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62 Disney Spring Break Cruise Reviews

This was our 4th Disney cruise, and the first time sailing on the Wonder. We have previously sailed on the Magic (3-night in 2005) the Dream (3-night in 2013) and the Fantasy (7-night in 2015). We have two teenagers, ages 14 and 16. ... Read More
This was our 4th Disney cruise, and the first time sailing on the Wonder. We have previously sailed on the Magic (3-night in 2005) the Dream (3-night in 2013) and the Fantasy (7-night in 2015). We have two teenagers, ages 14 and 16. Since we live in Orlando we usually sail out of Port Canaveral, but this time we cruised with extended family from all over and Miami was the most convenient port for everyone. Aside from the minor inconvenience of having the extra drive, we absolutely loved sailing out of Miami! You get a fantastic view of downtown, as well as a peek at the multi-million dollar homes of the rich and famous on Star Island as you are heading out to sea. We also got a huge kick out of the people who were stuck in traffic hanging out their windows to wave to us! My initial reaction to stepping onto a smaller ship after recently sailing on the larger ones was one of minor disappointment. The atrium on the Magic and Wonder are beautiful and elegant in their own right, but just don't hold a candle to the grandeur of the those on the Dream and Fantasy. However, over the course of the cruise I found that I loved the smaller feel of the ship, and can honestly say that I may have even preferred it! We sailed the week before Easter, prime Spring Break time and the cruise had been completely sold out for months. Despite this, not once did it ever feel crowded to us. The pools did at times seem a bit packed ("kid soup") but it was relatively cool outside so we never actually went in them. As always, the adult areas were pretty empty most of the time. The food ranged from just ok to excellent. We absolutely loved our servers, Shane and Meibel. We are a family of jokesters, and we love to have fun interacting with our servers. They did not disappoint! They kept all of the kids at the table (from age 4-16) entertained and the service was impeccable. And I can not say enough good things about Palo Brunch. A must-do if you can swing it! Unfortunately, nothing has been done to remedy the bad coffee situation in the buffets and room service. This has always been one of our biggest complaints on the Disney ships! We love to order room service the night before and have our coffee on the verandah, but the "coffee" this time was truly undrinkable. I ended up heading to the Cove cafe and buying our coffee drinks each morning. I wish they could figure out a way to improve the complimentary coffee! Cabin service was excellent as always. Our cabin steward, Emer, went above and beyond to keep our room serviced and help us with anything we needed. The kids loved the teen club (Vibe). They did admit that they preferred the larger size of the clubs on the larger ships, but they still had a great time each evening. The nightly shows were enjoyable as always. We especially enjoyed the magician, Mike Super. We had watched him on America's Got Talent so it was awesome to get to see him in person! The Wonder is certainly showing it's age, but it is still such a beautiful ship. I look forward to seeing what they do to it when it enters it's two-month dry dock in the fall. Overall we had one of our best cruises to date. For those trying to decide between Disney and other cruise lines, let me just say this. We LOVE everything Disney. We are Disney Vacation Club members and have annual passes. We have have cruised with other lines and enjoyed them equally, but for different reasons. For us the intangible Disney "magic" is what makes it our go-to cruise line. If you aren't a Disney lover, I can understand why the extra expense may deter you. However I will say that Disney has continued to wow us with each and every cruise. We even booked a future cruise on the Dream in January! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I've cruised many cruise lines, Disney was honestly a disappointment. First the cost is double so you should be able to expect double right? Wrong. Employees with no personality waiting for their 8 months to be up ! People pushing and ... Read More
I've cruised many cruise lines, Disney was honestly a disappointment. First the cost is double so you should be able to expect double right? Wrong. Employees with no personality waiting for their 8 months to be up ! People pushing and shoving at Cabana for the brief time that the buffet is open each day. We actually missed a few meals because of lack of opportunity at Cabana and dining room being gorgeous but unappetizing for the human palate. The room was amazing and probably the cleanest boat Ive been on. Having a tub and huge floor to ceiling window was gorgeous! The shows are disney shows...no adult comedy club and thats one of my favorite entertainment. Everything closed down about 6 pm so on top of the steep price, they shut ya down at 6! Gym closed early and wont let muscle fitness 15 yr olds work out with adult even. Movie theater was a bonus but not the bonus I would've preferred on my first disney cruise. We missed all meet and greets due to lines or lack of tickets. The adult only pool area was nice, but of course my kids couldnt go so we tried not to stay too long. We all did the waterslide only twice because of long lines..15 year old didnt enjoy the teen club so he stayed in the room a lot. Yup... it was a waste of money in my opinion. If my kids had been younger and we hadnt been to Magic Kingdom 3 times a year while they were young, it might have been worth the extra cost. Im actually anxious to get back to Carnival in November and possibly adventure over to Royal Caribbean for son's graduation. Hopefully I can find the best ship out of Florida on RC. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
There are many elements influencing a specific cruise: The itinerary and ports of call, on-board activities, food, entertainment, the cabin, other amenities and so on. Having been on another ship also gives you a point of reference to ... Read More
There are many elements influencing a specific cruise: The itinerary and ports of call, on-board activities, food, entertainment, the cabin, other amenities and so on. Having been on another ship also gives you a point of reference to start with. This was a 4-night cruise from Miami, with stops as Castaway Cay, Nassau and Key West on the Disney Wonder Ports of Call: This is an interesting, "introductory" cruise, and better than the 3-night Castaway Cay/Nassau cruise from Port Canaveral. You have a bit more time to do things, and Key West is a great place to visit (much more so than Nassau). Castaway Cay is always fun but as we were there at low tide, bottom algaes were a bit of an issue. Nassau is Nassau. As this was one of the busiest day from a cruise ship perspective, we elected to go on a port adventure rather than risking doing something on our own. Port adventures in Nassau are overpriced, especially if electing to go to Atlantis, which is starting to be past its prime (the Aquarium). After two cruises, I am starting to feel that a 5-night cruise with at least one day at sea would be ideal for us as it gives you a bit more time to enjoy the ship Food: The food was above average to excellent, especially for dinner. I found the food to be better than on the Disney Dream at dinner time. Breakfast is a little bit of a different story. The Wonder is a relatively small ship and the buffet area is small, with more limited options (The Dream was much more impressive in that regard). I strongly recommend that one goes to Triton for breakfast for a more formal sit-down breakfast. Quality is superior. The quick snacks option offered decent choices and service was quick Entertainment: The night time shows are ok, and some of the shows are presented on more than one Disney ships. For example, the Golden Mickeys is also shown on the Dream (ok show). The one thing about the Wonder is that it showcases "Dreams" which is probably one of the best Disney Cruise production. Toy Story was ok, but not as good as I expected. One night featured a comedian/magician that I did not watch. There are other entertainment options such as movies (got to see Zootopia), clubs, game-nights,... Entertainment is at the very least adequate and I found better than on the Dream Kid's Club: The Wonder is set for a major refurbished and this is one area that I think needs improvement, especially when compared to the Dream. First the "Club" and the "Lab" have totally separate check-in areas and are technically separate from each other. Décor is a bit older and not as impressive as one would experience on the Dream. Programming was good and activities plentiful Cabin (overall) Even though the Wonder is an older ship, I found the cabin to be well-maintained and in good shape. We had one minor engineering issue which was quickly fixed. I much prefer the balconies and views on the Dream than the Wonder, but found the Wonder to be more stable and provide better sleep quality The ship: Compared to many other ships in the industry, and compared to the Disney Dream or Fantasy, the Disney Wonder is a relatively small ship and it is set for a major overhaul this Fall. I much preferred the larger open space on the top deck of the Dream, than the split deck that you have on the Wonder, as it creates 3 relatively small areas. On the flip side, the smaller size provides for a more intimate experience in the dining rooms (Triton, Parrot Cay and Animator's Palate). Unless you know that this is an older ship, you don't really notice it, except for a few areas of the ship such as the Kids club and the fact that the entertainment/dining experience is not as modern. We found the ride to be smooth, even though we went through at least one storm. Other: The fact that we go through Key West before reaching our final destination (Miami) means that we have to go through Immigration procedures in both Key West and Miami. It is mildly annoying, and results in slightly less time in Key West. Probably would not be an issue if Key West was the first Port of Call. All in this was a very enjoyable cruise on a fine ship. It is going to be interesting to see what Disney does to this ship as part of the overhaul. My understanding is that there will be a focus on the dining areas, kids clubs as well as an upgrade to the furniture. If this is the focus, then the Wonder will move from being a great ship to an excellent ship Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We just returned from our second Disney cruise and loved every minute of it! We flew into Orlando the night before and stayed at the airport Hyatt. This is so easy because we never leave the airport and they have lots of food options you ... Read More
We just returned from our second Disney cruise and loved every minute of it! We flew into Orlando the night before and stayed at the airport Hyatt. This is so easy because we never leave the airport and they have lots of food options you can easily grab and take to your room. We are a family of 4 with girls ages 5 and 8. Our friends also traveled with us with their 6 year old daughter. The next morning a limo picked us up from the Hyatt. It was cheaper to get a limo with 7 of us from Hyatt to Port Canaveral than 2 town cars. This was quite a treat for the girls. Our driver from Happy Limo stopped at grocery store near Port so we could pick up wine. Disney now only allows you to bring 2 bottle per person (21-years of age). Embarkation was a breeze. We were on the ship by 11:40. Between 10:45 port arrival and 11:40 we checked in and then got the kids their kid club bands. Even though it was our friends 1st Disney Cruise we encouraged them to get in the same check-in line with us and the guy checking us in was nice enough to give them a Lanyard and same boarding group. This was nice since this line was only for Castaway Cay club members (return Disney cruisers). When we got on the boat we went to get the 2 ticketed meet and greets- Anna/Elsa and Princesses (usually Snow White, Cinderella Rapunzel & Belle). We were able to get one for 10:15 am on Nassau Day and the other for 10 am on Sea Day. While in line we used our Disney App and signed up for the messaging system. I highly recommend this. Basically it uses the ships wifi at no charge and you can message family and friends you are traveling with. This also allows you to see a full list of activities going on each day, ship map and dinner menus. You need to download the app as soon as you get on or before traveling because once it sets sail you will be on very expensive download options. After getting our tickets around noon we went to Enchanted Gardens for lunch. This was my first experience with lunch at Enchanted Gardens. I enjoyed it because you have a waiter. However the buffet is smaller than Cabanas but had nice options of salad, boiled shrimp and crab legs, pasta, fish, chicken, soup, fruit and desserts. After lunch we checked into our room and unpacked. We opted for a family stateroom again but this time we were on deck 9 with balcony instead of deck 8 with large port hole. We enjoyed the large port hole last year but I do not think I will sail without a balcony after having one this trip. It was so nice to sit outside in the afternoon and then before dinner with wine. As far as decks both were nice and we liked only being 2 floors below pool area and Cabanas (Breakfast and Lunch buffet) so we did not need elevator. However for dinner and kids club you need to go down to deck 3-5. For lunch we either opted for large Cabanas buffet or the quick serve