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122 Disney Romantic Cruise Reviews

We booked a category 6A guaranteed stateroom on the September 8 sailing of the Disney Fantasy to the Eastern Caribbean. II have previously sailed Carnival and found the experience to be too loud and energetic for my personal tastes so this ... Read More
We booked a category 6A guaranteed stateroom on the September 8 sailing of the Disney Fantasy to the Eastern Caribbean. II have previously sailed Carnival and found the experience to be too loud and energetic for my personal tastes so this time around I was very interested in the new Disney ship and was not disappointed. My fiance is a Petty Officer in the US Navy and while he has been on many "cruises" this was the first one he didn't have to work on! We flew into Orlando the day before and used Disney's transportation to their resorts where we stayed the night. We have been to Disney World previously but have never stayed on the property so we took this opportunity to give it a test run. Since it was just the two of us in the off season the cost was comparable to staying near the airport and a nice way to get us excited for the cruise. We also used Disneys transportation to and from the port. It removed a bit of extra planning and stress out of the equation for me and so I found it to be very enjoyable but would be unlikely to use it for a group larger than two or three as it becomes very expensive at that point. When we arrived at the port around 2 there was no line and the longest wait was probably at the security checkpoint, about 15 minutes. We walked right on the ship and to our stateroom which had been upgraded to a category 4B on deck 8! It had the round tub, extra chair and more floor space. We were in between stairwells so there was a bit of noise from traffic but it wasn't enough to take away from the overall trip. We loved the views from our veranda on the port side. After getting settled in our room we ventured out to Cabanas to get something to eat. It was very very crowded and we spent a large amount of time searching for an open table. I was already prepared for this though from my last trip and so we scouted the area BEFORE getting any food so that we could avoid walking around with plates piled with food while running into everybody. After the first day Cabanas was never that busy and we had no difficulty finding seating. The food was ok, pretty much your basic buffet fair, nothing really special to make note of. The dining at the restaurants was much much better. My favorite restaurant would have to be Royal Court, it didn't feel very crowded and the food was excellent. My least favorite was Animators Pallet, but my fiance disagrees, it was his favorite. The shows in Animators were cute and definitely worth seeing, but being there with no kids I was glad to not be directly interacting when Crush came out, though the children that were there seemed to love it and we enjoyed watching him talk to them. One night we ate at Palo and I cant stress enough how much we loved it. The atmosphere is more upscale but not intimidating and our server Michael was one of my favorite crew members on board. He even took the liberty of ordering desert for us and brought out three for us to try. We walked out very full and very happy that night. I also have to recommend eating at Cabanas for dinner, there was almost no one else there and you get seated right next to the glass walls overlooking the ocean as the sun sets. The food was the same that they served in the other rotating restaurants so was very good. I personally am more of a lounger when it comes to vacations, but even I was enticed out of my cozy room several times by the entertainment and attractions offered. The quizzes in the adult lounges were a lot of fun and we really enjoyed Aladdin. We only saw Wishes after that and it was ok but a little hokey if you are over 12. Amazing productions though, the sets and skill involved in each was very evident. We had one excursion at St. Maarten where we kayaked to a beach at a resort and snorkeled. The group was nice and small so it didnt feel chaotic like some other excursions I've been on. Unfortunately I was unable to do the snorkeling bit as I had come down with a pretty bad ear infection and couldnt get my ear wet. I did however get to experience the ships health center and can say that I received excellent care and was given antibiotics and ear drops so that by the last few days of the trip I was feeling much better. The cost to see the doctor and get the medication was about $250 all together, which considering I couldn't use my insurance on board was not bad at all. We stayed on the ship for St. Thomas and took advantage of the nearly empty ship to visit the spa. The spa hot tubs were our favorite with the open windows over looking the port. The themed open showers are also worth a try, we enjoyed tropic thunder the most. Castaway Cay was wonderful and met all our expectations. Its a beautiful island and Disney has really designed it well. We spent most of our time at Serenity Bay which was very peaceful and serene. Next time though I really want to check out the family beach as well and maybe go down a slide or two! Disembarkation was very painless if not a little sad, we had the earlier dinner seating so we were scheduled to have breakfast at 6:45. I don't recommend the eggs, it seems the other reviews I've read on here were correct, they are powdered and not very appetizing, stick to fruit and cereal. Once breakfast was over we took our carry on luggage out and breezed through customs where we picked up the rest of our luggage before being taken back to the airport. Over all I'd have to say what impressed me most about this trip was not just the beauty and size of the ship, but all the little things you don't ever think of until it's there in front of you. I feel like Disney does this very well and there is no end to the little "wow" moments they provide. So if you are like us and are willing to pay a little more in exchange for a one of a kind experience, then Disney Cruise Line really delivers and we will be back again December 2013, this time with the rest of the family in tow! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We sailed on the Disney Fantasy 9/29 -- 10/6/12 doing the Western Caribbean. We are a couple in our early 50's celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary. We have sailed over 25 times on mostly Royal Caribbean but also on Princess, ... Read More
We sailed on the Disney Fantasy 9/29 -- 10/6/12 doing the Western Caribbean. We are a couple in our early 50's celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary. We have sailed over 25 times on mostly Royal Caribbean but also on Princess, HAL, & NCL. This was our 3rd cruise with Disney (previously on Magic & Wonder) without our kids. Embarkation: We arrived at Orlando airport at 10am on embarkation day and went right to the Disney transportation desk because we purchased Disney transportation to the ship. No need to get our luggage as we placed our luggage tags on the luggage prior to checking them in with the airline. Very easy check-in at the airport; we filled out all our information online before we left home and brought the signature page. They take your picture, set up your onboard charges, and give you your cruise card with a lanyard and little zip pocket for the card, all in a manner of minutes. Then we were given a "Goofy" tag which corresponded to the Goofy bus line & a number 7 that was our boarding number at the pier. We waited only about 10 minutes til we were on the bus and watching a video about the ship. We went thru security at the pier which is very similar to the airport & waited only about 15 minutes til our boarding number was called. Once on the ship we headed to Cabanas to have lunch, toured the ship, and signed up for Palo's and the mixology class. Stateroom: We had a 09C outside cabin #7000 which was at the front of the ship with a slant front wall with a big porthole. It had the split bath with a toilet and sink in one and a bathtub/shower and sink in the other--both with shelf space over the sink. It had a larger than full-size bed that could be split into twin beds. A full-size couch that could become a single bed, a very long desk top with 3 drawers and a fridge underneath; above were shelves and a cabinet on both sides of the mirror; & a chest in front of the table with more storage. Another counter near the closet had another 3 drawers and more shelves above. There were 2 closets: one with shelves and hanging space; the other with hanging space with a second lower fold-down bar for shirts and a safe. The bed had two end tables with a small shelf above and a small drawer. An interesting feature of the stateroom is there is a slot next to the door that holds a card key that allows the lights and TV to work. I think it also affects the air conditioning. We have had suites, verandah rooms, and inside rooms but outside room are our favorite for the price. We now only book verandah rooms if the price is great because we do not smoke and have been very disappointed many times when heavy smokers were on both sides of our room and we could not use our verandah. Food: We at a few lunches and all our breakfasts in Cabanas which is the casual buffet restaurant on Deck 11. Most of the food was very good. We stuck with the carving station items, salads, & fries (yum!) for lunch. And had eggs made to order for breakfast. My biggest complaint about this area on every ship is toast. I like toast in the morning and it is always pre-made and never tastes quite right. Our favorite lunch was on the pool deck where they had "quick-service" called Flo's Cafe. The wraps were very fresh and a nice lite lunch after a big breakfast and what is always a big dinner. Dinner was the late seating at 8:15pm in Enchanted Garden, Royal Court, or Animator's Palate. We had Rotation 3 or ERAERRA. I chose this so we would be in Royal Court for formal nights. Although formal is not the same on this ship as on others we have been on. My husband said he would not bring a suit again on Disney and was one of the few who wore a jacket. We like all the restaurants and the food was good with many choices. Sorry to say but for us none of the food choices stand out as "do not miss". But that said do not miss either night at Animator's Palate. What Disney can do with Imagineering is unbelievable and no matter what you read, it does not give it justice. We were very lucky with Disney's choice of our tablemates. One couple from London, England (who celebrated their 24th anniversary one week before us), one couple from Nottingham, England, & the last from Virginia. We had a great time with them and spent the day with the couple from London as we had the same excursion. This is one of the things we were worried about as we have not done set dining time in a while and have had some very "interesting" experiences in the past. We ended up spending a late night one night and were always one of the last tables to leave every night. Great company! Our servers Suti & Sasha [sp] were very nice and always there with our every need. We ate at Palo on Pirate night missing one of our trips to Royal Court. It was very nice having dinner by ourselves and our server Olivera was phenomenal. If you like chocolate, make sure you have the chocolate souffle! The Virginia couple at our table went to dinner at Remy & Palo a few times and brunch at Palo. They highly recommended the brunch at Palo which is held on the at sea days. Ship Activities: If you can & you like to try new drinks, I highly recommend the mixology class. It is held on both sea days at 3pm. We went the first sea day. There were 12 of us and Melissa in Skyline lounge taught it with the help of Mika. She had 3 at a time go behind the bar and mix our drinks ourselves. I tried things I would not have ordered but really liked them. She was right that after 2 drinks we would all be friends...we made 5 drinks altogether. We would see our "drinkmates" throughout the cruise and stop to say Hi all the time. Definitely highlight of the cruise & the best value at only $15 for a lot of info and drinks. Also, be sure to try the Aquaduck, we had late dinner so we did this around 6pm when no one was in line. We loved "Europa", the adult nighttime area. We went to most of the late night shows here and some of the adult only games. They were very good about keeping the kids out of this area at night and it was always crowded. We spent both sea days at "Satellite Sun Deck" on Deck 13 forward. This area is an over 18 area with a big round shallow pool with an umbrella shaped waterfall with seats underneath. Music is piped in here and they had a guitarist later in the day. Lots of bar servers (our favorite was Bernard) to get you a drink and if you get a bucket of beer (buy 5 get 1 free), they would keep bringing ice to keep it cold. We only went to a few main shows as they were before dinner and we preferred to stay out on deck rather than going to the show. We did see the First night show (typical first night show with snippets of things to come) and the show called "Wishes" which were very good. We also tried the Midship Detective Agency which is again the genius of Disney Imagineering. You pick up a "badge" with a unique code on one side, a pencil, and a pamphlet for one of three mysteries you want to do. The pamphlet has a map of the ship with the locations of the "pictures" that you can interact with. It also has the pictures of the "suspects" and a spot for notes. You then go to each special "picture" & your "badge" changes the picture into a video game that you play to get a clue. Although the kids loved to play it, I had a great time and saw many adults playing later in the cruise. Ports: Grand Cayman we went to the beach at Royal Palms. We have been here many times and love Royal Palms. Costa Maya we did the Chacchoben Ruins adult-only tour with the ship and it was very interesting. If you like history and to see a bit of the past, this was a great tour. There is a huge pool area with bars and shops right at the port here which would be a great alternative. It reminded us of the port in Grand Turk. Cozumel we stayed on the ship as we have been here many times too and it was raining off and on. Castaway Cay we went to Serenity Bay, the adults-only beach, which was great. It felt empty and the lunch included Strip steaks, bbq ribs, chicken, & mahi-mahi along with hamburgers and hotdogs. The weather was perfect and a great last day. The only downside is because it was the last day we didn't stay as long as we would have liked in order to pack. Debarkation was very easy. We could take our time as we had a late flight. We had a set time for breakfast at 8am or we could go to Cabanas. We have found it easier to go to the sit down when possible as the buffet can get a little crazy on the last morning. We rented a car from Enterprise and went to City Walk outside of Universal until time to head to the airport. Overall this was a great cruise for us even though we didn't have the greatest weather. It was cloudy or rainy in every port except Castaway Cay. We loved that they had specific areas without children & many activities for adults to choose from. We even booked another one for next year on the same ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
