A look inside a Universal Fam Trip

I get comments all the time when I go on a “work” trip. “What is it that makes it work?” or “you aren’t really working!”

Fam Trip stands for familiarization trip and is usually hosted by a hotel group, travel company or even tourist board for a country. They are limited to travel agents, spouses, friends, tagalongs are almost never allowed. Usually, you have to share a room with another agent.

I’ve been on fam trips in Ireland, hosted by hotel groups, Germany hosted by the German Tourist Board, Sandals Resorts in Jamaica where we toured almost all their Jamaica properties, see that trip here. A small hotel chain in Mexico last year, Disney, and most recently Universal.

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Contrary to popular believe, fam trips are not free. First off, you have to get there and that cost is never included. Sometimes there is also a fee associated with the actual trip and meals are not always or all included as well as other miscellaneous things. It’s an investment in your business to learn all you can to better help your clients, that’s why we go on these trips. Are they fun? Sure, we have fun, but they are also a lot of work. They do require you to attend all mandatory workshops and site inspections and you can be booted out or charged full price if you don’t.

I just returned from a Universal Orlando Training trip. I arrived in Orlando on Tuesday afternoon, met up with my fellow A Time to Treasure Travel agent/friend/roommate Melissa and we made our way to the host resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, and after checking in and having a snack made our way to the official check-in for the fam. A lovely buffet dinner was included and a visit from a minion for pictures! After dinner, we were set free and headed over to Universal Studios for a few rides before closing. After a long travel day, we made our way back and to bed.

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Wednesday we met back at the conference center across the street or a very long walk through our hotel’s conference center which connects to the conference center at Royal Pacific where our workshops were being held. A buffet breakfast awaited and then we were split into groups of about 15 with the Travel Sales Reps and off we went to tour several resorts and Volcano Bay. We boarded a bus that took us across the street to Cabana bay, toured this entire resort, saw 2 rooms in 2 different buildings then walked the path from Cabana Bay to Volcano Bay. We did a quick spin of Volcano Bay. It’s really not fun to walk through a water park fully dressed on a hot day. Then we exited Volcano Bay and walked by Aventura Hotel and got back on the bus. Next up was Royal Pacific where we toured the resort and saw a room. From here we walked back downstairs to the conference center where our late buffet lunch was waiting.

My fitbit registered 17,000 steps at this point. It was about 1pm. Next up after lunch was a workshop so we rested in our chairs for a few hours after walking all morning. Our workshop ended at 5:30pm and we had the evening free. We headed to Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen because neither one of us had been there and wanted to try it. After that we hopped into Islands of Adventure right next door and had a bit of time, did a few rides and saw the Hogwarts Castle light show. We ducked into King Kong on our way out of the park. Stopped back at Toothsomes for a milkshake! Back to the hotel and bed.

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Thursday morning we grabbed a coffee and pastry at the New Dutch Trading CO. and made our way to the conference center at Royal Pacific. No breakfast this morning, but a 1-hour training on the booking system we use to book Universal. Then we had a brief tour of Aventura Hotel across the street including the rooftop lounge, Bar17 with incredible views of all of Orlando. At the end of this tour, at about 11am, we had the rest of the day free. Melissa and I made our way back to our hotel and jumped on the water taxi to Citywalk. We stopped to buy BlueMan group tickets, neither of us had experienced this and wanted to. There was an entrance in Universal Studios right by the box office so we popped in that way and made our way to Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron for lunch. We rode Gringotts and got ice cream then hopped on the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade over at Islands of Adventure. Here, we contemplated the new Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure, but the line was about 120 minutes and rain was threatening to shut it down so we opted for the Hogshead Pub for frozen Butterbeer! Then we made our way out of the park slowly and back to our hotel to enjoy a relaxing hour by the pool before getting ready for our dinner at Cowfish and the BlueMan group show.  After the show, we headed back and went over to Aventura Hotel to check out the night time view from Bar17 and then came back to end the night at Strong Water Tavern in our hotel before calling it a night.

