Totally Honest Review Of The Disney Dream Part 2

We previously posted about our experience on the first leg of our Back to Back cruise on the Disney Dream.  Now we will talk about the second part.

We would like to thank all of the people of the group that we met from the Disboards.  The Fish Extender was fun, and the Yankee Swap was great.  Meeting, and talking to other cruisers put a lot of my questions, and thoughts at ease.

On Thursday we woke at 7am to go to breakfast, and meet the group of cruisers that we met on the Disboards.  We went up to Cabanas.  After breakfast we got a group photo, and said goodbye.  We disembarked the ship, and were instructed where to go to get back on.  After going through paperwork we were given our boarding number, and told to wait.  After about an hour we reboarded at @10:30am.  When reboarding the photo group on the gangway wasn’t ready for photos so we couldn’t get our photos.  We had another person take our photo so we did get a photo.

After that we went back onto the ship, and went up to deck 11 for coffee.  During this time it is advised to you that you will be onboard while maintenance is being performed.  We pretty much just hung out on deck 11 until we noticed people coming onboard.  For the most part rooms aren’t available until 1:30pm, but being a Back to Back cruiser with the same room we were able to go back to our room earlier.  We then went to the Sail Away party.

What we noticed is that during a 3 day cruise majority of the people onboard have a tighter timeframe to accomplish everything they want to do so lines are a bit longer for some things.  This stands true for the pools no matter what any person in the media has published in the past.  For those that don’t understand why I say this… Read this excerpt that was posted by a well known site…

POOLS

No matter who I spoke with, the Cast Member emphasised how the Disney Dream is 40% larger than the Magic and Wonder and so everything was enlarged by about 40%. The same is true for the pools.

Disney Magic Pool

Disney Dream Pool

Notice the pool is square, and the actual swimming section is round.  Can you all admit that this was definitely an unwise choice?

We went to play some miniature golf, and the lines do have their bad times at certain times.  Next we enquired into the simulators.  We were advised of the prices by the person in charge of them, and we decided against them.  This was something I felt Disney should have included.  The decking material on deck 12 gets extremely hot in comparison to the other boats so walking around in the hot sun waiting for Aquaduck, or just walking around will make your feet quite uncomfortable.

During our first leg of the cruise we got off in the Bahamas and personally went to Ardastra Gardens.  We paid @45 for the 3 of us including the Jitney bus.  Disney wanted @$125+ for the Ardastra Gardens excursion.  Yes theirs includes a driving tour around the island that lasts @1/2 hour.  This was not necessary for us.  When we docked at Nassau, Bahamas the second time we got off briefly, but returned because we don’t stay there for long.  We just don’t enjoy Nassau that much.  Upon coming back onboard we noticed that the pools were already well filled, and the Aquaduck was also pretty full.  With the Aquaduck we noticed that it is closed on, and off throughout the day due to technical problems.

While at Castaway Cay my daughter, and I took part in the Stingray excursion.  This was a very memorable experience for us.  What I didn’t know was that I got severly burned during this.  This was due to the level of sun at the time of the excursion.  We were on the last excursion of the day.  For the price this excursion was valued well.  It was worth the sun poisoning for me to have that experience with my daughter.  Back onboard that night I got very sick due to the sun poisoning.  Valuable lesson… When your significant other purchases sunscreen make sure she buys good stuff, and not $1 store stuff.  Also make sure it isn’t from like 2-3 years ago because she put it away and forgot about it.

On the last night we scrambled to get dinner, Believe, and packing done before the 10:30pm time.  What we should have done was we should have done the Believe show on the 4 night so that we weren’t jammed up so bad.

In conclusion… I think Disney should have taken a bit more time to evaluate some of the things that they did with this ship.  Some people have messaged me telling me that “It’s a new ship.  It needs time to work out bugs.”  For the price that is charged I expect perfection.  Disney should account for issues and price should be taken into consideration for possible problems.  If you don’t believe this is the case, then please mail me a check for my cruise, and I will shut up.  After all… I can’t justify throwing money away.  Many of the people we cruised with, and even other seasoned Disney Cruising people that we didn’t cruise with that we spoke to felt that there was a major difference between the Dream, and the others.  The staff we personally had was spectacular.  A few of the employees that we met had nothing but complaints about their jobs.  One of the people in our group had this to say…

We had a Russian (sp)? room hostess and all she did was complain about, “too much work to do”

I have spoken with DCL guest communications, and they communicated that they appreciated the feedback, and it was necessary because it helps them improve things.

BTW… Cudos to Sigit (Stateroom), Nathanapon (Dining Server), and Raluca (Asst. Dining Server)

People like this helped make some essence of the cruise perfect.