My husband & I wanted to go on a cruise without kids. We chose the Disney Dream - and left our kids at home. We heard that Disney was world class - and they did not disappoint! We were never lacking activities to ... Read More
My husband & I wanted to go on a cruise without kids. We chose the Disney Dream - and left our kids at home. We heard that Disney was world class - and they did not disappoint! We were never lacking activities to do....martini/champagne/wine tastings, multiple lounges & bars, adult only pool & hot tubs, bingo, etc. As for evening entertainment, they offered several movies/comedy shows/game shows that were geared towards our age group. The adults' only pool, hot tub and Serenity Bay beach (Castaway Cay) were never crowded. We snorkeled almost every day at the ports. Castaway's snorkel area was large and once we left the shallow area, we were mostly alone. I would recommend bringing your own snorkel gear if that's something you'd like. We paid over $100 for three days worth of gear! And we were also able to snorkel on the adult beach which is amazingly huge. The underwear life was amazing! Disney had wonderful service and was very clean. Sanitizing wipes were handed out at every entrance to restaurants and embarking points. At the ports, the Disney Dream boat was the prettiest boat. It made be beam with pride that we chose the right ship. Onboard, the noise was never an issue, despite being the first door next to the elevator. Food was great, but I would not recommend paying extra for Remy or Palo. The food was good, but for the extra money, I didn't feel it was much better. We did have to sit with other couples in our dining rotation, but our friends (who booked through an agent) were able to get their own private table. Drinks onboard were expensive, although the drink tastings were worth it! We bought a a bottle of rum at Nassau for $14 (which is the same cost as one onboard drink) and were able to drink unlimited rum & cokes. Overall, I recommend Disney for adults! We are already planning on our next trip, although we may take the kids next time, to share it with them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Two years ago we took a cruise to the Mediterranean in April 2010 on the same ship, the Disney Magic, and were pleasantly surprised at how well our allergies were taken into consideration. (I'm celiac & my husband is allergic to ... Read More
Two years ago we took a cruise to the Mediterranean in April 2010 on the same ship, the Disney Magic, and were pleasantly surprised at how well our allergies were taken into consideration. (I'm celiac & my husband is allergic to milk. We joke we're Jack Sprat and his wife.) However, in those 2 years, things have changed. The only place to get allergy free food when dining rooms are not open is now room service. And room service took an hour or more to deliver _and_ would only deliver to your room, so you had to sit and wait getting more hungry. Eventually, I decided it was easier to starve. I actually _lost_ four pounds on this cruise. How wrong is that? Secondly, we were not particularly impressed by the food at meal times. Unlike our last cruise, the chefs didn't bother to tell us when they couldn't do our choice. They just sent out something else, which was not always something we liked. The staff of the Disney Magic was superb and did the best they could under the circumstances. We had an unrelated problem with our room (the air conditioner wasn't working and the whole room smelled of locker room) and the staff was absolutely fabulous with their response, giving us another room that was HUGE. However, it seemed like they were laboring under institutional changes that made their ability to respond to our food needs harder, if not impossible. We sent a longer version of this review to the Disney cruise line and got back a "kiss off" form letter. Feeding an food allergy sufferers is not easy, we know. But, for the love of god, try some other cruise because Disney Cruise line has decided that they're not going to try to feed us anymore. Otherwise, the ship dearly needs to be refitted as it is rather run down. The staff were great and the ports were fun. However, I was so hungry that it was hard to enjoy it all. Moreover, the spa, while nice, seems to have gotten frenetic in trying to sell more services. Very, very expensive services with a 500% markup... Overall, we're not cruising with Disney again for a long time. Too bad as our first cruise was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
My boyfriend and I booked this cruise last minute. It was originally to celebrate my graduation but it was also around our 2 year anniversary, making it a double celebration. Background, I am 23 and my boyfriend is 29. His parents are AVID ... Read More
My boyfriend and I booked this cruise last minute. It was originally to celebrate my graduation but it was also around our 2 year anniversary, making it a double celebration. Background, I am 23 and my boyfriend is 29. His parents are AVID Disney cruisers and have been on more than 30 of them. My boyfriend had been on 2 Disney cruises with his parents when he was in his teens but this was my very first cruise. We found a great deal online that guaranteed a room with a veranda. Downside was that we had to pay the full price upfront, we could not get any money back if we had to cancel, and we could not pick our room and had to wait until we boarded the cruise to find out what our room number was. This was well worth it to us due to the price! We ended up paying less for a veranda than others had for an indoor room. Getting on the ship was a piece of cake. The terminal was busy, but there are Disney cast members at every turn pointing you in the right direction. It was fun to be announced by name when boarding. One of the crew members then pulled us aside to give us general directions. Honestly, it was pretty loud and he had a thick accent so we didn't really understand him haha. No problem, we just walked around the ship aimlessly exploring. We made our way up to our room which was beautiful! The plexiglass veranda was amazing and we spent about 30 minutes looking around and calling our parents to brag a bit before we left port. Complimentary Food - We went to Cabanas to eat for the first lunch. We are not food snobs but we were really pleased by the selection and quality of the food. One thing we learned is to get there a bit earlier because we were just able to grab a plate of food each before the buffet was shut down. Luckily we were both full with the one plate! We also had breakfast there each morning and I enjoyed it. The eggs benedict was delish! I think that Disney does a great job of grouping the tables for dinner. They try and put similar groups of people together and so we were seated with 3 other couples, all in their mid-late 20s. Our servers were great! Very friendly and we had inside jokes going on by the time the cruise was over. There was a bit of a problem the first night because one of the tables was spanish speaking and needed a spanish speaking waiter. They ended up having our waiter take that table on which slowed down our dinner. By the time we were ordering dessert, there were no other cruisers in the restaurant. Our waiter worked so hard. He was running around like crazy and still came to the table with a smile. I thought that the food quality at all 3 of the rotational restaurants was really good, not 5 star, but still good. I have read some people who complained about the portion sizes. It is true that the portions are smaller but, you can order 2 of everything if you want! If you leave hungry, that's your fault. The bbq buffet on Castaway Cay was also really nice! Palos - AMAZING! If you have the chance, DO IT! A beautiful spot, with beautiful views, exceptional service, and delicious food. We are looking forward to trying Remi's next time and having a return trip to Palo's. The Shows - I thought the shows were pretty good. My favorite was Believe. Honestly, one of the best parts of the shows was that there must have been some hearing impaired cruisers, because there was a pair of signers at the front of the theater. They were amazing because they knew EVERY line from all 3 of the shows, including the songs. They even acted it all out. It was fun to watch them with the small amount of sign language that I know. The pools - I agree with other reviewers. The pools are way over crowded. We did not go anywhere near the family pools and stuck to Quiet Cove. It was really nice on the Nassau day and we easily found lounge chairs and space in the pool. On sea day, it was kind of aggravating because only about 25% of the loungers were occupied but the other 75% had towels and bags on them. Luckily, we got plenty of swimming in on Castaway. Ports - As other reviewers have stated, Castaway Cay was really nice. We did the sting ray adventure. It is fun because they let you feed the sting rays on a specially built horseshoe shaped platform. Then you get to go out and snorkel with them. The only problem was that we couldn't find any rays when we went swimming. It was fun, but we probably won't do it again. Serenity Bay was great! It was not crowded at all and servers frequently walk by to take any drink orders. As stated above, the food on the island was great and it is situated in this quiet little shaded areas complete with picnic tables and free of screaming kids. Make sure you keep a look out for Captain Jack Sparrow! Can't say much about Nassau because we stayed on the boat that day. It was fun to pull up next to the other cruise ships and feel like you have the best looking ship. Funny part - a woman who I was talking to said that Goofy was up on the top deck waving to people on the other ships as we pulled in haha. Bet they were jealous. Other - We attended the martini tasting on sea day. It was held up on the Meridian bar between Palo's and Remi's. I think that most people aren't aware that this bar exists, but it is probably the most beautiful place on the ship! The tasting was amazing and consisted of 4 different mini martinis. I was skeptical about going because I don't really enjoy the taste of alcohol, but I actually loved 3 out of the 4 martinis. The host, Alexandra from Romania, was the best. Please go visit her and let her make you a drink! We had so much fun that we signed up for the Margarita tasting as well which consisted of 3 double shots of different tequilas and 2 margaritas. I did not like the tequilas, but the others at the tasting really did! The tastings were about $15-$20 per person. Well worth it! As I expected, the service was amazing Our cabin hostess was lovely and such a hard worker! Disembarking was pretty easy. Breakfast was a bit hectic, but still good. Getting our bags was quick. Cannot wait to schedule our next cruise. Alaska maybe? Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
This was my wife and I's first cruise for our anniversary (we're 29 and 26). Given that we have a propensity for very active vacationing, were looking for forced relaxation, so we looked into cruises. Thanks to hours of pouring ... Read More
This was my wife and I's first cruise for our anniversary (we're 29 and 26). Given that we have a propensity for very active vacationing, were looking for forced relaxation, so we looked into cruises. Thanks to hours of pouring over reviews on this site, we decided to cruise with Disney for the following reasons: - Relaxed atmosphere. - No party boat. - High quality food + customer service. - Nice new ship. So, we booked a May 2012 7 Night Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy in May of 2011 and crossed our fingers. Given the reputation of cruising being for the senior citizen class, we were somewhat apprehensive that we were spending a lot of money on a vacation that would turn out to not be worth the money. The exact opposite happened: the trip went well beyond our expectations and we booked our next cruise for May 2013 on the Disney Magic for an 8 Night Western Caribbean cruise. Our past week on Disney has made us probably lifetime cruisers. But, some reality. First the bad: - Pools. Without a doubt, the Fantasy's pools leave something to be desired. I can see where they were going with a larger number of smaller pools, but we definitely missed out having a large pool available to us (like is apparently available on the Magic). The Fantasy apparently has 2 more small pools compared to the Dream, which may be why the Dream's schedule for 2013 only includes cruises with at most 1 sea day. I think with 3 sea days like ours the lack of those two smaller pools (Satellite Falls and the Wading Pool) would be painfully noticeable. Because of this, we will actively avoid the Dream and stick to the Fantasy for their larger ships when possible. - New crew. According to most of the cast members we spoke to, half the ship's was brand new to cruising. This was very obvious especially in the rotational dining restaurants, where there were clear language and cultural gaps. For example, when asked if I would like cream or suger with coffee, I'd say "I'm good" which several Eastern European staff interpreted as "yes" rather than a polite "no." I learned to stop saying the phrase. Also, my wife does not like coffee or tea and avoids juice, which blew the minds of most staff during breakfast. As the week went on, however, there was notable improvement in the crew's performance, so I think given another couple of months this concern will be resolved. Despite this issue though, the staff was overwhelmingly positive and clearly trying to provide great service. - Senses Spa. We had major scheduling issues (the cards they provided us for my wife and I's paired pedicures were wrong, but we didn't bring them, we thought we made a mistake on the show time, and during my wife's manicure her beautician gave her a ton of crap the entire time for her "human error"). Also, my wife's hair requires Sulfate Free hair products for her hair treatments, but she forgot to pack hers at the last second. When we went to Senses to buy some, they provided