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As grandparents of 8, our children arranged this cruise on the basis of their previous experiences with Disney. This was our first encounter with the cruise line, and this review is essentially aimed at individuals whose sole purpose is NOT to dump their kids off in a holding pen so that they can go party. It is also important to note that our preferred cruise line is Oceania, and that we have traveled extensively on their ships over the past several years. By the standard of Oceania, our experience was extremely disappointing. After spending the preceding night in a nearby hotel, we parked in the Disney lot and arrived early for our designated 12:15 boarding at Port Canaveral. This process greatly resembles waiting for popular rides at Disney World; long lines in a crowded and noisy venue. Once aboard, our stateroom -- a veranda suite -- was adequate. Not nearly as nice as cheaper rooms on Oceania (which has the reputation for being "upscale"). The only exceptional trait was the that bathroom was divided in half, so that there are two separate sinks (one with the toilet, the other with the shower). Dinner the first night was at the "special" restaurant -- for $30 extra/person one gets the "privilege" of eating food that's about on a par with Macaroni Grill. The service is exceptional, but the food is "just OK" at best. During our three day cruise, we drew the following impressions: (1) Disney overbooks its cruises to the point that so many children and adults were in the pools that anyone wishing to join in would crush an existing occupant; (2) The food service crew follows your party around to the 3 major restaurants. I suppose this is reasonable on some level, but the regimented nature of the "dining" resembles boot camp. Servers make a big show of being attentive -- they know everyone's name, etc. and are quite adept -- but the food options are meager and the quality of the food is suspect. (3) Compared to other cruises we've taken, and to all-inclusive resorts, the breakfast buffet is reminiscent of basic training. No large quantities of cut fruit, made-to-order omelets, crepes, etc. No. Instead, you line up and ask for one of 3-4 types of fruit (the obvious ones), and are then handed one or two tiny slices. Huh? (4) The money-grubbing that's so evident at Disney theme parks is in full evidence. There's a coffee bar and a candy shop. Both charge extra (??). For the amount that one pays for a Disney cruise, having charges added for such niceties struck us as extremely tacky. Alcohol, certainly. But a $5 cup of dark roast coffee? The two ports that are visited on this cruise are Nassau and Disney's Castaway Cay. The former needs little explanation. A good place to buy diamonds and other pricey merchandise. Castaway Cay was a nice surprise; a privately owned island devoted to sand and sun. For an extra charge (nearly $1000) our group reserved a large bungalow to get out of the sun. It came equipped with non-alcoholic beverages, some light snacks, and towels. Food on the island is provided from two large cafeteria style grills. The food is fine; it's just what you'd expect at someone's backyard BBQ, with several additional dishes thrown in. Not up to the standard of any on-ship buffet, but OK. So, did our grandchildren and children have a good time? Yes, I think they did. As is obvious to anyone reading this review, the Disney Cruise Line isn't thinking about adults when it builds its ships and arranges events/food/entertainment. For what older adults pay for these trips, Disney simply does not measure up. If you're being dragged along to watch your grandchildren play, then maybe it's worth the money and aggravation. Having been spoiled by "real" cruise lines, we won't be back.

Exorbitant Price for Huge Crowd and Bad Food

Disney Dream Cruise Review by haysswh

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2018
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
As grandparents of 8, our children arranged this cruise on the basis of their previous experiences with Disney. This was our first encounter with the cruise line, and this review is essentially aimed at individuals whose sole purpose is NOT to dump their kids off in a holding pen so that they can go party. It is also important to note that our preferred cruise line is Oceania, and that we have traveled extensively on their ships over the past several years.

By the standard of Oceania, our experience was extremely disappointing. After spending the preceding night in a nearby hotel, we parked in the Disney lot and arrived early for our designated 12:15 boarding at Port Canaveral. This process greatly resembles waiting for popular rides at Disney World; long lines in a crowded and noisy venue. Once aboard, our stateroom -- a veranda suite -- was adequate. Not nearly as nice as cheaper rooms on Oceania (which has the reputation for being "upscale"). The only exceptional trait was the that bathroom was divided in half, so that there are two separate sinks (one with the toilet, the other with the shower). Dinner the first night was at the "special" restaurant -- for $30 extra/person one gets the "privilege" of eating food that's about on a par with Macaroni Grill. The service is exceptional, but the food is "just OK" at best. During our three day cruise, we drew the following impressions: (1) Disney overbooks its cruises to the point that so many children and adults were in the pools that anyone wishing to join in would crush an existing occupant; (2) The food service crew follows your party around to the 3 major restaurants. I suppose this is reasonable on some level, but the regimented nature of the "dining" resembles boot camp. Servers make a big show of being attentive -- they know everyone's name, etc. and are quite adept -- but the food options are meager and the quality of the food is suspect. (3) Compared to other cruises we've taken, and to all-inclusive resorts, the breakfast buffet is reminiscent of basic training. No large quantities of cut fruit, made-to-order omelets, crepes, etc. No. Instead, you line up and ask for one of 3-4 types of fruit (the obvious ones), and are then handed one or two tiny slices. Huh? (4) The money-grubbing that's so evident at Disney theme parks is in full evidence. There's a coffee bar and a candy shop. Both charge extra (??). For the amount that one pays for a Disney cruise, having charges added for such niceties struck us as extremely tacky. Alcohol, certainly. But a $5 cup of dark roast coffee?

The two ports that are visited on this cruise are Nassau and Disney's Castaway Cay. The former needs little explanation. A good place to buy diamonds and other pricey merchandise. Castaway Cay was a nice surprise; a privately owned island devoted to sand and sun. For an extra charge (nearly $1000) our group reserved a large bungalow to get out of the sun. It came equipped with non-alcoholic beverages, some light snacks, and towels. Food on the island is provided from two large cafeteria style grills. The food is fine; it's just what you'd expect at someone's backyard BBQ, with several additional dishes thrown in. Not up to the standard of any on-ship buffet, but OK.

So, did our grandchildren and children have a good time? Yes, I think they did. As is obvious to anyone reading this review, the Disney Cruise Line isn't thinking about adults when it builds its ships and arranges events/food/entertainment. For what older adults pay for these trips, Disney simply does not measure up. If you're being dragged along to watch your grandchildren play, then maybe it's worth the money and aggravation. Having been spoiled by "real" cruise lines, we won't be back.
haysswh’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
Cabin 04A 6102
Although not fancy, the cabin is well appointed and carefully laid out. The most important aspect is that these cabins are equipped to accommodate large families. Our granddaughter had the choice of either a bunk bed that descended from the ceiling, or a wall bed that can be dropped when needed. The bedding was comfortable, and everything was very clean and well-maintained.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews