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

RedSox68

Retired 2021 -- All the Time to Travel Now!
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
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.
We read that charge cards in the slot also work. So we bring an old cancelled no longer usable charge card and use that for the slot. If we leave it there, no harm done. However, I actually found using our room key the first time for the lights a good way to remember our keys as we always wanted to turn off the lights and then you'd have your key ;)
 

Dizzyworld

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 27, 2001
Sorry about your not so magical experiences, but I'm glad there were some good times in there too. On our first cruise on the Magic we had lots of things go wrong. I thought I'd never get back on a DCL ship ever again. My best friend lives in FL and got the FL rate for us the following year for the Wonder, and we decided to go with them. It was a totally positive experience.

I realized that each cruise had a different set of guests that can make or break a cruise. So no two cruises are a like. We did a 180 degree turn around. Most of our cruises have been terrific vacations. We did a B2B on the Dream last summer, and it was up there with one of our best vacations. :confused3

The pools are crowded. DCL dropped the ball on that area. We had been on two other non-DCL cruises and had the same pool issues there too. Luckily we are not big pool people. As for rude people, sadly they are everywhere and seem to be a growing bunch.

I hope whatever your next vacation is has the outcoming you wish for. :grouphug:
 

my2disneyboys

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Sorry about your not so magical experiences, but I'm glad there were some good times in there too. On our first cruise on the Magic we had lots of things go wrong. I thought I'd never get back on a DCL ship ever again. My best friend lives in FL and got the FL rate for us the following year for the Wonder, and we decided to go with them. It was a totally positive experience.

I realized that each cruise had a different set of guests that can make or break a cruise. So no two cruises are a like. We did a 180 degree turn around. Most of our cruises have been terrific vacations. We did a B2B on the Dream last summer, and it was up there with one of our best vacations. :confused3

The pools are crowded. DCL dropped the ball on that area. We had been on two other non-DCL cruises and had the same pool issues there too. Luckily we are not big pool people. As for rude people, sadly they are everywhere and seem to be a growing bunch.

I hope whatever your next vacation is has the outcoming you wish for. :grouphug:
Thank you!! And thanks for all the great replies.
 

dgundry

Disney's In My DNA
Joined
Feb 10, 2010
A few points about this particular cruise that haven't been mentioned:

1. It was completely sold out.
2. It was reported there were over 1,400 kids onboard.
3. CC docking was delayed until after 10am due to high winds. Most boating excursions were cancelled and the morning character greetings were all moved inside. Then on top of it, it rained for part of the afternoon.


I didn't have any frame of reference on comparing this to other cruises, but it was pretty crazy in the public areas most of the time.

We did have a completely different experience in the Rainforest Room, but I do know exactly what time you are talking about when it was packed. Mid-day on Nassau day is NOT the time to go to the Rainforest Room. Alternatively, the first evening after we left port was nearly empty (only 2 other guests there) and the morning of Castaway Cay until about 10:30am we were the only ones in the room. In all, we spent almost 8 hours in the RR and only once (mid-day on Nassau day) did I have to retreat across the hall to the Relaxation Room because the heated chairs and jacuzzis were all occupied. And I even got to see Chip and Dale working out in the Fitness Center one morning! That was great!
 

floydfamily4

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Thank you so much for sharing your honest review (especially on this board ;)). I'm sorry it wasn't as wonderful as you had hoped :hug: Your review is very helpful for some of us considering whether DCL is worth it. Thanks again!
 

kbaerncopf

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 6, 2012
I was planning on taking my daughter on one of these for her 16th birthday, but doesn't sound like it would be all that great. do you think a teenager would enjoy it more?
 

AmandaRG

DCL is my happy place!!!
Joined
Sep 3, 2010
The crowded pools have been a hot topic on these boards. There is some changes made to the Fantasy, but it remains to be seen how much they help.

We are doing a 4/3 back to back in a couple of months. We are hoping for a few decent movies on the 3-night portion as we will probably just be relaxing and avoiding the crowds.