options. Both are on deck 11 near pool. All of the restaurants were good for dinner. My favorite was Royal Palace. All had good food options for kids and adults. Our waitstaff Dalarno and Aubrey were awesome. They made sure our kids orders were in early so they could go to kids club when the counselors came around. I should note we opt for the later 8:15pm dinner seating. We feel it gives us more time to enjoy the day, then come back and order snack from room service, rest and shower up for dinner without rushing. Plus we are an hour earlier at home so its like 7:15 for us. Delano gave us some challenging table games to puzzle over each night after dinner while enjoying dessert too. This was really fun! All our kids loved the kids club and just like last time when we went to pick them up they begged to stay longer. We only took advantage of kids club after dinner for an hour ot two. Normally after they went to kids club we just enjoyed our dinner and then picked them up. One night we decided to check out the aduly bars since we did not do this last year. We ended up at a bar which was about to start a couples game. Basically they chose 3 couples and then ask them questions. If your old enough to remember the newlywed game show it was similar. It was fun but we headed to get the kids after about 45 minutes. As far as activities for our girls while on board the loved the Disney characters. Well my younger one and 6 year old friend enjoyed them all and my older one liked all the non princess ones (yes she is at that age :-o). All the girls loved the pool, hot tub, Disney movies shown on deck during the day, put put golf and of course the Aquaduct. We did the Aquaduct with them each time and the line ran from 20-30 minutes long. We opted to stay on the boat in Nassau just like last year. We did get off at Castaway Cay and had a great time at the beach building sand castles, snorkeling and just hanging out. So we had 3 days on the boat and 1 day off. To me one day of sand and beach if perfect! After a late 2pm lunch at Castaway we opted to let the kids go to the kids club on the island and we went to the adult area for one drink (about an hour). It was nice and quiet over there but really almost dead. Think next time we will just head back to the boat after lunch and give the kids some pool time. So there are so so many things to do on the ship. We did workout a couple of times and the gym is very nice. As far as shows... last year we only saw one show and this year I planned to see more but we actually saw none. I am one that does not want to stress about being somewhere at a certain time on vacation and we just never made it happen. There are endless options on the ship and I think if you are not careful your will find your schedule fully booked each day. We instead enjoyed not being on a schedule and just enjoying the day which was mostly at the pool with kids. We did plan for the 7:30 family pirate show on Pirate night and then the 10:30 Pirate show and fireworks. This was as great as I remembered from last year. However I do not think last year had an earlier 7:30 show too. Such a great staff on board. The ship is so clean. They are always cleaning the public areas and bathrooms. Our room was well taken care of by Jesus. He made sure we had plenty of towels and lotion during morning clean and in the evening he made the kids beds (pulled bunk from ceiling and placed ladder). He also left super cute towel animals and chocolate every night. Putu by the pool was so friendly and always made sure we had towels and were enjoying ourselves. As mentioned earlier Delarno and Aubrey made sure we were all happy and well taken care of for dinner. Disembarkation was easy. We had en early flight at 10 am so arranged a car at 7:45 am. We skipped the seated breakfast because of our early departure. I just ran up to the Cabanas buffet and grabbed a few things for my kids to enjoy in the room while we finished packing and getting ready. We opted to handle our own luggage and just walked off the ship, had a 5-10 minute line in customs and were out the door. We ran a bit late leaving our room and did not get in the car until 8:15. We still made it to the gate early and had about 15 minutes to spend in the United club. All in all it was a wonderful vacation and we hope to return again next year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I chose this cruise as my family is huge Disney fans. I brought my mom, and 5 year old daughter. Overall we had a great time. Our steward was awesome. He really got to know us. We didn't really enjoy the main dining room as our ... Read More
I chose this cruise as my family is huge Disney fans. I brought my mom, and 5 year old daughter. Overall we had a great time. Our steward was awesome. He really got to know us. We didn't really enjoy the main dining room as our servers never really seemed available for us, so we started going to Cabana's for dinner. Our servers at Cabana were amazing. My daughter does not like french fries, and would ask for broccoli instead, the service team would go out of their way to make sure she got broccoli every time without the other mixed vegetables. We only had one issue that we are still waiting for resolution from, my daughter was pushed down 2 steps by a character handler then pushed out of the way by the same handler. Guest services nor the handler have ever so much as apologized. If that incident (which is on video and has been presented to them) had not happened we would have no hesitation about going on another Disney cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We chose this cruise as we are avid Disney fans and had already been on the Disney Magic. I wanted a larger newer ship and we picked the Fantasy. Overall Disney knows how to raise the bar at all levels and really makes others play catchup. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we are avid Disney fans and had already been on the Disney Magic. I wanted a larger newer ship and we picked the Fantasy. Overall Disney knows how to raise the bar at all levels and really makes others play catchup. This was my 12th cruise total (Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Disney) and would rank it as the 2nd best trip. Disney brings the same level of quality from their parks into the ships. If you've ever been on a cruise, you will know what I am talking about, as most staff are poorly trained and not treated well on other lines. Overall great trip, with a few minor negatives for this larger ship. Cabins - The cabins were worn (we traveled March 2016) and our cabin had very worn carpet with a giant patch replaced (3' x 3'). I was a little disappointed as I expected the rooms to hold up a bit better. Overall normal size as all other cruises lines, (Deluxe Family Balcony). The only pro for the Deluxe rooms is the extra 5' of cabin space, as the dual bathrooms take up a little more room than normal. Food - People always rave about food on cruises. My standards are not very high, as I am on vacation and know there is variety around the ship, plus they prepare it in mass for thousands of people. I think the food was good, not great. It met my needs and I NEVER went hungry. I will say that on the 2nd Disney cruise, they continue to run out dry cereal by day 4 of a 7 day cruise (the small boxes that people take and use as snacks for the kids). The MAJOR PLUS here is the free soft drinks for the kids. I hate when cruise lines charge for soft drinks!!! Activities - ALWAYS stuff to do on this ship. The Aquaduck is great (kids rode it probably 30+ times) along with the water slides. Pools are a little small considering how many kids are on the ship, they should have planned for larger pools. Deck space is tight and as always, chairs are very hard to get in the main pool area. We did the sports simulator a few times which I would NOT do again. Very inaccurate and didn't work well. The only reason we did it a few times was we would be charged for cancelling our pre-bookings. I will say for activities - you must be online the day the activities open to book out!!! (I.e. - I went on one hour later, and all of the cabanas were already sold out on their island!!!) The negatives I want to point out - Photo Gallery - The last night they are packed and ill-prepared to handle the masses flooding to pick out photos and place orders. Even worse is the pickup line in the AM. We waited 1.5 hours to pick up a book that was pre-paid. They need to figure this out!!!! Shows - (with all cruises) - if you're not early, you won't get a seat. People lineup super early and block out seats for friends Boarding - While it was okay, they tell you to not get to the port until Noon, or 1. We got there at 11, and they had just started boarding by groups. We had to wait in line to get our kids registered for the kids club for almost 30 minutes, and missed our boarding call. NOT normally a big deal, but we had to get on the ship early to try to get some activities booked that were already sold out on line 6 months in advance. Overall they suffer from some of the same problems other cruise lines do, but I do appreciate their quality and attention to detail. We will definitely cruise another Disney again... Just not during peak season. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Just got back from a 5 day cruise that went to Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay. There were 8 in our party (4 adults and 4 children (from 6-10 years of age). I have been on three previous Carnival Cruises in the past (even though I am a ... Read More
Just got back from a 5 day cruise that went to Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay. There were 8 in our party (4 adults and 4 children (from 6-10 years of age). I have been on three previous Carnival Cruises in the past (even though I am a huge fan of Carnival, my wife wanted to do the Disney thing before the kids got to big) so now I can compare the two different cruise lines. Over all it was a very good cruise. Our inside cabin was very comfy, big enough for the 4 of us. The service on the sip was excellent and the night shows were amazing (best shows I've ever seen anywhere). One other positive factor about the Disney Wonder is it's size. It is not a huge ship (holds only about 2300 passengers). I was worry about this at first because it is a 17 year old ship, but it turned out to be ok. Because the ship was smaller there was not line ups which is not usual on a cruise ship. The biggest downfall of our Cruise were the buffets, especially the breakfast (which you could compare to a HO JO continental breakfast) It was the same everyday and not alot of selection (compared to Carnival Cruise Lines where the food selection is incredible). The dinner a la cartes were real good. Ports Of Call Our first stop was at Grand Cayman. We went to 7 Mile Beach... not a very good beach, not enough sand and way too many rocks. Our next stop was a Castaway Cay.... wonderful day spent at the beach, lots of activities for everyone, great location Overall, it was a good cruise, the kids loved all the characters, the weather was great and no one on our party got sick...not sure if I ever will do another Disney Cruise again though due to their high prices. I can do 2 cruises on Carnival for the price of 1 on Disney. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My family and I went on our first cruise. It was wonderful. Pros: The cruise ship has so many activities for the kids, it was absolutely awesome. My daughter went to Kids' Club every night and rode the Aquaduck (so did I several ... Read More
My family and I went on our first cruise. It was wonderful. Pros: The cruise ship has so many activities for the kids, it was absolutely awesome. My daughter went to Kids' Club every night and rode the Aquaduck (so did I several times). The ship had activities for the adults as well. I enjoyed the fitness center, the spa, the pool area itself and being able to relax. The cruise ship also had martini tasting, whiskey tasting room and basketball. My family had plenty to without getting off the ship; however, we enjoyed the sites of the Bahamas and absolutely loved Castaway Cay. The staff was wonderful and provided excellent service. The buffets were great, to have smoked salmon, smoked trout, and colossal shrimp was great. The kids love the fact that they could get as much ice cream they wanted and sodas (it was vacation so it was ok to have all of that). The rooms were excellent, it was roomy and although the shower is not extremely large, it is a ship; therefore, I know it would not be like a shower in a house. However, my husband I both fit in the shower very comfortable (and we both were in it at the same time). Cons: The only thing I would say about the cruise I didn't really enjoy was the sit down dining because the food was bland and it was cold. I'm not sure if it was like that because they have so many to serve and different dietary needs but the buffets were so much better. Also, I know the cruise ship provide maps of what is located on each deck but if they could provide more guidance regarding directions. Overall the cruise was great, the only reason I gave it a four is because of the sit down dinner was just ok. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
WONDERFUL! What a great trip. I wanted to give this cruise 4 and a half stars but it would not let me. Let's start with the kids activities. The Oceaners Lab and Club were well run clean and the kids had a ball. They loved ... Read More
