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. SuperDry

    SuperDry DIS Veteran

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    That's what I've been told as well. The explanation was that in addition to what you said, the server was responsible for recommending the food, and for noticing if you weren't happy with what you got.

    I found this to be a real problem, especially since the servers put so much emphasis on their ratings. I felt that the food was in most cases NOT excellent. In particular, the presentation of the food was stretched and exceeded the quality. It was as if upper management said "We want the food to look like the best of what you see on the Food Network" but was only willing to buy second-grade ingredients and considered it the crew's problem to somehow make it work. It's almost offensive that the system is set up so that it's considered the server's job to just make this all work and the only way to express other than an "excellent" rating for the food is to have it reflect negatively on the server.

    Having said that, I was a bit put off by the "hard sell" by the server the first time for the excellent ratings. I noticed that the last question on the comment card was something like "Did anyone pressure you to give only excellent ratings?" I answered Yes to this question. On my second sailing, not only was there no heavy pressure from the servers, they didn't even mention the comment card to us at all.

    I've done two 7-night sailings on the Fantasy. I can say from experience that it does seem very crowded the first couple of nights, with busy hallways and waits for the elevators. But for some reason, things calm down after that. It's kind of odd, since when not in port there are exactly the same number of guests on board, and the shows and dinner seatings are at exactly the same time each night, but things do calm down and it's not really an issue. Maybe enough people find alternate routes after a couple of days such that everyone is not trying to use the main elevator bank and atrium at the same time.
     
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  3. GatorMomInNC

    GatorMomInNC DIS Veteran

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    I sailed on the Fantasy earlier this month. The service was excellent and not ONE time was I told about putting "excellent" on the card (unlike my cruise on the Wonder, where the service was also excellent but I was given the "excellent" speech as well.) However, I also didn't get a comment card!!! Not sure what happened, never got one, but I did get an email survey.
     
  4. footballmouse

    footballmouse DIS Veteran

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    We were on the Dream back in Sept for our first ever cruise. We really enjoyed the ship. I didn't think it was too big but then again that was the first time I've ever been on a ship. I did think 3 days wasn't enough time to explore the ship. We also didn't get off as Nassau. The only place I felt way too crowded was at the pools. The last day we stayed at the adult pool all afternoon.

    My kids 11 & 13 LOVED the kid's club. Couldn't get them out of there.

    I will agree with you about the lack of activities for an older child. Our 18 yr old seemed bored so I hung out w/him most of the time. He tried the older club but there wasn't too many people there.

    We liked A.P., it was my favorite dining room. We enjoyed all the food we ate. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the pizza.

    I didn't think the wait time for the elevators was bad.

    We enjoyed all the shows including Villians. As a matter of fact my oldest was talking about that the other day saying how he liked it.
     
  5. LindaBabe

    LindaBabe <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

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    Always tell the truth on the comment cards! In addition, I *always* write a letter with specifics, including naming names, both "pats" and "pans" if there are any, and include it with my card.

    Management won't know, if we don't tell them, not just about servers but about other issues around the ship / excursions / etc.
     
  6. fredgirls

    fredgirls DIS Veteran

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    I will add to my new years resolutions... to be more honest on those cards!

    We felt VERY pressured to give an excellent in the review. The servers were OK. Until the last night. The assistant gave us his life story. It was a very moving story but involved killings of relatives and was absolutely not appropriate in front of the children! It put us off so much that the kids said they didn't want to eat in the restaurant this trip! I have talked them round, but may very well skip the last night this time and just drop off the tip envelopes to avoid the pressure. We'll just see who we get!
     
  7. flyingcat2003

    flyingcat2003 DIS Veteran

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    We should have been more honest in our reviews. I was afraid that a negative comment may get the wait staff fired. I didn't want to take that chance.
     
  8. jahber

    jahber DIS Veteran

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    It's hard for us, as well. But a poster on another thread suggested using the note paper in the drawer to write out a note or explanation and I think that's a great idea. Obviously DCL does listen (sometimes), or the question about servers pushing for excellent ratings wouldn't be there.
    Maybe if we start a letter-writing campaign to stop punishing servers for low-quality food...well, we can try, at least :)
     
  9. KTJ

    KTJ Earning My Ears

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    Holy cow - how inappropriate! That freaked me out a little bit!
     
