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4 Disney Romantic Cruise Reviews

We took this cruise in May 2018 and I really wanted to love it but unfortunately it was awful! It was just me and my husband (from the UK) and it was to follow our 6th WDW holiday -we are huge Disney lovers ! We thought it would be ... Read More
We took this cruise in May 2018 and I really wanted to love it but unfortunately it was awful! It was just me and my husband (from the UK) and it was to follow our 6th WDW holiday -we are huge Disney lovers ! We thought it would be the icing on the cake ....but how wrong were we ! Sorry to those that love the Dream but I can only tell it from the experience we had........... On embarkation It started well ....we had a valuable tip to go straight to the Enchanted Garden for lunch and it was the quietest most civilised meal of the holiday (barring Palo of course) ....if we had gone to the Cabanas then (which we went and had a look at while we waited for the cabin to be ready) my DH said he would have got straight off ! The whole ship was absolutely packed and areas like the Cabanas like a rugby scrum ! The pools (even the adult ones were shoulder to shoulder with people and very unappealing as i felt it was akin to sharing bathtub waters with strangers just yuk ! I expected the main pool to be like this but was not prepared for the adult pool and areas to be so rammed. The adult areas were also invaded by children running around to see their parents and babies screaming in pushchairs (their adults obviously thought a baby was ok to bring into adult areas) and Disney staff just looked on so no enforcement. It was not just the sheer numbers of people but the behaviour of such a lot that was appalling ...no manners,pushing and shoving,speaking to each other in conversation that was to our English ears shouting level ! The public areas just made our heads ring with the noise and this continued into the 3 main restaurants and into the theaters ! The composition of the passengers on board was made up of something like 75% South Americans,20 % US and Canadian and 5% Brits I wonder if some cheap offers got thrown out last minute to fill the ship as one lady I spoke to had only booked days before at a discount. For some reason we were seated next to 2 South American families with young children who spent the entire meal time every night running round the tables chanting out and actively encouraged and joined in with by their parents who found it hilarious as the waiters dodged round them. The main waiter for our area was Columbian and was able to converse with these families so I suppose that's why he was allocated but he was very poor indeed. He gabbled the menu so fast you could not understand what he was saying and punctuated reading it to us with animal noises to describe the meat as if we were idiots ! He was also incredibly pushy that we should leave him an excellent rating.... The assistant server meanwhile was absolutely a lovely man and we rated him very highly indeed. The assistant knew and called us by name but the main waiter just kept calling us his "beautiful family" which he used for everyone ...it became grating believe me ! Before someone accuses me of being racially biased let me just say that some of our best friends are Brazilian - but they do not behave like that !! The food we found medicore at best and some dishes were just downright poor. The waiter did warn me not to have a pasta lobster dish as he said it was horrible but there was nothing else I wanted so I chanced it ...he was right ! A starter bowl of tomato soup consisted of about a tablespoon of soup topped with and inch of mushy soggy croutons ! Any meat dish served we soon realised was in thick chunks or slices and very chewy ...just not nicely presented at all. I did not have the will to complain all I wanted was to eat our meal as quickly as possible and get out of there away from the racket of the kids. I often went and got a couple of slices of pizza or a burger from the quick serve windows straight after dinner to fill myself up as I had eaten so little of the main meal. Our Palo Brunch was absolute delight though. The ship itself was beautiful and our cabin was very nice as was our cabin host who looked after us well. The shows were West End standard but you really had to concentrate to block out the screaming kids and those running up and down the aisles unchecked while the show was on. Especially annoying was the families coming in half way through asking you to get up and edging past so they could get in the middle of the row ! Lifts between floors were a nightmare ...we never managed to get in one that wasn't packed after waiting at least 10 mins the whole trip. The rubbish left in hallways and and ledges around the ship was another bug bear ...half full cups of coke,half eaten food,etc etc a very bad indictment on the sort of people responsible ...the poor cleaners ! The rain started the evening we boarded and poured down the whole of the next day in Nassau (luckily we had not intended to get off) and all the night causing the Pirates fireworks and outdoor party to be cancelled. Castaway Key fortunately was hot and sunny but with impending bad weather at anytime in the afternoon forecast a lot of the activities were cancelled. The fireworks were let off that night in the pouring rain with only those right at the front on Deck 11 able to see them due to the overhang. It was torrential so nobody ventured out onto the open decks. So just to finish off our trip when we collected our suitcases from the Terminal both were damaged. The corner section where a wheel was on both had been totally cracked /smashed in and the wheel pushed up inside the body of the case . The staff member on the customer service desk was totally incompetent did not seem familiar with the reporting procedure on the computer at all and made the report out 3 x before she managed to complete it correctly ( she kept losing the screens !) She could not operate the digital camera properly and wrote the details on a white board in a yellow marker and then tried to photograph this next to the damage before realising that yellow on a white board does not show up ! She then tried in light green with a similar result ! My Dh was losing it by then and suggested she got a black pen from somewhere. This she eventually did and after nearly an hour of fiddling around we left her promising to tie both cases up under one report number with all the photos .Our confidence in this was not high She told us to claim through our travel insurance. I got onto DCL then as I thought they should be liable and did not see why we should incur more expense to ourselves by going through the travel insurance for purchasing replacements. Fortunately they agreed to cover the cost of near identical replacement cases ...but not before I had to photograph the cases and damage myself ....yes you guessed it the original report they had got through contained no photographs whatsoever ! So there's my sorry tale. DH is adamant that he will never cruise again and I feel so bad having spent so much money on it. I think a lot of things conspired against us but the behaviour of the other people on board was by far the worst I have ever encountered in our many visits to WDW and DLP parks. I probably should have complained to DCL about the whole experience but having had to about the cases I felt it would be seen as yet another customer just trying to get compensation and I did not want to be viewed like that ! Quite honestly it has taken me this long to even want to speak about the whole sorry experience and admit to such a huge waste of money on what was supposed to be a special treat but turned into a disaster ! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have been on several Disney Cruise vacations in the past and had a wonderful time but this past experience was a huge disappointment. We were on one of the Christmas holiday cruises on the Fantasy and I must say this was the worst ... Read More
We have been on several Disney Cruise vacations in the past and had a wonderful time but this past experience was a huge disappointment. We were on one of the Christmas holiday cruises on the Fantasy and I must say this was the worst vacation by far we have ever experienced. To start with our room was great and the room attendant was wonder, but because of the location of our room we really could not use our balcony because it was constantly covered in soot from the ships smoke stacks (?). Our first night of dining we ended up at a table near the dining rooms exit door which was open to the hall and stairway. We felt kind of segregated from the rest of the diners and probably at the worst table in the entire restaurant. All the servers had to pass our table coming and going from the kitchen so we felt like we were located next to a busy freeway. To make things even better a passenger proceeded to get violently ill just outside the exit door and it took half an hour for someone to come and clean it up. We alerted a server right away to let them know what had happened but lost our appetite due to the smell and watching passengers and crew proceeded to slip through the mess. At no point did anyone offer to move us and because we were at the later dining there were lots of open seats so all in all the situation was handled badly. This was just the first night and it proceeded downhill from there. The food was just OK for the duration, our last Disney Cruise the food was excellent. We also had booked a couples massage in advance. The message was wonderful but just after we got our robes back on after the treatment our technicians came in and bombarded us with upsetting services and product which turned a blissful experience into a negative one very quickly. We did have another treatment scheduled but we canceled because we felt so harassed. Trying to have photo's taken during photo opportunities was also a nightmare. We felt like cattle, waiting for at least an hour to have a photo taken at one point we waited an hour in line and when we got up to the front we were told to come back later because they were taking a break and that included all the people standing behind us. Our shore excursion was a disaster. We paid a lot of money to go to a beach excursion to find out when we arrived there were riptides so we couldn't go into the ocean. They knew before we even left the ship but didn't tell us until after we took a 45 min boat ride to get to the destination. On top of that there was only two guides for approximately 100 guests. Many of us complained about what happened but no refunds were offered. We also found out a couple days into the cruise that a lot of activities were cancelled because of a flu epidemic on the ship. As is turned out a bunch of passengers came onto the ship sick with the flu which eventually got passed on to other passengers and crew members so it seemed like half the people on the ship had to stay in their cabins so the virus would be somewhat contained. We sent a letter to the cruise line letting them know of our disappointing experience and received nothing from them. Not even an apology. I expected a lot more from Disney Cruise line. Like I said I have been on several of their cruises and had a great time but this was a disaster right from the start.We saved up for months for this vacation and for the most part the majority of this could have been handled better. We did have two more cruises booked with Disney for future travel but when we didn't receive any acknowledgement regarding this trip we cancelled all other vacations with the company and will probably not travel with them again Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This being my first cruise experience, perhaps it is common practice to nickel and dime guests every step of the way, to which Disney does not disappoint. "All inclusive" (with the exception of alcohol of any kind) was the ... Read More
