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46 Disney Orlando (Port Canaveral) Cruise Reviews

My family had stayed on the Disney Wonder a few years back and my mom and sister loved the experience, the little attention to detail only Disney can do to make the trip magical. After 6 years we booked to go on the Disney Fantasy because ... Read More
My family had stayed on the Disney Wonder a few years back and my mom and sister loved the experience, the little attention to detail only Disney can do to make the trip magical. After 6 years we booked to go on the Disney Fantasy because of the warm weather in the Caribbean, being able to visit the Disney private Island of Castaway Cay and try out the Aquaduck! The price was very expensive and as much as I tried to convince on going on one of the big boats on the RCL it was Disney or nothing for my mother and sister. The embarkation was a bit hectic has someone had fallen ill in the cruise before us at Castaway Cay and caused the boat to arrive 3 hrs late. It caused a ruckus with no shuttles going to the port. We arrived an hr later than expected but Disney made up for the delay with making the process as speedy as could be. We got bonus lanyards because we were castaway members (previous guests) The buffet area at cabanas had a wide selection of food and made us feel a lot better. The 3 different dining areas were beautiful (my personal favourite was the animators palette due to the cool interactions and images shown on the walls. Unfortunately we didn't get to speak to Crush on the first time dining there because I had booked for us to eat at Remy's. The experience was like nothing else.. I wouldn't do it every day but it was nice to dress up and be treated like VIPs. Every dish had plate covers and we had about 3-4 servers serving us at any given time. About 8 courses or so and the chef would come out to see how we were doing. Fantastic treat for my parents. My husband and I really enjoyed going on the aquaducks and experiencing the beautiful lounges on offer. I really thought Sky line was very romantic. I'm not Disney obsessed as a lot of the other cruisers are but I was happy to see my favourite characters Pluto and Donald around and taking pictures with them. It was my husband's first cruise and he really enjoyed the food. I laughed when he asked if we were going to Cabanas for evening meals since he didn't know anything about the nice plated dinners cruises usually provide. What really excited him was we got to watch Rogue one Star Wars premier on the boat at 12:01am on the 16th December onwards. It was pretty cool to watch it as it opens across the country. I enjoyed watching Dr. Strange and Moana on the boat too. Something that no other cruise line can boast to do since Disney owns Marvel and a lot of other entertainment companies. I liked the live Disney cast performances but they had used the same variety act on this cruise (2 different jugglers) which made it a bit repetitive. They should avoid doing that in future. I liked we had an adults area but the teenager's pool area at the front of the boat was always empty and wasted on them. Might as well let the adults take that part over. We did the mickey mouse detective angeny around the ship. Fun way to spend some time exploring the boat and interact with the cool artwork that comes to life and makes you do tasks to solve mysteries. I wish I had some more time to take the boat tour but unfortunately missed it. Great family trip but once you've done Disney Fantasy it's good to try out other boats. I look forward to try out RCL and Celebrity at some point. Having seen the fireworks performance on the west coast with the Disney wonder, I found this one to be short and less spectacular. They used Captain Jack Sparrow for most of it. Maybe it was because this was my second cruise with Disney but I felt the see ya real soon and other performances lacked enough characters compared to the first time. I like my head waiter Stefanos from Greece a lot but Carlos the assistant waiter was forgetful and not as attentive. these 2 waiters would follow us in to the 3 different dinging rooms for each night so they know your preference and get to chat with them more) Some of the other waiters on the boat that we dealt with during the day was very nice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose the Disney Dream as it fitted in with our vacation, we were a family of 8 from Australia with 3 teenager girls & 5 Adults, We have cruised many times before with a lot of other lines, but at this time we put the Disney Cruise ... Read More
We chose the Disney Dream as it fitted in with our vacation, we were a family of 8 from Australia with 3 teenager girls & 5 Adults, We have cruised many times before with a lot of other lines, but at this time we put the Disney Cruise line at No1. From the minute you check in to when you leave the staff are always friendly, helpful and make it a very memorable holiday. We all of us we chose a family outside cabin with porthole, which was fantastic, the space in the cabin was great, the cupboard & wardrobe more than ample, the separate shower to toilet was just wonderful. The meals were wonderful, from the dining for breakfast to the buffet for lunch and the different restaurants for dinner we couldn't fault it, and the staff were exceptional. We docked at Cozumel & Costa Maya because of Hurricane Mathew which were great, even though we didn't do an excursion loved our time ashore. The entertainment was as good as anything you would see at a show anywhere, and quite a lot of bars to get away from the characters & children if you thought you needed to. Our family loved the water slide and spent quite a bit of time in the pools. We would cruise with them again in a heartbeat and are now looking at other places in the world Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We wanted to visit Castaway Cay and thought a 4 Night cruise on the Disney Dream would fit the bill. That is until Hurricane Matthew decided to show up. After we got back, we read of the destruction and loss of life, which was sobering. ... Read More
We wanted to visit Castaway Cay and thought a 4 Night cruise on the Disney Dream would fit the bill. That is until Hurricane Matthew decided to show up. After we got back, we read of the destruction and loss of life, which was sobering. However, while we were on the ship, far away from the weather, we had a great time, even if we had to adjust our travel arrangements! Still, we ended up on the ship for 6 nights, 5 nights as a cruise, and the last night in Port Canaveral as a hotel! Ports: We knew we were headed to Cozumel, which was a fine alternative to Castaway Cay, and certainly better than Nassau. We decided to spend the day at a beach resort, since we were not getting to do that at Castaway Cay. It was an additional cost, but we spent time at Mr. Sancho's and it was pricey, but wonderful since you did not have to worry about paying by the drink, food item, etc. Costa Maya got added in as a bonus during the cruise, once we knew our 4 Night cruise was going to be at a minimum a 5 Night cruise, though we didn't really care much for it. Seemed like another manufactured cruise port, and the prices for anything rivaled prices back home. Nice shopping for trinkets and such, though. Stateroom: We were a family of four, but we were able to get a Deluxe Family Oceanview with Verandah for only a couple hundred more than the price of an Interior. We used the upper bunk and the murphy bed, so we always had a sofa to relax on all day or at night. We were on Deck 6 so we were just about the lifeboats, but that didn't distract us as much as I thought it might. The extra cabinets in the stateroom (since it was an extended length) came in handy for putting away things. Not really needed for a short cruise, but then we ended up staying on the ship for 6 Nights! We were aft of the ship, so vibration was much higher than I expected; it did not prevent me from sleep, but it was noticeable, compared to being mid or forward. Dining: It was mostly wonderful. Since we ended up 6 nights on the ship, we ate in each of three dining rooms twice. Animator's Palate was our favorite and our 1st night there was on Pirate night, so the monitors showed a slideshow of images and art depicting pirates; it really transformed the place. We also liked the new Pirate menu; it had more flavorful options compared to the old menu, at least in our