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

This was our 3rd cruise on disney (15th cruise overall) and 2nd on the Dream. We just love the ship! The adult area is really enforced but there is a family area on the deck just above the adult pool so if you are with children you do ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise on disney (15th cruise overall) and 2nd on the Dream. We just love the ship! The adult area is really enforced but there is a family area on the deck just above the adult pool so if you are with children you do have access to the nice, warm adult pool with swim up bar. the food is excellent and the pirate night party is a blast! People do dress for pirate night in costumes, but there are loads of people who dont!. We had late seating, with an infant, and it went beautifully. Animator's palate is always a really great experience! all in all, i highly recommend cruisng with disney, their attention to service, detail and children can't be beat! The service on board is impeccable, anything you desire you can pretty much get when it comes to food and drink! My hubby won the grand prize at bingo! his first time playing! Disney entertainment is among the best we have seen! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
First off, if you don't love Disney, then this probably will be a little too much wholesome fun for you. However, being Disney lovers who also wanted a couple friendly/romantic type of vacation, we wondered when we decided to spend ... Read More
First off, if you don't love Disney, then this probably will be a little too much wholesome fun for you. However, being Disney lovers who also wanted a couple friendly/romantic type of vacation, we wondered when we decided to spend our anniversary on if we really could have the best of both worlds. Let me just say that DCL delivers! Dining We chose the second seating for dinner and hardly even noticed other kids around, but then, that could've been because we were seated with another great couple and had almost nonstop conversation the whole time. On our second night, we ate at Palo, which was a very reasonable surcharge of $20 per person. Our waiter was amazing and provided both excellent service and fun personal interaction. He was very knowledgeable about the food, which was phenomenal. That said, with three dining rooms that are included in the regular rotation, the need for paying extra for variety in dining just isn't there. We only ate a late breakfast at the buffet, which we loved (I'm a smoked salmon addict, and they had THREE KINDS of it!) and a bit of a snack at the poolside counter service spots in the late afternoon. The food on Castaway Cay was great for lunch, especially all of the fresh fruit that they offered. Also, another plus for us on this cruise was that soda was included in the price. I have seen beverage packages on other cruise lines that cost around $17/person per night. While DCL is certainly pricier than many other cruise lines, just taking into account and extra $34 per day you'd pay elsewhere for equivalent beverage packages, the value of free non-alcoholic beverages adds up a lot on longer cruises. Stateroom Our stateroom was roomy with lots of storage for our belongings. We had a family room with a verandah that was also handicap accessible, making it lacking in the standard tub, but also having more square footage than a standard room. Bed was comfortable, LOVED the Disney Spa toiletries! If they weren't so darned expensive to buy from Disney, I would be shelling out for that at home. Of course, the hidden Mickeys in the room were not so hidden for the most part, but we just loved how the room had a classy, elegant feel, yet had the whimsy of the Mickeys tastefully sprinkled here and there. Service Bar service was always excellent for us, with little wait to get our drinks. The housekeeping was excellent and always provided cute towel animals with each turn down service. Our servers/waiters were solid for dinner. They were personable and were familiar with the dishes. At both the regular dining rooms and Palo, we received a special treat for our anniversary, which was a lovely extra. Sometimes the dining room waitstaff were a bit slow, but that would be my only critique. Embarkation involved a long-ish line that moved fairly quickly, and debarkation was an absolute breeze! Get up, eat breakfast, and go! We opted to keep our luggage, as it was just the two of us and we didn't have but a suitcase on wheels each to maneuver. Ship Activities/facilities/entertainment The nightly shows and deck parties that we attended were truly magical. The talent level was up to Disney standard. We laughed. I cried, and we both enjoyed all three nights at the shows. We were glad that there were plenty of places for a couple in their 30's, such as us, to get away from the crazy family crowds and enjoy some quieter, more romantic times. The adults only pool was shallow and not super roomy, but having the bar there and a place to dip my feet without worries of getting splashed by a 10 year old perfecting his cannonball was really nice. We spent some time in the bar that is on the top deck, forward. Standing up there with the wind blowing in my hair and a drink in my hand after dinner at night was certainly enjoyable. Speaking of drinks, the Mr. bought a DCL beer mug and got discounts on draft beer plus a souvenir to take home, which was a great