WONDERFUL! What a great trip. I wanted to give this cruise 4 and a half stars but it would not let me. Let's start with the kids activities. The Oceaners Lab and Club were well run clean and the kids had a ball. They loved going, my daughter who loves to play spent most of her time at the club while my son loves science and tech spent most of his time at the lab. The last night my daughter had a blast at the pajama party. When my son saw she had a pillow case we asked it he could get one and they gave him one even though we was at the lab during the party. The food in the dinning room was great. Our server and assistant at table 47 we the best. Knowing what we wanted and helping us celebrate. The buffet was ok not as good as I hoped. You have to dress up for the pirate party. even my grumpy father got into the action, and that says a lot! We had a swashbuckling good time. Castaway Cay was beautiful, clean and had the best buffet of the cruise. Pelican plunge was fun for the whole family. We enjoyed walking around the beaches, and could have spend several days there. Cabins were roomy. Nice to have to sinks but shower is very small and my six foot tall husband had a difficult time fitting in. Over all a fantastic trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We recently traveled with our 4 children on the Disney Magic. There are a lot of great things about Disney. The food was great, customer service excellent and the boat offers a variety of programs to keep children of all ages ... Read More
We recently traveled with our 4 children on the Disney Magic. There are a lot of great things about Disney. The food was great, customer service excellent and the boat offers a variety of programs to keep children of all ages entertained. There are a few things that we were not thrilled with or wish we had known going in. I am a planner, so I read all the information sent to us and looked up things like dress code and policy on bringing alcohol on board. We adhered to the "no shorts" and packed accordingly. I have 4 boys, so they were not thrilled when they were in long pants and collared shirts every night and other kids and adults were walking in wearing gym shorts and t-shirts. If there is going to be a dress code provided, Disney should stick to it. If they want to accommodate more casual diners, they should designate one dining room for this. Disney also stated we could bring one bottle of wine per adult. When we arrived there were people with cases of water, multiple bottles of wine and other alcohol. This would have saved us a lot of money and if we had known Disney was so flexible on their own policy, it would have been helpful. Repeat cruisers told us that they always bring things on board that Disney states they do not allow and no one ever says anything. I am glad they are flexible, but again, either change the policy or create something they are going to adhere too. The food selections were great and my kids loved the flexibility of options and times they could eat. There were a few up-sell items I did not feel were necessary. Water is one, why not give guests water? We had to purchase a bottled water package. They also have fresh popcorn outside the theater every time a show is on, but only for purchase. How much can popcorn really cost compared to everything else they include in the dining plan? The same was true for any of the kids frozen treats and smoothies that they offered. It was just a bit confusing to the kids to have the up-sell items scattered among the included items. Lastly, the excursions were a bit of a cattle call. I had not been to the caribbean for several years and the excursions were all geared toward getting gratuity and up-selling photo's. So much so, that it was hard to enjoy the excursion itself. We did a lot of standing around waiting "our turn" and it made for very long days. A 30 minute snorkeling experience would take 4 hours. We would cruise again, but we would not do the organized excursions but look for some private ones. Our best one, was at Castaway Cay the last day, skip all the float, snorkel and bike rentals. The kids can swim, have lunch and then we took a sandbar excursion. It was 3 men on their boat and only 3 families. We spend two hours on a mile long sandbar, just us. They had music, games, rum punch, snorkeling gear and never once asked for gratuity. It was by far the best, most relaxing excursion we had. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We traveled over Spring Break with our family of four - mom, dad, and two boys ages 13 and 11. As first time Disney cruisers, we were a little worried it may be geared toward a younger crowd and that we would be fighting off character ... Read More
We traveled over Spring Break with our family of four - mom, dad, and two boys ages 13 and 11. As first time Disney cruisers, we were a little worried it may be geared toward a younger crowd and that we would be fighting off character trying to pose with us. We needn't have worried! It was magical from the moment we drove into Port Canaveral and saw the Disney Magic waiting for us! We dropped our bags for curbside check in (with no pressure for a tip) and headed straight to the parking garage right next to the ship. Not necessarily cheap, but oh-so convenient - secure AND covered. Don't even think of parking elsewhere! We were two hours early for our scheduled check-in time and prepared ourselves for a wait. No such thing! We walked right up to get our IDs made, got registered quickly for the Oceaneers Club, and then walked right onto the boat. We were grinning from ear to ear as they announced our family's arrival onto the Disney Magic! We hit the lunch buffet right away which was perfect timing as rooms were not ready just yet. Then we started exploring the ship. The boys immediately found the basketball court and spent the majority of their time playing with the other 400 kids ages 11-14 who were on the ship! Absolutely perfect for them (though they could use a bigger court with a regulation height hoop.) We heard there were 1000 kids on board but we really didn't feel overrun by little ones. Maybe it was our later dining time (8:15), but it didn't feel like a children's cruise at all (thank goodness!). Had to make an effort if you wanted to get a picture taken with a character! Our younger son spent some time in the Edge program. Our 13 year-old would stop by but was most likely to just use them for their organized sports activities. Their favorite was MIDNIGHT dodgeball on the sports court (top deck, front of the boat!) There must have been 50 kids up there when we stopped by - all monitored by Disney staff. Kudos to them for providing fun stuff today ALL DAY LONG! At 11 the Oceaneers Club just felt too young for him. But he has been an old soul all his life, so give it a try if your child is the right age! One very useful thing we loved was the Disney Cruise Line app which helped us keep track of all the ship's activities on a daily basis. It even sent reminders to our phones throughout the day of activities we had highlighted. The ship allowed access to that app for free via wireless, so it worked even if you didn't buy a data plan. We loved the entertainment all around - did the 6:15 show every night together. There Disney-themed shows were great. Least favorite by far was an acrobatic dance troupe that used lots of special effect lighting. Almost walked out! Comedians were great. Used the fitness center some but would have liked ot use it far more. VERY disappointed that kids of ANY age are not allowed in there unless with the teen program (which only went during our dinner hour) or with a fitness instructor (extra fee of course). My husband and older son enjoy working out on vacations - and it is a nice balance to the all-you-can-eat mentality that comes with a cruise. For them to claim it is an "adults-only" area but then let you use it if you pay for an instructor is a little shady to me. Had a pedicure done at the spa figuring it would be a nice treat. The staff were very fine but of course services were overpriced. VERY limited selection of nail colors in the regular price range - a few more with a $25 upcharge. Should have left then. Went for broke to get hot pink only to discover rough spots in the polish after I left. Not impressed but what can you do. Get your pedis at home - but know that rough sand on the beaches will wreak havoc with your polish! Dining: Disney rotates you through all three dining rooms throughout the cruise which was wonderfully entertaining. Each has a different theme and feel. You keep the same servers no matter where you go for dinner, and we loved Zsolt from Hungary! We could have used better info on the dress code. It says that shorts aren't allowed but that definitely was not the case. My boys mostly wore long pants and collared shirts but could have gotten away with much more casual looks. We also didn't realize there would be formal and semi-formal dining nights. My husband felt a bit under-dressed without a tie but truly was fine - just know that there will be some tuxes and fancy dresses mixed in with more casual looks! And while 8:15 may seem like a late dinner time, eating at 5:45 is just too early in our books! We brought a deck of cards and a chess set and got the whole table involved in games while we waited for our food. The kids' meals were always brought out early - if you have younger kids the Disney staff will even come get them from the dining room and take them to the Oceaneers Club so you can finish you dinner in a leisurely, vacation-y manner! Don't hesitate to bring pirate gear - you cannot overdo it on pirate night! Excursions: We did the ruins/beach club in Cozumel and loved our guide, Patrick/Patricio. He had a passion for the history of the island and a true desire for its future growth. The ruins were interesting, and we learned something about Mexico before heading to the beach. The beach club (Playa Mia) itself was just OK. Plenty of room to change clothes, slides, small pool. My boys most enjoyed the floating inflatables. Didn't really feel we had time to do more than one thing there - could have opted to catch a cab back to the ship on our own but didn't. Cabs were plentiful there though should you consider that route. Opted not to do an excursion in Grand Cayman and just took a shuttle to Seven Mile Beach. We ended up at the public beach - Sea Grape, I believe. There is a small restaurant there and some changing facilities - nothing fancy. Some wonderfully enterprising folks have put up a floating waterpark and then charge by the hour per kid for you to use it. Great fun for my boys again. The water itself is gorgeous as you would expect. The sand is rougher than in the US - more rocks. Big drop off heading into the water but levels off and isn't too deep for a while. Some older people were having trouble getting out of the water - steep climb. One woman had a cane which I can only imagine is tough to use in wet sand! On the way back to the ship, we stopped off at Margaritaville right by the dock. Gotta love Jimmy Buffet - there is a pool and waterslide right there in the restaurant! Even a bar IN the pool you where you can swim up and order drinks! Nice end to our time in GC! Jamaica was another port we decided not to do an excursion. Frankly, next time we would just stay on the ship, but having never been to Jamaica, we figured we had to go ashore and check things out. The immediate port area itself (Falmouth) is very nice. All the usual shops you find waiting for the ships and plenty of souvenirs to choose from. We decided that things in Grand Cayman had gone so well that we would venture to the beach in Jamaica too. It was bad from the minute we got into the cab, and I will rest most of the blame on this particular cab driver. We should have been worried when he was negotiating a price that meant "no tip"! There was a reason for that - we NEVER would have tipped him in the first place - and we generally overtip, I assure you! (He stopped on the side of the raod to "urinate" and tried to get my husband to agree to stop and let him get his car door fixed by his cousin - trying to eat into the three hours we had booked with him. His driving was far more than assertive and he honked far more than anyone else we came across!) Anyway, he eventually got us to Montego Bay to the public beach there. We were expecting something pretty based on views we had coming in (and our time in Cozumel and GC). This beach though was just sad and depressing. You had to pay to get in, but we didn't even get that far - it just looked that bad from the road! We had him turn around and drive a half mile back to MARGARITAVILLE! Cracked us up, but right there overlooking Montego Bay, Jimmy Buffet has another restaurant AND a FREE floating waterpark. Food is overpriced, service slow, but view is wonderful and fun priceless! You can slide down the tube slide from the second story deck right into the water (life preservers available as well). From there it is a short swim to floating trampolines, rockwalls, and an obstacle course. We did buy some food and beverages to fortify ourselves for the ride back. We left feeling like Jimmy Buffet had saved our trip to Jamaica. Castaway Cay: Leave it to Disney to create its own paradise smack in the middle of paradise! Our favorite stop - more than enough chairs/umbrellas for EVERYONE; loved snorkeling together as a family and couldn't have felt safer doing it. They have lifeguards way out from shore keeping an eye over the snorkelers. Water was quite comfortable (and I am not known for my tolerance of cold water!) The slides at Pelican Plunge were awesome - fast and fun. Hold onto your hats/sunglasses or you WILL lose them. We did the combo rental equipment package and did use up all our options. Not sure we would bike it again - not that much to see! The island could use a pool but that's about it! Arriving back in Florida, disembarkation was simple. Cruised thru customs after a last meal (breakfast) with the same servers we had all week. Nice to say a final goodbye to them! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Dining Experience: Breakfast - we loved the eggs, bacon, variety of cereal, sausage links, mueslik. We wish they had berries. They had lots of melons, apples, and bananas The coffee on deck was atrocious. I did find it annoying ... Read More
