28 Orlando (Port Canaveral) to Bahamas Disney Dream Cruise Reviews

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
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
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 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
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
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
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
This was our first Disney Cruise and WOW, it was truly a dream vacation. The customer services, from the moment you enter the port till the time you left it was nothing less than extraordinary. Checking in was a breezy. I was amazed that ... Read More
This was our first Disney Cruise and WOW, it was truly a dream vacation. The customer services, from the moment you enter the port till the time you left it was nothing less than extraordinary. Checking in was a breezy. I was amazed that I was able to take snacks and baby food on board, no questions asked. I went with my husband, my now 3 year old son (who turned 3 on the ship) and 18 month daughter. We had an amazing balcony room. The ship was spectacular, always immaculate. The food, OMG, was excellent. The waiters, Victor and Ronaldo, really made my kids feel extra special. My husband asked about an appetizer that he had the night before at a different restaurant and Ronaldo got it for him. Animators Palette is simply AMAZING, especially for the kids. Port excursions were very well organized and in true Disney fashion, they got people in and where they needed it to be in a timely fashion. Castsway Cay is fantastic. They truly have something for every age group there. My kids enjoyed the water park. My favorite part of the cruise was Pirate Night. What an exciting show. At one point I felt like I at the Magic Kingdom....it was just so fantastic. The only thing that i didn't like was that I didn't know that you need it a special ticket to see the characters from Disney Junior but now I am ready for next year. Other than that this was one of my favorite vacations. My kids really enjoyed themselves and to my surprise so did my husband. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My husband and I (yes - only 2 adults in our party), booked the 3-night cruise on the Disney dream with no foreknowledge of what to expect. A Disney cruise was suggested to us by a friend, and we found dates that worked for us. We. ... Read More
My husband and I (yes - only 2 adults in our party), booked the 3-night cruise on the Disney dream with no foreknowledge of what to expect. A Disney cruise was suggested to us by a friend, and we found dates that worked for us. We. Were. Blown. Away. Every detail was excellently executed. The ship was clean in every regard. We didn't have a negative experience with ANY staff members. Everyone was knowledgable, friendly, helpful. Again, I reiterate. We. Were. Blown. AWAY! We spent 5 days in Disney World after the cruise and wished we were still on the cruise. We're certain we prefer our Disney Dream cruise experience to any other Disney experience we've had, between Disneyland, or Disney World. We CAN'T WAIT to go back and try all four Disney ships. The entertainment was unexpectedly delightful (and helped me to totally forget my nausea from the slight turbulence of the ship!!) Our shore excursions, which we booked through Disney, were SEAMLESS. We weren't initially sure how we were going to get from place to place, but OF COURSE Disney took care of us and had all the details figured out. Yes, there were many families and children aboard but we didn't find them to be a problem. I enjoyed being surrounded by little ones feeling magic and having fun. So great! There were so many activities, that we weren't able to try everything and can't wait to do so in the future. But we DID attend the shows, the orientation tour, the movie theater (saw Cinderella!), the "when you're at Nassau" shopping presentation with Summer, and Senses Spa which was an impeccable experience. VISIT THE SPA! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We took our grandchildren on the same cruise last year. This year their ages were 10 and 7. Bothe time we booked two separate cabins one for the grandchildren and one for us. Great idea if you can afford it. We generally do not splurge ... Read More
We took our grandchildren on the same cruise last year. This year their ages were 10 and 7. Bothe time we booked two separate cabins one for the grandchildren and one for us. Great idea if you can afford it. We generally do not splurge when it comes to hard earned money. The rooms were booked early enough to be adjoining with an inside door connecting them. Did not get a veranda room since we felt that it would not be used. If the weather was good the kids would be either at the water sport area or on the shore with us. Also I felt it would be safer, whether this concern was substantiated or not I do not know. We felt both cruises were excellent. Much depends upon the serving staff. Last years were far better than the ones that we had this year. Both times they were excellent. A few suggestions to consider. .1. We decided not to part take in the "fancy restaurants" this time. Last year we felt it was a waste of money. The service and food were just as good when we ate with the kids. Perhaps we may be hard to please. We are New Yorkers and used to extremely fine restaurants. The Disney Cruise restaurants that you are assigned to are up to par with some very fine places around the world. As a side note, we do quite a bit of cruising. Believe it or not the Disney Dream food and service were far better than the Queen Mary across the Atlantic! Sssh! You can order special dishes if you wish. Our grandchildren love Caesar salad and they were happily served it at each meal. Gladly gave they servers an extra tip at the end of the voyage. 