It doesn't matter which ship you are on, the midship elevators are usually pretty crazy. When we were on the Magic, we stayed midship and used the stairs for the most part! It was WAY easier.
 

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  • StaciMay

    I love Disney!
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2010
    I also appreciate your honest opinion. I sailed on my first DCL cruise last April (4 day Dream), and had some mixed reviews.... crowded pools, poor wait staff, and bad food. I just wasn't sure it was worth the extra money for me. Well, I am giving it another shot this April but I could only get off work a couple of days during my son's spring break so I had no other option that the 3 night Dream. I hope it will be okay. I think it is all about expectations and I now know what to expect. We are gonna have an awesome time!!

    If the OP is a disney freak like me, I bet you give it another try one day like I did.
     

    mickey2000

    Pin trader
    Joined
    Jan 2, 2000
    I have to say, the crowds on the Dream didn't bother me near as much as the parents who were obviously on vacation from being "a parent". And some wonder what's wrong with kids these days.

    Anyway, this is posted today and seemed fitting. Goes to show it's not just DCL with issues but cruising in general.

    "Controlling Your Kids at Sea"

    http://todaytravel.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/03/9924872-controlling-your-kids-at-sea
    You mean like !
    "I'm on vacation NO ONE will tell me how to dress in the MDR" :scared1::scared1:

    Sad to say the world has changed :confused3:confused3
     

    Silverfox97

    PLATINUM Castaway Club
    Joined
    May 20, 2010
    OK, I advise: wait a while, then try a longer DCL cruise. Here's why:

    DH & I got married at WDW in 2005 and were there for 2 weeks. In the middle of our stay, we booked a 3-night cruise on the Wonder.

    Ugh. It was not only crowded, it was a whirlwind. Honestly. The DCL buses dropped us off at 2pm, we went to our stateroom (didn't even know lunch was available!!!), and had to try to get Palo scheduled, found out we never got the "Romance Package" that we requested for our honeymoon, and then it was already time for the Sail Away Party and dinner! The next 2 days were also crazy and we didn't see 1/2 of the ship! That was in 2005 and on the Wonder! (Also, I remember thinking how expensive it was....)

    It took us 5 years to try DCL again and we got re-hooked (this time we had a DD to take along). We booked a 5-night Double Dip (2 stops to CC) for Aug 2010 on the Wonder and loved every minute. Every single minute. So much, that we booked another 5 night double dip on the Magic for Jan 2011. Cruising off-season is amazing.

    The best cruise? The 7-night western Caribbean cruise on the Magic. It is SOOOOOOOOOO different from a 3-night cruise, from clientele, to wardrobe, to everything. People aren't trying to pack in everything, they are relaxing. We have four 7-night cruises scheduled (2 Easterns, 2 Westerns between this and next year).

    A crazy thing happened. We decided to book a 3-night cruise (leave Thurs). DD is off school Friday, so she only misses 1 day of preschool, and we were able to get FL resident rates making it a bargain. It will be our 5th DCL cruise and get us to Gold status, and we can check out the new ship/get the lay of the land before heading on the Fantasy. Plus, we can say we've been on all 4 ships. I am expecting to "enjoy" the pools & Aquaduck on Nassau day, but am fully expecting what you encountered. We are not looking forward to 4,000 people on the ship or at our beloved CC. I guess you can say I am lowering my expectations. To me, a 3-night cruise is like WDW during peak periods, which as an annual passholder who goes twice a month, we avoid every peak season possible and don't even drive thru Orlando on I-4 from Dec 21-Jan 2nd :lmao: That is a 3-night cruise.

    (Also, and this is true, we NEVER EVER take the elevators. Ever. Stairs all the way. Helps save the waistline, too. DD loves them as well and never complains.)

    It took us 5 years to try DCL again. Wait a while, decompress, try a longer one, and my opinion, try one on the Magic or Wonder. I would never say never......

