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The three day cruise to Castaway Cay was the perfect ending to my wife's 50th birthday celebration. This was our 4th cruise on a 4th different cruise line, so we have experienced many different styles up to this point. Starting with arrival and embarkation - Port Canaveral was a dream in itself compared to some other ports we have gone through previously. I opted for the pre-pard onsite parking - upon our arrival at the port, we were greeted with nothing but very friendly staff more than willing to talk and aid us in our arrival. I pulled up to the curb and a Disney employee helped unload our luggage with a friendly greeting. After dropping the luggage off, we made a quick drive across the street to the parking garage, parked, and within minutes was in the terminal checking in. After a very quick check-in (had already done online check-in), we waited about 15-20 minutes for our boarding zone to get on the ship - all in all, very quick and painless and the best boarding experience we have ever had. Stepping onto the ship, our first impression was wow! The ship was in impeccable condition - well maintained and very clean. Disney is a fanatic about cleanliness - they are handing you antibacterial wipes at every place where food and drink are served. We had lunch at the buffet (Cabanas) which was average - we have had better buffets on other ships, but still good. Having free soft drinks included in cruise price was a great bonus - another Disney plus. One of our concerns taking our first Disney cruise was the fear of children running everywhere, but they have done a great job of setting up 18 and over areas - there are special deck and pool areas, as well as an entertainment district in the back of one deck that is 18 and over at night. Onto our room- we booked a Navigator's Verandah room and ended up being upgraded to a full standard balcony room at no extra charge - Room 8660 which is Starboard AFT. The room was laid out very nice - a bathroom separated into two rooms- one with shower/tub and sink, and the other with toilet and sink - largest bathrooms we have had on a cruise ship. Large closets, a queen size bed, and a sofa rounded out the large room. The balcony was great - first time for us and I will have a hard time not booking one in the future - makes the room feel so much larger and is great place to unwind away from everyone on deck. We also had the benefit of a front row seat on the pirate fireworks night - great view! We had always had midship rooms for comfort sakes, but no vibrations or rocking in the AFT room this time. Entertainment was incredible - most elaborate sets and production we have ever seen on a ship. As expected, all were with the great wholesome Disney touches, but always had a few adult jokes thrown in. Pirate night was fun with the deck party and the fireworks from the boat. Disney main dining is truly unique - three different themed restaurants in three nights with your server moving with you. The first night we had Animators Palate- an artist's studio theme with a heavy dose of Nemo on the many screens throughout the restaurant. I had stated in my reservation that we were celebrating my wife's birthday and at the end of the meal, they brought her a little cake and sang happy birthday. As we got up to leave after our dinner, an animated turtle from Nemo "swam" up to the screen above our table and wished my wife happy birthday - really cool touch, but hey, this is Disney, so I would expect something special. The food was good that night - I had red snapper - very good. They gave my wife a "birthday" button that she wore the next day - every crew member that passed her wished her a happy birthday - a nice touch. The second night we went to the Enchanted Garden - it was pirate night and my wife dressed up as a pirate. This was the best meal so far - had a sea bass that was very good. The last night was an optional dress up night - we chose to do so and we dined at the Royal Palace. Another good meal - the rack of lamb was very tasty. All in all, the servers were excellent and the food was very good as well. Day activities were varied and we had some pretty good fun. We learned how to make towel animals, played some trivia games, and even participated in the Mickey 200 - a pinewood derby event where the cars are made primarily from vegetables - a fun and unique idea. The highlight of the trip was Castaway Cay - a truly beautiful island. We opted for the 18+ beach at the far side of the island - just a short tram ride from the ship, which docks right at the island- no tenders. The beach had chairs and umbrellas all set up - no charge. The water was crystal clear and the sea life abundant. We saw live starfish, conch, fish, and even a stingray! Disney provided a BBQ lunch on the island - again, a separate one was for 18+. All in all, a wonderful day and instantly had us talking about coming back again. All good things must come to an end, so we arrived back in Port Canaveral around 6am - a quick breakfast at the buffet and we elected to walk off with our luggage and were off the ship by 7:15am. Again a very smooth operation. We had always been spooked a little by the higher cost of Disney cruises, but after taking this one, it is worth the money. The all around quality of the ship, activities, service and food coupled with the impeccable cleanliness makes it a great value for the money.

A Perfect Three Days!