Dining Experience: Breakfast - we loved the eggs, bacon, variety of cereal, sausage links, mueslik. We wish they had berries. They had lots of melons, apples, and bananas The coffee on deck was atrocious. I did find it annoying that the good coffee was $3.74 a cup at the Cafe. Dinners loved by the kids due to variety of restaurants and food. The kids all ate from the adult menu and liked all the options. Do not get sirloin steak Lunch - tons of fresh fruits and veggie options. We would have loved berries and grapes. Strawberries were only offered for 2 breakfasts. Overall great variety of fruits, veggies, proteins. I would love to see Disney go to organic dairy and grass fed meats. They do make wishes come true. On Board Acticities: Oceanids Lab loved by the 8 yr old who went there all the time. In fact we did not see him most of the day. Edge loved by -11yr old boy. They played doge ball, Bball, gagA ball, scavenger hunts, video games. Furthermore, many things go on even when the schedule shows nothing planned Vibe - liked not loved by 14y/o. She found activities to be limited and meeting new people a bit difficult. She would have loved more mingling activities that included everyone. There is a small teen pool in Vibe with a jacuzzi. Favorite shows by the kids - Aladdin show, Magic Dave, and the Juggling guy. Favorite shows by adults Aladdin and Magic Dave. My husband and I attended many of the adult games and activities led by Bret. We had a blast!! Pool: Pool was too small and too crowded. The chair situation was a Nightmare. People reserved chairs 4-5 at a time and maybe 2 would be used. So by mid afternoon there would be 50% of chairs occupied and the rest sitting empty and "reserved". The kids would have liked more slides. The adult pool was quiet, had plenty of shade, but a bit limited on chairs. The water features provided enough space and entertainment. The Rooms: The rooms with fold out couch and bunk bed were roomy and spacious. The kids loved it!!! We had rooms with balconies and used those every day. No safety concerns. Room service was impeccable. Sam was our room host and he made our journey very enjoyable. Carlos and Josip were our waiters. They were full of energy and couldn't do enough to make us enjoy our dining experience. They even helped cut the kids steaks and chicken breasts so I, the mom, could eat in a relaxed fashion. Excursions: Snorkeling tour in St Thomas - amazing. Loved the crew, the turtles, sting rays, variety of fish, and ship wreck. Zip Line in La Marquesa was fraught with difficulty and frustration. Castaway Cay - LOVED by all. We did the 5k, bike tour, and floating tricycle. We didn't want to leave. Motorized water sports should have been more abundant and people should be able to rent them on the beach, not just with reservation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Dining Experience: Breakfast - we loved the eggs, bacon, variety of cereal, sausage links, mueslik. We wish they had berries. They had lots of melons, apples, and bananas The coffee on deck was atrocious. I did find it annoying ... Read More
Dining Experience: Breakfast - we loved the eggs, bacon, variety of cereal, sausage links, mueslik. We wish they had berries. They had lots of melons, apples, and bananas The coffee on deck was atrocious. I did find it annoying that the good coffee was $3.74 a cup at the Cafe. Dinners loved by the kids due to variety of restaurants and food. The kids all ate from the adult menu and liked all the options. Do not get sirloin steak Lunch - tons of fresh fruits and veggie options. We would have loved berries and grapes. Strawberries were only offered for 2 breakfasts. Overall great variety of fruits, veggies, proteins. I would love to see Disney go to organic dairy and grass fed meats. They do make wishes come true.... On Board Acticities: Oceanids Lab loved by the 8 yr old who went there all the time. In fact we did not see him most of the day. Edge loved by -11yr old boy. They played doge ball, Bball, gagA ball, scavenger hunts, video games. Furthermore, many things go on even when the schedule shows nothing planned Vibe - liked not loved by 14y/o. She found activities to be limited and meeting new people a bit difficult. She would have loved more mingling activities that included everyone. There is a small teen pool in Vibe with a jacuzzi. Favorite shows by the kids - Aladdin show, Magic Dave, and the Juggling guy. Favorite shows by adults Aladdin and Magic Dave. My husband and I attended many of the adult games and activities led by Bret. We had a blast!! Pool: Pool was too small and too crowded. The chair situation was a Nightmare. People reserved chairs 4-5 at a time and maybe 2 would be used. So by mid afternoon there would be 50% of chairs occupied and the rest sitting empty and "reserved". The kids would have liked more slides. The adult pool was quiet, had plenty of shade, but a bit limited on chairs. The water features provided enough space and entertainment. The Rooms: The rooms with fold out couch and bunk bed were roomy and spacious. The kids loved it!!! We had rooms with balconies and used those every day. No safety concerns. Room service was impeccable. Sam was our room host and he made our journey very enjoyable. Carlos and Josip were our waiters. They were full of energy and couldn't do enough to make us enjoy our dining experience. They even helped cut the kids steaks and chicken breasts so I, the mom, could eat in a relaxed fashion. Excursions: Snorkeling tour in St Thomas - amazing. Loved the crew, the turtles, sting rays, variety of fish, and ship wreck. Zip Line in La Marquesa was fraught with difficulty and frustration (see review on trip advisor). Castaway Cay - LOVED by all. We did the 5k, bike tour, and floating tricycle. We didn't want to leave. Motorized water sports should have been more abundant and people should be able to rent them on the beach, not just with reservation. Lastly - the Disney Navigator App was great and a must download. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our family's second time on the Disney Dream. We sailed exactly a year ago and on the cruise bought into Disney Vacation Club. We have been on many cruises the last 20 years, but no one does it like Disney. The cabins, ... Read More
This was our family's second time on the Disney Dream. We sailed exactly a year ago and on the cruise bought into Disney Vacation Club. We have been on many cruises the last 20 years, but no one does it like Disney. The cabins, ship amenities, entertainment, food and the amazing crew make it a very memorable family vacation for all ages. I can't say enough about all the crew members. Everyone from the Port security to room staff and dining staff are wonderful. We loved all the activities, and especially personalities we recognized and loved from our first voyage (Dollar Deano from Ireland -- the Bingo caller is a family favorite). The only negative about the cruise is really not about the ship itself, but of Nassau and The Atlantis. Although the Atlantis is a stunning property from a distance, the actual property itself is overcrowded and smelly. I could entirely do without a port in Nassau and spend more time at Disney's Castaway Cay! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We arrived in Orlando Friday evening and rented a car to drive to Port Canaveral that night vs. wait until the next morning. It worked really well as we were able to stop at a liquor store to purchase what we wanted to bring on board ... Read More
We arrived in Orlando Friday evening and rented a car to drive to Port Canaveral that night vs. wait until the next morning. It worked really well as we were able to stop at a liquor store to purchase what we wanted to bring on board (remember, you can take liquor on but it has to be in a bag you carry on to the boat and not packed in regular luggage). We stayed at the Country Inn Suites - maybe 5 min. from the port. The Hertz location was right next door so Saturday morning, we zipped over there, dropped off our car and then took the Hertz shuttle to the port. We arrived around 10:15 for a 10:30 port arrival time. A porter took care of our bags, we quickly went through security and were checked in (group #3 boarding) by 10:45. The "kids" (16 year old daughter and 16 year old friend) took pictures with Mickey Mouse and we waited a short time and were on the shop around 11:15 a.m. Rooms: Spacious with ample storage (me, my husband and two 16 year old girls) for four. Stateroom attendant (Enrique) was wonderful and took very good care of us while we were there. Food: Buffets and fast service were OK...not great. We were always able to find something we liked. Evening dinners were good. We didn't do Palo or Remy. Shows: All the shows were wonderful and we really enjoyed them. This was our 3rd Disney Cruise (1 on the Dream and 2nd on the Fantasy) and they did change up the shows enough to keep them fresh. Adults Only: It was nice this trip to have our daughter and her friend. It gave us time to spend away from the craziness of deck 11 and enjoy the adults only decks / pool, etc. Disney does a very good job of kindly asking children to leave the area if any do venture in so it really is adults only. It's much quieter and relaxing and we enjoyed our deck time there. Bars: The bars are very nice. Be sure to check out the bathrooms - the wall mosaics are wonderful. Traveling with Teens: It's a Disney cruise so it's very family oriented. The two girls did go to Vibe several times but didn't love it. They felt the activities were a bit forced and preferred to find their own entertainment...which wasn't hard. They kept busy and had fun outside of the organized Vibe activities. Excursions: On St. Martin we did the downhill rainforest hike. It's not really a rainforest any longer, destroyed by the sugar cane industry but trying to be restored. The trail is very rocky and I would recommend for anyone comfortable with hiking. There was an older couple that after the first short part of the hike opted to be picked up and driven back. Service: Top notch - everyone was friendly and worked extremely hard to make sure guests were well taken care of. Our rotational dining staff (Toto and Nora) were fabulous. Kids: It's a Disney cruise and while there are children of all ages, most are younger. Deck 11 (pools) is crazy and we avoided it at all costs. With older kids, for us there just wasn't a reason to go there often. As with any vacation, there are well-behaved kids and those that ran wild (running up and down the halls, screaming, tantrums, etc.). Some parents did a great job monitoring behavior and others didn't - to our disappointment. Helpful hints: As soon as you board the ship, visit the on-board activities desk for the princess and Anna/Elsa meet and greets. You will need a ticket to attend. If you plan to purchase the pictures taken onboard by Shutters, take as many as you can so you can buy the CD and get everything. It's spendy but we got some great pictures out of it. We bought some tie-die Mickey t-shirts for the girls to board in as well as personalized magnets for the doors on ETSY. Carry on any alcohol you plan to drink - it will save you a ton of money. Book on-shore excursions early - many get sold out quickly. We've done through Disney and independently. You can save money by going direct. We dropped off picture matts on the first day at guest services along with colored markers and had the characters sign them. It's a nice, cheap souvenir. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was our first cruise as a family and the grandparents came along for the trip as well. We were on a 5 night Caribbean cruise to Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay aboard the Disney Wonder leaving from Miami, FL. The check-in process in ... Read More
This was our first cruise as a family and the grandparents came along for the trip as well. We were on a 5 night Caribbean cruise to Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay aboard the Disney Wonder leaving from Miami, FL. The check-in process in Miami was impressive. The reception area was very welcoming and there were even character "meets" for photos. It was the best way to kick off the voyage. There was absolutely no hitches and it was completely painless. Embarking the ship was also very simple and as soon as we entered the main lobby we were welcomed with a loud-speaker welcome to our family with accompanying applause. Brilliant! Once on the ship, between 12pm and 1pm, it did get hairy as there was so much excitement and people everywhere. Be sure to research your carry-on and dressing choices for embarkation as well as dining alternatives (avoid the buffet if possible if you arrive at the time we did). The pools/water areas were understandably packed so we strolled throughout the ship. Once folks started getting the alls-clear for their cabins it was fine. The cruise shows were amazing and always entertaining for all ages. We never had a hard time finding a good seat but we always tried to arrive about 10 min early. There was always something to do and the daily navigator newsletter really helped plan the events. There is literally not enough time to do everything. The activities ranged from dancing and singing to arts and crafts as well as games. So much to do. The kids clubs were great for kids and adults. Our kids (7 and 4 years old) would ask incessantly to go day and night. It gave us a sort-of date night/day every time they went. Walking around the ship day and night was pleasure and as I mentioned before the ship does not look old and is impeccably well maintained. The kids clubs were great for kids and adults. Our kids (7 and 4 years old) would ask incessantly to go day and night. It gave us a sort-of date night/day every time they went. Disembarkation was a breeze. What an amazing cruise. So many people we talk to say that Disney Cruises are expensive compared to the others but the old adage of "you get what you pay for" really shines through. If you dissect the numbers you will you see the value in it (non-alcholic beverages are free and readily available at drink stations and you are allowed to bring your own bottles of alcohol for your personal "in-room" consumption - all that you can carry)! Be sure to book your next trip on-board to take advantage of 10% discount and some great on-board credit. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Before I begin, please note that this review is from the perspective of a 27 year old who was traveling with 4 other 25-30 year olds and no children. Embarkation: We arrived at the port around 9am due to taking a red-eye flight from the ... Read More