    ETA: And, furthermore, our DD, who will be 5 in March, would love to spend every waking minute in the Kids Club, but we don't let her. She gets about 1 hr a day, if that. Palo time, and then we let her pick out a few things on the Navigator here and there that she'd like to attend. I can only speak to the most recent 3 cruises we took - the majority of the kids were very well behaved. Honestly. 3 night cruises are a whole different animal.....
     
  • jenseib

    Mommy to Claire
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    What a bummer. But for future reference, cruise ships pools are always crowded. And the Dreams seem to be worst of all because they are so small. This was a complaint since day 1. We never cruise for the pools though as ship pools are still pretty small compared to on land pools.

    We did find going late at night was the best time. My DD would take a 10 minute dip and be completely happy. With may 4 other kids in the pool with her.

    As for KTTW cards, you have to have them no matter what whenever getting off the ship. They have to account for everyone and who is on or off. I took a tour of the Dream this summer and we even had to have a card scanned when we got on and when we got off a few hours later.
    If you want to keep the lights on, use on old used gift card.

    I'm glad your kids loved the kids clubs. And you could've still went to the show while they were there.
    As for the elevators, I have only been on a few cruise ships, but none have great elevators. Always too small. We use the stairs mostly because of that. We do try to get a room near the stairs most of the time as well. (I actually have learned now to practice walking up steps before going to help strengthen myself. I didn't do it much before my last cruise and my legs were screaming by the end)
     

    SoCaOC-Mom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 30, 2010
    I have to say, the crowds on the Dream didn't bother me near as much as the parents who were obviously on vacation from being "a parent". And some wonder what's wrong with kids these days.

    Anyway, this is posted today and seemed fitting. Goes to show it's not just DCL with issues but cruising in general.

    "Controlling Your Kids at Sea"

    http://todaytravel.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/03/9924872-controlling-your-kids-at-sea
    I really didn't find out of control kids in my cruise other than a couple of minor things. There was one little girl on the Mickey slide who seemed to be unsupervised because at one point I was the only parent around with the exception of a couple more who came after so I know who was their child. She kept on running up the stairs which made me nervous and a few times she ran past other kids which IMO is cutting the line and rude. I didn't say anything but I was disappointed the CM didn't because there was a great potential for her to get hurt or hurt someone else.

    I saw one child leave with their mom and they slipped and fell- and they weren't running- it was just very slippery, so I know I wasn't being paranoid in my nervousness.

    There were also two teenaged boys in the elevator and when I pressed my floor, they said "NO". They did it when some one else got on too. Finally, I said "What's the problem, are you in some kind of race?". Then they jumped off on the next floor saying they would take the stairs. The weird thing was, they didn't even have a floor pressed. Even the lady in the evaporator commented that something was up.

    There was also a few toddlers behind us one night at the show who were talking a little bit to their mom, it was mildly distracting but having two little ones of my own, I am pretty tolerant of that sort of thing. Thankfully my kids were unusually quiet because they were so engrossed with the show.

    But more so, I came across kids that were very polite and respectful and even helpful. One morning I was carrying a tray of drinks and a plate of breakfast from Cabana's to my room and two tween age kids in the hall asked if I need any help and held the plate and tray for my while I opened the door.
     

    ruadisneyfan2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 20, 2006
    OK, I advise: wait a while, then try a longer DCL cruise. Here's why:

    DH & I got married at WDW in 2005 and were there for 2 weeks. In the middle of our stay, we booked a 3-night cruise on the Wonder.

    Ugh. It was not only crowded, it was a whirlwind. Honestly. The DCL buses dropped us off at 2pm, we went to our stateroom (didn't even know lunch was available!!!), and had to try to get Palo scheduled, found out we never got the "Romance Package" that we requested for our honeymoon, and then it was already time for the Sail Away Party and dinner! The next 2 days were also crazy and we didn't see 1/2 of the ship! That was in 2005 and on the Wonder! (Also, I remember thinking how expensive it was....)

