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Sail Date: November 2015
About 4 years ago we were on a eastern caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Epic, and in our last day we docked in Nassau just beside to this beautiful ship we had never heard of. It was the Disney Dream, and although the Epic was a good ship ... Read More
About 4 years ago we were on a eastern caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Epic, and in our last day we docked in Nassau just beside to this beautiful ship we had never heard of. It was the Disney Dream, and although the Epic was a good ship and had lots of fun in it, all we could think of was, man, I gotta go on the Dream... So after 2 more cruises on NCL (one awesome mediterranean cruise and a below average western caribbean cruise) we decided to give it a try to Disney on a 4 nighter to the bahamas. It was our 7th cruise and have to say it was probably the best we've done with our kids. If I had to describe this experience with one word, it would be "organized". The guys at Disney definitely put their experience managing crowds willing to have fun on their ships, so everything seem organized and smooth without making you feel limited... coming from 6 freestyle cruises on NCL we were worried to feel the change with set dining times and locations, but we never felt rushed or limited at all. The embarkation process was a bit longer than expected but apparently it was due to a trainee in the security checkpoint which, understandably, had formed a long queue in the terminal entrance. Once after this point, everything went fast and smooth and we were in the ship by noon. Our room was the 7616 Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah, which was ready at 1:30, with one of our luggage pieces already waiting for us outside, and the other one coming shortly after... at 299 sq ft this was probably the biggest stateroom we have had on in a cruise, think even bigger than a mini Suite on NCL's Dawn. The split bathroom is a great feature and there's plenty of space for storage, although the balcony is probably on the small side. Our kids loved the kids clubs they were on, our tween daughter preferred to stay in the Oceaneer's Club and Oceaneer's lab with her younger brother and it was kind of a fight to get them out of there... Being this a cruise aimed to kids, be aware that at some points there are queues of parents trying to get kids out, specially before dinner and shows, so it's good to arrive early of you have something booked on peak times. Food was very good on the buffet all the time, probably one of the best buffets we've tried on a cruise, but in the main restaurants it was so so... options are a bit limited and food is not as tasty as one can expect. Service, however, was outstanding. We were served by Yekta from Turkey and I Wayan from Indonesia during our cruise... they were both awesome, specially Yekta who did all kind of funny acts and noises for the kids, they really made our dinners special. We liked the rotational dining concept, if you don't know where you must dine you can check it in the DCL Personal Navigator left on your stateroom everyday, or on your key card where your dinner time is, you'll see the order of your rotation noted using the first letter of each restaurant... in our case it was ERRA (Enchanted Garden, Royal Palace, Royal Palace and Animators Palate) We only attended one show in the last night on the cruise, Believe, which was very good, also did the detective activities wit the kids which were fun. There were queues everywhere for character appearances and photos during the day, and of course, for the aquaduck which was fun to do a few times. Since we've been on the Bahamas several times we decided to stay in the ship on Nassau to have it for ourselves, but the ship was not empty at all, in fact, there were lots of activities scheduled on ship during port times. Debarkation was super easy, and for the first time in our 7 cruises we didn't have to fight for our breakfast in the morning before debarkation, since you're scheduled to attend the last restaurant in your rotation for an a la carte breakfast (and a farewell to your servers) on your debarkation morning... that made it really easy and fast. On the down side, although everything on Castaway Key was great, food was just plain mediocre... we had to go back to the ship to get a decent meal on our day there. Also the kids complained about the pools being too small and cramped. Also, we took our wavephones out of the stateroom a couple of times just to find out they were not working properly, so in the end we did not use them... no need to anyways if you install the Disney Cruise app, which gives you free access to chat with your party and also ship info in your smartphone... this is a must! And as a tip for DCL, make the kid club's bracelets work on disney parks too... They give you the option of returning them before debarkation or keep them as a souvenir for $12 each... I may have kept them if they had worked on the parks, but since they don't, we have much more meaningful souvenirs from the ship that are also free. All in all, this was a great vacation and Disney really knew how to make it so. Is a Disney Cruise worth the 30-40% extra you pay for it compared to other lines? based on this experience I'd say yes... It is not VIP, but you don't get the major nickel and dimming other lines such as NCL are well known for. I look forward to repeat the experience... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
First Disney cruise! Traveled with a friend, sister, and her husband. Just simply booking this cruise, amazing! They allow you to make payments up to a certain date. We opted to board the ship as early as possible, so we actually ... Read More
First Disney cruise! Traveled with a friend, sister, and her husband. Just simply booking this cruise, amazing! They allow you to make payments up to a certain date. We opted to board the ship as early as possible, so we actually got on sometime around 11. We didn't know to drop off our luggage, and they had porters come up to the terminal and take our bags FOR us! We got in the check in line around 10:30, and were done in at least 20 minutes, boarding group number 4. Once they started calling for passengers to board, we were on the ship in no time! My sister and her husband were late and still able to board just shortly after we did, that's how fast the line went. I highly recommend getting on as early as you can as you do pay for that day. We were able to go to Cabana's and explore the ship as much as we wanted before the safety drill. The room was excellent, very clean and pristine. The ship was very clean, neat, organized, anything you could think of. Characters everywhere. We opted to take pictures with characters on our last two days as there are SEVERAL chances you get to take pictures with them! We planned accordingly and waited no longer than 5 minutes in ANY of the lines! All of the restaurants were amazing! My favorite was Royal Palace, mainly for the theme and the style of the restaurant. Our service was absolutely amazing. I felt right at home! If you eat at Cabana's, sit outside in the aft, not only is it a wonderful view, but you avoid most of the crowds that are inside the restaurant. The shows were absolutely astounding. If you grew up with Disney, you'll love them for sure. Disney does an amazing job having everything for every age, and still incorporate all sorts of Disney things. The pools were always crowded, as expected, but nonetheless enjoyable. FREE Ice cream and beverages, take advantage of that! They also have quick service stalls on deck 11 that are available throughout the whole day. For those who are healthier, Cabanas does have a salad bar. I highly recommend planning out your day as soon as you have the navigator, you won't feel rushed or make last minute changes to what you do. I highly recommend the Disney Dream as this was my first cruise ever, and I will never sail with another cruise line! It was expensive, but I felt my money was well worth spent! Going again November 28, 2016 and September 25, 2017! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We sailed on Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas on October 26 -30 2015. Our cruise line of choice is NCL, but we heard such great things about RC and my friends has told me of how great a time they have when they sail RC, and how ... Read More
We sailed on Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas on October 26 -30 2015. Our cruise line of choice is NCL, but we heard such great things about RC and my friends has told me of how great a time they have when they sail RC, and how good the service is, so we decided to give them a try. My main concern was to value the service that RC provides their passengers. That being said, we eagerly awaited our cruise. The cruise was a very BIG disappointment! The ports of call were, Nassau Bahamas, Coco Cay Bahamas, and Key West Florida. Our family had four members ( two adults and two kids- kids 12 and 15). Wetraveled with another family who had one child (age 12) When we booked, there were no balcony rooms available, so no problem, we decided on an ocean view room. The first night we went back to our room, it was after 9 pm and the room had not been set up for the night. We called the courtesy desk and asked for our steward to come by our room. It was an hour later that someone (not our steward) came by the room, and by then, we were already prepared for bed after waiting so long. Thank goodness we had a general idea of how to set up or pull down the pull-man beds for the kids. The next day we did finally saw our cabin steward and we asked him to pull the beds together to have that King size bed. He told us that it could not be done, that he could not pull the beds together to form the King size bed because that particular room had to have the twins beds separate. We were not pleased about that, as we called RC and spoke to a representative (about a month out from the cruise date) we called to ask about information for the cruise, and she did confirm that the room we booked had the beds that could be pulled together to form the King size bed. On RC’s website the description of the room said that the cabin could sleep 4 and that two of the beds could be converted into a King sized bed, which was why we booked that room. So the website and the representative was giving out false information. Our cabin slept 4 people but the steward continued to only supply us with the amount of towels/washcloths/toiletries for 3 people. The shipped smelled like there were over-running toilets most of the time and the electrical outlets did not hold the plugs into the units. The plug kept falling out, to use my flat iron, I had to hold the plug in the socket. We understood that the ship was an older ship, that is not the problem. The problem was the quality of the hotel staff which was not good. My review is not all bad, two good things about the cruise was the dining staff, Pritam was the greatest and made our dining experience very good. Also we enjoyed the port of call at Coca Cay. No ship excursion for Nassau, we just hired someone to drive us around, and we enjoyed the beach at Coco Cay. We did have a ship excursion in Key West, it was the Aquarium/Conch train tour. We found that it was very interesting. We just expected better service from RC and did not get that, it looks like we will be heading back to NCL where the service is far better. I wanted to sail on one of RC’s larger ships like the Oasis class, but the service on their smaller ships was disappointing. If the service on the smaller ship was not as good as they advertise it to be, then I would not want to imagine the service on the larger ships with more people. It looks like we will not choose to sail RC again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We love Enchantment of the Seas and are sorry to see it move to the Miami port. One of our favorite parts of the ship is the Solarium - an indoor area of (mostly) glass that has a pool and two hot tubs and is just for adults. Be sure to ... Read More
We love Enchantment of the Seas and are sorry to see it move to the Miami port. One of our favorite parts of the ship is the Solarium - an indoor area of (mostly) glass that has a pool and two hot tubs and is just for adults. Be sure to check out the Park Cafe that is inside. They have some different food options that we enjoyed. The cruise director, Marc Walker, is switching to Majesty but we enjoyed the ship and him so much that we took another cruise on Enchantment in January 2016! We had two outside cabins on the 2nd deck. They were a nice size and it was good to have some light. In January, we had an indoor room across the hall. It was much smaller but still nice enough. Everything functioned well - no complaints. Because we were at the front of the ship, we did spend quite a bit of time walking but I'm not sure I would pay extra just to be in the middle of the ship. Dinner service was great and we thought they had better food than many of the ships we've been on. If you like beef, BE SURE to order the Sliced Beef Tenderloin at dinner. Love it!! Our wait staff were awesome. They even remembered us when we came back on the ship 3 months later. For a smaller ship, there are tons of activities. The Love & Marriage game is always funny. It's amazing the things couples will share! The other evening shows were always good although the "family-friendly" comedian that was on our January cruise wasn't really family-friendly. At Nassua, we went to Junkanoo Beach. It was free and we figured it was worth a try. Although the beach sand could be a little cleaner, the water was pristine. My son snorkeled and he saw more fish than at Coco Cay. We bought chairs and drinks from the bar at the entrance. The guys who helped us were awesome, very friendly, and helped us get a taxi ride back to the ship. Be sure to negotiate what you pay in the Bahamas. The driver wanted $16 but I only had $10 cash. He took it - good money for him since it was a 5 minute drive to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Let me start out with the good things about this ship: Getting on the ship was quick and easy, and my husband and I loved the fast process. My Fair Lady dining was an awesome experience and the food was delicious. I enjoyed how they ... Read More
