Having sailed on five previous Disney cruises, we knew what to expect when it came to service. We were not disappointed. We were able to have our favourite dining room server, Igor S, and benefited from a wonderful cabin steward, Narcisso.
Embarkation took a bit longer than usual. We arrived at the port around 11 and got boarding number 23. That being said, there were people lined up at the port at 4:30 am and the first five boarding numbers went to Concierge and Platinum cruisers.
We had a 5B balcony cabin on deck 8. Loved the raised bed – the sliding closet doors did require a bit of care – it would be very easy to pin someone between the closet and bathroom door if you weren’t paying attention. The stars above the pulldown bunk were a nice touch. The lack of an outlet in the toilet area could be problematic for some – you would need to dry your hair by the desk if someone else was showering.
All three restaurants were wonderful – we had the RAAE rotation, which is great on a four-night cruise, as Animator’s Palate was themed for pirate night in addition to its show presentation. Night 2 was pirate night and night 3 was the optional dress-up night. Kids will love the new show in AP, which is interactive. Adults? Well, let’s say its novelty wore off after a while.
The theming in both Enchanted Garden and Royal Palace is spectacular, with the Princess interaction in the palace a nice touch for kids.
Remy is a phenomenal experience. We were fortunate enough to dine there one night and can say that it is more than worth the $75 per person charge. It truly is a complete French fine dining experience.
My daughter loved Edge – I barely saw her on the sea day and she called on two different occasions to see if she could stay later than our agreed-upon return time.
The Aquaduck is a blast -- no, it isn’t the fastest water ride in the world, but, given that I saw 7 year olds and 70 year olds riding it, I think it strikes the perfect balance. Same with the Goofy miniputt…..fun for all ages. Definitely try out the midship Detective Agency….a great way to explore the ship and have some fun at the same time. We never got to try the pools, but they never seemed crowded (although there were far fewer kids than usual on this sailing). The adult pool looked really small and I never saw much sun on it.
In Nassau, we did the Sea Lion encounter. It was a blast, but it’s not for those who don’t like the cold – we were given wetsuits to wear and the water was still quite chilly. Castaway Cay was perfect – the beach did not seem crowded and neither did the restaurants.
The one downside to the cruise had nothing to do with Disney itself (other than a lack of foresight in ordering enough merchandise). To be blunt, there were many very greedy people on this cruise, hoarding boxes – yes, boxes – of the commemorative champagne glasses, lining up for hours to grab armfuls (no exaggeration) of merchandise and then sell it on EBay (items were for posted for sale the first night) Same situation with the special Dooney and Burke purses (which Disney did remedy by allowing all maiden voyage guests to order up to 2 bags each and have them shipped free of charge to their homes). Did this ruin my cruise in any way? No. But, I did feel very sorry for the merchandise staff, who were being repeatedly berated by cruisers who didn’t get the sweatshirt they were coveting.
Other special touches – two presentations by Don “Ducky” Williams, a special maiden voyage lithograph by Ducky (who graciously did two two-hour signings to accommodate all the guests) special commemorative menus to take home from each restaurant, maiden voyage hands to wave at sail away, a replica of the coin laid in the hull of the ship, and a book about the building of the Dream. And the horn battle with the magic at Castaway Cay during our sea day was something else!
Embarkation was a bit of a circus -- not Disney's fault at all. Customs needs to add a few more agents to handle the increased number of cruisers. Finding our luggage was efficient as usual.
All in all a great cruise. Can’t wait to sail the Dream again in June.