02
Feb

Disney Dream: The Luxury Adult-Friendly Kids Ship

I’m beginning to understand why Condé Nast Traveler continuously names Disney Cruise Lines as #1 in the mega ship line category. Beating out Celebrity, Princess and Royal, this line provides some of the best customer service I’ve ever experienced. There is a ‘Disney Touch’ that the line provides and they really go over and above. I can’t speak for the other two cruise ships, but from my experience on the Dream, it’s something you have to experience yourself to really appreciate!

We’ve run through the restaurants and kids clubs, but there are still so many features and activities to talk about, and these are the ones in particular that make the Disney Dream such an ideal vacation for every age, coming from any generation. As you will see, there really is something for everyone!

The Pools:

There are 4 pools located on Deck 11. Donald’s Pool is around 5 feet deep and overlooks a huge screen that plays movies throughout the day. Mickey’s Pool is great for little ones as it is only 2 feet deep, right next to it is a fun twisting one-deck high slide that toddlers adore!

Although not a pool per say, Nemo’s Reef is a water play area located just off to the side of Mickey’s Pool. Every time we walked by babies and toddlers were squealing with delight while playing through the bubblers, fountains and pop jets.

Quiet Cove Pool is an adults-only pool that provides a more serene, relaxed environment. I heard mixed feelings about the pool in regards to the location of the pool chairs, and design, but can’t vouch as I didn’t test it out myself. It definitely was relaxing when I walked by as you couldn’t hear the kids in the background.

The AquaDuck is a cruise industry first – the first-ever shipboard water coaster. Standing four decks high and stretching 765 feet in length, you ride in a clear tube with the ocean beneath you and extending 12 feet over the side of the ship, all you see is ocean all around you. The tunnel encloses throughout the ride adding a thrill. I rode the AquaDuck and absolutely loved it! It was thrilling, but not too scary for kids. You can sit two people per raft if you prefer and riders must be 48 inches in height to ride the coaster. Riding it at night is crazy fun!

Adult Activities and Nightlife:

Want to unwind with a nightcap, go out for a little dancing or just escape for a bit? There are 5 bars and lounges for adults, each one of them completely different and unique from the other.

  • The District Lounge is a sophisticated, relaxed area where you can find live piano music and entertainment.
  • 687 is your traditional pub. It is very warm, welcoming and casual, usually bustling with chit chat and laughter.
  • Pink is an experience all in its own. When you walk into this elegant, upscale cocktail lounge you feel as though you have just entered into a bottle of chamapagne. Everything from the glass bubbles on the back of the bar and the lighting to the scent of prosecco and bubbly in the air, bring a light and fun air to the room.
  • Skyline is pretty laid back and offers a metropolitan “sky bar” experience with ever-changing views of stunning city skylines
  • Evolution is where you go for dancing! This dynamic, contemporary nightclub is where you go for a ‘night on the town’.

Senses Spa & Salon is over 16,000 square feet and provides tranquility, relaxation and a whole lot of pampering in their ocean-view environment. There are 17 treatment rooms – each offering a luxurious spa menu. The Rainforest offers a unique experience of steam, heat and hydrotherapy combined with the power of aromatherapy. The 2,500 square foot gym is also located here, where you can either use their exercise equipment or take part in complimentary group classes (Yoga, aerobics, Pilates, spinning, etc).

Entertainment:

Your Personal Navigator newsletter will provide you with information on what kind of shows are playing that day. During our trip we had 3-4 options every evening, between the Walt Disney Theater and the Buena Vista Theater.

The Buena Vista Theater is decorated in rich fabrics with touches of Art Deco design throughout. At first glance, the chair covers seem to be covered in a rich navy patterned design, when at a closer look, you’ll notice Mickey ears covering the seats (look for fun details like that throughout the ship). Every evening first-run films are played here, some in Disney Digital 3-D. Tangled and TRON: Legacy were the two movies offered during our sailing.

The Walt Disney Theater spans three decks and offers Orchestra and balcony seating. This is where the theatrical productions are held. It was the first time, we had experienced any of these shows and they are spectacular!

Broadway style musicals include two dazzling, fun-filled favorites – The Golden Mickeys: A Timeless Tribute and Villains Tonight, as well as a brand new show ‘Disney’s Believe’. I don’t want to give the entire show away, but the plot is hilarious, touching and might even bring a tear or two to the eyes of mums and dads. Expect appearances from Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Princess Aurora, The Genie and many, many more!

Highly, highly recommend checking out these shows!

Pirate Night is a big celebration for the entire family, many opting to pull out their pirate gear and getting dressed up for the occasion. If you aren’t prepared, no worries, Disney provides you with bandanas if you choose to use them. At 8 p.m. on Deck 11 and 12, there is dancing, games to be played and organized activities put together by the pirates themselves!