Let me start out with the good things about this ship: Getting on the ship was quick and easy, and my husband and I loved the fast process. My Fair Lady dining was an awesome experience and the food was delicious. I enjoyed how they allow you try as many options as you'd like and the wait staff made you feel like royalty. The room attendant from Nicaragua (I forgot her name) was awesome and made sure that our room was cleaned often and fresh linens and towels were always brought in. The art auction was fun and Mark the cruise director was fun and entertaining. The comedian they had for the comedy nights was pretty good also. Now for the bad stuff: The food: The Windjammer buffet was always lacking. Breakfast is the absolute worse! I stood in line for an omelet for almost 25 minutes only to get to the chef for him to tell me that there was only ham and cheese available for the omelets. They could have notified those in line that the options were limited. By this time they were putting away all the food in the buffet but there were still 15 minutes left for breakfast! Furthermore, the waitstaff at the Windjammer always seemed hurried, unexcited, and acted as though they hated their jobs. The late night snacks were always dry and unappetizing. Nassau: Horrible. Everywhere we went, people were directing us to the best beach on the island "Cabbage Beach". It was easy enough to get the $4 boat taxi to Atlantis but once we arrived we had to walk for 20 minutes to get to the beach. Not too bad but the directions were a bit sketchy so I highly recommend taking the car taxi which is the same price per person. The beach was horrible, unexciting, and offered no watersports which was because of the large waves. Atlantis is very expensive so fill up on the ship and tough it out until you get back on board unless you want to spend $40 on a dinner that is served in what looks like kid portions. CoCo Cay: The barbecue on the beach was delicious but the beach was full of seaweed and intimidating looking tropical fish. Again no water sports were available - but this is not RC's fault. The tendering process could have been better organized as the line went from the door and up four flights of stairs. It wasn't until we got down to the door to get on the tendering boat that we realized they were allowing people who had come down the elevators to merge the line. Almost everyone we spoke to was highly disappointed in the cruise experience. We have made up our minds to avoid this ship at all costs next time we book. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
RCCL Silver member...been on a few and this wasn't my favorite by far. Drop off and embarkation at Port Canaveral were quick and organized. Nice cruise terminal! Once on board we had lunch in the Solarium very nice and ... Read More
RCCL Silver member...been on a few and this wasn't my favorite by far. Drop off and embarkation at Port Canaveral were quick and organized. Nice cruise terminal! Once on board we had lunch in the Solarium very nice and quite. Food is Okay nothing great. Better than the Windjammer. Our room was an outside cabin on deck 3 towards the front of the ship I recommend the location it's very quiet. The room itself is spacious but be prepared for the bathroom. Honestly a large, not severely large, person can't fit in the shower. No way...the annoying shower curtain drove me nuts. The sink was cracked and it really needed a face lift. On the last day as we were disembarking the toilet began flooding the bathroom. It happened all over the ship a real mess. So glad it was disembarkation day! Our room steward was very nice always filled the pathetic plastic ice bucket which the ice melted in about 4 hours. We had had main dining with the same server each night. I wouldn't do it any other way cruise lines can keep that any time dining, it's so not for me. Our server was nice but the assistant waiter just couldn't get anything right. I'm not sure if he was new to the dining room. I'm not a Windjammer fan really too crowded and the servers and fellow guests are miserable there. We did breakfast in the main dining room each day as well. We didn't do the entertainment the small RCCL ships just don't have the best talent. Cruise director was OK. Public areas were nice and the ship didn't seem crowded. I love the Promenade deck and the Solarium. We went there a lot to relax. We did Coco Cay it was a beautiful day. We went back to the ship for lunch since the BBQ was too crowded. Nassau is just not for me with all the locals haunting the passengers at every turn. I bought my Hard Rock shirt, went to the grocery for bottled water than back to the ship. We had been to Atlantis a couple of other times so didn't go this trip. The aquarium is very nice but expensive. I went twice in the past but it was free. Shopping on the ship is very limited and quality isn't the best. My friend bought a RCCL beach bag and the blue once it got wet was all over her by the end of the day. Disembarkation was easy since we carried off our luggage.There was a little wait but not too bad. Was it worth the price? I wouldn't pay what we did again to go on this ship. Actually I don't think I will do this ship again. The only ship worse is the Majesty which is going back to Port Canaveral next year. I think my 3- 4 day cruises are done for a while. I'm going on the new RCCL ship Anthem of the Seas for 10 days in April, I hope it's better...much better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
I literally just got back from carnival sensation today . This was my 3rd carnival cruise and my 2nd on sensation and i love it ! I loved eating at the ecstasy diner cause out waitor was so great ! He called us by our names every night . I ... Read More
I literally just got back from carnival sensation today . This was my 3rd carnival cruise and my 2nd on sensation and i love it ! I loved eating at the ecstasy diner cause out waitor was so great ! He called us by our names every night . I can remember how to spell his name but we called him G . Something like gultexin or something but he was awesome . Can't wait to go back . The food was good . Desert was good . And even the crew who cleans everything were super nice I love it . Can't wait to go back . I highly recommend the carnival sensation as a great amazing experience and vacation for your family . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
We took my 17 yr old son & my Mother in law on this cruise, it was their first. We all had a great time. The ship is smaller but that wasn't a problem for us. We enjoyed the food, Main Dining is the best for Breakfast & ... Read More
We took my 17 yr old son & my Mother in law on this cruise, it was their first. We all had a great time. The ship is smaller but that wasn't a problem for us. We enjoyed the food, Main Dining is the best for Breakfast & Dinner, the buffet is fine for lunch, the breakfast & dinner was ok, just a lot of kids and drunk obnoxious adults. Our only problem is the amount of children that run wild on the ship, which is not Carnival's fault, that falls on the parents whom just allow their children to run wild while they drink and party. The comedy shows were great, we only watched 88 Keys and we all enjoyed it. My son had a blast at the Mega Deck party. Room was always clean and neat, never had to ask for ANYTHING. Embarkation took about 15 mins and we didn't have FTTF. Disembarkation took about 30 mins, and we choose Relax Disembark. Getting on and off at both ports was easy, but we choose to wait until 9 to get off the ship and returned a little early. We used Park Port Canaveral and they were awesome. We literally unloaded our car and were on our way to the ship in less than five minutes. Then they were waiting on us when we got back. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
3rd Cruise, and let me tell you it was not a charm! The food was decent & the staff was good. Only reasons why I gave it 2 stars) the smell of sewage in my cabin & on my balcony was a nightmare. My bathroom drain had to worked on 2 ... Read More
3rd Cruise, and let me tell you it was not a charm! The food was decent & the staff was good. Only reasons why I gave it 2 stars) the smell of sewage in my cabin & on my balcony was a nightmare. My bathroom drain had to worked on 2 times, a portable odor diffuser had to be brought in several times as well. My room steward would freshen it as best as he could. I was on the empress deck. My 12 year old tried out circle c and after the second time there he begged not to go back because the horrible language. There was only one staff member to look after over 25+ kids. The smoke was bad too. Seemed like smoking was allowed everywhere. Do yourself a favor a look at other cruise lines other than Carnival. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
My husband and I and 2 friends booked a 3 day Bahamas cruise with RC leaving from Florida. I am a resident of California which means I had to purchase flight, rental car, and hotel as well as cruise tickets. On the day of the trip we were ... Read More
My husband and I and 2 friends booked a 3 day Bahamas cruise with RC leaving from Florida. I am a resident of California which means I had to purchase flight, rental car, and hotel as well as cruise tickets. On the day of the trip we were informed that we were being rerouted from our original destination (Nassau 8am-11:30pm) to Freeport (8am-5:30pm) which means we lost 6 hours of time. The next day we would travel to Cococay only to find out we would be spending a "day at sea", losing the complete last day of our trip. We were stuck on the ship with housekeeping that refuses to knock before entering your room. Most of the time, walking in on you while half dressed. Imagine walking out of the shower while housekeeping is entering your room. When I complained at the front desk, they said that I must resolve this when I exit the ship. When my friend called, the RC representative informed her that only the 5 day cruises were being compensated for the itinerary change. When I called, the service agent was rude and told me to "get over it" because thats a risk you take when you take a cruise. When I explained about the housekeeping, he accused me of lying. Why would I ever cruise again with the service I was given? We lost 80% of our trip and had a horrible, uncomfortable experience. We spent $2500.00 to be in the Bahamas for 9 hours, for housekeeping to violate our privacy and for customer service to accuse us of lying and tell you to "get over it". Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
I have just returned from a cruise on the Disney Dream (9/28-10/1/2015) There were 13 of us all together. We had a man named Christian that cleaned our rooms. He was very friendly and honest. He kept our rooms very clean. My friend dropped ... Read More
I have just returned from a cruise on the Disney Dream (9/28-10/1/2015) There were 13 of us all together. We had a man named Christian that cleaned our rooms. He was very friendly and honest. He kept our rooms very clean. My friend dropped some money in the room one day. He picked it up and put it to where she could see it when we came back. He also found my sons leap pad in the room after we had gotten off. He put it in the lost and found. I called a few days later to see if it was there and they mailing it to us by UPS. We are very grateful. The waiters we had were great also. One of the men's name I couldn't pronounce but he told us to call him Pit. He was wonderful with our kids. He did Magic tricks for them ever night. They couldn't wait till time for dinner to talk to him. The others name was Leo he was also very good. We had 2 people in our group that have allergies and he was very careful to be sure they didn't get anything they didn't need. I loved having the same waiters ever night. It made it more personal, and I also knew exactly where my tips were going. We gave them all extra. They were definitely worth it. We will be taking an other Disney Cruise mostly because of these men. There was also one other person on the ship that made a very good impression. Her name is Victoria in Merchandise. My friend and I met her one night shopping. She talked to us about somethings we had questions about thin made a comment about the sleeping beauty lanyard I had on. I told her I had made all of us one just for the cruise along with several other thing. We talked about sleeping Beauty because that was both of our favorite character. Before I left the store I gave her my lanyard. She had not ask for it and tried to give it back but I won't take it. We did a few other things then went back to our rooms when I got there a magical moment certificate was waiting on me with some buttons. That made such a good impression on me. The food was wonderful. We seen 2 of the live Theater performances. I suggest sitting on the bottom not in the balconies. Stuff comes from the ceiling during the shows. Our kids love that part. We did not see the villains. We were told it was not little kid friendly. The Pin exchange and fish extenders also suggest. My Friend and I loved it as much as our kids did. We saw as many characters as possible. They are not out for long periods of time. But the lines are not as bad as expected. Make sure if you have girls to get tickets to see the princesses as soon as you get on the ship it's worth the wait. Those of you with little girls that love Sophia. She was there one morning. Make sure to read the navigator they put on your bed at night. Otherwise you'll miss something you wished you hadn't. Pictures are a little pricey but they do a wonderful job. I don't suggest Nassau too many people not really worth it. Castaway Cays was amazing we all loved it. You can only shop in the stores on the ship at night. they are not open when you are docked at Ports. The only complaint we have is the Pirate show before the fireworks is not kid friendly. My kids where very scared and cried the hole show, and mine were not the only ones there were several others I saw doing the same thing. I think there should be a warning for little kids. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
My husband and I both agree the Ship is beautiful the cast members very friendly and helpful. Getting on and off the ship very organized. our main disappointed was in the quality and quantity of our meals. The salad bar consisted of ... Read More
My husband and I both agree the Ship is beautiful the cast members very friendly and helpful. Getting on and off the ship very organized. our main disappointed was in the quality and quantity of our meals. The salad bar consisted of iceberg lettuce croutons and sliced tomatoes. We practically had to beg for walnuts and raisins to add to our oatmeal, they have cast members to serve you at the buffet and they would use a teaspoon to add your toppings we had to ask for more several times which was very frustrating. I have a gluten allergy and was told numerous times that I could order anything on the menu and they would make it for me, nice right, wrong. I ordered a waffle and hash browns on the second day and they brought me a frozen toaster waffle, I couldn't have the potatoes because they prepare them off the ship, what? My husband ordered French Toast it was so small he ate it in 4 bites. If that wasn't bad enough they serve you your syrup, if you are like me I like to add syrup as I eat I don't want my breakfast floating in syrup but not having enough is also a pain. I am an adult I can't have my own syrup on the table? Going to dinner is very important to us and we found the Disney dinning did not even come close to our experience on other cruise lines. Most of my meals very bland and once again when I tried to order something not on GF menu which the staff continuously encouraged I was told it was prepared before being brought to the ship. I am used to having limited options don't offer what you can't deliver. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We had never sailed the Enchantment before so I too was a little hesitant but I have to tell you, we thoroughly enjoyed it. The ship was very clean and very well maintainted. I did not see ANY worn areas as some have said. The crew was ... Read More
We had never sailed the Enchantment before so I too was a little hesitant but I have to tell you, we thoroughly enjoyed it. The ship was very clean and very well maintainted. I did not see ANY worn areas as some have said. The crew was wonderful and very friendly, some of the best we have had. We booked late so we had to take an oceanview on Deck 2. The room was a little smaller than what I am used to, but certainly nothing to be upset about. Our stateroom attendant was just the sweetest lady and she gave me a hug when we left. The ship's air conditioning did not keep it as cool as I like but again....nothing for me to be upset about. This is a great ship for 3 and 4 day cruises! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
My husband and I just returned from a 4 night cruise on board Enchantment of the Seas which sailed from Port Canaveral on Labor Day. Embarkation was extremely simple. Upon entering the terminal area, my husband and I were asked what our ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a 4 night cruise on board Enchantment of the Seas which sailed from Port Canaveral on Labor Day. Embarkation was extremely simple. Upon entering the terminal area, my husband and I were asked what our member status and were sent to the "gold" level check in line which was much shorter than the regular line. Within 20 minutes of entering the terminal, we were on the ship. Of course, I had completed the online check in and had my SeaPass paperwork signed and credit card and passports ready to go. This was my 14th cruise and I have figured out that having paperwork and documents in order saves a lot of time at the port. Once on the ship, my husband and I went to the Windjammer for lunch. The Windjammer was a complete cluster of people. The main entree area is in a small circle in the center of the room which had folks bumping into each other frequently. Seating is somewhat limited and frequent announcements were made requesting that folks who had finished their meals leave the dining area so others could have a table. It has been 3 years since my last cruise with Royal Caribbean and this is the first time I have encountered the free-standing Coke machines which will only work with the tumbler provided with your drink package. I think this is a nice addition if you want to carry the tumbler around all the time. We were allowed to enter our cabins at 1:30 pm. Our cabin was #3118 which had a nice large window. This ship is somewhat dated, but I expected that. I have to say at this point in my review that I have never had a more uncomfortable mattress on any cruise ship before. The mattresses sagged in the middle and I felt like I was sleeping on the bed frame. I like a firm mattress, but these were pathetic. Royal Caribbean definitely needs to invest in some new mattresses for this ship. Our room was quiet even for though it was located just around the corner from the elevator and I would definitely pick this room again. There was plenty of closet and drawer room for the clothing that my husband and I took for a 4 night cruise. Our cabin steward was J.J. and he was great...wonderful personality and on top of things. Activities were the norm...trivia, pool games, movies (both on the pool deck and in the theater), dance lessons, kareoke, etc... I can't say anything about CoCo Cay this trip because my husband and I stayed on the ship during this stop as we've been on the private island 3 or 4 times and had just come from a 2 night stay at Ormand Beach before the cruise. Nassau, is, well, still Nassau. My husband and I got off the ship for about 2 hours and went right back to the ship. We've visited Nassau at least 5 or 6 other times and were not in search of anything in particular while in port. Obviously my husband and I did not take this trip because of the ports that we were visiting; we just wanted some relaxation and time together. We ate 3 out of 4 dinners in My Fair Lady dining room. We chose the "my time dining" and made our reservations online. The food was good and plentiful. Please note that if you choose the "my time dining" program, your gratuities will have to be prepaid prior to the cruise. Service from our waiter, Michael, and assistant waiter, Norman, was quite good as they were very attentive. Food in the Windjammer was adequate at breakfast and lunch. Soft serve ice cream was available outside the Windjammer on the pool deck. Alcoholic, adult beverages are quite pricey. Every drink I had (even the most basic margarita with house tequila) was $11.80 with gratuity. If you plan to have more than a couple adult beverages each day, you should research the beverage programs that are available as one of these programs may be a better choice for you. Disembarkation was a breeze. We waited for our luggage number to be called in one of the lounges. Once our number was called, we walked down one flight of stairs and right out the door into the terminal. A few more customs agents would have made the line move a little quicker while in the terminal, but overall, it was a simple disembarkation. We parked at the port so we were in our vehicle within 30 minutes after we exited the ship. If you're a person who is looking for a ship with all the bells and whistles, this is not the ship for you. If you're looking for a quick, relaxing get-away, then this should be a perfect cruise for you. I would definitely take this cruise again for the price that I paid for this trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Booked on Carnival Sunshine out of Port Canaveral on August 2015 for 5 night Bahamas/Falmouth itinerary. Arrived in Orlando three days before departure. Springsuites (I-Drive) and visited Tampa Bush Gardens. Hotel was adequate, albeit ... Read More
Booked on Carnival Sunshine out of Port Canaveral on August 2015 for 5 night Bahamas/Falmouth itinerary. Arrived in Orlando three days before departure. Springsuites (I-Drive) and visited Tampa Bush Gardens. Hotel was adequate, albeit on the small side. Cost of private hire van from Convention Area to Port Canaveral $120.00 for 5 pp. Although I arrived early (as usual), I encountered long lines. Check-in was slow compared to NCL and DCL. Staff not energetic and border-line rude. By the time I got onboard I was not in the mood for the customary group/family boarding picture. BAD START! Pros- Food in free dining venues was delicious, served quickly and dinning room staff friendly and attentive. -Food in specialty dining SPECTACULAR. -Comedy shows were A+++ with rotating comedians in smallish club. I arrived early and always got good seats. Cons- -Ship design weird, not easy to get from one side of ship to other side. -entertainment was CHEESY. The shows in the main theaters looked/felt like high school musicals. TERRIBLE!!! I never miss any shows on cruises but I stopped going to shows on this one!! If entertainment is important, do NOT book on Carnival line. - Private island a big joke. Went back to ship after an hour. -room ugly, especially for a refurbished ship. -my teenage son HATED the youth program. He always participates in these programs on other lines but skipped the program entirely after attending two days. -many staff members low energy or just plain "not nice." Not outwardly rude, but not inclined to help. Sorry, Disney Cruise Line staff spoiled me and no one has stacked up since! Nothing horrible happened, but I did not enjoy this vacation, was happy to return back to port. I WILL NEVER BOOK CARNIVAL AGAIN, regardless of ship or destination! Disembarkation was fast. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
First off, I want to mention that I did speak to guest services during and after the cruise regarding our unsatisfactory experience. They were apologetic and asked that we give RC another chance, but did absolutely nothing else. No ... Read More
First off, I want to mention that I did speak to guest services during and after the cruise regarding our unsatisfactory experience. They were apologetic and asked that we give RC another chance, but did absolutely nothing else. No discount or refund. My husband and I chose Royal Caribbean because it is supposed to be the best. I have been on other cruises and this cruise was for our 1st Anniversary. Needless to say, this will be my last and only with RC. That said, the first day we quickly realized that only one hot tub was working. The other three whirlpools were down for cleaning, which I would assume should be taken care of before embarkation. As for the cuisine, I was prepared to see different cuisine that I would not usually find in mainland Ohio. Yet, none of the menus advertised had an array of seafood, let alone what someone could consider exotic or specific to the Caribbean. Also, I am a coffee person. I don’t require specialty drinks or specifics, just fresh coffee. To my dismay, even the Starbucks onboard was nothing like any Starbucks I have tasted. The grounds had clearly been around for a while. Also, the coffee served in the dining areas was nothing to brag about either. On the 5th deck, there was an obvious stench of sewage right beside the guest services desk. Many of the passengers were complaining and when it was brought up to the staff, the staff acted as if they had not noticed. That smell resided there for most of the voyage. My husband and I had planned to attend excursions in Nassau and Coco Cay. Our excursion from Nassau was amazing. The location (Blue Lagoon) was not crowded and had clear waters. The excursion to Coco Cay was awful. First off, the sand was not clean nor was the water clear. The Aqua Park excursion, which the RC staff constantly raved about, was disgusting. The water was cloudy, had a terrible smell, and the inflatable platforms were just beyond dirty. The very first platform we discovered had an opening through the middle where one could jump through and swim under. I was ready to jump in, until I saw all of the algae, seaweed, and dead fish floating inside. My husband informed your staff member who was in charge of the event at the time. He was not concerned and said that it was okay and “natural”. Lastly, after we had returned to Port Canaveral, we were prepared to disembark. We reported to the respective area at the requested time. We had to wait through every step of the disembarkation process. From the auditorium to customs, we were standing in a long, crowded maze of unhappy people. On top of that, when we received our luggage that had been collected outside of our stateroom by the staff, one of the wheels had been broken off of our largest suitcase. Needless to say, dragging that suitcase through the parking garage was not an enjoyable finale. I am not usually one to complain and that is why it has been a period of time since the cruise until now. I was going to ignore what happened and choose a different cruise line for our next vacation. But the experience still upsets me. My husband and I chose to have a simple honeymoon and take a large vacation for our anniversary. I now regret that choice very much. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