value. We also bought a wine package to have three bottles during our cruise from the standard selections, which we drank with dinner. This was, in my opinion, also a great deal, as we enjoy having wine with meals and aren't too fussy about which kind goes with what foods. Castaway Cay's serenity bay was a wonderful beach escape for adults only. After the stingray experience, we relaxed and enjoyed the quiet peace and the beautiful views. The only thing missing from this ship was nightlife. It just wasn't there, which is not surprising. Not only that, but a late night game similar to the newlywed game was still so wholesome it ventured into cheesy territory. Come on, it's a bar. We're all over 21. You don't have to use phrases like "the magic happen" (air quotes included) for euphemisms. I know it's Disney, but sheesh! All in all, if you're a couple and you love Disney, this ship can be a real Dream!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Know my biases up front: -not a fan of crowds -Fan of Wind Jammer (3 times) -Enjoyed 7 day on Disney Magic Good: -Cabins, Deluxe family with verandah -kids activities -Castaway Cay -friendliness of crew -embarkation process was ... Read More
Know my biases up front: -not a fan of crowds -Fan of Wind Jammer (3 times) -Enjoyed 7 day on Disney Magic Good: -Cabins, Deluxe family with verandah -kids activities -Castaway Cay -friendliness of crew -embarkation process was improved over last Disney Cruise Bad: -crowded, almost everywhere, almost always -food, not bad, but ranks at bottom of the 5 cruises we've done, fish was consistently overcooked, and everything at Animator's Palate was on the cold side. -no dinner dress code, shorts and tank tops welcomed in main dining -smoking, to get away from the crowds, we'd retreat to our cabin's verandah, but we were often greeted with smoke from other guests. Nassau: -Is a busy Capital city, but traffic really picks up after school let's out around 3. -Cheryl's Taxi & Tour is great. Craig is a friendly and proud Bahamian, who's proud of his country and makes for a great guide.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was my 11th cruise. I took my grandson for his 5th birthday. I have sailed with Princess, NCL, RCCL, Carnival and the defunct Premier cruise line. I expected much more from this cruise. It was Disney!! The food was average at best. ... Read More
This was my 11th cruise. I took my grandson for his 5th birthday. I have sailed with Princess, NCL, RCCL, Carnival and the defunct Premier cruise line. I expected much more from this cruise. It was Disney!! The food was average at best. The dining room service was upsetting. The first night I asked to change tables. The party sitting with us was obnoxious. I stated my concerns to our waiter and he ignored me. By the last night I didn't even go to the dining room. The children's activities were exceptional except for the character meet n greet. There were times you stood in a long line only to have the character leave before you seen them.The pool areas were very crowded, not enough chairs. The entertainment was everything I expected, amazing shows! I was also impressed with the transportation to and from the airport. In summary: Less than impressive service, less than impressive food, great shows, well run kids program, lack of chairs by the pools, overcrowded, nice cabin. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
To begin....We are well traveled cruise people. Usually we go on the rather upscale small ships. This time we decided to take our grandchildren, Boy aged 9 and girl aged 7, on the Disney Dream. Quite honestly I was expecting to regret the ... Read More
To begin....We are well traveled cruise people. Usually we go on the rather upscale small ships. This time we decided to take our grandchildren, Boy aged 9 and girl aged 7, on the Disney Dream. Quite honestly I was expecting to regret the decision. To our surprise it was a fantastic experience. During to planning of this trip practically everyone's advice was to expect it to be great. We were not disappointed . We got two staterooms (adjoining). One for the kids one for us. The price differential was not much compared to a family suite. I highly recommend this choice. We opted for portholes rather than a balcony. Also a good decision. Probably would not even have used it. Now for the review; The main swimming areas were wonderful for the kids. Do not expect to find any faults. It is what it is. Lots and lots of people but that is what is expected. Kids had a great time. It was like bring a beach chair to Grand Central Station if you want to watch the kids.Rather long waits for the slide and the aqua-tube. I cannot see how Disney can attempt to improve it. Adults can always hide out in the 18 and above areas. The only real complaint is that there should be more shaded areas for adults. Food was excellent and service was superb.I am comparing it to the top cruise lines. I cannot understand how anyone can complain. The children can order from the adult menu. In fact the servers even made special arrangements for the kids wishes. The wanted Caesar Salads every night even when it was not on the menu. One night we went to "Remy's" (with children. The servers took good care of the kids in the dining room without us. I highly DO NOT recommend Remy's!!! If you like French dining this was rather good but definitely NOT worth the cost. They actually overcharged for alcohol cocktails. And did not correct the bill. They though they were excessively fancy. Not better than an average french dining locale in a major city. Save your money and tip the servers well downstairs. Castaway Island was nice but crowded. Take the bikes for a ride. Visit the Dolphins. Expensive but a one time experience.and disease prevention. In summation the trip was great. Well organized a extremely concerned with good hygiene   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
