Disappointing Adult Cruise On The Dream

Don’t shoot the messenger, but I’ve been told by 30 year olds that their experience on VV was more like an upscale carnival crowd, very clubby at night, some risqué outfit choices and could tell there was some of the pineapple crowd. They did not enjoy the cruise. I only cruise DCL.
I read a TON of VV reviews. This mirrors a lot of what I heard from people who sailed (not bloggers or YouTubers, but regular folks who sailed other lines; paid full fare and were posting their trip reports on the CruiseCritic forum.)

The heavy LGBTQ+ demographics, bigger pineapple crowd presence, etc. is all totally cool with me- I like that everyone feels free to do their thing, as long as I can go my own way too. Bonus: sounds like great people watching lol.

But it's the other stuff that concerns me. For example: heard it can be tough securing restaurant slots unless you're a RockStar status with early ressie privileges or have a savvy travel agent. Many wrote that they were stuck eating in the food court every night because reservations were full. Many mentioned a very tiny public pool compared to other cruiselines and how packed it always was.

I'd really like to try VV and probably will at some point: just not sure it'll be a good fit for us. It's a lot of money to risk when other, more traditional choices abound.
 
Don’t shoot the messenger, but I’ve been told by 30 year olds that their experience on VV was more like an upscale carnival crowd, very clubby at night, some risqué outfit choices and could tell there was some of the pineapple crowd. They did not enjoy the cruise. I only cruise DCL.
To be fair, and of course not to shoot the messenger, but since you’ve never actually experienced VV, I’m inclined to give a little more weight to the opinions of those who have actually cruised on the line. Even if VV might not be right for you, in my opinion, there are plenty of solid options out there, but of course I’m approaching this from what for my wife and I was a somewhat negative first impression of DCL. From what I’ve learned, the Dream might not have been for us the best adult choice of the Disney ships.
 
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The envelopes have been in place since the days before the auto-gratuity was in place. Some folks preferred to use cash (some still do and cancel the auto-gratuity), others pre-paid the recommended but would add cash (some still do). The little slip is just for the CM's personal accounting -- so they can reconcile what they expect as tips to what actually gets deposited to their account; probably more of a formality and I honestly don't know if the CMs take the time to do that anymore now that the vast majority of tips are electronic.

I don't think anyone should read any more into the tip envelope and what it "communicates" to the CM. While tips are auto-charged now, the guest still has full ability to remove any/all tips, add to those tips electronically or by cash. So simply using the envelope has no message in and of itself. The amount in my envelope given to the same server may be different than the amount in your envelope, even if both of us only put the little slip inside.
I find the tip envelopes annoying. Royal does the same thing. It’s been several years since the auto gratuity’s have been added. At this point you can’t say it’s just historical. The purpose of the tip envelopes is for people to add cash. There is no other reason.
 
Debarking the Wonder tomorrow after a fantastic Alaska cruise. Great dining room servers, great food and over all great cruise. After 30 plus Disney cruises I have had cruises like the OP had. If you cruise any cruise line enough you are most likely going to have a bad one now and then. I
 
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From what I’ve learned, the Dream might not have been for us the best adult choice of the Disney ships.

If you ever do consider to give DCL another try: if you book a concierge room on the Wonder, you will have a much better experience. And since it is an older ship, the concierge prices are a bit more reasonable.
 
I read a TON of VV reviews. This mirrors a lot of what I heard from people who sailed (not bloggers or YouTubers, but regular folks who sailed other lines; paid full fare and were posting their trip reports on the CruiseCritic forum.)

The heavy LGBTQ+ demographics, bigger pineapple crowd presence, etc. is all totally cool with me- I like that everyone feels free to do their thing, as long as I can go my own way too. Bonus: sounds like great people watching lol.

But it's the other stuff that concerns me. For example: heard it can be tough securing restaurant slots unless you're a RockStar status with early ressie privileges or have a savvy travel agent. Many wrote that they were stuck eating in the food court every night because reservations were full. Many mentioned a very tiny public pool compared to other cruiselines and how packed it always was.

