Square Life Round World

I'm navigating through this round world while living a square life, and it fits exactly as it should.

Blog Rewind Wednesday–Disney Dream Cruise May 2011

I’m very excited because I’ll soon be going on my 2nd cruise with Disney Cruise Line aboard the Disney Dream. I’m a creature of habit, so yes, I’m repeating the same ship. Lately I’ve been reminiscing a lot about the last cruise in anticipation of this one. So I thought I’d share with you a few of my thoughts from last time. I will have a much more in-depth account of my upcoming trip when I return.

The iconic DCL smoke stack and horn

The iconic DCL smoke stack and horn

First of all, I cannot even begin to explain the level of excitement when we saw the ship for the first time. We drove from Pop Century at the Walt Disney Resort to the port the morning of boarding, and for some reason, we thought the port was much further from WDW than it actually was. We knew we would cross a bridge over a body of water but we incorrectly thought the port was another 30 minutes away after that. We were in no way prepared for the beautiful sight of the ship as we topped the bridge. I was much too excited to take pics, and we were almost there before I thought to snap this pic.

Approaching the ship

Approaching the ship

The food aboard the ship was just wonderful! I consider myself a foodie and had no trouble finding things I liked and am even looking forward to having again. My favorite main dining room menu was the Royal Palace regular menu. I had a lobster/shrimp appetizer, french onion soup, filet mignon, creme brulee, and Grand Marnier souffle.

Royal Palace Dinner

Royal Palace Dinner

Yes, I had 2 desserts. They let you do that on Disney Cruise Line. In fact, you can have 2 of anything you want (or more). Don’t get me wrong. I’m not condoning gluttonous behavior, but it’s nice to know you can have something if you really want it.

Palo brunch was another highlight. Palo is one of 2 adult dining venues with a surcharge on the Dream (Remy being the other one). Palo serves dinner each evening and brunch on sea days for a $20 per person surcharge (advance reservations are required, and there is a dress code). At brunch, each person gets 1 included glass of champagne or a mimosa, which is always a great way to start brunch. I had the best chicken parm I’ve ever had.

Chicken Parm from Palo

Chicken Parm from Palo

It’s legendary, and now I know why! There was also an extensive brunch and dessert buffet to enjoy in addition to the entrée ordered from the kitchen.

Desserts from Palo Brunch

Desserts from Palo Brunch

Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island and most of their cruises make a stop there. It was gorgeous!

Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay

I wish they would build a resort there so it could be its own destination. That’s how much I loved it! Castaway Cay has 3 beaches. One of them is an adult beach (nothing crazy, though) called Serenity Bay, and that’s where we stayed most of the day. I also parasailed, and my parents did a glass bottom boat tour (both excursions are for an additional fee and advance reservations are required).

The view of the ship from the air while parasailing

The view of the ship from the air while parasailing

Lunch was a barbecue right on the beach featuring steak, Mahi Mahi, chicken and ribs in addition to the usual hamburgers and hot dogs.

Serenity Bay Lunch Menu

Serenity Bay Lunch Menu

Castaway Cay is also the sight of one of my top 5 favorite cocktails I’ve ever had, the Konk Cooler. I’ve even re-created my own recipe, which you can read about here.

I also really enjoyed getting room service whenever I wanted it. Mickey ice cream bars are available from room service 24/7 as is a fruit and cheese plate that made for a great snack while getting ready for the evening activities.

All Hands On Deck fruit and cheese plate ordered from room service with our own champs that we brought on board with us

All Hands On Deck fruit and cheese plate ordered from room service with our own champs that we brought on board with us

The room service menu is pretty generous, although these were the only items we ordered. Room service is included, however a tip for the delivery person is appreciated.

The shows were also wonderful. Disney really does a great job of making sure something is available to entertain everyone. There were so many shows and other forms of entertainment that you really had to pick and choose what you saw and did. This time I’m looking forward to experiencing some of what I missed last time. My favorite was Pirate Night.

Pirate Night

Pirate Night

There was a stage show on deck, cute light-up cocktails (with and without alcohol both for a charge) and fireworks!

Pirate Night Cocktails, with and without alcohol

Pirate Night Cocktails, with and without alcohol

Pirate Night Fireworks at Sea

Yes, fireworks at sea! Disney was the first cruise line to offer this. There was also a late night pirate themed buffet, but we were still full from dinner and didn’t have any of it.

Pirate Night Buffet Decorations

Pirate Night Buffet Decorations

Then there’s the Aquaduck!

Aquaduck

Aquaduck

That’s the water slide/roller coaster that is the first of its kind at sea. It can only be found on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. It was so much fun! Lines can get long, so in true Disney fashion, a little strategy can go a long way. I also recommend riding it both during the day and at night. It’s a completely different experience at night with the lighting effects.

There is no way I can share enough about this cruise in one post, but these are the high points. I remember when I booked the last cruise, the first thought that came into my head was that I was going to get to ride the Aquaduck. This time when I booked our upcoming cruise, my first thought was that I’m going to get to do the Castaway Cay 5k. How I’ve changed in just 2 short years!

Have you been on a Disney Cruise? What were your favorite parts?

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a Cravebox! Find out how here.

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Things I Like Thursday–Konk Cooler

I’m getting ready to go on a Disney cruise aboard the Dream in a couple of months.  This will be my second cruise on the Dream, and lately it’s been on my brain a LOT.  I’ve been thinking about all the things I didn’t get to do last time that I want to do this time.  I’ve been reflecting on what I did last time that I want to repeat.  I’ve also just been reminiscing about the last trip in general.  A highlight of most Disney cruises is a trip to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island.  For me, no trip to Castaway Cay would be complete without the famous Konk Cooler.  What is a Konk Cooler? It’s only one of my top 5 cocktails (ooooh, future post idea!).  I crave the thing, but it’s über fattening so it’s more of a once-a-year treat.  No, I don’t go on a Disney cruise once a year (I wish).  I have, however, adapted my own recipe from other recipes I’ve found on the internet for it. 

Konk Cooler

1 can of Welches frozen passion fruit juice blend concentrate, thawed

1 can creme of coconut (Lopez is what I use, and it’s on the cocktail mixer aisle)

1 cup orange juice

3/4 cup light or golden rum

3/4 cup coconut or pineapple rum

Blend all ingredients in a blender until well combined.  Pour into another container.  Add a cup of the mixture back into the blender and blend with enough ice to make it your desired consistency.  A cup of the mixture will yield about 2 drinks, and this recipe makes about 5 cups so the total yield is about 8-10 drinks.  The leftover mixture (if there is any) will last in the refrigerator for about a week.

Konk Cooler-aka paradise in a glass

Konk Cooler-aka paradise in a glass

I added quite a bit of ice to this one because I like them extra thick.  I also like to serve it in this fun glass.  I think it adds to the tropical feel of the drink.  One more thing.  I make mine with Tortuga rum that I bought in Nassau on the last trip.  I only use that rum for these drinks.  I use the golden rum, but light would work, too.  The lady in the Tortuga shop who helped me with my purchase told me golden and light rum can be used interchangeably.  Sometimes I use the coconut rum and sometimes pineapple, but honestly, I can’t tell much of a difference once the other ingredients are blended.

Try it out and tell me what you think!  If you’ve had the original do you think this comes pretty close?

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