Firstly I'd like to say that I'm _not_ a huge Disney fan, specially when it comes to pleasurable vacations. Oversold ("at capacity") parks, over-crowded hotels, huge lines everywhere, people yelling, children screaming, scorching heat and so forth. Not my idea of pleasure (or fun).
However, for a family reunion, we decided to give Disney Cruise Lines a chance. And I tell you, we're are incredibly glad we did.
The ship: The Disney Dream is an absolute marvel of artistry and engineering. From the outside a towering and imposing yet friendly presence. On the inside, the ship is simply breath-taking. Granite/marble flooring, flamboyant chandeliers, picturesque stairs, beautiful stained-glass murals in the common areas. Incredibly spacious staterooms many with mind-blowing views and balconies. And in all of its humongous beauty, it's incredibly easy to navigate your way around the ship.
Dining: forget what you know about Disney food (on terra firma). The food on More
board is absolutely exquisite. The three main dining facilities (each with its own beautiful theme) offer all sorts of amazing food and delicacies. The "informal" dining is anything but casual: five-star world cuisine but in self-service format. Cabanas is such a neat place to eat, specially if you score a good table. Amazing tropical paradise views + amazing food, it simple does not get any better, at least in my opinion.
Service: this, in my humble opinion, is what made this cruise so special. They have chosen a mantra of not just going above and beyond, but moving heaven and earth in order to please you. But don't get me wrong, it's not the flaky, artificial demeanor that's so annoying to many. No, it's simply a mantra of :ask and ye shall receive.
Entertainment: Disney at its best. The three shows we saw at the Walt Disney Theater were nothing short of a true Broadway production. Amazing technical production, stage management and the wardrobe and costumes are flabbergasting. The acting crew is amazing and incredibly talented (and some of them will change attire and roles in a matter of seconds), some of them had quite the physical aptitude and pulled some acrobatics that were simply stunning. There is also entertainment for the whole family (dancing, fireworks, etc.). The little ones can be checked in at the Small World Nursery and they'll be handled by the awesome child-care crew. Kids around seven-years-old, can check in at the Oceaneer's Club which is an amazing themed mini park inside the ship. The personnel is super friendly and security is VERY, VERY strict when it comes to picking your kids up (which definitely gives peace of mind).
Character Interaction: if you have little ones and not-so-little ones, they'll be in for a treat. Character appearances are by the bushel. Often characters randomly show up in the basketball court (as it happened to us) and shoot a few hoops and play with the kids. The princesses encounters are great and often so you'll have several times to get that "magical" picture you'll use to embarrass them in a few year's time.
Other: the stateroom cleaning staff was always very friendly and attentive. Our stateroom was always spotless. All the facilities were also spotless, the upkeep for such large vessel must be quite a task, but DCL pulls it off. Public bathrooms are so pristine and clean that I would consider having a meal in one of them.
In short, amazing ship, amazing staff, amazing cruise you won't regret. Less