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Totally Honest Review Of The Disney Dream

We are very big Disney people in my family.  We wanted to take a trip on the Dream for a vacation, and also so that I could see for myself if half of the people that have reviewed the ship were either so blind, or if they were getting taken care of so well by Disney that they would never say anything bad.  Keep reading to see my findings.

All in all we had an OK time in comparison to staying home.  I probably would not do a cruise on the Disney Dream again unless the price was extremely discounted.

We started a 2 part cruise on April 10th, and concludes on April 17th.  During this time we have made note, and will present you with our unbiased opinion/view of the Disney Dream.

I will be publishing a few segments with my review of the Disney Dream.  Being that I am not affiliated with Disney, or Disney Cruise in any manor my review will be very candid in everything I write.  I will not lie, or deceive anyone with a “Sugar-Coated” review.  Read through a lot of the travel bloggers that have written about the Dream, and you will see that I speak the truth about untruthful bloggers.  If you don’t know what to believe at the end of this then cruise the Dream, and then cruise the Magic, or Wonder.  I am sure you will agree.

This is all based on our views of things from the 1st of the 2 cruises.  I will be further adding more information to a follow-up review after we return on the 17th.
This review is completely unbiased, and we were travelling on our expense.  Hope this review is helpful for you in the future.
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Disney Dream – Arrival Review
Upon arrival at the port you turn your bags over, and are checked onto the property at the gate, and then sent on to the security area.  After security you are sent into the actual terminal to process your papers, and get your keys.  You are then given a group number that will eventually be called to board the ship.  If you are a Platinum Castaway Club member you will get priority boarding.  On back to back cruises you are required to get off the boat as normal, but you can board @ 1 hour later.  (10:30am for our purposes.)
We got almost all of our luggage within 1 hour of boarding.  One suitcase was completely damaged during transit to the room, and Disney decided they wanted to send the suitcase to their people to attempt repair.  (We found this quite ridiculous because you can see the luggage was destroyed.)  Two days later we were finally contacted, and told that they couldn’t fix the luggage.  The supervisor attempted to give us a smaller suitcase that we immediatelly refused.  He came back with another, and we accepted it in exchange for the broken suitcase.
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Disney Dream – Swimming / Aquaduck Review
I have been on all of the currently existent Disney Cruise ships, and by far the Disney Dream seems to have a lot less swimming area than the others.  The pools just seem much smaller than I remember the other ships having.  Smaller children have their own area to play, and even a very shallow pool, but incredibly enough parents still seem to want to inconvenience the rest of the boat that would like to swim with their older children.
The Aquaduck was recently clocked by me at launching at @25-27 second intervals.  The line to the Aquaduck can get very long, and at times the Aquaduck isn’t worth trying to get on.  On at least 2 occassions the Aquaduck was closed due to technical difficulties with the raft movement system that brings the rafts from the bottom back up to the top.  On one occassion my daughter happened to notice a person going through the Aquaduck without a tube.  Shortly thereafter we noticed crew members scrambling to address the issue.
I saw one parent get asked to take their very young child to the small childrens pool.  This was correct.  Then I further state that parents have no regard for signs stating “Under 12 years old must be adult supervised.”  I don’t know how many times I saw the Family Whirlpool crowded with strictly children.  It almost seemed like the staff enforces what they choose rather than everything.
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Disney Dream – Dining Review
I have noticed at breakfast that there are still no fresh made omellete station.  This does exist on the other Disney ships.  This is one touch that I think they should have added.
The next problem that we had occur was that we got up to get more food at Cabanas, and someone immediatelly cleaned off our table, and reissued it to another guest within about 4 minutes.
Next, Animators Palate is very nice, but the show is very distracting.  Having people staring past you while they are trying to watch the screens can be very annoying.
Lastly, Our dining staff was very courteous.  They were good enough to have us request them on the second part of this trip.  No major complaints at this point.
The soda fountains on Deck 11 seem more watered down than I remember.
I have never gone to Palo, or Remy, but what amazes me is that Disney is usually infatuated with signage, and on the Dream I have never witnessed so many people getting lost getting to Remy, or Polo due to the lack of signage to get there.
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Disney Dream – Stateroom Review
The staterooms are fairly similar to the other Disney ships.  The doors now open via waving your keycard in front of a sensor.  Sometimes this does not work correctly.  What I did not realize is that when the security lock is turned from inside the room that only one person on the ship can open the door, and it took @1 – 1 1/2 hours to get into our room because of a lack of understanding on the part of the guest services personell that we spoke to on the phone.
Disney has gotten very energy saving with this ship.  When you enter your room you insert your keycard into a slot in order to keep the room lights on.  Once you pull the keycard out the lights in the room go out shortly thereafter.  This is very efficient.