It is hard to understand why this ship gets so many bad reviews - the layout is very similar to other Carnival ships, so it is certainly not more confusing to find your way around this particular vessel. The state rooms are in good shape ... Read More
It is hard to understand why this ship gets so many bad reviews - the layout is very similar to other Carnival ships, so it is certainly not more confusing to find your way around this particular vessel. The state rooms are in good shape (we had an ocean suite), the staff is very friendly, though admittedly the guests/staff ratio is lower as compared to other ships (but that is clearly spelled out on the Carnival website if one takes the effort to read information about one's ship before booking). The waiters in the dining room were very nice and fast. There are plenty of excellent dining options - another major plus compared to other ships. The facilities are perfect for kids, particularly the waterpark and the sky course. So don't be fooled by an unbelievably low overall rating - the ship is at least as expected, particularly if you have been on other Carnival ships before. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
I am a avid cruiser, and I just love Carnival. This ship was nice, had some 2.0 upgrades, Extremely nice staff. Great entertainment, and decent food. It wasn't overly crowded at all. the cruise ship was immaculate, and I had zero ... Read More
I am a avid cruiser, and I just love Carnival. This ship was nice, had some 2.0 upgrades, Extremely nice staff. Great entertainment, and decent food. It wasn't overly crowded at all. the cruise ship was immaculate, and I had zero complaints. We ported into 2 different ports. Nassau and Freeport. This is what I thought about those ports. Nassau, was a lot nicer now than it has been in the past. I have been to this port 4 times and really didn't care too much for it in the past. However, they have done a lot of changes to make it nicer, safer, and cleaner. We did not get harassed by any sellers at all. We didn't do a cruise excursion, however we went to Junkanoo (turn right after you get out of the ship area and walk around the corner past Senor Frog's) It is a public beach, that is free. Extremely clean, very helpful workers/sellers there, great food and good drinks. The beach was perfect. No complaints. Freeport, is a ugly port once you arrive. The shops are mediocre, however the people are nice, not pushy, the food is decent priced and very good. The excursion was great. We swam over the coral reefs and the workers were hands down, GREAT! I'd totally do that again. Do not let the ugly port deter you from getting off the ship. It was clean, and safe. Venture out a little people! That's what cruises are for. To explore!!! All in all, it was a great cruise for your money. Do not let the negative nay sayers deter you from the Bahamas nor Carnival cruises. They've made a lot of changes and they are all for the better!. PS Kudos to all of the staff on Carnival for being very cordial and always addressing you by name! Super nice touch!!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Our family of four – fifty-somethings with a young teenage girl and boy – took the Disney Dream in mid-July 2015. This was the 4-day Bahama’s cruise and we scheduled it at the tail-end of four days at Beach Club Villa’s in WDW. We ... Read More
Our family of four – fifty-somethings with a young teenage girl and boy – took the Disney Dream in mid-July 2015. This was the 4-day Bahama’s cruise and we scheduled it at the tail-end of four days at Beach Club Villa’s in WDW. We also had another family along. Pre-Cruise setup: We booked the cruise through the DVC cruise folks. Once you are booked, the online setup is well designed. You can “check-in” online within 30 days of departure. The site is designed to play to non-savvy clientele and it works. All of the documentation you need is provided at online check-in. You DO need passports for children under 18. For adults, a valid driver’s license will suffice. The same site allows you to book excursions. We booked parasailing on Castaway Cay and the Atlantis waterpark at Nassau. You can setup ground transportation online. We did this at the cost of $70 per person. This includes pickup from your WDW resort to the ship and pickup from the ship to the airport ( or to the parks in Orlando…) Day before the cruise: The following is based on pickup from a WDW resort. The day before the cruise, Disney hand-delivers a schedule of exactly when and where to meet for the ride to the ship. If you have large bags to bring along ( and who doesn’t… ) they will pick them up early on the morning of travel. The bags will be taken directly to your room on-board. We were at Beach Club and met a group of perhaps 30 people in the Solarium. Disney personnel meet you, check you off the list and make sure you are on the bus. The bus is the familiar Mears luxury bus and DOES have a restroom. The trip to Canaveral was an easy 75 minutes. Bus pick-up was 11AM, so a nice sleep-in day. Check-in: Check-in begins in a massive hall that is absolutely crawling with Disney staff. It is impossible to make a wrong turn. The line was long but the check-in desk was manned with perhaps twenty friendly cast-members and flowed along quickly. All through the cruise, Disney’s practice of throwing large numbers of well-trained, always friendly staff at large events really works out well. Travel is typically one of the most stressful aspects of vacation and they truly minimize the worries as much as possible. As long as you have completed your online check-in and have all of the hardcopy documents with you, check-in takes about five minutes. Like most cruises you are provided with a room key that doubles as a “buy anything” charge card on-board. After check-in, you walk through the Mouse-Ear entrance and you are on the boat. We took the elevator to our room, a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom With Verandah on Deck 6. Our large bag was outside of our room. Inside the room, our excursion tickets were on the desk. Too cool. The Room: The room is small like all cruise ship rooms. There is a very comfortable Queen bed. A sitting area in front of the television is converted by your attendant at night into twin bunk beds. There is a curtain you can pull between the Queen and the bunks. The shower is in a separate room from the toilet which provides two “changing rooms”, allowing morning preparations to be more efficient. There is adequate storage in the closet. The room opens into a spacious balcony where I finished two books and considerably more than two beers. On-board: Unlike some other cruises we had taken, The Dream was ready for action as soon as we embarked. The buffet was open and the slides were running. Like most cruise ships, there are a thousand things to do. The pool area is on Decks 11 and 12. The pools themselves are nothing special. There is a decent water slide just right for the ten and under crowd. For big kids, there is AquaDuck, a raft ride through a frothy tube that is an absolute blast. Its’ popularity does result in long lines at prime-time but it is worth the wait. There is a sign marking a 45 minute wait but it was always more like 25. If you go off-hours, such as when a lot of folks are onshore or late at night, you can do it three for four times at a shot. There is a MASSIVE big-screen above the pool that alternates between Disney Classics and augmenting live shows. Good lounge availability is spotty in prime-time but not as bad as some other cruises I have been on. Deck 11 also has a decent arcade where my son and I engaged in highly spirited competitions of air hockey and one of those car racing thingies. Deck 12 has ping-pong ( highly subject to the always brisk wind…), a mini-golf course, basketball and foosball. Dining: They say cruising is all about the food, so here goes. The pool area has two places to eat: The Cabanas buffet is above-average. Take a look at the link below. My only complaint is that the hours are spotty after 2PM. I am not sure what they are exactly but I headed there several times and they were closed. http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/ships-activities/ships/dream/dining/cabanas/ A burger/hot-dog/pizza/fries place is always open, along with the free ice-cream and soda fountains. My kids overdosed on ice-cream cones and plates of fries. The food is anything but gourmet, but is the kind of stuff that kids love. Lunch is served in Cabanas and also at least one of the sit-down restaurants down on decks 3 and 4. We ate lunch off the boat every day so I have no comment on the on-board lunch. The lunch at Castaway Cay is served at one of two locations and consists of a so-so “kid pleaser” buffet. It’s a bit of a step up from the Deck 11 burger fare. There are barbequed ribs and chicken, coleslaw and potato salad to go with all those burgers and fries. Still, strictly two-star, but an adult can cobble together a decent meal with careful selection. We also had lunch as part of the Atlantis water park package and this is strictly burger shack fare. Dinner is where the adults get pay-back. It was served in three different venues over four nights with a different menu every night. The fare was interesting and very well prepared. Everything from the obligatory prime rib to very fresh seafood and esoteric French entrée’s. We selected the Wine-program which allows the table to select a bottle of wine each evening. This was more reasonable than buying a bottle each night ( Reasonable being a relative term on anything Disney...). Desserts were excellent. The service, of course, was immaculate. Our Head Server was a pretty good magician and entertained us all with some cool tricks. After-dinner show: I went to three of the four shows and thoroughly enjoyed them. They are perhaps an hour in length. Two of the shows were big-number Disney themed spectaculars. They were very well written and executed. Always with a storyline thread knitting the numbers together. The kids ate them up and I suffused with nostalgia and howling myself hoarse. One of the shows was adults-oriented and was designed around an absolutely amazing juggling act. A note about first versus second seatings. Unlike other cruise ships we have sailed on, the first seating for dinner goes to the 8:30 late show after dinner. The second seating for dinner goes to the earlier show before dinner. Thinking back to when my kids were younger, we booked the first seating so we could finish dinner and the show before the kids crashed. If this is your strategy, you are better off with second seating. Getting around the ship: Despite eight elevators mid-ship, the elevator service is slow to very-slow except at very off hours. There are twelve decks and three to four thousand guests and of course folks are traipsing back and forth all day from pool to lunch to the gangway and back. If you are the endlessly patient type, no worries. But I am not. Between water slides and moving between floors on-board, I have never climbed so many stairs in my life, though I tried to take solace in the thought that I was burning off some of those beers I was knocking down by the pool. We were on deck six. Most of the action is on decks 11/12 ( the pool,arcade etc ) and decks 2/3/4 ( dining,theaters). Since gravity is on your side getting to the lower decks, I would think a room on deck 8 would be ideal as it is a quick climb to the pool and not too far from the popular lower decks. Castaway Cay: Disney’s own private island is pretty much all you could hope for. There are three main beaches, all serviced by constantly running trams. The first is where you can rent water-vessels such as wave-runners. The second is the “family beach”. This a beautiful and calm stretch of white sandy beach. A short swim takes you to a pretty cool water slide. Lastly, there is a “Serenity Beach” for adults only. Here is a link for more info. http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/cruises-destinations/bahamas/ports/castaway-cay/ IMPORTANT: I was very concerned about the availability of shaded lounges on the Family Beach, but there seems to be an adequate supply before about noon. So, you don’t have to rush out of bed to claim a spot. Each “spot” Consists of two lounge chairs shaded by a huge umbrella with two chairs at the foot of the chaises. Perfect for a family of four. A lot of folks took the chairs down into the water. Kids-Clubs: Perhaps it is because we tend to vacation with friends and so are self-contained, but my kids have never shown the slightest interest in the highly touted kids/teen clubs on any cruise we have taken. We wasted our money on this years ago on a different cruise and have since learned our lesson. Excursions: We booked parasailing on Castaway Cay. The crew was friendly and very professional. You check-in a Marge’s Barges which is right off the ship. The boat ride is exhilarating and the parasailing serene and beautiful. They make sure to “accidentally” dunk you on the way down. Very nice excursion. We booked the Atlantis