Disney Dream Cruise Review by stbiss

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2014
  • Destination: Bahamas
The three day cruise to Castaway Cay was the perfect ending to my wife's 50th birthday celebration. This was our 4th cruise on a 4th different cruise line, so we have experienced many different styles up to this point.
Starting with arrival and embarkation - Port Canaveral was a dream in itself compared to some other ports we have gone through previously. I opted for the pre-pard onsite parking - upon our arrival at the port, we were greeted with nothing but very friendly staff more than willing to talk and aid us in our arrival. I pulled up to the curb and a Disney employee helped unload our luggage with a friendly greeting. After dropping the luggage off, we made a quick drive across the street to the parking garage, parked, and within minutes was in the terminal checking in. After a very quick check-in (had already done online check-in), we waited about 15-20 minutes for our boarding zone to get on the ship - all in all, very quick and painless and the best boarding experience we have ever had.
Stepping onto the ship, our first impression was wow! The ship was in impeccable condition - well maintained and very clean. Disney is a fanatic about cleanliness - they are handing you antibacterial wipes at every place where food and drink are served. We had lunch at the buffet (Cabanas) which was average - we have had better buffets on other ships, but still good. Having free soft drinks included in cruise price was a great bonus - another Disney plus.
One of our concerns taking our first Disney cruise was the fear of children running everywhere, but they have done a great job of setting up 18 and over areas - there are special deck and pool areas, as well as an entertainment district in the back of one deck that is 18 and over at night.
Onto our room- we booked a Navigator's Verandah room and ended up being upgraded to a full standard balcony room at no extra charge - Room 8660 which is Starboard AFT. The room was laid out very nice - a bathroom separated into two rooms- one with shower/tub and sink, and the other with toilet and sink - largest bathrooms we have had on a cruise ship. Large closets, a queen size bed, and a sofa rounded out the large room. The balcony was great - first time for us and I will have a hard time not booking one in the future - makes the room feel so much larger and is great place to unwind away from everyone on deck. We also had the benefit of a front row seat on the pirate fireworks night - great view! We had always had midship rooms for comfort sakes, but no vibrations or rocking in the AFT room this time.
Entertainment was incredible - most elaborate sets and production we have ever seen on a ship. As expected, all were with the great wholesome Disney touches, but always had a few adult jokes thrown in. Pirate night was fun with the deck party and the fireworks from the boat.
Disney main dining is truly unique - three different themed restaurants in three nights with your server moving with you. The first night we had Animators Palate- an artist's studio theme with a heavy dose of Nemo on the many screens throughout the restaurant. I had stated in my reservation that we were celebrating my wife's birthday and at the end of the meal, they brought her a little cake and sang happy birthday. As we got up to leave after our dinner, an animated turtle from Nemo "swam" up to the screen above our table and wished my wife happy birthday - really cool touch, but hey, this is Disney, so I would expect something special. The food was good that night - I had red snapper - very good. They gave my wife a "birthday" button that she wore the next day - every crew member that passed her wished her a happy birthday - a nice touch.
The second night we went to the Enchanted Garden - it was pirate night and my wife dressed up as a pirate. This was the best meal so far - had a sea bass that was very good. The last night was an optional dress up night - we chose to do so and we dined at the Royal Palace. Another good meal - the rack of lamb was very tasty. All in all, the servers were excellent and the food was very good as well.
Day activities were varied and we had some pretty good fun. We learned how to make towel animals, played some trivia games, and even participated in the Mickey 200 - a pinewood derby event where the cars are made primarily from vegetables - a fun and unique idea.
The highlight of the trip was Castaway Cay - a truly beautiful island. We opted for the 18+ beach at the far side of the island - just a short tram ride from the ship, which docks right at the island- no tenders. The beach had chairs and umbrellas all set up - no charge. The water was crystal clear and the sea life abundant. We saw live starfish, conch, fish, and even a stingray! Disney provided a BBQ lunch on the island - again, a separate one was for 18+. All in all, a wonderful day and instantly had us talking about coming back again.
All good things must come to an end, so we arrived back in Port Canaveral around 6am - a quick breakfast at the buffet and we elected to walk off with our luggage and were off the ship by 7:15am. Again a very smooth operation.
We had always been spooked a little by the higher cost of Disney cruises, but after taking this one, it is worth the money. The all around quality of the ship, activities, service and food coupled with the impeccable cleanliness makes it a great value for the money.
stbiss’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8660
We booked a Navigator's Verandah room and ended up being upgraded to a full standard balcony room at no extra charge - Room 8660 which is Starboard AFT. The room was laid out very nice - a bathroom separated into two rooms- one with shower/tub and sink, and the other with toilet and sink - largest bathrooms we have had on a cruise ship. Large closets, a queen size bed, and a sofa rounded out the large room. The balcony was great - first time for us and I will have a hard time not booking one in the future - makes the room feel so much larger and is great place to unwind away from everyone on deck. We also had the benefit of a front row seat on the pirate fireworks night - great view! We had always had midship rooms for comfort sakes, but no vibrations or rocking in the AFT room this time. Room is conveniently located near steps and elevators, but has no noise form those areas.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Castaway Cay
    The highlight of the trip was Castaway Cay - a truly beautiful island. We opted for the over 18 beach at the far side of the island - just a short tram ride from the ship, which docks right at the island- no tenders. The beach had chairs and umbrellas all set up - no charge. The water was crystal clear and the sea life abundant. We saw live starfish, conch, fish, and even a stingray! Disney provided a BBQ lunch on the island - again, a separate one was for those over 18. All in all, a wonderful day and instantly had us talking about coming back again.
    View All 456 Castaway Cay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Castaway Cay Cruise Port Review