Disney Dream a fabulous addition to the Disney vacation portfolio
by, 01-23-2011 at 07:08 AM (5654 Views)
I've started this blog post a number of times, trying to come up with the best way to sum up my experiences aboard the Disney Dream, the newest addition to the Disney Cruise Line fleet. I kept restarting because I couldn't come up with enough words to describe it. "Wonderful," "magnificent," "spectacular," "wow," and more just don't seem to sum it up.
I suppose that my experience may be colored by the fact that I have not been on a cruise ship in 15 years, and so the bar may have been raised in the interim, but the Disney Dream absolutely blew me away.
The Dream is one and a half times larger than Disney's first two ships, the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, and that (along with new technology) allowed Disney to paint an amazing picture on a much larger canvas. From the buffet (Cabanas) and counter service (Flo's V8 Cafe) to the three rotation restaurants (Animator's Palette, Enchanted Garden and Royal Palace) and two signature restaurants (Palo and Remy) from the huge amount of space for the younger kids (It's a Small World Nursery, Oceaneer's Club and Oceaneer's Lab) to the tween and teen clubs (Edge and Vibe) and adult nightclub district (Pink, Skyline Lounge, Evolution, 687, and District Lounge), from the various pools and wet play areas to the signature AquaDuck (the first water coaster at sea) and much, much more, the Disney Dream has no end to its delights. (OK, there is actually an end, because given enough time you will get to spend sufficient time at each, but it'll take a lot more than one cruise to get your fill.)
I only had 44 hours on board from embarkation to debarkation, and I saw and experienced as much as I could, but there was so much more that I couldn't get to. As with Walt Disney World, you can't see it all in one trip.
In fact, as the title of this post indicates, the Dream is a fabulous addition to the portfolio of Disney vacations available to you. It's a great way to have a getaway (for the whole family or just you) that will be full of fun and make wonderful memories, and should be a consideration as a destination whenever you're planning a Disney vacation.
From the moment you enter the spectacular atrium (with your party being officially announced aboard), you know that this ship is magnificent. The decor is wonderful. The design details are beautiful. The statue of Commodore Donald is great and the chandelier is amazing.
Staterooms are pretty roomy as far as staterooms go. Don't expect a room the size of a hotel room at Walt Disney World, not even a Value resort room (unless you get one of the big suites, but then if you can do that, you probably wouldn't have experienced a Value resort room), but having experienced staterooms on other ships many years ago, these rooms look nice and comfortable.
As Karl Holz, President of Disney Cruise Line and New Vacation Operations, noted, Disney learns from their guest comments. The Dream's stateroom beds have a 13-inch clearance from the floor (much more than the Magic or Wonder), high enough to fit most suitcases. And Owner's Locker members should be able to just squeeze their lockers under the bed, as well.
If you've got an inside stateroom, don't worry that you won't be able to see outside. Through the wonders of a "Magic Porthole," you'll get a live feed of the view outside the ship around the clock. At random intervals, Disney characters will appear on the porthole briefly. For example, Peach the starfish from Finding Nemo may wash up onto the porthole for a few moments, or Hyacinth Hippo from Fantasia may pirouette past your view. Don't worry, though, the porthole switches off at the press of a button if nobody's going to sleep due to watching for the "guest appearances."
This Wednesday, January 26, the Disney Dream begins sailing 3-, 4- and 5-day Bahamas cruises from Port Canaveral. Its sister ship, the Disney Fantasy, will arrive and begin sailing 7-day Caribbean cruises in April 2012.
I've got so much more to tell you about this ship, and I'll do so over the next couple of weeks on the main MousePlanet site. I just wanted to get this blog post up before disappearing into the fog of preparing Monday's Walt Disney World Resort Update for publication.
See you real soon with more about the Disney Dream! In the meantime, to "wet" your appetite, here's a video that my friends at Disney helped to make of me narrating my first ride down the AquaDuck water coaster. I felt so "Travel Channel" making this!
We'll have a lot more written about the Disney Dream in the coming weeks, both by me and other MousePlanet staff who will be on the ship in the next few days. They'll have the comparative view of those who have sailed on the Disney Cruise Line before, while I'm going to give you the full, unvarnished pleasure of someone experiencing the Disney Cruise magic (as opposed to the Disney Magic cruise) at sea.
Meanwhile, if you'd like to start making your own reservations for a cruise on the Dream, you can contact your travel agent or the Disney Cruise Line. MousePlanetís preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com and Small World Vacations.
Note: I was aboard the ship as invited media for the Christening Voyage press event, meaning that Disney picked up the cost of my trip and provided other perks not normally offered to paying guests in order to allow me to have the opportunity to write about the trip for you. While that certainly led to me enjoying the voyage more than if I had paid myself, I can confidently say that I would have loved it anyway, that my writing is not influenced by it, and that there were no conditions placed on my writings whatsoever. As evidence, I will note that we are now starting to plan a family vacation on the Dream as soon as we can work out the details.