Just back from Disney Dream 2/2-2/5

Dallas_Lady

I only work for the vacation money
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
Thanks for your honest review. I'm interested in seeing some of those crowd pictures. We are doing a 5 night in June so I know the ship will be at capacity.
 

SoCaOC-Mom

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 30, 2010
It must be frustrating to have such an experience after having paid quite a lot of money :hug:
We got off the Dream on 02/02 and thankfully had a totally different experience.

About the keycards: on our cruise there were several announcements in the mornings that reminded us to take our keycards with us when getting off the ship, but it was so loud in tge restaurants that the rest of my group couldn't hear properly, thankfully I was in the restrooms and heard everything. Maybe this happened to you, too?
The aircondition works without a card in the slot, does anybody know if you can charge ipads, phones etc. without a card?
I was on the same cruise as mimmi and share her opinion. But I guess on a 4 day cruise it's a different vibe because although the ship wasn't empty on Nassau day,it made the pool area bearable. On sea day I didn't even go near the pool because I knew it would be irritating.

I also knew the stage area would be crammed at the pirate party so we made a point to find a great spot on deck 12. It didn't seem to bother the kids at all that were weren't in the crowd in front of the stage- and where we were we could actually see- and not feel packed in.

We did forget the kids cards when we were going to CC too. I guess because I figured it was Disney's Island it wasn't like getting off the boat in a port so I didn't think to carry them down. DH ran back to get them, but we didnt go to CC until about 11 so the crowds thinned out. Which caused something funny to happen because on the way back, my oldest who is 4 insisted on 'doing it herself' and must have scanned her card twice (which would have checked her off the boat again) because later on guest services called me to make sure she was with us and on the ship.

I agree the situation with the elevators is bad which is why I was happy on deck 6, unless we were going to deck 11 or 12 we just took the stairs so it cut down on our frustration.
 

bluenosemickey

Canadian in search of sun
Joined
Jan 6, 2008
When I first read this post I was a little freaked! We are going on our first cruise in March 13-18, 5 nt. I know this OP was a 3 nighter, but ours is over march break and we expect it to be packed with lots of kids. But after thinking it over, I'm wondering if it isn't more like what I've heard from disney virgins after their first trip to WDW during a peak or busy season.

I've had friends say to me, after lowering their voice, looking around for any listeners, "our trip to Disney was the worst vacation we've ever had!" how do you do it twice a year?!! I sympathize with them and I know how it happens. If you don't know what you're doing, or don't have a plan to combat crowds, you can spend a lot of $$ to wait in lines and fight cranky, rude people. Of course that's not our Disney experiences, :lovestruc but we know what NOT to do. And more importantly, WHEN to do things.

It always seems that if you go against the crowds, therefore, go against what seems natural for a newbie, you are better off. You can't have the ship to yourself and therefore, you can't do everything right when you want to do it.

I'm going to ask for other crowd-busting tips from all you cruise gurus, but so far this is what I'm thinking:
- if you get onboard early enough and the pool is a priority, if it's still manageable, go for it immediately. But be prepared for it to be crowded, so plan
B is lunch and forget about the pool.
-after lunch, get out of the top deck area and explore some other area while you wait for your room.
-for top deck activities like parties, go directly to deck 12 (on dream/fantasy).
-don't prioritize the pools as your entertainment area for family fun, utilize the family club areas and some of the other less crowded areas of the ship.
-take your time getting off the ship at the ports, leave after 10 and you can just walk off.
-on CC, stay on the tram and go further over on the family beach, it's less crowded there and there's Cookies too for food over there.
-Don't arrive for dinner right on time, wait until 5 mins after to miss the line up to get in.
-Arrive for shows early and be prepared to wait if you want to sit in a good spot, bring some snacks from home to help with the wait for little ones.
-on the last morning, wait until as late as possible to leave and just walk off the ship. Unless you have to be somewhere early, then go to cabanas for breakfast.
ASAP.

