Kelle and her husband embarked the Disney Dream in Southhampton, England, and ended their trip in their home port of New York City. Kelle shares details of the journey she said was, “a trip of a lifetime. Pure joy.” She included specifics on pricing, meaningful moments of connection, their time in the Rainforest Room and Satellite Falls, mornings of their veranadah, exploring Vigo, Spain, on their own and a guided tour in Lisbon. Kelle also experienced special offerings like a couples choice spa treatment, interesting classes like dance class and costuming workshop, a crew talent show, and a cabin crawl organized by her helpful cruise-specific Facebook group. Listen for more details and tips of how to plan your own extended cruise.
Post-trip begins: 44 minutes
Kelle and her husband planned this trip three times and finally made it happen! They went on an 11 night Westbound transatlantic cruise from London to New York City on the Disney Dream
This is a Silver Anniversary of the Seas Cruise and is a bucket list cruise for Kelle and her husband.
They originally booked this cruise for September of 2020 at $6100 for two people in a Verandah room. They rebooked it after the pandemic for the same room and cruise for $5800. They canceled that cruise due to a medical emergency and this is their third time booking this cruise.
They booked this cruise in May of this year with a Verandah guarantee with restrictions. This was what they purchased for $3735. The verandah guarantee with restrictions means they will not be picking the stateroom and they could get any type of verandah room.
They also had to pay everything up front and it was non-refundable. Kelle recommends getting trip insurance because of this. Their original room was 8058 when they booked the cruise back in 2020. Their room is 8038 for this cruise, just down the hall.
Kelle utilized the facebook group for this cruise. It was full of Disney Cruise veterans who were incredibly helpful. This is Kelle’s 7th and her husband’s 6th. They are both gold but this cruise is full of a lot of higher level cruisers so the excursions were a bit more difficult to get.
They flew from their home in New York City on September 14 to spend a few days in London. Their cruise was from September 17-28.
Departure (September 14)
They did have to get a one-way flight to London. Her husband works in the airline industry and will be flying standby on Thursday, September 14. They have flown standby for about 10 years and are not worried about getting there on the 14th.
They took a morning flight out of Newark and it was perfect. They flew business class and it’s such a luxury. The flight over was wonderful and all of their luggage arrived.
They arrived at Heathrow and took the Elizabeth line train. They arrived at their hotel in Southwark, Hoxton Southwark.
Kelle loved their hotel and said everyone was so nice. They ordered room service and went straight to bed.
London (September 15)
Kelle and her husband woke up and took a walk along the Thames. Kelle really wanted to see the Waterloo Bridge. It was a wonderful experience.
They met with an old family friend who flew in from Glasgow. They went to The Cut and enjoyed food and drinks together. It was a really meaningful day.
London (September 16)
Kelle and her husband woke up and got coffee with their friend before she left the city. They chatted until about noon before going to the Victoria and Albert Museum.
They really loved this museum and it’s free! They could have spent several days there seeing everything. They were there for about 4 hours before getting some food and walking back to their hotel.
On their walk back to the hotel they picked up 4 bottles of wine and some sandwiches for the next day.
Embarkation (September 17)
Kelle booked a car service for $281 based in Southampton to take them to the cruise. They were picked up at 9 a.m. They were going to take a train but they had so much luggage that they opted to get a car service.
They are boarding group 8 at 11:45 a.m. They were grateful to have booked the car service because it was raining really hard when they arrived to the port at 11 a.m.
They were able to go right through and were called to board right at 11:47 a.m. By 11:52 a.m. they were on the gangway and alarms started going off. They were there for about 20 minutes but couldn’t go anywhere and the alarms were continuing to go off.
Thankfully, everyone was in a good mood. They were on the ship by 12:28 p.m. and their room was ready by 1:30 p.m. which was so wonderful!
Kelle found Disney Cruise Nerd on YouTube and love her. She happened to be a cast member on their cruise! Kelle made a shirt and found her as they got on the ship. It was so much fun!
Kelle likes to do a sit down lunch on their embarkation day. They went to Animator’s Palate prior to their room being ready. They got all of their luggage by 2:10 p.m. This was so wild and much earlier than they expected.
