Disney Dream cruise ship assessment: Principally magic with a little bit of mayhem

TPG’s Erica Silverstein accepted a free journey from Disney Cruise Line to cruise on Disney Dream. The opinions expressed beneath are fully hers and weren’t topic to assessment by the road.

A Disney Dream cruise is not only for households with younger kids who love Mickey Mouse and princesses. Disney lovers of all ages, together with many {couples} who select to get married on board or on the cruise line’s non-public island, will admire setting sail in an immersive Disney environment.

A Disney Dream crusing can also be engaging to vacationers who love present, because the ship presents stellar musicals, fascinating deck events and all the flicks you may watch from the numerous Disney-owned manufacturing firms (Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and extra). Cruisers searching for a extra midsize ship, with attentive service and loads of actions geared towards each children and adults, is not going to be dissatisfied.

Unsurprisingly, Disney Cruise Line does themed sailings nicely. My five-night Western Caribbean cruise was a Very Merrytime crusing, full with vacation decorations all through the ship, seasonal reveals and actions, and visits from Santa. Mickey and mates, in addition to my fellow passengers, had been sporting pink and inexperienced apparel, too. The ship will get equally captivated with Halloween and Marvel-themed sailings.

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A Disney cruise is perhaps a magical expertise for some, however Disney Dream is not excellent. On my cruise, eating venues had been crowded and loud, and the foyer atrium and pool deck didn’t have sufficient area for all of the cruisers who needed to observe the signature reveals. Cruisers in search of assorted nightlife is perhaps dissatisfied that many adults are tied up with childcare at evening and unable to enterprise out to the adults-only bars and lounges.

A cruise aboard Disney Dream is expensive, particularly in comparison with family-friendly strains akin to Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line. Be sure that Disney Dream is the ship for you by studying every part you must know in regards to the ship — from its cabins to its eating places, sights and actions — in addition to my tackle the place the ship excels and the place it misses the mark.

Overview of Disney Dream

Disney Dream pool deck and AquaDuck. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

The 130,000-ton Disney Dream accommodates 1,250 cabins and might carry 2,500 passengers at double occupancy and 4,000 at most capability. That makes it small for a household ship when evaluating it to Royal Caribbean’s household favourite Oasis Class ships. The largest Oasis Class ship, Marvel of the Seas, for instance, measures 236,857 tons — 82% greater than Disney Dream — and carries 5,734 passengers at double occupancy or 6,988 passengers when full.

The ship additionally stands other than opponents in that it defies categorization. The ship can be thought of mass-market as a result of it presents a spread of cabins from windowless insides by means of suites, appeals to households, doesn’t give attention to connoisseur meals or high-end finishings, and doesn’t supply all-inclusive fares.

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But Disney Dream’s sailings are priced increased than most family-friendly cruise ships as a result of the Disney model instructions a premium. Plus, you may argue that the service ranges are increased and the leisure is of a better high quality than on Royal Caribbean, Carnival or Norwegian Cruise Line ships.

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So who’s on board? Clearly, households with younger kids make up a big fraction of Disney Dream’s passenger base. You may discover infants, children and youths, in addition to three-generation teams and prolonged household or pal teams. But the ship additionally attracts adults who’re Disney followers or admire Disney’s leisure and repair. It is not uncommon for {couples} to plan onboard weddings or take their honeymoon on a Disney cruise.

As a result of Disney cruise fares are so excessive, most Disney Dream passengers are prepared to spend cash, both as a result of they’ve a excessive trip funds or have saved up for a particular journey the place they’ll pull out all of the stops. I used to be stunned what number of passengers had been paying additional for princess makeovers on the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, high-priced Disney paraphernalia from the onboard retailers, and memento drink and popcorn containers.

The opposite factor to acknowledge about Disney Dream is that the child actions are central and the grownup facilities peripheral. The pool deck options a number of bars, however they’re tucked away on the ends of the deck, not set out by the primary pool. The sports activities pub, nightclub and different themed bars are hidden on the again finish of Deck 4 in a warren of interconnected rooms that are not at all times straightforward to seek out, and the adults-only specialty eating places are relegated to a quiet nook on the high of the ship. There isn’t a on line casino on board.

As a result of so most of the adults on board are touring with kids, not all are free to exit at evening. So, some grownup venues and night actions might be sparsely populated. (Others generate a bigger crowd, although.) On the upside, I didn’t encounter clearly inebriated people on this cruise — although that could possibly be as a result of I, like so many adults, was touring with a baby and never typically within the grownup areas.

What I liked about Disney Dream

The crew and waiters

Disney cruise waiter in Enchanted Backyard restaurant. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Each cruise line promotes the attentiveness of its crew, however the Disney Dream crew actually shined, particularly our waiters, who traveled with us from restaurant to restaurant. They shortly realized our preferences, bringing us our most well-liked drinks as we sat down, giving us butter along with the day’s dip for the bread and remembering our tea preferences.

Our essential waiter, Richard, at all times had a riddle or magic trick for the children in his part, and Afandi, our assistant waiter, made origami for the children every evening. They might patiently pay attention as our 7-year-old companion instructed them jokes and tales, although they had been busy delivering meals and clearing plates.

Our room steward, Panca, left us towel animals daily and at all times inquired if there was something we would have liked. The children membership counselors had been at all times welcoming and able to reply any father or mother questions. The leisure workers did a terrific job involving as many children as doable within the actions and had been pleasant and affected person.

The reveals

“Magnificence and the Beast” onboard musical. STEVEN DIAZ/DISNEY CRUISE LINE

I really like Broadway present, however the song-and-dance revues featured on so many cruise strains typically fall flat. The singing ranges from nice to mediocre, and whereas the costume modifications and high-tech results are cool, the reveals do not at all times have a robust thread connecting the assorted numbers.