Morning meant the shuttle back to the airport and flights home.

This fam trip actually had a good amount of free time and Thursday morning’s offerings were optional, it could have been a full free day and was for many, but the training that morning was informative and I’m glad I went.

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All in all, yes, fams are fun and we get some time to do our own thing, but they are also a lot of walking and listening. Taking notes and hundreds of pictures.

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We represent our agency on these fams and we share what we learn with everyone else in our agency. We cannot all go on all of them, so we take turns and share our learning.

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Universal SuperStar Shuttle

Heading to Universal and wondering:

How are we going to get there? Rent a car and pay for parking? Uber or Lyft?

Universal Orlando Resort offers a great transportation option from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) for a very low rate.

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This is a great option if you won’t be needing a car. Superstar Shuttle does need to be booked in advance and can be added to any Universal package booking.

How much does Universal’s SuperStar Shuttle Cost? 

  • Adult: $39, tax inclusive, Roundtrip
  • Child (3-9): $29, tax inclusive, Roundtrip
  • Children 2 & Under: Free

What if I have a child that requires a car seat? Car seats can be brought and used but they will not be provided.

You will receive confirmation in your E-Travel Document with instructions on where to go. The Universal SuperStar Shuttle check-in desk is located across from the Hertz rental car counter on Ground Level 1, head towards Disney’s Magical Express, but it’s well before that. It’s to your left as you pass the Hertz counter and if you pass Starbucks you just went by it.

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At the check-in desk, if you are within normal hours (7:30am-8:30am), they will have your packet with your tickets, coupons, everything you need. If it’s after hours, the packet will be available at the Vacation Planning Desk at your resort the following morning.

The shuttle takes about 30 minutes to get to Universal and may make multiple stops based on where everyone on the shuttle is staying. On a recent trip, we waited less than 10 minutes for the shuttle and were the first stop.

K%atOOt6RjqiENa2kHGXsQYou will be given your return time at check-in as well, which you can have them adjust if you would like. The shuttle picks you up in front of the hotel lobby where you were dropped off.

Superstar Shuttle is an easy peasy way of getting to and from Universal Orlando!

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando

Loews Sapphire Falls is a Caribbean themed resort located on the water path at Universal Orlando Resort. It boasts the largest pool on property and a laid back casual Carribean vibe. 

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This resort is beautiful! 

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Cascading waterfalls and views of the water, the lagoon on one side and the spectacular pool on the other really lend to the relaxed vibe at this hotel. The vast lobby houses The New Dutch Trading Co, which is a partial Starbucks and more quick-service type fare. Next to the showcase staircase, a feature of all Loews hotels is Strong Water Tavern. This place is a gem. With over 75 kinds of rum in addition to a regular full bar selection and incredibly tasty tapas and small plates. Service is impeccable!

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A Universal Store with a great selection as well as a Fuel Rod kiosk and of course the Vacation Planning Desk with kiosks where you would print your package tickets.

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Avis is the Universal car rental partner and there is a desk at every hotel. Complimentary WIFI is available throughout the hotel. Valet and self-parking, both for a fee. Room service operates 24 hours a day. A fitness center and game room/arcade is available on the second floor.

Amatista Cookhouse™, a full-service restaurant that offers scenic water views and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Spectacular Pool!

The largest pool at Universal at 16,000 square feet with 2 sand beaches, zero-entry area, a fabulous water slide, and water play area for the littles. Also by the pool are cabanas available for rent for a very special day by the pool. There is also a fire pit, movies by the pool in the evenings and complimentary life jackets.

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The Drhum Club Kantine, a pool bar and grill offers a fresh seafood inspired menu and taste-tempting drinks.

Access to the parks

Easy access to Citywalk and the theme parks via the water taxi. At Universal, you will go through a security checkpoint on the boat dock which means no waiting in a long bag check line at the theme park entrances.