2. If you go to Nassau then consider the dolphin experience. We did it last year and believe it to be worth the expense. It was a great experience. Also splurge and get the video. I would usually expect it to be a total hype. Someone advised me to get the video and I feel it was well worth it. Another suggestion if you go to Nassau. Do not go on the Atlantis Adventure if you can choose the dolphins. I not only found this to be a big mistake but feel they need to get another vendor to arrange this tour. When you get there all it is - is another large waterpark. We did not even get chairs. There were literally hundreds of people, probably visitors, hotel guests and or other cruise passengers. No chairs were available on a very sunny and hot day. Many were reserved for "who-knows-who". You could get the same experience at the Red Hook Brooklyn public pool. The cost was also ridiculous. We ate a the fast food stand "Peices". The fried fish was good after a long wait on line avoiding the sea gull poop. In retrospect perhaps we could have been better off staying on board (we previously went to the dolphins). I suppose most of the kids went ashore at that time and our grandchildren would be able to easily get on the AquaDuct without much wait. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Just returned from our MLK weekend cruise to Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay on the Disney Dream. I've been on several cruise lines, but this has been my first (but not last) Disney cruise. I'm a travel agent, so I had a fairly ... Read More
Just returned from our MLK weekend cruise to Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay on the Disney Dream. I've been on several cruise lines, but this has been my first (but not last) Disney cruise. I'm a travel agent, so I had a fairly large group (50 people) travel with me. Mostly adults, but we did have 8-10 kids between 8-16 travel with us. Great experience from the initial booking to the actual disembarking. Unlike the other cruise lines, Disney allows you to bring on your alcohol. This was a great bonus for the adults. It saved everyone quite a bit of money. And the free sodas (except when ordered in room service) was also great. You did not need a soda package like the other cruise lines. There were several great bars that were under utilized by the adults. Maybe it was the time of the year, but none of them were ever busy. Pink is beautiful. Evolution was also pretty cool. Check out the R&B band too. They were pretty good. All of the food was pretty decent. Make sure you check out the brunch at PALO. Best $25pp I've ever spent. The service is exceptional. Berny was our server and she was awesome. Nicole at the front desk of Palo was great too. In the dining room we had Lorenzo and Rashuan. They took very good care of our large group. I would have to say that the food selection at Royal Palace was my favorite, and then Enchanted Garden. I didn't too much care for the food at Animator's Palate, although the experience in there was great for the younger travelers. You definitely don't have to dress up in that restaurant. Lots to do on the boat for all ages. I only wish the basketball court didn't close at 6pm. By the time we came back on the ship it was closing so my son was really disappointed. I heard it re-opened at midnight, but by that time we were mostly in the movie theaters as it was too cool to be out on the deck. Loved all the movies....but why does Disney charge for popcorn?? That should be included in my opinion. And the glasses don't get cleaned after each 3D movie, so make sure you sanitize them. Other than that, we really enjoyed seeing some of the movies that were still out in the theaters or ones that had recently left the theater. Another downside, the pictures are wayyyy to expensive. $20 a pop, and they're only one size. The cd was $149 for 10 pics. That's 1/3 of what I paid for my portion of the trip. lol. I think Disney would really capitalize if they made the pictures available online after the trip (when people have some more money to spend) or either make different sizes available at different rates. They print all of those pictures and they go to waste. All of the pictures turned out really good, but I only left with 3 because I thought it was ridiculous to spend that much money. My stateroom: When I was assigned my room, I couldn't find any pictures online. Although all the rooms pretty much look the same, I really liked the location of my room. We were the last rooms in the aft. We were pretty much in the corner, next to the handicap room (which is HUGE). The balcony was great. We had two loungers and two regular chairs, along with a table. We barely used it, but for the price, it was great to have--especially when pulling up to the ports. Since we seemed to back in, we had the best view. If you're looking at the back of the ship, we were right above the Mickey painting (and next to the flag). It does get a little noisey when pulling in to the port, but it wasn't enough to bother me. The boat does get a little rocky back there at night...but I think that's because they speed up at night. It wasn't enough to get you sea sick or anything but you definitely feel it more than when staying in the midship (in my opinion). Albert was our stateroom guy and he was amazing. Two thumbs up! Castaway cay was very nice. And the food was very good. All of the boating excursions got canceled due to the wind, so we just layed out on the beach and a few did the aqua bikes and snorkeling. Disney definitely has the best customer service hands down! I would definitely book again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
