Mild Disappointment with Disney - A Sad First: Disney Dream Cruise Review by Mom0511

Disney Dream 3
Member Since 2013
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Mild Disappointment with Disney - A Sad First

Sail Date: March 2013
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
This was our first cruise with Disney and we were SO excited. We've always cruised with Royal Caribbean and had very good experiences with them. So, when moving to Disney, the clear "premier" cruise line for families, we thought our experience would blow us away. Unfortunately, we were left a bit disappointed. Why?

1. Kids Programs

The facilities for kids on the Disney Dream are amazing. As a parent, looking at the facilities, you would think you would never see your kid again. However, it was quite the opposite. Our 7 year old daughter, who spent all of her time on our last RCI cruise in the kids club was so excited to spend time in the Disney club. But, after the first night when she had them page us to come get her, I knew something was wrong. After much discussion throughout the week and after the cruise, I've come to the conclusion that there are simply too many kids on the Disney cruise to provide the same personal attention that our kids received on More RCI at their kids clubs. Our daughter complained that she was bored on Disney. She went to the club, tried to meet friends, and came home each night disappointed. On RCI, the staff knew her name and face on the second day, even greeting her outside of the kids club on other areas of the boat. Same thing with the nursery staff and our baby. On Disney, that just wasn't true. The nursery staff was much better than the Oceaneer staff, but there were much less babies than 3-12 year olds. Another thing that RCI does better than Disney is breaking up the age groups. Disney has four groups - babies, kids, tweens, and toddlers. That "kids" group ranges from 3 to 12 - which is huge. RCI breaks that age group up into at least two, if not three separate groups. That really helps focus the activities and attention. 2. Pool Facilities

Disney missed the boat in planning their pool space. There are five pools on the Disney Dream: 1. Nemo splash zone, 2. Mickey Pool, 3. Donald Pool, 4. Cove Pool, and 5. Vibe Pool. The Cove pool is in the adults only area and the Vibe pool is for teens. We did not experience either of those. The Nemo splash zone is very cool - lots of little water spouts coming from the floor and ceiling and lots of brightly colored fun characters. But Disney missed the boat in setting appropriate ages for this area. They allow kids from infants to 8 year olds in this area. My 16 mo. daughter LOVED the area, but after she got nearly run over by the older kids three times, I took her out and never went back. They really need to tighten the age group on this area so that the younger age group has an area that they can safely enjoy. The Mickey pool is about 1 foot deep and shaped like Mickey. I assume this is intended for kids that can't yet swim but want to play in the water. The concept is great, but it's a small pool, which makes for very crowded play. The Donald pool is equally as small. This is a much deeper hole where you can hang out and watch the "FunnelVision". Again though, Disney missed it on this one. The pool is too deep for most kids and mom's to touch the bottom. I did see some dad's that could touch. So what you end up with is a pool with people crowded shoulder to shoulder hanging onto the edge and an empty middle. It looks like Disney sacrificed pool space for deck space, which I personally think was a poor choice. One big pool with separate areas would have been much more effective and easier to enjoy. As an adult with kids, there was no pool space that I could enjoy. Less

Published 04/02/13

Cabin review: 5B8582

Nice mid-ship location with stable ride. Felt very little movement, even on the bumpier days.

Port and Shore Excursions

Castaway Cay is a beautiful destination and a great play to just relax for the day. Be sure to get off the boat early to secure a spot right along the water with chairs and an umbrella. There are plenty of chairs for everyone, and a lot of lagoon front space available, but on a busy sailing, waiting til mid-day to get out and find a space will loose you that coveted front row spot on the beach. We did the Stingray experience and that was really really neat. My 7 year old was very hesitant at first, but after some encouragement, we finally got her in the water. She didn't feed the stingrays, but she did play in the water with them and touch them and was thrilled. The staff at the experience were great - even accommodating my late arrival due to an unplanned diaper change for the baby :) They took their feeder station back out with a bucket of food so that I didn't miss out on feeding the rays. This was definitely worth the money. With the stingray experience, we also got free use of floats, bikes, etc. We didn't use any of these. It was a bit chilly that day, and we didn't want to float in the water much, although plenty of folks did. Also, by the time we relaxed on the beach, played with rays, and ate lunch, we really didn't have time to do much else like ride the bikes.

See and Sea

The submersible part of this experience was AWESOME. The boat was clean, felt safe, and the reefs were amazing. This was a great way to enjoy the underwater experience with my small kids who can't swim well enough to snorkel or dive. The staff on both the tender boat and the submersible were very nice and entertaining as well. Be warned that you do have to transfer from the tender to the submersible in the middle of the bay. On a very choppy day, this could be pretty scary with small kids. The staff was very helpful with the transfers though. The bus tour for this experience was so-so. The bus was very clean and the driver was very nice. Nassau just isn't the best town to explore - there is a lot of poverty and the sights reflect that. The stop at the Fort at the top of the island was a bit rushed - you had 15 minutes to explore the fort. Be aware that to actually go in an see the fort, you have to pay the fort a small feed per person. It was reasonable, but we were not aware of it ahead of time. Fortunately we had the cash with us.

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Member Since 2013
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