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Exclusive Benefits of Sapphire Falls

  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and select attractions at Volcano Bay™ water theme park, one hour before the theme parks open (valid theme park admission required)
  • Complimentary water taxis or shuttle buses that take you directly to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay and CityWalk™
  • Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key card
  • Complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to your hotel
  • Complimentary access* to select live entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk™ for the length of stay.
  • Start your day with a wake-up call from one of your favorite Universal Orlando characters
  • Golf Universal Orlando™ program offers an exclusive program for golfers that enables guests to take to the links during their stay. You can reserve a perfect tee time, arrange for complimentary transportation* to and from select courses and more. For more information please contact the Universal Orlando Ticket Center in the hotel lobby.

This resort has 1000 rooms including the most suites of any other Universal resort. A mix of hospitality, Sapphire and Kids suites. Rooms have all the amenities including a refrigerator, Keurig and a magic mirror!

The door that closes off the shower/toilet space is a sliding door and it does lack total privacy as there is a sliver of space left, it doesn’t quite close all the way.

 

We also go an exclusive look at a Kids Suite: A king bedded room with an attached 2 twin bedded room only accessible from inside the suite.

 

Loews Sapphire Falls offers incredible value for the amenities offered at the resort. With water taxi to the theme parks and the ability to walk to Volcano Bay via Cabana Bay across the street, the location cannot be beaten.

Contact me to start planning your Universal Orlando EPIC vacation!

Vanellopes Sweets and Treats

Everyone’s favorite little spitfire from Wreck-It Ralph has her own Sweet Shoppe on the Disney Dream and Fantasy.

This is such a fun spot, colorful with scenes and characters from the movie everywhere.

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Vanellopes’s treats are not included in your cruise price like the soft ice cream right outside. But it’s well worth it for a special treat. Here you will find bulk candy, pastries and of course ice cream, frozen yogurt and best of all, gelato!

Vanellope's Sweets and Treast Menu

The gelato selections will vary. Below is a sampling of what may be available.

  • Red Velvet ’N’ Cookies Gelato
  • Amarena – Cherry Gelato
  • Oreo Cookie ’N’ Cream Gelato
  • Key Lime Pie Gelato
  • Blueberry – Lemon Zest Gelato
  • Tiramisu Gelato
  • Candy Explosion Gelato
  • Strawberry Gelato
  • Cupcake Gelato
  • Cappuccino Gelato
  • Pistachio Variegate Gelato
  • Hazelnut Gelato
  • Mascarpone Cheese and Raspberry Gelato
  • Cherry Chocolate Chip Gelato
  • Mango Swirl Cheesecake Gelato
  • Pina Colada Gelato
  • Candy Cane Gelato
  • Pumpkin Gelato
  • White Chocolate and Roasted Almond Gelato
  • Mixed Berries Gelato

The ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt selections will vary. Below is a sampling of what may be available.

  • Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
  • French Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
  • King Candy Ice Cream
  • Salted Carmel Ice Cream
  • Peaches ’N’ Cream Ice Cream
  • Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream
  • No Sugar Added Vanilla Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Strawberry Cheesecake Chunk Ice Cream
  • Midnight Cookies ’N’ Cream Ice Cream
  • Dulce De Leche Ice Cream
  • Strawberry Cheesecake Chunk Ice Cream
  • Cookie Dough Dynamo Ice Cream
  • Mango Citrus Sorbet
  • Raspberry Sorbet
  • Black Cherry Frozen Yogurt

Bulk Candy Selections

  • Crazy Bananas Candy
  • Hot Tamales
  • M&Ms
  • Milk Chocolate Raisins
  • Mini Jawbreakers
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (49 Assorted Flavor Mix)
  • Cry Baby Tears
  • Licorice Pastels
  • Sour Balls (Assorted)
  • Mike and Ike
  • Dark Chocolate Almonds
  • Tootsie Roll
  • Warheads Extreme Sour Candy
  • Gummy Sea Critters
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Caramel Creams
  • Zotz
  • Mini Dark Chocolate Rainbow Nonpareils
  • Chocolate Double Dipped Peanuts
  • Skittles
  • Salt Water Taffy (Assorted Flavors)
  • Atomic Fireballs
  • Lemon Heads

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The best thing about Vanellopes is you can order a special treat and have it sent to your dining location at dessert time. We tested this out on our recent cruise for my ice cream loving son’s birthday. That afternoon, I went to Vanellopes and ordered a race car sundae choosing the gelato and toppings. They fill out a form and then give you a small card with instructions to hand this card to your server when you sit down for dinner. Your server will then take care of calling up and having them make the treat and deliver it to them and they will bring it out. Worked like a charm!

