Thinkking of changing from 3 day Dream to 4 day Wonder out of Miami

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by jaimeadk, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. jaimeadk

    jaimeadk Mouseketeer

    Feb 25, 2008
    I've been reading the trip reports from the 3 day Dream cruises. They sound so busy, crowded, and stressful! We are thinking of switching to the 4 day Wonder out of Miami. Here are my questions:

    Will the Wonder seem less crowded? I know it's got less people on it but it's also a smaller boat. If we research how to zig when everyone else zags, will it feel less crowded than the Dream?

    We are looking at the last sailing out of Miami for 2013. Because it's the last sailing, will we run into cast members who are working their final sailing and will not be as helpful and friendly?

    I know everyone says 4 days are so much better than 3 but we will be in Orlando so getting to Miami is more work but we are willing to do it if you all with experience think it will be a better experience. TIA

    We have 3 kids (9, 7, and 4).
  2. ldo

    ldo DIS Veteran

    Apr 13, 2007
    depends when you are going? Prime summer/holiday time--then yes, Dream is crowded, but you can still have fun. The negatives--with either 3 or 4 day Dream when lots of kids: my son (9) really did not get any personal attention at the kids club. It was pretty much fend for yourself (ex--no seats left at messy science-no CM attempted to include DS or guide him to an alternative). I was very disappointed. My kids would have preferred a "lower tech" kids club with more old-fashioned crafts, games.But, dining was fine, movies and entertainment were fine, Castaway Cay was fine, and the Detective Agency was fine. The pool is not much bigger than Magic--but lots more people, so that will seem a lot more crowded and getting a deck chair can be an issue. But, we just didn't use the pools at all--we have pools at home and at hotels--my kids wanted to do things on the ship or kids club, so not an issue.
    Personally, with kids, I would do the 4 day---the extra day makes it feel more like a vacation--we did a 3 day one time on RCL---we have done several 4 days, including the Dream. 4 days is the minimum we feel to be worth the price and trouble to get there. Thus, if cost is the same, I would do the Magic.
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  4. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2003
    Alll of the ships sail full all the time if DCL can arrange it. If they aren't filling with full priced guests, DCL will offer TA or FL res or CM specials to fill season affects how much profit DCL can get but not usually how full the ships are.

    The Wonder will feel much less crowded. Yes, it is smaller, but it has far fewer guests.

    The CM schedules have nothing to do with the ship schedules. After each cruise, some CM's are leaving on vacation while others are getting on. There is no massive exodus at any point. Even though you are on the last Miami cruise, the ship is heading somewhere next and will need crew. At those rare times when there are no guests on the ship, the crew will have extra work (cleaning) assignments to keep her looking beautiful. They work thru dry docks, etc. at different duties.

    What will be different is that you won't have the "high tech" experience of the newer ships...but there is plenty to keep your gang busy and happy. My opinion is that 4 night is far better than a 3 night.
  5. ldo

    ldo DIS Veteran

    Apr 13, 2007
    Season can affect how many people are on board, and how many kids. For the Dream, the Max capacity is 4000 (average of 3 persons per cabin). I have heard of other Dream cruises having more in the range of 3000-3500 at lower season times. Our Easter cruise hit the Max with kids---no kids under 12 could be booked into a room at 9 months out from the cruise.
    So, if you were going in off-season, it could be less crowded, esp. in kids clubs, if most kids are in school.
  6. Silverfox97

    Silverfox97 PLATINUM Castaway Club

    May 20, 2010
    I would switch for sure. Longer cruise, more intimate feel. I love the classic ships :lovestruc
  7. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

    Apr 17, 2010
    I cruised the Dream during "off season" in Oct 2011 and it was very crowded, more crowded than our May 2011 cruise which was surprising.

    For example, we took pics w/Minne and the Minnie line itself was about 40 min long--the line wrapped from Minnie alongside the cafe back to the restrooms by the staircase.

    DH and I have recently decided to never do a 3-nt cruise again. It just feels like a rat race...constantly trying to squeeze activities in and running around trying to get character pics.