They got all unpacked before their muster station in the theater. They went to the sailaway party at 4:30 p.m. The sail away party was adorable!
Then went to the rain forest room. Kelle had planned on the rainforest room being $180 but it ended up being $249. They decided to go for it.
As they were sailing away, Kelle and her husband were enjoying a hot tub for a couple of hours. Then they got ready for the evening. They met some characters in the lobby and then went to the Royal Court.
Kelle had requested a private table because that was their preference. After dinner they went to the Pink Champaign room, which is one of their favorite places on the ship.
They went to Evolution and saw a Paul and John Beatles band. It was so much fun. After that, they went to bed. They did have to move their clocks several times on this cruise, including this night.
Day at Sea (September 18)
Kelle doesn’t enjoy the lines in the morning, so most mornings her husband gets them coffee and croissants. They eat breakfast on the Verandah.
At 10 a.m. they went to a meet-up at Vanellope’s for LGBTQIA families. It was important to Kelle to show their support to the families and young people on the ship.
They’d only planned to stay for 30 minutes but ended up staying until 11 a.m. when it was time for their dance lessons. This was a great way to meet other people on the ship and a great way to start the cruise.
They really enjoyed the dance lessons. After that, they went to the rain forest room and then to the pool deck. There wasn’t a line for the AquaDuck so they rode it several times in a row.
Kelle and her husband enjoyed quiet areas reading. After that they went back to the room to get ready for formal night. They went to see Golden Mickeys and Kelle loved this!
Kelle prefers to sit on an aisle during the performances. She requested this with a cast member and they sat in a section with just three seats, which was wonderful.
They went to Animator’s Palate for dinner and then went to Match Your Mate, which was really fun. It was in Evolution, which is in a large room, but it was so crowded!
Kelle estimates that 80% of the ship dressed up for formal night. You can definitely wear whatever you are comfortable in. She enjoyed dressing up.
Vigo, Spain (September 19)
They woke up early for breakfast on the Verandah to watch everything. Vigo was just stunning and they enjoyed being out there while they got into the port. The port hours today were 10 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
They got off the ship and saw some gorgeous statues. They saw the monument to Jules Verne which was really neat to see as well.
Kelle needed to stop for a hair straighter because the one she brought wasn’t working. They then stopped at the Castle de Sebastian. This is not something most people stop to see, but Kelle highly recommends it. They really loved how quiet it was.
After that they continued to the main castle in Vigo, Fort Castro. It was very steep but the way it was designed gives you a break every little bit before getting to the top.
Everything at the top was so beautiful. They took photos and enjoyed the view before making their way back into town. They walked all through town looking at sculptures.
They went to an incredible Basilica next before stopping to get something to eat. They had delicious seafood and drinks. They didn’t sit down for food until about 3:30 p.m.
Then they got 4 more bottles of wine before getting back on the ship. They went to the top deck to watch the sail away.
That night they went to Enchanted Garden and were so tired that they went to bed.
Lisbon, Portugal (September 20)
This was a shorter day at port, only 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Kelle and her husband woke up early to see the suspension bridge on their way into Lisbon.
They booked an excursion from 8:30-12:30 p.m. – Amazing Alfama excursion giving a taste of Lisbon. Their tour guide was really wonderful, telling them all about the city as they walked around.
They went on a funicular, the oldest one in Lisbon. This took them to Castle san Jorge and a gorgeous view of the city. At the end of their tour, they went to lunch. They got so much food for just 55 euros total for both of them!
After their lunch they got 4 more bottles of wine before heading back to the port at 2:50 p.m. They cut it a little bit close and as they were boarding, Kelle realized she lost her credit card. She canceled it and then it was found on the ship.
Tonight was Pirate night and they booked a Palo dinner reservation at 7:30 p.m. The Prix Fixe menu is $50 per person but they opted to order a la carte. Their total was only $118 and they were able to order exactly what they wanted.
After a delightful dinner they went back to their room to bed.
Day at Sea (September 21)
Kelle and her husband enjoyed their coffee and croissants on the verandah. They enjoyed the loungers all day at Satellite Falls.