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Vanellopes is well worth the extra splurge!

Disney Dream with Teens

There are a lot of cruise lines to choose from, but Disney offers the best experience for tweens and teens and that might be surprising to some. And let’s face it, parents generally make the decisions on where the family vacation is going to be and teens don’t necessarily get a big say. My kids were excited to go on their first cruise but less than thrilled it was Disney. They love Disney World but thought there would just be too many kids and it would be all about characters. They ended up having a great time and didn’t meet any characters and didn’t stand in any lines, except the AquaDuck once or twice. Sure, there were a lot of kids, but with their own spaces, they hardly had to see them.

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We sailed on the Disney Dream 4 night Bahamas cruise in April 2019. The boys were 13 and 15, turned 16 on our sea day.

Here are 3 reasons I think the #DisneyDifference makes all the difference in a teen’s experience on vacation. 

Exclusive spaces beyond compare…

Disney Cruise Line offers the best teen lounges/clubs on the high seas. Tweens have Edge, which on the Dream is located in the funnel! And teens have Vibe. On the Dream and Fantasy, Vibe has its own sun deck on the front of the ship with its own pool away from all the little ones. Vibe offers games and activities run by counselors and video games and a smoothie bar. Check out my Vibe post and video here. Be sure to visit the teen clubs on the first day to register the kids and check it out. The Navigator App will list the continuous stream of activities available through Vibe. They play “get to know you” games and Heroes vs Villains and do scavenger hunts.

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Freedom…

Parents will feel so comfortable on a Disney Cruise with the incredible service and cast members. It allows them the ability to give teens the freedom to make their own choices on what they want to do and where they want to spend their time. Use the Navigator app to keep in touch with your teens while allowing them some freedom. Set guidelines for meeting up, for dinner for example and a curfew, but then let them fill the space in between. There are sports simulators, basketball court, miniature golf, movie theatre, self serve soft ice cream… Our teens basically did their own thing all day long. They had each other and didn’t really make friends, but they went off to Vibe or up to the sports deck, back to the room. A stop a Cabanas for some food. We barely saw them the entire cruise.

Bonus: This gives you lots of time to use the adult-only areas and do your own thing. 

Unlimited food choices…

If your teens are anything like mine, a lot of time is spent standing in front of the open fridge saying there is nothing to eat. Not a problem on a Disney Cruise. Between the buffet, Cabanas and quick service location on the pool deck, in addition to the main dining room and free room service…teens will never run out of food options.

Don’t underestimate their own comfort level with dining alone either, my tween went up to the buffet on his own for his second or third lunch almost daily, he’s an athlete and eats a lot. And when we scheduled an adult-only dinner at Palo, I offered room service or grab a bite on the pool deck and the boys, a tween and teen, both wanted to go to the main dining room we were scheduled for that night, on their own. They loved our server and wanted to see him. We met them there towards the end of their meal and were greeted by our table neighbors saying what well-behaved and mature children we have. They were well taken care of by our servers, my little athlete had 3 cleaned plates in front of him, a regular occurrence, he ordered 3 meals every night.

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We opted for late seating as there are less little kids at late and early was just too early. It worked out well for us and the kids that were in the dining rooms ate and were whisked away to the kids club quickly so we barely noticed them.

With all the food choices, amazing teen spaces and the comfort at allowing them some freedom, the #DisneyDifference shines bright on cruises with teenagers!

