We just came back from a wonderful 4 night sailing on the Dream. Here's a brief review:
Night before: Stayed at Country Inn and Suites so we could take the shuttle to the port. A little glitch- we were locked out of our room for 1.5 hours so they didn't charge us for our stay. Yea! Breakfast was good but crowded- get there early. Shuttle drivers were nice and helpful.
Embarkation: So easy. Got to the port around 11:30, we were on the boat by 12:00.
Sail away party was fun. First show was the Golden Mickey's- we loved it. Don't worry about getting there early unless you really care where you sit. The show didn't start until 30 minutes after the posted time. There was a long introduction from the Cruise Director. Would have shown up 15 minutes late if we'd known. This was the only show we saw- I had heard Villians wasn't that great and we weren't too excited about the Ventriloquist. I wanted to see Believe but we had Palo reservations the last night.
Nassau: We were worried about the water being cold so we signed up for the semi-submarine tour. I thought it might be lame but really enjoyed it. Great for younger kids- opportunity to see fish without all the work of snorkeling. We saw lots of fish (the tour operator feeds them), a sea turtle, and even a small shark!
Castaway Cay: Great, as expected. We loved the snorkel trail. Cookies was good for a buffet. We loved the station where the guy was slicing lots of fresh fruit. Don't miss the Konch Kooler.
Oceaneer Club/ Lab: My kids (7&9) loved it. My daughter (7) loved making crafts while my son (9) loved all the interactive video games. They loved the hand washing stations so much they had to wash hands on the way in and out. We did lose a Mickey Band- I recommend taking them off any time you leave the boat. They can put them back on when you take them to the club.
Entertainment: Sports Deck and Mini Golf were great. We were able to see two movies- The Muppets and Beauty and the Beast 3D. The movie theater is beautiful. Pirate Party was great. Go for it and dress up. Fireworks were fantastic. Our friends were able to watch from their verandah on the starboard side.
Edge: We didn't see our 12yo most of the cruise. She loved Edge and made lots of friends. She loved all the fun activities and we loved being able to check up on her with the wave phones. She was there til 1:00am most nights. I'm normally alot more protective but felt really safe knowing she was with a group of girls on the ship and I could reach her anytime.
Palo: Wonderful, don't miss it. Get two souffles. You won't want to share. Overheard someone making arrangements to propose to his girlfriend there but we didn't get to see it. Awww.
Spa: We just bought a day pass for the rainforest on the sea day. It was so nice to go relax there. The heated tile loungers are wonderful. I didn't care for the showers as much as I thought I would but I would definetly buy a day pass again.
Food/ Dining: We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food. There are some unusual ingredients- but try something new. I could tell the waiters seemed a little frazzled at times. We ended up being at dinner for almost 2 hours each night. Our waiters were very kind but sometimes we had to ask for things more than once. We were a group of nine, with 5 being kids. Often we ended up taking the younger ones to the kids club ourselves before we finished dinner. I thought the food at Cabanas was great for a buffet. Kids really enjoyed being able to grab sandwiches and pizza by the pool. We had the room service breakfast each morning. The kids thought it was so cool to get breakfast brought to our room.
Pools: Ok, the pools are small and crowded. From what I could see none of the kids cared. As an adult, I don't plan on hanging out in the kids pool myself although the water was wonderfully warm for January. Aquaduck was so much fun. The best time we found to ride it was first thing on the sea day. There was no line from 9:00am to 10:30. I was totally impressed at how many clean warm towels were available all the time.
Room: We are a family of five and we like our space to we opted for two Deluxe interior staterooms instead of the verandah room. These were great rooms, we had plenty of space. Only negative was that they were pretty far aft although there was an elevator close by. We loved having two showers. Made getting ready for dinner much easier.
Disembarkation: A little more hectic, especially if you wait to leave until 9:00 with everyone else. If you don't want to wait in line you probably need to get off the boat pretty early.