view. The regular menus were hit or miss, but never bad. Cabanas was good for breakfast and lunch, and it was nice to visit late night on Pirate night, even though we were not really hungry. The mini-buffet that is set out late night in the Adults area was subpar; if you need something to eat that late, room service or the pizza on the upper deck might be a better option. We did have Palo brunch on a sea day, but it was not as satisfying as a Palo dinner we had the last time we cruised with Disney. The service was fine, but the food quality was lower than expected, though there were lots of options. We were able to even get items that were no longer on the new menu. We did not eat at Remy, but we spoke with another cruiser who did and found it very satisfying. The character encounters and shows were of course great. Once it was apparent the cruise was going to be extended, Disney even flew in an extra performer who came on board in Cozumel so that we would have another entertainment option on the extra day. The only show we thought was a bit stale was Villains Tonite. There were far more casual character encounters (particularly with Princesses) on this cruise compared to a past cruise. It was also great to see the ship officers in the atrium on several evenings. Captain Thord and Cruise Director Jimmy gave daily updates on the Hurricane and how it would affect our return, and once it was going to delay our return, Guest Services kept the satellite phones open at Guest 24 hours until the end of the cruise to help guests make any travel arrangements. Other than a bit of rain when we arrived at the port on embarkation day, we had nearly perfect weather the entire cruise. While we know the following cruise was canceled and created havoc for those that were supposed to be on the ship, and we knew that Matthew was a terrible storm that left a path of destruction and death, we were fortunate to still have a great cruise. It is a bit surreal to have a vacation knowing that others are dealing with life and death, but such is the way it ended up. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Everything was superb! My husband and I were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. Everything was taken care of and it was very relaxing. Barely knew 1000s were on board. At night we were the only adults in the pool. We had Palo Brunch ... Read More
Everything was superb! My husband and I were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. Everything was taken care of and it was very relaxing. Barely knew 1000s were on board. At night we were the only adults in the pool. We had Palo Brunch which was an extra charge but it's now become a staple that we will always book! The food was the best we have ever had anywhere. I felt we were taken care of the whole time. Their private island was purely magical. The water was perfect and just beautiful. It's amazing for being on a family ship I really didn't see many kids around until pirate night. Also on board they were premiering Petes Dragon in 3 d in their big theatre room. We only got to see one movie because there really was so many things to do on board. I don't want to brag but my table won 90s music trivia. It was pretty awesome! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
To celebrate our upcoming retirement, we took our family on Disney Fantasy for a week long cruise in the Eastern Caribbean. We had a fantastic time...it could not have been better. All of us, from the four year old to the two retirees, ... Read More
To celebrate our upcoming retirement, we took our family on Disney Fantasy for a week long cruise in the Eastern Caribbean. We had a fantastic time...it could not have been better. All of us, from the four year old to the two retirees, had more activities and experiences to choose from than time available. The three children were always excited when they got to go to their kids club. Our son and daughter in law loved that the adult spaces were truly only for adults. The crowd handling, entertainment, and activities were always better than we expected...Disney is a pro in those areas. We can't wait until our Next Disney cruise...to Alaska in 2019. We rotated through three very different dining rooms. Our waitstaff stayed with us. They knew how to set up our table, offered favorite foods not on that nights menu, and entertained the three children. Our dinners were calm and leisurely...with three kiddos under nine! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We sailed on the Disney Dream July 8th through the 11th 2016. This was our summer family vacation and it was the best decision ever! I was a little worried about the expense but Disney never ceases to fail! The Dream is immaculate! Endless ... Read More
We sailed on the Disney Dream July 8th through the 11th 2016. This was our summer family vacation and it was the best decision ever! I was a little worried about the expense but Disney never ceases to fail! The Dream is immaculate! Endless shows, deck parties, food, all just amazing! We had the same server the entire cruise. My favorite was Animator's Palate but the steak at Royal Palace was so delicious too! The kids really enjoyed Flo's cafe fast food service. They loved the burgers, hot dogs and pizza! My favorite is Disney's private island Castaway Cay! We loved it so much we booked a longer cruise because 3 days just wasn't enough. We are sailing the Fantasy in April 2017 with the Star Wars dat at sea. I can't wait to see the navigator for the daily activities so I can get custom made outfits for our family. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We traveled with family - 6 adults (ages 60, 58, 35, 32, 29 and 25) and an 11 year old across three cabins. I've been on three prior Carnival cruises, but this was my first Disney cruise. I married into a Disney-loving family and ... Read More
We traveled with family - 6 adults (ages 60, 58, 35, 32, 29 and 25) and an 11 year old across three cabins. I've been on three prior Carnival cruises, but this was my first Disney cruise. I married into a Disney-loving family and we've all spent a good amount of time at Walt Disney World. First, the ship: It was lovely. Big. Fairly easy to navigate, although there were a few corners we didn't quite manage to explore. Very clean and well-maintained, and I loved the decor - especially in the main lobby/atrium. That chandelier was gorgeous. Nice little Disney touches everywhere but it doesn't feel like you're inside a cartoon or anything. Our stateroom was on Deck 7, forward, a family outside with a huge porthole window (with a narrow seat, wide enough to perch on or for a kid) and split bath. Good amount of space to move around. It's across from the laundry room but we did not notice any extra noise. The bed was very comfortable and the split bathroom was nice, we each "claimed" one for teeth brushing and things of that nature. The toiletries were very nice (loved the larger size tubes instead of those teeny ones you get at WDW). I found it a bit odd there were no outlets in the bathroom save for one high-up one for a shaver, but I dried my hair at the desk and it was no big deal. The tub is not ideal for bathing an adult (unless you're just washing your feet or something) but would work for a child, otherwise you have the choice of a hand-held showerhead or the overhead rain-style. Alana was our cabin steward and she did a fantastic job; on the first evening we asked her to bring ice and we were never without it the rest of the trip. She kept everything clean, neat and organized. Dining: We mostly ate at Cabanas for breakfast and lunch (exception being two in-port days) and the main dining rooms for dinner. Cabanas has a pretty good variety, and it never felt terribly crowded to me, which I appreciated. I recommend checking out all your options before deciding what to eat - breakfast included some choices I didn't see the first day, like yogurt plus toppings, which would also have worked for oatmeal. I am a coffee snob and didn't think much of the coffee, but there was a nice selection of tea as well. For the MDR dinners, nearly everything I ate was fantastic. Our waiters were Martin and Kadhri, and they worked beautifully together. Martin had his recommendations each night; one night I ordered a pasta dish that I liked, but he apparently wasn't a fan of, and he wanted to make extra sure I was happy and really did like it. Drinks were refilled quickly, courses came out pretty