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Old 04-30-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
PWammy
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First DCL, April 25th Dream

My four year old daughter and I sailed on the 3-night Dream last week. I had a good time, but not a great time and if I ever sail DCL again, it will be purely a result of begging from my daughter! At the end of the day, the trip was for her, and she had a good time!

The first day was a horrible experience for me. No brochure, DVD, past cruiser's experience could have prepared me for the absolute mayhem and energy of all those kids and families. Folks refer to it as family cruising, but it is truly kiddie cruising and that took a minute for me to get used to. But it also seemed that the cruisers were either complete novices or highly experienced and both ends of the spectrum can be annoying. Spent some time and the ridiculously small and dirty Mickey pool. We weren't even a full sailing and it was packed. Even though it is a shallow pool, I was amazed by the parents who just left their kids in there unsupervised. Even the Nemo area was chaos with toddlers and pre-schoolers all mixed in together. We had dinner at the Enchanted Garden which was so-so; the chicken was wet, the desserts weren't great. We had wonderful table mates though; another mother/daughter cruising duo and the mom and I, as well as the kids were the same age. My daughter spent a little time in Oceaneer Club, but it wasn't a huge hit for me, too big, too many kids, too broad an age group. Golden Mickey's was great and the day ended on a high note as we got pics with Cinderella, Tiana and Donald Duck. Spent some time in line chatting with another mom who clued me in on getting the most out of meet and greets!!

Started the second day off with a Princess Meet and Greet and breakfast; both were very nice. Did a port excursion to Ardastra gardens, which was okay. I rarely do excursions in Nassau, but it was cute. We had dinner at the Royal Table and the food was way better than Enchanted Garden.
A few more meet and greets throughout the evening and my daughter loved the Pirate activities.

The third day was pretty much at Castaway Cay; I loved, loved, loved this area way more than any other cruiseline beach I have ever been too; with the exception of the food - it was horrible. The ribs were wet and flavorless, and the chicken options were both spicy (cajun) which didn't make sense to me with so many kids. Again, we had some great character meets and my daughter was over the moon. Dinner at AP was nice, the Crush character wasn't as good as the Epcot version, but he was funny, engaging. Enjoyed our waitstaff, but got sick of them "encouraging" us to do the surveys the next day; I kind of got it the first time they asked, didn't need it repeated.

On debark day, we skipped breakfast and were off the boat quickly; spent a night at All Star Music and headed home.

All in all, I enjoyed it, didn't love it, I think I am just an RCCL girl. This probably won't be my only DCL experience, but it's not something I plan to repeat anytime soon unless I get a great deal again. We had a nice stateroom, deck 10 verandah, I actually preferred the overhang so the direct sun wasn't hitting us and I could enjoy my coffee each morning. The shows were great, the food was good, kids club was too big and hectic, the Senses spa was an absolute joke and seems to be more for people who don't frequent spas on a regular basis.

Last edited by PWammy; 04-30-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:37 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing...
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:56 AM   #3
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Maybe try again when she is older my kids were 10 and 14 when we went and very independent. We all loved it. I agree food wasn't the best. Because my kids were older we didn't do any character meetings and pretty much stayed away from the crowds. My youngest had a choice to be with the younger kids or go to the edge my oldest was in the vibe, both clubs are much smaller and age groups aren't as spread out, they loved it
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:40 PM   #4
PWammy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missyp View Post
Maybe try again when she is older my kids were 10 and 14 when we went and very independent. We all loved it. I agree food wasn't the best. Because my kids were older we didn't do any character meetings and pretty much stayed away from the crowds. My youngest had a choice to be with the younger kids or go to the edge my oldest was in the vibe, both clubs are much smaller and age groups aren't as spread out, they loved it
I'm thinking when she's around 8, we'll try it again; maybe travel with a friend or cousin; but she had a blast and that's all that really mattered to me!
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:51 PM   #5
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I would also try a longer cruise. Love the 7-day cruises at minimum. There are still kids but just doesn't seem as crowded and has a more laid back atmosphere.
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