products that were not Sulfate Free - only after using the products we noticed. When we went to return them (which is a pain, they will not let you return on the ship!) they said that they were Sulfate Free. When my wife pointed to the ingredients that clearly showed sulfate, the beautician said "Oh, well, this is the good kind!" When chatting with my pedicurist she said that the contract company Disney uses basically sent her to a 2 month course. Based on our experiences, I would expect that few of their staff could be state certified in the US for their trade. However, despite these issues, the resolution was fantastic. When we brought this to the attention of the manager, my wife received personal phone calls of apology from all involved (the manicurist, the person who did the scheduling, and the manager's manager) and a complete refund offered (without us asking) without any hassle. I commend Disney for the fantastic recovery - this is one of the reasons we opted to book another cruise with them, their recovery was amazing. Kudos to Disney for this! - PG-ification of everything. Clearly Disney is all about kids. We found the Sail Away and Pirate Night parties overly kid-focused and horribly lame for anyone above the age of 13. We were into it too - we dressed up for Pirate Night and all, so it's not like we're too cool for this stuff. But it was all clearly aimed at the below 7 crowd. Disney even PG-ified the macarena (touch your hips across instead of your butt). Also, apparently Disney PG-ifies excursions, with staff giving us extra information about stuff they were not allowed to stay to the larger group because of Disney about the history of slavery and other things about the islands. Several parents on the ship in the Quiet Cove pool mentioned that their teenagers were wanting to gouge their eyeballs out because of how lame the teenage activities were. There is a notable gap here that Disney needs to address, because we could definitely see how a non-sheltered 10 year old kid could find most of the Disney stuff extremely lame. - First time cruiser scheduling penalty. Because we had not cruised with Disney before, we could only book excursions and restaurants 72 days out... so a lot of dates were already filled. We went to Palo (which we couldn't book ahead of time for) and Senses (same) once we got off the ship based on recommendations on the forums here and it worked out fine, but the uncertainty was annoying. Also, it seemed that there may have been better excursion times that we didn't get to book for. We're looking forward to being Castaway Club Silver members next time so we have 90 days out to book these and have more scheduling flexibility. - Farcical official photo pricing. For a mere $400 you can get unlimited 8x10 photos with a digital copy (folio not included - that's $20 w/ $5 off!). Individually 8x10 are $20 each and 5x7 are $15 each. Now, given the number of official character photo opportunities, we saw some parents with easily 100+ photos from the cruise, so I guess at that point the $400 package makes sense, but we were pretty sticker shocked by it. Maybe because we don't have kids yet we're not used to this though, perhaps it's not as bad as it seems. NOTE: Do make sure to take the official embarkation cruise photo as that is what the facial recognition software uses to put additional pictures in the correct binder for you (their system and setup for photo handling in the Atrium is absolutely amazing, BTW). We skipped the embarkation photo and wound up having the dig through the rest of the pictures to find ours.... Now the good and great: - Embarkation and disembarkation. Beyond seamless, this was amazingly painless compared to some reviews I read. We walked off the ship when we wanted and our bags were perfectly handled the entire time. We stayed at WDW the night before our cruise: at 8am someone came and picked up all of our bags and we didn't see them again until our cabin. The night before disembarkation we left our packed bags outside the door and we didn't see them again until customs. They organize bags by section (Orange/Goofy, Red/Mickey) with tags you put on your bags before you leave them out. They have contract staff you pay a tip to carry all of your bags through customs for you (worth the $$). Total time from ship to waiting for our rental car shuttle was no more than 20 minutes and we left the ship on our own schedule. - The rotational dining. The food was incredible. Period. The rotational dining food was extraordinary. I read several reviews that Disney portion sizes were "too small" but we found them just right, and you can always order more (our server brought out 3 courses of Baked Alaska for our entire table the last night). Do not miss Animator's Palette! All of the other restaurants are beautiful as well (the mosaics in Royal Court are photo-worthy). - Cabana's. This is the extended hours buffet-style restaurant (it's table service only for dinner, but you can show up whenever). It frequently pulls the exact same menu items as the rotational dining restaurants, so if you can't/don't feel like eating at a certain time, going here is awesome. The breakfast and lunch here are both fantastic in their variety and quality, but they can be a bit busy at times. - Remy + Palo. Remy is a pretty upscale French restaurant, so formal dining rules apply. This is an intense 3+ hour experience that is completely focused on the art and quality of the food itself. We were hoping to do Remy for our anniversary but couldn't get a reservation. In the end we were very glad we did Palo for our anniversary instead, because the food is absolutely phenomenal (that it's only $20/person is amazing - it's easily a $150/person meal in a regular restaurant) and very relaxed for the quality of the meal. For our next cruise we intend on doing 2 Palo nights if we can book. If Remy is too expensive for you, that's OK, but for the price missing Palo makes no sense. - Adults-only areas. Because of the family-focus of Disney, the adults-only sections never felt too busy or full and were frequently near empty (especially during the early rotational dining time - we had the late dining time). It was very easy, we felt, to avoid kids during relaxation times, even if the Wading Pool was technically all-ages. While we did see kids going through there sometimes (given elevator placement this was sometimes impossible for families to avoid) it wasn't at all bad or annoying, despite what some reviewers have said. Even though it is Disney and everything is very PG-ified, the adult areas are a great place to hang out, drink, and have a great evening. My wife and I were never a part of the binge drinking spring break crowd, so the speed and intensity of the adult sections are perfect for us. If you're on the ship to do some hardcore partying, I presume you're not looking at Disney anyway.... - Disney customer service. After our cruise we spent at night at Universal's Royal Pacific Resort to check out the CityWalk before flying home. We experienced a massive customer service culture shock between Disney (the cruise and WDW, which we stayed at before the cruise) and Universal. Disney's customer service handling was extraordinary and what sealed the deal for us cruising with them next year instead of trying to find a nice but adult-oriented cruise. - The excursions. The quality of the excursion operators was fantastic - zero customer service issues. Other reviews and our own observations while on the islands revealed the potential for some pretty shady excursion operators, and we were glad to have operators who were clearly very well vetted by Disney. Also, Disney's handling of arriving for excursions was awesome and extremely well organized with the way they do check-in and disembarkation to the pickup location for the operators. Compared to Royal Caribbean's "Tours Meet Here" banner off the ship in port that we saw, Disney's excursion operation looked like a well oiled machine. - The cabins. We found our rooms to be exceptionally quiet, though kids bounding/running down the hallways were occasionally a problem. But, what was very nice is that beside the mornings when kids were eating room service breakfasts on the veranda, we always had our veranda door open to enjoy the sounds of splashing waves. Most nights we went to sleep with the door open without any noise problems, which was wonderful and really appreciated. The dual-bathroom setup was also awesome and probably a life-saver with kids. - Prices. We found alcoholic drink prices very reasonable, with zero pressure to keep buying drinks from staff on the deck. I highly recommend the Coffee Toledo at Vista Cafe in the Atrium! We regret not spending time in Meridian, since a quick look at the drink menu while waiting to be seated (just a minute) at Remy and Palo revealed a fantastic and creative cocktail menu. Excursions were pricy compared to buying for ourselves off ship, but we appreciated the efficiency and quality of the excursion operators we did have, who were just as friendly and professional as the Disney crew. Remy and Palo, as noted earlier, are both worth the $$. Disney cabin prices are way higher than Carnival and the rest, but given the guarantee of amazing customer service (or epic and nearly awkward problem recovery), my wife and I both felt the price was worth that implicit guarantee of excellence. - Disney customer service again. I can't really emphasize this enough: if you're professional and polite and have a problem, stay out of the way, because the Disney customer service machine is a sight to behold. Even being the person reporting the problem it becomes overwhelming and awkward because the company will go to such extraordinary lengths to resolve the problem. I feel bad for anyone who works at Disney and does something that gets any kind of complaint (even if it's just a side comment), because the machine will kick into high gear in a way I've never witnessed before. It's clear that Disney takes ANY kind of issue extremely seriously so long as the originator is professional, kind, and polite. In line for Guest Services I witnessed guests who were not kind or professional to the staff there (who had nothing to do with the problem) and were treated accordingly - so any reviews I see here where individuals complain about a customer service response really makes me question their side of the story. - On ship future cruise booking discounts. At least on our cruise, Disney offered 10% off disneycruise.com pricing (all cabins except Suites and Concierge cabins), $200 shipboard credit for 7+ night cruises ($100 for Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Having only two Disney 4 night cruises under our belts, we knew we needed a longer cruise. This cruise was wonderful. Our children are grown, and we're not quite ready to bring the whole crew with us, so we really relax. The ... Read More
Having only two Disney 4 night cruises under our belts, we knew we needed a longer cruise. This cruise was wonderful. Our children are grown, and we're not quite ready to bring the whole crew with us, so we really relax. The Fantasy is much like the Dream, but Disney listened to the complaints about the adult pool area on the Dream and really stepped it up a notch on the Fantasy. There are now 3 water features in the expanded adult area and PLENTY of chairs, both in and out of the sun. Two bars service the areas. My only complaint was that moms started bringing their toddler up and plopping them in the shallow adult pool. Of course, Disney just turns a blind eye to this. However, we just moved to Satellite Falls and let them be. The food was pretty good. Some dishes like the Beef Wellington with Mushroom instead of liver pate was excellent, some others were just OK. But no one went hungry. The stage shows, as always, lived up to Disney standards. The comedian and juggler were OK, but nothing great. Port of calls were St. Martin, St. Thomas/St. John and Disney's Castaway Cay. No tendering was required. We didn't get off the ship at St. Thomas as we were doing what we liked best - spending dollars at the Serenity Spa. Massages, Acupuncture (our first time trying this) and pedicures/manicures (for the guys, no polish except for a Mickey head on the big toe). We also bought cruise long passes to the Rainforest - an area of the spa with multiple themed, aromatherapy showers - steam room, sauna, heated loungers and two hot tubs overlooking the sea. We used the Rainforest every day except one. For those wondering if a Disney cruise is fun for an adult, I'd say yes unless you want to gamble as there's no casino. Of course, you WILL see Disney characters all the time, and lots of kids if you're not in the adult area. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
My husband and I are both teachers so our only time to cruise is during winter, spring or summer breaks. As we live in the Northwest, by the time January hits, our theme for the past three years has been... "Okay, where should we ... Read More
My husband and I are both teachers so our only time to cruise is during winter, spring or summer breaks. As we live in the Northwest, by the time January hits, our theme for the past three years has been... "Okay, where should we cruise for spring break?" The year before we sailed the Mexican Riviera on Holland America and had an experience that nearly kept us from cruising for good. However, I had been on a Disney cruise ten years prior and had an amazing experience with my family, so once 2012 started, my DH and I decided to give cruising a go one more time. If we hated our experience with Disney, we vowed we'd never be back. A lot of people gave us raised eyebrows when we said that we would be sailing on a Disney cruise during spring break (especially since we are around kids all the time with our jobs but we don't have kids ourselves). However, Disney did such a great job of intentionally creating specific areas for kids, teens and even babies to be during the day so adults could have their own time. Quite frankly, being around families warmed my heart because it showed my DH and I what our future vacations may possibly look like some day. Disney's productions at sea are out of this world. Twice I found myself tearing up because they were so beautiful and really communicated that special Disney magic. Our service was phenomenal and we loved our servers each night as we rotated through various dining rooms (a nice Disney touch). We also appreciated being paired at a table with three other couples in our same age/life demographics-- no kids at the table! We have stayed very close friends with a couple we met at our table and have even planned upcoming vacations with them and joined them recently on a trip to Disneyland. Friendships on this cruise are definitely encouraged! One of the highlights of our cruise was eating at Palo. We ate there for an incredible dinner and a mind-blowing brunch. We definitely rolled out of there and had to nap afterwards-- the food was beyond our expectations! I would definitely eat there as much as I could in the future. We had a wonderful room in a great location. We loved drinking wine and reading on our patio at night. We also thought all of the food on the ship was great (except breakfast-- we never could find a good breakfast. Oh well.). The ONLY thing I would complain about with Disney is the price. It's Disney-- what would you expect? You pay for the Disney experience and because the experience is so good, it keeps families coming back for me. I would absolutely do another Disney cruise in the future, especially when we have kids, however, we have found better cruise deals on some other really strong cruise lines and have decided to give them a shot so we don't feel like we have to penny pinch on our cruise like we did with Disney. We are getting a comparable room, cruise and itinerary for about $1,000 less. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