smoothly, and everything went well. I did find the dining rooms a bit noisy - a lot of clamor and clatter. I'm not sure if it was because of where our tables were or just the acoustics of the rooms. Us younger adults enjoyed the Europa entertainment district, and spent a lot of time at O'Gills and La Piazza, as well as stops in Skyline and The Tube. This might sound weird, but the bathrooms between La Piazza and the Tube are not to be missed - they are really cool! Round rooms, with round stalls and cool tiled walls. As for the bars, service was generally good and I thought the drinks were reasonably priced, especially for a cruise ship. O'Gills has fantastic pub-branded Irish Creme and a house red ale. Later in the evening (around 10:30, I believe) they put a variety of bar food snacks out in the little area near the bathrooms for everyone to munch on. Love this idea. We also enjoyed the musicians who were playing, especially The Dreamers and Take Cover. I have to give a lot of credit to Disney for the Navigator app. It is BRILLIANT. You can check out dinner menus, see the day's activities, look at deck plans and best of all, message other cruisers. With custom Disney emoji, even! It works on the ship's wifi without paying for any other internet service. I only wished they'd add a few more features (although now I can't remember what they were, sadly). Ports: We stopped at Tortola, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay. Tortola was a most-of-the-day trip to The Baths. It was well organized overall, but I thought a few details should have been in the description - it really is a hike down to the beach, for starters. And if you're going through the caves, you need to be able to navigate tide pools, get through small spaces and generally be a little adventurous. Water shoes are highly recommended. Also, lunch was included but we didn't eat till kind of late. The food was tasty but our choices were basically chicken, ribs, or fish; rice; mac & cheese; veggies, and a can of soda or bottle of water. Note that there is a freshwater pool up at the Top of the Baths that you can use to dunk in/cool off during that part of the day. At St Thomas my husband and I went over to the Frenchtown side of Charlotte Amalie and checked out a nanobrewery, which we highly recommend - Frenchtown Brewing. It's in a lofted area off the alley above Pie Whole. We then ate lunch at Rum Shandy, next door. This was a cool area of town that I don't think as many cruise ship tourists see. It's only a 10 minute walk back to downtown Charlotte Amalie. Our day at Castaway Cay was cut short - we were out on the beach when a storm rolled in, and within minutes it was pouring and windy. We had to make our way back to the ship in the driving rain, because the trams weren't running. But Disney had a backup plan and we rolled with it. - Pools rarely seemed too crowded, and I really liked the adults-only area; the AquaDuck was tons of fun. - I checked out the fitness center one day, and it was nice enough, but a little stuffy up there. We played mini-golf one afternoon and really enjoyed it. - We wished for another night or two of adult karaoke; there was only one (the rest was "family" karaoke which meant mostly kids singing Disney tunes). - The activities staff were a lot of fun, especially Tisa and Joshiie. All in all, we had a great vacation and it was in no small part due to Disney's great ship and excellent customer service. These cruises are pricey but they are also high quality and I would definitely go again, given the chance. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was by far the best cruise we've EVER been on! Disney sure does know how to do a cruise! My husband and I took our 2 kids ages 5 and 9 and we traveled with 15 other family members as a mini family reunion. Disney made us feel ... Read More
This was by far the best cruise we've EVER been on! Disney sure does know how to do a cruise! My husband and I took our 2 kids ages 5 and 9 and we traveled with 15 other family members as a mini family reunion. Disney made us feel so welcome. The embarkation process was so smooth and simple and we were on the boat in no time. As we boarded the boat, we got a huge personalized welcome over the loud speaker from the crew. I was so impressed! The food was outstanding! I loved that I could get fresh fruits and vegetables and other lots of great food. There wasn't much chocolate onboard though, but I can do a week without chocolate. Our dining servers were so friendly and did quite the amazing job. The room was set up very well and was very organized. I loved the bunk beds that came out of the ceiling and that the crew would make up the bunk beds every evening and put them away in the mornings. There was lots of storage under the bed and in the closets...even in such a small space. The bathroom was setup very well with one bathroom having a tub/shower and sink and the other bathroom having a toilet and sink. The onboard entertainment was spectacular, especially the firework show in the middle of the ocean. The kids club was amazing! There were so many activities for our kids and my husband and I could have a lot of alone time and hang out in the adult only pools and lounge chair areas on the front of the boat. I always felt comfortable with the kids club workers and knew our kids were in excellent hands. One of my favorite features of the cruise, was after the kids ate dinner, the kids club crew would come take the kids from the dining room to the kids club for activities so us adults could finish eating our dinner and socializing without worrying about our kids. We didn't book any shore excursions through the cruise line since we read it was better to book outside of the cruise for more personalized and less crowded service. However, next time, I will book through the cruise so I know I'm getting what I pay for. On Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, we booked a trip to the Baths at Virgin Gorda through Patouche Charters and it was the worst service ever! The owner, Joe Standish, had sent me an email confirmation prior to arriving stating what the excursion would entail and that we would be aboard a 36' Power Catamaran. However, when we met him at the pier, he was very agitated and rude and said this other guy would be our captain. I wasn't too bothered about it until the "other guy" took us to his boat and it was not a 36' catamaran. It was a small fishing boat! At first I thought, "this must be the boat that is taking us to the catamaran." Haha, was I wrong. The boat was so small that it wouldn't be safe to go to the Baths when we were supposed to because it wouldn't make it back in the afternoon with the winds. We got totally scammed! Patouche didn't even charter us...he sold us to another company without informing us since he was overbooked that day. I will never deal with that kind of a company again. However we didn't let it ruin the amazing experience we had with Disney Cruiseline. I know if we booked through Disney, they would definitely have non-scammers charter their excursions. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We wanted to take a family vacation that would appeal to the adults as well as my 20 month old daughter. She LOVES Mickey and the Princesses. I had read that Disney cruises were amazing and worth the money. So I thought we would give it a ... Read More
