If you’ve been following along on my Disney adventures you may remember I recently headed to WDW for a few days before taking my first cruise aboard the Disney Dream. I spent a few days in WDW before heading to Port Canaveral to board the ship. My friends and I had a great time running around the parks and enjoying great meals. A big thank you goes out to all of our readers who made it out to the touringplans Hall of Presidents meet we held! It was so nice to see familiar faces and meet some new folks. I even got to sit with a couple of readers during the show and they didn’t make fun of me when I cried during the film! While I had a fantastic time on land, the main event was my four nights aboard the Dream.
Without giving a blow by blow of my four days at sea, I wanted to touch on some of the key things I thought folks would want to hear about if they are thinking about booking a cruise. So without further ado, lets start with arrival at the port. When we got to the terminal we dropped our bags at the curb and learned they would be placed in our cabins for us later. The terminal operations are very well organized and after checking in we hung out and waited for our number to be called to walk up the gangway. After a bit of running around when we boarded in order to book last minute experiences, we found our state room. My roommates Doug, Steve, and I opted for a room on the lowest deck because it was more affordable. Deck level wasn’t
as important to me as having a porthole which luckily we had. Along with our window (which doubled as a bench) the room came equipped with a queen sized bed, a sofa which folded into a twin bed, and another bed which folded out from the ceiling. The bathroom was split into a small compartment with a toilet and sink and additional room with another sink and the shower. I found the room to be fairly comfortable even with three adults sharing it. It certainly wasn’t huge, but with all of the cabinets and under bed storage we managed to share the space just fine.
While our stateroom was small, the rest of the Dream was enormous! There is no way to see everything on a ship measuring about 1,115 long on a four day journey, but what I saw was really beautiful. I love the navy blue, white, red, and yellow color scheme of the Dream’s exterior. It’s classic nautical design makes me long for my younger days spent sailing off the coast of New England. The interiors are full of rich wood and marble finishes are gorgeous and only add to the cruising experience. A lot of activities center around the 11th deck which is home to the pools and the famous Aquaduck. May I suggest riding the Aquaduck as soon as it opens like any good touringplanner would do? We were able to ride it several times first thing in the morning before the line got too long.
Along with riding the Aquaduck there are a ton of on board activities. There are shows every evening in the Walt Disney Theater of which we saw two. The first night The Golden Mickeys was cheesy, but cute and worth seeing. However, the second night’s show called Villains Tonight is 45 minutes of my life I will never get back (plus I left early). It was terrible in every way possible. The jokes were bad, the songs were lame, and it was down right painful. Disney’s Believe is also supposed to be good, but I did not get to see it on this trip. In addition to the nightly shows, there are movies playing both indoors and outside throughout the day, character meet and greets, kids activities, and adult only areas to enjoy. My friends and I particularly enjoyed the an area called the District where all most of the bars and and a nightclub are located.
My favorite on board activity was visiting the Senses spa. The spa offered a pass to enjoy their Rainforest area. This included unlimited access to their steam rooms and saunas, showers with aroma and light therapy, hot stone lounge chairs, and hot tubs over looking the water. A pass for this area for my four day cruise was $56 for individuals and $99 for couples. My cabinmate, Steve, and I decided we would be a couple for a few days so we could get the discount. Being able to actually able relax (and fall asleep in the hot stone lounge chair) was worth the price of admission. However, I would not recommend getting manicure and pedicure services here. I didn’t think it was anything special even though it was much more expensive than what I would pay at home. I did not get any other treatments during my trip, so I’m looking forward to maybe giving them a try next time.
The spa was great, but the most relaxing part of the trip (and my favorite) was our stop at Castaway Cay which is Disney’s private dedicated to providing fun in the sun for its cruise line passengers. A group of us were lucky enough to rent a cabana on the island and it was the best $80 I’ve spent in a long time. While the cabana experience is a price one, if you split the cost with friends it makes the cost much more tolerable. Plus the cabana rental also included snorkeling equipment, bike rentals, and great service. I was really looking forward to snorkeling and it didn’t disappoint! There is an area set up for guests to swim out to view man made habitats for beautiful fish. After quite a while in the water, we took most of the rest of the afternoon to relax in or near our cabana. A day at the beach is always great for me so I couldn’t speak more highly of our
I’m sure some of you are dying to know more about the food on the Dream. We tried each of the three main dining restaurants for dinner. I thought they were all decent, but nothing fantastic. The menu promised sophisticated dishes which often didn’t live up to their aspirations. The servers at dinner stayed with us throughout our trip so they got to know us a little which was nice. Something folks may want to note is that the cruise line restaurants did not seem to be as considerate about special dietary needs as they are at Walt Disney World. I don’t have any dietary issues, but some of my fellow travelers do, and they sometimes found it difficult to handle. The clear highlight of my culinary experiences on board had to be brunch at Palo. This restaurant only serves adults over 18 years old so it has a much more elegant flair than the main dining rooms. If you get the opportunity to have brunch here, by all means take it. The meal was massive with a appetizer buffet, pizza, a breakfast entree, a lunch entree, and dessert served. But everything morsel was delicious and completely worth the extra $20.
I could go on and on about all the things to see and do on board this beautiful vessel, but I think I’ll leave it at that for now. I will say, though, that I truly loved my first cruising experience. In fact, I “saved the date” for a future cruise because I loved it so much. When guests do this they get a 10% discount and an on board credit for their next trip. I can’t wait to sail with Disney again and check out some of the things I missed this time around.
What about you? Have you cruised on the Dream yet or do you have a trip planned? Let me know what you thought about your cruise!
Next week I’ll discuss the wonderful dinner my friends and I had at the California Grill during my recent trip!