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Disney Cruise Line Trip Report Part Three!
DisneyDan  Sunday, March 18, 2012 12:20:28 PM
Hi all!

Welcome to the third part of my Disney Cruise Trip Report!

If you missed them, you can find part one here, and part two here.

Ok, so let's go straight into it, with a few negative things to begin with, then of course all the character awesomeness of day 3 (and believe me, it was GREAT!)...

View over the front of the ship

One thing that kinda annoyed me while aboard was the fact that Disney don't seem to miss any opportunity these days to ram DVC down your throat.
The Cruise offers no escape from this form of hard sell, sadly. Every day - sometimes twice per day - we would get leaflets through our cabin door inviting us to a DVC presentation.
Their desk was up on Deck 4, right on the corner of one of the main walkways through the Lobby Atrium, and of course the guys there would ask you every time you went by if you were coming to their next presentation. Being a limited space, and limited people too, they remember everybody, and if you don't go to one of their presentations, just be prepared to be bombarded even more!
I think if you're on a Disney Cruise, you are probably fairly well informed about Disney in the first place. I can't imagine too many first time Disney-goers do a Disney Cruise on their first trip.
Which means of course you have probably heard of DVC, and know whether it is right for you or not. Please Disney, can we finally have a break from this already?!
Disney is profit making business. It has to satisfy it's shareholders otherwise there could be trouble. No profit making business truly gives anything away, and DVC is no exception. They are for one thing - profit. You can't tell me Disney do it for the love of it and to make your vacations more affordable. Not when it costs tens of thousands of dollars and many, many years of repayment and commitment. I think Disney prey on people who are bedazzled by their Disney experience, and lure people hook-line-and-sinker with this. I guess for some people it might work, but for the vast majority of people probably not.
Anyway, that's enough of that rant! Just be warned that you'll have it shoved down your throat on the cruise even more so than the parks!

Being in the same place for 7 nights, you get used to the same people, and I have to say I have mixed feelings about some of the people who were on our sailing.
I felt that sometimes people looked at us weird. Why were we lining up for the princesses? Why were we carrying these large cameras around all the time?
I did feel a little intimidated at times by people, who for some reason, seemed to feel intimidated by us.
I think that people felt that we should be sitting in the adult bar or by the pool or something. I don't know why this felt different to the parks. Maybe we just had a strange bunch of people on our sailing, but I did feel put off by some of the Guests aboard.
In the parks people tend not to care what you do. So yes, sometimes you get the annoying parent who thinks it is solely about their child only, but for the most part people are fairly easy going. For some reason on the cruise they seemed more, snobbish? Not sure that's exactly the right word, but it was odd.
We DID of course meet some completely lovely people though, and enjoyed talking to the many other character fans on board.

At this juncture I need to mention some of the amazing crew aboard the ship. In particular I want to mention our servers, Antonio and Luis. They both were completely amazing and we couldn't fault their service.
Every other crew member we encountered was great too. Everyone aboard the ship seemed to be more focussed on Guest service than at the parks, and took their roles very seriously. There was never anything they weren't willing to do for us, and we deeply appreciate all their efforts and assistance.
Just a shout out to some crew members who said they'd check the website…
Hello to Eric, Brigid, Laura, Laura, Jose Chavez, Jelise and Suellen. Hope you're all well, and thanks again!

So on the night of day 2 we of course got the Personal Navigator for the next day, and we were pleased to see that there would be quite a few more character sets throughout the day.
Day 3 actually worked out to be probably the best day we had on the cruise for characters.
The third sea day we had which was later in the week was also pretty good, but it was a repeat of sets that already happened. Day 6's day time characters were basically the same as day 3, and the evening characters were formal, so the same as day 2.

Anyway, back to day 3, and all the neat things we did!
Day 3, for us at least, started off with the Mickey's Island Jam Character Breakfast at Parrot Cay (everybody has their character breakfasts on different days, ours was day 3).

Parrot Cay

You get to meet Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Goofy in their special vacation clothes (the same ones they attended the Dance Party in on Day 2, and meet at the Gazebo in…)

Meeting Minnie Mouse

Meeting Pluto

Meeting Mickey Mouse

Meeting Goofy

I really enjoyed this breakfast. As with the rest of the food on board, it was excellent. I also really like the restaurant and the theming. While Parrot Cay serves buffet on non character mornings, when you dine here on the one character breakfast it becomes table service. Your regular evening servers join you and take care of you the same as they do at dinner.

For everybody else, and after breakfast, day 3 started off with a special Princess meet 'n' greet in the Lobby Atrium. There are only five princesses on board, which we had confirmed by various attendants and the character manager Eric. Strangely enough Ariel isn't one of them! Three princesses, Aurora, Tiana and Snow White all meet in one hit down on the main level of the lobby (deck 3). You line up once, and get them all consecutively (much like the Princess Room or Fantasy Faire at the US Parks).

Meeting Princess Aurora

Meeting Princess Tiana

Meeting Snow White

Then upstairs on the balcony is Cinderella, and along the side, upstairs is Belle. Belle has her own special backdrop for some reason, but the others do not.

Meeting Cinderella

Meeting Belle

At Preludes on Deck 4, just behind the Atrium Minnie Mouse meets in her Princess outfit.

Meeting Princess Minnie

The only odd thing is there is only one set, and they aren't out for long. So you have to plan ahead! Our best advice is, line up for the three big ones first, then see who has the shortest line after that (in our experience was Princess Minnie, as her set started a few minutes later).

While the Princesses are greeting their fans, you may also find Peter Pan and Alice wandering around Decks 3 and 4.

Meeting Peter Pan

Meeting Alice

Later in the day there were some character sets at the Gazebo on Deck 9. We met Lilo and Stitch (strangely BOTH missing their leis! Not so weird for Stitch, but I have NEVER seen Lilo without it!), Donald, and Goofy (both wearing their vacation shirts as seen at other events - in fact we had seen Goofy just that morning at the Character Breakfast!).

Meeting Goofy

Meeting Lilo and Stitch

Meeting Donald Duck

In the evening around dinner time there were some sets in the Lobby Atrium with the VIPs in their Cruise outfits. There was Sailor Goofy, Sailor Donald, Sailor Pluto, Sailors Chip and Dale, Captain Mickey, Cruise Director Minnie and Cruise Hostess Daisy.

Meeting Daisy Duck

Meeting Pluto

Meeting Donald Duck

Meeting Minnie Mouse

Meeting Mickey Mouse

Meeting Chip and Dale

Meeting Goofy

Oddly, this was the only time during our cruise that we saw Donald, Pluto and Goofy meeting in these outfits.

Today's show was Villains Tonight! We found this to be an enjoyable show, but not as spectacular as we had thought. It was funny, and had some neat characters though. Of the three "Broadway style shows" on board, we ranked this one third (Dreams being first, and Twice Charmed second).

Villains Tonight!

After day 3 we definitely felt that we had had a MUCH better experience. There had some been some good sets throughout the day and we'd had the character breakfast.
Our Disney Cruise experience and opinion vastly improved, though the lack of wandering characters when there were vast gaps in the day was still disappointing.

Ok that's all for now, until Part 4!

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