We wanted to take a family vacation that would appeal to the adults as well as my 20 month old daughter. She LOVES Mickey and the Princesses. I had read that Disney cruises were amazing and worth the money. So I thought we would give it a try; and boy, it didn't disappoint! We started our trip with a day exploring the Magic Kingdom. We stayed at the All-Star Movie Resort. I didn't see the point of staying at a more expensive resort when we were only staying for one night. For a value resort, I thought it was fine. I loved the Toy Story décor and building we stayed in. They also had a great playground and pool for the little ones. The biggest plus to staying at the Disney resort was that the Disney Cruise line bus picks you up right at the hotel. No stressing over driving to the Port or loading luggage. It is quite a haul (90 minutes I believe) so bring snacks and activities for the little ones. I was truly impressed with Disney's Embarking process. I have gone on 2 Carnival cruises and thought Embarkation was a nightmare, like going to the airport. But with Disney it was smooth sailing. It's decorated nice, and in true Disney fashion all the small details were present. They were playing Disney tunes, and even Mickey was there taking pictures and greeting guests. Do the "online check-in" and print the forms ahead of time, that speeds up the process. We literally were dropped off by the bus, through embarkation and on the boat within 30 minutes. And with a toddler that's no easy task! The boat itself in GORGEOUS. I was immediately impressed by the décor and attention to detail. The staff works hard to keep it clean and tidy. It's Disney but not over the top. The restaurants were amazing, I loved Animator's Palette. We actually were at a great table where my lo got to interact with Shred. As far as the food goes, I thought it was good/above average but nothing that blew me away. And that's ok, it wasn't bad by any means. What definitely sets them apart from other cruise lines in the Service. I had read that the service was great. But the service was amazing. Every night at dinner our team of servers greeted my daughter first asking "how was your day princess?" They went above and beyond; they cut my daughter's food for her, entertained her and overall were an absolute joy to talk to. As the days went on and we were getting to know them, we found out they both had small children. I can't imagine being a way from my child for 4 months at a time. I have so much respect for them. As far as the entertainment, it was top notch. My daughter LOVED the Dreamers. Every time they played in the Atrium we were there and dancing. The shows were amazing. We missed the Villain show, but the Golden Mickeys and the other show was great, entertaining for the whole family. Pirate Night and fireworks were amazing. The best part about the cruise was all of the character sessions! If you were to go to the Disney parks you can wait upwards to an hour to meet Mickey. On the cruise we were able to meet all the characters and princesses and at most waited 10 minutes. I also loved that the characters would just show up and dance with the kids or join in on the activities. All and all, I wish we had more time to explore the ship and partake in the activities. Unfortunately, on a 3 day cruise you run out of time to experience everything. The cabin was amazing! Compared to other cruise lines I've cruised with, it's double the size. We opted for the Ocean view veranda but didn't pick our cabin upfront. We saved like $300 by letting Disney "assign" us a cabin. That was the best thing that could have ever happened to us! We got a hidden gem, we ended up with an end veranda that was double the size. The other thing I loved about the cabin was all the small details they took care of. We have a 20 month old daughter so they provided a pack n play and a diaper genie (nice touch!) I was worried about what we were going to do with all those diapers. Also, having a bathtub in the cabin was nice, and I like that the shower is separate from the restroom. I was very impressed with the cabin overall, I have nothing negative to say about it. Ports and Shore excursions - Castaway Cay is remarkable. What a great place! I could stay there for a week! I loved that they had some fun activities for the kids too. There was Hermit crab races and a Dance party with Minnie and Goofy! Nassau on the other hand was not so great. We opted to do a Beach day and tour of Atlantis (for the 3 of us was $220) not worth it. I'm sad to say Nassau has really gone down hill. Atlantis was nice, but not worth that price tag. If I were to do it again, I would have spent that day we were docked at Nassau on the boat. Overall, we had an amazing trip. My daughter loved it, she still talks about the "Mickey Boat". I would hands down go on another Disney cruise, preferably one that has 2 stops to Castaway Cay. I would highly recommend taking your family, Disney will not disappoint! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Yes, all of the reviews are accurate. No one does it better than disney. You know the experience will be unique from the time you step on board. This was a first cruise for my son and 4 grandchildren. We had two connecting cabins and truly ... Read More
Yes, all of the reviews are accurate. No one does it better than disney. You know the experience will be unique from the time you step on board. This was a first cruise for my son and 4 grandchildren. We had two connecting cabins and truly enjoyed the time together. The kids were disappointed that the pool on board was so small until the first excusion then they did not notice the small ship board pool. They loved the tube and watching movies while in the pool. The dining room staff was exceptional. The children did not want m to leave. They all loved it, even the teenager. She partied till 1am and the 9 and 10 year Olds were totally engaged with activities. Disney's island was exceptional. The ability to eliminate all bugs is a feat and only disney can manage that. The food on the island was fresh and delicious. The Atlantis excursion was fun. It gave the kids af chance to run aound and play in a real swimming pool. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
My thorough review of our first Disney Cruise on the Disney Dream, very lengthy LOL (I took over 600 pictures, but here are just a few): This was our first ever cruise. Family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids ages 6 and 16). We decided to ... Read More
My thorough review of our first Disney Cruise on the Disney Dream, very lengthy LOL (I took over 600 pictures, but here are just a few): This was our first ever cruise. Family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids ages 6 and 16). We decided to go a day early and stay overnight in Port Canaveral, spent some time at Cocoa Beach, did some shopping, had breakfast, lunch and dinner, slept and the next morning (day of cruise) while having breakfast is when my 6 year old received her call from Mickey & Minnie, although the call didn’t go as expected she was still very excited. I’ll have to post that video later. We stayed at LaQuinta which was only about 6-7 miles from the port, hotel was a little dated, it was only one night but I don’t think I would stay there again. Embarkation: Not too bad, very well organized and we didn’t feel like we were waiting around too long, it gave us time to look around the port (not much to see) take some pictures, and get my daughters magic band for youth activities, our Port arrival time was 10:45am, I picked an early arrival time just to give us time to explore the ship while it wasn’t very crowded, we had lunch and it left us plenty of time before the mandatory safety drill that started around 4 pm. Passports are not required if you are returning to the same U.S. Port you left from, but are good to have just in case there is an emergency. Also, travel insurance isn't required, but just to have a peace of mind, I would suggest you get it. We picked the late dinner seating time which was 8:15pm each night and it worked out perfectly, we all made sure we downloaded the Disney Cruise Navigator App, that allowed us to text each other while onboard since there was no Wi-Fi, they give you 50MB for free, but you will easily use that up within 15 minutes, or you could purchase one of their plans, I didn’t feel we needed it because we kind of wanted to disconnect from everything and just enjoy this vacation with limited interruptions. Now let me get to my son (16 year old), when he found out about the cruise he wasn’t very excited about it, and I was a little worried that he wouldn’t enjoy it, when we spent 7 days at Disney World, he didn’t have a great time (the only teen I know that don’t enjoy roller coasters), weeks before we left he kept asking us if he could stay with a friend while we all went without him, I wasn’t going to do that. Well, on the first night he met about 10 other teens from South Carolina and a few other states that he spent 98% percent of his time with, I told him he was free to do what he wanted as long as he met us for dinner each night at 8:15pm and for the Pirate Night which is a huge event that they have on Disney cruises, he spent most of his time in “Vibe” a teen only club, us parents aren’t even allowed to go in there (I’m sure there’s ways around it, but I didn’t bother too much), so I didn’t get many pictures of the inside, I was able to get a picture of the teen private pool and lounge area, and of course he