We, DB(45) TB(50) EB(16), took a 4 day cruise on the Disney Dream. We were skeptical on how great of a vacation it would be considering it was spring break, our family usually gets sea sick, and our daughter was going to have no one she knew to hang out with. Despite that fact she was the most excited out of all of us to go on the cruise. She spent hours on the website memorizing the floor plans and "pre-ordering" her meals on the online menus.
BOARDING THE SHIP: Disney has a very efficient check-in system. Being that at the time we were vacation club members, check-in took around 5 minutes. However the line for regular cruisers is never too long due to the surplus of workers. At check-in they take each individuals picture before giving the individual their stateroom key. So later when you pay for something using your key a picture pops up on the screen to prevent "identity theft". Also in the terminal you can register your children for the clubs (younger kids only). Here they put a wristband on your child. It is actually a tracking device so that if anything happens to go wrong you can locate your child quickly. Your first steps on the boat truly are magical as the crew announces your family's name and applauds your arrival.
DINING: The dining for me was good but not great. I am not a picky eater so I enjoyed what I ate but I only found one dish that I constantly crave, even now months after my cruise. There are two dinner rotations, early around 6 and late around 8. We had early dining which proved to be better for us. The first dining rotation has to have everyone seated, fed, and out of the restaurant in a matter on an hour and a half to set up for the second rotation. This was great for our daughter because she wanted to eat and leave to go back to the teen club. The second rotation tended to last around two hours.
CABIN: We had a deluxe family oceanview stateroom with verandah and it was perfect for us. The bathroom was separated into two, one with toilet and sink, the other with shower and sink. So while my husband showered before dinner, my daughter could get ready in the other bathroom. This was very nice for us. There was plenty of room to store our luggage and clothes, we found the cabin quite cozy. Although my daughter is 16 she wanted to sleep in the bed that came out of the ceiling instead of on the pull out couch. Our room-keeper gladly pulled the bed down every night while we were at dinner to accommodate our needs.
**One nice touch was that there were no light switches. Your stateroom key served as your switch. After you use it to open the door you slide it into a holder right inside and the lights turn on. When you leave and take your key out the lights go off to conserve energy. GREAT IDEA!
**WAVE PHONES saved our vacation. I do not let my daughter wander around on the ship alone, better safe than sorry, so she was going to have to have us walk her to the teen club and we were going to have to pick her up. Very embarrassing to a child her age. The wave phones allowed us to call/text on the boat without having to use our own & pay international fees. This was great and made the vacation soooo much better.
ENTERTAINMENT: While my husband and I are not big into night life our daughter had the time of her life on the cruise. The teen club has the best counselors, my daughter tended to talk to them more than the actual teens. They maintain a calm environment while still keeping the club fun and parent free. You have to have a special access card to get into the club which the kids get on the first day. This really keeps the club parent & little sibling free. They also have their own pool deck on the bow of the boat. With misters, pools, lounge chairs, and more. The club is where she spent 90% of her time on board, the other 10% was eating and sleeping.
***AQUADUCK was fantastic!!!
SERVICE: Without a doubt hands down the best service ever. The room-keepers never missed a beat and the dining team was stellar. I could go on and on about the Disney service but I will keep it at a solid 10 stars. Every employee, whether server, deck crew, or cashier, always gave a smile and a "may I help you?" The Disney employees without a doubt are the top in the world for customer service.
SPA: Great in every way. There even was a teen spa for my daughter to go to and get chocolate wraps and massages. We spent lots of time here.
DISNEY'S PRIVATE ISLAND: PERFECT.
We did not get off at any of the ports of call. We prefer to do things on the boat rather than rush to get off the boat, rush to have fun at the destination, and rush back before the boat leaves. Its stressful and we don't like to deal with it.