Overall we enjoyed the cruise on the new Disney Dream with the highlight being the stop at Castaway Cay. Would definitely go again with kids, but would not go if we were only going with adults.
Staterooms - are very spacious, well designed with lots of closet and storage space. Would highly recommend getting larger family staterooms - additional 50 sq ft makes a big difference. Bathrooms were good size and loved the "rain faucet" in the shower. Room steward did great job with cleaning room, etc. Has 4 adjoining staterooms and had room steward open the verandah dividers which made area seem even bigger and very convenient to interact with other members of our group. Wave phones were great, even worked from Castaway beaches. Rooms were very quiet, didn't hear anyone at night.
Getting off and on ship was better than any ship we have ever been on. Arrived at port at 12:45, check in was quick and 30 minutes later our boarding number was called. Yes, there are not enough More
places to sit and wait but biggest issue was making your way through all the people lined up before their boarding number was called. Plenty of room to wait away from the entrance.
Leaving the ship was also best ever - walked off at 8:15, luggage was all separated by color and cabin number and quickly went through customs.
Dining - overall the dining room food was good but quality and selection not as good as cruises we took on Princess. Wait staff did good job and were friendly. We were second seating which wasn't good for the young kids, but she brought their food out quickly. Second night I asked if she could speed up the overall dining time, she did, and kept asking me if we were happy with her service - we were! The Enchanted Garden tables were too close together where we sat, servers were banging the wall with their trays of food as passageway was extremely tight. We looked right into a storage area for chairs and we had to hand them our dishes,etc as they could not get behind us to serve, take away used stuff. Animators Palate was great for the kids with the animation screens and with the personalized interaction.
Cabanas Buffet was very disorganized. The food lines did not flow well and people were all over the place not sure where to go to get into the different food lines. Also could not sit at just any open table, had to be "assigned" to the table and it wasn't very clear that this was the process. Plates, food seemed to be organized in right to left fashion but line was going left to right! No staff there to coordinate the flow. Resulted in long lines, especially for breakfast. Best item - beef wellington one day for lunch (was better than any beef item they served for dinner).
Pools - totally inadequate for number of people. No pool for toddlers to swim even if they wore swimmer diapers. Would of been dangerous to put them in kids pool as it was wall to wall people. The saving of chairs is ridiculous just like all cruise ships - by 8:30 on sea day all chairs in or near pool area had towels or bags/shoes on them. Aquaduck was fun, and lines went by quicker than the 30 minute wait time they usually had posted. Best time to go - 6:00 to 7:00 if you have second seating for dinner and you went to the matinee theater show. Usually less than 10 minute wait.
Entertainment - enjoyed the Golden Mickeys, Believe and Pirate Party. Costumes, production very good, most of the vocals were very good; however, with Disney being the huge entertainment company it is, vocals should be outstanding. While line to see the princesses was long, it was great that you only had to stand in one line to see all 6 princesses. They accommodated a lot of little girls before they shut it down. Other character interactions were numerous and lines not that long.
Adult only areas were largely unoccupied, wish they would have used some of this space for larger pools for families. But was nice to get away from noise for awhile one of the days! Very comfortable lounges.
Kids programs - youth programs were plentiful, all the different rooms were neat and the kids seemed to enjoy them (however the 5 yr old preferred to call it day care). Nursery staff in "its a small world" were not friendly and we didn't feel they paid that close attention to the kids. On the last night my daughter took our grandchild out when they couldn't tell her were her son was.
Castaway Cay - best part of cruise, plenty of beach space and comfortable lounge chairs for 3000+ people. BBQ was good, water was cool at first but with warm air it felt fine. Inner tubes, snorkel gear reasonably priced. Instead of a day at sea on 4 night cruise wish they would just stay docked their overnight and enjoy a second day there.
Lastly, we went to Disney World for three days before the cruise, so happy we did that first because you are more tired getting off the ship, getting your "land legs" back etc. And the cruise is the highlight of the trip so going to DW after would have been anti-climatic. Less
Cabin 8630 - great location for going up to pool, Cabanas, etc - only 3 flights up. Extra 50 sq ft makes it very spacious, even with 2 or 3 kids. Great views in ports of Nassau and Castaway Cay. View of Atlantis in Nassau and entire beach area on Castaway Cay.