Before I begin, please note that this review is from the perspective of a 27 year old who was traveling with 4 other 25-30 year olds and no children. Embarkation: We arrived at the port around 9am due to taking a red-eye flight from the Northwest and had to wait until 10:15am before they would allow us to enter the port. Once we entered the building, the embarkation process was incredibly fast and easy! There were cast members everywhere to point us to the correct line and answer any questions we might have. Once we checked in and got our 'key to the world' cards, we had another hour or so to wait before embarkation began but there were plenty of activities to occupy our time. There were also many Disney characters around to take photos with. Once we boarded the ship, Cabanas (the buffet on the 11th deck) was set up with plenty of food and the pools/aquaduck were open and available to swim until the cabins were ready which was right around 1:45pm. The checked baggage was delivered relatively quick and all of us had our bags by 3pm. Food: The food was not anything to write home about, but it was tasty. I enjoyed the rotational dining and especially enjoyed having brunch at Palo. The dinner menus consisted on soups, salads, veggies, meat, seafood....really a good variety of everything. We had one person in our party who kept (semi) kosher and the staff did everything they could to ensure that she was able to eat and still keep to her dietary restrictions. Adult Areas: The pool decks were absolutely wonderful! They were quiet, separated from kids, and had plenty of space! There were a number of crew members walking around constantly to ensure that we were not missing out on any beverages, which I took full advantage of! There really is only one real pool for adults, the other one is about 1-2 feet deep so it works for giving you a nice cool down while sun bathing, but not much else. The adult nightlife area on the ship is called Europa and is without a doubt the most incredible group of bars I have ever seen on a ship! I have been on 10 cruises with numerous lines- Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney, etc.- and this was by far the best. There are 5 bars in Europa and each has its own decor (with Disney's unbelievable attention to detail), specialty drinks, and theme. Skyline was the one I spent the most time in because the beverages were absolutely delicious and the bartender was FANTASTIC!!!! The other bars- Ooh La La (Champagne bar), O'Gills (Irish pub), La Piazza (Italian Carnivale), and The Tube (English Underground themed dance club)- were all amazing, fun, and had a unique feeling that made you forget you were on a ship. Shows: I had late seating at dinner so I attended the early performances of most of the shows aboard the ship. I enjoyed all of them, but it was difficult watching the Aladdin one since I grew up on that movie and it just doesn’t seem right without Robin Williams as Genie…. But I will say they did a wonderful job of adding humor for all age groups. I especially enjoyed Disney’s Believe. Pirate night was a lot of fun. I couldn’t believe how many people-adults and kids- really got into it- I’m talking full on costume, wigs, makeup….. It was really unbelievable. The early show for pirate night is definitely kid-centric. No adult humor or entertainment whatsoever. However, the later show (the one with the fireworks) was definitely entertaining. Make sure you get a spot on deck 11 for this one, the Aquaduck blocks some of the fireworks if you are trying to view from deck 12. The ports were great-very clean, safe, and fun. We didn’t book any excursions through the ship so I cannot talk about those. We purchased independent shore excursions (food and wine tour in San Juan, Scuba diving in St. Thomas, nothing on Castaway Cay). Since many lines go to San Juan and St. Thomas, I will only talk about Castaway Cay which was wonderful! We spent most of our time on the adult beach which was very quiet but still had character visits. Capt. Jack Sparrow came around for photo-ops, which was nice since the kids pretty much monopolized the characters on the ship. Overall, the only negatives I had were the following: The food could have been better. I enjoyed all of the food, but nothing was amazing or stood out. Although there were a lot of activities for adults, they all seemed to conflict with each other so we couldn’t really do everything we wanted. That’s really it…. Overall, I DEFINITELY recommend the Disney Fantasy.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Disney made this trip as easy and painless as possible. We were shocked at how easy it was to stick to a budget, only dining with an upcharge was Palo. The ship was beautifully appointed and the staff was wonderful. Stateroom Our ... Read More
Disney made this trip as easy and painless as possible. We were shocked at how easy it was to stick to a budget, only dining with an upcharge was Palo. The ship was beautifully appointed and the staff was wonderful. Stateroom Our party split up into two rooms, a balcony stateroom and an inside stateroom. The balcony room featured split bathrooms (one room with toilet and sink, one room with shower and sink) that were extremely helpful. The standard inside staterooms only feature one. There was lots of storage in the room and under the bed. The bunk beds were surprisingly comfortable and the kids looked forward to seeing the towel animals each night. We also used the curtain at night which excited the kids to have their own "room". I would definitely recommend taking advantage of the Wave Phones as we used them consistently. They work throughout the ship, are permitted everywhere, and feature texting as well. Entertainment The shows in the Walt Disney Theatre were fantastic, our family would never miss them. We watched a few movies in the Buena Vista Theatre and enjoyed that. The deck parties seemed to target younger kids with the characters but we still had a good time. Character greeting lines appeared very long and we avoided them as much as possible. Take advantage of the photo service since we were disappointed as to how few we had at the end of the cruise. Dining Rotational dining was unique and we loved it. We looked forward to checking in with our waitstaff and telling them about our day each night. We only realizes halfway through the trip that Lumiere's serves breakfast and lunch. This is a much better alternative to the crowded buffet. We did Palo brunch one morning since it was much easier to get reservations and was cheaper. The food was fantastic and totally worth the extra fee. We even snuck some chocolate covered strawberries back to the room so the kids could enjoy them. When considering ordering room service, keep in mind that even though the food is free, you will still need to tip. As an alternative, simply run up to Cabanas buffet and bring your food back to the stateroom. You just leave the plates in the hallway. Youth Clubs The youth clubs were fantastic and the staff made all the children feel welcome. Encourage your kids to go to the open house so they can meet the counselors and other kids. We had an 11 year old who was worried about being separated from our group in the oceaneer club (rest of kids were ages 12-14) but the staff let him into Edge and he loved it. Our 14 year old tried the teen club, Vibe, but felt too young so he stayed at the the preteen club Edge. Ports and Shore Excursions All of our shore excursions were booked through Disney, which made things very simple. Our snorkeling in Key West was disappointing, the water was 10 feet deep, very cold and murky. We still had a great time and the staff was nice. The open bar on the way back was appreciated. In Grand Cayman, we did the dolphin interaction and turtle farm. That was absolutely spectacular, though pricey. In Cozumel, most of our group was ill so we canceled our tour of the ruins. Disney gave us a full refund even though we canceled the day of. Two adults in our group got off the ship and took a cab to the ruins. This worked well and we enjoyed moving at our own pace. Castaway Cay was wonderful and it had everything we needed. Our group booked a kayaking tour, but it felt unnecessary because there was so much to do on the island already. I would recommend simply enjoying the beaches or renting bikes or kayaks on your own. Activities The family pools were extremely crowded but might be fine for younger kids. The Twist n' Spout waterslide was surprisingly fast and our kids had a blast. The AquaDunk was very exciting and neat. If you want to enjoy the pool areas and have short lines, get back on the ship a little early on port days. When the boat is at sea, the upper decks get pretty crowded. The daily navigator was extremely useful. I bring different colored highlighters and the family each highlights activities they might be interested in doing. You can also pick up extra copies at guest services. In summary, the Disney cruise was very enjoyable and I'm sure your family will have a great time too. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
THE GREAT:  Getting on board was awesome. We arrived at the time we'd signed up for, and there were only about five people ahead of us waiting to check in. We finished at the counter and walked right onto the ship. It was the best ... Read More
THE GREAT:  Getting on board was awesome. We arrived at the time we'd signed up for, and there were only about five people ahead of us waiting to check in. We finished at the counter and walked right onto the ship. It was the best onboarding experience I've ever had! I will be forever grateful because getting on and off a cruise ship is generally really exhausting and the worst part of the trip. It's been around 10 years since I've been on a cruise, but my recollection was standing in line for hours. Disney has done a great job with this! Our dining room servers were absolutely wonderful. They made sure that we had everything that we wanted and made us feel very special. I got the general impression that everyone loved the staff assigned to them. Some of the servers did magic tricks, and they all had something special for the kids. One thing to keep in mind is that the head waiter, the waiter/waitress, the assistant waiter/waitress, and the cabin attendant do not receive additional compensation from Disney - they work only for tips. I don't think people realize that, and the amounts they recommend for tips are really not that much. I think that this is the same across all cruise lines, and I didn't mind the built in tip for any of the refreshments that we ordered (one person went out of his way to get a glass of wine that I liked when I was in the theater that wasn't stocked there and I didn't even request that - extra tips are really in order for super service, and you will experience a lot of super service). There are some drinks that are free, and you can buy a cup for your child that comes in two sizes for a nominal amount ($6.50 and $8.50, I think) and they will fill it with smoothies or Shirley Temples, or anything non-alcoholic that would otherwise be charged to you for the entire week - the cup comes with a removable character that lights up. I don't mean to discount our cabin attendant in discussing the dining room staff. She was very responsive and made it a point to ask us several times if there were any things we wanted or needed and anything that we weren't pleased with so that she could fix it (there weren't - we only wanted an extra bar of soap so that we could have one on the sink and in the shower - that's it - everything was else was perfect). We really appreciated the follow up though. The last visit to the Animator's Palate was incredible. Everyone draws a picture within a larger form and it will come to life on the screens while you're waiting for dessert. It was really, really cool. I took a video with my cell phone and showed people at work - they were amazed. You rotate through the three dining rooms, so on a seven day cruise, you end up with your first restaurant on the first and last days for dinner (and also for breakfast on your departure morning). Because of that, we were only in the Animator's Palate twice - I wish we could have had them first. All three dining areas are nice, but the Animator's Palate was my favorite because the characters flitted across the screens and talked to you. If you want to skip a night in the formal dining rooms, there