This was my 5th cruise but 1st time with Disney (and 1st cruise entirely for all others in my party).
So as not to be redundant, I will try to be specific on things I feel would be helpful assuming you have read other reviews.
Beds and linens were HEAVENLY! Extremely comfortable. I can't tell you how thankful I was that we booked a cabin with a veranda. You always think you're not going to spend much time in the cabin, but my 10 yr old son became very ill (possibly Norovirus) on 2nd day of sailing and I had to remain inside without leaving cabin for about 24 hrs. That veranda saved my sanity. As he slept for hours from being so sick, I sat on balcony and had nice view of Castaway Cay. I tried to enjoy the room service and some rest.
The Aqua-duck--Please make sure you experience it at night! This was one of our favorite memories from the first night on board. This is also the best time to avoid lines.
The Disney show "Believe" was fabulous...not to be missed. From the acting which was first rate to the costumes....this is Disney magic at it's finest.
The NOT so Dreamy...
This ship has SERIOUS design and traffic flow issues. On embarkation day there is nothing much to do but head to the pool with the kids. If you can imagine thousands of people trying to crowd around and pack like sardines into this ridiculous tiny 5'3" deep hole that would be the scene. Even if we could have found a chair, we didn't dare sit in it..because we were scared to leave the kids side. There are no lifeguards on duty. I'm not sure how that is really supposed to work, but it is a crazy set up with two super tiny pools, hundreds of chairs, and thousands of people.
The wait for elevators was also insane. We gave up many times and had to hike as many as 5 flights of stairs because we were wasting so much time standing around trying to get one that wasn't already full!
There were baby strollers and gear everywhere...it was like being in the parks.
Disney asks when you register your child for the children's activities to allow you to place an arm band on them that is more like wearing a wrist watch (blocky, heavy metal piece in center). Then they tell you it can't be removed for the entire cruise. Ummm...no. Through dress up night? Swimming? Sleeping? Who would want to wear that ugly, chunky thing for days without being able to remove it? They tell you if you lose it you'll be charged $50 for it. So we didn't get one till we were ready to use it. Then I had to wait in line to return the darn thing on the last night to get my receipt. What a pain. This needs to be reconsidered.
The dress code is in no way enforced. Literature says no shorts or tanks in the dining room. There were plenty. People looked as if they just left theme park. We shopped for clothing (and spent several hundred dollars) to have appropriate clothing and a special night on dress up night, listed as "semi-formal".
Never did I see the word "optional" listed anywhere until the day our announcement was placed in our cabin. How ridiculous do you feel in a black dress and heels when the people at the next table are wearing jeans and sneakers? It felt silly I tell you. I'm not asking them to change the casual setting...just please let us all in it.
The service was good, but not as good as I've had on Carnival ships in past. The food was hit or miss. Cabanas was just average, nothing more. Some of the food was particularly good (lamb chops, creme brulee, prime rib) some of it was really not. Desserts surprised me as I feel this is an easy place to shine that they did not. Expect food to be average-good...not fabulous.
March 4th, water temp was too cold (and it was windy) so Disney cancelled all excursions on Castaway Cay. My cabin mate said food at beach buffet (ribs, etc.) was not good.
Had to be out of cabin by 7:45am (YIKES) on disembarkation day. Waited in line an HOUR to get off ship with hoards of strollers and tired grouchy toddlers rolling around on floor. Couldn't wait to get out of there. Would not sail on the Dream again. Too many people, too much trouble to move around ship, too many lines...not worth it. I want a vacation! Would consider smaller, better designed ship.