Just back...5 day double dip on the Disney Dream Christmas Cruise....Pro's and Con's

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by flyingcat2003, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. flyingcat2003

    flyingcat2003 DIS Veteran

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    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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  3. n8tivecaligirl

    n8tivecaligirl Mouseketeer

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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.

    ::yes::
     
  4. bahacca

    bahacca Mouseketeer

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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:thumbsup2
     
  5. n8tivecaligirl

    n8tivecaligirl Mouseketeer

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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 :lmao: I am a previous Wonder traveler and I think I will stick with the classic ships.
     
  6. RedSox68

    RedSox68 DIS Veteran

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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 :confused3

    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 :rolleyes2
     
  7. OrcaPotter

    OrcaPotter Lucky to be local to the Mouse

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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!
     
  8. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  9. n8tivecaligirl

    n8tivecaligirl Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  10. pryclssjen

    pryclssjen Earning My Ears

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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!
     
  11. woody73

    woody73 <font color=darkorange>Enjoyed the Pumpkinmen<br><

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    Crush is way too noisy.

    Woody
     
  12. chrismartinique

    chrismartinique Mouseketeer

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    The Dream is not a "training" ship. There is no DCL "training" ship.
     
  13. Four Swampers

    Four Swampers Picture is Disney Wonder at Cabo San Lucas

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    I agree that the Dream is a rough cruise. The servers and the cast seem rushed, and the ship is crowded. People cruising Disney the first time love the Dream, but repeat cruisers seem to gravitate to other ships.

    I will say that we loved the Fantasy. I spoke with CM's who said the behind the scenes hallways on the Dream are difficult to navigate and cause a lot of problems for servers, and those issues were fixed for the Fantasy. Everything flowed better on the Fantasy on our single Fantasy cruise. I think anyone looking for DCL service will be pleased with the Fantasy, not as much with the Dream. The restaurants remain big and loud on the Fantasy, though! :)
     
  14. momof2minnies

    momof2minnies DIS Veteran

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    The Dream was our 3rd cruise and we loved it.Yes it's big but the crowds didn't seem over powering- we were there Easter week 2012.

    Our waiters were ok but I hate when they hover anyway so it was not a problem. Other than refilling my drinks I would rather be left alone during dinner.

    We leave for the Fantasy in 6 days- I hope our servers don't start that EXCELLENT business on the comment card - I will ask them to stop.

    Linda
     
  15. flyingcat2003

    flyingcat2003 DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  16. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    This is what I've been lead to believe also....Training occurs on all ships.
     
  17. goeva

    goeva DIS Veteran

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    We had similar experiences on the Dream earlier this month.
    I requested booster seat when I booked for our cruise. There was no booster seat for him since day one. I asked our assistant server on both first and second night. He brought it out for my son on the first night and completely forgot about it on the 2nd. So I didn't bother to ask again for the rest of our cruise.
    I agreed with PP. The servers seem rushed and services were slow. Not cool!
    Other than that, we had a great time! :thumbsup2
     
  18. FLVacationGirl

    FLVacationGirl Mouseketeer

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    I was on the Dream 2 weeks ago and had a mixed experience as well. Neither my husband or I loved the MDRs and we are pretty easy going about food. The only item we loved was the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes appetizer at Animators. The servers were so nice but they seemed tired with the long days. Our head server told us our rating of the food is actually a rating of them. I guess because they would have been willing to get us different plates if we had asked. I ended up giving a very good rating for the food quality, for the servers, even though we didn't love what we ate.

    The ship was huge and crowded at times. I recall one grown man trying to guess which elevator would open first and cutting off every family waiting ahead of him. :confused3

    We only did a 3 night so now I'm wondering if we try a 7 night or maybe one of the smaller ships if we will fall in love with DCL? We did really enjoy the pool deck, hot tubs, large outdoor movie screen, the sail away party, the adult bars, pirate night, the midship detective agency, our stateroom, our stateroom host, Villians and Believe, the spa, how gorgeous the ship was, and absolutely everything about Castaway Cay. Our 6yo would always call us to be picked up exactly 1hr after being dropped off at the kid clubs. Our 9yo usually wanted to stay longer.
     
  19. jahber

    jahber DIS Veteran

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    Fwiw, we were never pushed to give an excellent rating when we sailed in Oct. Our server mentioned it on maybe the second or third night, we said we knew the drill, and he dropped it at that. Never mentioned it again. And on the comment card, there was a space to mark whether you felt pressured to give an excellent rating. We could honestly say no, which was a relief after the stories I had heard (but never experienced in three recent cruises). Must be the luck of the draw. Maybe we had great servers who never have to push for good ratings anyway?
     
  20. ruadisneyfan2

    ruadisneyfan2 DIS Veteran

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    We sailed the Dream 5 cruises now (2 were b2b) and just when I thought I was getting adjusted to the hugeness and crowds, last summer we sailed a 2 nt cruise to nowhere from NYC on the Magic and then to Alaska on the Wonder and loved the size & service and how much less crowded they are. Even on our Tracy Arm day when it seemed like EVERYONE was outside on deck 9 or 10, it still wasn't crowded like the Dream. We tried the Fantasy too and while we did enjoy it and we are booked for next Nov again, I think we might switch back to the Magic. The ol' girl is still our fav.:cloud9:

    As for pressure to score excellent for servers, there specifically is a question on the comment card asking guests if they felt pressured to give excellent ratings. OP, I hope you checked yes for that one. Ever since they put that question on the comment card, we haven't been pressured.
     
  21. woody73

    woody73 <font color=darkorange>Enjoyed the Pumpkinmen<br><

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    We sailed on the Fantasy earlier this month. Our serving team gave the excellent speech once. We were fine with that.

    Woody
     

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