The problem with Disney Cruise Line is that before you book your trip, you stop and ask yourself, "Is it really worth it?" As you know you are basically paying double than other brands so you go into the cruise with high ... Read More
The problem with Disney Cruise Line is that before you book your trip, you stop and ask yourself, "Is it really worth it?" As you know you are basically paying double than other brands so you go into the cruise with high expectations. Sadly, they were not met. The biggest issue was the food. The food was not really good. I thought the food was actually better at the windjammer than at the MDR. Several nights, I left hungry. I think they want to be creative but the meals fall short. But to be fair I did eat at Remys and Palo. The food is incredible at Remys but I am a bit of a picky eater so I didnt like everything there but my dinner partner loved it. Palo was great and I had a nice time there. It was also annoying that the hours of the places were really limited. The windjammer was only open for a short time and the breakfast in the MDR was only open for 1.5 hours in the morning. It wasnt open at night so you could get a quick snack. The pizza, sandwiches, and hamburgers weren't that they great but that stand was open later. I was also disappointed with the kids menu. They actually served corn dogs in the MDR. How is that even healthy, just give a kid a hamburger. I only ate in the MDR twice but the healthy option was a repeat. It was a turkey bolognese but when I ordered it for my daughter the pasta was hard. The shows were great and my daughter loved meeting the characters but we did have to wait in lines. So if you want to see the princesses it is better to show up 30 minutes before or you will be stuck in a really long time. The private island is really great. I really enjoy the adult only section. The boat is pretty empty during that day so it is a great time to enjoy the pool and the aqua deck with crowds and lines.   Read Less
Sail Date May 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
It started with no porters at the pier. I dropped off my family and went to park the car. When I got back to the curd they were still there. Our luggage was taken by porters. However we were not allowed in the terminal. So we were sent to ... Read More
It started with no porters at the pier. I dropped off my family and went to park the car. When I got back to the curd they were still there. Our luggage was taken by porters. However we were not allowed in the terminal. So we were sent to stand in line in the parking structure. An hour later when we were allowed in the terminal we were glad that it was air conditioned. We were given a number three boarding card. Once boarding started people just crowded the entrance. There was one person there but he did not check the cards so anyone could enter and probably did. When we first walked on the ship we noticed how large and wide open the atrium was. It turned out it was the main area to have your photo taken with characters. Unlike the theme parks you usually had to wait 30 minutes to take photos. When photos are taken they scan your card so they know where to place your photos. You then go to your book and the printed photos are there for you to choose from. Because of the high cost of the cruise we selected an inside cabin with a virtual port hole. It had a camera outside so you could see what is outside in that location if you had an ocean view cabin. Not very often Disney characters would float by the window. The cabin had two bath rooms. One with a tub and sink and one with a sink and toilet. There was not much closet and drawer space for the three of us. For dinner we ate in three different dining rooms with the same staff each night. We did not care much for the food in the main dining room. The dining room you are assigned the last night of the cruise is where you had breakfast. If you had early seating at dinner you had to eat the early seating for breakfast. If you had late seating you ate the later breakfast before you left the ship. The shows in the main show room were not up to the usual Disney productions. We really expected more. There is also a movie theater that shows first run movies. Soda is free most places on the ship. However near the two theaters you had to pay for them. Most places on the ship that has free soda are the fountain type drinks. They were not mixed very well. I would have preferred a can soda. On the lido deck the buffets had many food options. Like I mentioned before the food was nothing special. The pool area was always crowded. Like all cruise lines. The aqua duck ride was fun. Not as good as a good water slide. The ship was nice. It had many different wall arts that would come to life once in awhile. The adult areas were the only place you could go without hearing a Disney song being played. There were two pay extra to eat dining rooms. One was $25 per person and the other was $75 per person. There were the usual gift shops on board with many Disney items. Our twelve year old spent many hours in the “Edge” for passengers his age. We made two ports of call. Nassau and Castaway cay. Castaway cay had a lot of free food. There are many beach things you can pay for or just have a free beach day. It was a cruise and we had a good time. The ship was nice. The service was as good as other lines. The food was not. We expected much more form Disney. I guess we expected too much. The price was so much more than our other cruises so we expected more and did not get it. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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
