Beautiful cruise ship, but food service needs work: Disney Dream Cruise Review by figbar
Overall Member Rating
Beautiful cruise ship, but food service needs work
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
State of the art modern, new, clean ship.
Lots of things to do for different ages. Every hour is planned, that there is not enough time in the day to do everything you want to do.
They had activities for kids in the Oceaneer's club all day. It's beautiful inside with many different play rooms. Our kids, ages 5 and 9 loved the hand washing machines there. You just put your hands in, and the jets come in and wash your hands for you. I have to give Disney credit, that they did a lot to try to control the germs. The club had a lot of activities listed in the Navigator, but it was not structured inside. Kids just roamed from room to room on their own. My 9 year old wanted to do a Sloppy science project there, but she missed it More because nobody told her, even though we mentioned it to the staff when we dropped her off.
My kids loved playing the Detective game on board. They have LCD screens on the walls that look like other paintings. You can activate them by getting a special card at the game kiosk. You have an option finding stolen puppies or paintings. Then you go to different floors and look for the marked paintings on the map, which hold the clues about which villain stole the puppies. Amazing technology. It was probably my kids favorite part of the trip.
Aquaduck ride was fun. It was good to get to the ship early and do the ride first. There was a long wait later on. The pools were nice, but I thought they were a little small for 4000 people. It was nice to go to the pool right on arrival. Later on it was so packed.
There were lots of activities planned for adults, including ship tours, comedians, games, dancing, etc..
The service in the restaurants was very slow. 2 hour dinner every night with small kids is not what we were expecting. The waiter would take the order and you wouldn't see him till the end of the meal. There seemed to be a lot of waiters and assistant waiters walking around, they either seemed to be frazzled, or didn't speak English and were useless.
The restaurants themselves were beautiful. Our favorite was Animator's Palace. It had interactive screens where the turtle would interact with people at different tables. Amazing. Every night, you were assigned to a different restaurant.
Even though when I booked the cruise, I specifically stated that 2 members of our family need gluten free diet, there was a lot of confusion when we came to dinner the first night. Thankfully the head waiter was very helpful. He arranged special meals for my daughter and I. They even sent them on the island for us. Lunch and dinner was pretty easy to accommodate, and it tasted good. Breakfast was a different story. He did order pancakes and waffles for us, but it tasted awful, the special omelet was greasy with lots of butter. Plus there was a lot of confusion of finding those special meals, when the head waiter wasn't there the first morning. When my family was finished with their breakfast, and my daughter and I were still waiting for our food to arrive, I insisted again to go find our food, and then it miraculously appeared. I asked the waiter to get us some syrup, again 10 minutes wait. I just went and got it myself.
While there was a load of delicious food for everyone else, it was very frustrating to see the limited supply of gluten free breakfast foods. They didn't have any gluten free bagels, muffins, or bread. They only had Energy brand hamburger buns, and I don't care for them. They brought them to us every dinner, and one time for breakfast, since they didn't have anything else. Sometimes they were cold, which tasted horrible. In this day and age there are so many gluten free products that taste good, and easy to freeze and store, it was very disappointing. I was glad to have 2 small bags of Chex cereal that I brought on board, and some corn crisps, and my daughter and I were happy to get by with those for breakfast. They did have a lot of fruit and yogurt. I'm just happy it was only a 3 day cruise. I always bring some gluten free snacks with us, but I didn't bring so much, because Disney is supposed to be so great with diet accommodations.
Also, it was my daughter's birthday. I went to guest services ahead of time and asked to see if we can do something special for her the last night. They took the room number and assured me they'll take care of it. Of course, when we got to dinner the last night, the waiter didn't know anything about it. Not only that, he forgot to put her dinner order in, and only after we all were finished with ours, and I complained to the head waiter, then her food finally arrived.
This was our favorite part of the trip. 3 shows - Golden Mickeys, Villains Tonight, and Believe were all wonderful. The kids loved it. Beautiful theater with lots of special effects. The pirate party and fireworks off the ship were amazing.
There were lots of Disney characters during the cruise taking pictures, but there was a long line every time.
It was very clean, new and spacious compared to other cruise lines. We had an ocean view verandah. The room service was excellent.
I've read so many rave reviews about Disney restaurants and hotels and other ships, but I was not impressed at all with the diet handling and service on their new ship. While it was clean, modern ship with an amazing technology, it still needs a lot of work with better waiter communication and better diet foods. Less