I told my lovely wife that no matter what we were going to do something big for our 25th wedding anniversary. After much research and prompting from my boss who is hooked on cruises I decided we would go on a Disney Cruise. I decided on ... Read More
I told my lovely wife that no matter what we were going to do something big for our 25th wedding anniversary. After much research and prompting from my boss who is hooked on cruises I decided we would go on a Disney Cruise. I decided on Disney because I enjoy Disneyland and appreciate the quality that they deliver in their resorts and hotels. I figured that since I do not drink or smoke or gamble that it would be nice to go on a cruise line that didn't focus on these activities. Also as parents of 6 children we love kids and aren't disturbed by having them around. We were concerned about several factors. 1) What if we got seasick? 2) What about security when we were in the ports? 3)Would we enjoy being on the ship for 7 days? and, I admit now in hindsight that this is really silly, 4) Would it be miserable to sit at dinner with 3 other couples that I have never met before and have to socialize with? First off, we NEVER got even queasy let alone seasick. There was one lady at our table that struggled with seasickness but it seemed to be rare. We didn't take any medication and really enjoyed the best sleep I've had in a long time. Port Security- Wow! what a surprise, felt very safe and the people we met were wonderful. Then again we didn't go out of our way to be victimized; we weren't drunk, didn't try to find vice, and we stayed in public areas. Shipboard activities- We loved the shows, movies, cooking classes, quizzes, and presentations that were available. We also liked looking at the ocean, walking the deck and sitting in a lounge with a virgin drink or just spending some alone time. We never felt like we were on a "kiddie cruise" and now for the dining. I am not the most social of people but I really liked the three other couples at our table and looked forward to talking to them each evening. One couple was fairly well to do, frequent cruisers and wine connoisseurs, another couple were middle class and on their second cruise and finally there was a single lady with her young daughter. We loved them all and I was amazed at how quickly we became almost like family. The highlight of the trip was snorkeling in Puerto vallarta and scuba in Cabo. I was afraid the shore excursions might be very slip-shod operations but they were state of the art and very professional. We went with Vallarta Adventures and Cabo Adventures. I will have to say that the last day sailing was shy on shipboard activities, it was raining and cold so swimming was out, walking wasn't pleasant and I was about to feel bored when I saw that Toy Story was just starting on the jumbo tron so I grabbed a free soda, a plate of fruit, cheese and sandwiches, sat at a table out of the rain and had a nice afternoon of 10-15 foot waves. I can't wait to go on another cruise, I just wonder if Disney has spoiled me and I won't be happy now on any other ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
My husband and I are annual passholders at Disney, so needless to say we are normally fans. As first time cruisers we were beyond excited for this trip that we had planned for over a year. People were surprised that we would take a Disney ... Read More
My husband and I are annual passholders at Disney, so needless to say we are normally fans. As first time cruisers we were beyond excited for this trip that we had planned for over a year. People were surprised that we would take a Disney cruise when we are a very young couple without children. After watching videos and talking to Disney who assured us there were plenty of adult only activities as well as areas on board we decided to take the chance. Unfortunately, our experience did not live up to the hype. Categories and our thoughts on each are included below. Embarkation: Super easy and fast especially for first time cruisers like us. Kudos to Disney on this aspect. Food: Total let down here :0(. First of all, the food in the normal rotational dining rooms is STRANGE to say the least. There were several times we wanted to ask for a child's menu so that we could eat something normal. My husband asked once if he could have a specific ingredient taken out of his dish and we were told that it was already pre-plated. For example, I ordered a crab cake appetizer one night (the most normal appetizer on the menu) and it was set over a carrot/golden raisin salad. Whatever happened to Cesar salad and a starch option? Our table mates also shared the same sentiment about the odd food. Cabanas, the casual buffet we frequented for most of our lunch/breakfast, faired better with our not so refined palates but still lacked significantly. Pretty much the same food was offered each day at both breakfast and dinner. On the sea day I was overly excited to see crab claws while in line until I sat down to eat them and realized they were served cold. YUCK! Adults who wanted to grab a late night snack better like pizza because that's all that was available after a specific time of night. Yes, there was an option of 24 hour room service but that basically only offered a few additional sandwich options. The lack of food at the rotational restaurants left us scrounging for pizza most nights. The one exception to the bad food on the Dream was our night at Palo. The food was "fancy" and plated beautifully, yet it was still normal Italian fare. Everything was SENSATIONAL and we almost wished we had paid to eat there every night. Do not miss the quattro formaggi pizza or the chocolate lava cake! Service: Another high five to Disney here :0)! Rudy, our room host, was fabulous and always greeted us in the mornings or evenings with a smile on his face. We had our room cleaned twice a day which is a little overkill for us but it was still nice to come back to a new towel animal and a nice clean bathtub or made up bed. Rudy is a keeper! Additionally, our servers Maynor and Edwin made our otherwise unpleasant dining on the Dream enjoyable. They were attentive, funny, and willing to get us whatever we may need. The rest of the dream crew was equally as helpful and never hesitated to answer questions or take us where we needed to go when we asked directions. Quiet Cove Pool: Should be called quiet, boring,better get to early or forget getting a good lounge chair cove. There was only one out of the four days that I was able to find a lounge chair in the sun at the adults only pool. This I suspect is only because my husband and I returned from Castaway Cay early this day. There was absolutely no music or liveliness to this area whatsoever. There was a steel drum man that was very pleasant but seemed to be restricted to only playing slow, old songs on his drums. There were two decent size hot tubs in the adult area but this was not enough for the amount of adults whom were trying to use them. On any additional days that I wanted to lay out by the pool I was forced to go to the family pool (the sun deck above quiet cove was out of use due to wind). Disney could have made a much larger area for the adults and made it a point to get some fun activities going over there from time to time like I observed them doing at the family pool. Adults like to have fun too Disney! Shows: The shows were decent on the Dream and probably what you would expect from a Disney ship. Personally, I feel as if Villians Tonight should be there main hyped show instead of Believe. Believe was cheesy and uninteresting for even someone like me who normally enjoys the singing, happy, happy, shows. Characters: One piece of advice here. If you expect to get pictures with the characters in their sailor outfits or their evening attire, then you better also expect to wait an hour in line to do so. Way unorganized and annoying! "Adult Entertainment" (or lack there of...): My husband and I participated in a number of pre-dinner sports trivia games while on our cruise. They were extremely fun and enjoyable for us. Unfortunately, they only lasted about 15 to 20 minutes. The "dance" club evolution also put on some fun games like "match your mate" and karaoke where you got shots for singing. However, once again these games were VERY short lived and many could not be participated in by everyone. They always seemed in a rush to get on the "celebrity DJ Cide" for the dance club and we had no idea why. This is mostly because the music he played was HORRIBLE. No wonder there was barely anyone in the club at night and only about half the people actually danced. There was an adult group that may have been about 15 years older than us that mentioned to us in the hallways they had the same sentiment as us here. The DJ played mostly old 70's, 80's, and techno hits. I am all for playing all kinds of music but can we at least get some top 40 here and there?!? My husband requested a song, which the DJ said he would play, but after an hour of sitting waiting for it to come on we decided to leave. However, another couple asked for a very strange techno song and it was played right away. For the lack of people there were in the club he probably should have played all requests to keep the party jumping. Personally, we feel as if Disney should spend more time on the games and less time on the sucky dance parties. Furthermore, there are 50 million lounges on the Dream that NO ONE really goes to and are frankly very dull. The most frequented was the sports lounge where adults stayed to watch football and play the trivia. We were so disappointed in the lack of fun we were encouraged to have on the boat and we will probably try a more adult centered cruise like the princess next time. Castaway Cay: Very beautiful, especially Serenity Bay. However, I find it worrisome that Disney feels as if adults do not need lifeguards on their beach. What is to happen if someone passes out while out farther in the sea and no one notices them? The family beach had lifeguard towers in the water and Disney would be smart to avoid a lawsuit and do the same for the adult beach. Further, yes relaxation is GREAT but again, sometimes adults want to have some fun too! All of the volleyball courts, basketball goals, and other activities were held on the family beaches. Absolutely nothing was going on for the adults. As you can probably tell, my husband and I will be trying a different cruise line next time. It seems as if Disney has some sort of idea that adults only want to use their vacation for rest and relaxation. Although this is partly true, we also like to get up and get moving too! It is unfair to expect couples without children to join in on the family activities and feel left out when they have to join in with these groups. There should be more adult only activities offered. In addition, they do not need to try so hard on the food. A simple choice of meat, salad, starch, and vegetables would have been just fine for us. The only area this cruise did not lack is in service. I wish we could take this crew and move them over to another ship :0)! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
As my children have grown up, I decided to try a Disney Cruise for the first time without children. I had previously cruised both the Magic and the Wonder with my two sons. We were celebrating a major birthday of my companion who is a ... Read More
As my children have grown up, I decided to try a Disney Cruise for the first time without children. I had previously cruised both the Magic and the Wonder with my two sons. We were celebrating a major birthday of my companion who is a big fan of Disney but had never been on a Disney Cruise. Dream vs Magic/Wonder: The ships were very similar although the Dream is bigger and the Dream definitely looked sparkling new and had the latest in electronics and features. Had an inside stateroom for the first time on a cruise and definitely enjoyed the virtual porthole. Was surprised to see so many different characters coming through the porthole and not just the same ones over and over again definitely enjoyable. The Aquaduck was fun even for us adults although it wasn't running the day at sea because of the weather and the game with the electronic pictures was very clever also. Food was the same except for Remy's which at first I thought was ridiculously priced as a $75 add-on but because it was my partners birthday we made reservations way in advance (must do if you are going to go to Remy's otherwise can't get in). It ended up to be the most amazing experience I have ever had at a restaurant of any game and was definitely for me the highlight of the event. It is a 3 hour meal (ours took 3 hours and 10 minutes to be precise) and you wouldn't know it until you looked at the clock. I for one am generally known as a fast eater. Children vs no children: Disney goes out of the way to make special activities and events that cater just to adults. Watching the children geared event reminded me how special a cruise Disney is for children and was for my children when they were younger. In my opinion if you can afford it there is no more magical experience for children 5-12 then a Disney Cruise and that includes the theme parks. However, I must say despite all the effort that I still at times felt like an Adult intruding on a children's show as the restaurants (outside of the adult only ones), the main entertainment and a lot of the peripheral action are geared toward families and the younger ones. Compared to my recent Carnival Cruise and RCL: I would say that while I loved my recent Carnival Cruise (with my boys) to Alaska that Disney Cruise definitely bettered Carnival in almost all categories: food, entertainment and service. However the Disney Cruise comes at a premium price compared to Carnival so the question is the extra cost worth it. In my opinion if you have young children a definite yes (my two older boys loved the Carnival teen area and were two old for the character stuff so in their case no) or if you want a short special cruise and hit Remy's then it may be worth it. However in general without kids at least for me the premium price of a Disney Cruise isn't worth it for just a pair of romantic adults. Castaway Cay was our other stop but not listed as a port here I guess because it is a private Disney Island. This place was a great place for a day at the beach with very pretty beaches and nice swimming. You can snorkel and do Sting Rays there also but those things are pretty mediocre and don't expect to see much fish snorkeling. But for swimming, laying at the beach and a nice stroll it is hard to do better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