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
Was a little disappointed with this cruise, not as great as expected. We were staying at the Beach Club at WDW, so we took the shuttle bus from there to the port. Very easy. We were with our children and two young grandsons. We had ... Read More
Was a little disappointed with this cruise, not as great as expected. We were staying at the Beach Club at WDW, so we took the shuttle bus from there to the port. Very easy. We were with our children and two young grandsons. We had adjoining family staterooms with balconies. The rooms were very large and and nicely laid out, they slept five, the bathroom was great, two choices of shower heads and kept very clean. As a frequent cruiser, I felt the food was just okay. The portions seemed small to me, and for the price of this cruise, there was no Lobster night. The activities were mostly for girls. With the exception of Pirate Night. The early show was only 20 minutes, the later show and longer one was at 10:30, why so late?. We really did not go to any of the shows, The ship itself is gorgeous with great detail and a lot of nice lounges for adults, the restaurants were really beautiful. The only time I felt overwhelmed by children, was at the pool. Wall to wall children. But the adult only part of the ship was terrific. We did a day excursion to Atlantis which was great for the kids, they stayed at the beach and hubby and I went to the Casino. Did okay. Castaway Cay was terrific. We had a great day there and the BBQ was really good, Disney should build a hotel on that island. Disembarkation was a little annoying, only because if you had early seating for dinner, you had to have breakfast on the last morning at 6:45AM. Have never been on a cruise with such a requirement. Finding our luggage was very organized and Disney took us to the airport. I probably will not take another Disney cruise, it was not worth the money we paid for it. Read Less
Sail Date January 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
This was our family's second Disney cruise, first time on Dream, (first cruise was on Magic in 2013) and this time we brought along grandma and grandpa in adjoining stateroom. We settled on this 4 day cruise because it fit our ... Read More
This was our family's second Disney cruise, first time on Dream, (first cruise was on Magic in 2013) and this time we brought along grandma and grandpa in adjoining stateroom. We settled on this 4 day cruise because it fit our schedule for spring break from school and because it just cost a little bit less and that was welcome. We have two children who are (as of this review) 6 and 4. Embarkation day we spent eating lunch and riding the AquaDuck. It was all about the AquaDuck for my kids. There's only one of me, though so they had to take turns riding it (they're not big enough to go by themselves yet) and that was kind of a bummer. It's a super fun ride, to be honest, but sometimes when the line is very long, I don't quite understand the wait times. But - here's a tip - board the ship in your bathing suit and head up to Deck 11 right away. We had super short wait times when we boarded the ship around noon. It wasn't until much later in the afternoon, say around 3 pm when the lines started to get kind of silly. We enjoyed our harbor cruise around Nassau and it was an OK value for a cruise-line-booked excursion. My dad (grandpa) has some difficulties getting around and it was tough for him to make the walk from the ship to the pick up point, but he did make it and enjoyed it. We learned there is a somewhat irregular (free/gratuity) shuttle bus that will transport passengers from the cruise ships to the harbor building and back which is the primary pick up point for most excursions. (We took this shuttle back to the boat later.) Castaway Cay was definitely the highlight of this cruise. We'd never been before but everyone in our whole party loved it. It's just custom built to be a super fun day at the beach with the family. There are tons of activities to do for people of all ages and abilities. Another tip - try to get off the boat early because then you will have more of the facilities to yourself. I debarked at 8:45 am and basically had the entire snorkeling lagoon to myself for a good hour. All of the morning-feeding fish where out and it was just a lovely time - me, the lifeguards and the fish all swimming around. We are all looking forward to heading back to Castaway Cay in the future. That night was also pirate night and our kids were super excited - we were all in costume and took lots of pictures. We were the last family to get a picture with Captain Jack Sparrow before he rescued