water-park excursion on the Bahamas. The Atlantis group meets at Walt Disney Theater for an orientation then heads out to busses that take you to the Hotel. Return service to the ship begins at 1PM and runs every 30 minutes. Basically you are given a wrist-band that makes you an honorary Hotel guest ( it crossed my mind that an actual guest of the property might find this a bit injust…). Atlantis is HUGE. We had all of our texting turned off due to no wi-fi and outrageous roaming charges. We were reduced to 90’s-era strategies such as “meet at the burger shack at 1PM”. I was glad my kids are teens. A few years younger and I would have been a wreck trying to keep tabs on everyone. Having said that, the water park is well-worth the expense. The Mayan Temple ride is an incredible rush. The Abyss still pretty cool but not as amazing as The Mayan Temple. Like any great ride, these are subject to long lines. There is a really cool “Crazy River” that alternates between lazy rafting and white water thrills. A single circuit of this has got to be a couple of miles. Great fun, if a bit crowded. There are seemingly scores of pools and Jacuzzis spread about acres of space. It is a bit overwhelming and it is advisable to mentally catalogue landmarks for back-tracking. Getting back to the boat is painless. They drop you off a bit short to ensure you walk through a series of shops first. Getting home: On the last night of the cruise, your head waiter gives you a specific ticket for morning breakfast and some general overview of the exit process. You will see all three of your waiters at this breakfast so you can save your tip envelopes for this time. Assuming you have signed on for the free airline check-in, checked bags are left in the hallway before 10:30 PM on your last evening. They are picked up and checked through to your destination. Your boarding passes are delivered earlier in the evening. Very painless. Unlike some other cruises, Disney expects the boat to be cleared by 9AM. Our breakfast was 6:45. Second Seating was 8AM. You bring carry-on’s with you to breakfast, then exit the boat. Checking out through customs is as painless as check-in, again because of the army of cast-members assisting. If you paid for the ground transportation ( to the airport or to WDW ), your room key will indicate this and you will be directed to a waiting bus. A totally painless and seamless exit experience. Conclusion: The Disney Dream is a beautiful boat staffed by a huge and very well-trained crew. The four days blows by like a Bahamian thunder storm. The massive and well-trained staff is dedicated to making even thorny travel issues easy. Despite a few minor dings above, a great cruise that we and our kids will never forget. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We took this cruise for a five day stint as first time cruisers for any cruise line. Before reviewing anything at all, I will let the reader know that the five day cruise for the non experienced cruiser is not enough. I will explain why ... Read More
We took this cruise for a five day stint as first time cruisers for any cruise line. Before reviewing anything at all, I will let the reader know that the five day cruise for the non experienced cruiser is not enough. I will explain why in greater detail below but will simply state that in sum, that by the time you get the hang of what to do, the cruise seems to come to an end. Warning, this is not a short review, but I will break this down into 32 things that will help you as a cruiser on the Dream. I will break this down into precruise, during cruise and post cruise helpful hints. I will not tell you how to book the cruise as that is a personal choice experience (be it online, via Disney cruise line, travel agent etc), but I will give you some hints that allow you to navigate what to do after you have booked your cruise. PRECRUISE: First, and this is for you folks who have a Chase Disney Rewards Card. Make sure that you contact the people at Chase and transfer your Disney Rewards Dollars to a Chase Credit Card that can be used on the ship. You will see where it comes in very handy at the end of this review. After you book your cruise, Second, I would recommend that you book a Disney mid range hotel, such as the Port Orleans (I just reviewed this hotel) on TripAdvisor as well) one day before you arrive for the cruise. Although I traveled with the ever reliable Jet Blue, there is always concern that having a flight arrive on the same day of the cruise can be a bit unsettling, especially if the flight is delayed for any reason. The ship will not wait for you and unless you have awesome travel insurance, good luck getting any money back if you don’t show up on time. I recommend a mid range Disney hotel because you will be afforded the benefit of the Magical Express that will pick you up at the airport and will ensure that your luggage is delivered directly to your room without you having to deal with baggage claim. Third I would highly recommend using Happy Limousine for transport to Port Canaveral, where the cruise ship departs from. There are those who would say that one could use the Magical Express for Cruise lines which is also offered, but the problem here is that you arrive with a busload of people at about 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. and it is a bit of a glut to get on board the ship. Book Happy Limousine and if you are lucky, you will get a driver who is text savvy and will stay in touch with you via text before arrival to pick you up at your hotel to take you on the ship, and will also text you the moment you arrive back at port to coordinate pickup time. Fourth, Book the Atlantis Excursion if you have children who like waterparks. The Excursions will be discussed in the during cruise part of my review but I put this part of the discussion here simply because it is part of the pre cruise process. If you do not have a particular penchant for waterparks, the Atlantis Excursion is going to be nothing more than a couple of fast moving water slides, with or without inner tubes with a lazy river experience. You can experience this at almost any stateside waterpark and I the only difference is that you get to waterslide in a tunnel immersed in a shark aquarium tank. Don’t let the commercials fool you though, you are going through these tunnels in a blink and won’t notice the sharks. I would rather recommend, if you don’t have the kiddies in tow, that you consider exploring a little bit of the Bahamas shopping and local environment. It’s safe if you have an escort and most importantly do not arrive on a Sunday. Why Sunday? Well, if your ship docks at port on a Sunday, most shops are closed. So if a Bahamas excursion/experience is on your plate, this is worthy of consideration. Fifth, While I recommended booking a hotel prior to your cruise, so that you would have a buffer to ensure prompt arrival for the cruise, I would recommend you book an afternoon flight back to your home city on the same date of debarkation (fancy words on the cruise for when your ship comes back to port to boot you off the boat). The ship arrives at port at about 6:00 a.m., and you will be fed at 6:45 (if you chose the earlier dining time – which I will also discuss next) and you will be off the boat and through customs by about 7:45 the latest (assuming you haven’t declared anything unusual on your customs forms and have US passports etc). The ship is prompt and you will be out of port fast, assuming you booked Happy Limo See hint second above and thirtyone below). You will be bound for the airport by about 9:00 the latest and if you have an early afternoon flight, you will have absolutely no problem getting the flight. Sixth, Two items to bring that you wouldn't think to bring: 1. An extension cord since the staterooms are a little sparse on electrical outlets and if you have tablets, computers, MP3 players etc, you will run out of charging areas. You can't bring a power strip, but there does not appear to be a ban on an extension cord with maybe 3 outlets on it. 2. Another item to bring is a waterproof case for your cell phone so you can take it with you on excursions and take pics of what you are doing. Seventh: Your cell phones will not work on the boat - no service, no internet, no email, no youtube, no facebook etc... but hey! You are on a Cruise so get over it. You should load the Disney Cruise App on your phone well in advance of cruise day, since it has a neat countdown function whenever you turn the APP on, which tells you how many days are left for your cruise. With the app, you will be able to use your smart phones to text eachother, if your family is using smart phones. The room provides you with two phones that are like personal communicators that you can use to converse with eachother on board the ship. You can also text eachother, but only exclusively on these phones - try as I might, I could not get these phones to text to my mobile phones. That was the only minus, I could report. I would think that with all the money being spent, that the Ship would provide a phone per person using the Stateroom. It's a big boat and they seem to think that a family of four would pair up leaving two phones per couple. That's not practical, since the activities are geared to literally everyone's personal tastes and you will be tempted to venture off on your own, but still want to be in touch with family. DURING CRUISE: I will first discuss a bit about the process of boarding and then what to do when you get on the boat. Once you are dropped off at Port Canaveral, you can wait on a line to get into the port building that is the Disney Port’s building. It’s a very big air conditioned building that has a basic metal detector that you will need to pass through. It’s not as complicated as the airport security detector (ie shoes off, computers out and in separate trays etc), but it’s still a security checkpoint. Once you take the escalator upstairs, you come into an atrium which you learn is a processing center. You need only ask any uniformed Disney person (who sports the large Mickey Hands) what to do next and they will guide you. That being side, you will get on a line to present your passports to a checking counter where they get scanned and a plastic card gets printed up for you. This card is the equivalent of your wrist band that you would have on any Disney property, as it has you personal info, stateroom number, credit card info etc all rolled into one. It also makes a pretty coot souvenir after the cruise. THERE ARE NO WRISTBANDS ON THE CRUISE, EXCEPT…. If you have a child whom you want to enroll in a club (who is under 12 years old). Eighth: Register your under 12 year old child for the under 12 clubs so that they can be deposited in these clubs or if they are confident enough, can check themselves into the clubs during your cruise. Once you are processed and your child is registered (if you have one under 12), you can go sit on one of the sofas in the waiting area and wait for your group number to be called for boarding. I would take this time to take a few pictures of the model ship. Once youre group number is announced, you board. Your name is announced as you enter the doorway of the ship and you receive an ovation from white uniformed staff. Pretty cool! Ninth: for DVC members. You will see that there is a small kiosk where DVC will welcome you right before you enter passport processing. They will give you lanyards to hold your key card (which is great because you don’t have to buy one on the ship this way and you have the benefit of having access to DVC events and gifts that are handed out on days’ one and two of the cruise. There is also a sales pitch party which is set at about 2:30 p.m, disguised as an orientation of sorts for DVC members, where you can get some other souvenirs(we loved the DVC cups because they were reusable and you can get unlimited soft drinks and water to carry around the boat)… You’ll never not be hydrated. Tenth: Have some lunch! You can Aquaduck anytime! Other sites have stated that you should hit the waterslide on the boat ASAP. Wear swimsuits and go on this ride when you get on board. Well yes, if that’s your thing, I suppose it’s important. But believe me, you, your spouse and kids will be hungry by the time you get on the ship. You don’t have your luggage yet, so you are probably still traveling light with just carry on stuff. Go to the Cabanas buffet. It’s the first meal of the cruise and first impressions are key with Disney. You will not be disappointed and believe me there is anything and everything available, starting from carving tables to different breads for consumption. So as soon as you board, go and eat. Get some energy or just grab some grub so that you can settle into your stateroom for a quick nap prior to the ship leaving port. Eleventh: Yes, there is a party where you will be asked to assemble on Deck 11 and 12 of the ship. Check it out at about 4 pm when the boat leaves. But it’s not Gavin McLeod’s love boat with confetti being tossed onto the docks from the departing ship. Disney’s port is truly utilitarian and no one except the dock people are on the dock. It’s a cute kickoff party so it’s a great idea to go see what all the buzz is about. There is a huge screen in the mid/forward part of the ship, in front of the pools, which also sits above a stage for the shows or DJs or any events that will later take place. The party will have everyone assembling for a kickoff and it is exciting. Twelfth: You will need to attend an evac drill, where you will be assigned a letter, where you would be expected to assemble in the event of having to leave the ship. It is mandatory to attend, so do