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P&M wrote a review Mar 2020
2 contributions3 helpful votes
We recently took our entire family, which included our adult kids and their spouses, along with all their kids (5 grandkids ranging from 10 to 3) on a Disney Cruise, for Christmas in 2019. We scheduled our trip aboard the Disney Dream out of Port Canaveral Florida.

I readily admit that I was excited about this trip, primarily as a life-time memory maker for our family. But I also confess that I started this trip with a bit a dread, fully expecting this to be a typical ‘Disney’ experience during any major holiday...large crowds, long waits in incredibly long serpentine lines (for almost everything), rudeness by the guests, high prices, up-charges, (I think you get the idea), along with my concern of the premium we paid to do this. The fact is, that I was pleasantly surprised at the reality of experience, especially compared to what I imagined it to be.

From the moment we entered the cruise terminal until the moment we left, it was a truly wonderful trip...every encounter with every cast-member was a memorable experience, the grandkids had multiple opportunities for Disney character “Meet-and-Greet” / photo-ops, the Kids Club was fantastic, and evening entertainment (plays / musicals) was absolutely first rate, certainly comparable to something we’d expect to experience off-Broadway. Note: I cannot say they were on-Broadway quality, only because I’ve never experienced one...but I cannot imagine how these could have been any better.

Our staterooms were great! We had 3-adjoining rooms, with extended-length verandahs, and collapsing partitions that allowed us to easily visit each other’s rooms, without going into the interior passageway. For us, the location was perfect — they were on the same Deck as the Kids Club, but on the opposite (starboard / right) side of the ship; so it was easy to quickly walk the grandkids to the Kids Club (which they absolutely loved!!!). What was equally good was that in the passageway, just beyond our room, was a bulkhead (wall), which completely eliminated all foot-traffic outside our rooms, simply because their was no place to go...making for a nice, quiet, relaxing time in the room.

They also had cleverly designed water rides and slides on the ship’s top decks. One of them was in a clear glass (?) tube that took their riders on a water ride around the top of the ship. The other was a bit-smaller, kid-friendly ride that spiraled down several stories, before hitting a splash area at the bottom...a perfect ride for our youngest grandchildren.

While our staterooms were good-sized (all had the ability to sleep 4 comfortably — two in the queen-bed, and one in each of the bunk beds (one pulled down from the ceiling, and the other is a sofa conversion). However, there were some peculiarities about these rooms that are worthy of mention:

* All 3 of our staterooms included two separate Bathrooms - one that included a sink and toilet, while the other included a sink and tub/shower combination. We found this to be a curious combination with limited utility for us, and seemed to sacrifice room space at the expense of the second bathroom.
* Although I never tried the tub, the shower was a bit awkward for those passengers over 6-feet tall. The combination of the elevated floor due to the tub insert, and the already low ceiling, meant that I could not stand straight up in the shower. Not a showstopper, by any stretch, but it was certainly atypical of what I would expect a Disney-standard for attention to detail to be.
* Light switches for each of the bathrooms were outside of the actual bathroom(s), which means that if someone needed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, it meant that you had to turn on the light before opening the bathroom door, flooding the room’s remaining occupant(s) with brilliantly bright light.
* The rooms only had two 120v (U.S.) electrical outlets, which made for a significant “challenge” for multiple occupants to charge their smart phones, tablets, camera batteries, or whatever other electronic devices they may have, not to mention outlets required for hairdryers, curling irons, electric razors or other grooming appliances.
* Similarly, we could find only 2 wall-mounted USB ports in each room. However, we discovered 2-additional ports in the back of the room’s alarm clock, which helped minimize some of our charging “challenges”.

Unlike other cruises we’ve experienced, we were not assigned to a single restaurant for dining. In fact, our seating and Dining Room assignments were given to us during our check-in at the port terminal, and was different, based on the day...varying between The Enchanted Garden, The Royal Palace and The Animator’s Pallet. Each Dining Room had its own unique characteristics, and we enjoyed them all. What we liked most about them was that our Wait Staff never changed throughout the entire cruise. These cast members were especially fun and entertaining, and were an absolute pleasure to experience every evening.