Wavephones were great additions.  There is one small issue that I find… There is no ringers, so if you aren’t litterally watching the phone, or keeping it in your pocket then you will miss many calls.  I guess Disney decided that they couldn’t make money unless people lost, or broke the Wavephones.  Bring your own 2 way radios if you don’t want to take the risk of spending $250.
Drawer space is “EXTREMELY” limited.  There are 3 small draws in the desk, and 2 very small draws next to the bed.  (1 on each side.)  There is 3 closet hanging areas that can be used.  The last storage place in the room is the storage chest/table that sits in front of the couchbed that is in some rooms.
TV service is very slim for the most part.  For most of the cruise there were only a few channels available in the staterooms.
Our room hostess was very nice, and very prompt about his work whenever he came by.
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Disney Dream – General Ship Review
While I am all for Disney trying to keep kids away from smoking I think Disney should honestly not be so shifty in their ways.  I also firmly believe that if I had a choice of what influence I wanted my daughter to see then I would say SMOKING.  Alcohol is a proven killer due to Kidney Diseases, Drunk Driving, and many other “Documented” issues.  Smoking is still not documented as well as alcohol so keep this in mind.
Smoking sections are not like they used to be.  You are able to smoke on the one side of Deck 4 from 6pm till 6am because the joggers were complaining too much.  You are also able to smoke on one side of the Waves Bar.  You are still able to smoke on your verandah, but that is even a fine gray line as far as I can see it.  The room next door may be against this, and as such will complain, and cause issues.
Another thing that I find extremely amazing is that only due to being in International waters children can freely grab a seat at a bar by their parents, or whomever they are with.  In several states of the U.S. this would be seriously illegal.  By Disney’s standards they should not allow children to seat at, or in the vicinity of the bars/bar areas.  And parents… You should really think about what your alcohol issues do to your kids.  Would you take your kids to a bar in the U.S.?  I think not because I am sure DYFS, or some other entity would be involved if you did.  On top of that the establishment wouldn’t allow it.  Seriously… Disney won’t let kids sit at the bars in Disney World.
My wife and I personally watched a broken wine glass sit on the side of one of the bars as multiple workers passed it by.  I believe it took at least an hour before it was taken away.  This was a safety issue waiting for a little child to come by.
Elevators seem to take quite some time.  If you only need to move one or two floors, then I suggest walking stairs.
At the Bahamas I can understand taking identification with you when leaving the ship.  What i don’t understand is that when you initially check in at the port your photo is taken, and attached to the computer system so that they can see your photo at any point.  When you get off at Castaway Cay you are told to bring your id, and keycard.  Why is this?  Is my photo going to change that much while on your island?  Not very brilliant.
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Disney Dream – Pirates Night Review
During the Pirates on Deck party they don’t have the fireworks immediatelly following the deck show.  On the Dream the fireworks were started at 10:30pm.
The 11th, and 12th decks get very packed during the nighttime Pirates fireworks show.  To see the complete fireworks show I suggest getting there in advance, and get a good spot @ mid ship.  (Going front to back, not port to starboard.)
On the Magic, and Wonder they had a huge spread of food out, but because of how they scheduled the show, and the fireworks at different times we were not able to partake in the deck food.
Many stairwells, and areas are closed due to fireworks, and other show related closures.
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Disney Dream – Conclusion Review
In general the ship is very nice to look at, and well maintaned.  There just seems to be quite a few bugs in their system.  We were initially very pleased with what we read, and saw on Youtube, but to our “Amazement” none of the reviews we saw seem very truthful.
I have seen quite a few ship employees complaining about some of the things that they are up against.  In some respects I can almost see some of the displeasure in the employees based on how they act.
If you were looking to get on the Disney Dream because of all the hype like we fell for, then don’t waste your time, or money.  Stick with the Magic, or the Wonder.  The ship is quite bigger, but bigger is not always better.  We will now think much harder when we want to go on a Disney Cruise.  I like the last two ships we have been on, but the Dream isn’t all that.
Disney has recently announced many new cruises that are taking place.  We are already looking into one, or two of them because of the newly announced port of departure.
I will go back to my roots, and sail the Wonder, or the Magic whenever possible.  At least those ships weren’t presented as cutting edge, and ending up being a big disappointment to us.  Being this cruise was booked with DVC I have no way of receiving any customer service for the level of pleasure that we expected, but did not receive.

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Disney Dream Updates

We are highly anxious for 2011 to get here because we already have our plans decided.  Now all we have to do is get some money on them so that they can become a reality.  We are planning on taking 2 Disney cruises back to back on the Disney Dream.

From a news release that I received there have been some modifications to the orignal information that was earlier released about the Disney Dream.

CELEBRATION, Fla. (March 30, 2010) – Adding to its impressive list of cruise industry firsts, Disney Cruise Line will combine technology-infused innovations and imagination to create a whole new level of magical experiences for families sailing on its newest ship, the Disney Dream. Throughout their cruise vacation, guests will encounter unexpected magic – such as a restaurant that transports guests under the sea, artwork that magically comes to life and youth clubs filled with immersive gaming environments and personalized character encounters.