is a very nice restaurant on the 11th floor (meaning nice by adult standards) and that is also kid inclusive on the 11th floor (Cabanas) - they switch over from casual during the day to a more peaceful environment for dinner. They served the same things that we'd had for dinner the previous evening in the formal dining room, but that wasn't a problem - it was all good. I loved how they handed you a hand sanitizing wipe before you walked into any eating area and had a hand sanitizing stand located at the ramp when you boarded the ship when coming from shore. So much better than getting the stomach flu! We loved the live shows - they were really of a high caliber. We also loved the people who staffed the Bingo games. They made it fun to lose our money LOL (we are still singing the B-11 song). The final jackpot was a bit misleading though - I think everyone expected a $10,000 grand prize, but they probably gave away $10,000 in total that session. The grand prize winner took home around $7,400, which is still significant. Still a positive because it was a lot of fun. Even though getting off the ship was no fun (see below), I loved that Disney has a service where they will actually take your luggage to the airport and check it for you onto your flight. I have always hated having to pick up heavy bags after getting off the ship and haul them around because the last day of a cruise is usually just as awful as the first. This was such a nice touch and there was no charge. We saw the $25 per bag fee on our final bill, but that was just the cost that the airlines charged us per bag. They paid it in advance for us and were simply requesting reimbursement. Thank you, Disney! Free ice cream! Our child was in heaven. It would have been nice to have a change of flavors (it was the same all week), but they did have a nice selection - strawberry, banana, chocolate, vanilla, and a spout in the middle to get half-chocolate/half-vanilla twist. I wish they would have had cups near the ice cream dispensers (my kid hates cones) so that we didn't have to walk down to the drink dispensing area to get one, but that was just a minor thing. I would imagine that parents with smaller children would have appreciated having cups available as well. Disney will even cut your child's food at dinner - a surprising and nice touch. There were lots of fun and kid-friendly activities on the ship, and we had no problem filling our time on sea days (I actually wish we had even more sea days!). I didn't need to visit the exercise facility - my pedometer told me that I was walking at least 8,000 steps a day, and there were two days I walked over 15,000 steps. It kept me from gaining weight on the cruise, which was a bonus. Fireworks display on the upper deck on pirate's night were beautiful. The cabin was awesome! It was large, relatively speaking, and had lots of storage space. We had a double length deck with two (sort-of) recliners, two regular chairs, and a small table. We had so much fun we didn't get to enjoy it as much as I would have liked. The bed was heaven and I was always so tired from the activities of the day that I swear I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Our couch converted into a bed as well, and it was comfortable too (though not as comfortable as the bed). I also liked that there were separate rooms for showering and going to the bathroom, and each of them had a sink - it made it so much easier to get ready in the morning. I had a chance to peek into the inside staterooms, and it looked like they had a port-hole sized screen that gave you the view from the bridge video, which was kind of cool. I prefer an outside stateroom with a balcony because I would feel claustrophobic, but this was a nice touch on the inside. THE NOT SO GREAT: There are only two seating times for dinner. We chose the 8:15 seating. You learn quickly not to show up on time unless you want to stand in a horribly long and wide line, packed with people, waiting for the doors to open. I wish they had "any time" dining as we experienced with Princess in the past. I HATE the cattle calls. It really is better to not leave your stateroom until dinner is supposed to start or a few minutes later. That way, you'll miss the entry crowds and the server will catch you up. Speaking of the 8:15 seating . . . children under five really shouldn't be allowed to have dinner this late. You don't leave the dining room until at least around 9:45, and that's just too late for kids who are still napping during the day (and who may have missed their naps during the day). Alternatively, parents with kids under five should be matched only with other parents with kids under five. We were treated to an extended toddler temper tantrum six out of seven nights, and it absolutely ruined the dining experience for us. The child could not be comforted, and the behavior continued until the kids club representative came and the parents had the child taken away to play around 9:15 so they could finish their dinner in peace. It was obvious that the kid was tired, and I really don't think that this was typical behavior for the child. This is really a deal breaker for us - when we consider Disney again (and we certainly will), if we can't have some consideration for being seated by ourselves or at a non-toddler table during the later seating, we will probably pass on the cruise. It was really that bad. The 8:15 dining room was always full (as was the cruise, with around 4200 people I think), so it wasn't a question of asking for a reassignment - there was nowhere else to go (and the earlier seating had a waiting list before the cruise started so that would have been out of the question and we didn't want that anyway, having asked for the 8:15 time before the cruise began). An additional irritating issue had nothing to do with Disney and everything to do with the parents on the cruise. A significant number of parents seemed to want a vacation from parenting and let their kids run around the ship unsupervised (or didn't get them to bed at a decent time or allow them to nap, which caused meltdowns that should have surprised no one). The kids club for kids between 3 and 12(?) (which is the one that worked for us) is open until 12:00 on port days and 1:00 on sea days (yes, that's 1:00 in the MORNING). There is no place for the kids to nap (nor do I think there should be). It's just something to keep in mind - there will be kids underfoot and a large enough percentage of them will be screaming and crying and perhaps unsupervised in large enough numbers that you will notice it. (This is not the case with the majority of kids, and you will be treated to the sight of hundreds of little girls dressed in their favorite princess clothes - they are so cute!) Getting off the ship was a bit of a pain because everyone needed to get off by 9:00 in the morning. They final breakfast time is based on when your dinner seating was, and there is no room service that day. I was grateful that we had the later seating because our breakfast time was 8:00. I'm not sure how the parents were able to get their kids to the dining room for the ~6:15 breakfast time (and you were expected to leave the ship following breakfast without returning to your stateroom). There were large crowds waiting to get off, but the hold up was because US Customs could only process so many people at a time and was not Disney's fault at all (they were trying to be helpful). They were doing deck work during the afternoon and the smell of the epoxy (or whatever it was) was horrid. Not sure why they couldn't do it during a port day or in the evening when no one was relaxing on the deck. It only happened once. NO casino! Since they advertise something for everyone, that would have been nice. It wouldn't prevent me from booking again, but I'm just used to having a casino to go to when I'm on a cruise ship and missed having one this time. You have to pay for refreshments, candy, and popcorn if you want them during movie and live performances. I didn't mind paying for most of these things, but if I could get it at no charge while on deck (like apple juice for my child), it was irritating to have to pay for it at these locations. I suppose we could have ordered it outside and brought it in; never tried that, but it would be an unnecessary aggravation. THE MILDLY ANNOYING BUT NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL TO US: We forgot our child's toothpaste and she hates mint. They had a few different kinds of toothpaste, and they would have given us a complimentary tube at guest services, but they were all mint flavored. Given the number of kids on the ship, it would have been nice to be able to purchase a more kid friendly flavor like watermelon, bubble gum, etc. and I suspect they would have a hard time keeping it in stock. For some strange reason, they closed the Aqua Duck around 10:00 on our last night of the cruise for 20 minutes (they literally shut off the water with no explanation other than it was going to close for 20 minutes). My child was really disappointed because it was the last time to go on it, and it was getting too late to wait until they opened it again (if they did at all). It closes at 11:00; not sure why they couldn't have waited to do whatever they needed to do after 11:00. We were able to go once, but we'd planned on going several times that last night. Room service requires that you actually be in the room to receive room service. I suppose that this is normally what happens anyway, but we only wanted a plate and a knife so that we could eat a rum cake that we'd purchased on shore, and we didn't feel like hanging around for a half an hour until they could come (too many fun things to do). We ended up taking a few plates and a set of silverware from one of the outside eating areas. Lunch at Castaway Cay should run until 2:30. We purchased tickets for an activity that started at 12:00. It was too early to eat before (because it involved a tram ride to and from the food area, which is further in than the activity area we were at), and by the time we got out of our swim clothes and took the tram to the food area, it was about 1:50 (they stop serving promptly at 2:00). The food isn't as good as on the ship, but I wouldn't expect it to be (it's advertised as a BBQ, and you can always take a tram and eat on the ship if you want, I think?). We'd brought a special pillowcase and picture frame to be signed by the characters with special markers that my child had chosen. We got someone else's markers back (entirely different colors) and our things were signed with the other markers. Our markers and materials were clearly marked with our cabin number. I mentioned it to guest services, because I thought someone might want their markers back. By the end of the cruise, they returned our original markers but there wasn't any way to return the wrong set to whoever they belonged to. Minor screw up, and my child was still happy with the color of the signatures. We'd signed up for a rain forest hike and were told when we showed up at the gathering location that it was cancelled for safety reasons. Fair enough, and we were able to get on another (less desirable tour to us). When we were in the gathering location for the substitute tour, they were calling people for the second rain forest hike, which started only an hour after ours! I asked why ours was cancelled and the second tour was not and never received a satisfactory answer beyond there was a high probability the second tour would be cancelled which was delivered in kind of a dismissive manner (as in no further discussion please). It wasn't clear that the second tour was cancelled, which begged the question why - surely if the trails were too wet an hour earlier, they wouldn't have miraculously dried in that short of a time. We talked to a second family who was had signed up for the first departure and ended up on the same substitute tour, and they felt the same way - no one had an issue cancelling for safety reasons, but the reason for the cancellation was certainly called into doubt when we overhead the second tour being called to leave. In sum, we really enjoyed Disney, and there really is a "Disney difference." The only thing that would keep us away from a Disney cruise again would be if we couldn't get a dining room assignment for the 8:15 seating that did not include a toddler. We may end up on another cruise line for our next cruise anyway because it looks like Disney is stopping the southern Caribbean cruises; I didn't see any for 2015. ) : Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I really enjoyed myself with my grandchildren (ages 3 an 7) and they loved it. They kept thanking me for bringing them. They loved the kids club, swimming, Aqua Duck and Castaway Cay. Warning on the Aqua Duck-----You will get drenched!!! ... Read More
I really enjoyed myself with my grandchildren (ages 3 an 7) and they loved it. They kept thanking me for bringing them. They loved the kids club, swimming, Aqua Duck and Castaway Cay. Warning on the Aqua Duck-----You will get drenched!!! (I should have gotten braids) Shout out to Dwayne who operated the Aqua Duck the 2nd time I rode. He has passion! You can tell he loves his job and people. I was skeptical reading reviews on the food before I took cruise but the food was excellent. And the food at Castaway Cay was superb. The people that work there are really nice especially the ones from a different country. (and I will just leave it like that) I thought their gratuities were low to say the least. I did put extra in the envelopes. People at guest services aren't too pleasant. I needed change once, I needed an English not Spanish form for customs and I wasn't given a complimentary card to fill out . Asking at the desk seem like it was a bother to them to supply such items. But all in all, I would definitely take another Disney Cruise. DISNEY you really know how to do it in style. By the way, everything is so clean and I love how you hand out wipes before entering dining areas. And I love the CAPTAIN, he kept us laughing Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