The three day cruise to Castaway Cay was the perfect ending to my wife's 50th birthday celebration. This was our 4th cruise on a 4th different cruise line, so we have experienced many different styles up to this point. Starting with ... Read More
The three day cruise to Castaway Cay was the perfect ending to my wife's 50th birthday celebration. This was our 4th cruise on a 4th different cruise line, so we have experienced many different styles up to this point. Starting with arrival and embarkation - Port Canaveral was a dream in itself compared to some other ports we have gone through previously. I opted for the pre-pard onsite parking - upon our arrival at the port, we were greeted with nothing but very friendly staff more than willing to talk and aid us in our arrival. I pulled up to the curb and a Disney employee helped unload our luggage with a friendly greeting. After dropping the luggage off, we made a quick drive across the street to the parking garage, parked, and within minutes was in the terminal checking in. After a very quick check-in (had already done online check-in), we waited about 15-20 minutes for our boarding zone to get on the ship - all in all, very quick and painless and the best boarding experience we have ever had. Stepping onto the ship, our first impression was wow! The ship was in impeccable condition - well maintained and very clean. Disney is a fanatic about cleanliness - they are handing you antibacterial wipes at every place where food and drink are served. We had lunch at the buffet (Cabanas) which was average - we have had better buffets on other ships, but still good. Having free soft drinks included in cruise price was a great bonus - another Disney plus. One of our concerns taking our first Disney cruise was the fear of children running everywhere, but they have done a great job of setting up 18 and over areas - there are special deck and pool areas, as well as an entertainment district in the back of one deck that is 18 and over at night. Onto our room- we booked a Navigator's Verandah room and ended up being upgraded to a full standard balcony room at no extra charge - Room 8660 which is Starboard AFT. The room was laid out very nice - a bathroom separated into two rooms- one with shower/tub and sink, and the other with toilet and sink - largest bathrooms we have had on a cruise ship. Large closets, a queen size bed, and a sofa rounded out the large room. The balcony was great - first time for us and I will have a hard time not booking one in the future - makes the room feel so much larger and is great place to unwind away from everyone on deck. We also had the benefit of a front row seat on the pirate fireworks night - great view! We had always had midship rooms for comfort sakes, but no vibrations or rocking in the AFT room this time. Entertainment was incredible - most elaborate sets and production we have ever seen on a ship. As expected, all were with the great wholesome Disney touches, but always had a few adult jokes thrown in. Pirate night was fun with the deck party and the fireworks from the boat. Disney main dining is truly unique - three different themed restaurants in three nights with your server moving with you. The first night we had Animators Palate- an artist's studio theme with a heavy dose of Nemo on the many screens throughout the restaurant. I had stated in my reservation that we were celebrating my wife's birthday and at the end of the meal, they brought her a little cake and sang happy birthday. As we got up to leave after our dinner, an animated turtle from Nemo "swam" up to the screen above our table and wished my wife happy birthday - really cool touch, but hey, this is Disney, so I would expect something special. The food was good that night - I had red snapper - very good. They gave my wife a "birthday" button that she wore the next day - every crew member that passed her wished her a happy birthday - a nice touch. The second night we went to the Enchanted Garden - it was pirate night and my wife dressed up as a pirate. This was the best meal so far - had a sea bass that was very good. The last night was an optional dress up night - we chose to do so and we dined at the Royal Palace. Another good meal - the rack of lamb was very tasty. All in all, the servers were excellent and the food was very good as well. Day activities were varied and we had some pretty good fun. We learned how to make towel animals, played some trivia games, and even participated in the Mickey 200 - a pinewood derby event where the cars are made primarily from vegetables - a fun and unique idea. The highlight of the trip was Castaway Cay - a truly beautiful island. We