didn’t take many pics which was expected LOL, let's just say he didn't return to our room until about 2-4am each morning, he was having the time of his life. Everything was smooth sailing. We were in stateroom 2044 which was Midship on the 2nd deck, I selected an ocean view room that had a huge port hole and an amazing view, thought about getting a room with a verandah but I didn’t think we needed it since we didn’t spend much time in our room. We were just steps away from the Enchanted Garden restaurant and very close to elevators (we did not hear lots of noise at all). Our room was mostly used for sleeping, shower and to change clothes, Room was spacious by ship standards, but we may go with connecting rooms next time, we had no problems navigating with the 4 of us in there. Queen bed was high enough for all luggage to slide easily under the beds to allow more space, room also had two closets, some shelves, drawers, a safe and there were 2 bathrooms, one with the shower/tub combo and a sink, the other with toilet and a sink. Cabin cleanliness was great, and our room host, Aida, was the best, she greeted us all by name which was very welcoming, our room was cleaned twice a day and we had no issues at all with anything there. The ship itself is amazing. Everything was clean clean clean, there was never a time when I didn’t see a DCL crew member cleaning something and there is so much to do, we literally only got about half done of what was available (never even made it to several bars, the sports deck, or some of the other restaurants). In the end, that’s marketing genius by Disney, as people will just have to come back again to do it all. I spent most of my time near the pool deck watching movies or on Deck 11/12 in the adult only lounge, just relaxing and enjoying some cocktails. Food: REALLY good. I was shocked at the quality given it is mass produced. Cabanas buffet for breakfast and lunch is easy, and outstanding, for breakfast we went to Royal Palace and enchanted gardens, as it is still served buffet style, it’s a little more formal, you are seated immediately and didn’t have to worry about looking for a table as you do at Cabanas. Dinner was simply amazing. Here is the key point for a great dinner: LISTEN TO YOUR WAIT STAFF! They will tell you a couple options that you should get. Trust their recommendations. But, if you must, like me, take a chance on something they don't recommend, our staff went ahead and brought what was requested, waited a few minutes, then brought the recommended dish anyway! And of course, they were 100% on point with it. Our server, Ek, was the best! There just aren’t enough words to describe how amazing he was, our laugh every night was during dinner when he made it a point to always bring my son a cheeseburger with whatever he ordered, only because he know that’s all he really ate during the cruise, he would bring him a cheeseburger as an appetizer, another for dessert and another to to-go….it was so hilarious! The wait staff also really took the time to know the family and what we like. For example, the first night my son ordered a lemonade and my daughter ordered chocolate milk. Each additional night, when we got to our table, a lemonade and chocolate milk was already waiting for them with their name on it. That’s service. If there was a dessert you liked from another restaurant that they didn’t have on the menu, they would have it made it delivered to your table if you wanted it. The shows were also well done and the right length for kids. Here are my excursion thoughts: 1. Atlantis - Bahamas – All personal preference, I wouldn’t waste my time. I did get off the ship to look around at the different shops and to purchase liquor. Otherwise, Stay on the ship and explore everything the ship has to offer, there are still tons to do onboard while the ship is docked. I will say that when I travel I dont do a lot of sleeping, I was up every morning around 5am just walking around and exploring the ship. When we made it to Nassau some people did decide to go over to Atlantis, I’ve been to a water park before and that’s all it is. For $180 per person for the day on Atlantis, it’s not worth it at all, but if you really feel the need to go, I would recommend booking a room at Atlantis, you will not stay the night there but you will get admission for 4 people when you book an overnight stay. It will be a hassle packing up for the day, getting off early in the morning and then rushing back to the ship by 5:00pm. There is a Casino there if you want to go gamble, I don’t gamble, but I guess if you do gamble and you hit big that would offset the cost. 2. Castaway Cay - Another moment of marketing brilliance by Disney. "Hey, let’s buy an island, turn it into another money maker!" It worked. I do think you should get off ship for this one. Snorkeling is really fun and easy to do, beaches are really nice, plenty of loungers, chairs and hammocks, so we didn’t need to rush to find a spot, the food was great at the BBQ place. You could go parasailing, rent jet skis or bikes and there are plenty other things to do. Now, I will say…the weather was not the best, after only being on the island for a little while, it began to rain really bad so we decided to get back on the ship, took my daughter back to the kid’s club and we went to the adult only deck and chilled in the hot tub with some drinks. My kids loved going to the youth clubs, so much for them to do. My 6-year-old could not wait for us to drop her off there each day so she could play, Oceaneer’s Club/Lab was open until 11:30-12am every night and the teen club was open until 1am-2am. It was stress free, great child care, and the adults got to go get some drinks in the adults only areas. It worked out great for everyone, the youth clubs would call or send you a text if your child wanted to be picked up, you will have to have your KTTW card and a secret password before the child is released to you, teens could go and leave the clubs as they pleased (they have their own private entrance). Before entering and leaving the youth clubs they always made sure you washed your hands, I loved that…they also had staff at the entrance of every restaurant or self-serve stations handing you sanitizing wipes before and after dining. Character Meet n Greets - Be prepared for long lines (up to 30-45 minutes each character) just to get a picture. It’s crazy, but I set reminders in my phone so we could arrive a few minutes early to be some of the first in line, my daughter loved it, her favorite characters are Minnie, Mickey and Rapunzel! We did see a few live shows and also went to the movie theatre on the ship called Buena Vista theatre to check out the movie, “Moana” they had an early show at 8:30am, so only my daughter and I woke up, had breakfast and went to see that while the fellas slept. Some of the other moves that were showing were, Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory, The BFG, Pete’s Dragon, Dr, Strange, Lion King, Pocahontas, etc. Movies will vary based on ship and the time of travel. THESE ARE ALL INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF THE CRUISE. Is Disney expensive? Well, it depends on what you consider expensive, I thought it was worth every penny. But I think overall, if you skip some of the way over-priced excursions and just enjoy the ship and different ports, it is worth it. The only thing you would spend additional money on are: Souvenirs, excursions, port purchases (I only purchased liquor to bring home), spa treatments, the adult only restaurants which were Palo and Remy (approx. $40-50 per person). You can also prepay your tips before your cruise, when you receive your itinerary in the mail it will tell you how much your tips will be per person/per day (children included) any additional tips you would leave in the envelopes left in your room at the end of your cruise. A 15% gratuity is automatically added to your check for alcoholic beverages, and 18% is automatically added for spa services. Some things that I thought were “must-haves” or just fun to do were the door magnets and fish extenders, most guest decorate their stateroom door with magnets, I was in a fish extender group of only 10 families so I didn’t need to make or bring much, you can choose to join a group of more families if you like, just keep in mind that you have to walk around and deliver these to each stateroom, we delivered ours as soon as we were able to check in to our room