Any other advice out there?:confused3
 

gretchnh

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
Okay well this brings me to another couple of questions...

With getting off at Castaway Cay, it looks like the main opinion is to wait until 10am to get off the boat.

1. Will there be chairs left on the beach if you wait?
2. I'm planning on running the Castaway Cay 5K when we dock. Will we be allowed to get off first? I wonder if I have to elbow my way down to the front to even let them know I'm running??

--Gretchen in Ks.
 

my2disneyboys

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Thanks for your honest review. I'm interested in seeing some of those crowd pictures. We are doing a 5 night in June so I know the ship will be at capacity.
Thanks! I will post tonight. I will post some beautiful pictures I took as well.
 

my2disneyboys

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Okay well this brings me to another couple of questions...

With getting off at Castaway Cay, it looks like the main opinion is to wait until 10am to get off the boat.

1. Will there be chairs left on the beach if you wait?
2. I'm planning on running the Castaway Cay 5K when we dock. Will we be allowed to get off first? I wonder if I have to elbow my way down to the front to even let them know I'm running??

--Gretchen in Ks.
I felt so bad for the runners on my trip and was glad I decided to skip it. maybe because it was windy but we were having a tough time docking. We ended up docking at 10:00AM and the scene was a madhouse. This I do have a picture of and as I took it I joked with my husband "I am taking this picture to remind myself to never go on a cruise again!" Everyone around me agreed and said how crazy it was! Plus if you are a runner, like we are.... the deck 4 is a tough place to run unless you are up VERY early. It actually goes through the shuffleboard courts. So when running you are dodging the sticks from the kids playing shuffleboard and when you are playing shuffleboard you are always moving out of the way for runners. :scared1:
 

CherylSue

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 14, 2010
When I first read this post I was a little freaked! We are going on our first cruise in March 13-18, 5 nt. I know this OP was a 3 nighter, but ours is over march break and we expect it to be packed with lots of kids. But after thinking it over, I'm wondering if it isn't more like what I've heard from disney virgins after their first trip to WDW during a peak or busy season.

I've had friends say to me, after lowering their voice, looking around for any listeners, "our trip to Disney was the worst vacation we've ever had!" how do you do it twice a year?!! I sympathize with them and I know how it happens. If you don't know what you're doing, or don't have a plan to combat crowds, you can spend a lot of $$ to wait in lines and fight cranky, rude people. Of course that's not our Disney experiences, :lovestruc but we know what NOT to do. And more importantly, WHEN to do things.

It always seems that if you go against the crowds, therefore, go against what seems natural for a newbie, you are better off. You can't have the ship to yourself and therefore, you can't do everything right when you want to do it.

I'm going to ask for other crowd-busting tips from all you cruise gurus, but so far this is what I'm thinking:
- if you get onboard early enough and the pool is a priority, if it's still manageable, go for it immediately. But be prepared for it to be crowded, so plan
B is lunch and forget about the pool.
-after lunch, get out of the top deck area and explore some other area while you wait for your room.
-for top deck activities like parties, go directly to deck 12 (on dream/fantasy).
-don't prioritize the pools as your entertainment area for family fun, utilize the family club areas and some of the other less crowded areas of the ship.
-take your time getting off the ship at the ports, leave after 10 and you can just walk off.
-on CC, stay on the tram and go further over on the family beach, it's less crowded there and there's Cookies too for food over there.
-Don't arrive for dinner right on time, wait until 5 mins after to miss the line up to get in.
-Arrive for shows early and be prepared to wait if you want to sit in a good spot, bring some snacks from home to help with the wait for little ones.
-on the last morning, wait until as late as possible to leave and just walk off the ship. Unless you have to be somewhere early, then, get room service and get off
ASAP.

Any other advice out there?:confused3
On the last morning you can't order room service.....but I suggest going to Cabanas to have breakfast instead of your assigned time in the dining room from the previous night. If you have early dining that breakfast is EARLY! :scared1: We wait till the last minute to leave our room, then we go to Cabanas for breakfast then waltz off the ship....MUCH more relaxing!
 