Disney Cruise Line takes a special strategy — a extra Disney strategy, if you’ll. Disney Dream presents three featured musicals, all with a transparent story to inform. Adults can admire the sturdy performances and artistic use of costumes and surroundings, and children get pleasure from seeing a few of their favourite characters and tales come to life on stage.

This was very true of the ship’s model of “Magnificence and the Beast,” an abridged model of the story based mostly on the live-action film. Children and adults alike had been riveted of their seats for an hour and a half, and the performances had been stellar, with among the actors even hailing from Broadway.

The one draw back to the reveals being so good is that you just by no means need to miss one. That meant my pal and I by no means despatched her daughter to the children membership after dinner, which might have allowed us to get pleasure from one of many ship’s bars and an after-dinner cocktail collectively.

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Palo brunch


I would heard from many individuals that brunch at Palo was wonderful, and the expertise didn’t disappoint. For those who can sneak away for a pair hours, it is a pretty option to get pleasure from a relaxed, quiet, kid-free meal with out lacking one of many featured rotational eating places. It is also good worth, main some folks to say it is the perfect $50 you may spend on a Disney cruise.

Our waiter, Victor, was as good-looking and charming as any Disney prince. He introduced us passionfruit mimosas when my pal stated she did not take care of orange juice. We began the meal with a bread basket, and the almond croissants had been the perfect I would ever had, heat and flaky with a scrumptious almond filling that elevated the pastry.

The menu is so assorted that it is laborious to decide on. Winners included poached eggs with spinach, asparagus and mornay sauce and the goat cheese flatbread. The mushroom ravioli fell flat, however that was OK as a result of I used to be getting fairly full by then. The chocolate hazelnut dessert was fortunately small as a result of I solely had room for a couple of delectable bites.

My tip: E book an early brunch, and do not eat something beforehand. You’ll positively need to arrive hungry and with a really empty abdomen.

Household-friendly cabins

Couch mattress on Disney Dream. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Disney actually considered what households want in a dwelling area when it designed the cabins on its ships, together with Disney Dream. As a mother who has cruised with children since they had been infants, I perceive the distinctive challenges households face when sharing a small cabin collectively. Disney does, too, and has created cabins to get rid of a few of these challenges.

It begins with the cut up bogs, one with sink and bathroom and the opposite with sink and bathe. Meaning two can brush their tooth directly, and if a bit particular person instantly has to go potty when Daddy is within the bathe, it is not an issue.

The cabins have plentiful space for storing with a number of drawers as a result of little child clothes doesn’t match on grown-up hangers. Our cabin host even left a kid-size bathrobe within the closet, together with the 2 adult-size ones.

There is a dim mild on the ceiling of the room’s dwelling space the place children will sleep in sofabeds and pulldown bunks to function a nightlight. A floor-to-ceiling curtain can prolong throughout your entire room to separate the children’ sleeping areas from the adults. This fashion, adults can have the lights on of their part of the room after bedtime.

Even the balconies have childproof locks excessive up on the door, so you may stop kiddos from sneaking onto the veranda with out grownup supervision.

What I did not love about Disney Dream

Crowds and queues

Pirate Evening crowds on the pool deck. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Disney doesn’t get every part magically proper, sadly. A method its ships resemble its parks is within the crowds and wait occasions for almost every part.

I used to be dismayed at how a lot time we spent on this cruise ready round. Generally, it was ready within the always-long strains for a meet-and-greet and photograph opp with characters or to drop off or decide up children on the Oceaneer Membership. I waited 40 minutes on a sea-day afternoon to experience the AquaDuck, and there was no leisure in that line, as there is perhaps at a Disney park water attraction.

Any present we needed to see concerned arriving early to get seats, often ready in line to enter the theater. Present up late to one of many Pirate Evening reveals or any of the occasions within the atrium foyer, and you’ll have horrible sightlines and be unable to see a lot of the present.

The ship additionally felt small for the variety of folks it carried, presumably due to dangerous design and passenger move. Until you go very early or late, the pool deck and its two swimming pools are insanely crowded. Even the eating rooms felt like tables had been pushed extraordinarily shut collectively, and it was so loud that I typically needed to elevate my voice or lean throughout the desk to converse with my tablemates. Strolling by means of crowded areas was additionally difficult since children would veer unpredictably whereas ambling slowly, so it was laborious to get by; each mother and father and children would block stairwells or corridors.

The crowding did make the grownup areas really feel like a respite. Nonetheless, the Quiet Cove solar deck and pool space refill.

Nightlife district

Evolution evening membership on Disney Dream. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

The vast majority of Disney Dream’s indoor bars and grownup lounge areas are grouped collectively in a warren of interconnected rooms in the back of Deck 4. The District is supposed to be a taking place nightlife space, however I discovered it to be extra of a darkish, complicated afterthought.

I appreciated the vibe within the pub, with comfortable seating and home windows to the surface, and the whimsical Champagne bar Pink with its bubbles and corset theming. However the different bars had been darkish and never essentially inviting. There was one bar, Skyline, that I couldn’t discover till I acquired rotated in a stairwell and occurred upon it.

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A member of the ship’s leisure crew instructed me that night grownup occasions had been hit and miss so far as attendance goes. It is sensible — I discovered that by the point I ate dinner and attended the present, it was time to place my pal’s child to mattress. I might have ditched them to hang around in a bar by myself, however that wasn’t a beautiful choice.

Disney Dream cabins and suites

Balcony cabin on Disney Dream. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

The cabins and suites on Disney Dream had been designed with households in thoughts, extra so than on almost each different cruise ship afloat. Cabins are available numerous classes, with many that may sleep households of three or 4. Most have a cut up lavatory design, with two half baths; one accommodates a bathroom and sink, the opposite a sink and bathe (or shower-tub combo).

