As soon as the Disney Dream was announced, we knew we wanted to sail on her. Our experience was wonderful.
We traveled with a total of 9 people, including an 11 year-old. We shared 2 Deluxe Family Oceanview connecting cabins. From the moment you cross over the causeway and see the ship, you are enthralled. First - it's a beautiful ship (we prefer the classic cruise ship style, as opposed to the floating boxes). Getting through the security screening takes no time at all, because Disney has cruisers select a time to arrive, therefore spreading the crowd over several hours. Upstairs, the fun begins immediately as Mickey, Minnie and Donald are there to meet and greet. The check-in line goes quickly, as you are greeted by a truly happy cast member who makes check-in effortless. You are then assigned a group number for boarding. Once your group number is called you are led through a opportunity to get your first cruise photos, then your key card is swiped and you are on your way onboard.
As you enter the ship, your family is announced over the PA system - and you are welcomed aboard, greeted by a cast member, and led aside to be given a quick overview of what to expect for the rest of the day, as well as given information about where to proceed if you'd like to eat. It's a great way to start the cruise.
Our cabin was spacious, and clean - colorfully decorated. Our cabin steward was wonderful - and seemed to create miracles in keeping our cabin clean and organized. We all fell in love with the showers.
Since we did not have small children with us, it was easy to have an adult focused cruise by sticking to the adults only area and selecting late seating for dinner. We did hear one or two couples who wished for casinos - but we did not care that there is no gambling onboard because there is so much to do all day long. You truly have to plan what you want to do and recognize you cannot do it all. We saw first run movies (live action as well as animated), attended cooking demos, champagne tastings, shows, etc etc.
Food is available all day long - and it's really good. A favorite on the Disney cruises is that you rotate through the restaurants, and as you rotate, your serving staff travels with you - so by the 2nd night they know your beverage preferences and have food recommendations that fit your likes. If you don't want to eat in the themed restaurants, you can make advance reservations in one of the adults only restaurants. Lots of food options!
There are lots of excursions available in the ports of call. All are vetted by Disney, so you know you are safe. And, as long as you take one of the excursions on their list, you know the ship will be there waiting for you when it is time to embark. Castaway Cay is quiet, and clean. You don't have any worries since it's a Disney island - so you can leave your possessions at your chair and know they will be there if you decide to swim. Yes, there are plenty of opportunities to get adult beverages.
Disembarking is a piece of cake - once again, Disney has the process figured out. From the time we left the ship - picked up our luggage - routed through customs - and boarded the bus - it took about 30 mins.
We cannot wait until the next cruise on the Dream.