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Disney Dream Cruise Review by Zesty Italian: Dream double dip 4/10-4/15, well several dips


Zesty Italian
2 Reviews
Member Since 2008
255 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.0
Dining 3.0
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities Not Rated
Entertainment 5.5
Family & Children 3.5
Fitness & Recreation Not Rated
Public Rooms 4.0
Rates 3.0
Service 4.0
Shore Excursions 3.0
Value for Money 3.0

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Dream double dip 4/10-4/15, well several dips

Sail Date: April 2012
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: Port Canaveral

DH and I took DDs 16 & 13 on our 3rd DCL cruise our 5th overall. It was our first on the Dream. We had sailed on the Wonder and Magic which were wonderful. I was less pleased with this one, but admit intervening events may be influencing me somewhat.

Our last cruise was on HAL 3 yrs ago and the kid's club was a joke. The girls begged us for another DCL. We weren't sure they'd still feel that way as they got older, but I read about the new teen clubs so jumped on a 5 day double dip for spring break. It seemed perfect that we actually found a double dip when the kids didn't have to miss school. I booked it 18 mos. out and kept it a secret from them till we flew out. It was funny each time they're chins were low and they'd say they wished they could go on the new Dream. In my overly organized way, I had everything planned and appreciate all the advice from the Dis boards. We've had a very stressful year so I wanted to just relax on the trip and not have to rush or do More things last minute.

Everything seemed to be working out till Delta changed our carefully arranged flights. Thanks to Dis board advice I called and got a better one. Then I got a better deal on the rental car. We got a mini-van from Budget and it worked out cheaper to park it at Park & Cruise for 5 days.-Thanks again. About a month ago our DD16 started having almost constant migraines and my own lasted 10 days. I had my neck adjusted and did much better, but she couldn't get relief. We got new meds a few days before we left and hoped we could relax and enjoy the trip. Then I noticed on the Dis boards folks reporting the pirate night was listed wrong on the DCL website. I wanted Palo that night and had reserved it the first night bookings opened. Of course it was fully booked now. The agent was shocked when I told her the site was wrong and said, " We will get that changed right away!" (It's still wrong weeks later!" ) She was very kind and stayed on hold 30 mins. to talk to Guest services about getting us switched. She said they were full, but would do all they could for us. Well, that turned out to be NOTHING but a message saying we should check the website for cancellations. 'Why didn't I think of that?'

Anyway, we finally left Wis. on Fri. 4/6 to fly to Orlando for 4 days before the cruise. We booked Discovery Cove with Seaworld and would spend a day at Typhoon Lagoon. Our flight was good, security easy and I had to say to DH, "this couldn't be smoother." On our second plane in Detroit, I was sitting in the aisle seat and noticed the overheads stopped at the middle seat. I briefly thought something could drop on someones head. Well, you guessed it that head was mine. I was seatbelted in when a young mom came past with a toddler. Her maybe 7 or 8 yo son hoisted a wheeled suitcase to the overhead, but couldn't push it in. The mom says she'll do it and drops it 3 ft. onto my head. I was stunned and in so much pain I grabbed my head and couldn't talk. Then I start hearing people around us including the mom ask the man next to me if he was all right. The suitcase barely grazed his arm as it Landed on my head and wrenched my neck. The lady who dropped the suitcase finally says she's sorry to me, but in a 'this wasn't my fault kind of way'. She was upset that I wouldn't turn around and make her feel better. She actually said to another lady, "I told her I was sorry". That lady said, "You didn't do it on purpose". If I could have, I would've yelled it was a preventable 'accident' if you would've used your brain. Your son wasn't tall enough to reach and the case weighed more than him. Next the guy across the way yells at me, Ma'am do you need medical attention? The stewardess comes and says the same thing. I couldn't believe everyone was acting like this was my fault and no one is holding the mom accountable. The stewardess repeated her question in a demanding tone and my DH asked her for an ice pack. He gave me Exedrin as I guess Delta wasn't going to do much. Maybe I'm expecting too much, but I really thought the stewardess would try to be kind and ask if she could help. She asked again if I needed something in a harsh tone and said," Well, if you're refusing medical attention." This is while everyone is glaring at me with a 'don't you hold up this plane face'. My Dh told her I probably wasn't getting off the plane and she turned and left. She only came back when the ice pack had leaked all over my pants. Meanwhile the mom and her toddler are behind me where the child screamed for 2 hrs. and kicked my seat making my head bob. REALLY lady you have the nerve to let her after the pain you've already caused. (Sorry for the rant. I just wonder if I'm crazy to think they could've offered me a place to lie down, a drink, cookie ...something?) All I could think was that I was starting a family vacation miserable and wondering how I'd participate with my kids.