My cabin was a balcony room that would accommodate three, with a queen-size mattress and a settee that flips right into a twin mattress. I used to be dismayed to find that, in contrast to each different ocean-going cruise ship I’ve sailed, the queen mattress didn’t cut up into two twins. This compelled my pal and I to share a mattress. (Cabins that may sleep 4 can have a pull-down bunk above the couch mattress.)

The room is cut up in two by a floor-to-ceiling peak, full-width blackout curtain, so we might put my pal’s daughter to mattress on the sofa, flip off the lights on her aspect of the room after which learn in mattress with the lights on. One draw back of this association is that the small flat-screen TV is within the dwelling space, not the bed room, so we could not watch a late-night film. One other draw back: The blackout curtains successfully turned the grownup sleeping space into an inside cabin with no pure mild.

Along with the couch mattress, the cabin’s dwelling space incorporates a desk with two 110V and one 220V retailers, three deep drawers (excellent for storing child clothes), a minifridge, the aforementioned TV, an open cupboard with two slim cabinets, a closed cupboard with two tall cabinets and a mirror. One of many many mild switches by the desk activates a dim overhead mild that can be utilized as a nightlight. A low-backed chair might be positioned on the desk or rotated to face the espresso desk when eating in your cabin.

The grasp mattress is flanked by two small nightstands, every with one drawer, and studying lamps. Just one aspect of the mattress has a 110V and 220V outlet; the opposite has the cabin’s cellphone. The closet is split into two sections, each with hanging area and a few open cabinets. Adjoining is a shelving unit with three deep drawers and a tall two-shelf open cupboard above. The mattress is excessive sufficient for suitcases, or your small little one, to suit beneath.

I discovered the storage completely enough for 2 adults and a baby on a five-night cruise, and the room might seemingly deal with belongings for a seven-night or longer cruise, as nicely.

The slim balcony options two steel and mesh upright chairs and a spherical steel drinks desk. It has a childproof lock you may select to make use of to stop little cruisers from venturing out on the balcony unattended.

The lavatory with the bathroom and sink presents three small glass cabinets for storing toiletries; the bathe room has two. Our lavatory had a bath/bathe combo, and at 6 ft tall, I got here near hitting my head on the ceiling; I couldn’t wash my hair with out eradicating the wand showerhead from its holder and reaching it up as far its twine would go.

Every lavatory comes with a refillable hand cleaning soap dispenser; the bathe room additionally presents bar cleaning soap and refillable containers of Disney model shampoo, conditioner and bathe gel within the tub. You may discover tissue dispensers in every. The bathe room has a full-length mirror on the again of the door, which is helpful, however this implies there are not any hooks on the door to hold additional objects. There are, nonetheless, two retractable clotheslines within the bathe and two giant hooks on the wall between the toilet and the sleeping space.

Inexpensive cabins are both windowless insides with “magical portholes” (spherical video screens set in a window body that show pictures from exterior the ship with some cameos from animated characters) or ocean-view rooms with a spherical porthole window that doesn’t open.

Greater-tier cabins embrace Concierge-level cabins and suites that grant you entry to the unique Concierge lounge and solar deck on decks 12 and 13, respectively. These rooms are available three types: a balcony cabin, a one-bedroom suite and a Royal Suite, all with non-public verandas. They arrive with upgraded facilities and privileges, akin to included Wi-Fi, a pillow menu, feather duvets and precedence for check-in and debarkation, tendering and reservations.

Wheelchair-accessible cabins are available almost each cabin class besides the Royal Suite.

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Disney Dream eating places and bars

Animator’s Palate restaurant on Disney Dream. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

The Disney eating expertise is a bit totally different than what you may need skilled on different cruise ships. The road employs a “rotational eating” system wherein you select early or late seating (5:45 and eight:15 p.m. on my crusing). Then, every evening, you’re assigned to one among three eating places every night. You “rotate” by means of all of the choices in the course of the course of your cruise, and your waiters transfer with you. This fashion, you may construct a rapport, they usually can get to know your eating preferences.

Disney Dream doesn’t supply a buffet various at dinner, although you may order room service or decide up burgers and rooster tenders at Tow Mater’s Grill on the pool deck. For those who select these choices or if the adults in your occasion make a reservation on the adults-only specialty eating places, Palo and Remy, you would possibly miss out on one of many themed essential eating room experiences.

Eating places

General, the meals on Disney is ok, however the emphasis is much less on spectacular meals and extra on creating an expertise that kids will get pleasure from. The waiters work laborious, not solely taking orders and serving meals, however chopping up meals for teenagers or entertaining them with riddles and origami.

Every of the three essential eating places serves its personal menu, however on some nights, every menu will serve the identical menu, such because the “welcome aboard” menu on evening one and a Caribbean-themed menu on pirate evening. Each menu is split into appetizers, soups and salads, essential programs, vegetarian choices, lighter choices and dessert (which at all times consists of an ice cream sundae and a sugar-free choice).

The children menu varies nightly, however is identical at every restaurant on any given day. It is divided into appetizers (a special soup every evening and a backyard salad), mains (macaroni and cheese, mini burgers, pizza and a altering choice akin to kid-sized surf and turf) and Disney Verify Meals (combo dinners served with a essential akin to baked cod or penne pasta, a vegetable and fruit).

Mickey ice cream bars are the favourite dessert right here; ice cream can also be obtainable, in addition to a altering dessert akin to a chocolate brownie with ice cream or white chocolate cheesecake.

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In contrast to the venues on Disney’s newer ships, the three essential eating places on Disney Dream have much less of a theatrical side to them, although all are themed.

