I’ve been reminiscing about our four-day cruise aboard the Disney Dream. It was honestly the best vacation I’ve ever had, and I’m looking forward to another Disney cruise.
About the Disney Dream
The Disney Dream is the third ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet. Its maiden voyage was in January 2011. It is 40% bigger than the Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic cruise ships. It has the passenger capacity of 4000 people and has 1,250 staterooms. There are 14 decks.
The Disney Cruise Line Navigator App
Before you get on board, you are going to want to download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App to your phone. This is a free app that can be used onboard to keep in the loop of all the activities and events, ship map, menus, texting between other guests, and more. It’s a must-have for sure!
My husband and I used it to keep in touch with each other if we went separate ways.
Arrival to the Disney Dream Cruise Boat
I would highly advise you stay somewhere close to port the night before your boat departs. You would hate to try to fly down the same day and miss your boarding of the boat due to a delay!
Most cruise terminals open at 11 AM. However, you will have a designated port arrival time assigned to you. It is highly recommended to do an online check-in, which is what we did. We had no difficulties at all using this. Final boarding is 4 PM.
Disney works to make your cruise magical from the moment you go onboard the ship. They announce your family name as you board the boat and staff are alongside clapping for you as you enter!!
What to Carry On
They take your luggage at the beginning before you board the boat. So, your luggage will magically appear by your door later in the day! However, you might want to go ahead and hit the pool or the Aquaduck, so you may want to have a large carry on bag with towels, sunscreen, and a change of clothes.
The State Rooms
We personally stayed in an Inside Stateroom. We did this for one main reason – concern for my husband’s seasickness. My husband gets seasick very easily and was concerned he would be sick the entire cruise. Neither of us had taken a cruise in the past. It was suggested to us that an inside stateroom in the very middle of the boat could help reduce the motion he might feel. So, that’s what we did.
He did great. He had absolutely no issues with sea sickness for the entire cruise!
The inside stateroom was still a fantastic room. While we had no ocean view, we had a porthole that had a real-time video feed from the front of the ship. The best part is that animated characters occasionally come across the magical porthole as well. My son LOVED watching to see which of his favorite characters were going to pop their head in our porthole next!
The bed was a queen sized bed. We had a curtain to pull for privacy, separating the bed from the other parts of the room. This was great for changing privately. The couch turned into a bed for my son, and every night there were new sheets with different characters. He really liked the Good Dinosaur sheets.
Our bed was elevated so we could easily store our luggage, and the coffee table also served as storage. We had plenty of storage space!
The bathroom had a toilet, shower/tub, and vanity. We were supplied with the H2O soaps and shampoos Disney uses at the parks as well. The shower also has a handy clothesline that pulls out to hang your wet clothes across!
You can also get oceanview rooms, verandah rooms, or concierge rooms. I won’t cover those since I didn’t stay in those.
Sailing Away Party
You don’t want to miss this! It is a high energy dance party with Mickey and friends, as well as your crew. It is located on the pool deck (Deck 11) and typically happens around 4:30 (immediately after the mandatory lifeboat emergency drill). You can also go to Deck 12 and look down on it. It lasts about 45 minutes. That gives you plenty of time to swing back to your stateroom to change for the early dinner if you’re in that seating.
Disney Dream Dining Options
Disney has rotational dining. This is Disney’s way of ensuring you get to enjoy each themed restaurant. Every night, you will have the same people dining with you. We were seated with another family, and the really fun thing is that their child and my son were the same age and got along great! They even held hands when walking up to the Kids Club together!
Not only do you dine with the same people, but your wait staff also rotates through with you. This is amazing. They get to know you and your likes/dislikes. Our waiters often performed magic tricks for the kids and would decorate their cups. After the first night, our preference of drink would be waiting for us on the table!
The main dining is Animator’s Palate, Royal Palace, and the Enchanted Garden. Each restaurant is differently themed and so fun to dine in.
There are also adult only restaurants that you can get reservations for and pay for separately, but we only had the few nights and wanted to experience every restaurant on rotation. I would do one of these restaurants on a longer cruise.
The Nightly Shows
The shows are like a Broadway production! We got to see Villians Tonight!, The Golden Mickeys, and Disney Wishes!
The shows are available based on your dining time. We were the second dining seating, so we watched the show prior to our dinner. The first seating watched after dinner.
Aquaduck, the Water Coaster
The Aquaduck was my son’s favorite thing on the ship.
Located at Deck 12, the AquaDuck is a water coaster that goes out over the ocean, through the Forward Funnel on a 4-deck drop. For an added thrill, you can ride the AquaDuck at night and experience dazzling multicolored lights!
I’m afraid of heights, but he finally talked me into going on it. He still laughs about how much I screamed going down!
We did not participate in any excursions and did not feel like we missed out on anything. However, there are multiple excursions offered at the ports for an additional fee.
Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island. And it is majestic.
We did the FREE 5K on Castaway Cay. It was very hot, but we have our 5K medals! It was worth doing – you got a nice view of the island and everyone gets a medal.
Cookies BBQ is their island restaurant and is included in your cruise. It was a delicious lunch.
You can rent inner tubes, which we did, and had a lot of fun just floating our cares away. You can rent snorkeling gear, and my boys did just that. There is a nice roped off area that goes out quite far, and it is well manned with lifeguards. The further out you go, you can discover some old pieces of rides from Disneyworld that have been sunk to find as a treasure.
While the boys were snorkeling, I was lying on the beach under an umbrella and ordering drinks from the server who was coming around to each area! Seriously, what a fantastic day.
Pirate Night on the Disney Dream
The day of Pirate Night, we came in to find bandannas on our bed to help us dress the part! I had known about the pirate night, so I also packed some eye patches! We dressed up as pirates and went to the celebration!
It was a fantastic show with all your favorite characters, including the dreaded Captain Hook. My son was absolutely captivated! Then, we followed the show with an amazing out at sea fireworks display!
Afterward, you could hit Cabanas for a pirate night buffet that including more food than you can imagine, including chocolate fountains! We were still so full from our pirate themed dinner that we didn’t indulge in it all. We did enjoy some freshly made crepes!
Disembarking the Disney Dream
You disembark based on your dinner arrangements First seating gets off first (i.e. early!), and second seating gets off last. You get one final delicious breakfast, and you have the time to thank your waitstaff and to tip them. You are given individual envelopes to do just that.
This is just an overview of our experience with the Disney Dream. There are so many endless options both on the ship and at the different ports. It is hands down the best service I have ever experienced, and quite frankly my best vacation!
We have another Disney cruise planned for 2019, and I can’t wait to share that with you too! Have you been on a Disney cruise? Which ship? I want to hear all about it!