opted for the 18+ beach at the far side of the island - just a short tram ride from the ship, which docks right at the island- no tenders. The beach had chairs and umbrellas all set up - no charge. The water was crystal clear and the sea life abundant. We saw live starfish, conch, fish, and even a stingray! Disney provided a BBQ lunch on the island - again, a separate one was for 18+. All in all, a wonderful day and instantly had us talking about coming back again. All good things must come to an end, so we arrived back in Port Canaveral around 6am - a quick breakfast at the buffet and we elected to walk off with our luggage and were off the ship by 7:15am. Again a very smooth operation. We had always been spooked a little by the higher cost of Disney cruises, but after taking this one, it is worth the money. The all around quality of the ship, activities, service and food coupled with the impeccable cleanliness makes it a great value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
From start to finish everything was perfect on this cruise. The boarding process was quick and painless, and once onboard the ship was beautiful and spotlessly clean. The staff were extremely friendly and accommodating at all times. Our ... Read More
From start to finish everything was perfect on this cruise. The boarding process was quick and painless, and once onboard the ship was beautiful and spotlessly clean. The staff were extremely friendly and accommodating at all times. Our waiters Dwight and Richard were the best. My kids loved them. Our stateroom hostess Lidia was so friendly and went out of her way to take care of us. Each night we would have a different "Towel Animal" on the bed. She kept our stateroom neat and tidy. Not an easy task with two messy teenage girls. The food was great and there was always plenty to eat. We loved the AquaDuck water coaster and just lounging on the deck. It was fun to be able to watch movies on the huge screen or the football games on Thanksgiving day. Even though there were over 4000 passengers on the cruise you never felt like you were in a crowd. We stopped in Nassau on the first day. Unless you want to spend large amounts of money to use the facilities at the Atlantis there was not much of draw there. We did get of the ship and walk around for a while, but then went back onboard and enjoyed a day when a lot of the passengers were not onboard. Day 2 was spent at Disney's private island, "Castaway Cay." It was absolutely wonderful. We swam in the clear blue water, rented bikes and road around the island and enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch on the island. We could have spent more time here. Back on board that night was the Pirate night. With all kinds of pirate themed activities culminating in a Pirate Deck party complete with fireworks and a dance party. Day 3 was a relaxing day at sea. We enjoyed all of the shows and saw a few of the first run movies available in the theater. We worried about the waiting to get our luggage with over 4000 people on board, but it was well organized and we had our bags were off to out shuttle in a matter of minutes. We had people for age 11 to 80 in our party and everyone truly enjoyed the experience and there were things for all age groups to do. I highly recommend Disney cruises and the Disney Dream Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We've taken seven cruises with NCL (Norwegian Cruise Lines) and decided to take our first cruise with Disney to celebrate our 5 year old daughter's birthday. Having searched reviews before to see the differences between NCL and ... Read More
We've taken seven cruises with NCL (Norwegian Cruise Lines) and decided to take our first cruise with Disney to celebrate our 5 year old daughter's birthday. Having searched reviews before to see the differences between NCL and Disney without success, I thought I would use this opportunity to share what I discovered on this trip. We did Disney, Sea World, and Universal Studios in the 5 days prior to our cruise. Cruising post-theme parks was the right idea we discovered. Relaxing on the ship after walking parks was well worth the wait. Couldn't imagine going the other way. We stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott in Cape Canaveral the night before the cruise. This hotel was only about a mile from the Disney Cruise Terminal and had a shuttle service available at $3 per person. We enjoyed a nice dinner at Rusty's on Port Canaveral the night before and watched all the cruise ships depart the port. The process of checking in to Disney was similar, but smoother to our past experiences with NCL. Disney owns their own terminal and has this process down pat, versus NCL often using random terminals and employees that work for other cruise lines as well - but still it was much faster with Disney. Going through security, a guard had to take my daughter's birthday ballon "for security purposes", which made no sense. She was bawling. Out of the blue, that same security office found us in line and gave her a stuffed Minney Mouse - which quieted her right down. Nice touch Disney! Having recently sailed on the Norwegian Gem, which was built around the same time and at the same shipyard as the Disney Dream, I expected many similarities - but found few. The Dream was certainly a bit more glamorous but I didn't enjoy the ship layout as much as I have found on the NCL ships