The “Anytime-Dining” area was also available, and we used it a few times throughout the cruise. Cast-members were always present at its entrances (as they were at the all of the other dining areas). They constantly encouraged to maintain the venue’s sanitary environment by giving us disinfecting wipes and hand-sanitizers before entering their facilities..which we liked. Unfortunately however, we did see some passengers who would immediately undermine this effort to maintain disease-free conditions...we even encountered one passenger who, after handling the buffet’s food’s utensils, would lick their fingers, before grasping another set of utensils. I only offer this as a caution, that despite cast-members’ best efforts to maintain a sanitary environment, it was clear that not everyone onboard was equally interested in this...so it might be worth brining your own wipes / gel to mitigate this concern.

This leads to our only comparatively disappointing experience, and that was the food in the Dining Rooms. While the artistic presentation of every dish was very impressive, the taste was...sadly, mediocre. Not than anything was inedible, but nothing really stood out as exceptional — something that took us all a bit by surprise, based on our previous experiences within Disney’s theme parks in Orlando and Anaheim.

Our grown kids did some research on special things to do onboard the Disney Dream during the trip...Websites abound with tons of creative ideas to recommend. A couple of the more-clever items our kids found included decorating our stateroom doors and setting up a form of “swag” exchange. For the doors — the stateroom doors are metallic, and some (but not all) could be used with magnets to customize the door with the resident’s own personal designs. We based ours on our favorite Disney characters, printing them on magnetic paper that stuck well to most of our doors. As for the swag, our adult kids created exchange pockets that also attached to the stateroom doors, and certain people would drop random swag in these pockets, while we were out. Part of the deal, however, is that we would do the same thing to other people, in return. This was a cute little exercise that the grandkids loved.

We had 2-port calls during our cruise — Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s island, called Castaway Cay. I confess that we did not venture beyond the pier-side shops while in Nassau, suspecting that the entire island was still reeling / recovering from last summer’s hurricane. Our day at Castaway Cay was wonderful...with a beautiful, kid-friendly island, with brilliant clear-blue water contrasting the fine, sugar-white sand beach area. In addition to the normal beachy things to do — building sand castles, swimming in the shallows, etc., they also offered snorkeling trips, where swimmers could checkout some of Disney’s sunken memorabilia, including an old submarine from their retired 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea ride, as well several underwater Disney characters. For those less adventurous passengers, the island also had an adults-only beach area, in a much quieter, and more setting. Whatever the preference, there were frequent trams available to take visitors wherever they needed to go.

Interspersed amongst the ports of call were some special evening events, including a Pirate Night & Party, and a Formal Night. The Pirate Night was a big hit with everyone in our group. The kids loved running around, yelling their best “Arrrrr” and telling pirate jokes, like “what’s a Pirate’s favorite letter? ‘R’, of course.
My last comment concerns the Kids Club...set up for kids aged 3-12. As best I can recall, the only limitation was that the child had to be “potty-trained”. This was probably the highlight for all of our grandchildren, and certainly was well-worth the price for the adults in our party, as well. It had so many Disney-themed activities, from Star Wars to Toy Story to Monsters Inc., and more...whenever our grandkids were out of Kids Club (like for family meals, photo-ops, etc.) they would literally cry to take them back. While we really enjoyed spending a lot of time with the entire family — kids AND grandchildren — there were occasions when the children wanted to be together...as did the adults. One technique we used, mainly during evening meals was this — as we all sat down, and began reviewing the menus (and before ordering appetizers / entrees for ourselves) we would immediately order the kids’ meals....which would then be served, at the same time we would make our own orders. The kids would get and eat their meals, as we were receiving our appetizers, and would normally finish before our main course arrived. During this period, the Kids would return to Kids Club, the adults could finished the remainder of our dinners, then go to the show, before picking up the kids and getting them ready for bed...this allowed us to spend a bit of kid-time together. The kids were happy, we were happy...it was a Win-Win for all of us.

I’m not sure if Kids Club is what makes Disney cruise prices different from other cruise lines, or if it was simply because it was a Disney venue, but for us, the experience was worth every penny! With that said, we’re not certain that we would do an adults-only Disney cruise. While there were plenty of adult things to do onboard the ship, what really made it special for us were all of the family-friendly / kid-friendly activities that made this an experience that truly lived up to the ship’s monicker - Disney Magic.
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Sail Date: December 2019
Cabin Type: Balcony
Type of Trip:
Destination: Caribbean
Pools & Sundecks
Onboard Activities
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 Helpful votes
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Disney Dream

121 reviews
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Traveler (425)
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Passengers: 2,500   |   Crew: 1,458
Passengers to crew: 1.71:1
Passengers to space: 51.8:1
Launched: 2011   