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  • my2disneyboys

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2008
    When I first read this post I was a little freaked! We are going on our first cruise in March 13-18, 5 nt. I know this OP was a 3 nighter, but ours is over march break and we expect it to be packed with lots of kids. But after thinking it over, I'm wondering if it isn't more like what I've heard from disney virgins after their first trip to WDW during a peak or busy season.

    I've had friends say to me, after lowering their voice, looking around for any listeners, "our trip to Disney was the worst vacation we've ever had!" how do you do it twice a year?!! I sympathize with them and I know how it happens. If you don't know what you're doing, or don't have a plan to combat crowds, you can spend a lot of $$ to wait in lines and fight cranky, rude people. Of course that's not our Disney experiences, :lovestruc but we know what NOT to do. And more importantly, WHEN to do things.

    It always seems that if you go against the crowds, therefore, go against what seems natural for a newbie, you are better off. You can't have the ship to yourself and therefore, you can't do everything right when you want to do it.

    I'm going to ask for other crowd-busting tips from all you cruise gurus, but so far this is what I'm thinking:
    - if you get onboard early enough and the pool is a priority, if it's still manageable, go for it immediately. But be prepared for it to be crowded, so plan
    B is lunch and forget about the pool.
    -after lunch, get out of the top deck area and explore some other area while you wait for your room.
    -for top deck activities like parties, go directly to deck 12 (on dream/fantasy).
    -don't prioritize the pools as your entertainment area for family fun, utilize the family club areas and some of the other less crowded areas of the ship.
    -take your time getting off the ship at the ports, leave after 10 and you can just walk off.
    -on CC, stay on the tram and go further over on the family beach, it's less crowded there and there's Cookies too for food over there.
    -Don't arrive for dinner right on time, wait until 5 mins after to miss the line up to get in.
    -Arrive for shows early and be prepared to wait if you want to sit in a good spot, bring some snacks from home to help with the wait for little ones.
    -on the last morning, wait until as late as possible to leave and just walk off the ship. Unless you have to be somewhere early, then, get room service and get off
    ASAP.

    Any other advice out there?:confused3
    It did remind me of our first trip to Disney the week after xmas!:scared1: We go offseason now, I plan a year in advance and I know exactly where we want to eat each night and book them 180-days in advance. We have our routine of parks in the morning- leaving after lunch for pool time and quiet time at the resort and then back to the parks or downtown disney at night. For us, our Disney vacations are perfect! I knew leaving the Wilderness Lodge on that last day that I might not like the cruise... its that feeling of knowing you love where you are and not knowing if you will love where you are going. But, hey- I am glad we went and tried it out. I know now that I will not ever do a 3 night Disney cruise again!
     

    my2disneyboys

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2008
    On the last morning you can't order room service.....but I suggest going to Cabanas to have breakfast instead of your assigned time in the dining room from the previous night. If you have early dining that breakfast is EARLY! :scared1: We wait till the last minute to leave our room, then we go to Cabanas for breakfast then waltz off the ship....MUCH more relaxing!
    this is exactly what we did. Went to cabanas on the last morning around 8:00 and we were off the ship by 8:30!
     
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2006
    When I first read this post I was a little freaked! We are going on our first cruise in March 13-18, 5 nt. I know this OP was a 3 nighter, but ours is over march break and we expect it to be packed with lots of kids. But after thinking it over, I'm wondering if it isn't more like what I've heard from disney virgins after their first trip to WDW during a peak or busy season.

    I've had friends say to me, after lowering their voice, looking around for any listeners, "our trip to Disney was the worst vacation we've ever had!" how do you do it twice a year?!! I sympathize with them and I know how it happens. If you don't know what you're doing, or don't have a plan to combat crowds, you can spend a lot of $$ to wait in lines and fight cranky, rude people. Of course that's not our Disney experiences, :lovestruc but we know what NOT to do. And more importantly, WHEN to do things.