    It took us 5 years to try DCL again and we got re-hooked (this time we had a DD to take along). We booked a 5-night Double Dip (2 stops to CC) for Aug 2010 on the Wonder and loved every minute. Every single minute. So much, that we booked another 5 night double dip on the Magic for Jan 2011. Cruising off-season is amazing.

    The best cruise? The 7-night western Caribbean cruise on the Magic. It is SOOOOOOOOOO different from a 3-night cruise, from clientele, to wardrobe, to everything. People aren't trying to pack in everything, they are relaxing. We have four 7-night cruises scheduled (2 Easterns, 2 Westerns between this and next year).

    A crazy thing happened. We decided to book a 3-night cruise (leave Thurs). DD is off school Friday, so she only misses 1 day of preschool, and we were able to get FL resident rates making it a bargain. It will be our 5th DCL cruise and get us to Gold status, and we can check out the new ship/get the lay of the land before heading on the Fantasy. Plus, we can say we've been on all 4 ships. I am expecting to "enjoy" the pools & Aquaduck on Nassau day, but am fully expecting what you encountered. We are not looking forward to 4,000 people on the ship or at our beloved CC. I guess you can say I am lowering my expectations. To me, a 3-night cruise is like WDW during peak periods, which as an annual passholder who goes twice a month, we avoid every peak season possible and don't even drive thru Orlando on I-4 from Dec 21-Jan 2nd :lmao: That is a 3-night cruise.

    (Also, and this is true, we NEVER EVER take the elevators. Ever. Stairs all the way. Helps save the waistline, too. DD loves them as well and never complains.)

    It took us 5 years to try DCL again. Wait a while, decompress, try a longer one, and my opinion, try one on the Magic or Wonder. I would never say never......

    ETA: And, furthermore, our DD, who will be 5 in March, would love to spend every waking minute in the Kids Club, but we don't let her. She gets about 1 hr a day, if that. Palo time, and then we let her pick out a few things on the Navigator here and there that she'd like to attend. I can only speak to the most recent 3 cruises we took - the majority of the kids were very well behaved. Honestly. 3 night cruises are a whole different animal.....
    Even my ds11 picked this up right away! :laughing: After 4 cruises on the Magic & 1 on the Wonder, he said his misses the old ships that were not so crowded and the kids were more polite. :lmao:
    He says he likes to cruise with "more experienced cruisers" :rotfl2: and is really looking forward to 7 nts on the Wonder going to Alaska.
     

    lesroi

    <font color=green>Glad to see it is up and running
    Joined
    Aug 31, 2000
    I wondered if our cruise was extra busy!!?? I have been reading reviews on here for the last year so wasn't really expecting it to be so crazy! I think you are right- it was SO hard to hear what they were saying because it was SO loud everwhere!! I am sure they probably said it and we just didnt hear.
    Edited because I thought you were referencing disembarking re: the KTTW cards.

    We also thought the crowds were terrible but I was expecting it with a 3-day. Luckily we are Florida residents so we didn't spend a ridiculous amount of money. I would not do a 3-day again at this time of year. Perhaps another time would be less crowded?

    Of course we will cruise Disney again, for the 4th time so it didn't ruin us.

    Tracy
     

    Silverfox97

    PLATINUM Castaway Club
    Joined
    May 20, 2010
    Even my ds11 picked this up right away! :laughing: After 4 cruises on the Magic & 1 on the Wonder, he said his misses the old ships that were not so crowded and the kids were more polite. :lmao:
    He says he likes to cruise with "more experienced cruisers" :rotfl2: and is really looking forward to 7 nts on the Wonder going to Alaska.
    Yep. My almost 5 year old says (and I quote), "A 3-night cruise? Yuck. Why did you even book a 3-night cruise?" She hasn't even sailed on it yet - we leave Thursday. Spoiled, yes, I agree. she knows more about WDW and DCL than most adults. Our friends that we cruised with in Aug 2010 are Platinum DCLers and thought about joining us due to the FL res rates for a fleeting moment, than decided no way. I love kids and their honesty, though.
     

    lesroi

    <font color=green>Glad to see it is up and running
    Joined
    Aug 31, 2000
    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:
    My husband is a runner and went down for the 5k as well. I figured when we could feel the ship still trying to dock at 9:30 that he would not be running any time soon. So much for 8:45, LOL! Of course, I don't know why ANY runner would choose to run on deck 4 when the fitness center is free of charge and free of kids and shuffleboard sticks!
     

