Disney Dream Cruise Review by thegirlcanpack13: Disney Dream Girls Weekend Getaway
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Disney Dream Girls Weekend Getaway
I sailed on the Disney Dream as part of a group of 35 women (ages 26-60+). I spent the majority of my time with a group of about 10 that I was related to or friends of relatives. This trip was a "Girls Weekend Getaway". I'll admit that prior to the trip I was a little apprehensive of how a Disney Cruise would be for a group of adult women trying to escape husbands/boyfriends, kids, and jobs...but I have to say I fell in love with cruising and Disney all over again! I've been to Disney World many times both as a child and an adult and Disney continues their tradition of excellent customer service, first class accommodations, fine dining, and magical experiences! I hope my review is helpful for adults planning on cruising the Disney Dream...
My greatest satisfaction came from my cabin accommodations. I had a "porthole view" stateroom (#2008) on level 2 of the ship. The room was HUGE! I was expecting to be completely crammed and stepping on my cabin mates, but More the room was incredibly spacious. Disney has revamped their cabins on the Disney Dream & Fantasy and they really thought of everything. I shared a cabin with my sister & cousin (room will sleep 4). My sister and I shared the queen sized bed and my cousin slept on the sofa bed. The beds were incredibly comfortable and we had plenty of room. We had more than enough closet space & drawers to unpack & hang our clothing. The bed is raised so we were able to store our suitcases under it and out of the way. The alarm featured an iPod docking station though my iPhone wouldn't work on it. The flat screen TV was nice though we didn't spend anytime watching it as we were having too much fun. Probably the most ingenious feature of our room was that Disney separates the bathroom & lavatory. Having a separation between the 2 rooms (both with sinks) allowed us to shower & freshen up without being in each other's way. I was also shocked at the size of the porthole as it was much bigger than I had imagined it would be. I actually have a photo of myself sitting inside of it.
The dining was simply wonderful. My large group was linked together so we were able to dine together most nights. We opted to dine at Palo the first night in place of the Enchanted Garden. Palo was absolutely delicious! Each course was prepared to perfection and the wine was equally as good. My only complaint was that 13 of my group (myself included) was seated in a private room with no view of the amazing sunset. I could also feel the ships engine vibrate and it was a bit distracting. I particularly enjoyed the lamb at Palo and the Chocolate Souffle was one of the best desserts I've ever had. One the second night we dined at the Royal Palace. As a fan of the Disney Princesses I particularly enjoyed this environment. Everything I had was wonderful! During the final evening we dined at Animator's Palate. This was particularly fun as I love Finding Nemo but it is very juvenile as they want everyone to stand up and dance around. The food at Cabanas was great and we ate their for lunch after boarding the ship and for breakfast 2 of the days. The other restaurants also offer breakfast (Enchanted Garden is a breakfast buffet & Royal Palace is menu based). We even ordered room service at around 2am after partying in the dance club on ship and it was great! Regarding beverage service, I was disappointed that they're weren't more healthy options. I don't drink soda and try to drink no-sugar or low-calorie beverages. I ended up drinking some Sprite & lemonade but mostly stuck to water. Next time, I will bring Crystal Light packets with me.
Alcohol is important to mention as Disney allows passengers to carry alcohol onto the ship. I've heard terrible stories of cruisers that run up large bar tabs and end up with a bill of $500+ in alcohol charges. I brought a bottle of Gray Goose vodka on the ship and mixed it with Sprite & lime. Some members of my group brought on cases of beer and mixers as well with no problems. One tip if you're bringing on alcohol is to arrange for private transportation from your hotel/airport to the port. Our private transportation stopped so we could purchase the alcohol in Florida. Also, don't over budget your consumption as you can't take open containers of alcohol off the ship. If you're planning on consuming alcohol purchased on the ship there are numerous drink specials. There is always a "drink of the day" which was around $5, it's always something tropical and yummy. During happy hour specialty drinks are 2 for 1. If you like beer, you can purchase a glass mug (which you get to keep) that offers unlimited refills. There are also specials to purchase cans of beer or bottles of wine for dinner.
My sister and I opted to purchase the Deep Water Dolphin Swim & Aquaventure package for the day in Nassau. This offered our dolphin swim as well as full access to the water park & aquarium at Atlantis. This was well worth the high price tag! The transfer to and from Atlantis was seamless and the experience was once in a lifetime. We really enjoyed the water park (though 2 slides were under construction) but didn't have time to visit the aquarium. We also purchased the Castaway Cay Getaway Package which included snorkel equipment, bike rental, and float rental for the day at Castaway Cay. Next time I won't purchase the package but will rent each item individually. I only used the float. My sister & cousin used floats and bike rental. We didn't snorkel as it is located within the family beach area and we spent our time at the adult beach.
This is reason enough to take a Disney Cruise! Castaway Cay is a slice of heaven on earth. After leaving the ship we proceeded straight to the adults only beach. It was wonderful...you don't see kids, hear kids, or even know kids are on the island! The water was crystal clear and completely still. I actually fell asleep on my float and when I woke up I hadn't moved. There are more than enough beach chairs & umbrellas which come at no extra charge. The lunch provided was delicious and satisfying. I had the grilled mahi mahi & 1 rib as well as tomato/cucumber salad. The soft serve banana ice cream is a must try as its only offered on Castaway Cay. I am considering booking a 5-night Disney Cruise so I can spend 2 days at Castaway Cay. And Jack Sparrow made an appearance on the adult beach...definitely worth a trip back!
This was my first cruising experience so I don't have anything to compare the ship to. I thought everything was easy to find and getting around was a cinch. I didn't use any of the spa services or fitness area (I had the best of intentions and packed my running clothes). The on board shopping was great though crowded around dinnertime. I never set foot in a pool on the ship. The main pool was always too crowded and the adults only pool was very small. I did venture into the adults only hot tub when we had a bit of afternoon rain and it was nice. I rode the Aqua Duck water slide and it was fun. The lines were always really really really long but I waited just to say that I had ridden it.
I heard all 3 of the shows were great. I attended the show Believe and loved it. Spoiler Alert, during the father/daughter montage I was crying like a baby! Very touching! My sister went to the Villains show and loved it. The Pirate Deck Party was fantastic. The Jack Sparrow was spot-on and the fireworks were spectacular. Disney really knows how to put on a production! My group spent every evening in The District, the section of adults only night spots on the ship. We spent most of our time in the Dance Club which began each night with entertainment (Couples Game, Karaoke, etc.) then turned into a traditional disco. We had a great time cutting loose and dancing the night away. The characters also are very accessible on the ship. You might see Goofy walking around the pool area or Jack Sparrow hanging out in the D-Lounge. The Daily Navigator newsletter always outlined where the characters would be and when. Most would be in the ballroom area after dinner service. The lines were very manageable and we got our picture taken with Mickey, Minnie, Cinderella, etc... It really brings out the kid in you and provided nice souvenirs. They also have professional photographers setup (minus characters) so its a nice place to get a good family photo, which my cousins and I did.
I've heard & read that Disney is one of the more expensive cruise lines. I found my trip to be of great value as my cabin only cost about $1500 for the entire voyage. With 3 adults, it was $500 per person which I think is a great value. What you get for the price is Disney's high level of customer service and attention to detail. Our host & waitstaff was wonderful and incredibly accommodating. The Guest Services staff was always very helpful too. What you really notice is how NICE everyone is, that is pure Disney!
So would I do it again? Yes, but I would prefer a 5-night cruise! Less
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