    It always seems that if you go against the crowds, therefore, go against what seems natural for a newbie, you are better off. You can't have the ship to yourself and therefore, you can't do everything right when you want to do it.

    I'm going to ask for other crowd-busting tips from all you cruise gurus, but so far this is what I'm thinking:
    - if you get onboard early enough and the pool is a priority, if it's still manageable, go for it immediately. But be prepared for it to be crowded, so plan
    B is lunch and forget about the pool.
    -after lunch, get out of the top deck area and explore some other area while you wait for your room.
    -for top deck activities like parties, go directly to deck 12 (on dream/fantasy).
    -don't prioritize the pools as your entertainment area for family fun, utilize the family club areas and some of the other less crowded areas of the ship.
    -take your time getting off the ship at the ports, leave after 10 and you can just walk off.
    -on CC, stay on the tram and go further over on the family beach, it's less crowded there and there's Cookies too for food over there.
    -Don't arrive for dinner right on time, wait until 5 mins after to miss the line up to get in.
    -Arrive for shows early and be prepared to wait if you want to sit in a good spot, bring some snacks from home to help with the wait for little ones.
    -on the last morning, wait until as late as possible to leave and just walk off the ship. Unless you have to be somewhere early, then, get room service and get off
    ASAP.

    Any other advice out there?:confused3
    All of this is exactly what I would suggest (except there is no room service on the last morning).

    - Avoid the midship elevators and take the stairs whenever possible. (We love staying on decks 9 and 10 and always taking the stairs up to 11, then we always take the stairs going down, and take the forward and aft elevators going up.)

    ETA: Also, read your Navigators cover to cover so you know exactly what is going on and don't miss any important information!
     

    lilpooh108

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 17, 2010
    I totally agree about Senses. For our Oct 2011 cruise, DH booked me a spa appt way in advance. I even attended the 1st day tour and raffle just to check out the rooms, ambience, meet the attendants.

    After the raffle I asked an attendant for specifics on a maternity massage. She couldn't tell me a thing, and she kept avoiding eye contact and just seemed really disinterested. I cancelled my appt on the spot.

    2 Days later, I got a call on our Wave phone (which I just happened to be holding otherwise would have missed the call) about missing my spa appt which they were going to charge me for. Luckily I remembered the name of the girl that I spoke to and that settled it.

    For our May 2011 cruise, my family of 3 was yelled at by people during the Sail Away party for sitting on a lounger on Deck 12 overlooking the party (only 1 lounger for 3 of us) since we got to the party 30 minutes early. They said we were taking up too much space even thought they arrived later than us. I stood up, pushed the lounger back and shockingly (insert sarcasm here) the 3 of us took up the same amount of space :rolleyes1 Some people are just really really rude. On the Wonder, tons of people were sitting on chairs and loungers at the sail away party on deck 10 overlooking the party. No one made it a big deal. Most families shared 1 or 2 chairs or loungers. During our Oct cruise we opted to Sail Away on our verandah and ordered room service. Best idea ever! Tons of great pics, no one shoving us or screaming. Mellow send off.

    We didn't let these things ruin our cruise, by any means. I actually forgot this happened until I read the OP's post, but the vibe on the Dream is definitely very different than the vibe on our 1st cruise on the Wonder.

    My parents cruised Alaska on the Wonder last year and said that they met really nice people in general. We've enjoyed our cruises on the Dream, but I think the 3-day Dream cruise just draws a very different crowd.
     
  • sherpasmom

    I dream in Disney
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2008
    I'm sorry you didn't have the magical of cruises but this information is useful to a Disney cruising newbie who knows the parks and whattodo/not to do like the back of her hand! I had anticipated pool use being marginal since I've been on other cruises and just don't enjoy crowds...this cruise is actually a taster for dd to see if she'd enjoy a longer/ Med cruise...

    so keep the tips a comin'! I'm on the fastly approaching cruise with Gretchen (Hi Gretchen) and will report back my findings.