not think you can skip it, like you would wander off or read a magazine when the stewardess is telling you about how to put on your oxygen masks. It’s not as rigorous, say as the emergency instructions you get when you are waiting for a plane to take off, but there are life vests that are in your stateroom closet that the crew encourages you to try out on your own time. However, they will demonstrate the actual donning of the vest and verify that you and your family have assembled at your designated latter on Deck 4 of the ship, which is next to all the lifeboats. What’s kind of neat is that this deck is also the running deck for you runners out there. The letter signs that also provide great markers as you are running if you need to know exactly where you started and where you want to stop. Thirteenth: Become familiar with your navigator handout. When you are done with the drill, you might want to squeeze in some time to check out what’s going on before dinner, and after the drill. Fourteenth: Opt for the early dinner! You are getting a fresh staff and you are also given the options of attending fun activities after dinner. The dinner times are at 5:45 and 8:15. If you grab an early meal, you will have enough time to digest before passing out on your not very healthy (but tasty) meal. The great thing for an early dinner is that turn down service will happen during this time while you are away. Fifteenth: Check out the movies at the Buena Vista Theater, located in the forward part of the ship after dinner. Disney runs recent and new releases. We were fortunate enough to catch Tomorrowland, Inside Out and Monkey King, on the ship when they were released to theaters. The great deal is that the movies are all free! The Popcorn is not, but if you’re smart, you can grab some snacks at breakfast or lunch at Cabanas and save them for the flick. Also, you can grab free ice cream in a large cup and bring it in with you. Sixteenth: Enter the Buena Vista from the 5th Floor. The theater has 2 levels and you won’t hit a crowd, essentially coming in from the back end top of the auditorium. WOW, THAT WAS JUST DAY 1 Your second day will be at on shore at Castaway Cay (pronounced Key). It’s Disney’s private island with beaches, snorkeling, simple water slides and little souvenier shops with Disney flavored (and some seemingly local/Bahamas style trinkets). Seventeenth If you are a crazy beach enthusiast, eat light and get on a tram for a 5 minute ride to get to the first or second beach. The itinerary says you are supposed to be at the Cay for 9:30, but that’s not mandatory. The only reason to get to the Cay is that I believe that you can only get the buffet lunch at the Cay and that there’s no food service on the ship. I did not think to inquire, but I would tend to believe that for people who stay on ship, there must still be food to eat. If you are interested in the beach activities, then go early, get an umbrella, enjoy the day and get back by 4:00. The neat thing about the Cay is that although you are warned about making sure you return to the ship on time, there’s no other ships at the island and you will more likely than not have your boat within view from wherever you are so you have the security of knowing you have not been “marooned”. Eighteenth: Lunch at the Cay is mostly standard mid grade stuff you’d probably see at a BBQ. You can have anything from Ribs to Hot Dogs to cous cous. Stay away from the Corn on the Cob (nothing was wrong with it really, it just was a little gnarly and surprising considering this was Disney Sanctioned food). The sodas and dessert are free flowing but again not blue ribbon fare that you will see on the ship – ship buffet included. Lunch starts at the Cay at 11 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Remember you will be stopping at the Cay on day 4, so if you do want to stay and explore the ship and take chances on dining on board, it is a worthy exploration of options and you will have a very uncrowded boat. I do not know if all activity ceases (shops close, pools close, aquaduck closes, arcade closes etc), but I did note that on the days that the Cay was in the itinerary, the Navigator did not imply that activities cease on the ship. It seems that people have said that they encourage you to leave the ship for the Cay days, but I do not think it is absolutely mandatory. As I said before, you will only know what you can get if you try. Nineteenth: Get back earlier from the Cay and make use of the spa. Guys… get a haircut and a shave. I’m a straight forward no nononsense guy who usually frequents the mall salon (no appointment necessary) when I remember to get a haircut. I shave with a disposable razor (which overstays it’s welcome long past the time I should have disposed of it) in the shower. I had never experienced a facial, shave and haircut. I had the chance to chat politics with a friendly South African stylist who’s amazing facial earned the incessant caressing of my 11 year old daughter at dinner, who could only exclaim that I actually looked 10 years younger. My wife had the massage spa experience and loved it. Twentieth: Grab another movie after Castaway night 1. Or see a live Disney themed musical show. Check your Navigator. I would tell you to avoid the comedians, magicians and “adult” style entertainment (Don’t worry, it’s not R-rated entertainment, it’s just a little edgy but boy let me tell you, it is 2nd and 3rd rate stuff). The musical performers were good, though, but they pervade the main hall during the evening hours, near the grand staircase which is mid ship. They also alternate playing at clubs that are on board the lower decks of the ship. As I said before, avail yourself of the musicals which have great special effects and are very entertaining. We made the mistake of trying the comedians and missed a couple of shows. I won’t repeat that experience. Twentyfirst: Try room service! It’s fun and you can find out what you can order, literally any time, to be brought to your room. Again, it’s not the same blue ribbon fare you will see at the restaurants or at Cabana’s but it’s not bad food either. Other reviewers have denigrated the food quality of room service on the Cruise Line, but remember, it’s just a convenience thing and if you are still vigourously awake, you can grab a late night snack after you have seen your movie, grabbed your show (and if you don’t feel like free ice-cream again). It’s similar fare to what you would receive at the Theme Parks (sandwiches, pizza, French fries etc), but it’s a cruise! Chill out and enjoy it! If you are a foodie or food snob, rest assured you will be seated at one of the restaurants the next morning. Twentysecond: Royal Palace cannot cook vegetarian to save their lives! If you are a vegetarian, we consistently found that the Royal Palace restaurant was sorely lacking in making Tofu flavorful and undercooking veggies. I have had Korean Vegetarian Tofu dishes, cooked to simulate chicken etc. and the Tofu was excellent – so I know it’s not criticasting but reasonable to expect decent tofu dishes. I did find that they meat dishes were adequate. However, the Beef Wellington was cooked properly, but the pastry around the wellington was soggy. I had a Gordon Ramsay potty mouth moment playing in my head from “Hells’ Kitchen” . That being said, Animator’s Palate and Enchanted Garden were excellent. If you can set up your dining experience ahead of time to limit your dining rotation to only one time at Royal Palace, that’s ideal. Perhaps by the time I go back, RP will be up to snuff! I’m hopeful. Twentythird: Ask for seconds at dinner or two entrees/desserts(or both) at a time. If you are hungry, your server will bring you more than one entrée or side dish. Leave your modesty at home. If you see something interesting that you wouldn’t normally try, give it a whirl. Your server will bring it to you, so long as you are not completely cramping up their efficiency. Remember, they are running two dinner shifts so try not to be too late to dine. Twentyfourth: You sit with your family during dining. There was a time, it appeared, that you sat with others (and I suppose you could if you wanted), but you are limited on this ship to your family. You have an assigned table number and it rotates with you as you rotate from different dinner restaurants nightly. You will be seated if you get there on time or a little later. You won’t be waiting. That’s cool! Twentyfifth: Wake up early and enjoy a sunrise. Coffee is brewing at all hours on deck 11. Get up at 5 and get it. You have solitude and the ship is at its quietest. Watch the sun rise. There's no comparison to a sea sunrise! DAY 3 NASSAU, BAHAMAS You will see the boat pull into Nassau. I already commented on Atlantis vs. touring the island. Again, I would advise you to leave the boat on this date. I do not know if there is any food service but know that all stores have to be closed when the ship is docked in another country. So this particular date, you are encouraged to take your excursion shoreside. Next time, I tour and avoid the waterpark. The only caveat is that you are on your own for dining that day if you do not go to Atlantis. Twentysixth: On Pirate night....Get back to the boat, shower up and put on your Pirate Costume early. There is a Pirate's of the Carribean party with a show that's at the Funnelvision stage. But you will not be able to see the show, unless you get there with some time to spare. If you followed my advice and took the earlier dinner seating, then go dine in costume! Remember, it's going to be hot, so if you like an elaborate costume, then be prepared to lose few pounds dancing. The little children love elaborate costumes and it's fun. If you don't have dinner, don't fret, there's a full dinner/like buffet right after the party that's on Deck 11 at Cabanas, although it's later in the night. If you don't have all the necessary pirate regalia, the Disney Ship's stores will have costumes, tee shirts, toy pistols, toys swords, and even a Captain Jack Cap with dreadlocks (which I bought).... AAARRRRR! DAY 4 Twentyseventh: Regarding Castaway Cay I undertook the Stingray Adventure. There is a snorkel rental area right next to the entrance, so you won't need to bring Snorkeling Equipment with you. The adventure begins with a 20 minute class tutoring you on the types of Rays at the Cay, their origins and habits. You then enter a shallow beach area, which has been cordonned off and populated with Rays that will assemble on a table with your host and eat from you, if you feed them. They don't bit and have no external teeth. If you are daring, you can opt to feed them mouth to mouth. My host told me that I was the only one who ever took him up on the offer. It was an interesting experience. You will have an hour on for this activity and it goes fast, but beware, the rays don't really swim up to you as promised. They move about but don't really show interest, unless you are with your host at the "dining" table. The other caveat is that the host tells you that you will get a badge/pin for having been part of the adventure, and that this pin is tradable with other Disney pin fanatics (at the equivalent of being valued for 3 pins). Beware, it is not true! My family and I don't really do the pin thing, but my 11 year old daughter was curious about the validity of the bold claim. The pin was worth nothing, but it does make a keepsake of the experience, if you weren't taking pics with a waterproof camera/cell phone I described earlier. The rest of day 4 pretty much goes along with Day 2, so I won't belabor the point. DAY 5 This is a great day to shop on the ship, do some of the things you didn't get to do earlier (like hang out on your verandah if your stateroom has one, or get that massage or haircut etc). Get your ice cream and pizza and bring it back to your room and chill out for a while! Get to really use your Navigator and take in any and all live musical shows! I stated this earlier but it bears repeating. Twentyeighth: Beat the crowd to settle your bill. There is a lot of stressing out by people who wait to the last minute to settle the bill with guest services on the last day, especially as night rolls in. So you have an idea of what's coming, I'll break down my experience for you. You will find little envelopes left in your room by staff for tips for your head server, server, drink pourer and person who makes up your room everyday/gives turn down service with the chocolates etc. Note, that you can authorize the tip to be taken from your credit card(which is what I did since I didn't feel like leaving cash/or carrying loose cash either. The total left was $300.00 for the 5 nights, which got apportioned out between the four persons mentioned above. I've heard that people haggle this up or down, but I would suggest not stressing out over it and just go with the suggested tip and the suggested amount (which is what I mentioned above). This monetary figure ($300.00) may not be your tip amount, since I had a party of four people. The only other gripe I could state is that how can one justify tipping the guy who just brings a bottle of wine to the table and pours it, who is not the same person who is actually having to take your order, process it and bring this back to you. I had to wrap my head around the idea also tipping the head server (who really does not serve you but is more a trouble shooter if you have a problem). I settled my bill at the reception area/front desk area of the ship and this was great because there were no surprises Twentyninth: Here is where your Disney Dream Rewards Pays off! If you have a Disney Chase Card which gives you points and you've been saving them, you can square