They read books and enjoyed the whole day out there. When they got back to their room they ordered a cheese tray and got ready for the evening. Kelle was excited to meet Chip and Dale this evening.
They had dinner at Animator’s Palate and then went to bed.
Day at Sea (September 22)
Kelle and her husband went to their 9 a.m. Royal Gathering reservation. They met Belle, Rapunzel, Tiana, and Cinderella. They had really delightful character interactions.
They went back to Satellite Falls and then the rainforest room. They ordered food to their room this evening and watched Wall-E.
They enjoyed a hot tub that night in the rainforest room until 10 p.m. They were alone and it was just gorgeous.
Day at Sea (September 23)
This morning, Kelle and her husband did a sit down breakfast. It was delicious and they were able to sit by a window.
They had a 10:30 a.m. couple’s choice spa treatment ($565.22 including automatic gratuity). They really enjoyed this. Kelle’s husband doesn’t always enjoy this experience.
They had a consultation before going out on a huge verandah. Then they got their feet scrubbed, which was an awkward experience for Kelle. It was only about 2 minutes.
They were then able to get in the hot tub and relax for a while before their 75 minute massages. Her husband only wanted his shoulders done, but she did his whole body. He was uncomfortable but went with it and ended up loving it!
They had a really wonderful experience without any upselling or anything. After the massage you can get in the hot tub again and drink tea for about 20-30 minutes. Kelle really loved it and would definitely do it again!
At 2 p.m. they had a costuming workshop. It was really interesting and Kelle highly recommends it! They had a lot of things from Beauty and the Beast, which was the show that evening as well.
After this, they got some wine and did Midship Detective Agency. They really liked the Case of the Missing Puppies. They had a really great time, especially finding Pepe the King Prawn’s door.
Kelle and her husband went back to their stateroom to get ready for Beauty and the Beast that evening. Kelle was so excited to see this show because she’d seen it with her sister years ago. It was really meaningful to see it again.
Their dinner was at Animator’s Palate that night. They made friends with the mother and son sitting near them so together they went to a show that night. The shows were a quiz show and then a magician. It was really neat!
Kelle highly recommends the magic show – it was really great! After the shows, they went back to their room and went to bed.
Day at Sea (September 24)
Kelle and her husband got up early and went to Cabana’s for breakfast. They had the Mickey churro waffles and Kelle really loves them. The server for the night before can tell you what will be served at Cabana’s the next day.
Kelle had a 9 a.m. Fire and Ice pedicure this morning as well. It was $79 for a basic pedicure but Kelle added gel which was $25 additionally. Kelle really enjoyed herself.
Their next stop was to relax at Satellite Falls before the Cabin Crawl! This was an opportunity to see other cabins in different level of stateroom. Everything was very well organized.
Kelle and her husband were in a group meeting at 2:20 p.m. at Vista Cafe. They arrived at 2 p.m. and because they were so early, Kelle’s husband was made the group leader.
They visited 7 rooms on the tour and it was so nice of people to essentially open their homes. Their first stop was an inside stateroom category 11A with one bathroom. It had a magic porthole and it was a really beautiful room.
The next room they visited was 8D, an ocean view with a slanted porthole. The porthole was massive. Kelle says the sunlight was even more than with a verandah room. The room was very bright and lovely.
The next room was a category 8A and had two portholes. This room was very large. It had a large living room with a porthole and a bedroom with another large porthole. Each room had a TV but there was only one bedroom.
The next stop was a 6B category room, which is the one that Kelle and her husband had. The next stop was Family Ocean View with Verandah category 4E. This was Kelle’s favorite room. The verandah curved around the ship and it was huge. The room number was 5164.
Their next category was an accessible room, category 5A. This is a long and deep verandah. It’s a great room for accessibility needs.
The last room they viewed was concierge level with a verandah. They liked this room and learned more about concierge benefits. This includes being seated first at the shows, a private sundeck, and the lounge. The balcony is different and includes a dome covering.