Providing your children haven’t conked out by 10:30 (mine were gone, gone, gone), Buccaneer Blast brings the Pirates of Caribbean to you with wild performances, surprising turns of events and a fireworks show. Club Pirate follows shortly after turning the deck into a dance floor with music that is sure to get you up off your feet.

Castaway Cay:

Every Disney Bahamian cruise stops off at Castaway Cay at least once. This private island, owned and operated by Disney is a little slice of heaven, because it is exclusive to Disney guests. When you arrive, you and the other guests on the ship literally have the entire island to yourselves! When you leave the ship and walk just a little bit, there is a shuttle system that transports you to one of the 3 beaches – Scuttles Cove, Pelican’s Point and Serenity Bay (adults only). We spent most of our time at Scuttles Cove, mostly due to the Pelican Plunge.

You can rent a boat, swim with sting rays, snorkel, bring the kids to children’s programs or just chill out on the beach. Cookies and Cookies Too provide fresh barbecued lunches, salads, ice cream and other snacks (free of charge), which is nice – no need to head back to the ship for lunch.

Castaway Cay recently added some new attractions and made some updates, you can read all about them here.

Other neat things I want to mention.

There is much I am leaving out although I have tried my hardest to cover as much as possible. There are a few details that I want to mention before finishing off. Something that isn’t hugely publicized, but offers GREAT fun on the ship is the Scavenger Hunt. There are a couple of kiosks (the one pictured here was located on the 3rd deck), that offer special maps with clues. You ‘scan’ your paper at various locations of the ship, interactive art, etc, to gain additional clues throughout the hunt. One of the freelancers I met on the ship, accompanied her 10 year old son on this adventure and both adored it!

Security is excellent on the ship and when you do register your child for the play groups, they are outfitted with a ‘Mickey Band’ which they wear throughout their trip. The bands ‘scan’ upon entry and exit of the kids clubs and parents must give a password (chosen beforehand) before they allow you to pick up your child. If you are traveling with your significant other, be sure to tell them about this password otherwise, they will not be allowed to pick up your little one.

Ah, the moving art! I almost forgot. Interactive art is spread out throughout the ship. These are actually moving pictures that ‘play out’ once you stand in front of them. Each one is designed with a special facial recognition technology, so it won’t play the same sequence twice. Really amazing! I caught a quick clip of the Alice in Wonderland picture located on Deck 9, just as we were leaving.

As I was exploring the ship from the outside, walking on deck, I noticed these special outdoor areas with cushioned seating. The cool thing about them, is they are heated, so if the night is slightly chilly and you want to sit out and enjoy the ocean, you can in a heated ‘cabana’ style setting.

There are many photo ops available on the ship and on Castaway Cay. Professional photographers are around night and day, taking pictures of kids and their families with and without characters. There is no initial charge for this service, you simply present your Key to the World card, they scan it and then all of your photos can be viewed in your own special album located at Shutters. Before you leave, or whenever you have a moment, you can head down to Shutters and take a look at the photos. There is no obligation to purchase any of the prints, but you can if you choose to.

The Disney Dream is hugely different from both Disney Wonder and Disney Magic. This is a ship that has taken the latest technology and seamlessly integrated it into so many different aspects of the ship. I wasn’t expecting the Dream to be so well rounded, it offers something for everyone regardless of whether they are Disney fans or not. Grandparents, parents, children and teens will all appreciate this cruise. Will we be back? You better believe it!

The Disney Dream is currently sailing 3, 4 and 5 night Bahamian cruises year-round. You can visit Disney Cruise Line for more information, pricing and detailed itineraries. For booking your cruise vacation, I recommend enlisting the help of a travel agent as they can usually get you ‘extras’ like additional cruise credits. Our pick – Small World Vacations (ask for Kathy and tell her we sent you ;).

I want to sincerely thank Disney Cruise lines for giving my family and I the opportunity to take part in such a beautiful Christening event and for giving us a taste of the magic.

*Disclosure: Disney Cruise Lines invited me and my family to Florida for this event. All of my expenses and accommodations were paid by them. All thoughts and opinions voiced here are 100% my own.*

*In no way are we affiliated with Small World Vacations, I recommend them strictly based on the excellent service we received in the past, as well as the excellent recommendations we’ve received from others who have used their services.*

To read our previous reviews – Part 1 here and Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

A mom to two girls and a baby boy, a writer and the publisher of Child Mode. As a lover of style and fashion, Nadia found her ‘niche’ and love of children’s clothing while searching for quality items for her family.

   

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