A Dream Vacation!: Disney Dream Cruise Review by mymollysue
Overall Member Rating
A Dream Vacation!
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
We used Disney Transportation to the port. We arrived at the airport in the morning (around 10ish) and got in line to check in. I didn't realize that we actually were able to check in at the airport for the cruise prior to getting on the bus so that saved some time once we got to the port. The transportation to the port was great. We got to see a video about our cruise as well as some Disney cartoons. It is truly magical.
Once we got to the port we went through security and upstairs to the terminal. We had embarkation number 7 and they hadn't started boarding yet so we decided to get in the youth club registration line to register our daughter for the nursery. We waited in More that line for about 35-40 minutes only to find out that we couldn't register her there because nursery registration was on the ship only. We were not too happy. We could have found a seat or stood in line to meet Mickey. So after that, we waited about another 30 minutes and got on the ship at around 12:45. The terminal was very crowded and that was probably one of my biggest complaints.
We had a deluxe inside stateroom on the 6th floor. We wanted to experience the virtual porthole which we thought was very clever. The room size was decent and the room was very clean. We got a Castaway gift bag which was a pleasant surprise. Our room steward came and introduced himself and set up a pack in play. In addition, he brought us a diaper genie which was great! We had the split bathroom with a bathtub so it made bathing our daughter easy! Overall, we were pleased with our room.
Our daughter spent a few hours in the nursery every day. On the first day we were able to tour the nursery and our daughter got to see what toys they had. We were very nervous leaving her for the first time. We had booked some hours prior to our cruise but were able to add on hours once we were there. The nursery is gated and after that first day parents are not allowed behind the gate. When I dropped her off, I gave instructions to the staff and gave them a bag with diapers, pajamas, sippy cup, wipes, and snacks. If there was a problem, the staff would text me on the wave phone. My daughter loved the nursery. She tried climbing through the gate to get inside. One night, Snow White came and the staff took a picture of my daughter with her and gave it to us. They put our daughter to sleep one night because she was so tired and they put her in her pajamas and gave her milk and she fell fast asleep. I am so glad I used the nursery. It gave my husband and I a chance to relax a bit and do some adult activities plus my daughter loved being there. I would highly recommend the nursery to parents. For $6 an hour, it was totally worth it.
We also took our daughter to the Oceaneer Club but had to stay with her. She loved the Monster's Inc Room as well as Andy's Room. She had some time to run around and get out her energy which was good. One morning they closed the Oceaneer Club to the older kids and had toddler time. Since the kids clubs get crowded, it was nice to have some toddler time in there.
One program I highly recommend was Wake Up with Disney Junior. It was a dance party with some staff and the character Max. They played all of the Disney Junior songs plus some other songs. My daughter loved it. She danced and had such a nice time.
Lines for the characters could get long and people would line up 1/2 hour early. Between the autographs and multiple pictures you can wait awhile. There was a character dance party that was pretty crowded but all the clubhouse characters were there so my daughter was able to dance with some of them. They also had princess meet and greets but we didn't go to those because my daughter isn't into the princesses yet. Again all character meet and greets were very crowded. Once we ran into Chip and Dale in the hallway and got some private time with them. That was a highlight because it was unexpected. I don't know what Disney could do to lessen the lines except add more character meet times.
Overall the food was pretty decent. Occasionally items were lukewarm but that was my only complaint. We ate at Cabanas for breakfast and they had a nice spread. One thing I noticed was that they didn't have cheerios. I was surprised by that but other than that, there were plenty of options. For lunch we ate at Flows Cafe which had grill items, sandwiches, salads, pizza, etc. It was near the pool and quick. We tried all of the main restaurants for dinner and overall were happy with the food and service. Our waiter called our daughter a princess. He brought her fruit and her juice first thing and then cut up her dinner and fed her the first bite. It was very sweet. I was impressed with Animator's Palate. Crush would go around talking to various people. It was very cute. One night we went to Palo's. The service was excellent and the food was delicious. Their pizzas are fabulous and of course everyone should try the chocolate souffle.
We did not spend much time at the pool because our daughter is still in diapers but they were crowded. There is a splash zone for the toddlers and it is shaded. However, my daughter didn't like it because the water was freezing. My husband and I spent some time at the adult pool and it was nice and quiet. We also rode the Aquaduck a few times. It was a lot of fun and the line moved fast. We went first thing in the morning on our day at Nassau and my husband went in the afternoon during Castaway Cay day. That is when it was the least crowded. I highly recommend riding it once.
Probably my favorite part of the cruise. The island is gorgeous...we had the most perfect weather. We got off the ship first thing in the morning and had no problems finding chairs near the water. The beach never seemed very crowded and we were able to take our daughter into the ocean. She loved sitting in the water. Our daughter doesn't sit and she sat in the water for over an hour. The buffet was great. One of the servers helped me through the line because I had my daughter in the stroller and couldn't hold the tray. She helped me get my food and helped me find a high chair. She was so helpful. After lunch we walked around the island, did some shopping and then headed back to the ship so our daughter could nap.
Disney's entertainment is top notch. We had seen The Golden Mickey's before and had to leave early because my daughter was getting tired. Villain's Tonight was funny and clever. Believe was also very good. It changed since we saw it on the Wonder. Everything was magical and the singing and dancing was very good! One night there was a hypnotist. He was funny and the show was family friendly. He did an adult show too but we didn't get to it. One recommendation: get to the theater early. Seats fill up fast and people save seats. We had the late show because we had main dining. The late show was at 8:30 which was past our daughter's bedtime. So after the first night, we put her in the nursery for the shows. For families with little ones, seeing the late show may be difficult. We missed out on Pirates Night and the fireworks because our daughter was asleep. But we saw it on the Wonder so we knew what it was like.
We had breakfast at 6:45am and then walked off the ship. We had no lines and found our bags easily. We caught the Disney bus to our Disney hotel and spent a few nights in Disney World. Overall, our vacation was magical and we can't wait to do it again! Disney is the happiest place on earth! Less