which was about 1:30pm, since I had items that could be used for this cruise, I thought delivering early would be best, some people do not deliver their gifts until the last day. I decided to make each family a “Bare Necessities” kit, that included items like (hand sanitizer, tissue, toothbrush, Advil, toothpaste, shout stain remover, wipes, cotton swabs, close pins for hanging wet swimsuits, etc.) and I also gave each family a “Disney Movie Snack Pack” that had snacks they could take with them to the movies so they didn’t have to spend much on purchasing snacks on the ship. I also took personalized travel cups for beverages since the cups at the fountains are very small, drink fountains are open 24 hours a day. You could eat all you want, the ice cream station was amazing and you could enjoy as many ice cream cones as your heart desires. Disney standards are second to none. The food and service were exceptional. We were worried about having too many children on the cruise with it being Disney but there are so many adult only areas that we had plenty of time to ourselves. All in all, this vacation was amazing! I am already planning the next Disney Cruise, it was just plain exceptional. I am planning for more than 4 days next time, there are simply too many things to do, I can’t wait to be on board again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
For first time cruisers, we tried our best to prepare by listening to the advice of prior cruisers. However, nothing could prepare us for the absolutely best time we have ever had. We stayed at the Orlando Airport Hyatt 2 days prior. ... Read More
For first time cruisers, we tried our best to prepare by listening to the advice of prior cruisers. However, nothing could prepare us for the absolutely best time we have ever had. We stayed at the Orlando Airport Hyatt 2 days prior. Instead of choosing to ride the Disney Cruise shuttle (could not find the contact info), we opted for a private car which turned out perfect as we had 8 bags. Boarding went smoothly as we had already prepared the forms on-line. Once boarded we had a bit of confusion as everyone tried to use the mid-ship elevators. Next time we will use the aft or forward elevators. The ship itself was immaculate in every detail. I am the type who looks for flaws, but could not find any. This told me that Disney was going to live up to the hype you always hear about. Once settled into our cabin, which was a family cabin with private veranda and very spacious, we set about exploring the ship. Disney has so many information centers that it is impossible to get lost. Our room host was wonderful and has obviously mastered the art of making animals out of towels. Dining was easy and the wait staff always discreetly informed you that most specialty drinks in the dining rooms were extra. Most mornings we ate at Cabanas and never had problems finding a table to sit and eat. We have tweens who were thoroughly entertained at "Edge", in addition to watching Star Wars. Plenty to do on board for all ages. In fact you cannot do it all in one 4 day cruise. The adult section has plenty of space, great bar staff and the night club scene is on par with some of the finer hotels. One thing we would do differently is only schedule one prime dinner at Remy or Palo. We were hard pressed to make it to Palo, but Remy is an experience one should not miss. In addition, we recommend that you listen very carefully to the Disney videos people make. Some of them act as if you will die of thirst if you do not bring a travel mug to use at the free drink stations. The truth is, is that the cups are for 12 ounces of liquid and are more than enough to handle your thirst. We also purchased a steamer so it was not taken out of our bag versus an iron. We opted for the Junkaroo/fort shore excursion in Nassau, but were a bit disappointed because the vendor backed the departure time up by 3 hours, which of course impacted our shopping time. Next cruise we will look very closely at other excursions or just going to the shopping district. Castaway Cay is a wonderful feature only Disney has. Again plenty to do from just getting some sun to para sailing. We only managed to see a fraction of the Cay. Disembarkation is a sad day indeed. We had so much fun and worry free travel that we just did not want to face reality. That said Disembarkation went swift and smooth. A few pointers; bring something that will illuminate your cabin at night, you will not believe how dark they get once you are out at sea. Water bottles for the room are necessary and you can fill them up each day at the drink stations. You don't need to bring body wash or shampoo. Disney provides plenty and it is good stuff. Unless there is a formal night or you plan to eat at one of the specialty restaurants do not pack formal. Cruise casual is the dress of the day, so shorts, polo shirts, t-shirts, bathing suits etc are what to bring. Sit back and enjoy yourself, let Disney do the heavy lifting and be prepared for a truly magical time. Read Less
Sail Date December 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
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
Sail Date November 2015
My family of 4 had an absolutely wonderful vacation aboard the Disney Fantasy! This was the frist cruise of any kind for all of us. My husband and I were celebrating our upcoming 20 year anniversary. This was the perfect vacation choice so ... Read More
My family of 4 had an absolutely wonderful vacation aboard the Disney Fantasy! This was the frist cruise of any kind for all of us. My husband and I were celebrating our upcoming 20 year anniversary. This was the perfect vacation choice so that we could include our 2 daughers, ages 13 and 10. First of all the boarding process was a breeze. Sure, there were a lot of people but lines moved quickly. We left the majority of our luggage to be delivered to our room and only had a few carry ons with swimsuits and things we might need upon arrival as we were told our luggage may not arrive at our room until 5pm. We could go to our stateroom at 1:30pm. We boarded the ship around noon or just after so we first went and had lunch while waiting for our room to be ready. When we got to our room at 1:30, we found our luggage waiting for us! Very prompt! Now as for the ship itself...it was immaculate! I have nothing to compare to but from what I hear, the Disney ship is far better/cleaner than most others but a little more expensive too. I was very pleased with how well kept everything was. From the pools, to the restrooms and everything in between. There were even employees at the entrance of restuarants handing antibacterial wipes for our hands. I think that's a great extra step to help stop the spread of germs and illness. We enjoyed the pools nearly everyday. While they were at times a little crowded, that did not deter me or my kids. We still had a great time. We had excellent 86 degree weather and sunshine everyday so we expected lots of people to be there. There were plenty of chairs and towels and Disney movies played all day on the huge "funnel vision" screen at the pool area. My kids being 10 and 13 had separate clubs they could go to. The Oceaneear club for my 10 yr old and Edge for my 13 yr old. They could go there to play with other kids their age and make crafts, have dance parties, learn to cook or play games. They had lots of activities daily and a schedule delivered to our room every night for what to expect the next day. My kids went to those 2 or 3 times but they enjoyed spending most of their time doing things with us. They also caught a few movies they had not alrady seen at the theater. We saw 3 live shows at the Walt Disney Theater. One we all enjoyed the most was a juggler...Michael Holly. This guy was hilarious and very entertaining. We saw the show on the first night but I can't remember what it was called. Lots of singing and dancing. The last one we saw was Beleive. They were excellent. Very talented singers and dancers and the costumes were very good. Every night we had an amazing dinner! I was super impressed. Our wait staff made this a wonderful event every night. Our waiters were Rahul & Luis, from India and Peru. They were very attentive and went above and beyond to make sure we were happy with our foods and drinks. They were very professional and friendly. The food was very good each night and had a good variety of things to choose from. If you are into night life, the ship