 

 

Residence Inn Daytona Beach Shores

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I searched long and hard for a place to stay for a few days before our Disney cruise. We were planning on spending 2 full days, 3 nights in Florida before the cruise and decided against Disney or Universal. Our kids had not been to the ocean since they were little when we went to Cape Cod so we decided on a few days at the ocean. In the end, I settled on the Residence Inn Daytona Beach Shores. This could not have been a better choice.

We had a little trouble arriving due to storms and came in a day later than planned losing a full day, but it wasn’t a great weather day so we didn’t miss too much. When we finally arrived, a full 24 later everything was ready for us and we even managed a meal and a little walk on the beach in the dark. The hotel had a restaurant and a bar and the bar opened to the pool outside for drinks during the day. The pool and hot tub overlooked the ocean.

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Sunday was now our only full day to spend there and we rented chairs and an umbrella right from a truck set up on the beach nearby and enjoyed a day at the ocean. The weather was great. We also had a little friendly competition at Pirates Cove Mini Golf. Always fun, even with teenagers.

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The hotel suited us nicely. Free breakfast buffet and a few restaurants right across the street. We had a 2 bedroom suite with a full kitchen which we didn’t really need, I wasn’t planning on cooking, but we did get takeout for dinner and the table came in handy. The nicest part was before being crammed into a tiny stateroom on a cruise for 4 days, we had space to spread out and the kids had their own room with 2 queen beds and we had a room with a king bed. Each with their own bathroom. From the balcony, we could see both the ocean and the bay and were looking towards Daytona Beach.

It took a little less than an hour to drive from Daytona Beach Shores to Port Canaveral Monday morning. It was a very easy drive, no traffic at all.

We arrived exactly at our port arrival time and followed the procedure, Disney is very efficient when it comes to organizing crowds. We were walking onto the ship within 45 minutes of arriving, including parking, security, checking in, etc…as soon as we checked in they called our boarding group.

10 Not to Miss Disneyland Experience for this Summer

The Disneyland Resort is filled with plenty of fun this summer. If you are headed to Disney California Adventure Park, here are 10 not-to-miss experiences!

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1. Soarin’ Over California – Due to guest popularity, the epic, aerial adventure Soarin’ Over California has been extended through August 31! This virtual, immersive experience celebrates the beauty and wonder of the Golden State – from San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge to the crashing waves in Malibu.

2. “Tale of The Lion King” – The beloved characters and music of Disney’s “The Lion King” comes to life with an imaginative new adaptation. This outdoor musical production features a cast of 18 performers who weave this timeless tale through language, song and dance. The festive celebration of “Tale of The Lion King” will be presented for a limited time.

3. Fancy Nancy – Nancy Clancy, the high-spirited young girl from Disney Junior’s hit animated series “Fancy Nancy,” made “une grande entrée” this spring. Meet Fancy Nancy just outside the “Disney Junior Dance Party!” in Hollywood Land.

4. Pixar Pier – Celebrating its one-year anniversary at the end of June, Pixar Pier is a whimsical land where Pixar stories and characters are brought to life in incredible, playful ways. A few newly added experiences include:

  • Jessie’s Critter Carousel, the giant toy carousel starring Jessie, the yodeling cowgirl and a friendly bunch of desert critters inspired by the “Toy Story” films. Hop on and yell “giddyup!” from the saddle of a whimsical snake, armadillo, turtle, bunny or other critters from the world of Woody’s Roundup.
  • Bo Peep, from Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” can be found making special appearances along Pixar Pier. Also, Forky, the adorable disposable spork from the new film, can be spotted near the entrance of the pier.
  • Opening later this month, Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind is a newly reimagined attraction inspired by the film “Inside Out.” Step into the workplace of Riley’s Emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger – and board one of eight Memory Movers for a sense-ational spin.

5. Cars Land – For some free-wheeling fun with Disney and Pixar’s “Cars” crew, head to Radiator Springs, also known as “the cutest little town in Carburetor County.” Be sure to make a pit stop at Radiator Springs Racers, the high-octane adventure that revs through the beautiful mountains of Ornament Valley.