The design of the Enchanted Backyard restaurant on Deck 2 was impressed by the Gardens of Versailles, and its menu claims to be market-style and worldwide. Strive the ahi tuna and avocado tower as a starter and the scallops or the prime rib to your essential. The signature pecan tart was a nod to Thanksgiving on a Christmas-themed cruise.

Proper above the Enchanted Backyard on Deck 3 is the Royal Palace, impressed by 4 princesses — Cinderella, Snow White, Belle and Aurora (Sleeping Magnificence). See if you will discover iconic pictures from their tales across the eating room. Dinner right here is the right time to put on your princess costume to dinner or costume up a bit.

The menu is French, with starters like escargot and baked brie. Mains embrace duck breast, rack of lamb and Chateaubriand-roasted steak. For dessert, take into account the grand marnier souffle or the apple tart tartin.

Royal Palace was additionally the sit-down choice for breakfast and lunch on our cruise. Breakfast presents a pleasant choice of fruit and yogurt, breakfast pastries and egg and griddle choices. A children menu options fun-sized variations of eggs, pancakes, Mickey waffles and yogurt with fruit. Signature grownup breakfasts embrace a savory energy crepe, a plant-based sizzling breakfast for the vegans amongst us, southern hash and brioche French toast.

Most households follow informal choices for lunch, however in order for you a sit-down, multicourse meal, the Royal Palace is there for you. The lunch menu is cut up right into a selection of soups and salads, small plates (akin to beef satay skewers or tomato and mozzarella bruschetta), chef’s suggestions (churrasco steak, spiced cod fillet), burgers (together with a turkey burger and Unattainable burger), pasta, a handful of kid-friendly choices and dessert (usually one is a sundae). Sit-down lunch is a superb choice on embarkation day when you do not need to drag your baggage round a crowded buffet.

Animator’s Palate, on Deck 3 aft (basically behind the Royal Palace), is the evening to expertise dinner with a present. Video screens across the animation-themed restaurant come to life with characters from “Discovering Nemo” and “Discovering Dory,” with a shocking interactive component. I loved the butternut squash soup, ginger-teriyaki beef tenderloin and the cookies and cream sundae for dessert.

I typically discovered the three essential eating places loud, with tables spaced extraordinarily shut collectively. (At Animator’s Palate, our desk was separated from the following by the width of the ice bucket for our bottle of Prosecco.) Dinners should not enjoyable occasions, although the waiters are excellent, protecting the children entertained with riddles, magic methods and origami.

Maybe that’s the reason Disney Dream’s two specialty eating places are unique to adults over 18. They provide a pleasant break for the grown-ups within the group to have a quieter, extra upscale meal in a much less crowded setting. Each the French Remy and Italian Palo are on Deck 12, separated by the Meridian Bar.

Palo is open for brunch on sea days and dinner day by day, each for $50 per particular person. Brunch is a spotlight and a terrific worth for all of the meals they provide you. The meal begins with a complimentary Prosecco or mimosa and a bread basket that features not-to-be-missed heat almond croissants.

Then you may select as many breakfast or lunch entrees as you need; the poached eggs with spinach, asparagus and mornay sauce and the goat cheese flatbread (pizza) had been standouts from our brunch. You may also choose from frittatas, waffles and pancakes, and mains like lasagna Bolognese, sirloin steak, veal and parmesan-crusted rooster breast.

After you have utterly stuffed your self, the waiters have the audacity to supply dessert. We sampled the nice and cozy amaretto chocolate fondant and the limoncello torte; whereas tasty, they had been positively not obligatory to finish your meal.

For dinner in Palo, select from the $50 fixed-price menu (a four-course meal with restricted choices for every), improve to the wine-paired menu or order a la carte from the complete menu. The chocolate souffle dessert is the signature candy and must be ordered originally of the meal.

Remy is likely one of the costliest specialty eating places at sea, with menus by acclaimed cooks Scott Hunnel (from Victoria & Albert’s at Walt Disney World Resort) and Arnaud Lallement (of Michelin star fame). Disney Dream presents two set menus, one by every chef, for $135 per particular person, with wine and Champagne pairings for a further $120 and $160, respectively. You may also order a la carte.

For informal eating, Disney Dream does supply a buffet choice on the Deck 11 pool deck. Cabanas serves breakfast and lunch solely. Within the morning, you may discover all of the staples: eggs, breakfast meat, pastries, cereal, yogurt, fruit, pancakes and the well-known Mickey waffles. An omelet station is tucked away on the again.

At lunch, you will discover pizza and burgers, an array of sizzling entrees, soup, premade salads, an enormous stash of shrimp and crab legs, pasta, deli meat and desserts (together with ice cream). Search for themed sections that change day by day.

I discovered Cabanas to have a pleasant number of dishes (and the creamiest steam tray scrambled eggs I’ve had on a cruise up to now). Nonetheless, the structure is terrible. The buffet is all one line, moderately than station-based, and there’s not loads of room to stroll across the venue. The result’s that strains are lengthy, and it is difficult to navigate by means of (say, in case you’re strolling from the beverage station again to your desk). That is very true in case you get caught behind slow-moving, unpredictable babies who’re in some way inconceivable to get round.

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In contrast to different mass-market cruise ships, Disney Dream presents free soda with meals and from beverage stations alongside the pool deck sides and in Cabanas (the place you may additionally discover water, juice, espresso, tea and sizzling chocolate). Carry your individual refillable drink containers to keep away from waste as a result of the poolside stations solely supply paper cups, not reusable glasses and mugs.

For a snack or less complicated meal, a trio of meals counters, collectively referred to as Flo’s Cafe, on the other finish of the pool deck from Cabanas presents all the child favorites. Luigi’s Pizza serves up 5 varieties of pie day by day; Tow-Mater’s Grill cooks up burgers, rooster, sizzling canine and sausages, plus rooster tenders and French fries; and Fillmore’s Favorites serves a spread of paninis, wraps, salads and fruit bowls. Bear in mind that whereas these venues are open all afternoon, solely Tow-Mater’s is open for dinner; Luigi’s Pizza opens once more at 9 p.m. for late-night snacks.