Disney Cruise Line partnered with Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative force responsible for designing Disney theme parks and resorts world-wide, to develop new forms of family entertainment for the Disney Dream. New experiences planned for the Disney Dream include:

Animator’s Palate
For the Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line is re-imagining a fan favorite from the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder – Animator’s Palate restaurant. The restaurant design is that of a classic animation studio filled with character sketches, maquettes (three-dimensional character models), paint brushes, colored pencils and other tools of the animation trade. Scenes and characters from popular Disney•Pixar films adorn the walls.

Once the dinner service begins, however, the dining room begins a magical transformation as scores of wall-mounted LCD screens switch to scenes of a vivid undersea environment. It’s as if the restaurant was transported to the ocean floor and the LCD screens are windows, providing incredible views of a colorful coral reef and creatures that reside on the reef.

While dining, Crush, the surfer-dude sea turtle from Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” makes a special appearance, swimming around the restaurant and engaging in live impromptu interactions with guests. Crush will ask guests about the experience onboard the ship and in turn answer questions about life under the sea. While Crush is moving throughout the restaurant, other characters from “Finding Nemo,” such as Nemo, Dory, Squirt and Bruce the shark, swim by and visit with guests.

The dining experience culminates with a surfing lesson led by Crush as the EAC (East Australian Current) swirls around the room. As Crush swims away, other characters from “Finding Nemo” make a final appearance before magically turning into pencil sketches.

Interactive Play-floor
For young cruisers, Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab will feature an interactive play-floor, a cruise industry first that blends the latest in gaming technology with Disney’s panache for storytelling. Located in the main gathering space in both venues, the interactive play-floor allows children to engage in team play exercises where their movements control the action on the interactive floor. For example, one activity has children scrambling around the perimeter of the interactive play-floor with their movements controlling the pitch of a virtual tilt maze.

On the interactive play-floor, children will be able to explore a wide variety of gaming options with varying levels of difficulty. Disney Cruise Line youth counselors will use the interactive play-floor during storytelling activities where children will be able to fly over the streets of London with Peter Pan or ride the ocean waves with Crush.

Living Characters
Also in Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab youth areas, Disney characters come to life and interact with children in one-of-a-kind experiences. On a 103-inch screen, Crush, the animated sea turtle from the Disney•Pixar motion picture “Finding Nemo,” or the mischievous animated alien Stitch make scheduled appearances to chat, play and joke with kids in live, unrehearsed conversations.

Sometimes using silly props from their digital environments, Crush and Stitch amaze and entertain children during real-time, personalized appearances. These magical experiences with Crush and Stitch continue Disney’s legacy of bringing characters to life in new and incredible ways.

Enchanted Art
Throughout the Disney Dream, guests will encounter Enchanted Art that immerses guests in Disney storytelling in a completely new way. Appearing as traditional framed art, Enchanted Art magically comes alive when guests pause to admire the artwork. Enchanted Art will carry the appearance of popular art mediums – photography, oil paintings, paper sculpture, travel posters and animation cells. In reality though, they are framed LCD screens made to look like artwork through special effects and recognizes when a guest is present…which triggers the animated sequence. Guests may see new and different animations each time they come back and visit the Enchanted Art pieces.

In addition, the Enchanted Art is used as part of a one-of-a-kind detective themed adventure where guests of all ages join a ship-wide quest to find either stolen artwork or missing puppies. By using a simple card that serves as a high-tech detective device, guests can peer behind virtual canvases and discover clues that will lead them to solve the mystery and capture the villain responsible. A self-paced adventure, the game offers six potential villains and features randomized events so each time a guest plays they will encounter a different and unique gaming experience.

Virtual Porthole
The Disney Dream carries on the spirit of innovation with a cruise industry first for all inside staterooms. Virtual Portholes offer a “window” to the world with a real-time view outside the ship. High-definition cameras placed on the exterior of the ship feed live video to each Virtual Porthole. The live video feed corresponds to the stateroom location – with a view to port, starboard, forward or aft.

As guests are observing the outside views, they may glimpse a magical surprise: animated characters may pop by the Virtual Porthole. Characters may include Peach the starfish from the Disney•Pixar film “Finding Nemo,” the flying balloon house from “UP” or even Mickey Mouse.

The Disney Dream is scheduled to depart on its maiden voyage Jan. 26, 2011, and will sail alternating three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. During summer months, the ship will alternate four- and five-night itineraries with two stops at Castaway Cay.

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Views Of The Disney Dream… No It’s Not A Dream

I am continually checking to see if Meyer Werft has exposed anything that will give us a view of the Disney Dream.  Well, to my surprise they have.  I have attached the most recent picture from their webcam.

Any updated Disney Dream photos will be visible by clicking HERE.

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