    BeeTeacher

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2011
    My2DisneyBoys--I am sorry you had such a bad experience. I was also on this same cruise and my experience was very different, but then I did not have my kids with me so we did not feel obligated to hang out at the main pool.

    A few thoughts:

    The pool area was very crowded during certain times. We walked past it at 6pm one evening and it was not so bad, and when we boarded (at 11:50) it had like 5 people in it. There was not a single child in the kiddie zone splash area at that time. I would def hit the pool first thing when boarding, and then early evening.

    While the pool area was very loud, just a few feet away in the Quiet cove it was nicer. I was surprised at the occasional small child in this area, but they have to walk through if they use the fore elevators. Poor design...

    Elevators: we only had elevator problems during peak times--right before shows and after dinners. We learned after the first night to take the forward elevators--never had a problem going up or down.

    Dinner--I agree that AP was loud. The crush thing is obnoxious, and I adore crush. It would be impossible to have that many people in a dining room and not be loud, but it didn't seem near as loud as say Rainforest Cafe or T-Rex. And the food was WAY better...

    Kids--There were a lot of kids on this cruise. More than I expected. The only night I found it kid-crazy was Saturday night. Shutters was insane. The atrium area was a mess. But we never had an issue w kids running in the hall.

    Castaway cay--I think the issue here with the crowds getting off was that it took 2 hours to dock. He pulled back out once so lets consider ourselves lucky we got to go there AT ALL, I didn't think it was going to happen. I watched the whole thing from my veranda, and was worried! So the late-wakers were in the same crowds as the people getting off early. We got down to disembark at 11:00 am and not a soul was in line --we walked right up and got off.

    There were lots of announcements on the PA about needing the key card. We used a CVS card in our slot to keep the power on as our ket cards were in our lanyards.

    I've read your pre-trip report and like myself, it seems you may have set your expectations really high. I think this board is a double edged sword. You get a LOT of info but you also get a LOT of "this was the most magical cruise ever", and if you are like me, you read the good reports AND the bad, but chalked the bad ones up to "bad apples" or "they just don't bleed disney like me", and decided "That won't be MY experience".

    My saddest moment on this cruise was night one, Animators Palate. Dave and I were sat at a 4-top set for 2. I really wanted to dine with other couples. I actually started to cry and told dh we should just eat at Tow Maters. The server came over and asked me what was wrong and I felt like such a DORK, but told him. And within minutes he whisked us away to a table with another couple which were very nice to dine with.

    So consider that when you think of your experience. It was not what you had planned entirely, and yeah, the pool area was INSANE (I bet its worse in July tho). Look at what you didn't like and adjust for next time or just go you and hubby.

    And if you want peace--Deck 4 promenade was a ghost town at 5pm on Nassau day, and deck 12 all the way forward had very few people every time we went up. Your kids could have had a blast there looking forward as the ship sailed. We watched the fireworks with a dad and his two girls from Currents...and my complaint there would be the smokers and not the kids. We had a front row seat, and it was lovely.

    We rebooked a 7-night western on the fantasy. Will be interesting to compare the 2.
     
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2006
    I suppose I am part of the "different kind of crowd" that a 3-night attracts. We've never had any trouble with other guests, or anything really deal-breaking. Yes, there are 4,000 people on the ship. Yes, you are trying to cram as much as possible into 2 1/2 days. Having two small children, we try to be "roll with it" kind of people, and we make a few things a priority and know that we won't be able to do absolutely everything. I can see us taking a 4-night, but until my kids are older, I don't think we will do anything longer than that.
     

    Weedy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2008
    Why do people need to keep the lights on in the room when no one is there????
     

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