we have sailed (The Jewell, The Gem, and The Sun). While the casino was obviously absent on the Dream, I didn't like that the adult nightclub areas were buried at the back of the ship. Not many people ever found them and they were often vacant of people at night. In fact, there was really no nightlife in the adult clubs on the Dream at all compared to the NCL ships. The pools on the Dream were the smallest cruise ships pools I have ever seen. They were instantly filled with kids all the time and didn't look inviting. Still, I liked the display overhead of constant Disney movies. The hot tubs on the Dream were two metal tanks on the edge of the ship that reminded me of cow troughs versus hot tubs. On NCL, they have several round, welcoming jacuzzi tubs about their ship. Still, the water features for the kids were nice. The Aqua Duck waterside was worthy of a two trips down it. Both of my kids were board with it after two rides and never did it again. It wasn't all that it was made out to be in the marketing and TV commercials. One thing I liked on Disney verses my past experiences on NCL is that Disney actually enforces their rules - to a point (more later). For example, they have adult areas on the ship and adult pools. Those areas were great and it was nice to take a break away from children. It would nice to see NCL do this on an outside area of their ships during the day rather than just in their nightclubs. Still, I learned quickly that even if I tried to walk my child through an adult area, a Disney crew member was quickly there to remind me that no kids were allowed. On NCL, in my past experiences, there were signs with rules, but they were never enforced. One of the most important features for cruising for my family, which in addition to my 5 year old daughter includes my 11 year old son, is the kid's club areas. While we expected Disney to knock the socks off NCL in this department, we were deeply disappointed. Sure, the Dream had three times the kids' club that NCL ships have. They were top notch facilities with all the bells and whistles. I am sure no one at sea has a better kids club area for kids than Disney Cruise ships. However, it was a kid factory on the Dream, and I mean that in a negative sense. The staff in the kids area on the Dream were impersonal, and almost not human. They were like drones. When we dropped our daughter off, none would take her into the club unless we begged them. The first time we did drop off, my daughter walked in and no one greeted her, welcomed her, or anything. She quickly started to cry - which we could observe by peeking around the corner. After 30 seconds of seeing no staff was coming to attend to her, I went in to see her. Unlike on NCL, the Dream kid's club staff did allow parents into the Kids Club, the only other perk I found verses NCL. I spent some time going from station to station with my daughter. The staff kept recommending my daughter go to one of their numerous computer labs to make a fairy or a Minnie on a computer. No one ever asked if my 5 year old daughter could read. I quickly learned that none of their computer programs worked unless you could read. In one lab, I quickly found myself helping 4 other 4 and 5 year olds use the computer while a staff member was attending to another kid in the corner. After one kid beside me was crying uncontrollable for over a minute, I finally called that staff member over since she seemed oblivious to it, and she finally attended to the crying kid. I ended up just leaving with my daughter and no one asked why she wasn't staying. While we did go back to the kids club two more times during the cruise, and my daughter did end up staying both times - we were very disappointed and urned for NCL's kids club. On NCL, the kid's club staff remembered our kids names and greeted them whenever they came. When they departed, they acted sad to see the kids go. On NCL, they bonded with our kids and that was more important than all the fancy toys and gadgets the Dream offered. For this one reason, we will cruise on a NCL ship again with our daughter while she is young verses a Disney Ship. In past reviews about Disney, people either say they love or were disappointed in the food. Again, with only NCL as a comparison, I will say that the food on the Disney Dream was about 15 to 20% better than food we have had on NCL ships in the past. We never had any meals that weren't really good at all. On NCL, sometimes you get a hockey puck of a steak and the buffets sometimes have some rubbery veggies. We had no complaints about any of the Dream's food and thought dining time was one of the better parts of the cruise. It was our first experience away from "Freestyle" dining that NCL offers. I thought I wouldn't like it, but ended up liking it better on Disney. We were set for the first dining at 5:45pm and it was nice to walk right into the restaurant and be seated right away. On any NCL ship we have been on, we've always had to wait with a buzzer for our turn to eat when going to the common restaurants. We didn't dine in any of the specialty restaurants on the Dream, nor did we ever feel the need to. The Animator's Palate wasn't all it was made out to be as far as talking to Crush the turtle (he came by once during our meal and only talked to the table next to us for 3 minutes, then we never saw him again - so that was quite a disappointment - unless your seat is