6. “Mickey’s PhilharMagic” – The spectacular magic of Disney animation comes to life in this 3D movie musical. Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other favorite Disney characters now take the stage in this 3D fantasy adventure in the Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land.

7. Animation Academy – A guest favorite, Animation Academy hosts drawing classes every 30 minutes. Receive step-by-step instruction on how to illustrate some favorite Disney characters under the guidance of a Disney artist. All ages and experience levels are welcome!

8. Super Heroes – In Hollywood Land, encounter some of the most admired Super Heroes in the universe, including Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, Captain America and Black Panther. Suit up and head to Hollywood Land. Afterwards, hop aboard Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!and help rescue Rocket’s fellow Guardians all while jamming out to Star-Lord’s classic mixtapes.

9. “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion” – Stay cool indoors and enjoy a theatrical adaptation based on Disney’s animated blockbuster film, “Frozen.” Performed daily at the Hyperion Theater, the impressive stage show immerses Guests in the beloved world of Anna and Elsa, with all of the excitement of live theater. The elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects, and show-stopping production numbers are not to be missed.

10. “World of Color” – This breathtaking nighttime extravaganza tells Disney and Pixar stories vividly projected on a screen created by more than 1,200 fountains spraying 19,000 square feet of water. Watch in wonder as water, fire, light and music weave together to celebrate the magic of Disney storytelling.

What are you waiting for, let’s plan a quick trip this summer, message me today!

Palo Dinner Disney Dream

As is typical on most cruise lines today, Disney offers choices beyond their Main Dining rooms. Already not typical with rotational dining and 3 main dining rooms, Disney offers Palo and Remy. Palo is Northern Italian cuisine on all 4 Disney ships. Remy is French cuisine on the Dream and Fantasy only. Both are adult-exclusive.

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Upcharges and dress codes apply to both restaurants, but Palo is a little less restrictive than Remy. For Palo dinner, the charge was $40 per person.

Dress to Impress

To preserve the elegant ambiance of this restaurant, you are asked to adhere to a dress code when dining at Palo. We recommend dress pants or slacks and a collared shirt for men, and a dress, skirt or pants and a blouse for women. Jeans may also be worn if in good condition (no holes). Please no tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, shorts, hats, cut-offs, torn clothing, t-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics, flip-flops or tennis shoes.

On our recent cruise, we had dinner at Palo on pirate night, which was the 3rd night of our 4 night cruise and our Castaway Cay day. We weren’t terribly interested in pirate festivities, our children are teenagers and we would be done in plenty of time to see the fireworks. On the Dream Palo and Remy are next to each other on the top deck in the front of the ship with the Meridian Bar in between. When you arrive you are escorted into the bar to wait for your escort into the restaurant.  We had a drink here and then were escorted to our table. All tables have a wonderful view of the ocean.

The service is nothing short of outstanding! We ordered wine, and then Mircea our server brought the bread service and then the antipasto cart and we watched as our server prepared a plate of “a little bit of everything” to try.

 

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We ordered several Primi to try and share, Calamari Fritti, Gnocchi and the Wild Mushroom Risotto. So so good. Even the gnocchi, which are usually not great in restaurants when you are used to my father’s homemade version, was wonderful.

 

Next, was a palette cleanser…

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Then the main course, Rack of Lamb for me and Osso Buco for my husband. Cooked to perfection.

 

The dessert course was next. When you order your main course they will ask you if you will be ordering the chocolate souffle, their signature dessert because it does take some time to make. I knew about this in advance and was definitely getting it. There are no words, it was heavenly.

 

And there was other stuff, including a Happy Anniversary plate.

 

The dinner was well paced and lasted about 2 hours, but didn’t feel long at all. The restaurant was quiet, there were several tables around us, but it wasn’t full by any means.

Palo is well worth the upcharge and can be prebooked in your cruise account when your activities window opens.

Have you eaten there? I would go back in a heartbeat and next time will try the brunch too, I hear it’s phenomenal.