has places for that too. I can't say too much about that. We did not go to any bars or dance places. We do not drink or dance so it's not really our scene but I hear that Tube is the place go to for that...music and entertainment. As for the port excursions...just remember you get what you pay for on this! And all the best ones get booked up so plan ahead and try to book them as soon as you have booked your cruise! We booked the dolphin encounter for the stop at St Thomas...this was a winner! Maybe the highlight of the trip. It was really awesome and each person got lots of interaction with the dolphin. This is fun for adults and kids. It's expensive but well worth it. And a side tip...if you do this, plan to pay for pictures. They do not allow you or family members to take pictures. They have photographer there who takes several. They are good quailty but they are expensive. To get all pictures of our family of 4 was $200. Again, I think it's worth it! This is an all day event so if you do this, don't try to plan anything else. We booked an excursion for St Maarten the night before we got there because we didnt know exactly what we wanted to do. We took a very inexpensive trip to a nearby beach....Orient Beach. The beach was nice, water felt great and the sand was soft...but be aware, you get approached by the island ladies wanting to braid your hair or sell you cover-ups or jewelry. It's annoying but I just politely told them over and over- No Thank You. I don't think the islands were what I expected. I was looking for white sandy beaches and crystal clear water but that is not what you get. The boat is docked at a harbor or port, not a resort. We had to travel through the island to get to our excursions so you see where the natives live and quite honestly, it looks like a dump. They live poor for the most part and it's just run down and dirty looking. If you want the beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear water, you won't see that until you arrive at Castaway Cay for the last day of the cruise! That was an amazing place! We did the snorkeling which was great fun and not so expensive. We saw lots of fish and took pictures with an underwater camera. Our kids enjoyed the snorkeling and loved the waterslides and just playing in the water and the sand. Like the ship, this island is very clean and well kept with clean restrooms and 2 places to eat that were also nicely kept with a wide variety of food to choose from. There are cabanas you can rent for the day...but u have to do it ahead of time because they fill up and it's expensive upwards of $500 for day I believe. We didn't do that and we had a wonderful time under the umbrellas and the shades of the trees in our chairs. Again the weather was beautiful...warm but a nice breeze and the shade kept it from being too hot. The last day we had an early breakfast (6:45am) with our wonderful wait staff and we were on our way. Disembarking was easy and quick. We chose to have our luggage outside our stateroom the night before for pickup and they we could get it on the way out the next morning just before going thru customs which was also very quick and painless! We left our vehicle in the parking deck across from where we board the ship so it was a short easy walk even with all our luggage in tow. There are characters at certain places at all different times but most are posted in the navigator. Check that if you are interested in pictures with characters and be ready to stand in line and wait. We did a few of them but my kids are a little older and didn't care so much for it but we did a few of them.If you are looking for characters from a particular movie etc...ask customer service. My daughter was interested in meeting Elsa & Ana from Frozen. They were there but it was not advertised and we had to have a ticket to see them for a meet and greet. Dressing up is a HUGE deal!! The semi-formal night is a big deal for dressing to the nines and taking fancy pictures on the grand staircase. Pack a formal dress, heels and men a suit or tux. Also pirate night is huge...go all out if you don't mind spending the money for a costume--but get before your trip. Items/clothing you purchase on the ship are very expensive! You just can't overdo it on these nights! Also on pirate night, the fireworks are spectacular. Many of the little girls on the ship wore their princess dresses to dinner every night. Fun for them to do so and very acceptable! The bippity boppity boutique is a great idea if your little girl likes to dress up and look like a princess--(all for a price!). Photographers take photos at all the character meet and greets but please take your own camera. All the photos taken are kept in a folder type thing on the 4th floor so you can see all your vacation photos. They also do face recognition so you will even see those taken on the Aquaduck if you ride it, which is much fun! As most other things, photos are very expensive if you purchase the prints and/or a cd. They offer a book you can create yourself with up to 34 photos for $150. I chose to do that and used my pictures for everything else. The pictures are good and clear but just too expensive for me. To get them all you are talking $350-$500 range. *There is no charge for room service! I was amazed at this! My daughter was not feeling well at dinner one night so she was hungry later on. I ordered a sandwich and we had it in about 10 minutes! *If you suffer from motion sickness, try something called Bonine. I felt bad one day with a headache but after taking that each day, I was fine. It's a chewable tablet. This was a wonderful trip and I would definitley suggest it to anyone. My kids loved it so much, they were sad when the day came for us to disembark and are already asking when we can go again. There is so much to see and do and experience. The entertainment, the sights, the food....and the sheer cleanliness of this place impresses me! Disney is not to be outdone! If you are a cruiser and you have never tried a Disney cruise, I trust you will not be dissapointed! As I said, I have nothing to compare it to but it was outstanding and everything was top notch, especially the service...from ALL STAFF. They were phenomenal! Thank you Disney for some great family memories that will last a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date September 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
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
Sail Date July 2015
For the last couple of years wanted to do a disney cruise, finally we did it. Amazing experience in every single detail. From the night show at the walt disney theater to the kids oceaneers club, the delicious dinner every night and the ... Read More
For the last couple of years wanted to do a disney cruise, finally we did it. Amazing experience in every single detail. From the night show at the walt disney theater to the kids oceaneers club, the delicious dinner every night and the excellent service from our servers Kadek and Valine every night. Room very clean, great down service from Valentino, each night a different towel made animal. Great buffet at cabanas.. And delicious mid afternoon treats at flo v 8 cafe.. So clean in every single part of the ship. They take precautions like giving sanitizing towels before entering the restaurants and the kids have to wash their hands in a very modern propulsion washer. They love to go every day. The princesses gathering just lovely, but you have to reserve as soon as you get onboard, it includes Elsa and Ana... The makeover at the bibidibobidi boutique just great, but alse reserve in advance. The pirate league makeover just fantastic as it is for boys and girls and adults also if you want to look pirate alike. Adults areas were great also, just needs a little more entertainment acts at night. The adults pool are nice, and all the pools are fresh water not salted.. Aqua duck was fun and sometimes crowded.. One day we made a 30 min wait line, but is so much fun. We will defintely go back to a disney cruise, maybe a little more expensive than others but worth it! Read Less
Sail Date July 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
Sail Date June 2015
This was our second voyage on the Dream in the last 6 months - both experiences have been excellent! We went on the 3-day cruise to Nassau and Castaway Cay. Embarkation was very smooth and being a Castaway Cay club member, we were able ... Read More