HaIm writing this review very far after this cruise’s date, but I loved this cruise just for the record. (Also I came here for my great aunt’s birthday). First of course is boarding, which is usually always a hassle. But all the staff ... Read More
HaIm writing this review very far after this cruise’s date, but I loved this cruise just for the record. (Also I came here for my great aunt’s birthday). First of course is boarding, which is usually always a hassle. But all the staff was so nice and made it feel like we all weren’t in a rush, and we shouldn’t be stressed. They were right too, they even carried our bags to our room while we were in line. The lines were long, but it didn’t seem long because of the staff. Boarding the ship was quick and easy, and once I was on the ship I was excited, because that was my first cruise. I honestly didn’t like cruising back then, so before I boarded, I was kinda like “I hate cruises, don’t make me go!” But once I saw that beautiful, decorated terminal, I was done; I was already hooked to this cruise line. I saw some cruise vlogs, and a lot of the terminals were discusting, dirty, and bland. So I boarded the ship, and the staff was spectacular! The ship was beautiful and for sure first class, the food was delicious, and best of all - it was free. This wasn’t an ordinary trip to McDonald’s meal, this was a magnificent gourmet 5 star meals (usually dinner and breakfast, lunch is usually by the pool and has all the greasy things, but even then it absolutely stunning food) I loved watching the kids play in the nemo’s reef, and in the mickey pool, it was actually entertaining to see kids so happy, I usually see them crying, but here they were all happy and having an amazing time. Our first stop was at Nassau, so first we went to the famous Pirate’s Museum, and once we exited, we went with a tour guide in a van, and everyone got private vans. I was anxious to see the beach, considering how beautiful the water color is in the Bahamas, it seemed like forever until I got there. Once I got there, the temperature was so relaxing, and it was October. Then I saw a show named Villains Tonight! Onboard the ship, it was very fun to watch! In fact I ended up watching it twice, and then I went to the top to try out the games in the Arr-cade, a pirate themed arcade on the ship. We arrived at Castaway Cay early in the morning, almost no one was awake (we also arrived at Nassau early, and docked back at home really early too.) Once we woke, we got our delicious breakfast and went off the ship, the island was beautiful and nicely decorated. All the activities were so cool, the waterslides were my favorite, and the beach was so relaxing, theres also a specific beach for kids if the parents want to escape all the screams and excitement. The island was fun, and for sure Disney cruise line stands out much more than other lines. A big plus - other than the Disney Dream crash in September, it has had far lass incidents than most of it’s competition. The engine fires, running a ship aground, all that bad stuff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Embarkation/Check In process We drove to the port (and others in the party were transferred). We experienced some confusion on the part of the staff when we were checking in since we had some members of the party with us, and others ... Read More
Embarkation/Check In process We drove to the port (and others in the party were transferred). We experienced some confusion on the part of the staff when we were checking in since we had some members of the party with us, and others checking in at a different time. They were unable to process check-ins for partial rooms without a lot of grief. It took a while, but we eventually got it straightened out, and we got onto the ship. We proceeded to the ship to check the kids into the kids club, since there was a very long line to do this at the port. Still a very long line onboard the ship (over 30 minutes). Up to the Beach Blanket Buffet for a very nice lunch.- the food was always excellent Meals: We had dinner at Palo the first night (At least most of the adults in the Party did). It is an Italian themed restaurant and was excellent. Highly recommended. I had a fillet mignon that practically melted in my mouth. Per Disney's plan, we rotated between the three regular dining rooms onboard, and they were all very nice. The food was consistently good for dinner, and we had lots of tasty meals. There seemed to almost always be a filet or tenderloin and a fish entree offered. I liked that there are always sugar free desert options for those in our party who had sugar restrictions. Our dining room waiter and assistant waiter were awesome with magic tricks, and quick service. Lunches for us were experienced in a number of venues, and each was good. Breakfast for us was at Beach Blanket every day, except departure, when we had breakfast at the Parrot Cay Restaurant. Travelling with a Disabled Traveller: We travelled with my dad in a wheelchair, and two caregivers- one for daytime, and one for night time. The stateroom he stayed in was very large and spacious. The bathroom was excellent, and had a fantastic roll-in shower. (Cabin 7638, and his caregiver was in 7636 which also was handicapped, and had a roll in shower). Our only nit was that the rooms did not interconnect, so she had to go out to the hall in the middle of the night, if she wanted to go to her room. The ship is generally very accessible, and we experienced no difficulties there. My father's stateroom steward was very helpful, and went above and beyond. We found that they really made it easy to travel with someone who can be quite needy. Staterooms: Most of our party stayed in 6592, 6596, and 6598. The cabins were adequately sized with balconies. There is very little space at the end of the beds to get around , but it is manueverable. The bathrooms are a split layout- with toilet and sink on one side, and sink and shower on the other. There are two separate doors. I'm rather larger in size, so I found it somewhat difficult to actually enter the toilet part of the bathroom, because there was a stopper that stopped the door from opening fully. This necessitated a great deal of contortions. Also, the cabin steward we had was not as good as we've had on other cruises, or on other cruise lines. I generally have the expectation that they'll service the room while we're out for the morning, and do the evening turn-down while we're at dinner. That didn't necessarily happen. We had a couple of evenings when it got to be very late, and I had to tell him to please come and do his thing, since I was headed to bed. The first day, he didn't manage to get into our stateroom, despite our being gone from 8:00 AM until almost 1:00 PM. Then he came knocking at 2:00 when we were down for a nap. Shore Excursions: Cozumel: Is very pretty. We did a couple of different dolphin tours. the one my daughters and au-pair ended up on was better than ours(They went to Dolphinaris). We had dolphin discovery. We had to wait for almost an hour and a half in the sun, despite being on time. My son ended up getting a bit sick from being in the heat and sun during that time. He was crying and unhappy (and I can't say I blame him) at being left to stand there for so long. I did address it with them, and their response was just to let us get into the water with the manatees to pet them for a couple of minutes. IMO- too little- too late. Castaway Cay: Stunning, and a real highlight of the trip. We fed the stingrays, and snorkeled with them. That was a lot of fun, and a great deal for the money. On Castaway, lunch is brought to the Cookies/Cookies too restaurants, and they serve a lovely Barbecue. There are also kids club activities, and many, many things to do. A lot of them are included in the cost. Very nice. I could honestly just go there a couple of times during a cruise, and be quite happy. Kids Club: We had 6 kids, ranging in age from 6 to 14 with us, and they all had a good time. The two 14 year olds were almost aged out of the camp, so they spent more time with the adults, but the younger kids practically lived in the kids clubs. Spa: Beautiful Spa. Great time. I had the seaweed wrap, a stone massage, facial, manicure and pedicure. The rest of the family visited as well. The teen/Tween girls in the party were very disappointed to find out that they could only get a mini nail 'do, and a mini facial. Not a full mani/pedi, and not a full facial. We've gotten those on other cruises, and routinely get them at home. (My Oldest gets facials regularly to help treat acne) Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
If you have food allergies, rest assured that the Disney Dream staff will go above and beyond to make sure that the food you are served has been properly prepared. I am allergic to gluten, dairy, citrus, peanuts, shrimp, cinnamon, cloves, ... Read More
If you have food allergies, rest assured that the Disney Dream staff will go above and beyond to make sure that the food you are served has been properly prepared. I am allergic to gluten, dairy, citrus, peanuts, shrimp, cinnamon, cloves, and several other items. On the Disney Dream, I was able to have a happy, reaction free vacation due to the extra efforts of the disney culinary staff. At the first meal the head waiter (Ali) prepared a special card listing all of my allergies and printed 20+ of them. At each meal, he would staple my food card with the food order to make sure the kitchen staff was extra careful. He would pre-order all my meals for the following day and tell me which restaurant he would be working at, should I want him to watch over my meals. If I entered a buffet area, all I had to do was approach one of the ever present staff and they would phone Ali and he would have something specially prepared for me. One morning I decided to just get some eggs and bacon from the buffet line. While I was waiting my turn in line, a waiter I had never seen before came up to me and removed me from line. He told me I could not have the eggs as they were prepared with milk and I could not have bacon it contained gluten. He went off and prepared my meal in a separate area and brought it to my table. It seemed like magic. If you are traveling with allergies, just remember to be patient and that your dining choices will be limited. Also, with 1,000s of meals to prepare, remember to be extra thankful for what is surely a lot of effort to cook your meals separately. I was simply happy that I could eat safely and well without having an allergic reaction. Thank you Disney Dream staff (and especially Ali) for the high level of customer service, delivered with a smile and the caring attitude of all the dining staff that made a trip with food allergies possible. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Sailed aboard the Disney Dream with some friends during college spring break and had a wonderful experience. This was my first cruise with Disney (after having sailed with Royal Caribbean and Holland America in the past), and I would ... Read More
Sailed aboard the Disney Dream with some friends during college spring break and had a wonderful experience. This was my first cruise with Disney (after having sailed with Royal Caribbean and Holland America in the past), and I would absolutely cruise with Disney again. Here is a break-down of my vacation. From the moment we landed in Orlando International airport, Disney made our arrival as pleasant as it could possibly have been. After claiming our luggage at baggage claim, we walked over to Disney's Magical Express. They immediately took our bags from us, and within 20 minutes we were sitting on a bus riding towards Port Canaveral. Check-in at the terminal went fairly quickly (and for those who have sailed with Disney before, they have an even quicker check-in line for returning customers). We landed in Orlando around noon, and were on the boat no later than 2pm (and this included a 50 minute drive to the port). Once we boarded the ship, we were immediately greeted in typical Disney fashion. Our names were announced as we boarded the ship, a pianist was playing Disney classics in the stunning atrium, and Peter Pan was taking photos with guests. Characters were very accessible throughout the cruise. The navigator in the room lists all the times and locations where characters will be taking photos, but throughout the first day i took multiple photos with characters who were just aimlessly walking around, such as Goofy and Peter Pan. Although there were plenty of dining options open, they were all pretty packed. However, it took less than 5 minutes to get food, and there were still a few tables available. The food and dining on the cruise was done to perfection. Tons of variety and everything tasted great. The rotational dining system in the evenings was absolutely brilliant, and a nice change from some of my prior cruise vacations (for those who aren't familiar with this, Disney rotates you between 3 different main dining rooms each evening, but your serving staff rotates with you to each location, so you get a change in venue but you don't have to worry about getting to know new servers). Even when we didn't enjoy any options on the menu, our servers were quick to offer us anything we wanted off the menu. As you walk into any dining location on the ship, you were handed a sanitizing