right next to a big screen, Crush won't come to you), but that, the Enchanted Garden, and the Royal Palace, as well as having the same servers each night was a much better experience for us than we have had on an NCL ship. One thing we noticed differently about NCL versus Disney was the crew demographic. On the Dream, the crew we interacted with was mostly from India on 6 month contracts. They were very friendly of course - but a bit more stand-off-ish than we were used to on NCL. On NCL, the crew in the dining areas and kitchen are mostly from the Philippines on 9 month contracts. We found that the crew on NCL was just slightly more friendly and easier to interact with than the Disney crew - but we aren't sure whether that was a result of their nationality and demographic, or by policy. It seems like there were always more officers available to talk to and address concerns with on NCL verses the Dream. On the Dream, the Indian people didn't have as many officers as the Filipino's have on the NCL ships. Again, not sure why that is? Not a deciding factor either way - both crews were top notch. We enjoyed our cabin on the Dream versus cabin's we have had on NCL ships in the past. The separation of the toilet and shower was a nice amenity. As was access in our cabin to all the Disney movies ever made on-demand. Other than that, the cabins and service were about the same. The shows on NCL were far better than shows on the Dream, which was surprising. Granted, our daughter liked seeing the Disney characters in the shows, and that was well worth it. For adults however, NCL has never let us down. The Dream's shows were just, "okay". The second major difference between NCL and Disney besides the kid's club was the activities on the ship. We were so overwhelmed with all the things to do on the Dream, we actually felt less relaxed and under pressure more than we wanted to attend and do as many of them as possible. By my 2nd day on a NCL ship, I have usually seen and used most of the ship features. After 4 days on the Dream, I know I only ever saw half the ship. I only learned about a mini-golf course on the back deck of the Dream while I was debarking at the end of the cruise and another passenger mentioned it. This isn't to say that NCL doesn't offer enough to do, but Disney is certainly over the top. As I said, I kind of wish I had less options on the Dream so I wasn't so pressured to not miss something. I never really go to enjoy one feature on the Dream very long. The third major difference on the Dream between other NCL ships we have sailed was the Spa. This is the 2nd most important area of the ship for us after the Kids' Club. While the Spa staff, reception, massages, and treatments on the Dream were comparable to NCL ships, we were disappointed by what the daily spa pass offered on the Dream versus what we have experienced on the Norwegian Gem or Jewell. For $29 a day on the Dream, we had access to a coed room with 8 or so heated chairs, two small whirlpools with almost no jet power, and two steam rooms. This was a far cry from the large adult's only pools, powerful jetted tubs, and large men or woman's private areas on the NCL ships on what was around a $100 pass per cruise. We expected much more from Disney in this area and were very disappointed. If you are a Spa-at-sea person, NCL beats Disney hands down in this category. A quick mention on the port visits on this cruise. We did Atlantis Aquaventure in Nassau . It was our second visit to the water park at Atlantis and it is well worth the money for the visit. The water park there is AMAZING. One warning, the "Lazy River" is anything but. In fact, I don't think that ride would even be legal in the US. My wife cracked her head and has a major bruise on her back from the ride down that rapid river ride. My 5 yo daughter has bruises and bumps all over her. I survived without a bump - but there should be more cautions there to protect people from banging off the walls and bottom of the river. Fun ride - but not for those that aren't well prepared! Castaway Cay blows NCL's Great Stirrup Cay out of the water of course - but if you are just looking for a beach day as we were, that didn't matter much to us. The Disney lifeguards were quite "giztabo-like" in managing the rules on Castaway Cay, which got annoying. It seemed they were always yelling at someone for something. They used old voice-powered loud hailing tubes versus more modern ones and you could never understand what they were yelling. At times the life guards started yelling for missing people from families, etc, and I gave up trying to listen to what they were yelling about. In summary, with the exception of the Spa and Kid's Club, I would say that the Disney was about 10 to 15% better at what they do and offer than NCL. However, if having your kids cared for in an area where the counselors seem genuinely interested in them and relaxing in a larger spa is important to you, NCL is the place to be. We certainly weren't sold that Disney was better than NCL and will probably go back to NCL, even if the steaks may not be as nice, or the line for the freestyle dining is a bit longer. We are happy that we cruised on the Dream and will have wonderful memories of that trip. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip however and a chance to see how Disney does what it does. Seeing all the Disney characters and enjoying their show as very satisfying. A few quick final observations. We never saw so many adult couples fighting randomly as we did on the Disney Cruise. Not sure if was a weird anomaly or what - but it seemed whenever we were in an elevator, waiting for one, or in a theater before a show, there was at least one couple nearby in a some sort of a "couple's love fight". While on our cruise, Vanna White and Pat Sajek came onboard to film a promo for Wheel of Fortune. The camera crews set up in public access areas, but on both occasions that I approached the filming areas, out of line-of-site of the cameras, I was rudely told to "go away" by Disney crew and not approach the filming areas. The crew should have either roped off the area or filmed in a location not accessible to Guests if they didn't want us checking things out. I was a bit put off by this. It went back to Disney's constant willingness to keep it's Guests in line. One time, I went to use the main staircase in the lobby area only to be yelled at by a crew member that I couldn't use the stairs. I looked around and couldn't figure out why. So, I asked the guy yelling at me and he said it was because they were setting up to take photos of Guests. Okay - so if they were setting up and no one was using the stairs yet, what was the big deal of stopping me from using them for a minute - no one else was around? The same thing happened on Castaway Cay when we arrived early at their water slides on the family beach. There were no lines and hardly any people there, so I swam under the rope to go do the slide again with my daughter after doing it the first time. I was practically physically attacked by a life guard for that action! He made sure I knew that I had to swim all the way back to the beach and cross over the rope there, not any earlier. I left the slide area after that. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Having cruised multiple times (Disney, Carnival, NCL, Princess and Holland I have a good basis for reviewing. Disney makes their cruises Funtastic. They are my number One cruise line. Embarkation is a breeze; this was the shortest and ... Read More
Having cruised multiple times (Disney, Carnival, NCL, Princess and Holland I have a good basis for reviewing. Disney makes their cruises Funtastic. They are my number One cruise line. Embarkation is a breeze; this was the shortest and easiest time to get through the process than any other cruise I have experienced. And disembarkation was so easy-we had assigned breakfast times and restaurant when we finished eating the announcement came we had cleared customs and we walked off ship, got our luggage and were on the way to the airport. This whole process was quick and easy. The Ship is beautiful the staff is well informed and very helpful. We had two large porthole rooms which were perfect for us. We had a two year old and a 5 year old and they loved sitting in the porthole. Every night we had towel creatures in our room. So much fun the night we came back and there was a towel monkey wearing a pair of sunglasses hanging from the ceiling. The shows were wonderful, we saw two 3d movies on board in the lovely theatre. The kids used the pool and the splash zone and it was hard to get them out of there. The 5 year old loved the kids club and all the activities for her. Castaway Cay: Love it! We went parasailing and enjoyed the beach and snorkeling. I have been to other Cruise Islands and Castaway Cay surpasses all of the other islands by miles. Umbrellas or trees over each chair. The ship was filled to capacity and there were enough beach chairs for everyone and all in good locations. Disney knows how to do it right. One night at Dinner-we ordered our meals and the head waiter said you need to order the Sea Bass and he brought a plate for us to share. Of course it was delicious as was all the food. The dining rooms were decorated beautifully. On another night the 5 year old came to dinner dressed up in her Princess dress and the staff at the door (15 people) announced that there was a Princess in the Hall and they all started applauding our Little Princess-her face was just beaming. Thank you Disney for a Magical Experience.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I can't say enough about how much of an enjoyable time that me and my family had on our first cruise. My husband and younger son were very uneasy about cruising in the first place but after this adventure my husband booked another ... Read More
I can't say enough about how much of an enjoyable time that me and my family had on our first cruise. My husband and younger son were very uneasy about cruising in the first place but after this adventure my husband booked another one. The ship was super clean and everything ran like a well oiled machine. Just outstanding service across the board. My only dislike is the child groupings for activities. My youngest son who is 10 was grouped in with the toddlers and he hated that. They should have a grouping that separates the toddlers from the pre-teens. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Disney Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 5.0 4.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.2
Family 5.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.1
Enrichment 3.0 4.2
Service 5.0 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 2.0 3.7

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