Poolside treats embrace the Eye Scream station with three soft-serve machines pumping out a number of flavors, together with chocolate, vanilla, banana and strawberry. Frozone Treats subsequent door presents extra-fee smoothies and refreshing drinks with and with out alcohol (akin to Dole Whip with a shot of rum).

Room service is complimentary on Disney Dream. You possibly can order continental breakfast objects by marking off your choices on a tag and hanging it exterior your door earlier than mattress. All-day room service is out there for order by way of cellphone; the menu is on the Navigator app. Picks embrace soups, salads, American fare (buffalo wings, burgers, rooster tenders), pizza and pasta and dessert. Mickey bars should not on the official room service menu, however might be ordered to your cabin.

If the free treats on this ship aren’t sufficient (which is an idea that is tough to understand), you may splurge at Vanellope’s Candy Treats. Indulge with extra-fee ice cream and gelato, loopy sundaes, cupcakes and different baked items and sweet.


Outdoors the Walt Disney Theatre on Deck 3 is Preludes, the place you should buy snacks (popcorn, sweet) and drinks to carry into the theater. A secondary outpost of Preludes is exterior the Buena Vista Theater on Deck 4.

Mother and father, be ready: The pervasive scent of popcorn can have your littles determined for a snack, and the one option to entry popcorn is by buying a memento popcorn bucket on the primary evening. The buckets vary from $8 to greater than $20, however refills are solely $1.50.

On a ship the place sodas and ice cream bars are complimentary, I used to be stunned the road charged for popcorn.


On a ship full of youngsters, it is comprehensible that adults would possibly want a grown-up beverage or two. Disney Dream accommodates, however the bars are much less entrance and middle than maybe you’d discover on different cruise ships.

On Deck 3, the Bon Voyage bar is tucked to 1 aspect of the midship elevator banks, between the Grand Foyer and the buying space. It is in a crowded thoroughfare, so it lacks atmosphere.

Tucked right into a nook on Deck 4 is the Vista Cafe for all of your espresso drinks, common or spiked. It additionally has a small case of snacks to go along with your latte or mocha.

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The District, on Deck 4 aft, is the grownup nightlife space, although it is used in the course of the day to host occasions akin to trivia. Grouped collectively are Pink, a wine and Champagne bar; Evolution, the nightclub and occasion area; Pub 687, the sports activities and sport bar; Skyline, for bougie martinis with a altering cityscape behind the bar; and the District Lounge for hanging out, generally with stay music. The District is a darkish warren of interconnected rooms, so I solely discovered the Skyline bar midway by means of my cruise.

You will not discover crowds right here, as many adults can be on the household actions within the night or caught of their cabins after their children fall asleep. Enjoyable aggressive video games, trivia contests, and karaoke in Evolution did get a good-sized viewers, however you may not often must seek for a seat at any of the venues.

For those who’re all in favour of Disney Dream nightlife and are touring with youthful children, I like to recommend cruising with prolonged household or mates; this manner, every grownup can take turns staying with sleeping kids whereas the others exit. Alternatively, put your children in Oceaneer Membership after dinner and the present, however not each little one needs to remain up that late or depart their household for the membership.

A buffet of finger meals is put out for an hour every night to assist take in all that alcohol.

On the higher decks, the Cove Cafe is half espresso store, half bar by the Quiet Cove grownup pool. Grownups do not should get out of the water to order drinks on the swim-up Cove Bar adjoining to the pool. Ahead of the adults space, a juice bar within the Senses Spa will kick begin your day or refresh you after a exercise with contemporary juice blends.

Further pool bars embrace the Waves Bar on Deck 12 and the Currents Bar on Deck 13.

Additionally on Deck 12, the Meridian bar is the right place for a pre-dinner cocktail earlier than a meal within the adjoining Remy or Palo. It has each indoor and out of doors seating and is a stunning getaway from the hustle and bustle of the remainder of the ship. Passengers booked into Concierge-level cabins can even get drinks at their unique Concierge Lounge additionally on Deck 12.

Disney Dream actions

Minnie Mouse posing for pictures. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Disney cruise ships supply a mixture of typical and unique-to-Disney actions. Maybe probably the most Disney factor you are able to do on Disney Dream is meet your favourite Disney characters and princesses.

Households have three choices: You possibly can join free Royal Gatherings, the place you may meet a number of princesses at one time, or extra-fee occasions, such because the Royal Courtroom Royal Tea. You possibly can search for on the Navigator app when characters can be making appearances and line up for a photograph opp and to get an autograph. You may typically discover the characters posing within the Grand Foyer or on the balcony simply above. Or, you may serendipitously run into a personality wandering in regards to the ship.

Even your children who suppose they’re too cool for Mickey or princess pictures will seemingly grow to be starstruck once they see the characters across the ship and finally desire a photograph or two.

Most kid-friendly actions happen within the a number of Disney cruise children golf equipment on board. Most are clustered on Deck 4, the place you may discover the It is a Small World Nursery for child and toddler (as much as age 3) daycare for an hourly fee. The Oceaneer Membership and Lab supply complimentary drop-off actions for teenagers ages 3-12. Children will love flying the Millennium Falcon, taking part in in Andy’s Room, competing in Magic PlayFloor challenges and making crafts in Tinkerbell’s Fairy Hole.

Additionally on Deck 4 is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, the place households pays for a spread of princess, prince and pirate makeovers for younger cruisers. For those who determine to splurge, select your salon occasions correctly. You won’t need to get make-up and an updo at 9 a.m. after which be unable to enter the pool for the remainder of the day.