This being my first cruise experience, perhaps it is common practice to nickel and dime guests every step of the way, to which Disney does not disappoint. "All inclusive" (with the exception of alcohol of any kind) was the expectation going into the experience. Not so much the outcome. Room service 24/7 was to be included in the "all inclusive". Room service menu options allow you to order salmon, steak sandwiches, etc. for "free", however to order a 5.5 oz. bag of popcorn is available for an "additional nominal fee". That nominal fee is not disclosed on the menu. Same thing with soda. You want a Coke included with your room service delivery? You're going to pay extra for that too, for an "additional nominal fee". Again, it is not disclosed what that fee is on the menu. This is the trend with everything that isn't included in your "all-inclusive", everything is a "nominal fee" and never disclosed what price you will be charged. WiFi is not free. There are 3 different usage tiers that you can sign up for at "an additional nominal fee". Even some of the lowest end hotels that I've stayed at offer free WiFi. Disney, however, realizes that they have a boat full of passengers that have no means of connecting to the internet, so they use that to their advantage by charging the "nominal fee" for the guests' "convenience". They also take it upon themselves for "your convenience" to automatically charge you $12/day, per person for gratuities AND also give you the option to hand out even more money for those who provided exceptional service. The one thing that I will give this cruise line is that their employees (servers, stateroom hosts, etc) were very good at their jobs, friendly and accommodating. They each deserved and earned healthy gratuities, to which I personally have NO problem over-tipping for good service. I do however, have a personal dislike when I am FORCED to tip a certain percent, especially when I was not with a large group. We did not even dine in any of the restaurants one day, nor had our stateroom serviced that same day, however we were still "conveniently" charged the $12/day for tipping our dining room serving staff and stateroom attendant. I tip well when a service is provided. I do not appreciate being forced to tip in any circumstance, but especially on a service that I did not receive. Perhaps my tolerance for fake or over-dramatizing an experience is very low, but the reference to everything being "magical" throughout this experience is exhausting. If I ever hear the term "magical" again, it will be too soon. This "magical-ness" is shoved down your throat from the moment you "check-in" to board the boat. The entire "prep work" that you have to go through, months before you even board the boat, through the time you actually check in to board, all feels a little too "Big Brother-esque" for my comfort. Disclosing all kinds of personal information that really should have no baring on any vacation, so many forms and questionaires and "remember to bring this with you" and "attach this" and "don't forget that thing I sent to you 5 months ago!"... It's like writing a novel and promising your first born child away just to get on a 3-day boat ride. The entire experience left me feeling more like "they've set this up using your 'Key To The World' card as a 'convenience' ploy, but in reality wouldn't be surprised if it was actually more used for strategic marketing to track guests' activities while on-board (how long they stay in the room, tracked by forcing the key to be inserted into the wall in order to have electricity in the room; etc). Seemed like a convenience ploy on the surface, but underlying a little creepy. You can't escape the "Disney" of the experience. The characters make more than enough appearances, to which all of the children shriek with delight and bolt towards, knocking any and all adults over in the process. The "adults only" labeled sections of the boat are NOT, repeat NOT, secluded to individuals 18 and over. There are certainly signs posted outside of these areas, indicating that children under 18 are not to enter, however that certainly does not happen and no staff members enforce this. Every time I went to an adults only area (not only marked, but good parents would normally think are not appropriate to bring a child into ~ ie a BAR), there were more than a few kids hanging out. Not just teenagers, but children closer to 5-9 years old. Take it for what it's worth, but in reality, there are not true adults only areas that are respected and treated as such. Prior to going on the cruise, I had heard good reviews about the quality of the food, which I was hoping would be a highlight of the experience, since the cruise what not my idea to go on. If you are individual who enjoys buffets and buffet food quality, you will be in heaven. Unfortunately, I am not one of those individuals. I personally find most buffet food to be of poor quality, cold, tasteless and usually highly over cooked. This food was no exception to my generalized expectation. Dinner was not buffet and SOME of the food served at dinner was actually good, above average quality. I'd put about 50% of dinner's food in the above average quality, the other 50% was either average at best, and some was down right bad. Lunch / buffet line food, was typical buffet food. Everything was bland and needed heavy seasoning, and much of it was extremely overcooked. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
OK so I am an older traveler, but not stodgy by any means. I love being around all the nieces and nephews. However, it is quite a different situation when you are tossed onto a ship with 2500 screaming, kicking, demanding, coughing, ... Read More
OK so I am an older traveler, but not stodgy by any means. I love being around all the nieces and nephews. However, it is quite a different situation when you are tossed onto a ship with 2500 screaming, kicking, demanding, coughing, sneezing, dripping, naughty children. Embarkation was a mess...we arrived at 10 AM and had a 2 hour wait to get on board. Never had to wait more than 20 minutes to board on RCCI in all the cruises we've taken. The number system they have is virtually worthless. We had group number 28 and an asthmatic child that needed a breathing treatment, so we were allowed to go on board with group number 25, but only after we insisted and had stood around for 2 hours. Not nearly enough seats for people and the benches they have, are always taken up by people putting their luggage next to them so no one else can sit. The elevators were a constant 10-15 min. wait,and it was not until about the third night I realized it