The Disney Dream was - a Dream... The ship was great, clean and HUGE. 4 day cruise is not long enough to take in this ginormous ship. The room was wonderful and we were happy with the service we received. The Concierge Team was ... Read More
The Disney Dream was - a Dream... The ship was great, clean and HUGE. 4 day cruise is not long enough to take in this ginormous ship. The room was wonderful and we were happy with the service we received. The Concierge Team was Awesome..they made sure that we were treated like newlyweds and went above and beyond. Upon our arrival to the ship we went right up to deck 12 and to the concierge lounge. This was a very open and comfortable area to meet and gather during the entire cruise-more on this later. Julia (concierge) was the first person we met in the lounge and she was busy with other guests and directed us to the beverages and deserts that were prepared for all the guests. My wife and I enjoyed the atmosphere and just found a corner in the room and sat down with our White Russian and Screwdriver drinks. Julia had finished with her guests and made her way over to us and began our journey...she wanted to make sure that all our arrangements were accurate and that if we needed anything. We noticed that it appeared our Palo reservation was put on the wrong dinner night and we needed to change it; she picked up her phone and 1 minute later it was fixed. She took us to the room and gave us a tour. Who knew that the tv was behind the bathroom mirror, my wife loved that part. She asked us about our marriage of 18 years and why this would be the honeymoon we never had. We explained that right after our wedding I called in to deploy...talk about timing. She was upset that it happened that way and said for us not to worry...This will be our Honeymoon. Wife and I walk the boat a little and hit Cabana's for a quick lunch - do not be fooled this is not a buffet but a multiple food station. Here you go get what you want from the various stations. we sat down and enjoyed our lunch. We proceeded to our mustering station for the Drill and headed back up to the room to relax until dinner time. The Concierge Lounge served cocktails and snacks an hour before each meal service, all Top Shelf alcohol. We ate dinner at Animators Palate - the room was great especially when the magic happens...All the kids in the room went bonkers. After dinner we returned to the room and to the wife's and my surprise, there were rose petals all over the bed. And of course when asked if I had anything to do with it I told her the truth - Yes (ok I lied but any husband would),Seriously I told her no. That next morning we were asked if we enjoyed our evening and our surprise (no comment trying to keep this PG). Day 2 was great as well, I pre purchased Spa Passes for the day. Wife and I decided that since we have been to the Bahamas in the past, we would have a Spa Day. This was also our night at the Enchanted Garden, be We opted out and ate at Palo's. If you ever have the opportunity to get into Palo's - DO IT!! you have to pay a $25 premium per person, but it is worth it. The views are to die for, and so is the food. Day 3 was ok - Rained for most of the day (till about 1pm) we took in the Lion King 3D in the Theater then went up and ate lunch, then watched The Help (great movie especially if you love pie). Then it was time to wake up from our Dream and realize the end is near so we had to get things packed up. Dinner was at Royal Palace - don't miss out on this restaurant, you will enjoy the room and the surprise guest of the evening. Who knew that Cinderella's coach was made out of bread and not a pumpkin???? SHOWS (in order of favorite to least favorite) Golden Mickey's Believe Villan's Tonight (skip it) TV info..All shows are available on your tv on Demand feature at no extra cost. So if you cannot sse the show live, you can watch a previously taped version. Day 4 SAD - we had to leave it all behind and return to reality.... Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My wife and I finally decided to go on a cruise to celebrate our 50th birthdays. After much homework we finally decided on the new Disney Dream and boy were we glad we did. Right from the time we entered the airport, Disney took care of ... Read More
My wife and I finally decided to go on a cruise to celebrate our 50th birthdays. After much homework we finally decided on the new Disney Dream and boy were we glad we did. Right from the time we entered the airport, Disney took care of everything - they were the most organized company that I have ever dealt with. The ship itself is absolutely gorgeous - our stateroom was immaculate and roomy. The restaurant's and meals far surpassed my expectations, and this is coming from a master chef who has been in the hospitality business for over 30 years. Make sure you book a night in Palo - a truly wonderful experience. A day in the spa as well was a blissful but costly treat. The service was impeccable from everyone on-board. The shows were true Disney delights and there was so much activities going on throughout the day that it is impossible to get board. I could talk all day about the great things on this ship, but I find it more helpful to report the negative so that both Disney and the cruisers can learn from this. The few negatives I found, and believe me they are very minor in the scheme of things were as follows. The pool areas are simply too crowded during the day. We stayed in the adult section but the pool is not well thought out. There is no swimming, but rather soaking in a small crowed area with a bunch of other adults - not very inviting. Disney should consider another adult pool in the forward section of the boat where we found lots of free space. The elevators, though beautiful were constantly full and a waiting period was almost a certain. Perhaps a few more in the main section of the ship are needed. There were 2 free drink stations for soft drinks, coffee etc in the stern area of deck 11, but none in the forward part of the ship - this meant a bit of a walk if you wanted to get a drink. Have 2 stations in the forward as well. Other than these minor complaints we really cannot find anything else to complain about - the cruise was simply fantastic and we cant wait to do it again. Disney made sure everything was as smooth as silk - from the time we boarded to the time we dis-embarked, to our bus rides to and from the airport, our luggage - all went exactly as planned with little or no waiting. Well done! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We booked the Disney Dream to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful experience, and we can't wait to go back! Our background: early 40's, no kids, fairly experienced travelers with very little cruise ... Read More
We booked the Disney Dream to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful experience, and we can't wait to go back! Our background: early 40's, no kids, fairly experienced travelers with very little cruise experience We arrived at Port Canaveral via car and used the Park & Shuttle option from Country Inn & Suites at the Port. Great hotel, efficient shuttle drivers, big complimentary breakfast, large parking lot. We paid about $150 for 1 nt in a King room (really a suite) including our parking during the cruise. Sometimes you can get a room there via Priceline, but with three cruises shipping out the same day, that wasn't an option for us. The hotel shuttle runs several times a day to the ships. (See my note at the bottom, however, about reserving a shuttle time). We arrived at the port shortly before our 11am embarkation time, and felt the process went smoothly. We ended up in boarding group 6, so we were on the ship before noon. We immediately headed for the top deck for lunch and the Aquaduck water coaster! Note: While appearing thrilling, the second half of the ride is tame. Try it at least once! After a couple fun rides with little wait, it was time to check out our cabin. TIP: Dinner hours on Pirate Night are excellent times to get multiple rides on the 'Duck. We booked a 9B Deluxe Oceanview on Deck 2. I would not hesitate to book this room again! (In fact, we already have!) It was very convenient to mid-ship elevators, the Enchanted Garden restaurant, and Deck 3 services and activities. The cabin was larger than we expected, and for the two of us at least, it had a ton of storage: two closets, many drawers and cabinets, plus underbed storage. In addition to our luxurious, comfortable queen-sized bed, there was a sofa bed plus a pullman bed in the ceiling, so technically the cabin could sleep 4. We loved the split bathroom, where the commode plus a small sink are in a separate room from the bath/shower combo and a larger sink. We had plenty of shelf space for the two of us in the baths. I think for 3-4 people you'd need to devise something for more toiletries storage. After getting settled, we headed back to Deck 11 and Senses Spa to purchase a 4-day Rainforest Pass ($99 for two people). This was our favorite spot on the ship by far! With only 40 passes sold per cruise, we never had to compete with others for space in the heated tile loungers, the two hot tubs, the three saunas, or the four aromatherapy showers. If you're looking for daily relaxation, this is it! You can take a free tour of the Spa and they can show you how it all works if you're unsure. Of the three rotational dining rooms, our favorite for atmosphere was Enchanted Garden, but our favorite for dining was Royal Palace. We enjoyed a cooked-to-order breakfast there two days and lunch two other days, in addition to our regular dinner assignment. (Enchanted Garden serves a buffet for breakfast and lunch. Cabanas on Deck 11 also serves buffet breakfast & lunch.) To celebrate our anniversary, we booked dinner at Remy, the exclusive French restaurant on Deck 12. It was our favorite experience of the cruise! The food was superb, the service exceptional, and the view -- a rare nighttime view of Nassau (the Dream left port at 2am; it typically leaves earlier in the evening) -- all combined to make it an unforgettable meal. Big time shoutouts to our server, Yannick! We also dined at Palo one evening. While it was a beautiful setting, it paled in comparison to Remy in both food and service. If doing both on the same cruise, try to do Remy after Palo, or try to book Palo for brunch. We are Disney fans, so the abundance of Disney-themed entertainment was a big plus for us. The stage shows were Broadway-quality. The movie theater had first-run flicks all day and night. My favorite tip: Stateroom TVs stream Disney movies and tv shows. Take a couple hours one evening or morning to enjoy the movie Cinderella -- it's been in the Disney Vault for years and isn't available on DVD! We watched it for the first time since childhood! We did not book any excursions on Nassau or Castaway Cay. We loved Serenity Bay, the adults-only beach at Castaway Cay. It's a huge contrast from the crowded family beaches! We tried the Castaway Cay snorkeling trail with our own equipment. We didn't enjoy it for a couple of reasons: it's a long swim from the beach to the snorkeling area, and the water was murky with churned up sand. While you could see the "reefs" and fish, the water was not clear. We did snorkel late in the day, so if you snorkel the trail first thing in the morning, the clarity might be better. Take your mask & snorkel to Serenity Bay instead! One fun on-ship activity was the Mid-Ship Detective Agency, in which you use the Enchanted Art throughout the ship to solve a mystery. Even though we don't have kids, we found it to be a fun way to explore the ship. My tip is to get your Case Information early in your cruise, then you have the duration of the cruise to check off the clue locations and solve your mystery. If you wait until the at-sea day of the cruise, you'll be competing with several others for your spot in front of the pieces of art. We found it best late at night. Wile we hated to leave the ship, the disembarkation process was very smooth, and loved how our luggage was waiting for us in one color-coded spot right before we went through customs. Since we used the Country Inn & Suites shuttle, we were able to hop right onto one that was ready to leave for the hotel, and we were back to our car in no time. The hotel has two shuttles that run continuously during embarkation and disembarkation. My only shuttle tip is if you must be at the port at a specific time, check into the hotel early for the best selection of shuttle times. They do keep a list of available slots throughout the day, and your preferred time may not be available if you check in late. As I mentioned, we have already rebooked a cruise for the same ship and stateroom (taking advantage of Disney's 10% off rebooking + OBC offer) and are looking forward to sailing her again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Last Fall, I got an email with an attractive price deal for a September 2011 cruise. Having a 28 yr old, learning Disabled daughter who would live at Disney World if I let her, I wanted her to experience the ultimate "kid ... Read More
