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Old 12-29-2012, 09:49 AM   #1
flyingcat2003
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Just back...5 day double dip on the Disney Dream Christmas Cruise....Pro's and Con's

Hi everyone. We just got back from the 5 day double dip Christmas cruise on the Disney Dream. This was our second Disney cruise (the first was on the Magic). The Dream is a beautiful ship but LARGE. We had a wonderful time. I wanted to make a pro's and con's list to see if anyone had the same experiences or felt the same way as we did....

Pro's
-Quiet Cove
-Cove Cafe
-Golden Mickey's Show
-Believe Show
-Great sit down lunches
-Great sit down breakfasts
-Great stateroom host
-New Ship
-Beautiful



Con's
-Too crowded
-Ship is very big and takes some time to get from one place to another
-Our dinner servers (which will remain nameless bc I don't want to get anyone in trouble), were sub par at best. Our server took our order, delivered the food and we never saw him again. Our assistant server was slow on drink refills, spilled a whole glass of water in me and my sons lap, used our napkins to clean it up (and we finished dinner without napkins) and never apologized that we had to eat with soaking wet laps. We never experienced anything like this with Disney before.
-The common areas were hot
-Animator's Palate is too noisy with Crush
-Food at dinner was sub par the first night but got better
-Horrible Villain's show
-Elevators slow
-If you have teenagers (like we do) that don't want to go to the club (he's 17) there isn't much entertainment. He is too old for the "kids stuff" but too young for the "adult stuff"
-The servers REALLY PUSH you to give them excellent ratings on the comment card at the end of the cruise. I gave our servers an excellent rating even thought I felt the service was anything but. I was afraid they would get fired if I told the truth. They put so much emphases on these ratings that you felt if they got anything less than excellent, then they would be locked away in a dungeon for a time out.

As of now, we agree that we prefer the Magic over the Dream. Let me know if you agree, disagree or have any similar experiences.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:59 AM   #2
n8tivecaligirl
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We were on this one too... Villians was so horrible that we NEVER went to the rest of the shows because Villians was the first night, and our group of mostly adults wanted to get out of there asap (5 adults 2 children). There was seriously a moment of "What the heck is going on right now?!?!".

-Our servers were not what we were used to on a DCL ship. BUT we found out the reason, the Dream is the training ship for the rest of the fleet. So they are all "newbies" at the beginning of their contracts (most not all)

-We didn't feel it was too crowded but weren't impressed with the Christmas aspect of the trip. It wasn't anything special.

-Agree that the ship is HUGE and a LOT of walking. Even after a 5 day trip we only saw probably 60% of the ship.

Glad we weren't the only ones who won't be doing another christmas cruise. It was great don't get me wrong but nothing special.

Heading back to a classic ship in 2014, these ones are just too big for the amount of time you have on them.

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Old 12-29-2012, 10:12 AM   #3
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So do you think a min. of 7 days would be needed for this ship to fully enjoy it?
Also, I don't understand why you would lie on a comment card. If they didn't do their job to the Disney standard, then they should KNOW so they can be retrained, told about the issues and LEARN from their mistakes. If they think everything is kunkey Dorie, they will continue to let them work the floor at this sub-par pace. I understand you may have felt pressured, but PLEASE consider all of the rest of the people cruising after you-that the people who served you will think they did well and not change. You can probably email or call DCL and explain issues you had and the names of the servers so that they can IMPROVE
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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Honestly I think you would need more than 7 days. Or at least 2-3 sea days so you can't go anywhere else I am a previous Wonder traveler and I think I will stick with the classic ships.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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JMO, but if the Dream is a training ship, then I think being honest about the service you received on the comment card can only help them for the future. Giving these type of servers excellent reviews will only allow them to continue in their sub par services for future passengers

As far as the "excellent" speech, which has been talked about on this site many many times, after 9 DCL cruises I stop them in their tracks on night one that I don't want to hear any pitches about what to put on our comment cards. After that, it is smooth sailing (so to speak). BTW, we didn't get any of those kinds of speeches when we sailed on NCL and HAL, and they also give out comment cards
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:33 AM   #6
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Where did the concept that the Dream is a "training ship" come from?

If it is accurate, that is certainly a change from the past. When the Dream launched, 1/3-1/2 of the crew from each of the other ships were transferred to the Dream; she opened with a bit over 1/2 experienced crew and a bit under 1/2 relatively new hires. Even these new hires had serious training before the official launch. Again, when the Fantasy was in preparation, many crew members from the other ships were transferred. A particularly big "rush" was right after Christmas in preparation for the spring opening. They practiced serving each other, had dinners with invited guests, etc. after their basic training.

New hires can be brought onto any ship after their basic training shoreside. On the Magic, Topsiders serves as a training restaurant at dinner--newer CMs get additional practice with smaller crowds and less pressure (and also work fast food outlets during the day).

I would encourage you to be honest in comments as well as in reporting concerns to the head server. Accurate feedback will result in training and improvement.

