Thursday, August 14, 2014

Disney Dream 4 Night Cruise: A Review

    When my husband said "Let's go on a Disney Cruise" I got very excited.  I hadn't even been to Disney World or Disneyland or anywhere Disney.  We decided to plan a trip to Disney World and take a cruise while we were there.  We figured, "Why not?  We have already paid to fly this far we might as well live it up!"

   So being a total Disney virgin (with the exception of hitting Downtown Disney once we landed in Orlando) we hopped on the Disney Dream for a 4 night cruise.  We had 3 stops.  Our first stop was Castaway Cay (Disney's private island), then on to Nassau and back to Castaway Cay. I have terrible motion sickness so I was afraid to do anything more than 4 nights, even though I had been reassured by many people I wouldn't feel the boat rock.  I made sure to get the patch that goes behind my ear from my doctor to prevent motion sickness.  There was no way I was going to spend this cruise in the room feeling ill!

    Immediately upon boarding the ship we headed to the buffet and got some fantastic food.  Yes, it's a buffet, but it is a Disney buffet.  The buffet was full of fabulous food and we ate until we could eat no more.  After filling our bellies up to the point of possible explosion, we decided to walk it off and check out the ship.  We immediately ran into Snow White just roaming the hallway.  She grabbed my daughter's hand and said "Let's go for a walk" (in her ever so Snow White voice) and they walked and talked and it was magical.

Then on the next floor we ran into Cinderella.

    At this point we were just in shock because we had never met characters before.  We had no idea it would be as simple as just walking around in the hallways.  We had always heard of all the "character meet and greets" at Disney World and how long the lines and wait times were.  We thought maybe we were dreaming.  Could it really be this simple to meet characters? We then began to wonder who we might meet if we just kept roaming the halls.

Well lookie here!  It's Mickey Mouse!

Children are free to roam the adult areas when first boarding the ship.  So we made sure and checked out everything.  This is one of the adult lounges named "Pink".

We then headed to the sail away party, but we didn't have the best of views because we didn't get there early enough.  We were too busy checking out the ship and playing the "Detective Agency" game where the pictures on the walls come to life.  It is really neat and I highly recommend it.  You can pick up your Detective Agency sheet mid ship.

We had the most amazing server, named Benjamin, who cut up my daughter's steak every single night.  Mommy was REALLY on vacation. 

The food is absolutely fabulous!

    We had the 8:15pm dinner seating which I highly recommend.  If you plan excursions you barely have time to make it back to the ship and get cleaned up and get to dinner on time if you have the early dinner seating which I think is around 5:15.

    What I totally love is at 9pm a couple of Youth Activities leaders will walk through the restaurant and pick up your child and take them to the Oceaneer's Lab/Club.  That way the adults can finish their meal in peace and the children are off having a fabulous time.

    Upon waking the next morning we were already docked at Castaway Cay.  We had breakfast at the buffet because we wanted to get off the boat quickly and get on the island.  We got great seats right by the water slides on Castaway Cay.  There are two slides.  One is open air and the other one is a closed in tube.  These slides are FAST and loads of fun!

    We had lunch at Cookies on the beach.  Not the quality of food on the boat, but it is included in the price and convenient.  They serve mainly fresh fruit, chips, hot dogs, hamburgers, bbq ribs and some other sides that I don't remember.  They also have ice cream on the island.  Ice cream on the ship and ice cream on the island makes Mommy very happy!  Also, sometimes they offer flavors on the island that they do not serve on the ship.

    There is a kids club actually on the island too.  We decided to check our daughter into the club and go check out the adults only side of the island.  We realized there is hardly anyone on the adults side and had it almost completely to ourselves.  It was amazing!  I have heard there is a restaurant on the adults side too, but we have not tried it yet.  Rumor has it that it is better than Cookies!

     When we got back on the ship we hit the showers and then sent our daughter to the Oceaneer's Lab (which we would have to tear her out of every time we wanted her to join us for something) and my husband and I took a nap.  If we had the early dinner seating we would have had to go straight to dinner.  Thank goodness we had the 8:15pm seating.  Otherwise we would have been so dog tired at dinner.

    The next morning we woke up in Nassau.  We had purchased an excursion to Atlantis.  I am going to be straight forward here.  I learned a lesson this day.  Actually more than one lesson.  I now know I do not like purchasing excursions.  You have to meet (usually in the Walt Disney Theater) and then you get a sticker of a Disney character.  A person will then come to the theater carrying that sign.  You then follow that sign like a herd of cattle.  Then you pile on to buses and begin your journey.  To me there is so much wasted time.  There is a benefit to booking the excursions through Disney though.  If the excursion gets back late the ship WILL NOT leave without you.  You book something outside of Disney and you get back will be waving to the ship as it sales away.

   I won't even bother showing you pictures of Atlantis or Nassau because we will never get off the ship in Nassau again.  The excursion was the most expensive excursion we have ever paid for.  The driver of the bus did almost a time share type of spew and then when we got to Atlantis it was almost like we were in another time share type of environment before they finally let us go.  Soooo many people were there and by then finding a seat for 3 people together was not easy.  Atlantis was very pretty, but Nassau was not.  It was a very scary place.  Bars were on all of the windows and I would never walk around Nassau.  If we ever take another cruise that stops in Nassau then we won't get off the ship.

    That evening my husband and I had reservations for Remy.  It is an additional cost of $75 per person, but it is out of this world amazing!  It will take about 3 hours to complete all of the courses.  I highly recommend it.  At least try it once.

    The third day was a day at sea.  I love days at sea.  If you are the kind of person that wants something to do every minute Disney gives you that.  There are so many different activities going on around the ship.  I am the kind of person who just likes to lay back and relax.  So we dropped our daughter off at the Oceaneer's Lab when it opened (9am) and we took pictures around the ship and relaxed.  It was also "Pirate Night" and had I known how seriously Disney people take "Pirate Night" I would have brought my costume.  Adults and kids dress up.  It is a BIG DEAL!  Pirate Night is when they shoot fireworks off out over the ocean.  Disney is the only cruise line that does this.  It is magical.

The chandelier in the atrium is gorgeous!

    Our last day was another stop at Castaway Cay.  Why yes please!  It is such a magical island.  We did some snorkeling and had fun on the beach.  It was also a very sad day because it was our last day on the ship.  We did finish it off with a dinner at Palo.  Palo is the other restaurant that has an additional charge.  It is $25 per person.  It is really good too, but nothing can top Remy.

    We loved cruising on the Disney Dream.  It is an absolutely beautiful ship.  The Cast Members are amazing.  The customer service is like nothing else I had ever experienced.  The food was superb.  A 4 day cruise is too short.  From then on we have made sure and cruised a 7 night or more cruise.  It seems like you just get on the ship and unwind and it is time to pack and get off.  If all you have to spare are 4 nights, then by all means give yourself the gift of cruising with Disney.

 (Editor's Note: Addicted to Mickey is a full service travel agency specializing in Disney Travel. We would be honored to help you make reservations for a Magical Disney Cruise Line (or any other Disney Vacation) experience as part of our no-cost concierge services! For a limited time we are offering a special gift for those booking cruises through the end of 2014. Please contact us for a  FREE no-obligation quote!)

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