Thankfully Budget had our van and it only took about 30 mins. as it was spring break. We checked in at Shades of Green at Disney and were pleased with a large room.

Our first day was spent at Seaworld and I praised God it was only about 80 degrees. The Kraken coaster was closed which really disappointed our eldest as she was too short to ride it our last time there. I would've thought they'd post that it was closed. The Manta ride was enjoyed by them as well as the animals. Food was exceptionally expensive and kids seemed to be having a meltdown constantly.

The second day we went to Discovery Cove and had a lovely day with the dolphins. I've seen questions about dolphin swims and while I can't compare other parks like Blue Lagoon, I would say you'd likely enjoy Dis. Cove. They have a beautiful, clean facility and it really is all inclusive from the food, to sunblock to lotion after a shower. They even thought of plastic bags for wet items. The food was much better than just burgers and included fish, pasta, many salads etc. We really enjoyed swimming with the dolphin and the people were great. I did have problems snorkeling because my neck and head hurt from the suitcase incident, but the rest of the family loved the day. That said, I do think it's too expensive for the time with the dolphins. The swim is about 15 seconds and you spend about 20 mins. rubbing and doing tricks. Please understand I have nothing but good things to say about DC, but it is pricey. If you spent more than one day at the sister park like Seaworld, it would definitely be worth it. You do have 14 days unlimited access to one park.

On our third day, we went to Typhoon Lagoon. The girls decided to go back there as they thought the slides at Blizzard Beach maybe too scary. I love the wave pool at Typhoon so was happy. The water was nice in the lazy river so we relaxed there till the girls wanted to go in the wave pool. Sadly, after a short time, our DD16 had a headache and came to lie down. I went in with DD13 and remarked that it was more crowded than I remembered. I looked all around me to make sure I wouldn't get hit by anyone and jumped into the wave giggling with DD. Then I turned my head and saw a huge man had come and stood directly behind me. I didn't want to crash into him so instinctively put my foot down. Big mistake. I rolled my ankle (same one I fractured a yr. ago). {Do you sense a pattern here?} That pretty much ended my day so DH went on rides with DD to keep her happy.

On Tues., we finally took off for our long awaited cruise. We left WDW at about 9:45 and drove to the Park & Cruise at Port Canaveral. We arrived about 11:00 and a very friendly guy checked us in and loaded our luggage on the shuttle with one other family. It was maybe 10-15 mins. and we drove to the ship. He unloaded our bags and we entered the terminal. Our port arrival time was 11-11:30, but we got to the desk at maybe 11:35. The agent said we were boarding grp #3, but said they were on 1-14 so we could just walk on. We went right to Cabanas and had lunch at noon. All the praise about the lamb chops was deserved. They were delicious! Shrimp and other things were very good as well. We looked around a little; girls didn't head my advice to try the aqua duck while it wasn't busy.

I headed up to Palo to get my reservation changed. She said they were booked and asked her manager if they could add us. She actually said, "pretty please". The manager started to say no, but said they'd squeeze us in. We were so grateful till we dined and saw all the empty tables:confused:

Next we decided to check out the kid's clubs as I wanted to make sure they went the first night to meet people. Our eldest is very outgoing so we went to Vibe first. Got lost in a bar and an extremely nice bartender walked us across the ship to Vibe! I kept telling him it wasn't necessary. It's so nice to see that Disney kindness. The counselor at Vibe came right up with a big smile and welcomed us. She met our DD13 first and asked how old she was. When my DD told her, she said, "Oh, you can come here. We'll just get this waiver signed." We had to stop her and say we'd check out Edge first and decide. I was shocked as I'd read about the age policies and told my DH she wasn't eligible. We had agreed she wasn't old enough and hadn't asked for her to be moved up so it was surprising for the CM to offer it to her before talking to us. I felt badly for kids I'd read about who were refused when they were trying to be with a sib/friend. I really think they need to stick to a policy. We went to Edge where the male counselor wasn't' nearly as inviting and told him our offer. He basically said whatever. Our DD13 decided she didn't fit in with the older kids and would go to Edge. I made sure she went the first night, but she came back before we expected and said she wasn't going back. There were only three 13 yos and they were boys. She's shy about talking to strangers and the counselor apparently didn't help. It was a shame as I knew they'd do fun things if she just met someone. In the younger clubs ,the counselors were great about including her. Our DD16 came back all smiles and had met several friends. They had fun. She said a bunch of 13 yo girls had moved up to Vibe. That's why there were none in Edge:(

Our rooms were ready at 1:30. We had a deluxe inside 9579. It was fine for 4 people. DDs slept on couch and bunk above it. The room had plenty of storage, but oddly in groups of 3. There were 3 drawers at desk and 3 sections in closet. Made it a little hard to organize for 4 people. Plenty of room under the bed for all luggage and shelves in bathroom. Our bed was heavenly!:lovestruc Wish I would've spent more time just relaxing in it. We had a connecting room and had no problem with noise from that cabin. It was a different story with noise in the hall. The cabin had no ship noise, but the rude people who don't care that folks are in their cabins and run or shout, make me crazy. It is ALL of our vacations!

Our steward was Tenecio and while the room was well kept, we were surprised to have not met him by night 2. We had to call for something and my DH finally met him. He does get points for working around our DD who seemed ever present in her bed. He apologized for knocking ever so softly when the privacy sign was up as he needed to get the bunk down.

We had early seating in Enchanted Garden our first night. Service was really slow which kind of surprised me as the ship is a year old now. The food was okay, but nothing yummy. They served our girls first. Now they had ordered off the kid's menu, but they were not young kids who couldn't wait. Then the ass. server brought my DH and I the wrong meals and after 20 mins. seemed to have forgotten we weren't eating. The girls were done dessert before we had our dinners.

We saw The Golden Mickeys for the first time and enjoyed it. Disney does such a fantastic job with shows. The colors and music are wonderful. Luckily our girls are Disney fans and enjoy the entertainment no matter their ages.

I won't go into detail about all the places we ate as I've seen lots of info. and pictures. If anyone has questions, I'm happy to answer. We ate a few bkfsts at Cabanas and I urge you to go all the way to the back. We thought all the counters just repeated in line, but the last day found all new fruits/yogurts and danishes. I enjoyed the bkfsts in Royal Palace more as it's quieter and the servers were so kind. They seemed to genuinely want to interact. It was the same at lunches there. I also liked all the soups I couldn't get at Cabanas.
Royal Palace is lovely and our second dinner was much faster. I liked the food a little better than EG, but still not great. Animators Palate wasn't as loud or chaotic as I'd expected and the food was decent.

Day 2 was Castaway and the island was as beautiful as we'd remembered. The weather was perfect. Not too hot/humid as in the past and the water was fine. Our eldest is very scared of the ocean,but we got her in for quite awhile and blessedly no stings or scary sightings.:) We didn't go to the beach till around 10 AM and went to Pelican Plunge area where we found 4 loungers. It was a bit crowded, but still chairs available. We were pleasantly surprised that no one was pushing drinks at the island or on the ship. We just rented floats, swam and had BBQ. The lunch was good. More that I liked than in the past. We never did get the kids to try Pelican slide, but they went back ahead of us and finally tried the Aquaduck. They only got one ride in as the line was long (who listens to mom?), but said it was fun.

We had Knight Magic doing illusions that night. They were very good and also had an adult show another night. We never got to any other family venues like D lounge as it conflicted with shows or kids.

Day 3 we were in Nassau with yet again good weather. We just went to the flea market which was much bigger than before. More expensive, too. It was hard for the girls when the sellers are pushy. They feel intimidated and think mom and dad are rude if we don't stop. The ship was fairly full as not as many get off for the day like other stops. DD 16 was in bed most of the day with the ever present headache. She missed all the Vibe stuff she wanted to do after the first night. Ate lunch at Royal Palace and the pasta dishes were really good. They were the best things I had on the cruise outside of Palo. Breakfast and lunch weren't slow there either.