Teen Haven All Aboard Disney Cruise Line

At this teens-exclusive space, chill out, listen to music, watch TV, play group games and more…

While the Vibe experience aboard each ship differs, the idea behind them is the same: Vibe provides Guests ages 14 to 17 with their own special place where they can break off from the family and connect with other teens from around the world. Designed with their interests in mind, each lounge is laden with amenities and activities that will keep them engaged and entertained while encouraging them to mingle.

On the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy

Part nightclub, part sundeck, totally awesome!


What’s the Vibe Like?
Vibe aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy has the look and feel of a hip urban night spot, with multiple areas, a secret entrance and its own outdoor deck space. Its plush interior boasts sleek design, state-of-the-art lighting and sound, and movable modular furniture that invites teens to get situated in style. Vibe’s hangout central is its high-tech media room, where teens can watch movies or play video games on a 103ʺ LCD screen with digital surround sound. Comfortable, plentiful seating makes this gathering place your home theater away from home. In a separate stage area, talent shows, karaoke contests and dance competitions let teens own the spotlight. A dance floor and video wall set the stage for day-and-night dance parties, and aspiring DJs can even spin and mix tracks! For a more mellow experience, recline in your own built-in oval wall pod and game or watch a movie on a personal video screen.

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Catch Some Rays
Vibe’s outdoor sundeck at the ship’s bow lets teens work on their tan without ever having to leave their private club or deal with the little ones on the crowded pool deck. Deck games such as ping–pong, foosball and “old school” board games set on a giant checkerboard floor offer further amusements. As well as the plunge pools.
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During the embarkation day Open House the pool was closed.
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View of Vibe from the adult only deck area by the Satellite Falls pool

HINT HINT: The Vibe on the Dream and Fantasy is located on Deck 5, but you cannot access it via Deck 5, you can only access it by a hidden dedicated staircase on Deck 4 on the jogging track. All the way forward.

We recently cruised on the Disney Dream and were able to register both our 16 year old and 13.5 year old, since he had an older sibing, at Vibe. This way they could hangout together. It’s worth asking if you have a teen on the cusp of 14. I merely pointed at my younger son after registering the older one and said, he’s only 13 and the cast member cut me off immediately saying, no problem we make exceptions for 13 when they have a sibling and got him registered.

On the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder

Housed in the iconic red Forward Funnel of your ship, this open-plan lounge is the spot to socialize with other teens. This highest point of the ship is sure to also be the high point of your teen’s cruise!
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What’s the Vibe Like?
Vibe aboard the Disney Wonder is designed to resemble a laid-back urban loft or college dorm rec room. Mismatched furniture and eclectic bric-a-brac create a relaxed atmosphere where teen cruisers will feel instantly at home while enjoying both free-form and structured activities. Plush couches, comfy overstuffed chairs and beanbags allow them to configure the space to their liking, while a dance floor and bar area offer opportunities for mingling. On the Disney Magic, Vibe invites teens to unwind at an urban, loft-inspired haven where stylish industrial elements merge with music, gaming and all the latest trends. Amid brick, concrete and technical architectural flourishes, teens can sip on a flavorful coffee or smoothie, play the latest tunes and socialize with kids their own age during fun video and virtual-reality game sessions. At Vibe, there’s always something to do, with:

  • Multiple flat-screen TVs
  • Video games
  • Board games
  • Tablets
An LCD screen with digital surround sound lets teens gather ’round for video games or movies. And with teen dance parties, karaoke competitions and games that promote group interaction, they’ll have the chance to cut loose and show off!
Strictly for Teens
To ensure that Vibe remains a space that’s just for them, teens must present a special coded Key to the World card to access the lounge. On the first day of your cruise, visit Vibe during the Open House and register your teen. They will be given a new Key to the World Card to replace the one given to them at check-in, which will allow them entry into Vibe as well as everything else it is used for.
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While designated as a teens-only hangout, Vibe is chaperoned by some of the coolest counselors at sea, in a laid-back way that allows teens to feel as unrestricted and comfortable as they can possibly be.
Beverages and Snacks 
Vibe features a coffee bar serving a wide selection of nonalcoholic beverages, including fruit smoothies and more…

With so much to do, Vibe is bound to become your teen’s favorite on-ship destination!

