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-   -   Disney Dream trip report - April 11-14, 2013 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3096313)

fredandkell 04-14-2013 08:05 PM

Disney Dream trip report - April 11-14, 2013
 
Disney Cruise Review

Disney Dream – 3 Nights Bahamas – April 11-14, 2013

Embarkation—returned Hertz car to rental lot, which is 1 mile from terminal. Free shuttle was no problem. It was kind of confusing figuring out where to park and the line was quite long to pull into the terminal by vehicle. No bathrooms visible until you went through security and up the escalator. Carried on bags fine. Lines were long but moved pretty quickly. Castaway Club line seemed just as long/slow as regular line.

Rooms – Had two connecting Category 10A deluxe inside staterooms (9079 and 9579). Were sooo glad we got two rooms. It was way too claustrophobic for 4 people with just one room, plus with a 3- and 6-year old, it was nice to let them nap or go to bed earlier in one room and be able to be awake with the lights on in the other room. Rooms were identical and were equally good—can’t go wrong with either. Magical porthole was nice and really gave an illusion of looking out a window. Other family members had balcony rooms 8072 (nice, central location) and 10158 (at very end of ship, but larger room and enormous balcony…occasional whiffs of ship’s fuel and could hear music on balcony, though). We were hesitant to book a balcony for fear of children falling off but that seems unfounded—it looked safe. A bigger concern was no child lock to prevent toddlers from opening the door and going in the hallway! We moved chairs/tables in front of the door at night to keep the 3-year old from constantly opening the door.

Things we did not need – Nightlight. Our rooms had a “nightlight” button built-in the ceiling, plus the clocks had such a bright blue face/light that the nightlight was unnecessary. Jackets. We had brought light jackets thinking that it might get cold at night. Nope.

Things we wish we had—A 6-pack of cheap bottled water to bring on-board. Yes, there’s free water up on Deck 11…but it’s up on Deck 11. More snacks for the kids. Yes, there’s room service, but when the 3-year old is hungry, he does not want to wait. Thank God we had pretzels, Cheezits, etc. but not quite enough.

Things we were glad we brought – Two white noise machines. Our rooms were fairly quiet but when the ship was truckin’ it the first night, the walls were a little creaky. Also, the floors are metal, so you can hear people above you and also some kids running down the halls. Don’t get me wrong—it wasn’t terribly annoying (and I am a person who is annoyed by hotel noise), but I would have been much more distracted if not for the white noise machines. Water shoes. Kids were falling down right and left on the Nemo splashground—it’s quite slippery in bare feet. My 3-year old stopped busting it when he put on water socks. They were also handy at Castaway Cay due to shells/coral. Float from dollar store—packs flat, inflates for water fun, can be thrown away with no guilt at the end.

Things we liked – Aqua Duck (6-year old loved it, Mom and Dad loved it, even Grandma rode it). Disney’s Believe show. Character appearances…it was much less of a hassle and wait to see characters on the ship than at Disney World itself. The kids’ club seemed well-run and safe. I was worried that my 3-year old would be mowed down but he stayed with his sister and the counselors told me they really watch to make sure the little ones don’t get trampled, plus there are a lot of organized activities, such as sing-a-longs, so perhaps there’s less opportunity to fight over toys, etc. that way. The adult areas of the ship were really peaceful (not that we spent much time there, sadly). The Cove Café lattes were really tasty. Service was great everywhere. Castaway Cay was perfect—just what an island should be! Families on board generally supervised their children well…I would say overall the kids were very well-behaved…and there didn’t seem to be so much of a focus on midnight buffets and eating all the time like some cruises. We were parked next to the Carnival Sensation and our ship looked literally 10 times nicer. We also were parked next to the Norwegian Epic, which looked stunning.

Things we didn’t like—Too much TV all the time. Yes, I realize Disney is a movie empire, but there is TV playing at dinner, TV playing at the pool, etc. Thank God there wasn’t TV at Castaway Cay, but it wouldn’t have surprised me if there was! Also, there is such a thing as too much Disney music being played over the loudspeakers.  (Call me a Scrooge.) I was relieved to hear “normal” music at Castaway Cay. The Villains Tonight show was horrible. It was scary and inappropriate for small children with too many double entendre jokes, plus it was just plain badly written and boring. The spa was pretty but it is annoying that one is not allowed to use the Rainforest Room if one has already paid for a $118 massage. You’d think admission would be included if another spa service is purchased.

Things we would change next time – Three nights is not enough. We started our trip with 2 nights in Orlando and a day at Animal Kingdom (which, at almost $400 for 4 people, made me feel quite ripped off, and it was CROWDED!!). Next time, I would take a 4- or 5-day cruise. There were several parts of the ship that I never got to see. We would spend more time on the adult decks and put the kids in the clubs a little more (we only used it about 3.5 hours, which certainly does not pay for the hefty price difference one pays for Disney). I do think, however, that the higher price does attract a more polished crowd.

Disembarkation—Although the 6:45 am breakfast time was ghastly, and having to bring your luggage with you in order to be able to do express disembarkation was slightly annoying, it was really easy getting off the ship. No lines, no being herded like cattle like some other ships, no waiting forever. We flew out of Melbourne instead of Orlando, which I highly recommend. A very small airport with few restaurants, but easy to get in/out (only about 7 gates), short lines, free kids’ play area, free wi-fi, etc. No tolls on the roads to get there, and 20 minutes closer than Orlando.

Overall opinion – A customer-service oriented cruise line that takes care of its ships. We would definitely consider cruising with Disney again. Our kids loved it. As I said, it was a bit too commercial for me, but not so much that it would prevent me from going again.

wiigirl 04-14-2013 08:21 PM

In for your TR! :)

bbn1122 04-15-2013 08:56 AM

So, glad you had a nice time.....I agree 3 nights too short...