    I will say I've been on 7 night cruises and the vibe of that cruise was ruder people? It's weird! So I dunno that it has to do with length of cruise specifically but I do know people trying to rush do have a different energy about them...

    will be interesting....racheting down expectations even as I type! :scared1:
     

    SoCaOC-Mom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 30, 2010
    Okay well this brings me to another couple of questions...

    With getting off at Castaway Cay, it looks like the main opinion is to wait until 10am to get off the boat.

    1. Will there be chairs left on the beach if you wait?
    2. I'm planning on running the Castaway Cay 5K when we dock. Will we be allowed to get off first? I wonder if I have to elbow my way down to the front to even let them know I'm running??

    --Gretchen in Ks.
    We had no trouble finding chairs or loungers. Granted it was 4 adults and 4 kid so we had to do some moving of things- but we managed to get 4 loungers and 4 chairs for the kids. The dads ended up finding 2 more chairs to take down to the water level to sit in while watching the kids.

    I don't know about the 5k run- but I think it starts before most people get off the ship.
     

    JUSTAND

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 6, 2009
    i tink we may stick to the two smaller ships then we are thinking of the TA in 2013
     

    sorul82?

    <font color=red>I have an alibi<br><font color=lim
    Joined
    Apr 12, 2006
    If swimming as a family is one of the highlights of your vacations, then I would suggest something other than cruising. Or, maybe do some research of other cruise lines and ease of using pools.

    I'm sorry your cruise wasn't as hoped. Our DCL cruise wasn't great, but it was good.
     

    WiscBill

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2005
    To the OP,
    I am sorry you had a less than magical time but I do thank you for sharing your comments. As others have said, the vibe on the 3-day cruises is very different than all the other cruises, including the 4 night. I have done one three night cruise and I would never, ever do it again, even if it was a back-to-back. I do hope you try another cruise and have the time to try a longer one, I think you will find it a very different (and far more pleasant) experience. I look forward to seeing the pictures from this cruise and contrasting with our 4 night in January.

    Regarding not having the KTW card getting off, that happens all the time and is a larger problem on the Dream. I kept leaving mine in the light slot on our four day in January and I'm used to the system since it is quite common in Europe.

    You are also correct in that the pools and elevators (especially midship) are inadequate. I hope they do something to correct this on the Fantasy(they are adding additional pool space) but until the Dream gets a major drydock all that can be done is to follow the coping strategies suggested here (take the forward and aft elevators whenever possible, use the pools on off hours).
     

    joelnkelly

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 6, 2010
    everyone has given really good responses to your cruise. the only response I can say is "never do a 3 day cruise again!". We did a 3 day back in Oct. and it was a mad house, everyone is trying their hardest to cram everything in on those 3 days and it becomes a mad house. We have a 7 day booked in March of 2013 on the Fantasy. Our girls loved the cruise but to me it was a bit rushed.
     

    Dallas_Lady

    I only work for the vacation money
    Joined
    Dec 20, 2001
    I felt so bad for the runners on my trip and was glad I decided to skip it. maybe because it was windy but we were having a tough time docking. We ended up docking at 10:00AM and the scene was a madhouse.
    I'm wondering if this added to the long lines on the CC day. I thought they were supposed to dock around 8:30 or so.
     

    SoCaOC-Mom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 30, 2010
    I'm wondering if this added to the long lines on the CC day. I thought they were supposed to dock around 8:30 or so.
    Thank goodness they were able to dock. If they weren't then missing CC would have certainly and understandably added to frustration and disappointment to all the cruisers effected.

    At 10 am on CC I was able to walk right on the aqua duck and even later in the after noon since we went back to the ship early it was only about a 10 minute wait. Not to mention the pool area wasn't so crazy.
     

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