off your bill with any Disney Dream Rewards Dollars that you have racked up. It cut my final bill in half. Thirtieth: Pack smart for departure. You will be given all instructions on gathering and leaving your bags in the hallway at 10:30 that night, so that they can be gathered up and taken to the luggage area for quick offloading. Keep a day back with your clothes for the next morning (or keep them in your closet) and to hold you PJs and toiletries when you leave. Do not pack any thing that you'll need to declare (such as the expensive Jewelry) since you will be facing customs when you get off the boat. You will get Cardboard Disney character tags that will be identical and you will fill in your names on these tags as well as indicate how many pieces you have (for example your first luggage tag will have your name, address etc and state Bag 1 of 3). You then fill in the remaining tags accordingly. Also, fill out the declarations page (real short 1 page document - don't make any mistakes on it. Don't fret though, there are extras at that reception area of the ship (where you settle your bill). DAY 6 - THE DEPRESSION SETS IN Your ship pulls into port at 5:30 a.m.. You will be asked to attend breakfast which is a very meager dish, as compared to what you were offered for the days before and then. It is quick and efficient, but well mannered (you are not hurried off the boat or anything, but you will leave in an organized manner, much like how you entered five glorious days earlier. Once you enter the customs area, you are met with reality. Your luggage will be put together on racks that you collect and walk over to the Customs Officers. NOTE that if you lost anything, Disney has a lost and found it works! My son misplaced a shirt that he removed to go on Aquaduck on Day 2, and the shirt wound up here. Note, The customs agents are not ill mannered but they are not paid to make you feel special. So they will rather indifferently direct you to an officer/agent who will ask you some basic questions and ask you for declarations. Thirtyfirst: Happy Limousine Rescues again! If you used HL to get you to the boat, your driver, if he is tech saavy will text you that he is either en route or waiting out of the pick up area and when you give him a final text advising that you are nearing customs, he or she can be ready to meet you within minutes. Thirtysecond: Here's a personal choice issue but I would advise you to book an afternoon flight to return home on the same day the cruise returns. The ship is very prompt and you will be out of Port Canaveral by 8:30 a.m.. I stayed an extra day at the Port Orleans on Disney Property but it was probably an unnecessary expense. It was enjoyable but not needed. Happy Limo can just the same get you directly to the airport and you can be home bound. Thirtythird: Start thinking about your next cruise at the end of this one. It's the only way you can beat the sadness that has set it. I cannot say enough about how great this cruise line is, starting from the little details, friendly staff and the fact that it is Mickey's nicest boat! My family and I will be likely undertaking an Alaskan Cruise in a couple of years, courtesy of the "Ears" and this time will make it a 7 day gig. I hope it was worth your read. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
Me and my parents drove up to Port Canaveral the day before, but it rained the whole way from Macon, Georgia, to the port. We stayed at the Raddison Resort at the Port which was pretty nice. The Raddison had a shuttle service from there to ... Read More
Me and my parents drove up to Port Canaveral the day before, but it rained the whole way from Macon, Georgia, to the port. We stayed at the Raddison Resort at the Port which was pretty nice. The Raddison had a shuttle service from there to the cruise terminal, which is much cheaper than going from the airport to the port, and they let you have free parking for the time you are on your cruise if you stay there for one night. The Raddison is also a 5 min drive to the port. Enchantment of the Seas was a very good ship, it is also ine of the oldest, and it got newly remodled when I went on the cruise. There were some downsides though. For example, at the time Royal Carribean advratised that there was a Johnny Rockets and a Ben & Jerry's on the ship, but there wasn't either. There was a sign that said Ben & Jerry's but when I asked they said it was taken off the ship. Ben & Jerry's is now Cafe Latte-Tudes. But enough about the bad, lets get on with the actual cruise. On day after embarktion we went to Cococay, Royal Carribean's private island. We did the Jet Ski shore excursion and it was really cool. We drove around on our Jet Skis and saw some amazing wildlife in the ocean. This shore excursion was a 6 mile ride around the surrounding islands. Other than that we just hung around on the island until it was almist time to embark back on the ship. On day 3 we arrived in Nassau, sadly it was too hot that day to do a lot, so we just explored the Straw Market. On day 4 it was a sea day so we hung around the pool. The entertainment was very good. They had a terrific band and shows. My favorite shoe was the comedy show. Day 5 was disembarktion and it went pretty smooth. We decided to arry our luggage off the ship and it actually went faster than thosed who checked their bag off the ship. Overall, I would definitley reccomend this cruise and give it TWO thumbs up/ Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
I decided to make this cruise with my partner taking advantage of a break of a few days off work. We arrived in the morning around 11 we parked the car at the port and I must say that the car park is very close to the terminal boarding, ... Read More
I decided to make this cruise with my partner taking advantage of a break of a few days off work. We arrived in the morning around 11 we parked the car at the port and I must say that the car park is very close to the terminal boarding, which, being new, I found it very nice and functional to the point that since we parked up to get on the ship have gone about 20 minutes. I tried many ships, including allure and oasis and at first I was a little hesitant about what to expect on board of enchantment, the ship has its age, but overall is well maintained and since it was lengthened the pool area is very larger and more comfortable to relax. Our cabin had a balcony category D1 to bridge 7, and is very similar in size to those of other vessels except the balcony was smaller than that of other classes of ships. Shortly after we arrived at the cabin we knocked in the assistant of our cabin to know us and ask if we needed anything, she was then rivelto very kind and helpful throughout the cruise. Regarding the restaurant we chose the time my dining to be more free to go to dinner at any hour from 6 to 9 while for lunch at windjammer we were very good, fresh food and a good variety of pastries, the one thing that we lacked compared to oasis about food, it is the wide variety of restaurants and bars that are on board but we knew that before! The activities on board are not very many, but then on a cruise of 4 nights you can not expect more because the ship is still in Nassau from 7 am until midnight. Very nice thing and I had not found since 2006 of splendor was the buffet and party the night departure from Nassau. Funny is also the jumping with rubber bands on deck 10 forward. With regard to the crew as always I found a lot of professionalism and kindness make you feel at ease when you're at the tables of the buffet always go to clean or ask if you want to drink (note not only drinks for a fee). The private island of Coco Cay disembark via tender because there is a pier, the beaches are beautiful and if you are lucky you can make even an encounter with sharks and rays (harmless) without diving details but a few meters from the shore. At lunch then they disembark from the ship the food and it makes a big barbecue on the beach very well organized. We also took a jet ski and had a fabulous time for nearly an hour to whiz safely watching the island from another perspective. The last tender that takes you back to the ship leaves at 5 then spends most of the day on this paradise. Finally I wanted to say also the disembarkation us we went down at 9 because we did not hurry, but if you want you can also choose to take down the suitcases alone and get off as soon as the ship docks. however, the landing procedure is very fast and if you have the car to the parking lot with a few minut you are out. In the end I was happy with the cruise but did not last long it served to remove some of the routine, the next cruise will definitely still on royal. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
This was our first cruise, we cruised with 6 family members ages 13-81. We were very impressed over all with the Sunshine and the Carnival staff. We arrived in Port Canaveral and had prearranged parking and the Raddison. Being that we ... Read More
This was our first cruise, we cruised with 6 family members ages 13-81. We were very impressed over all with the Sunshine and the Carnival staff. We arrived in Port Canaveral and had prearranged parking and the Raddison. Being that we live local; we were able to drive from our home to the parking lot in about 2 hours. The arrival was smooth and their shuttle service was great. We were a little nervous as we had never been through the arrival process and were able to manage check in and were on board by 12:30 pm. We loved the party that was on the Lido deck as we waited for our rooms to get ready. I booked our cruise through Carnival and our state rooms were on different decks, this created us to have a little bit of creativity on meeting up for meals and other activities. I know next time to book a little differently. Also, being first time cruisers we did not know how to activate limited spending charges on our kids sign and sail card. I had not given them spending privileges for my credit card and I added cash on their cards as soon as we boarded. I did not know I needed to give them permission to spend after that as the staff member that helped us with that did not specify this. Our first night our kids went and ordered a drink and were not able to pay for it. I was already in bed, so my husband went the guest services to make it right. He was not allowed to make changes on our account so he had to come back and get me. The guest service provider was the rudest staff member that we had all week. She did not explain to my satisfaction how it was that I added cash on my children's specific cards and yet they were not able to use that money. She then, as she was helping me, took a phone call and did not address me to let me know that my account was good to go. I am glad this was not the norm for the week as I was pretty upset over how rude she was to me and my husband. Sea Day/Formal: We loved the party/ DJ on the Lido deck. We spent this day laying out by the pool enjoying the music, sun and fruity drinks. The wait staff was very friendly and we loved Guy's Burger Joint. The burgers and fries were a high light of our trip. I loved having our family getting dressed up as we never go anywhere to get that fancy! Half Moon Cay: We got up early and were able to be on the first tender to go over. We rented snorkel equipment and a clam shell. As a family, while grandma watched from the beach, we were able to be the first in the water. It was amazing to see starfish, sea turtles, rays, and many other sea creatures. We had a clamshell that was located next to the water sports shop. It was a very long hot walk to get lunch, especially for my Mam. We were able to get in line and go back to ship around 1, so we missed most of the long tender lines. Nassau: We did not have an excursion booked so we explored on our own. Again, we got off the ship very early. Next time I would like to wait a little longer as for awhile it seemed as though we were the only tourist around. We did get some great "deals" at the Straw Market being early. We walked around Bay Street and had conch fritters at the Bearded Clam. It was very hot, so we finished up and reboarded. Freeport: We had an excursion booked at Paradise Cove. I can not say enough good things about this excursion. Great snorkeling for the experienced and great staff. We also loved the little straw market right off the ship. After our snorkel we had time to come back and shop. We were able to sample local beer and a conch salad. Vendors were very very nice and helpful. There were some local artisans who were working on projects right at their booths. This was my favorite port. Dining: For breakfast we ate in the lido buffet, there was a wide variety of breakfast foods and it was all good. We also had breakfast burritos from the Blue Iguana and they were delicious. Lunch Guy's Burgers was the bomb. We also enjoyed the tacos from Blue Iguana. The pizza were not our favorite. Dinner We chose as a family to eat in the MDR every night. We had anytime dining, the only evening we had to wait was Formal Dining Night and it was perfect as we had time fro pictures while we waited. Every night we were able to sample different entrees. Our kids are pretty adventurous eaters and we tried escargot, frog legs, crab, lobster, alligator, as well as more traditional fare as prime rib, steak, fish and various others. We loved the warm chocolate melting cake and tiramisu for dessert. Activities: We (as a family) enjoyed a wide variety of activities. Our 13 year old twins loved making new friends in Circle C. We enjoyed top notch performances in the Liquid Lounge with the nightly shows. Tommy Drake was very funny in both the family friendly and adult comedy show. We also saw Don Gray, and he was enjoyable. Other things we did were- Dive In Movies, Mini Golf, Sports deck, 80's night dance party, Mardi Gras Party, shopping in the Fun shops,the gym, eating all the free ice cream we can hold, enjoying room service, towel animals, and last but not least Jaime Dee is AMAZING at what she does. There was something for all ages. Cabins: We had 2 cabins both inside. Our 3rd floor room seemed much more spacious than the one on the 7th as we had a upper bunk instead of a trundle. Both rooms were kept very clean by our stewards and they did a great job throughout the trip. Loved our towel animal! In all, we loved our first cruise and aren't sure why it took us so long to try it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
