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Old 03-04-2011, 11:59 PM   #1
Fairview
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Smile Disney Dream - 2/28 Trip Report - Great Vacation

Just got back from the the four night trip on the Dream and couldn't be happier. I was a little skeptical based on all of the negative things I read but in my families experience it was a great trip. Because of all the negative threads I read on here I wanted to post a different perspective.

Background: Been on 5 cruises before (and another for just the wife and I in a month) from Mexico to Europe. So not a newbie but not a super veteran. This trip was about a good time for the kids.

We are a family of four (kids 5 and 3.5)

Embarkation:

We arrived about 10:30 and it took about 15 minutes to get through the first check point just to let you through the gate and then about 5 minutes to get through security. Honestly, this could be streamlined. We were in a cat V concierge level room so we were able to go directly to the check in desk and then to the waiting area. After they picked the family of the day we were able to get on. We were on before noon.

Room:

Our room couldn't have been better. My wife commented a number of times about how much storage they were able to get in the room. We had several empty drawers. They aren't kidding about the bed being high for suitcases. Even with our suitcases our kids loved going under there and playing. On the kids side there is a switch for an over head night light which is genius.

Our shower had a standard shower head along with a rain fall head in the ceiling. It was the most water pressure I have ever seen in a hotel room of any type. All the furniture was very comfortable including the fold out bed.

The phones they give you could get sketchy at times and drop a call but overall very nice to have.

Kids stuff:

The mid-ship detective agency was a huge hit. Both kids did both mysteries and loved it. The Oceaneer Club and Lounge were amazing. On the last night my 5 year old cried all the way back to the room because he didn't want to leave. There was always ample staff there and they kept everyone busy. I only saw three kids crying in there ever and every time they had at least one staff member with them. One night my 3 year old went to a staffer and said she was ready to leave so they sent me a text and we got her. Easy. Can't say enough about this place.

The pools were good. They were crazy busy the afternoon of the first day but evened out after that. We came back around lunch time on the Castaway Cay day and it was empty. We had no lines for Aquaduck or the Mickey Slide (at any time was max a 2 minute wait) and lots of available chairs. Aquaduck was great and the height requirement change made my son able to go on it. I think he did it at least 10 times. The line for that varied from no wait to 20 minutes. That is the longest we waited but I think it got up to 30 minutes at times. At night it never had a line. The adult area always had space available and was quiet.

Characters:

They were around all the time. The big one seems to be the princess royal gathering. They did it 3 times on our trip and we waited for the last one which was stupid. Got in line 45 minutes early and it took a half hour to get through BUT came out of it with my three year old daughter so excited that she could hardly contain herself. Watching her meet them was was a great memory. Most everyone else was easier. Some lines would be 15 minutes others a minute or two. The characters also spent time in the kids clubs.

Shows

The Golden Mickey's were good along with the pirate show. We didn't go to the Villains show. They really hyped up the believe show but honestly it wasn't that good. I looked in the movie theater one time and it was 90% empty and HUGE.

Dining

This is the one area where they clearly have some kinks to work out and I think they know it. The kids menu was great and I always enjoyed the food but it wasn't the highlight of the trip. One night it was really slow (1 hr 15 min) for the main course. We commented about it to our head server and from then on it was no more than an hour for the whole meal.

Breakfast at Cabana's was great and the lunch buffet the one time we went wasn't great. Everything also seemed to have weird hours. Room service was quick and good.

Concierge

Can't say enough about the guys running Concierge. We debated getting a concierge level room and are really happy we did. The lounge always has food and drinks available (that you can take to your room) and the guys helped us out with a number of things and saved us a ton of time. Did staying in that type of room make a difference for the kids? No. Did it make a huge difference for my wife and I? Yes. It's not for everyone but if you are considering it I highly recommend it.

At all of the ports and at the end of the cruise we never waited more than 1-2 minutes to get on or get off the boat.

For my family the vacation was more about the boat than the ports because that's where the kids wanted to be. We already booked the 5 night on the Dream next year in the same type of room.
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Old 03-06-2011, 04:38 PM   #2
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Great review! Thank you
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:12 PM   #3
ModestMouse
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Thanks for the review! We were weighing concierge as well, still hadn't decided if it was worth it.
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:12 AM   #4
goingsouth
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thanks for taking the time to write. We have concierge (1st time) next year and it's encouraging to read positive reviews!
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