We just came back from the weekend on the Disney Dream. It was a lot of fun. The disembarkation was in my opinion very organized. We got to the port at around noon and after we checked in we only waited about an hour to get on the ship. Yes, the waiting area is HUGE, and there was limited seating, but as a family of 10 we had no problem finding seats for all of us. The kids had fun running around and looking out at the ship and when they finally called our boarding number (we had number 27 and when we got to the port they were boarding number 13) we got on the ship pretty quickly. They did require us to get our group picture when we boarded, but that only took us a few seconds to do that. Once we boarded the ship they announced our family was boarding and the kids got a kick out of that.
We went straight to our room, which I do have to say was gorgeous. The view from the balcony was perfect and there was plenty of room for the 4 of us. I loved that they had room under the bed for all of the luggage and it took us a little bit to figure out how the lights and TV worked. (You have to leave a room key in the slot near the door and it allows you to turn the lights and TV on, once you take the key out everything turns off. We did figure out that if you take the key out the lights still stay on, but the TV turns off. ) We also figured out that if someone was in the room with the key in the wall you cannot get into your room with your key pass.. You have to knock on the door and hope that they will let you in. So you need to remember to grab your key pass on your way out so you can get back in to your room.
After we dropped our things off in the room we headed to Cabana's buffet and then took the kids for a quick tour of the ship. We went to the Oceaneer's Club to show my son around and WOW, it is awesome, they have little areas for different activities. They have a really cool hand washing machine to use before and after they go in the area. The room looked like it would keep any kid busy for hours. They had organized activities for different age groups. I believe this kids club took kids from age 4 to 11, but they all seemed to be doing their own things. It did not bother me that my son, age 7, was in an activity with kids older or younger than him. The counselors looked like they had everything under control. My only gripe was that on the Navigator ( the pamphlet that you get every night that tell you what activities were going to be the next day) did not describe each activity in depth to get my kids excited to do it and so they would know what they will be doing. None the less, my son only went into the camp 1 time the whole weekend because he had more fun playing in the pool or Aquaduck.
The pool deck was not as small as everyone says it is. Yes, there are a lot of chairs and yes, most of the chairs were already taken by the time we got there and YES, most of those chairs with towels were empty, so we would just put our stuff on floor in front of or next to a chair and just leave it there. We really did not need the chair while we were at the pool area, just a place to put our things and next to a chair was plenty good for us. We had everything we needed in a beach bag, which was easier to have then carrying everything down from the room.
The line for the AquaDuck was not too long, we went on 3 times and each time at different times and the line was about 20-30 mins each time. It was not too bad because while we were in line we watched the movie on the big screen by the pool and the last couple of minutes we were in a covered area, but it went by fast because it meant we were coming close to the front of the line. The ride itself was about 1-2 minutes long and well worth the wait. Just remember that if you go at night like we did the water in the AquaDuck will be FREEZING. We found out the hard way and was shivering the whole ride.. LOL!! :)
Dining in the restaurants was such an experience. Of all the 3 restaurants my all time favorite was the Animators Palette. The Enchanted Garden was nice and the Royal Palace was beautiful, but the interaction with Crush and all of the other characters of Finding Nemo was a hit for the 5 kids in our party. Crush interacted with my 6 year old niece and my sister. It was the highlight of my niece's trip. She talked about it every day. The food was good and they had a different variety at each restaurant, but if there was something not on the menu they were more than willing to accommodate. My mother wanted shrimp cocktail on the 1st night and it was not on the menu so they made one for her, my nephew wanted roasted cauliflower and they made it for him and then the next night he wanted Grilled Tofu with Teriyaki Sauce and they made that too. We were really surprised by how accommodating they really were. The desserts were yummy too, but the dessert of choice by our family was the Mickey Bars off of the kids menu. YUMMY...We did not go to Palo or Remy so I cannot say anything about those.
The shows were amazing. We saw the Golden Mickey's the 1st night, skipped Villains the 2nd night so we could get a good seat for the Pirate Party and Fireworks show on the pool deck and watched "Believe" the 3rd night. I was impressed by all of the shows. They kept my kids attention and they talked about it the rest of the trip.
The ports were nice too. We had been to Nassau already so nothing really to say about that except for if you really want a good Conch Salad you need to take the number 10 bus to the Fish Fry (it is a pink and blue colored buildings) and there is a place in the middle that makes a mean Homemade Conch Salad. We did not get the name of it, but it was full of tourists and local Bahamians. The man's name is Joseph who makes the salad.
Castaway Cay, was fun, but nothing in my opinion like it is hyped up to be. We were on the beach by 9:00 and my kids had fun snorkeling for a few and then they were hungry for lunch( which was a BBQ at Cookies) and then they both wanted to head back to the ship, so they could swim in the pool. It was a nice day, but we live in Florida and have access to a beach all the time, so I don't think they were sold.
All in all I think the cruise was awesome. The service was TOP NOTCH. Everyone was so helpful. Our servers Kiat and Soledad were so helpful and Kiat was always there to make the kids some sort of paper creation. He made boats, airplanes, fish and other types of Origami for all the kids at our table. He even went out of his way to charge my nephew's DS for his flight home. Our Room attendant Rian was so nice and always left the kids with some sort of towel creation.
On our last morning was a little bit of a rush since we had to be down to breakfast at 8:00am and I felt a little rushed while eating, but I know from experience that all cruises the last morning they need to feed you and then you have to leave the ship. The port was very organized going through customs and we had no problems either.
We are going to plan another trip on a Disney Cruise for next year and I cannot wait to start the planning process.
I hope this was helpful and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.