I'd really like to try VV and probably will at some point: just not sure it'll be a good fit for us. It's a lot of money to risk when other, more traditional choices abound.
There is an element to all of this, in a way.

I would say that I find the majority of the other passengers to be just like they are on any other line. Will you have some that have a bit different demographic? Sure, but I agree with the above that it makes for great people watching.

I haven't had any issues getting restaurant reservations, but you do need to make them in advance. The app will tell you the date that bookings open up. For this past cruise, most everything was available for multiple weeks after booking opened. Now, I will say that when you learn how the system works, you can get in about any restaurant if you are willing to go later. Also, there tend to be a number of "last second" cancellations, so keep checking back. We actually ate at Pink Agave twice, the first time on our booked reservation, and the second time, they could seat us at the bar for full service without a reservation. I have no idea how it works for RockStars, as we've never sailed in a suite.

Pool is tiny, I'll agree there. However, if hanging out at the pool is your main focus of the cruise, VV is probably not the line for you.

To that point, while I love VV, I don't think that it is for everyone, especially those that may be easily offended. However, I would try it and see what you think yourself. Also, if you want to avoid more of a party crowd, I would definitely look more towards the 7 or 8 night cruises rather than the shorter ones out of Miami.
 
If you ever do consider to give DCL another try: if you book a concierge room on the Wonder, you will have a much better experience. And since it is an older ship, the concierge prices are a bit more reasonable.
As a DCL platinum, I just don't get the allure of concierge. I'd rather take two cruises...

That said, if it wasn't popular, they wouldn't be adding more of the rooms!
 
I read a TON of VV reviews. This mirrors a lot of what I heard from people who sailed (not bloggers or YouTubers, but regular folks who sailed other lines; paid full fare and were posting their trip reports on the CruiseCritic forum.)

The heavy LGBTQ+ demographics, bigger pineapple crowd presence, etc. is all totally cool with me- I like that everyone feels free to do their thing, as long as I can go my own way too. Bonus: sounds like great people watching lol.

But it's the other stuff that concerns me. For example: heard it can be tough securing restaurant slots unless you're a RockStar status with early ressie privileges or have a savvy travel agent. Many wrote that they were stuck eating in the food court every night because reservations were full. Many mentioned a very tiny public pool compared to other cruiselines and how packed it always was.

I'd really like to try VV and probably will at some point: just not sure it'll be a good fit for us. It's a lot of money to risk when other, more traditional choices abound.
We've done a few Virgin cruises, last one a couple weeks ago on Valiant Lady. We booked very last minute and while we were not able to get dining reservation prior to departure, once we got onboard we were able to book every single restaurant. They also hold some spots for walk-ins as well. Also, the galley food is awesome. I actually wouldn't mind eating there every night. There is so much variety. We're not pool people, but the pools looked like normal cruise line pools in regards to crowds, and at least there were no kids peeing in the pools.
 
As a DCL platinum, I just don't get the allure of concierge. I'd rather take two cruises...

That said, if it wasn't popular, they wouldn't be adding more of the rooms!

I don't either. While I will absolutely pay a premium for a premium experience when traveling, DCL concierge has me more baffled than any other upgrade travel experience that I can think of. The benefits are so minimal, that I honestly don't know that I would pay an extra 10% for them, let alone the prices DCL charges. That money is much better put into first class tickets for long flights, private tours, upgraded dining, etc., in my humble opinion.
 
I don't either. While I will absolutely pay a premium for a premium experience when traveling, DCL concierge has me more baffled than any other upgrade travel experience that I can think of. The benefits are so minimal, that I honestly don't know that I would pay an extra 10% for them, let alone the prices DCL charges. That money is much better put into first class tickets for long flights, private tours, upgraded dining, etc., in my humble opinion.

Back when we booked our honeymoon on the Dream in 2014, the price difference was minimal, to this day I regret not pouncing on the concierge room for an extra few hundred dollars.
 