And I totally agree that Villain's has issues. We've seen 3 different permutations of the show and they ALL needed help. In fact, on 2 occasions I was sitting with "theater people" in real life. One was a teacher, one a theater major in college. In each case they volunteered that the show could be fixed with relatively little cost and effort, but "as is" it stunk. Don't know why DCL can't get this one right....or maybe it is an issue with the people currently doing their planning and preparation of the shows.

We do agree that the service on the ships after the new ones launched was significantly reduced from the classic ships, but this has occurred on all the ships as each has many new CMs.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:42 AM   #7
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There are quite a few cast members who were on the MV but it is now the Training ship because their theory is (according to our head server) if someone can make it on such a short turn around they can do the easier longer trips. I guess it is pretty hectic for them on the 3 or 4 day trips so they start everyone out on the Dream so they can learn how to work quicker(IMO), handle more people and under more stress. Then its easier when the switch.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:25 AM   #8
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I'm curious--what was so terrible about the Villains show? I will agree, it was not my favorite when I went last January, and it felt awkward most of the time, but it wasn't necessarily terrible. We're actors off-step? Off-key? Honestly, with the amount of complaints about that show on these boards, you'd think Disney would start thinking about replacing it... But when I went the show was mostly full, so I guess the show would have to be empty to change anything.

I'm used to bigger ships and had no problem with the Dream's size, but I'll be on the Wonder next June, so I'm starting to worry it'll feel too small!
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8tivecaligirl View Post
We were on this one too... Villians was so horrible that we NEVER went to the rest of the shows because Villians was the first night, and our group of mostly adults wanted to get out of there asap (5 adults 2 children). There was seriously a moment of "What the heck is going on right now?!?!".

-Our servers were not what we were used to on a DCL ship. BUT we found out the reason, the Dream is the training ship for the rest of the fleet. So they are all "newbies" at the beginning of their contracts (most not all)

-We didn't feel it was too crowded but weren't impressed with the Christmas aspect of the trip. It wasn't anything special.

-Agree that the ship is HUGE and a LOT of walking. Even after a 5 day trip we only saw probably 60% of the ship.

Glad we weren't the only ones who won't be doing another christmas cruise. It was great don't get me wrong but nothing special.

Heading back to a classic ship in 2014, these ones are just too big for the amount of time you have on them.


n8tivecaligirl I think we will stick to the classic ships. If I had known that the Dream was a training ship I would have been more honest on the comment card but honestly since the comment card is tied to my room number and we were told by at least 4 people 2 on 2 different occasions that they needed excellent ratings I was afraid to give them anything less. I didn't want spit in my soup lol. I intend to write Disney Cruise Line with our servers names and issues.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:00 AM   #10
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We were on this cruise too and I thought we were the only ones who felt the same way. We had no issues with the size of the ship and getting around. We also stayed on the ship during the day at Nassau which gave us lots of time to enjoy the ship. Our biggest issue was the dinner was sooooo slow. It was a good two hours every dinner. With our four year old there is only so much you can do to entertain them that long. The restaurants were so loud I could hardly hear my DH across the table so meals were long. Our first cruise was on the Magic as well and it didn't seem to take that long. Our servers were fine i just dont think the kitchen can keep up pace. I feel like DCL should have staggered dining times in the restaurant when they increased passenger size. Otherwise we had a great time. The two days at CC were fabulous!
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:11 AM   #11
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The Dream is not a "training" ship. There is no DCL "training" ship.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismartinique View Post
The Dream is not a "training" ship. There is no DCL "training" ship.
This is what I've been lead to believe also....Training occurs on all ships.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:24 PM   #13
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We were on the 5th sailing of the Fantasy earlier this year. One server was from the Magic and he hated the Fantasy because it was bigger and farther to the dining room. His assistant was new, it was his second sailing. He had been a server on another line and was having a hard time adjusting to the asst position. He tried but it was not the service we are used to on a cruise.

I will say that I will no longer give them excellent marks on the survey if I do not get excellent service. And I hope I have the guts to tell them that if they push me for it. I will not hesitate to tip extra and well for extra service, but we really do not have high expectations, just basic needs met. Sometimes it was like pulling teeth to get that. When I hear of people getting meat cut up for kids I laugh. We had 6 kids and a one armed handicapped person that needed the aid of a child and got nothing from them.

I think it is hit or miss on all lines. I read other boards and sailed on Carnival last year. I counted and our server at dinner had 28 people he waited on. He had been doing cruises for over 20 years and we got as good service as on DCL, not great but adequate. But considering the number of people he had he did a great job.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:56 PM   #14
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We did B2B Dream at Easter and did not feel it was crowded at all. Loved it. We did chose the Fantasy for our next cruise as we liked the ports(St. Thomas/San Juan). We loved the Dream, don't go in thinking you won't. Can't please everyone.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:28 PM   #15
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Good to know, I will avoid the Villains show...
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