I am a cruise junkie! Have sailed with Disney, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and even MSC so I am very familiar with what to expect from each line. My family who cruise with me are also cruise junkies and I talked with them to decide what to ... Read More
I am a cruise junkie! Have sailed with Disney, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and even MSC so I am very familiar with what to expect from each line. My family who cruise with me are also cruise junkies and I talked with them to decide what to write (I depend on reviews so I think it is fair for me to return the favor). On this cruise my hubby had to work but for the family that could go, here are ages: myself early 40s, daughter 16, son 13, parents in mid 60s, and 2 nephews ages 12 and 15. We all had the fortune of balconies on 3 different levels that I will discuss later. Still interested? Then let me begin... Embarkation - I have sailed from Jacksonville, Ft Lauderdale, and Miami but Port Canaveral is my FAV!!!! Majority of staff are retired folks who are very helpful and friendly. And since I did all of my paperwork on-line before boarding, it was a BREEZE to get my ship card. So fast and efficient! We were on the ship before noon and ready to eat! Dining - I have a son with Asberger's Syndrome (high function autism) so it is a MUST that I do research before vacations. When I am able to keep our surroundings pleasant for him, we all are able to enjoy time together. I read reviews and looked at videos of the Sunshine to find out tips and tricks that would maximize vacation fun. The BEST tip I can give you is the Havana Bar seating in the back of the ship for when you eat from the buffet (lido). Most people want to sit right beside all of the food or didn't have a clue there was a beautiful seating area just one little hallway behind the buffet with a beautiful view! Our FAMILY OF 7 had no problem finding 2 tables to sit by each other for meals. And I think the food is quite good. Some choices are not to my liking, but so many are and I enjoy it! My whole family LOVES Guys Burgers and the Burrito Bar so I have no idea why others complain. My daughter ate 3 of her lunches at Guy's and my son had the server tuned into his fav sandwich of no tomatoes or pickles but double donkey sauce, lol! My family also got your time dining as that was the only choice left (we are early dining type folks). We knew from reading that we should be in line to get a ticket by 5:30pm so that we would be seated ahead of early dine rush and our orders put in first. Only 1 night did we feel that the order was slow but we could tell our head waiter was training new help so we were patient. I do prefer to have the same wait staff each night but was overall not disappointed with your time. And for the record, yes there is lobster and prime rib served on formal night and it was yummy! Desserts are hit and miss like some state, but the grand marnier, choc melting cake, apple pie, and creme brulee are steady favs with my crew and we had the chance to enjoy each one throughout the week. Our kids were served promptly by the bar staff for their soda cards and refilled at least 2 times a night. Wait staff was kind and we even had the pleasure of having one we met from a cruise last year to wait on us 2 of the nights (he remembered our large family and was genuinely happy to see familiar faces). And a gem that many don't even know about is the Taste Bar beside the coffee shop. I enjoyed a quick appetizer there a couple of nights while we waited to get our seating ticket. The tomato soup night was very yummy! I give the food onboard high marks - like it all!! Kids clubs - My 2 kids are not very social, unlike their mom. So they didn't visit the club but my 2 nephews did and both enjoyed it. They didnt spend a lot of time there, but was happy for the space when they wanted away from the family to chill. I always see the middle age kids running around doing a scavenger hunt and I am eager to help out. Pool Deck - Now I can see why people get all worked up here. There are always chair hogs. It is a sad fact no matter if you cruise or go to a resort pool. The main pool is nice but it is very small for the number on board. The pool in the adult area is also nice and kept cool but on sea day it is packed out as well. The serenity area is super nice with hammocks, padded cushions on every type of seat, couches, loungers, and even clam shell seats. I liked this area was divided into 2 floors but could see someone handicapped would be aggravated. You can access both areas but must do your homework with exactly WHERE elevators go and the exit doors so that you too can enjoy the area. Entertainment - I enjoyed every activity! The singing is great, the cruise director Jaime is VERY entertaining and is quite the dancer, and I love Dr Seuss characters and interaction for kids. The breakfast with the characters is only 5 bucks a person - trust me, you can't go to Orlando and get that deal!!! I didnt do any comedy clubs but overheard others say it was funny. I enjoyed the productions and think there is plenty of room. Get there a little early if you are picky about getting that "choice" seat or accept you have to take what is left. Mardi Gras night was especially amusing and to people watch others clammering for 10cent trinkets is a HOOT!!! There is A LOT for kids with the slides, putt-putt, basketball, etc!!! Our teens were happy with the offerings. I will also through casino in here too. I dont expect cruise casinos to pay out mega bucks. I play to socialize and to try to have fun getting the machine to score free games. The selection here was pretty good and I liked how easy it was to get around in it. My mom got free drink status with points and she had no prob with waiters coming to take her order. Rooms - My mom was on Deck 11 balcony room on Serenity. She liked having spa access and the little extras. However, she felt the room was not quite cool enough and there were some toileting issues too (if someone flushes something they aren't supposed to, it messes up everyone else too!!) THe nephews were on deck 7 balcony and enjoyed the view but had irritating neighbors so that did impact their trip (sad that kids can behave better than some adults). And my kids and I were on deck 6 balcony. Room was beautiful! Air was cool but you do have to make sure you set it on cooler if you like that because it goes back to warmer temp automatically. I need to mention that the 3rd bed is the sofa bed and it is not very suitable for a teen. My son is 5' 8 and his feet hung off. He was not happy with the uncomfy bed either but toughed it out. So that is food for thought when booking. I loved to order breakfast room service on the card you hang out door and enjoyed coffee on the balcony! The storage is plenty in the room and tv was suitable. However I suggest power strip as outlets are scarce and 3 charging phones was a struggle! WIFI - Just wanted to throw out that there is a plan where you can stay connected for $5 a day to social media. I do the majority of my texting through Facebook Messenger so that was a huge bonus for me as I had to be in touch with my hubby one day for something that couldn't wait until after vacation. It was fun to be in touch with him and share a few pics during the trip so he didnt feel so left out. Bonus is you can use your phone and not be tied to one of Carnival's computers. There were other options that I thought were affordable too but this was the one that met my needs. Gold Member Rewards - Yes, I told you I am a regular. I like that there is a souvenir pin, bottle of water, and this trip had a complimentary drink coupon for last night use. Very nice gesture that the kids and I used to splurge on milkshake at the coffee shop. Each flavor was very good and left us feeling Carnival appreciated us (side note, the coffee shop also sells choc. covered strawberries for 75cents each and they are SOOO worth it!) Public Areas- The public areas in general do fill up pretty quickly, especially when an activity is about to begin. This applies to EVERYWHERE on this ship. So if there is somewhere you want to hang out or attend an activity, you should really try to get there 30 min early. I can understand some will argue, but I don't want to spend my vacation waiting. I understand that but I am just giving you a heads up on how to be less aggravated. Get a snack, a drink, or a good buddy you like to talk with and spend the wait time in a worthwhile manner. You will soon enough get to people watch from your prime seating ;) Glitches- I wanted to give the Sunshine 5 stars. I really did but alas, we had a major issue with room keys that consisted of 5 visits to guest services and then my dad acting like a maniac to finally get the problem fixed. I could say I am embarrassed about that but I am not. My mom ran back and forth from deck 3 to 11 four times to see if the newly produced key worked and there was a problem each time. She has back problems and when she came back pouring sweat and hurting from the last trip that was enough of that! I can't excuse that level of lack of service and why does it take acting like a idiot to get things done?? I know this may seem petty but if you were there and were a part of the situation you may understand better. One other knock was the late night disco noise. I had no idea that 2 levels up on deck 6 we would still be able to hear the disco. That first night was awful!! We could FEEL the vibrations through our pillows. That was ridiculous. The rest of the nights it wasn't as loud though still not quiet by any means. I can't imagine how poorly the folks closer to it slept. One final complaint, we bought drink/soda packages for the kids. Worked great on ship but no longer works at the private island, Half Moon Cay. I was not happy with that at all. You get either water or lemonade on island or pay for soda. Summary - We had a great time overall!!! We didn't let the room key glitch or other things put a sour taste in our mouth, dealt with it and enjoyed the ship's offerings. I think this is a great family ship and if you do your "homework" by reading some tips and tricks reviews and take the time to look at a you tube video of the ship layout, I think you will love it too. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We just returned from four night cruise to the Bahamas. It was our third Disney Cruise and it was outstanding. We embarked on my husbands birthday day and I had preordered a stateroom decoration kit for the room. It was all in place and ... Read More
We just returned from four night cruise to the Bahamas. It was our third Disney Cruise and it was outstanding. We embarked on my husbands birthday day and I had preordered a stateroom decoration kit for the room. It was all in place and he was very surprised. We had a bit of a problem at dinner because they didn't give him the cake that I had ordered,but after talking to guest services it was taken care of the next night at dinner and they even compensated us with a bottle of champagne. I had requested that we have our server from last year and we didn't get him, I was dissapointed at first, but we did get to see him quite a bit on the ship and at dinner he just was not our server. Our server was Bertram Rose. He was awesome! He is from Jamacia and is a big reason why we chose to prebook another Disney Cruise to Jamacia for next year. The food is awesome. We had been at Disney World Parks for two days prior to boarding the ship and had become very bored with "park food". Once we boarded the ship and went for lunch in Cabanas we realized pretty quick that there was a HUGE difference. We loved every meal and getting to try a different restaurant every night was nice. The server follows you to each place so by the end of the cruise they feel like family. The Disney Dream is a beautiful ship and there is so much to do it is not possible to do it all in four days. Every night there is a broadway style show. These are fantastic and great for all ages. There is a theater on board and the had the newest of movies playing, however we never made it to see any of them, there is just too much to do. We spent two days at Castaway Cay and I can't say enough good things about it. It was the highlight of the trip. Our room host was very nice and kept our room in tip top shape. He treated our children as if they were his own and always spoke and called us by name when we saw him in the hallway.I like the fact that everything except alcohol is included. There are drink packages to buy for wine and beer, but the soft drinks and water from the beverage center are all included. Bottled water is extra, but we brought our cups from the Disney Resort and filled those. If you have never cruised before I highly recommend a Disney Cruise. With or without kids it is a great time. Read Less

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