Tweens (ages 11-14) have their very own hangout referred to as Edge with video video games, films, crafts and group actions within the pretend ahead funnel on Deck 13. Teenagers (14-17) can get pleasure from an indoor lounge with snack bar, online game and film area, plus a teen-only out of doors solar deck with a plunge pool and sizzling tub. Vibe, because it’s referred to as, is all the best way ahead on Deck 5, with a secret entrance from the Deck 4 out of doors promenade.

A spread of household actions, from crafts to karaoke and dance events, happen within the D Lounge on Deck 4. (Do not confuse it with the District Lounge subsequent door, which is a bar within the adults-only space.) Some actions are held within the atrium foyer, together with the hilarious Jack Jack’s Diaper Sprint (ie, crawling child races). Evolution is the vacation spot for night grownup actions, akin to trivia, interactive competitions and karaoke.

The opposite main family-focused vacation spot is, in fact, the pool deck. Disney Dream has choices for all ages and pursuits. Deck 11 midship is the primary pool space with Mickey’s pool and slide (the latter meant for ages 3-14) and the Goofy pool. Life jackets can be found for teenagers who aren’t sturdy swimmers.

An enormous poolside display reveals Disney films throughout each daytime and night. Swimming pools are open late so you may watch the night movie from the water. The pool space stage is the place the welcome/sailaway present and Pirate’s Evening reveals happen.

The Nemo’s Reef splash space is meant for supervised splashing for junior cruisers in swim diapers, although kids of all ages are welcome. There’s a sizzling tub by the children pool, nevertheless it’s typically full of youngsters.

Don’t be concerned, Mother and Dad: Adults have their very own pool deck, ahead on Deck 11. The Quiet Cove pool and sizzling tub are unique to adults over 18 and are surrounded by a swim-up bar, adults-only espresso store and lounge areas.

Two decks up, the Satellite tv for pc Falls pool and solar deck offers extra sunbathing area and a wading pool with a round rain curtain below the ship’s satellite tv for pc transmitter. A solar deck unique to Concierge-level visitors can also be discovered on Deck 13.

Between the 2 on Deck 12 ahead is a small household space with the Funnel Puddle plunge pool.

The pool space’s different essential attraction is the AquaDuck two-person raft slide that circles your entire pool deck. You should be 42 inches to experience and 54 inches to experience alone or with a smaller particular person. The experience has some thrills however is pretty tame. Sea-day afternoon wait occasions might be lengthy (upward of 40 minutes). Trip after darkish, and you will hardly wait in any respect.

The doorway and exit from the AquaDuck are adjoining to one another on Deck 12, proper above Nemo’s Reef. I say this so you will not loop the decks a number of occasions in search of it.

On the other aspect of the ship on Deck 13 is Goofy’s Sports activities Deck for all of your athletic or aggressive pursuits. A central sports activities courtroom with basketball hoops is surrounded by a wacky minigolf course, ping pong tables and foosball.

Your working and strolling observe, nonetheless, would be the Deck 4 promenade. You may discover padded wood lounge chairs right here, in addition to shuffleboard courts.

For those who want some critical pamper time, head to the Senses Spa and Salon on Deck 11 ahead. A salon presents mani-pedis and hair styling, or you may e book a therapeutic massage or facial in one of many spa remedy rooms. {Couples} remedies embrace numerous massages in addition to time in one among two {couples}’ villas, and teenage providers are additionally obtainable.

A health middle is stocked with resistance machines, free weights, yoga mats and cardio machines with ocean views, plus group class area for spin and core lessons. You may also e book a cross to the Rainforest Room thermal suite for entry to enjoyable saunas and steam rooms.

Health middle on Disney Dream. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

If retail remedy is extra your fashion, you may discover an array of outlets on decks 3 and 4, promoting all types of character-based souvenirs and toys, Disney Cruise Line brand objects, wonderful jewellery and sundries. The Whozits and Whatzits store on Deck 11 sells swim and seashore objects in case you forgot one thing at dwelling. For those who plan on splurging, take into account packing a foldable duffle that you may fill with all of your souvenirs for the journey dwelling.

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Disney Dream reveals

“The Golden Mickeys” present. MATT STROSHANE/DISNEY

Disney Cruise Line is understood for its authentic Broadway-style musical reveals. Disney Dream’s trio of authentic productions embrace “The Golden Mickeys,” “Magnificence and the Beast” and “Disney’s Imagine.” These are carried out within the Walt Disney Theatre on decks 3 and 4. Your showtime is reverse your mealtime; in case you have an early dinner, you may see the late present and vice versa.

“The Golden Mickeys” is a Disney’s model of an awards present, honoring the bravest heroes and probably the most dastardly villains. The present combines video clips with stay performances of favourite songs from Disney films.

“Disney Imagine” is one other authentic musical that includes a single dad who goes on a journey to regain his perception in magic. Alongside the best way, he encounters characters from a wide array of Disney films, who information him on his journey with track and dance.

Walt Disney Theatre on Disney Dream. MATT STROSHANE/DISNEY

The ship’s marquee present, which runs 1 and 1/2 hours moderately than an hour, is a stage adaptation of “Magnificence and the Beast,” based mostly on the live-action film. The present employs artistic use of puppetry and high-tech surroundings, and the performers are stellar. (Some even have Broadway backgrounds.) On our crusing, this present additionally has a matinee efficiency to accommodate extra visitors.

The Walt Disney Theatre has each orchestra and balcony seating. Watch out of poles and railings that may block views from the balcony. Sit within the entrance part of the orchestra in order for you confetti to rain down on you throughout sure performances.

Disney Dream doesn’t have only one theater. The Buena Vista Theatre on decks 4 and 5 is the ship’s film cinema, exhibiting first-run films from Disney-owned manufacturing studios. Meaning if the movie is at present exhibiting within the film theaters on land, you may watch it without cost whilst you’re at sea.