It was Pirate night and we had Palo reservations. We arrived at 6 and the waiter asked if we were in a hurry. He was a good waiter, but liked to talk and kept telling us we were on VAcaaaation and could order drinks. It got a bit old, but he was knowledgeable. I didn't get my beloved lamb as I wanted to try pastas I never ordered. He really tried to get me to order lamb, but I got the gnocchi and DH and I shared lobster ravioli and mushroom risotto. The gnocchi was heaven and the risotto very good. We didn't like the ravioli. It tasted fishy. Dh got the osso bucco and tenderloin which he Loved. We both delighted in the chocolate souffle and waddled out at 8. The girls went to dinner at Animators alone. The waiters were nice to them, but it was a little slow again and DD16 had , yes, a headache. She missed the show and fireworks. Dh took DD13 and I joined them for the fireworks. They are pretty, but too late for me. I can't believe all the little ones there-many too tired and screaming.

That reminds me, WHEN did it become okay to let your kids run down the halls especially at night and for the adults to talk so loudly? It happened every night and some were too young to be in the halls without parents!

Day 4 was a sea day and while we didn't try to go in the pool or duck, it wasn't as much of a zoo as I expected. The weather may have been a factor as it was cloudy and rained a bit at times. DH, DD13 and I did the Detective hunt. It was fun and a nice way to see the photos on the ship. I suspected it may be very busy being the sea day and I was right. I'd do it another time as we were running into each other and had to wait for turns at clues. Played shuffleboard with DD13 who was tickled. It really is usually the simple things they enjoy and remember. She must've asked three more times on the trip if we could play. She even walked deck 4 with dad and I several times. We played mini golf after the rain. It was hard to do some things because of the wind.

That night was Villains Tonight and I didn't want to go so the kids went. I figured it was our only chance for adults only as DD13 wasn't in a club so DH and I went to ride the aquaduck. It was almost the end of the cruise and no one had wanted to go with me. Well, we got up on deck and it was dark and breezy. I didn't see more than a couple people so we went to the stairs. Being from Upper Michigan, I thought folks weren't in the water because they thought it was cold. A CM met us at the bottom of the stairs and we asked if the aquaduck was open. He said they were expecting it to close for high winds so we should get on if we wanted to ride. As I climbed the stairs, I said a mental I'm sorry for thinking the guy was nuts in his hat and weather gear all bundled up. It wasn't that cold. I almost blew over the side with the gale force winds and a similarly dressed CM met us with a tube. I asked if it was safe and he said the bridge hadn't called it yet so we should get on. (I know he was thinking "Lady you're the one who came up here to ride") but in my defense I had never been on it and had no idea the winds (I mean hurricane) was a factor. As I sat down, I had this terrible feeling, but off we went. It wasn't as scary as I anticipated, but the water that drenched us at the bottom quickly stopped my DHs laughter. We would've enjoyed it a second time knowing what to expect, but I wasn't tempting fate again. We ran to the adult hot tub. It was the only time we were there. We had the whole place to ourselves again so I took that 30 mins. to relax.

The kids came back and said they enjoyed Villains show. They certainly enjoyed the unlimited ice cream on deck 11 as well. I tell myself at least it's a happy memory of the trip.

The captain told us in the afternoon that it was expected to be windy and rainy at Castaway the next day and he may have to dock early in the morning. That evening he said he was actually going to dock there and spend the night. It was almost two hours of vibration as he tried. I went to bed thinking we were there till the wee hours of the morning when it started again. I guess we hadn't made it and he had to try again.

