Disney Dream Cruise Review by cualum04: Fun Family Cruise
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Fun Family Cruise
About us: Me (30), DH (34) and the little guy (20 months). DH and I have previously cruised DCL, RCL, and NCL. Little guy's first cruise.
Embarkation: We drove to the port, dropped our luggage off, found a spot in the deck, and walked over. There is a restroom in the parking deck if you cannot wait until after you go through security. Chose a later boarding time as we were driving the same day. Everything was super fast and DCL made me feel special by opening up the queue line since we are CC members (even though the lines were short already).
Cabin: Navigator's Veranda. Generally speaking it was a nice room - I wouldn't hesitate to get the Nav. Veranda again if I wanted a balcony - but I'm not sure a balcony was the best fit for us. The Pack-N-Play ate up most of the space in our stateroom. We took it down if we were going to be in the room long, but since the kiddo naps, it was a pain to put up and down all the time. Everything I read said to get a veranda More if you have a small one, so you can use it while they sleep, but we barely sat on ours. It was almost impossible to get to it with the PNP up. I do love the curtain so that we can close off the little guy's area after bed and watch TV, etc. The TV is on the other side of the curtain, but has an arm so that you can pull it over to the side with the bed and close the curtain around it. There is a ton of storage room and we were able to fit all of our stuff into one closet, a few drawers, and under the bed. Our stroller folded up and fit under the bed as well.
Did not have the Pack-N-Play we requested in our stateroom when we boarded. Called before dinner; took forever to get someone on the phone, but assured us they would check. Still no PNP after dinner, called again. Another 45 min. passed and it was bedtime so I hunted down our room steward who finally brought it and set it up. Once it was in the room, the attendant did make sure it was ready for bed each night if we had taken it down, so that was nice. They did provide us with a fitted sheet for the PNP (not a large sheet folded over). I had heard that they provided custom CoverPlay slipcovers with the PNP, but we did not get one.
Nursery: We were very pleased with the nursery. We booked more time than we thought we would need, but ended up using most of it anyway (2-3 hours each day). Little guy was sad for us to leave, but always happy and playing when we came to get him. The staff remembered him by name after just his first visit. One of our tablemates said they tried to leave their son, but the staff called on the wave phone after 20 minutes to let them know they were still trying to calm him down. This made me feel even better about the nursery staff, since I felt like they would really let me know if there was a problem.
Kid's/Family Programs: We also did open house several times, both at the nursery and at Oceaneer's Club, which my son loved. CM's are available and have programs, you just have to stay with the kids during these times. Perfect for little ones and kiddos who want to stay with their parents. He was awarded a foam "mirror" for listening to a whole Beauty and the Beast story in the Oceaneer's Club (which he treasured and would not let go of at dinner). He also loved the automatic hand-washers and was reminding us to "Wash hands" by the end of the trip. Nemo's Reef was a bit hit. I had concerns that he would be unhappy since he cannot get in the pools, but he barely noticed them he was having so much fun at the splash area. We went to Family Dance Party in the Vibe Lounge one night and had a blast! We donned our pirate garb for dinner on pirate night, but the rest of the pirate festivities were way too late for the little guy and we ended up going to bed early too.
Adult Activities: DH and I rode the AquaDuck one morning while the kiddo had nursery time. Waited about 15 minutes. I don't think I would wait a really long time to ride it, but it was fun and if I had older kids it would definitely keep them busy for awhile! I did the Castaway Cay 5K and there was a good group of runners (of all levels). We were hoping to both do it, but the run left the ship 15 minutes before the nursery opened. We used the gym a few times and DH also found a little alcove area outside of The District (deck 4), just off the running track. He does CrossFit and wanted a little more space than we found in the gym, so he went to this alcove area. I believe it's for smokers to use at night, so no one uses it during the day. He did a sports game in the 678 Lounge one night.
Food/Dinner: Food was generally good, but nothing to write home about. We didn't do any of the adult restaurants this time. I like that there are plenty of healthy options. At the grill area near the pool you can also get sandwiches, fruit, salad, etc. anytime during the day. Kid's meals come on a Mickey plate with the entree, veggies, and mashed potatoes/fries. We were seated with two other families of three at dinner, each family a couple with a baby/toddler boy like us. Each night our table was ready with drinks for the kids and bread came quickly. They got their own small fork and spoon, along with a kids menu and crayons to color. Their meal comes about the same time as the adult salad/appetizer. Our kiddo was usually wiggly toward the end, but they do a good job to keep dinner moving. We did a seated lunch at Royal Palace one day and it was a nice change of pace. Both my boys eat breakfast early (and get up early in general), so we were always waiting at Cabanas to be the first for breakfast. Hot food didn't begin until 7:30 and I really wanted to just do room service a few times, but DH wanted to get out of the room.
Nassau: Eh, been there, done that. We walked around about an hour and got back on the ship.
Castaway Cay: The weather was iffy the day we were docked, but we still had fun. Lunch isn't ready until official lunchtime, but they did have the snacks (chips, cookies) uncovered if you needed to go ahead and grab something. We didn't have trouble finding a set of chairs at the family beach; they were away from the water, which worked best for us anyway. Grab towels by the boat because there aren't any more out by the beach. There was an area with beach wheelchairs, jogging strollers, and a few wagons after you get off the tram. You didn't have to rent or sign them out, just grab what you needed and return when done.
Shows: I went to the second showing of Golden Mickeys and Villians, but was super tired and didn't really see all of each one. DH and I went to the matinee of Believe and it was very good. There was no matinee originally scheduled, so I am not sure if they decided later to add it. DH went to see The Avengers in 3D one afternoon while I was with the little guy during nap and he said it was very good.
Disembarkation: We had seated breakfast on disembarkation day at Royal Palace. Headed off the ship right after breakfast and plenty of porters were on hand to help. Headed through customs quickly and were back at the car in no time. Less
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