wipe for your hands (adding a nice degree of cleanliness). In addition to the sanitizing wipes, the ship felt very clean and was in immaculate condition. Everything looked freshly painted, clean, colorful, and there was no garbage lying around (and yes, I've been on very expensive ships that weren't so clean, so this was nice to see). In fact, late one night around 2am I saw the crew replacing some of the carpeting on my floor. I was very impressed by how good the ship looked; it truly looked as if it was the ship's maiden voyage. During the evenings, the entertainment in the Walt Disney Theatre was done extremely well. They had family-friendly shows but with enough jokes/references thrown in for adults that it was enjoyable for any age. The shows were also on the shorter side (about an hour per show), which was perfect for us. Every evening they had two showtimes, one during the first dinner seating and one during the second, so you were always able to see the show during the opposite dinner seating time (and even if you got there as late as 2 minutes before showtime, there were always plenty of good seats to choose from). In addition to the Walt Disney Theatre, they had the Buena Vista Theatre, which showed Disney movies (both 2D and 3D), many of which were still in theaters (they showed Oz The Great and Powerful on my ship within 2 weeks of its release). In the evenings they also showed adult movies that weren't necessarily Disney (such as Lincoln on my sailing). The ship also has plenty of adult-only lounges and a nice club for at night (mostly located in The District). Although these areas were designed really well, these areas were mostly empty at night and struggled to fill up. Nightlife dies by around midnight, even in the adult areas (which is much earlier than on other cruise lines). The pool deck was designed well in that it was able to be used for multiple functions. There were two family pools, both of which could be covered to allow for events to take place on the deck (such as the sailing away party and fireworks). There is also a water slide for the kids, and the Aqua-Duck water coaster. The Aqua-Duck was a lot of fun, but had long lines for the most part and is not worth a long wait. I would suggest using it during off times, such as right before or after dinner, or early in the morning as soon as it opens. They also have a giant screen playing Disney classics throughout the day (anything from Finding Nemo, to Toy Story, Jungle Book, Tarzan, Lilo and Stitch, and many more Disney movies). Anytime I found myself with nothing to do, I'd always check out what was showing on the pool deck. They have seats on the deck specifically designed to face the screen, providing everyone with a great view. The pool deck also had plenty of dining venues open going late into the evening, and had self-serve ice cream machines. There were plenty of towels to go around and there were no hassle finding them (you just take them from the designated areas and return them as you please). The biggest disappointment I found on the pool deck though was the lack of pools and hot tubs. I found all of the swimming areas to be immensely packed and busy, especially during our day at sea. There were only two hot tubs in the adult-only swimming area (but they are side by side, so it really serves as only one hot tub), and only a few others by the family pools. When we were at port there was definitely more room on the pool deck, but it was way too crowded during our day at sea, to the point where even if I could find a seat, it wasn't enjoyable to sit up there. They adult-only swimming area was a little disappointing in that it was located in an area where families sometimes needed to walk through in order to access their cabins. However, I was impressed by the crew in that they did ask kids to leave (or parents to leave who were with kids) if they were seated in the adult-only area. Another disappointment was the start of my excursion to the Atlantis. During our day in Nassau, Bahamas, I signed up for the excursion to the Atlantis, leaving at 9:45am. It took over an hour from the time I checked in for the excursion, to the time I got to the Atlantis (and note that it is only about a 5-10 minute bus ride from the ship to the Atlantis). They had us waiting on the ship before taking us off, then they had us waiting next to the ship before they took us into the port, and then they had us waiting in line to board busses to get to the Atlantis. However, once we arrived to the Atlantis, I had an unbelievable time. The water park is a ton of fun, they provided a meal voucher for lunch, and they had busses departing back to the ship every 30 minutes starting at 1pm (and there wasn't any line for the return trip bus). I would recommend the excursion to the Atlantis, but would warn you that you'll be doing A LOT of waiting around before you get there. The only other disappointment was the elevators. Although there are plenty of them throughout the ship, they are on the smaller side, take forever to come, and are often jam packed full with people. By the end of the vacation we never bothered to take the elevators and found ourselves always taking the stairs. This was fine for a group of adults, but may become annoying with younger kids. By far the best feature of sailing aboard a Disney ship was the unbelievable service you receive. Every member of the crew truly wanted to help make your vacation as enjoyable and relaxing as possible. Many cruise lines have a great staff on board, but no one provides exceptional service like Disney. Overall, we had a wonderful experience aboard the Disney Dream. Definitely more family-oriented than adult-oriented, but given that it's a Disney ship, I think they did as good of a job as they could possibly have done with the adult areas and entertainment. I would highly recommend the Disney Dream to any family (or individuals) who are fans of Disney and are looking for an unforgettable cruise vacation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We took our 4th Disney Cruise to the Mexican Riviera during Spring Break. This was our 4th trip on the Wonder, so we were very familiar with the ship. In fact, sailing on the Wonder feels like we're at our vacation "home." ... Read More
We took our 4th Disney Cruise to the Mexican Riviera during Spring Break. This was our 4th trip on the Wonder, so we were very familiar with the ship. In fact, sailing on the Wonder feels like we're at our vacation "home." Dining: Our waiters were great! They interacted with our 10 yr old son and the other children at our table. They remembered not only our drink orders each night, but also our preferences. For example, as a Texas girl, I don't like my steak smothered in sauces, so my sauce was always on the side. My son was always anxious to get back to the Oceaneer Lab and missed dessert each night, so our waiter assembled a plate of cookies and milk for him to enjoy in our cabin later in the evening. He even remembered to send chocolate chip and not oatmeal raisin cookies! Since this was our 4th cruise with Disney, we've made some observations. First, the quality of the waiter is not a direct reflection on the cruise, but on the waiter and if you're not getting the service you believe you should, this should be taken up with the head waiter immediately. Our servers on our 2011 Alaska cruise were not up to par and we should have said something. Second, this cruise was the first one that we've had the first dining time and we noticed a huge improvement in the qualify of the food in the main dining rooms as well as how quickly we received our meals. The first 3 cruises we requested 2nd seating and dinner took 2+ hours. This allows for a more leisurely meal. The food was never that fantastic but we couldn't put our finger on the reason. This time we requested first seating and there was a 110% improvement in the food and the speed to the food getting to the table. We ate the same food we had had on previous cruises expecting a certain flavor/texture, but it was much much better this time. We truly believe the food must be getting "held over" for the second dining and is not as fresh. We're requested 1st seating on our Nov 2012 Western Caribbean and our 2013 LA to Vancouver cruises! Cabin: We had a wonderful stateroom host who ensured our room was always clean and neat! We noticed a couple changes to the room. The have added Velcro to the sliding closet doors so they no longer move back and forth with the movement of the ship. A down side is that one of my nice blouses kept getting stuck to the Velcro. I wish they would have put that up high or down low on the door, but not at hanger level. They've replaced the old bedspreads with the new duvets (I think the same ones used on the new ships.) And, during our cruise to Alaska in 2011, we noticed they changed the clocks in the room to one you can actually see in the middle of the night. The only down side is the clock is entirely too bright. The first night of our cruise, our cabin had unusually LOUD creaking noise and resulted in very little sleep for my husband and I. We mentioned this to our cabin maid first thing and he said he reported it. (He was fantastic all week, so we don't doubt that he did indeed report the issue.) However, when we were in our room getting ready for dinner that night it was obvious the noise had not be resolved. One brief stop to the front desk, and all of a sudden we had the Head Engineer in our room placing little wedges around our room between the ceiling and the wall. Surprisingly this pretty much fixed the issue. They also sent up ear plugs to our room just in case, and asked us to tell them right away if the issue persisted or if we had any other issues during our stay. We received several follow up calls asking if the noise was ok, and they sent chocolate covered strawberries to our room and gave our son a $15 gift card to be used in the arcade to help make up for our first night without sleep. I learned two things here. One, tell the front desk. They know who to call to get quick resolution. Two, Disney does a great job at trying to make a situation "right". Consistency: We chose Disney for our cruises because we've had some fantastic cruises and each cruise has been consistently great. However, Disney does not make any real changes in their programming from year to year. In other words, the Disney Broadway shows on this last cruise were the same ones that were on the other 3 cruises, dating back to our first cruise in 2008. So, we tend to skip the shows every other cruise. this is the same thing with the game shows. We love "Who Wants to Be A Mouseketeer" and "Mickey Mania" but we'd like to see some new game shows and other entertainment. Our son has been in the same kids club since 2008 (he was 6, now he's 10)and he's made Flubber, cookies in the Ratatouille Cooking School, and solved cases in the Goofy Files 4 times now. He needs some new programming. Oceaneer Lab: Some of the counselors remembered our son from our Alaska cruise last year and he made some new counselor friends as well, which he enjoyed. However, now Disney does not segregate the Club from the Lab and so there's very small kids (4 yr olds) in the Lab, which goes through age 11. My son was not interested in several activities because the children participating were so young. He didn't even want to play the Wii because the boys playing were so young. He didn't feel it would be fair to the little ones so he spent lots of time visiting with the counselors and using the computers for individual games. Not exactly what we're paying for when we book a Disney cruise for our son. This huge age range needs to be whittled down, or let the older kids go into Tween club. Ports: Our ports were Cabo and Puerto Vallarta. We booked excursions at both ports, although we did not enjoy these ports like others we've been too and were disappointed in Disney choosing these. We especially didn't enjoy the tendering at Cabo and can't imagine how scary it would have if we would have had small children with us. Embarkation: This was our first time to ever arrive before noon but we were excited to get there this time to get on the ship early. We had to wait and got on around 1pm which wasn't too bad. It was nice to get on and have time to eat leisurely without rushing to finish in time for the safety drill. Right after eating, our son had his swim suit in his day bag, so he hit the pool! Debarkation: This process we found to be very smooth on our cruises out of Port Canaveral since our bags "magically" went from the hallway the night before all the way to Dallas without us having to touch them. However, this was a complete nightmare in Vancouver last year where we had to WAITE for our bags to be taken off the ship and then FIND them at the port, take them through customs, etc. So, this year we did something different. Our suitcases are large rolling bags, so we decided to NOT put them out the night before and take them off with us. That way we also didn't have to wait until our turn to get off the ship. This was AMAZINGLY smooth and will be our choice going forward if we are not at Port Canaveral. Aging Ship: Yes, the ship is aging, needs dry dock time, and overall upgrades. However, through out the week we did notice workers repairing sections of carpeting, painting etc., so they are trying to keep the ship in good repair. This is not to ignore the fact that the bathrooms do need new tiling and paint, the sleeper sofas should be replaced, etc. I assume all of this will be accomplished in the next dry dock and none of this diminished the enjoyment our our cruise in any way. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
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