Disney Cruise Line’s Return to Greece

In summer 2020, Disney Cruise Line will embark on a variety of itineraries around the world, including a long-awaited return to Greece and the addition of five first-time ports of call in Europe. Along with an expanded European season aboard the Disney Magic, adventures will continue across the fleet with sailings to Alaska, the Caribbean and Bahamas.

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European Explorations

After a five-year hiatus, the Disney Magic will return to Greece in summer 2020 as part of three special Mediterranean voyages departing from Rome. During one 12-night and two nine-night cruises, marvel at the beautiful landscapes and archeological wonders of destinations like Piraeus, the gateway to Athens; Katakolon, near ancient Olympia; and the islands of Santorini, Mykonos and Crete.

Each of these unique Mediterranean itineraries combines a selection of stops in Greece with visits to other notable cities in the region. Two of the sailings include a new port of call in Messina, Italy, where Guests can visit landmarks in Sicily such as Mount Etna, the highest and most active volcano in Europe, or the Piazza del Duomo, the city’s historic center. The third features a return to the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” Dubrovnik, Croatia, for the first time in five years.

Additional new ports of call in Europe include Gdynia, Poland; Nordfjordeid, Norway; Plymouth, England; and Zeebrugge, Belgium. This new collection of destinations is part of the Disney Magic’s grand tour of Europe in the summer of 2020, which begins with sailings through the Mediterranean and Greek Isles before heading to northern Europe in late summer for cruises to the Baltic, British Isles and Norwegian fjords.

Alaskan Adventures            

In 2020, the Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer season, opening up a world of breathtaking natural vistas, magnificent glaciers and awe-inspiring wildlife. These seven-night itineraries depart from Vancouver, Canada, with visits to Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point and Dawes Glacier. Each sailing features fun and adventure both in port and on the ship, from stunning scenery and one-of-a-kind Port Adventures in each destination to special touches that bring the splendor and spirit of Alaska to life onboard.

Tropical Travel to the Caribbean and Bahamas

In addition to seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, near Orlando, Florida, the Disney Fantasy will embark on a variety of itineraries to the Caribbean and Bahamas throughout the summer of 2020. These include five- and nine-night Caribbean sailings, along with three-, four- and five-night Bahamian cruises, three of which feature two stops at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

 

The Disney Dream will provide even more opportunities for guests to visit Castaway Cay in the summer of 2020 with three-, four- and five-night Bahamian cruises, including a series of sailings with two calls on the private island paradise.

Each sailing aboard the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream allows you to experience the magic of Disney entertainment, which includes themed dining spaces, Broadway-style shows and more, while also immersing them in the charming island cultures of tropical destinations throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean.

Guided Experiences with Adventures by Disney

In summer 2020, Disney Cruise Line guests can enrich their cruise vacation with a variety of add-on packages from Adventures by Disney®, a leader in family guided group vacations. Highlights include brand-new ways to experience the Caribbean, a return to Alaska and popular packages in northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Premium Cruise Packages

With Adventures by Disney, you can book the ultimate Disney cruise experience on select sailings in Alaska, Europe and—new for 2020—the Caribbean. Throughout the voyage, knowledgeable Adventure Guides provide dedicated service both onboard and in port, as they lead guests on specially curated excursions, interactive activities and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Onboard the ship, guests enjoy unique experiences and premium amenities exclusive to Adventures by Disney, such as an intimate talkback session with Walt Disney Theatre cast members followed by a behind-the-scenes costume and prop activity.

Pre-Cruise Escapes with Adventures by Disney

Adventures by Disney also offers popular pre-cruise vacations in Rome; London; Barcelona, Spain; and Copenhagen, Denmark. These two- to three-night Escapes feature unforgettable experiences in iconic cities, such as a private, after-hours visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in Rome. Plus, activities like flamenco dancing, mosaic making and preparing local cuisine immerse families in the culture of each region.