  10. MichelleVW

    MichelleVW <font color=green>I call them "the people that liv

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    Going on the Dream on Wednesday for a 4 night cruise, but I did a 5 night on the Dream summer 2011.

    I loved the Villians show and can't wait to see it again.
    I personally didn't think the ship was too big. (previously have cruised on the Wonder in 2005).
    Elevators were a pain, but we took the stairs all the time for exercise so they really didn't effect us at all.
     
  11. fredgirls

    fredgirls DIS Veteran

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    I'm glad i'm not the only one! :goodvibes
    I'm all for ensuring my kids know how lucky they are to lead the life they do and they are globally aware of the plight of others, but this was so out of the blue on our 'magical' trip that it kind of took the wind out of our sails for the end of our trip.
     
  12. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    The issue of the serving staff needing "excellent" ratings has always been a problem. The teams with the highest ratings get preferred schedules, so it is important to them. However, I totally agree that the serving team should not be responsible for the food quality. In all honesty, most of the food on DCL is good but certainly not excellent. We've had better food on at least 2 other cruise lines. However, the DCL service typically is excellent. DCL provides no way for us to separate the two.

    To the poster who asked about size of ships...we prefer the Magic. We liked the high tech of the Fantasy, but not the noise and the crowds. In fact, we recently canceled our on board booking on the Fantasy in large part because family didn't want to go on that ship--one even commented that if it had been on the Magic, that would be different. We do have 3 more Magics booked at this point. Most of the features that poster mentioned are available on both ships...and we're hoping that the midship detective agency will be added in the 2013 dry dock.
     
  13. KTJ

    KTJ Earning My Ears

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    I completely agree with you - especially with an 8 year old! :eek:
    Let's preserve the innocence as long as possible!
     
  14. WendyLovesPeter

    WendyLovesPeter I wanna go back. I gotta go back to WDW!

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    this is a depressing thread for people approaching Dream cruise. Wish I had not read
     
  15. MichelleVW

    MichelleVW <font color=green>I call them "the people that liv

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    Don't let someone else's opinion detract from your excitement. I'm cruising on Wednesday and I am not depressed at all!
     
  16. jahber

    jahber DIS Veteran

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    Don't let it get you down! We've sailed on the Dream twice and would do it again. My first ever cruise was on the Dream, so she'll always have a special place in my heart. :)
     
  17. TChrist05

    TChrist05 DIS Veteran

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    We have also sailed on the Dream twice and recently off the Fantasy. We have 2 Dream and 1 Fantasy booked for 2013. Opinions are just that - opinions. Go on the ship and form your own. Just go on the ship and enjoy yourself and make some nice memories for you and your family.
     
  18. fredgirls

    fredgirls DIS Veteran

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    Also remember that these are one tiny part of the whole experience. Although we had an uncomfortable moment the overall experience was amazing. :goodvibes
     
  19. z28wiz

    z28wiz DIS Veteran DVC Gold

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    I've been on the dream several times and the last one was a double dip. Each and every time it was great.
     
  20. WendyLovesPeter

    WendyLovesPeter I wanna go back. I gotta go back to WDW!

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    people post with such conviction.... some of this is a matter of opinion.
     
  21. SJRB

    SJRB Earning My Ears

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    We were also on this cruise and our experience was great! This was our 7th cruise (we've cruised every ship and have been on 3+ doubled dips). Yes, areas can be crowded if you decide to participate at the peak time of any activity. Don't want a crowd? Visit the princesses on day 3,not day 1. Don't like a crowded elevator? Try another route. Shutters a nightmare? Don't look at your pics on the last night. Many times on this cruise I was alone in elevators, on Castaway Cay, on deck 13. It was quiet and relaxing. When it was busy and teenagers flocked around me, I changed my locale.

    We cruised with a 13 and 17 year old. They both said it was the best cruise yet. Villains tonight is one of our favs (it assumes you do know the characters). For Christmas DCL surprised us and we received a holiday lithograph, Mickey chocolate, and a 2013 calendar in each room. Along with a cute snow man towel sculpture with a DCL Santa hat.

    This was a wonderful cruise and I hope those of you about to take a Dream cruise enjoy the magic with out worrying about others experiences too much. I learned long ago to take everything with a grain of salt on the boards. It's whatever you make it. And hey I wish I was sitting in Royal Palace waiting on my glass on wine right now;)!
     

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