As Florida residents, we were offered a last-minute cruise at a discounted price. I treated my Daughter, two Grandsons (5 and 7) and Granddaughter (5 months) to the four-day, three-night Bahama cruise on the Disney Dream.
We drove up to Cape Canaveral and were able to board quickly after check in. They do announce your name, but often get the name completely wrong--I did not even recognize our name when it was announced and hesitated to board the ship. The rooms would not be ready until 1:30, but they did not bother to tell us which restaurants would be open and I had to track down one of the crew members to give us this information. She sent us to the Enchanted Garden, which was a zoo. The service was buffet style and I tried to carry plates for myself and my youngest grandson without any sort of help at all. Even dishing the food onto the plates was unassisted, although there were many servers standing around the food area.
We then proceeded to our connecting rooms on Deck 7 Aft--7176 and 7178 which were lovely and quite large. We had the large porthole/window seat which the boys loved along with the bunk beds.
Our room stewardess introduced herself and told us that if we needed her to lean out into the hallway and call her name--that never worked. (until the last day, when tips were to be distributed--she certainly came fast then) The room was always kept sparkling clean and the towel animals never failed to please the boys.
I caution you to avoid the 7th deck aft since there was a lot of vibration throughout the night--so much so that my Daughter was convinced that our beds contained "magic fingers". This was a last-minute decision to book the cruise and we did not have another choice. We did get used to it, but I probably would not go again if this location was all that was available.
The shows were great all three nights and kept the attention of both adults and children.
Food was typical cruise ship fare--not fabulous, but pleasant. The free ice cream cones (I Scream) were a hit with our kids as was the Tow Mater's Grille area.
The pools were quite crowded, which is to be expected during the hot summer months, and the AquaDuck always had a 15 minute to 45 minute wait which did not dampen the spirits of my Grandsons--they happily waited their turn.
While the wait staff and crew were friendly, they did not seem to be familiar with the layout of the ship. I asked one hostess where I could find Tow Mater's Grill, and she directed me to Cabana's salad section ("Oh yes, they have tomatoes). I tried to explain that I was not asking for tomatoes but a food station by the name of Tow Mater's Grill as in the Cars Movie. She again tried to assure me that all restaurants served tomatoes. Turned out that we were just about 50 yards aft of that location and I was able to find it on my own.
The same thing happened several times after that incident. I was looking for the Small World Nursery and was told that they do not have the small world ride on the ship. Either the staff has not been properly trained regarding the ship's layout and services or they do not speak enough English to understand your questions.
This would not have been a problem if we had been given a deck plan upon arrival. I had to go to several location to find a print out of the deck plans, which helped me tremendously to navigate my way around the ship.
Castaway Cay is lovely, but GET THERE EARLY!! The chaise lounges with umbrellas go fast and you really need the protection from the sun during the summer.
The children really had a great time, but I cannot understand what would induce adults (with no children) to take a Disney Cruise. I am also not a fan of such a large ship--sometimes the crowds were claustrophobic, especially in the stores (closed in port), and the photography "library". My Daughter got up at 6:45 on the last day to avoid the two to three hour wait ordering our photos.
Getting off the ship was without incident, and we were off of the ship, through customs, and in our car in less than 1/2 an hour.