Disney Cruise Line can also be well-known for its Pirate Evening, a shipwide pirate-themed occasion, full with pirate-themed video games, trivia and children actions; a particular pirate-themed, island-inspired dinner menu in each restaurant; and two pirate reveals on the pool deck stage. The early present stars Pirate Mickey and mates and is geared for youthful cruisers; the later, all-ages present options Jack Sparrow and culminates in a fireworks show.

Pirate Evening on Disney Dream. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Practically everybody on board, from infants to grandparents, will get into the pirate spirit, dressing up in seems starting from easy DIY outfits with a couple of equipment to head-to-toe skilled costumes, full with wigs. Even when your children suppose they’re too cool, pack some pirate apparel as a result of you’ll really feel disregarded of the enjoyable in case you’re not in costume.

One other sizzling tip: The pool deck can not deal with the quantity of people that prove for these reveals. Arrive half hour early to stake out a spot with first rate sightlines, and be ready to doubtlessly maintain your little one up your entire time in case you’re standing within the again. Additionally, plan for a day nap, in case your younger child needs to see fireworks. The present begins after 10 p.m.

On our five-night cruise, Pirate Evening came about on an evening when a efficiency one of many three musicals was not occurring. On that evening, the primary stage screened the latest Disney film, so extra folks might watch. On the remaining evening, a visitor magician carried out.

For those who like reveals, maintain an eye fixed out for brief performances listed within the day by day schedule on the app. Early within the crusing, Mickey and mates did a Christmas tree lighting occasion, full with a Santa go to. One night, the Broadway actor who performs Gaston within the ship’s theater did a half-hour one-man present, performing numbers from the Disney songbook.

Disney Dream itineraries and pricing


Disney Dream will supply a sequence of three-, four- and five-night Bahamas and Caribbean cruises out of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by means of early Could 2024. Ports of name within the Bahamas embrace Nassau and Castaway Cay, Disney’s longtime non-public island. Caribbean cruises embrace Grand Cayman or Cozumel, Mexico.

The ship then crosses the Atlantic for a summer time season in Europe. From Could by means of mid-July, it’ll supply five- to 11-night Mediterranean cruises out of Barcelona and Civitavecchia (the port for Rome), Italy.

It’ll then reposition to Southampton, England (close to London), the place it’ll sail two Scandinavian fjords cruises; a number of three- to seven-night Europe Coastal and southern Europe cruises to ports in Spain, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands; and one British Isles cruise earlier than crossing the Atlantic again to Florida.

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The ship returns to Fort Lauderdale from October 2024 by means of Could 2025, once more providing three- to five-night Caribbean and Bahamas sailings. This time, sure itineraries embrace Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Level, Disney’s new non-public vacation spot on the island of Eleuthera within the Bahamas.

Fares range by season, cruise vacation spot and theme, in addition to cabin class. Anticipate the least costly windowless inside cabins to start out at greater than $200 per particular person, per evening, based mostly on double occupancy.

On Disney’s web site, three-night Bahamas cruises begin from $1,733 for a pair. 5-night Western Caribbean cruises begin at $2,437 per couple, and a seven-night Western Europe cruise begins at $4,427 per couple. Fares improve from there for cabins with balconies or suites, in addition to for including extra visitors sharing the cabin.

A household of 4 would pay upward of $5,859 for a Concierge-level cabin on a three-night Bahamas cruise, for instance.

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What to know earlier than you go

Required paperwork


U.S. residents crusing Disney Dream from Port Canaveral will want both a passport or a government-issued photograph ID and an authentic beginning certificates. Youngsters can sail with both a passport or a beginning certificates. Nonetheless, for Disney Dream’s summer time European sailings, together with the transatlantic crossings, everybody touring (together with infants) will want a passport.

For those who’re crusing with a baby who will not be your individual, you will want to fill out a type certifying that you’ve got permission from their mother and father to journey with them. Passports, when required, should be legitimate for at the least six months. Be aware that it will be important that the identify in your reservation be precisely as it’s said in your passport or different official proof of nationality.

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Disney Cruise Line prices a crew gratuity of $14.50 per particular person (together with infants and youngsters) per day for many cruisers and $15.50 per particular person for Concierge-level cabins and suites.

You possibly can prepay this quantity, or it will likely be added to your onboard invoice. If in case you have not pay as you go, you may alter the quantity up or down at visitor providers or give extra suggestions in money. The hardworking crew depends on these gratuities; even in case you have service snafus, we strongly encourage you to pay the complete quantity and specific your dissatisfaction in one other trend.

To present an concept of the associated fee, a four-person household on a five-night cruise in a regular cabin would pay $290 in advisable suggestions. The quantity is cut up amongst your crew of eating room servers who saved your children entertained at dinner and your cabin host who cleaned up your mess every day.

An 18% gratuity is added to onboard spa, bar, beverage, wine and deck service tabs. You possibly can at all times add a further gratuity for any of your providers or servers.

Whereas room service is free, it is customary so as to add a couple of {dollars} of tip if you signal the “invoice.”

A gratuity is added to payments at Palo and Remy as a result of these servers should not included within the computerized gratuity. Depart a further tip in case you loved the service. For those who keep in a Concierge-level room or suite, it’s customary to tip the Concierge Lounge hosts $8 per particular person, per day, on the finish of your cruise.

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Disney Dream presents numerous Wi-Fi packages for a charge.

On my crusing, you may select from three Wi-Fi packages and pay per 24 hours or per voyage. The Keep Linked package deal offers entry to only Fb, Instagram and Twitter. It prices $18 for twenty-four hours for one system or $16/day for the complete voyage (so $80 for a five-night crusing like mine).

