Disney Dream Cruise Review by Winterstale: Disney Dream Preview
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Disney Dream Preview
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
Just off of the Disney Dream - and she's a real beauty! I was on a trip that consisted mostly of travel agents - she was sailing at around half capacity.
Here's my quick take:
I had a deluxe oceanview with verandah - absolutely LOVELY - loved the double bathrooms that are standard in most Disney cabins. The decor is plush and nautically themed -- the beds are just FANTASTIC - I heard that from everyone else as well. My cabin steward, Ike, took GREAT care of me. I did have the cabin to myself and got very spoiled -- found myself wondering how I ever shared one of these with two other gal pals on a sailing on the Wonder a couple of years ago! The new idea of raising the bed up a bit higher to allow for more storage space is a GOOD one! Two ample closets - nice refrigerator - no mini bar (fine by me!) - Disney is one of the few (if not only) cruise line that allows you to bring alcohol on board. I was on business so I only brought one bottle of wine to More enjoy with co-workers at dinner. All in all, a great cabin experience.
Perhaps I should have listed this first but no big deal...got to the port around 10:30 and we were on board by noon. No fuss, no muss - Disney has this area down. Might be a bit different when she's sailing at full capacity but we had no issues whatsoever.
Cabanas is a nice buffet - only had lunch there on embarkation day and breakfast there on Nassau day so I can't really say much. Food was good at the buffet - nothing to make you jump up and shout but nothing to make you sit down and cry either. There were hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream, pizza, sandwich stations, etc during the day that I did not try either - I was actually trying to watch what I ate on this one so...I didn't try as much as I could/should have. I was saving my calories for...
Yes, it's an upcharge of $75/pp and YES, it is WORTH IT! An amazing dining experience - elegant and absolutely delicious. Unparalleled service, incredible scenery - just fantastic. This is NOT an area where you will be allowed to skimp on dress code, however - jackets are required for men and women MUST wear a dress or very nice slacks and a top - no flip flops, etc. Just fantastic!
Have done this several times on the Wonder so we had to try it here. More of "Vienna" theme in the decor - a little more elegant and less streamlined than Palo on the Wonder - food just as fabulous, service just as great - and the chocolate souffle? Well...I don't really have to tell you, do I? YUM!
The District is the bar/lounge area for the 18+ scene -- really terrific - surpassed the Wonder by far - and I like the Wonder very much as well, don't get me wrong!
687 is the sports bar -- very well done -- a really "clubby/pubby" feel to it if that makes sense - lots of TVs and places to sit and watch the games.
There is also a little alcove in the District area that houses a "nosh buffet" if you will -- for those folks who need a late night snack while they're out and about. District Lounge is kind of a stopping point on your way to/back from all the areas. Evolution is the dance club with the "Evolution Dancers" who appear from time to time for an impromptu performance -- it's connected to "Skyline" which was our hands down favorite place to go for a cocktail - there are "windows" behind the bar that display a different cityscape every 15 minutes or so -- New York, Rio, Chicago, Hong Kong, Paris - really well done! Try the "Ooh La La" -- that was my favorite of their specialty martinis -- they also have a bunch with the glow in the dark cubes. "Pink" is the champagne bar and it's BEAUTIFUL - but you might have a hard time getting the guys to hang out there for long -- it's very much something that looks like a good start to girls night out! Taittanger (sorry if I'm misspelling!) has their "Pink" rose champagne here - at the daunting price of around $21 a glass - but it's yummy. You can also get a glass of the bubbly that was specifically bottled for the Dream, complete with a picture of the ship on the bottle - we had some at sailaway where they were offering it freely - just great!
We only made it to one show - "Believe" - and it was absolutely fantastic -- a real Broadway feel - encompassed all the big Disney shows and a lot of favorite characters - we thought it was fabulous!
Quiet Cove Pool/Cafe
Here's where I have a problem. This pool seems WAAAAAY too small to accomodate adults when the ship is at capacity. Granted, since the ship is doing the short Bahamas runs, there won't be too many "at sea" days -- but it just isn't well laid-out in my opinion. Most of the lounge chairs for the sun worshippers are on the deck above the pool area, making it hard to take a dunk when you get too warm. There are stools for the bar that are IN the pool, which makes you think they were trying for a sort of "swim up bar" feeling -- not so much. I was a little disappointed by the pool area since it's where my husband and I would spend a lot of time if we took this cruise. Oh well - guess you can't have it all!
Cove Cafe is great - a really nicely laid out coffee bar - staff was great, you can get on your laptop there (service is sketchy at best or at least it was for us so don't plan to work from the ship - but why would you?).
I had a hot stone massage - it was fantastic - I did not get a big sales pitch for anything afterwards -- a refreshing change since I avoid ship treatments for this reason -- co-workers said they DID get a pitch so I guess it can go either way! My only complaint is that the staff (who are NOT Disney employees) really need to get it together on their consistency. We were told it was an extra $16 charge to use the Rainforest area on top of the charge for our treatment. We heard from other cruisers that they were charged $15. We also noticed that there was no way to tell who had paid to use the rooms and who was just going ahead and helping themselves before or after a treatment. If the spa is going to charge, they'll need to come up with some kind of wristband like some other cruise lines use. Of course, my opinion is that they shouldn't charge for it - keep things consistent between the ships - I'm guessing I'm going to read future reviews that talk about the spa issues...they'll need to get the kinks ironed out now that the first "official" sailing has headed out to sea.
I don't have kids but I really wanted to check these areas out so I can tell my friends who DO...what can I say?? Disney has it down to a fantastic science in these spaces. I was blown away by the interactive "floor games" in the Oceaneers Lab/Club -- "Andy's Room", a playroom with - you guessed it - a Toy Story theme for the little ones - just fantastic! Tinkerbell's area with dress up for the little girls - all the princess costumes available - and there's even a talent show where the kids can perform for their parents later. I was told by one of the counselors that some of the kids stay there ALL DAY and even through dinner and I was NOT surprised.
Now...the Aqua Duck...VERY cool and a LOT of fun - not a real "thrill" ride but it IS a water coaster at sea and it's fun for EVERYBODY -- little ones who meet the height requirement will not be afraid of it and adults will still think it's a great time!!
This ship is just breathtakingly beautiful and a great idea for family fun - my only disappointment was the layout of the adult pool (oh well, head to Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay instead! GREAT time there!) and the spa needs to iron out a couple of things -- but those are really minor things -- overall, this was an INCREDIBLY great time!! Less
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Cabin review: 5C
Lovely nautical decor, great storage space under the bed, VERY comfortable bed, love the double bathrooms, great closet space/hangers, LOVED the verandah!
Port and Shore Excursions
We found a local cab driver right off the ship who gave us a personal tour and we had a great time -- he wears a big Mardi Gras crown and calls himself "Showtime" -- and he was true to his word - we really enjoyed his tour that included a stop at his favorite "fish fry" for some conch fritters that were out of this world!
We did tour Atlantic - so now I can say "been there, done that" - we probably would have enjoyed it more if we purchased a pass to use the facilities - but with the weather the way it was, we were fine just walking around and taking a peek.
It's a fun, quick cruise!
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