Last Fall, I got an email with an attractive price deal for a September 2011 cruise. Having a 28 yr old, learning Disabled daughter who would live at Disney World if I let her, I wanted her to experience the ultimate "kid friendly" cruise line. I've taken her on three cruises prior to this, including the maiden voyage of the NCL EPIC from England. On the advice of a Disney's corporate cruise rep, I made contact with the ships Youth Coordinators management. After an interview, they permitted my daughter to participate in their "Teen" program, "VIBE". The consideration, care and professionalism well exceeded my expectations and that of my daughters. I barely saw her except for dinner, shows and sleeping times. I was happy for her. KUDO's to Disney's staff. Now, I found that Disney does it a lil different then most cruise lines from the beginning to the end of the cruise: 1. The boarding process to be efficient and quick. Announcing, "The Disney Dream Welcomes (by last name) Family". 2. Food was excellent and surprised by "No Charge" for sodas. I did find that the Enchanted Garden and Royal Palace Main Dining Rooms are poorly laid out and very tight. Comments by others passengers said the Magic and Wonder do not suffer from this problem. There is a 24/7 room service but an all night eatery would have been nice. Everything shuts down at 1:00 AM. 3. The cabin balcony cabin was roomy (for the three of us), well appointed and very comfortable. The split bath w/sink and toilet w/sink worked out great. KUDO's on their cabin design. Other cruise lines could learn a thing or two on this point. 4. Entertainment, all I can say is that NOTHING, NOBODY does it better than Disney. 5. Disembarkation, even though there wasn't a announced plan. Just go have breakfast and leave. I was shocked, no lines, no confusion, walked off, found our luggage and left. There is more but you'll have find that out for yourself. My experience is summed up, do it, it is a great experience for children and their families. Being retired, I was happy to feel and see the smiles on my daughters face. One day, if I ever become a grandparent, I may do another Disney cruise but until then, I'll stick with adult themed voyages. ENJOY! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We live in Vancouver, so it's great just to go down to Canada Place & hop on the ship. The security screening begins at 11 am. Go through Customs, lots of agents here. Then onto the waiting area for your boarding number. It ... Read More
We live in Vancouver, so it's great just to go down to Canada Place & hop on the ship. The security screening begins at 11 am. Go through Customs, lots of agents here. Then onto the waiting area for your boarding number. It goes pretty fast. You can also take pics with Mickey or Minnie before boarding the ship. Staterooms are ready at 2 pm. 1st seating is 5:45 pm, 2nd seating 8:15 pm. The muster drill is at 4 pm. You don't need your life jackets. We had a table of 8 at 2nd seating, 4 couples all around the same age. A fun group. Cruise Casual tonite. Wednesday, Day at Sea Formal nite Golden Mickeys Turn clock back 1 hr tonite. We mostly ate breakfast & lunch in the buffet. The a la carte service was quite slow. There weren't any sale items in the shops except for 30% off Dooney & Burke, the Neon collection. Thursday Tracy Arm Cruise Casual Most people were on deck 10 where they have hot chocolate, bbq buffet, characters & pics of you by the photogs. We spent the entire afternoon on deck 4 portside. It wasn't that cold & we could see up the mountains. Saw wild mountain goats, seals on ice floes, bald eagles. Friday Skagway Cruise Casual They showed Pirates 3D several times this cruise. Saturday Juneau Pirate or Cruise Casual Toy Story, the Musical ( loved it ) Sunday Ketchikan Semi Formal Set clock forward 1 hr tonite Monday At Sea Semi Formal I didn't think the food was as good this cruise as when I was on the Magic 3 yrs ago. We enjoyed the movies, entertainment & the shows. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
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
First I would like to say that if you don't like Disney entertainment and the Disney brand you will probably not like Disney Cruise Lines because you are immersed in Disney from the terminal at Port Canaveral. I like the mouse and ... Read More
First I would like to say that if you don't like Disney entertainment and the Disney brand you will probably not like Disney Cruise Lines because you are immersed in Disney from the terminal at Port Canaveral. I like the mouse and grew up with him so of course I'm a fan. After this first cruise I must say I'm saying goodbye to other cruise lines. Disney was just that much better. The only Maiden Voyage I could compare this to was when we went on Oasis of the Seas Maiden Voyage. Oasis was a great ship but poor food, and substandard cruise director and staff made the experience not so memorable. Well on to Disney. Embarkation was a breeze. We used Disney's ground transfers from the All Star Movie Resort and they had picked up our baggage the day of the cruise from the hotel and got it safely on board the ship to our stateroom with no problems. Plus we took the great Disney Cruise Line bus to port. I would highly recommend using ground transfers if you stay at Disney the night before. The Disney Cruise Line Terminal at Port Canaveral provides a unique beginning to your magical voyage. The terminal is reminiscent of Art Deco architecture falling in line with the Classic Ocean liners of the 1930s. They are very well organized and we were on the beautiful Dream within 1/2 hour. It takes a little longer getting on board because as you go on board your family is introduced and you walk on board a double line of officers who are clapping and welcoming you on board. Very nice touch. The atrium here is spectacular to say the least. Very classy looking. Plus there are all kind of Disney character photo opportunities once you get on board. We were on the ship by around 2 so we were able to go right to our stateroom. When you check in at the terminal they do give you a card that tells you when your room will be ready. Keri our room host did a great job for our entire cruise lots of little surprises in the room. And hey they still include the little chocolates with turn-down service. Beware our room though 7048 we heard what sounded like a heavy door being slid at all hours of the am and night. Figured out it was the elevator sliding open. The stateroom was a good size 246 square ft with veranda. We did a room tour on board and actually went through the Roy Disney suite. They had a 42 inch TV which came out from the foot of the bed through a remote control as well as a huge hot tub out on a huge veranda. The room was decorated with Disney memorabilia but you could see a lot of the same things around the ship. Very neat suite if you got the cash. Hint since we were first time Disney cruisers we had no idea on our room key cards what the AEER stood for but found out it was a acronym for the order of our rotational dining (ie Animators Palate,Enchanted Garden twice and Royal Palace. The food and staff here was superior to anything I have had on RC (included Oasis) or Carnival both which are really more on the level of a Golden Corral. Disney's food and staff were off the hook. Your team travels with you and we had great service every night from Andre,Dion and finally a great maitre D in Matteo Manfrinato. We did not know you could keep the champaign glasses we toasted the start of the cruise with and shared this with our servers and Matteo. Came back the next night to find a glass for us and all our table mates that were from the preview cruise, we also were given a glass from the Maiden Voyage as well as a glass from the Christening Cruise. The food was gourmet and Im not a big gourmet guy but the Marinated Angus Beef with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes with Bok Choy and a Tamarind barbecue reduction was off the hook as well as the Wild Boar in the Royal Palace. Plate presentation was superior over any cruise I have been on as well as Desert choices. If someone would pass on desert at our table Andre would bring out a plate that said NOTHING and was decorated as well. It was the little things that made this all great. The restaurant were all very beautiful. Animators Palate had Crush swimming around all over the place interacting with guests (Kind of like Crush Talk that they have in the parks). Enchanted garden was beautiful with lights that even bloomed like flowers. The Royal Palace was very grand as well with all the princesses walking around curtsying and bowing at the tables. On board there was plenty to do for the adults and The District was a really nice group of clubs with Skyline being our favorite. The Skyline changed every 15 minutes from one major world city to another. As you walked around the ship the art on the wall would come alive and animate when you got close enough. The cool thing was it didn't always do the same thing. The Aquaduck was very exciting and just the right amount of thrills for anyone. Line was never longer than 15-20 minutes. The Pirate night was very well done with a great firework show and Captain Jack Sparrow doing a leap off the top funnel and dropping from a rope to the stage to be chased all over the crowd by Blackbeard and his pirates. All the shows were very well done Disney shows the thing I liked the most was the deck parties though. The Sail away party was great huge excitement generated here and we loved the cruise director Rachel Quinn who was very approachable and really wanted to know if you were having a good time no matter if this was your 1 or 21 cruise with Disney. No comparison to the rude cruise director we had on the Oasis Ken Rush who was only interested in interacting with people in Diamond status or above on RC Oasis Maiden voyage. the comments were true about people hoard. Very bad experience but Disney quickly took control of this by controlling the flow into the shops and limiting purchases of Maiden Voyage merchandise. We did the RSP and got everything we asked for except for one item. Then came to find the item waiting for us for free on our stateroom bed next to the towel animal. (PS I made know fuss about this item it simply was not available to me on the list for purchase-I got it for free then how neat is that?) Went and saw Tron Legacy on board in 3D massive Dolby sound. All theaters were beautifully decorated and we had front row seats to every great Disney show. A great value is to get a Rainforest day pass. Senses Spa was great and the day pass was only 16.00 a person. For that you got robes, slippers access to all the cool showers with there different effects as well as the thermal lounge chairs and two hot tubs looking over the front of the ship and ocean. We did purchase some pictures but cast members are always ready to take a picture using your camera as well. One hint here though. They do not have anything smaller than a 8x10 available for purchase for you unless its a photo shot with characters. There were no 6x8 photos available to us of the shots we had taken at dinner etc.. which was kind of a drag. Shutters was very well organized though and all you had to do was tap your Key To The World card to the computer and your pics came up. The service levels on this ship surpassed anything I have experienced you really do get what you pay for. We spent a good six hours on Castaway Cay. Lots to do and see very decent prices on aqua trike rentals etc.. We actually liked the family beach better than the adult beach,. The adult beach had a lot of seaweed washed up on shore and smelled a little. Good place to chill out though. Disembarkation was not very well organized at all. There is some opportunity here. You went to breakfast where ever you ate at the night before then just stood in line. No groups called at certain times, it was hard to find where the line ended at as well as no marked off queues so folks would just pretty much enter in when and wherever they wanted to. Once we got in line it was about 1/2 to get through customs and off the ship. Again we purchased ground transfers so we already had transportation to the airport boarding passes and our bags were already tagged and headed toward our plane. We never saw our bags again until Dayton. And they did arrive in Dayton. If you want a good investment of your money and time and want a great vacation I would highly recommend Disney Cruise lines. We already booked the Disney Magic next Oct and new Disney Fantasy for next April 2012. For us we will do Disney on all our future cruise's. Plan on doing Disney to Europe and Alaska as well. But hey we love the mouse. Happy Sailing Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
I've definitely heard the term "great product, not for us" thrown around a few times lately...and I have to say that this is probably the best way to describe our experience with Disney Cruise Line. Now, there will be no ... Read More