  • Deck 1
  • Deck 2
  • Deck 3
  • Deck 4
  • Deck 5
  • Deck 6
Additional decks
Deck 1 layout


Cabin size: 205 - 362 sq. ft.
Connected rooms: 736
Accessible rooms: 10
Maximum passengers: 5
Number of cabins: 881
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Kyra H wrote a review 11 Oct
London, Canada1 contribution
I sailed on the Disney Dream for the Halloween on the High Seas in September. While the entertainment was good, I was extremely disappointed with guest services and dining. I have a dairy allergy, but wasn't concerned before the trip, as I notified DCL well in advance and never had any problems at Disney World. However, this was not the case at all. The only time I was able to get dessert was the first night (which was a small piece of carrot cake). The option on the other 3 nights was chocolate (which I can't have). I had to pick from what was already available dairy free, or I could order spaghetti with tomato sauce. Then for our first day on Castaway Cay, I was told by my waiter that I would only need to pre-order dessert, and could order whatever else I wanted on the island. This was not the case, and they did not even have the dessert I pre-ordered. They said there was not a lot of options for me there. I ended up having to go back to the boat. Which is another thing I should mention, for lunch onboard you can go to Cabanas or the quick service places. After you order you're looking at a good 30-40 minute wait, during which you have to stay in the seating area. I would not recommend a Disney Cruise to anyone with an allergy or dietary restriction. I should also add during my time on Castaway Cay I got the snorkel gear, my first set leaked from around the glass, when I went back and got another pair and used them, they also leaked, after that I had to go back to the boat. I had to pay $34 per person the next day so that I could actually try the snorkelling. When I tried explaining the situation, it was brushed off.
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faith wrote a review Sep 2021
43 contributions20 helpful votes
I have always wanted to experience cruising with Disney. I figured with the current low prices and capacity, now is the time. We went on a 3-day one - stopping at Castaway Cay and one day at sea. One crew said there were 1300 passengers, but it really felt more like less than 1000. Our cabin was Deluxe Family Oceanview with Verandah. It has split bathroom that provides more space. It did not feel cramped. It also has an extended verandah that has 4 lounge chairs and a table. The room has lots of storage. We only ate at Cabana's (buffet) for lunch on embarkation day. The food there were nothing more than edible. They were all cold. Afterwards, we only ate at the restaurants. First dinner was at Royale Palace, food was tasty but lukewarm at best. However, the lunches and dinners after that were wonderful. The presentation alone were a feast for your eyes. The Animator's Palate was interactive. Mickey, Minnie and Pluto visited Enchanted Garden with a dance number. Make sure that if you do not have kids with you, visit the food place at Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay - the steak was tender and flavorful. Their private island, Castaway Cay is beautiful. Characters are everywhere - driving around, playing in the sand - plenty of picture opportunity. No shortage of lounge chairs with umbrella too. In a true Disney fashion, crew members or cast members were all an epitome of what customer service should look like. Our head server even got me rice when I said, "Oh, this looks so good, the only missing is rice!" It's those small things that makes the difference most of the time. Because of low capacity, no lines anywhere. We rode Aquaduck 3 times back to back. They also spaced out people in the theaters, seatings were every other row with 3 chairs in between parties. I felt comfortable the entire time that every measure was being done to minimize Covid outbreak in the ship. We are definitely booking another Disney Cruise in the future.
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Yee Yee wrote a review Feb 2021
Pearl, Mississippi4 contributions
Please go. Cost a lot but its worth it. Big ship. Its cool good for kids want to go again had a lot a free time and had fun with kids and wife!
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Tom D wrote a review Aug 2020
Cape Coral, Florida105 contributions68 helpful votes
Always amazed at the customer service from Disney. they train their staff well. Even for non-cruise types or those with poor past experiences, I would highly recommend a Disney Cruise. The level of care, attention to safety, variety of activities are off the charts. Worried about activities and fun for adults, don't be, plenty to keep yourself entertained. Pricey, but definitely worth the cost.
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2 Helpful votes
Nancy A wrote a review Apr 2020
Rockford, Illinois31 contributions8 helpful votes
The ship is beautiful and so much to do. The food was excellent , staff was friendly and went the extra mile to make you happy. Very clean they were handing out sanitizer wipe all over the ship. Cast away cay was just beautiful and very relaxing
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1 Helpful vote