The Traditional Surf package deal offers entry to your entire internet, e-mail and audio calling. The 24-hour value for one system is $28; the full-cruise price is $24/day ($120 for a five-night crusing).

The Premium Surf package deal offers the identical entry because the Traditional however with the addition of streaming providers like YouTube, Snapchat and video calling. It prices $42 for twenty-four hours on one system or $34/day for the voyage ($170 for a five-night cruise).

For any of the plans, you should buy full-cruise packages for as much as 4 units, with a 20% low cost for every extra system. There isn’t a low cost for a multiple-device package deal for twenty-four hours. You should purchase a full-cruise package deal in the midst of your trip, and the value can be prorated for the variety of days left.

For those who’re deciding what number of units so as to add to your package deal, know that you may change your plan from system to system all through the cruise. For instance, if you are going to buy a one-device plan, you may change the service out of your cellphone to your pill then again to your cellphone. Nonetheless, in case you want a connection in your pill and cellphone on the similar time, you will want a two-device plan.

On my Caribbean cruise, I had no issues utilizing the Navigator app or texting, and my journey companions made a number of Wi-Fi calls utilizing our Premium Surf package deal. Nonetheless, loading webpages and importing pictures on my laptop computer was typically sluggish.

Carry-on drinks coverage

Every passenger 21 years and older can carry a most of two bottles of unopened wine or Champagne (no bigger than 750 milliliters) or six beers (no bigger than 12 ounces) on board each originally of the cruise and at every port of name. Not each cruise line lets you carry drinks again from port with out confiscating them, so benefit from this beneficiant alcohol coverage.

On embarkation day, drinks should be packed in your carry-on (not checked) baggage. You possibly can maintain drinks chilled within the small fridge in your cabin or ask your stateroom host for ice.

For those who want to devour wine or Champagne that you have introduced on board in one of many eating rooms, you need to pay a $26 corkage charge per bottle.

Smoking coverage

Smoking is permitted within the following onboard places solely:

  • The portside out of doors space of the Meridian Lounge on Deck 12
  • The portside deck space on Deck 13 aft by the Currents Bar
  • The aft port aspect of the Deck 4 out of doors promenade, however solely from 6 p.m. to six a.m.

Passengers caught smoking of their cabins or on their cabin balconies can be charged a $250 cleansing charge.


Laundry room on Disney Dream. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Disney Dream presents 24-hour, self-service visitor laundry amenities on Decks 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. They aren’t marked on the deck plans on the app, however they’re proven on every flooring’s deck plan by the stairwell and indicators within the cabin hallways level the best way. On most decks, they’re positioned all the best way ahead or aft.

Use your Key to the World cruise card to pay to function the washers and dryers, in addition to purchase any detergent or dryer sheets you want. Laundry rooms are additionally stocked with irons and ironing boards for complimentary use; they’re the one place on board the place you are allowed to make use of an iron.

For those who actually do not need to do chores in your trip, you may ship out your soiled laundry for laundry, urgent or dry cleansing for a further charge. Use the laundry bag and type in your cabin and your cabin attendant will decide up and return your garments.

Electrical retailers

All cabins are geared up with 110-volt retailers, that are normal within the U.S. and Canada, and 220-volt (European) retailers by the desk and on one aspect of the mattress. A shaver-only outlet is positioned on the ceiling of the toilet.

Foreign money

The foreign money on Disney Cruise Line ships is the U.S. greenback.

If you find yourself on the ship, you’ll not want money or a bank card — all incidentals, purchases and providers can be charged to your cabin folio. Your Key to the World card serves as your onboard cost methodology. The one exception is if you wish to tip a crew member in money.

You’ll want to have some money or a bank card for purchases in port. The exception is Castaway Cay, the place cruisers pays for all purchases on the retailers and bars with their cruise playing cards; money and bank cards should not accepted on Disney’s non-public island.

Consuming age

The consuming age on board Disney Dream is 21. Nonetheless, in case you’re crusing on one among Dream’s round-trip cruises inside Europe, the place the consuming age is decrease, mother and father and guardians can signal a type to permit 18- to 20-year-olds to drink on board when within the presence of an grownup of their touring occasion.

Gown code

Daytime costume is informal; shorts, T-shirts and informal sundresses are the norm on Bahamas and Caribbean sailings. Lots of your shipmates can be wearing Mickey ears, Disney-themed apparel, princess attire or group T-shirts always.

Throughout the evenings, eating apparel within the three essential eating eating places is “cruise informal,” that means no swimwear or tank tops, however you do not have to decorate up in something fancy. That stated, many visitors do costume up within the night, nevertheless it’s not required until you’re eating in Palo or Remy. (Palo additionally asks that diners costume up a bit for brunch, so come ready.)

Our five-night cruise had one non-compulsory dress-up evening, and we had been additionally instructed that it is enjoyable to alter into one thing a bit fancier (or maybe a princess costume) when eating on the Royal Palace restaurant.

The costume code on Pirate Evening is, in fact, pirate informal. Carry your bandanas and eye patches, however depart your swords and pistols at dwelling.

On Halloween and Very Merrytime Christmas cruises, costumes and vacation apparel are inspired — and make for nice pictures.

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Backside line

Atrium foyer on Disney Dream. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Disney Dream presents a tremendous expertise for households with kids and Disney lovers of all ages. The ship stands out for its family-friendly cabins, attentive crew and stellar musical reveals. It is possible for you to to satisfy a lot of your favourite Disney characters and immerse your self on this planet of Disney.

Nonetheless, you must be ready for crowds and queues, loud dinners, different folks’s kids and myriad extra-fee occasions, treats and souvenirs that may tempt everybody in your journey occasion. Include the fitting mindset, and you will have a magical journey your loved ones will keep in mind fondly.

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