our ship from a bunch of nasty pirates. The fireworks were fun and the we all enjoyed them. Our final day was an at-sea day. We adults had champagne brunch at Palo which was magnificent. The one drawback was that the basketball court is like directly over the restaurant - this noise was sometimes a little bit distracting from the otherwise wonderful ambiance. We also had reservations for Remy this night but opted to cancel them because we were double booked at Animator's Palate and my wife really wanted to see the "show" with Crash from Nemo. We were still so full from brunch, it probably would have been a waste. While we were at Palo, the kids were in the Kid's Club activities - every time we put them in Kid's Club it took like 15 minutes to convince the kids to leave they were having so much fun every single time I went to get them. This particular day, my daughter had just finished playing in the Green Army Men Bootcamp from Toy Story and my son was doing a mystery puzzle game with Smee and Cap'n Hook from Peter Pan. (Two of his favorite characters, by the way.) They hardly wanted to leave. One really nice thing about the club is that if your kids are in there over a meal time (like breakfast, lunch or dinner) they will get fed by the team. I can't say enough about how much my kids liked the kids club activities - there always seemed to be a crazy amount of stuff for them to explore and do both with other kids and the counselors. One other fun thing my son and I did was the "Midship Detective Agency" game. This is an interactive video game where you run all over the ship with your own specialized badge and find special "interactive artwork" which gives you clues about your particular case that you can solve. Overall, I think we all had a great time, but to be honest, my wife and I felt like 4 days was just not enough time to really fully enjoy all of the amenities and activities that Disney packs on to their ships. We rebooked a "placeholder" cruise onboard because it's such a good deal and we are looking for a longer itinerary for our next trip - we just need more time than 4 days on DCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 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
Gorgeous ship! Outstanding service! Fantastic kids' program, gorgeous private island, and unbelievable shows! Hard to complain, isn't it?? I feel, somehow, dirty, complaining about Disney......but, the food was terrible!!! Worst, ... Read More
Gorgeous ship! Outstanding service! Fantastic kids' program, gorgeous private island, and unbelievable shows! Hard to complain, isn't it?? I feel, somehow, dirty, complaining about Disney......but, the food was terrible!!! Worst, I have ever had of the 4 other cruise lines we've traveled on. I took my daughter and her two sons, and the kids absolutely loved it! Their favorite part was the water slides.....all 3 of them. We felt the food was so bad that we'll probably not do another cruise by Disney. With the $$$$ the charge, and Disney's reputation to uphold, I don't know how their could serve such substandard fare. We also were a little disappointed with the crowd control boarding and disembarking the ship and the small size of all the pools; but we could have overlooked these if the food had been at the very least - decent! I'm so sorry to report this. Read Less
Sail Date March 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
Just an average cruise and not any better than our three previous carnival cruises. The extra money you pay to take a Disney cruise is for the included soft drinks and some Disney characters throughout the ship. We spent mothers day (the ... Read More
Just an average cruise and not any better than our three previous carnival cruises. The extra money you pay to take a Disney cruise is for the included soft drinks and some Disney characters throughout the ship. We spent mothers day (the day before our cruise) at magic kingdom and saw most of the princesses and characters there. If you intend on taking this cruise to see princesses then as soon as you embark the ship make a b-line to guess services to get a ticket to see them. They're only available from 11am to 2pm on the 1st day. We missed out on getting tickets and went to guess services around 3:30 the 1st day and the girl at the desk told us they were out. We didn't worry about it since we were at magic kingdom the previous day and after seeing what the princesses looked like in the ship. We thought they looked more like the real thing at the park. We enjoyed the Disney shows at the theater 6pm or 8pm. So make sure you go. The food - what I heard everyone that I know that took a Disney cruise is that it was awesome. So my expectations we high and we were very disappointed with the food and the quality. I had steak that was so chewy I felt I was eating rubber. The family next to us complained about the food to the dining room manager the 1st night and for the remainder of the cruise they tried to accommodate them at dinner and gave them a free wine bottle. So complaint the 1st night you're there :) Read Less
Sail Date May 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 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
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
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
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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