This was our second voyage on the Dream in the last 6 months - both experiences have been excellent! We went on the 3-day cruise to Nassau and Castaway Cay. Embarkation was very smooth and being a Castaway Cay club member, we were able to board very fast. The activities on board were all entertaining from the highly detailed evening shows to the many trivia contests that we played - we even won one! The deck parties were high energy affairs that really got the crowds moving. The pirate night fireworks were awesome - had a front row seat from our midship balcony. Food was pretty good - the Animator's Palate is always the favorite for its atmosphere and menu. Our servers were really good - they challenged us every evening with dinner table puzzles and provided great and attentive service. Every staffer on board was friendly. We barely went ashore in Nassau - spent most of the day on the ship - took in the new Pixar movie (Inside Out), which was very entertaining. Castaway Cay is always the highlight - beautiful beach on Serenity Bay (adults only). The water is crystal clear and you get to see an abundance of marine life swimming at your feet. The BBQ on the island supplied by Disney is pretty good as well - as are the chairs and umbrellas - no extra charges. All in all, a great cruise, just too short. The embarkation was very smooth as we walked off and were in our car on the road in less than 30 minutes. Port Canaveral is the best port by far we have sailed from. We look forward to our next Disney cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Great cruise wonderful entertainment . Once again Disney does it again not something that can be discrive you need to experience for yourself . Entertainment excellent ! Expectacular and the food fantastic loved the cabana buffet . You ... Read More
Great cruise wonderful entertainment . Once again Disney does it again not something that can be discrive you need to experience for yourself . Entertainment excellent ! Expectacular and the food fantastic loved the cabana buffet . You must go bring the kids the grandmother there is a lot of things to do for all ages . Loved it Fantastic Fantasy cruise ! Ready to go again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our 2nd time back to Disney, this time for our 12 year anniversary! Have 2 kids 8 and 10. We took our first Disney cruise in 2010 and could not wait to come back! We selected the same cruise as this fit our schedule and we ... Read More
This was our 2nd time back to Disney, this time for our 12 year anniversary! Have 2 kids 8 and 10. We took our first Disney cruise in 2010 and could not wait to come back! We selected the same cruise as this fit our schedule and we liked the destinations. Same ship, the Dream. Try and break this down quickly: Food: Good selection and quality. Did not eat at the Remy or Palo. Cabanas always had great breakfast and lunch selections (buffett style.) Animators Palate is by far our favorite and enjoyed the meal we had there! Snack places that were open had standard fare and kept it hot and fresh. Staff always handing out wipes when entering dining areas. 24hr beverage station on deck 11. Staff: friendly, helpful and always had a smile! Boat: Kept clean!! Bathrooms, common areas, all sparkling and looking their best. Exterior and pool areas also very clean. Rooms: Very nice, bunk beds for the kids and the room stewards are bar none the best around!! Funny towel animals left for us on turn down service! Downsides: 1. Deck chairs were sparse on our day at sea. Could not find enough to seat all of us, swapping one between 4 of us. 2. Embarkation was slow, some hold up , only by 45 min or so of when we were supposed to board. 3. We had to leave! 4. Pool area on boarding day- they have a concrete style deck to look like boards. If you get on early enough you go to pool until your room is ready. However the concrete gets so hot that your feet will burn! Wish they would spray it down to cool it off until there is enough traffic on it to keep it cool. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The family had the best time ever. The dining service was impeccable thanks C.G/D.all from Jamaica/Indonesia. We all felt we were in "Downton Abbey" for dinner every night. Not used to us common folk. Food was above average on ... Read More
The family had the best time ever. The dining service was impeccable thanks C.G/D.all from Jamaica/Indonesia. We all felt we were in "Downton Abbey" for dinner every night. Not used to us common folk. Food was above average on all but one dining item on the menu that I unfortunately picked. But not much to complain about that. The ships activities were endless fun. The shows were great for Disney. I've been to the other cruise lines, and really tough to go back if it isn't Disney. Prices of Disney is steep, but what do you want when the best is available. I checked the Alaskan Disney, but 7 days seems lengthy. Hope they have 4 nights sometime in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Every part of this vacation was perfect! The ship is BEAUTIFUL and EXTREMELY well kept. ALL of the cast members are fantastic and work to make your vacation more magical and memorable. There is so much to do on the Disney Fantasy we never ... Read More
Every part of this vacation was perfect! The ship is BEAUTIFUL and EXTREMELY well kept. ALL of the cast members are fantastic and work to make your vacation more magical and memorable. There is so much to do on the Disney Fantasy we never even come close to doing it all! This is the second time we have sailed on the Disney Fantasy and we always have an amazing time. The adult only Quiet Cove pool is pleasingly a deserted paradise on sea days, which is a stark contrast to the family pools (Donald pool, and Mickey pool). The AquaDuck on sea days typically had a posted wait of 45+ minutes, but we never waited more than 20 minutes which was great! On port days we never had to wait more than 5 minutes to ride the AquaDuck! While enjoying all the family pool activities on the Disney Fantasy you can put your mind at ease knowing that lifeguards are staffed at all the family pools (i.e Donald pool, Mickey pool, AquaDuck) and Disney Cruise Line is the only cruise line which has and lifeguards at all. The broadway style productions in the Walt Disney Theatre were truly stunning to say the least, I particularly recommend Aladdin and Believe which just blew us and the rest of the audience away. Although I do recommend skipping the "Welcome Show" because it is nowhere near broadway calibre and is a waste of time. The adult district on the Disney Fantasy "Europa" is beautifully themed, but I cannot speak to the night scene in this area, for I did not experience it myself. The cabins on the Disney Fantasy are beautifully themed and appointed, my only complaint would be that the air conditioning in the ships staterooms never got below 75 degrees even on the highest setting, and while this is just my opinion I did not think it was cool enough to comfortably sleep in with the heavy comforter provided with the main bed. When we took the heavy comforter off, however; it was perfectly comfortable and the beds are AMAZING. The kids clubs on the ship are truly awe inspiring and make adults wish they were kids again, and the kids love them. As I already stated all the staff on the ship are amazing. The three main restaurants (Royal Court, Enchanted Garden, and Animators Palate) are great, I love the theming and the food was great! The quick-service locations aboard the Disney Fantasy are great as well, Flos V8 Cafe was a fun place to grab a bite to eat by the pool, and Cabanas buffet was a great place to have breakfast and lunch, the food at these locations was also very good. Stateroom dining was also a nice option to have, they always delivered the food in half the amount of time it would take, and they stayed true to their promised 24 hour service answering the phone promptly even at 3:00 am. The Disney Fantasy is a wonder of a cruise ship which combines modern conveniences and Disney magic with the elegance and grace of tradition early 1900 ocean liners. The ships motion is also very tightly controlled with the movement of the ship being only slightly noticeable even in very bad weather conditions. I recommend a Disney Cruise Line vacation to anyone and everyone even if you do not have kids. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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