The start of the Disney Dream cruise began in the terminal, but our first experience with the cruise ship included our grand entrance into the main atrium on the cruise ship, which seems ENORMOUS!
A 12 foot long crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling, a statue of Donald Duck awaits you at the base of the grand staircase, and a crew member escorts you into the ship with instructions about your stateroom and more importantly, where to get lunch.
Each family also receives a big announcement as you enter the ship with a warm welcome from the crew.
Since we just mentioned food, let’s talk about the dining and entertainment on the Disney Dream. You have three new restaurants in the rotational dining; Enchanted Garden, Animator’s Palate, and Royal Palace.
Although the theme is new, the decorations are beautiful and a big step up from the Wonder and the Magic and you’ll see many of your old favourites on the menus. Animator’s Palate remains very similar in menu, however the new show is amazing with Crush from Finding Nemo chatting and interacting with you and your family! You will see similarities between the Royal Palace menu and Triton’s/Lumiere’s. Enchanted Garden has the least similarities to another restaurant’s menu, but you will still see some familiar items. There are new additions in food options and we tried many of them. It seems that Disney Cruise Lines may still be working out a few kinks in the food prep department, as we found a wide variance in food quality from just OK to excellent! On a brand new ship with 60% completely new crew, little things like this are to be expected.
There are so many options for entertainment; I’m not even sure where to begin… For the adults, you have The District. Four nightclubs surround the main District Lounge. Although we were able to check these lounges out in our tour of the ship, during the Magical Preview cruise, we just didn’t ever have time to go out partying. Everyone that did go however raved about the experience. As on all Disney Cruises, we had a wonderful show every night of the cruise. Our line-up included the Golden Mickey’s (a new and improved version just for the Disney Dream), Villain’s Tonight, and the brand new Believe! We missed the Golden Mickey’s, but Villain’s Tonight and Believe were excellent.
The Disney Dream Walt Disney Theatre where you watch the shows also has been upgraded with an added balcony section and lots more technological upgrades to the theatre. Of course, you had the Disney cruise pirate party that everyone loves, including the only fireworks at sea from any cruise line. The new party showed dramatic improvement over the version on the older ships, including lots more activities and events to really add dimension to the whole evening. Our kids loved it and talked about it for the rest of the cruise.
By far, my favourite part of the Disney Dream; the children’s programming!!
Our kids absolutely LOVED the Oceaneer Club and Lab! In fact, we came to pick up our son one day and our daughter saw us and started crying saying, “I don’t want to go, yet!!”
Some teens that were travelling with us had a great time in Vibe, the teen club, too. In fact, we only saw them at dinner because they were so busy with activities of their own! Disney did an excellent job with all the children’s programming, but would you expect anything less?
The most anticipated new feature of the Disney Dream cruise ship, the Aquaduck.
Well, I rode it the very first day of the cruise, even before leaving Port Canaveral (it was a balmy 40-something degrees outside)!
You start off with your stomach in your throat as you shoot out over the ocean about 13 decks high! This is by far the best part of the ride, but you have to remember to look down to really appreciate the thrill.
From here, you get shot down a drop and then rocketed back up an incline, both times getting water rocketed into your neck and back — only the most temperature sensitive area of your body. I really like the beginning of the Aquaduck ride and the end is a bit ho-hum, but a good ride, nonetheless. Not sure I’d wait in too long a line, but if you get there right when they open, you should be OK.
Overall the Disney Dream cruise ship was amazing and I can’t wait to sail, again. It’s obvious that it’s a new ship and the crew is still getting their “sea legs” so to speak, but nothing major and nothing that took away from the quality of the cruise and ship.