sister.

“Where are you?”


“I need you to come to Medical”
“Don’t panic”

Ok. What happened.

“You have to get tested. I just tested positive. Mom and Daddy are coming too.”

(Yeah…we need to learn how to deliver a message. Like just start with “I just tested positive, so I need you to come to get tested.” Especially since the cruise is celebrating Daddy’s 80th birthday!!)

Remember the call she got on Monday night? Her office-mate had tested positive and she was obviously a close contact. She was negative then and Tuesday, but woke up with symptoms on Wednesday. So we were tested - like the PCR I was given in the ER back in August 2020 in case they had to admit me. Once we were cleared, we were asked to wear masks when we were inside and to report back for testing if we developed symptoms, but we were not quarantined. We were able to wave to my sister who poked her head out her exam room door. She was waiting on the “parade” to take her to her quarantine cabin (a guest one on Deck 5 aft - right over Mickey) - security, the public health officer, and then people to sanitize after her. So that was in-person good-bye. :frowning:

We still went to Castaway to enjoy the day! I headed out first as I’d at least had some breakfast.

I’ve NEVER seen the post office open!

I thought Pluto was more in the picture than that. :frowning:

I have NEVER seen all the excursions running!! History!!

Someone brought their food back to the beach. The towel thwarted the birds momentarily…

But this guy got a cookie (already consumed when the pic got taken)

That night was Pirate Night, so the blanket art was apropos…

By total irony, we were assigned to Table 80

This was the night we had decided to celebrate Daddy’s birthday since it was actually in January. I took pics of the cake for my sister.

And our origami that night was a parrot


Thursday was sea day, so I just did a lot of wandering and taking pics…

Art in my cabin…


Super blue water

A storm far off at sea complete with a water spout



Disney’s Believe (the show - Beauty and the Beast was Tuesday night and was AMAZING). And dinner in Royal Palace.

After a beautiful sunset

The funnels are so pretty at night

Sadly, the next morning I had to to express walk-off because of my flight time (booked by DCL, but earlier than I’d have preferred) and take the bus to the airport

I went and got tested again yesterday. My rapid was negative, but since I was a close contact they sent a PCR off. I’m waiting on that.

It was a wonderful trip overall - minus my sister getting sick. She’s ok - but has to quarantine.

Next up - WDW at the end of August!!


Nope. Can’t read this thread. Too jealous.



The prospect of this happening is the number one reason I haven’t booked a cruise. I just couldn’t handle that disappointment, for myself or my kids.

Once when I was abroad in college, my dad emailed me with the subject line “Bad News from Home.” I was like, WTF, Dad! Don’t start an email like that!!! Either don’t mention it until the body of the email or be clear in the subject about what happened or how severe.

(Turned out my piano teacher had passed away, which was very sad and unexpected for me at the time, but could have been much worse news.)


To be clear, she is an officer on the ship, so she was working.

Had we tested positive too, we would have been quarantined - not sure if we would have stayed in our cabins or been moved - and reimbursed for the last 2 days. And of course then had to figure out what to do until I could fly to get home. Mom and Daddy were driving.

But yeah - it’s a chance for sure. Especially the testing at the port. I think DCL is changing it soon so that vaxxed guests test 2 days in advance rather than at the port. I’d tested myself every day leading up to the cruise - and even that morning - so if I’d popped a positive there I would have been VERY surprised that it changed in a couple of hours.


I have a few questions about the Disney bus…We took private transfer to our Disney cruise October 2021. For our next cruise in October 2022, we plan to take the Disney bus. Do they collect your luggage from your Disney resort room so you don’t have to take it on the bus? What Embarkation time did you choose? I didn’t know if the Disney buses all leave property at the same time or if they actually pick up based on your embarkation time,

I did not go to Cove Cafe on my first cruise in October. I am definitely doing it this October for cruise #2. This is amazing.


They came to the room to get it. I think if you wanted to take it on the bus they could put it underneath and you could deal with the porters at the port.

If you’ve booked the DCL bus you don’t select a PAT (Port Arrival Time) or a BG (Boarding Group). They assign it for you and it’s earlier. They pick up once per resort - hence them assigning your time.

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It’s so much fun! I’d think they can do it at Vista Cafe if you have under 18s with you (Cove is 18+). Most of the time I just told Vivek (the barista in there every time I went in) “surprise me!” - but when he gave me Stitch on Castaway morning, I said “You HAVE to put him on my dad’s when he comes back in!!” (My dad is NOT a Stitch fan. HAHA!!)


My DS13 will not be awake and isn’t a coffee drinker so I’ll definitely hit Cove. I cannot wait to try it out. How in the world do they make those designs??!!!

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It’s some kind of a machine that does it - it’s not coffee…I’m not sure what it is, but something edible. It does come out better on real milk, but they can do it for almond or soy.

Thanks for the great report! Considering a cruise for our family, but we have never cruised before. Which one and how long would you recommend? Myself, DH, DS 18 and DD14.:relaxed:

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