After the tour they went back to get ready for their night. They had a Remy’s reservation this night. It was $135 per person. The wine pairing was $125 but Kelle and her husband didn’t do this. They preferred to just get one good bottle of wine.
Kelle made the reservation at Remy’s because it was suppose to be pirate night. They like pirate night but they don’t enjoy the food as much. Remy’s has two tasting menu – an American menu and a French menu. Kelle and her husband always order one of each so that they can try everything.
The food at Remy’s is very elevated fine dining. Kelle and her husband have experienced fine dining in New York City but they were very impressed with everything at Remy’s.
Dessert was 3 courses and they were so full so they ended up taking dessert to go, along with other sweets. The meal was about 3 hours and a full experience.
Day at Sea (September 25)
Kelle and her husband had no plans today. They slept in and relaxed all day.
They went to Satellite Falls and the rainforest room. They spent some time at the AquaDuck as well.
To continue their relaxing, they ordered food in (Kelle loves the chicken soup!) and watched the 2011 Muppets Movie. It was absolutely wonderful.
It was so nice to have a relaxing day of downtime.
Bermuda (September 26)
This was their first port day in a while. They hadn’t seen land in a while! They were supposed to dock at 10:30 a.m. but they got in an hour early.
Kelle and her husband haven’t ever been to Bermuda and they really didn’t have plans other than Horseshoe Bay. They took a $7/person van to the beach and it was very easy to find that.
Their driver was lovely and helpful along the way to the beach. They went over the smallest drawbridge in the world. It was very cute to see.
They expected Horseshoe Bay to be very crowded with cruisers, but they got there early and for $60 they got two loungers and an umbrella. They asked to be moved down the beach and were in a really isolated area.
The sand was pink and lovely. They walked along the beach and had a really lovely day. The beach has full facilities including showers, restroom, restaurant, and bar.
They stayed at the beach until about 3 p.m. before going back into town. They walked around, got some souvenirs, and had planned to get some food. They really like to eat in town and support local businesses, but the lines were so long.
Instead they went back to the ship for some food. They enjoyed watching as they sailed away. Kelle went to Venellope’s for a Shortbread cookie with nutella and says it was life changing.
The crew talent show was this evening. Kelle hadn’t ever seen that before! It was really fun and included crew from all over the ship. Kelle highly recommends attending a crew talent show. It was just a lovely experience.
After that experience, they went to the Rainforest room and back to their room to bed.
Day at Sea (September 27)
Kelle and her husband woke up early and went to Royal Palace. They met up with their cast member friend from the first day and chatted with her for a little bit.
They went to Satellite Falls and they could see the sheets of rain coming. Her husband got a bunch of towels so that they could stay out there during the storm. They stayed out there for an hour and a half completely alone.
At that point, they decided to go to the spa but they were roped in at Satellite Falls. It was a really wonderful time. They had great weather for the whole trip and it was nice to watch the weather come in.
They got in the hot tub at the spa and watched the storm. They stayed at the spa until about 4 p.m. just watching the storm. Thankfully Kelle and her husband don’t experience seasickness, but Kelle knows others had trouble.
Kelle and her husband wrote special cards for their servers. They are always so appreciative of their hard work. They began packing. It had been such a long trip they were sad but also ready.
Their dinner that evening was semi-formal but they opted to not dress up and noticed not many people did either. They ordered two carafes of coffee and chocolate chip cookies for waking up in the morning.
They packed up their things and left it outside their door the night before.
Day at Sea (September 28)
Kelle’s husband woke up at 3 a.m. to watch their journey into New York City. He woke her up at 4:30 a.m. to see the Verrazano bridge. They watched the Statue of Liberty at 4:45 a.m. They could see her from their portside verandah.
It was a really wonderful experience. Kelle is really glad they woke up to see it because it was so cool.
Kelle and her husband went to breakfast and she was glad they did. There were a lot of issues with people getting off the ship. They’d only called three groups so far getting off the ship. They weren’t able to leave the ship until 10 a.m.
Once they were off the ship, everything was easy. The taxi line is really wild, but if you walk one block east to 11th Avenue, there isn’t a wait or a line.
They were home and on the couch snuggling with their dog by 11 a.m.!
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