I also agree, higher cruise prices....a little more upscale guests....not saying I have not seen some questionable guest, but all and all DCL guest very nice cruisers.
:cloud9:

NurseDave 04-15-2013 09:52 AM

How was the weather? Leaving in a few days and wondering how it is with all the storms we still see in the rest of the country.

fredandkell 04-15-2013 09:59 AM

Our weather was perfect. About 81-82 during the day, 70 at night. Castaway Cay was actually about 72 until the afternoon, but never more than 80. Water actually a teeny bit chilly. It did rain a little bit the evening of Castaway Cay for 10 min or so but the nice thing about ships is that they can steer away from storms!

NurseDave 04-15-2013 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fredandkell (Post 48109534)
Our weather was perfect. About 81-82 during the day, 70 at night. Castaway Cay was actually about 72 until the afternoon, but never more than 80. Water actually a teeny bit chilly. It did rain a little bit the evening of Castaway Cay for 10 min or so but the nice thing about ships is that they can steer away from storms!

Great to hear! My gf is concerned about rough seas and getting sick.

kennedyandkailey 04-18-2013 01:58 PM

We were on this very same cruise... We too felt it was not long enough. We booked a 7 day western Carribean cruise with the on board offer before the end of the cruise. Aqua duck and Castaway Cay were definitely the highlights for our 8 and 10 year olds!!

kennedyandkailey 04-18-2013 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NurseDave (Post 48109789)

Great to hear! My gf is concerned about rough seas and getting sick.

I recommend taking Bonine just in case!!.... I did a cruise years ago and was very sick due to motion (and I do not get motion sick in other modes of transportation). I purchased Bonine tabs as a result of suggestions on this board and took the first one 2 days before departing... Followed with one every day afterwards until the last day. I did not feel sick once even though I could feel the motion a lot! Also, it does not make you drowsy like Dramamine does! It made for a wonderful cruise!

NurseDave 04-18-2013 04:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kennedyandkailey (Post 48143259)
I recommend taking Bonine just in case!!.... I did a cruise years ago and was very sick due to motion (and I do not get motion sick in other modes of transportation). I purchased Bonine tabs as a result of suggestions on this board and took the first one 2 days before departing... Followed with one every day afterwards until the last day. I did not feel sick once even though I could feel the motion a lot! Also, it does not make you drowsy like Dramamine does! It made for a wonderful cruise!

I took it one step more and got her the patch. Sailing next year is dependent on her liking this cruise so I'm not taking any chances!

TwinPrincessMermaids 04-19-2013 12:33 PM

We cruised this last weekend too
 
Hi Fellow Cruiser!

I didn't see this link before, so this is my first post in this section under Reports. I have already mentioned something basically similar about Villains in the main forum section (mainly the Undead zombie sequence that is unnecessary and not really what is captured in a typical Disney moment.)

I agree especially with you that the families on DCL were some of the nicest people we have cruised with (and because the public excursions always have rude people fighting over lounge chairs etc made you very happy to have CC people so relaxed). Regarding the kids, we saw one kid hit his dad and he was corrected sharply for it, that kind of thing happens, but it was the only misbehaving we saw all trip. The rest of the kids I think were in pure amazement of their trips and especially for the lil bitty ones, they were all some of the best kids we have seen. That fiesta dancing was priceless, absolutely so much fun to watch. At the parks, you usually see a lot of very tired lil kids crying in strollers. I didn't see that particularly on the cruise. I loved seeing lil princesses everywhere! I always stopped and told them how pretty they were.

I agree with just about everything you said, especially CC being an incredible value and experience. Eating at the pavillion area was like a giant family picnic and there were easy going people every where and no one was rushed. We thought the snorkeling there was outstanding too, if you can get out far enough to see where the fish like to be. But they ARE out there! Pelican plunge was great, the floaties were great. We fit some volleyball in. That day was superb.

By chance, your family wasn't the one or knew who might have taken our twin blonde 30 something princess photos in the DLounge the last night? I realize the ship was full of people, but I'm just putting that out there since I don't think we have gotten them yet, although I know it's early yet...

Disagree about the music from my personal standpoint. I was delighted to hear my favorite songs played all the time, but maybe that is because I grew up on Disney singing Ariel and Pocahontas and was completely taken by the Family karaoke in DLounge. That was for us! I also have Under The Sea channel playing for hours while I clean the house on my Pandora channel... because cleaning isn't very fun (and driving 13 hrs isn't either) so having the Disney music and all their variety - Phil Collins to Chimchiminy etc- makes it more fun. So yes, I actually choose to listen to that music, so hearing it everywhere made perfect sense to me.

We had a spectacular trip. Best 4 days in a very very long time (4 because we got a 4 park hopping day and dinner at the Contemporary on Wed before embarking) and I wish it was longer. But it didn't have to be either to be a great, great trip. I wouldn't have been able to take any more time off from work, and the Sea Lion excursions was out of this world, so the ports and the times we were there were all great. We even had time to do some basket market shopping and grab some Tortuga rum and cakes...yum!

If this hadn't been our second cruise in 2 months, I'm sure we would have found a way to book while we were there. I just have to hope my new Disney Chase card starts piling up the points and we can pay off some of our stuff now in hopes of doing a 4 or 7 day next year!

And i will just have to live vicariously on this board and with my Tortuga rum and cakes and amazing photographs until then..

**still hoping for princess photos speaking of which....**

Thanks! It was a pleasure cruising with ya!

Princess Samantha 05-04-2013 03:29 PM

great report

fredandkell 05-04-2013 05:59 PM

No, that wasn't us taking your pics, sorry!


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