Day 5 was finally Castaway. Props to Captain Gus as he sure put in time trying to make it happen. I just wondered if it was worth it because the wind and cooler temps would make folks not get off the ship. My Dh said it was definitely cooler and not many people. He and DD13 went in the water and walked. Sadly, DD16 was holding her head and said her headache was awful. I took her to medical which should be better marked because we couldn't get thru on Deck 1 and had to go to Deck 2 then back down. Not fun when you're miserable. I have to say I was not impressed with the staff other than the doctor. A lady checked us in in a not pleasant tone and said to take a seat. I waited a few minutes and told her again that my DD had a migraine and could she please lie down. She wasn't happy, but got us a room. I guess she hadn't heard of turning off the light for a migraine. The Dr. came in and kindly talked to DD and turned off the light without my asking. She gave her a couple of shots and said to put the privacy sign on the door and let her sleep. I thought 'you obviously haven't been in the hallways to hear the noise.' I asked for her name and license number for our travel insurance and the two nurses up front were so annoyed. They told me they'd given me all the paper work I needed for insurance. I pointed out that her name and such were nowhere on the papers. They left in a huff, came back and said she's not an American Dr. and doesn't have our numbers. I already knew she was from Colombia and said I wanted her name. They begrudgingly wrote it and pushed me out the door. I still can't understand why I couldn't know the doctor's name.

DD fell deeply asleep and as if on cue folks started banging doors, running and yelling in the hall. I opened the door after 2 young girls across the hall ran back and started fighting over who would open the door and kindly asked them to keep it down. They seemed shocked, but said okay. I told another two who were actually doing flips down the hall that it was loud and they looked at me with a "who are you to tell us anything glare". Then boys came running down the hall and I gave up. WHERE are the parents?

I went to Believe in the afternoon with DD13 and we loved it. Thanks Disney for letting me leave with a happy magical feeling. That evening I prayed DD16 would feel up to going as I knew she'd love it. She reminds me of the lead daughter with her belief in magic. Pixie dust must have fallen because she got up in time for the show and loved it. DD 13 and I went for a walk around deck 4 and I was determined to sit in a deck chair and stare at the ocean for 30 mins. Even tho it was dark, we did it and it was lovely. She started to talk about how she liked the crusie and couldn't we stay on the ship longer. It amazes me how kids can like something when they don't seem to be wowed, but they remember the unexpected.

We got up at 6:45 and went to Cabanas for bkfst as we had a 12:15 flight and DH was freaking out over missing it. We were back in our room before 8and got our bags. We walked right off the ship and found our luggage in about 5 minutes. Customs was painless and we went outside to find our Park & Cruise shuttle. That was the only glitch. Turns our the shuttle was parked ahead of us, but we didn't recognize it as it had 888 across the front, but no Park & C logo. We waited 15 mins. till a batch of new shuttles drove up and DH went to ask about ours. The guy confirmed it was P & C so if you use them, they really are easy and run the shuttle continuously, but take care to recognize the markings on the shuttle. They loaded ours and 4 other families luggage and we were off in 5 minutes. We had our luggage loaded in the van by 8:45 and were on the highway to the airport. P & C was a great deal at $5.99 a day. They were kind and quick. They don't wait for a full shuttle to leave either. I would highly recommend them and appreciate the advice to book with them. It saved us going to get a rental car when we were in a hurry to make our flight. Of course we were thru security at the airport by 10 and had to wait two hours for our flight.

Sorry for the length of the review. The Readers Digest version would be I think the Dream is absolutely gorgeous, the shows are great and I think Vibe would be wonderful if our DD could've gone more. The facility is impressive and the counselor we met was bubbly. The food was a step down from what we expected, the crew wasn't as gracious as we'd had on the Magic and Edge was a letdown. I still like Disney, but the price didn't match the experience even after I separate out our problems. Less


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Cabin review: Disney Dream Deluxe Inside Stateroom Deck 5 9579

9579 was a great cabin for size and split bath. It had plenty of storage space and no ship noises. We didn't have any noise from the connecting stateroom either and it was very convenient to midship elevators. However, the hallway was too noisy from kids runnng or people talking loudly at all hours.

Port and Shore Excursions


Heavenly beach. It's clean and has everything you could want at a beach. The food, slides, game room, and kids club are free. There are plenty of chairs, umbrellas, trams, soda, ice cream, and no one bothering you to buy anything.

We have been here once before and had a similar experience. From the minute you are off the ship, people are everywhere badgering you to buy. This time they were trying to braid my DDs hair and weren't nice to them when I said no. We only went to the flee market where the girls were uncomfortable about the constant pressure to buy.
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