was because the pre-teens were running back and forth to the banks of elevators on each end of the ship, punching all the buttons inside the elevators for every floor. This seemed to be quite a source of pleasure for the smaller children as well. Hence the elevators would needlessly stop at every floor, no matter the time of day or night and most times, no one was waiting for them. Also since the children are allowed to get food and drinks freely they were carrying it onto the elevators and spilling it everywhere. On several occasions the elevators had soda dumped on the floors, cup and all. I had to ask crew members to wipe up two such messes in one day. Also, our cabin was only 4 doors down from the elevators/stairs and it seemed that knocking on the doors and running away at all hours, was a good source of entertainment for some of the kids. Our kids ranged in ages from 3-17. There seemed to be plenty for the 10 year old to do, but the teen was so bored, he barely left the cabin. The littler ones just wanted to be in the pool all day long. Speaking of pools, I agree with other reviewers, the Mickey pool is a disaster waiting to happen. That pool is very poorly designed and very dangerous. Overcrowded to the point of people tripping over legs and arms when they would try to get in or out, kids jumping off the point of the Mickey ears and landing onto other kids, it was like that every day. The first step down into the pools is over 18 inches deep. I am 5'1" tall and nearly killed myself trying to step down onto the water deck around the pools. This is clearly to deep to step down. There needs to be another way to get into the pool for those who have knee/joint issues. And the surround sound by the pools was so loud , between the screams of the children playing and the volume of the movies, there was no option for a conversation. The adult pool was very small and the hot tubs were overcrowded every day. On the last day of travel, forget even finding a spot in the adult pool, or a chair to sit and read. Ice cream bar...wonderful perk, however children need to be accompanied by adults. All day long there were kids taking cones and trashing them on the floors/decks just because "there was no one to tell them not to". Food...terrible. I never had one meal that was enjoyable or cooked correctly. The service was friendly, but very slow. The themed food was terrible. Especially on Pirate night, "Jerk everything" is not a good idea for people who need to watch their health. Also, the idea of putting ketchup on the kids plates in the shape of Mickey's head is cute, but do it with a squirt bottle not a regular ketchup bottle. It took 5-6 minutes to do it for the two little guys and the rest of the table had to wait while they did this. Again, clever, if done correctly. Otherwise annoying. I ordered roast pork one night, it was delivered with pink juices running from it. Sorry, but I like my pork cooked thoroughly. Took 20 minutes for the server to return to our table and take it back, another 15 minutes for a new "fully cooked" plate of food to return. Meanwhile the family was done and ready to leave the table. Cabana, what can I say...the food was terrible and the chaos to find a place to sit even worse. The first day on board our group had to split into three different tables in order to sit to eat. No help from the staff to find a table for us together or even two tables we could push together. And the tables were so crammed together there was barely walking room to pass. Alot of people bring strollers into the table area which only added to the issue. I will say having the utensils wrapped on the tables is a great idea. Steak was tough and over cooked, dried out, chicken was rubbery, I've had such great food on RCCI that I would rate Disney at the bottom of the scale. I ended up ordering off the children's menu four out of five nights because there was such odd choices on the adult menus. Can you say "French Fries at every meal"! Character photo ops, were a mess. Hello Disney...LINES ARE YOUR SPECIALTY! WHERE WAS THE ORGANIZATION? People were lining up all over the lobby deck in all directions. Never knew what line they were getting into because the lines were so long. People and strollers blocking the courtesy desk area, the elevators, the hallways, all to get a chance to take a pic with a Disney character. No ropes/turn-styles to guide people and keep people organized, with maybe a sign at the end of the line indicating what line you were getting into? Family groups would break into different segments and hold spots in three different lines at once. So when the photo op for "Buzz" was finished, a group of 7-8 would come over and get in front of you, because grandma was holding a spot! Not fair to our little ones who had been sitting there for 45 minutes to see "Jesse"..and very annoying. Very badly handled by Disney. There should be a sign-up roster, so people can just go down and get in line when their number is up. Why make little kids stand in lines for an hour for a picture, it just makes the trip miserable. And wastes the whole afternoon, when you could be out enjoying yourself somewhere else on the ship. Doesn't make sense. Shows...all for the children. One adult night comic show and I ended up watching the little ones so Mom and Dad could have a night out alone. I really missed the high caliber of shows provided on the RCCI ships. The pirate show was nice, but everyone stands for the show on the pool deck cover and if you cannot stand for long periods, you will not be able to see it. Otherwise you had to sit on the floor of the deck and there was food dropped and dirty plates... french fries, pizza, etc all over the deck area. Yuck. The fireworks were nice, but too late, the little ones were already asleep on our laps. DISNEY...I tried it, did not like it, and I will say I paid far more "per day " for these 5 days than I have ever paid for a 7 or even 11 day cruise on RCCI, and had much better service, food, amenities, all round enjoyment from RCCI than from Disney. Disney really dropped the ball on this one. Won't do it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
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