If you ever do consider to give DCL another try: if you book a concierge room on the Wonder, you will have a much better experience. And since it is an older ship, the concierge prices are a bit more reasonable.
r.e. bold -- Booking dates and ships can indeed make a difference in pricing

As a DCL platinum, I just don't get the allure of concierge. I'd rather take two cruises...

That said, if it wasn't popular, they wouldn't be adding more of the rooms!

I don't either. While I will absolutely pay a premium for a premium experience when traveling, DCL concierge has me more baffled than any other upgrade travel experience that I can think of. The benefits are so minimal, that I honestly don't know that I would pay an extra 10% for them, let alone the prices DCL charges. That money is much better put into first class tickets for long flights, private tours, upgraded dining, etc., in my humble opinion.

Back when we booked our honeymoon on the Dream in 2014, the price difference was minimal, to this day I regret not pouncing on the concierge room for an extra few hundred dollars.


r.e. ^ bold and 2 other quotes -- When DW and I cruised Dream Concierge 2015/2017 pricing was much more reasonable providing a better return for additional cost. We simply feel that today's DCL pricing for value received does not compare with other lines. The Disney Experience and Pixie Dust is not a necessity for us.
 
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If you ever do consider to give DCL another try: if you book a concierge room on the Wonder, you will have a much better experience. And since it is an older ship, the concierge prices are a bit more reasonable.
I’m not sure concierge is worth the extra money, especially since there’s no separate dining room
 
I find the tip envelopes annoying. Royal does the same thing. It’s been several years since the auto gratuity’s have been added. At this point you can’t say it’s just historical. The purpose of the tip envelopes is for people to add cash. There is no other reason.
I couldn’t agree more. I got the impression as well that I was supposed to add extra cash, and the little green slips were kind of silly and ridiculous.
 
I couldn’t agree more. I got the impression as well that I was supposed to add extra cash, and the little green slips were kind of silly and ridiculous.
This makes me appreciate the way the Virgin (and, to a lesser extent, Princess if you have the Plus package) handles gratuities. It's just all included upfront into your fare. No need to tip extra because the staff are paid a much higher, competitive wage. In fact, a number of the crew we met were former DCL crew.

I wish all lines would actually do this, but they don't because they want you to think that your cruise is less expensive than it really is.
 
I couldn’t agree more. I got the impression as well that I was supposed to add extra cash, and the little green slips were kind of silly and ridiculous.
I remember royal doing it, but I don’t recall slips with it. They could just have envelopes at guest services for people that want to add extra cash. I’d rather they just increase the tips to keep up with inflation. If they had an option on the app to add more I probably would for great service. I never have cash and going to guess services is a chore.
 
As a DCL platinum, I just don't get the allure of concierge. I'd rather take two cruises...

That said, if it wasn't popular, they wouldn't be adding more of the rooms!
I dare say, as not traveling concierge, that a lot of the people who cruise concierge do so because they have the resources to splurge on concierge, and want Disney. And don't have the free time to take two cruises, so they maximize the cruise they can take.
 
I dare say, as not traveling concierge, that a lot of the people who cruise concierge do so because they have the resources to splurge on concierge, and want Disney. And don't have the free time to take two cruises, so they maximize the cruise they can take.

Exactly.
 
I dare say, as not traveling concierge, that a lot of the people who cruise concierge do so because they have the resources to splurge on concierge, and want Disney. And don't have the free time to take two cruises, so they maximize the cruise they can take.
No doubt. We could splurge as well, but my common sense just won’t allow me to waste all those funds on a service, for me, that has questionable value. No separate dining. A small lounge with not so good food. Priority seating for shows that aren’t my number one priority. I’d rather splurge on NCL’s The Haven, that really is a ship within a ship.
 
I dare say, as not traveling concierge, that a lot of the people who cruise concierge do so because they have the resources to splurge on concierge, and want Disney. And don't have the free time to take two cruises, so they maximize the cruise they can take.
No. I've talked to and overheard conversations indicating they took out loans, are paying on credit card over time or sacrificed in some other way. At least a number do not have the resources.
From this conversation I'm led to believe the benifits seem to be more psychological than concrete physical advantages when compared to other lines.
 

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