I've definitely heard the term "great product, not for us" thrown around a few times lately...and I have to say that this is probably the best way to describe our experience with Disney Cruise Line. Now, there will be no bashing here-because we really did have an amazing time, and I think that if one is traveling with children, Disney Cruise Line is probably by far the best way to go. But I have to write from the heart about my experience, and writing from the heart means admitting things like: we checked with the onboard booking specials and could have gotten a great price (for a Disney cruise, anyway) on a cruise in October, but decided to forgo that option because as adults traveling without children, the experience simply wasn't worth the cost for us. First things first-I do have to express my absolute love of Disney's alcohol policy, that being: if you can fit it in the designated carry-on, you can get it on the ship! We brought four pint bottles and some nippers with us, and I can't even fathom how much money that saved us in the long run. That, and it was nice to be able to run by the (free!) drink station and mix up a nice strong rum and coke or bourbon and coke when the urge grabbed us, rather than heading off to a bar and just hoping that they put a proper amount of alcohol in your drink. However. In the end, the cost of the cruise itself was prohibitive enough that we probably could have gone on another cruise line (for instance, we could have spent half the amount on the cruise and had an oceanview room on Royal Caribbean rather than an inside room on Disney) and ended up spending the same amount on cruise fare plus alcohol as we did on just the cruise fare for Disney. Another huge plus for this cruise was the adults-only area. Better lounge chairs, a nice quiet pool, and two jacuzzis-it was perfect. There were maybe two times when cast members had to ask children to leave the area, but the point is-they actually asked them to leave. Adults only means adults only! (And thank God for that). Plus it was right next to the spa, and we purchased Rainforest Room passes in order to take advantage of their amazing steam rooms and aromatherapy showers. We also enjoyed the adults-only Cove Cafe quite a few times-great coffee, great little snacks (mini caprese sandwiches and the like), and the best service on the ship! Last but not least, I could never say enough good things about Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. Beautiful, clean, and again-an amazing adults-only area. Not to mention beachfront cabanas in which one can receive a massage. We partook in this "activity" and it was the most amazing massage I've ever had-mainly because of the location, but let's not get picky, right? Now, for the not-so-amazing bits...the food was good, but not the best I've had on a cruise. I was only truly impressed on two separate occasions-when we went to the buffet for lunch on the first day, and when we went to Palo for dinner. Of course, the only time I was actually unimpressed was when I tried the pizza at the poolside counter. It was gummy and tasteless and kind of, well, gross. But otherwise, our dinner at Parrot Cay on the first night was above average, and the dinner at Animator's Palate on the last night was okay as well. The deck parties (the sail away party on the first day, and the Pirate party on the second night) were very obviously geared toward children. I remember loving the sail away party on my Carnival cruise, so I was a bit disappointed with Disney's...the area where it was held (decks nine and ten) were simply too small for the crowd of people. I think the Pirate party could have been a total blast had I not spent the entire time being jostled by the family standing next to us and worrying about the fact that the mother had her 5 or 6 year old son standing on top of a trash can on the top deck of the boat. This was the one time when I was truly frustrated that cast members were walking by us and not saying anything to this mother about her children. Finally, our stop in Nassau was very disappointing, but I won't go into detail about that now, because it really is an entire separate blog in itself. When I said that this was a great product-I still think that if you are cruising with young children (as in, any children under the age of 12), Disney Cruise Line is the way to go. Their deck parties and shows are geared toward kids. They offer discounted children's rates, which other cruise lines don't. Sodas and whatnot are included with your meals and if you get them from the drink station on deck nine, so there's no paying extra for a soda card once on board. They've got opportunities to meet characters left and right. Their rooms are bigger than other cruise lines. And I can only imagine that it would be a great vacation to do a 3 day cruise and then spend 4 days at Walt Disney World. Would I do another Disney cruise? Yes, if I had the extra vacation and if the price actually dropped to $400 per person or less for an inside cabin. I would do it for the Cove Cafe, the adults-only area, the Rainforest room at the spa, Castaway Cay and the beachfront couples massage. And again, we did have an amazing vacation regardless! I just wish that it hadn't been quite so pricey, because I'm not sure we really got our money's worth. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
This was our 7th cruise on Disney (or any other CL) and our 1st as just a couple of old married folks. Our son (in college) had classes so he stayed home and my husband & I were celebrating our 30th anniversary! We were on the May 16th ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise on Disney (or any other CL) and our 1st as just a couple of old married folks. Our son (in college) had classes so he stayed home and my husband & I were celebrating our 30th anniversary! We were on the May 16th sailing of the Wonder. It was our best cruise yet! We arrived at port a little too early (9:00 - because I woke up at 5:30 and just was too excited to wait) and were requested to return around 10 as guests from the previous cruise were still disembarking. We went toward the beaches and passed the time at a McDonalds and returned to the terminal by around 10:05. Our luggage was collected by porters (tipped) and my husband parked in the temporary parking lot (the parking garage is nearing completion) at $60 ($15 per night). I went up to check-in and our check-in process went smoothly (we had prechecked-in online). Our boarding number was 3 - it definitely pays to arrive early! We boarded the ship by 12:30 and were routed to Parrot Cay (deck 3 aft) for lunch. You had the option of going up to Beach Blanket (deck 9 aft) but we prefer the indoor comfort of PC. The buffet (same as Beach Blanket) consisted of various meats, salads, sides, desserts, and the always popular cold steamed shrimp. While at PC, we saw a server from our 5th cruise 7 years ago, Vit, who (much to our surprise) recognized us and even inquired as to how our son was doing - what a memory (or maybe we're too memorable...humm?)! Staterooms are not usually ready until after 1:30 so we passed the brief wait time by sitting on the port side promenade deck - facing the other 2 cruise ships in port (RCL-Oasis & Carnival-Sensation) and just being happy about once again being onboard this fabulous ship. One of the comments we've heard from friends and other cruisers is that there is much more drinking (inebriated people) and raucous behavior on the Carnival ships. They have also commented that their shows are much less 'kid/family' friendly - scantily clad dancers and more 'adult' humor. It's a shame that many of the balcony areas have had to be screened in to keep fools from falling overboard. But - I digress. Suffice it to say that we've never encountered drunken or inappropriate behavior or sleazy shows on Disney cruises. There are adult areas and shows that may not be appropriate for children (adult themes - but not foul), they are clearly stated as such and children are not permitted. We arrived in our clean and ready stateroom by around 1:35 and were delighted to discover that because our room was so far forward and due to the curve of the bough, we had about 20 added square feet of floor space plus another 12 sq. ft. in front of the large porthole window. Compared to our cat. 4 stateroom last year - we felt like we had as much or more floor/storage/living space. The only thing we didn't have was a balcony - but we really didn't miss it as our window was large and being on deck 2 - we were close to the water. Another thing we like about this room as opposed the the others (balcony) in which we've stayed, is that its a/c is cooler and less humid. If you are traveling with children and staying in a cat. 9 on deck 2 - request rooms 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 or 2500, 2502, 2504, 2506, and 2508. All of these have extra floor/window space and a place the kids can sit and look out the window. Our wonderful steward (Sakol) said that many children like to put pillows in the window ledge and sleep there by the window. Our bed was pillow-top and very comfy. Sakol kept us well stocked with ice (2x per day-prearranged), clean towels, towel critters, and many other 'niceties.' Since we are now classified as "Gold Castaway Club Members" (between 6-10 DCL cruises) and we're Disney Vacation Club members we had many perks left in our room each day - invitation to captain's reception, special tote bags, drink containers, door magnets, treats and more. Another advantage to being on deck 2, far forward is that our muster station is in the Walt Disney Theater on deck 4. We avoided having to be outside on the promenade deck in the hot sun like most other cruisers! Another perk! Our dining rotation order was Parrot Cay, 2 nights at Tritons (our favorite), and Animators' Palate (clue - when you receive your 'key card' - it will have initials on it like 'f-3 PTTA Table 57' - which translates as first seating, 3rd set, Parrot Cay, Tritons, Tritons, Animators' Palate). We were seated at table 57 (in all 3 restaurants throughout the cruise dinners with the same servers) which is a 4 top. Our table mates, Carl & Shannon, were a delightful couple - about our age from Utah. We enjoyed their company and were entertained by their creative costuming on pirate night (same day as Castaway Cay day). Our servers, Zoltan & Victor, as well as our head server, Carina, were very attentive and just wonderful. The menus since our cruise last year had changed somewhat, but found our favorites to still be there. The new changes were definitely an improvement (not that they were lacking before, but more to our liking). Our food always arrived at the appropriate temperature and was well seasoned, prepared, and displayed. I've never waddled off from a DCL meal hungry! As we learned on previous cruises, we prefer to dine in Tritons & Parrot Cay for breakfast & lunch each day as they are less crowded and cooler. (We're Floridians who don't care for the heat.) Beach Blanket Buffet (deck 9, aft) is usually full of families still in swimwear. We did order coffee & croissants one morning by using the 'night before door hanger' and it arrived on time. One of the officers, Pierre from France, remembered us from our cruise last year and we enjoyed conversing with him several times throughout our cruise. The captain, Henri Andersson, and cruise director, Ray, were equally engaging. We got off the ship at Nassau long enough to walk through the shopping district (which is filthy and full of peddlers being pushy about wanting to braid your hair or taxi you around the island) and purchase our Tortuga Rum Cakes. I've since learned I can buy these at Bass Pro Shops - so no more Nassau for me! Since the DCL ships are Bahamian registry, I think there is a contractual obligation for the ships to visit there. The other stop was on Castaway Cay (Disney private island) where we disembarked long enough to snap some pics of the "Flying Dutchman" with hubby's new camera. CC is where most everyone disembarks and enjoys the fabulous beaches and activities on the island. The lunch provided on the island is included in your cruise - so no need for money here unless you wish to purchase things in the gift shop (no cash, just your key card is needed). However, we were only on the island briefly and quickly returned to the quiet ship to enjoy the Quiet Cove (adult) pool area where there were only about 6 other people in the area along with a few attentive crew members. As for shore excursions - if you want to enjoy parasailing, glass bottom boating, or other small craft recreation - sign-up early and do these things on CC. You can count on the vessels and excursions being clean and safe (not so sure about the ones by outside vendors at Nassau - although Disney does try to keep up with and check out quality on these, they don't control them). If you have not been to Castaway Cay - and enjoy the beach - this is a must - beautiful, clean and safe! Just be ready to walk a little, but there is a tram for a much of the way to the beaches. Lunch on the ship on Castaway Cay day is Parrot Cay (only place open on CC days) is no longer buffet (for CC day), but menu order - which we found to be ample and tasty. I'm now spoiled to wanting my 4 course dinners - appetizer, soup, entre, & dessert! But it was all to quickly back to normal when I returned home. The 'big' shows each evening were of usual Disney high quality and family fare. First night was "Golden Mickeys," second night was "Toy Story," third night was "Oceans," the movie, and final night was the always delightful "Disney Dreams." We decided not to see the movie this time around just because we wanted to do enjoy some of the other DCL activities. We also skipped Toy Story as we saw it last year and it really wasn't our favorite - spent too much time on the villan, Sid, than the 'cuter' aspects of the show. They are working on a new show featuring the Disney villans which will be on the new ship. They did offer a 1:30 matinee of "Disney Dreams" on day at sea, which we attended so the evening could be spent packing, shopping and other onboard activities. Another side note - the theater shows are also shown on your stateroom tv simultaneously with the stage shows. This could be useful if one of the family members was ill or too tired to attend. Nice touch. We both were so glad we chose the Disney Cruise for celebrating our 30th anniversary - only wish it had been around for our honeymoon. Although there were many children on board, we never felt overwhelmed or annoyed by them. There were only a few times that there were crying children, which is to be expected when they are tired or just overwhelmed by the exciting events of the day. But being parents ourselves, we understand that. Most of the time the children were happy and glad to tell you what they've been doing with Mickey and his 'wonder'ful crew! Overall, the ship was incredibly clean (cleaner than last year I think), the crew members at all levels were interested in making our stay as fun and comfortable as possible. We'd never had so many of the upper level crew seem as interested in our opinions and input on making the cruise better. All of the folks with whom we discussed other cruiselines indicated that Disney is by far the best for wholesome, clean, guest pleasing cruising - also the most enjoyable. We can't imagine sailing with anyone but Disney...ever! Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
Disney did not disappoint again. Our first DCL cruise was 2 years ago and we still had plenty of magical moments! (Note: My reviews have the good and the so-so in them -- every line has room for improvement!) Being that we were ... Read More