    You'll have a wonderful time on the 4-nt. We love the Wonder.
  8. brewcrew

    brewcrew Mouseketeer

    Apr 25, 2009
    My husband and I did a 3 day Dream last December 1st. We thought the ship was unbelievably quiet and not crowded. We had an absolute blast.

    We also cruised the Dream in July 2011 (with all 4 of the kiddos) and it was busy but we never felt crowded or ignored.
  9. flexsmom

    flexsmom <a href="" targ

    Sep 18, 2002
    We've been on a full Wonder, a full Magic, and a full Dream - I can honestly say that the only time I ever felt really crowded was on the Dream. The layout is just not conducive to separating masses of people so that you have even the illusion of being on a less-than-full ship. I think that merging the pool areas between the Mickey and family pools really was a disservice to the Dream in that regard (again - just our opinion). The Dream does have some really cool technological fun stuff - but the Wonder and the Magic are also tons of fun! I'd opt for the 4-day cruise.
  10. OrcaPotter

    OrcaPotter Lucky to be local to the Mouse

    May 21, 2005
    I did the 4-night on the Dream last month and was shocked at the number of kids on board considering it was mid-January. Honestly, despite the full ship, it never felt too crowded. However, our party was only adults, so we didn't really hang out in the family/kid pool areas long at all. This was honestly the only crowded spot on the ship that I could see. Even on our sea day, the wait to do the mid-ship detective agency game wasn't long. However, since it was just me playing, I opted to wait until late in the evening to look for everything so I didn't have to compete with kids! :rotfl: Honestly, it's all about timing. With no kids, we didn't have to worry too much about eating at certain times or even being somewhere at certain times. We ordered room service as our wake-up call, so that held us until we could leisurely get dressed and then head up to breakfast. By then, the crowd had already eaten. Lunch was the same. We arrived at dinner a few minutes after seating, so never had to wait for our table.

    Do you live in Orlando? Frankly, unless there's an itinerary we're dying to do, we will never sail out of Miami again. It's too far of a drive for anything we could do out of Port Canaveral; it's less than a 50 minute commute for us. Honestly, the Wonder doing such short itineraries out of Miami that the Dream is doing out of PC is really silly, IMHO. I'd say maybe they're doing it to help alleviate the Dream crowds--but DCL never sails under capacity, anyway. Sure, the crowding of the pools is (reportedly) a lot less on the Wonder ... so if swimming is your highlight, then go for it. Otherwise, the Dream makes a lot more sense.
  11. epcotrulz

    epcotrulz Mouseketeer

    May 13, 2007
    As much as I loved the AquaDuck and Remy on the Dream, it is not enough to pull me away from the Magic or Wonder again. Did we have fun on our four night trip on the Dream (Apr '11)? Absolutely. Will we ever go on her again? No. The crowds were just too much and the set-up of Quiet Cove and the bar area is just perplexing.

    I say go for the Wonder!
  12. WDdaughter

    WDdaughter Mouseketeer

    Mar 11, 2007
    Ditto! Just finished my 9th cruise. 8 have been on the Magic and Wonder, only 1 was on the Dream and 1 was enough. Way too crowded and busy on the bigger ship. They have more or less just added more cabins to cram more people on the ship but haven't enlarged the pool or common areas enough to keep those areas comfortable. Cabanas is very confusing, some people line up at the different food stations, others don't and I'm not sure what you are actually supposed to do! It always felt like someone was cutting in. The Quiet Cove area is silly. It's certainly not the passengers fault that the design of the ship dumps families from the elevators into the "adult only" areas. I was told on my recent cruise by a cast member that they've had so many complaints about the pool areas on the Dream that they tried to make some adjustments for the Fantasy like adding a second "adult only" area at the front of the ship.

    I've also noticed that the shorter the cruise, the more rowdy and excitable both kids and adults tend to be.

    For my money, the extra day on the smaller classic Wonder is well worth the minor hassle to get to Miami. I have back to back 4 and 5 day cruises booked on the Wonder for next winter!:dance3:

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