Disney did not disappoint again. Our first DCL cruise was 2 years ago and we still had plenty of magical moments! (Note: My reviews have the good and the so-so in them -- every line has room for improvement!) Being that we were using rewards points from the cruise line's card, we went pretty frugal and booked cat 12 and ended up in a cat 11. The basic inside rooms on DCL are fine and more than enough room for 2 adults. Our fare was $599 pp and total cost came in under $1500 including rt port transfers. Our pre cruise night was a $109/night web deal at Dolphin -- well worth it for that price. The food: Outstanding. Disney really sets itself apart with the customer service in this area, too. The head waiter was always around, the waiter and asst waiter were always attentive and eager to please. The desserts were just ok, but the savory foods were absolutely outstanding. Palo was fabulous, too. Although we still think the Emerald Room on Carnival Glory was the best meal of our lives, twice. It was more intimate and just a superior quality. The room: Like I said, it was sufficient. The walls are pretty thin, though. We could hear our neighbors on either side (including a screaming baby) most of the time. The bathroom was little and the shower curtain stuck to me. Ugh. Hate that. The base NCL showers blow DCL out of the water. Regardless, aft 5 deck was lovely and not very busy. The room steward did the "knock and barge in without a response" thing a few times, which was annoying. This seems par for the course on cruise lines these days. We did call on the first day about the screaming baby, but we were told that the ship was full. Although our table mates in a balcony room did get moved due to a screaming baby, so it seems like it might be a "money talks" sort of thing. Anyway. The entertainment: We saw Up and Bolt in 3D -- very cool. We also caught Golden Mickeys. To be honest, we don't care much for the non adult oriented shows on DCL. It would be great to get the kids all wrapped up in jammies and take them to a princessy skit, but.....no thanks. The quiet cove pool has started being un-quiet with cheesy muzak-y boat songs in the afternoons. Kid would love the offerings, though. It's a Disney cruise! Although there were a lot of completely unruly and unhappy kids to be found all the time. I didn't get that! The spa: Paid $148 I think for a 7 day pass for husband and I to use the rainforest room. Not worth it. The NCL spa area was a hundred times better. This spa was clearly aged and had no whirlpool or plunge pool. There was also no view. Overall: We've realized that we need more port days on DCL because of the lack of adult stuff to do. This is no fault of DCL, but it was obvious that DCL's attempt to be a cruise line for families and for couples too was not successful. Our next DCL cruise would be no longer than 4 days, I'm sure. But the service and cleanliness will be hard to match on our next endeavour. There are opportunities for improvement here -- but overall it's still the best line we've been on. Our utopian cruise line would have great food, cleanliness, and impeccable service like DCL.... with better adult shows, lots of ports, and more activity offerings. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
My wife and I just got back from a 7-night Disney cruise to the Eastern Caribbean to celebrate our one-year anniversary. It was my first cruise, and her second; her other experience was on RCCL. We chose to cruise DCL mainly because we ... Read More
My wife and I just got back from a 7-night Disney cruise to the Eastern Caribbean to celebrate our one-year anniversary. It was my first cruise, and her second; her other experience was on RCCL. We chose to cruise DCL mainly because we are Disney Vacation Club members and we needed to burn two years' worth of 'vacation points' on a one-week vacation, as we won't have time to go next year. Here were our impressions of the Magic and the Disney cruising experience: CHECK IN / BOARDING THE SHIP: This took about an hour once we arrived at the port terminal. While that seems like a long time, NOBODY herds crowds of people through long lines as artfully as Disney. The hour came and went painlessly and before we knew it, we were on the ship. CAST MEMBERS aka THE SHIP'S SERVICE CREW: In the 'mass hospitality' industry in general, Disney sets the standard as far as training their employees to treat guests like gold. Our DCL experience was consistent with that, starting with the greeters who welcomed us aboard, to the dinner servers and bartenders, right down to the maintenance staff. Every single crew member consistently said "hello" and smiled even when they were not serving you; even if, for example, you caught their eye while passing them in the hallway. The service was always prompt, friendly, and outstanding and no one even gave a hint of attitude that they were taking the customers for granted. At no time did we feel that we were just "cattle" being farmed for gratuity money (even though as a cynic I know that is fundamentally true). They definitely work for their money, though, and leave you wanting to tip more than the minimum. Again, this all boils down to training. I even heard secondhand that one of the crew was overheard being berated by a superior for "not being friendly enough"! Employee friendliness is evidently an aspect of the cruise that Disney takes very seriously! STATEROOM - SIZE, AMENITIES, AND CLEANLINESS I found the stateroom to be more than adequate for two people. I doubt I would have been comfortable squeezing into it as a family of 4. However, it is possible that my requirements for personal space might diminish once we have kids. I am told by my wife it was "about the same size" as her RCCL stateroom was, though Disney claims their rooms are larger. The bed was king sized which was great and was relatively comfortable. The pillows are soft and very squishy, which I prefer. There was also one quite firm memory foam contoured pillow in our room, but I was not clear on whether that was standard or had been accidentally left behind by another guest. The first night it did not have a pillowcase, but starting the second night, our stateroom host started putting a pillowcase on it. The blankets on the bed are nothing to write home about, and are not very heavy. My wife and I like the feel of a heavy comforter on us, so we used the bed cover on top of the blankets. After the second night, our host figured this out and stopped hiding it under the bed when he turned down our covers during dinner. The AC kept the room at a perfect temperature and did not make any noise to speak of. For people like my wife who need white noise, this was not a problem, as the ship's engine generates plenty of its own droning white noise. The TV was large sized (24" LCD flat screen) which was visible even with the curtains open. There was typically good programming to catch while getting ready for dinner, and several good current movies on the movie channels if we wanted to nap in front of the tube for a bit. The sofa flips into a twin bed which was frankly more comfortable to lounge on than the sofa. Electrical outlets in the room are few, and they are not thoughtfully placed in the cabin. If you need to plug in a charger that hangs down below the outlet, like a camera battery charger, the only spot to do it is behind the TV. The other outlets have no clearance below them, as they are nearly flush with the desk. We had a balcony, of which I made frequent use. I liked how private it was; when you're out there, no one else could really see you unless they happened to be in the adjacent room and they craned their head all the way around the divider to deliberately invade your space. However, the balcony is fairly small. It can comfortably accomodate two people sitting down, but no more. I was concerned at how vulnerable they were to secondary cigarette smoke; however, we lucked out and were not placed near any smokers. I never once detected a whiff of tobacco while out there. Lucky us, I guess. The people we sat with at dinner were not so lucky. The split bathrooms are a fabulous idea, says my wife. Having two sinks is ideal for expediting the shaving/teethbrushing part of the cruise. Also the bathtub, while not big enough for two, is definitely adequate for one average-sized adult. We were very impressed with the ingenuity and layout of the bathroom area in general. Closet space was minimal but adequate for one week. Disney provides plenty of hangers (about 20) which was a real plus. Dresser space was unfortunately lacking. We ended up using the desk as a second "dresser" which worked out Ok, but again, if we had two kids I don't know where we would have put their clothes. FOOD / DINING: This is one of the highlights of the ship, again lending credit to Disney's expertise in the 'mass hospitality' arena. Disney's servers are trained to give you whatever you want. Period. Want two appetizers, two salads, and/or two entrees? That's fine! Want something not on the menu? Fine! Want to start with dessert first? I never tried that one, but I suspect it would be just fine. The quality of the food overall was 5/5. The fruits and vegetables were always impeccably fresh and crisp. The appetizers were thoughtful and there was great variety. The salads were always very good. The soups were hit-or-miss, particularly some of the fruit-based soups. Nearly every entree I tried was a complete success. The chefs definitely know how to maximize the flavor in ingredients that are designed to present a cost-effective mid-to-high range meal with mass appeal. At no time did I feel that Disney was skimping on quality to save money during dinner; the meals were all, at minimum, comparable in quality to something you would get at a nice chain restaurant. Most were better. The only complaint I have is regarding the desserts; they were of lesser quality than the other courses and were very repetitive. They re-used the same basic ingredients and just found different shapes and names for them throughout the week. Their cheesecake, specifically, is pitiful; it tasted like one of those no-bake Jell-O cheesecake mixes. Granted, those are yummy in their own right, but they aren't actually cheesecake and shouldn't be called such on a menu. They re-used the same chocolate ganache and chocolate cake, the same custard base, and that awful Jell-O cheesecake mix in nearly all of their desserts. We also dined at Palo. Palo uses more expensive ingredients in many areas of the meal and is easily worth the upcharge if you are culinarily savvy enough to appreciate the difference. The service is also more energetic and personalized in Palo; the waiters in the general dining area get promoted to Palo if they are good enough, so you are getting the best of the best of Disney's service here. Palo's food is comparable to that found in a very expensive restaurant; caviar, king crab, exotic cheeses, etc. As with the other restaurants, you can try as many things as you want, so don't be shy here. Not every dish will resonate with everyone, but the increase in food preparation expertise and in ingredient quality is undeniable even in dishes that "miss" with your expectations or preferences. I must add here that Palo's dessert selections were a welcome change after a week of the repetitive desserts in the other restaurants. The lunch buffet at Topsider's and the quick-service locations were delightful, in my opinion. I had expected much lower quality food in these locations, and I was consistently impressed to the contrary. Even the pizza in Pinocchio's Pizzeria was darn passable. Imagine how difficult it must be to bake pizza and keep it from getting moist, in 95% humidity at sea level. I don't know how Disney did it, but they did it. ENTERTAINMENT - SHOWS: Disney's shows are top-notch, Broadway-quality, but as you'd expect, they are all Disney themed, which got quite boring after two or three days of it. I found myself wishing for a NON-DISNEY themed show, just something random for variety's sake. Guys and Dolls or Brigadoon or something. A magic show. A stand-up comedian. Anything. Just please, give us a break from shoving Disney down our throat once in a while! It especially got dull when people started reprising their roles from the previous shows, later in the week. For example, the same actors in their same costumes for Cinderella and Prince Charming in "Twice Charmed", later appeared in TWO other shows afterward. Show me Cinderella waltzing with Prince Charming once, okay, that's a nice refresher. Twice, three times, it just gets old and does not warm the heart or feel magical anymore. It's sort of like the dining room chefs re-using the same dessert ingredients and calling it a new dessert. It doesn't fool anyone, we know it's the same dessert with a new name. The Disney-written one-hour shows were very thin on plot, and were mostly just flash and costume wrapped in brilliant vocals singing all-too-familiar (read: tired and overplayed) Disney anthems. The actors that Disney employs are far too talented to be wasted on this. These kids can sing and dance at the highest levels needed for stage theater. Disney should put them to better use than they currently are. Twice Charmed and Disney Dreams are keepers, but the rest of the shows need to be reworked or replaced. ADULT ENTERTAINMENT - THE REST OF IT (NOT THE SHOWS) If you're an adult and you like: a) the bar scene b) the nightclub scene c) playing bingo all week d) lounging around a pool (or your stateroom) all week e) bidding on overpriced wall art prints at auction ...then you'll be fine. Chances are that most people can probably fill a week being "comfortably bored" aboard the Magic. I frankly do not enjoy most of the activities they had scheduled for adults, but I managed to deal with it because I enjoy downtime, and I was there for a relaxing vacation filled with empty leisure time and a ton of great food, which is exactly what I got. However, I can easily see how an adult in need of more engaging activities than Bingo and teenybopper-style deck dance parties could feel out-of-place and bored on this cruise. OVERALL My wife says she will never go on a non-Disney cruise again if she can help it. It was heads and tails better than her RCCL experience, which she has always raved about prior to this cruise. Since this was my only cruise experience, I have nothing to compare it to, but I would rate it 5/5 on a scale of 1 to 5. The gripes I listed above about show variety, adult entertainment and activity variety, and dessert variety are minor, and are easily overlooked during the span of a week. I have heard stories about other cruise lines that make them sound like a weekend in Las Vegas. I definitely appreciate Disney's family-friendly atmosphere compared to a seedy-feeling party boat. Overall, now that I've tried it, I don't think cruising is my favorite way to vacation, though I will probably cruise again in the future. It is just too expensive for what you get. I could eat like a king for a lot less money elsewhere, if all I'm going to do is lounge around or read a book in the meantime. Speaking of value, I understand that Disney in general is more expensive than other cruise lines. Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to compare values for you. All I can say is that the Disney service was impeccable, their service is top-notch, and the food was excellent. I am not blinded by a love of Disney, those are my true opinions about what I got for my money. I'm a frugal man and I don't see the value in cruising, in general. However if I were going to cruise again, based on what I've heard, read, and experienced first hand, I would probably spend the extra money and cruise Disney again. It was an excellent experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
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