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A Disney Dream Cruise

Updated on October 18, 2014

Cruising on the Disney Dream

On February 21, 2013 I boarded the Disney Dream for a 3 night cruise with my husband and our 11 year old daughter. My husband had been on a (non-Disney) cruise before but my daughter and I had not.

This was also my first experience as a Disney Vacation Club member. We'd been going to Walt Disney World every year since my daughter was 4 1/2, and last year we finally decided to join. We heard great things about Disney cruises so we used up our points for the year (plus some extra) and booked a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah.

The cruise departed from Port Canaveral, which is about 1 hour East of Walt Disney World resort in Florida. We sailed to Nassau Bahamas, Disney's private island Castaway Cay (also in the Bahamas), and back up to Port Canaveral.

Welcome Aboard the Disney Dream

Boarding began at 1:00, but we had a long drive from the Sarasota area so we chose a 2:00 boarding time. We arrived at Disney's Terminal 8, unloaded our luggage, and parked on site. (You can reserve a spot and pay in advance at Make sure you keep anything you need for the next few hours separate from the luggage you hand them. You won't know when it will be delivered to your room.

At the terminal there were 2 lines. One was quite long, but we were directed to another door which had no wait at all. Right through security we walked to the lobby and up to the main desk. We showed them our passports and since we had completed the online check-in there wasn't much else to do. We were given our room keys and room number. Then it was off to another short line for a family photo and then through the ship entrance. They announce your family name and welcome you on board.

Your Room Key

Every member of your party gets a Key to the World Card. These are your room keys. You can tie them to a credit card for on-board purchases as well. Not to worry, you can decide which cards have that privilege if you want to prevent your kids from going on a surprise spending spree. ;)

You'll need to place a key in a slot inside your stateroom to activate the electricity. Don't forget it's there when you leave the room.

Info printed on the card includes the dates of your trip, the ship name, your name, adult or minor indication, your location for the safety drill (ours was the giant M), and your dinner schedules; seating time, restaurant order, and table number.

Our Stateroom

Once we boarded we stood in the lobby taking it all in, then we went off to our room to settle in.

We were in Stateroom #9168, Deck 9, aft, port side. The room was about 203 sq. ft. with a 43 sq. ft. balcony. For our family of 3 the room was a nice size and had plenty of storage space.

In photo on the top left you see the queen-size bed with 2 small side tables, a cabinet, 3 drawers, two wardrobes, and the the split bathroom. The top right pic shows the opposite side of the room with a convertible sofa bed, Pullman style bunk bed, a storage trunk/table, desk, chair, and balcony with two chairs and a side table. The room also has a refrigerator, 22" LCD flat-screen television, room phone, portable "wave phones", iPod docking station, hair dryer, and in-room safe. There are lots of nooks & crannies to hide stuff away and once you've unpacked your suitcases they fit nicely under the bed.

The bathroom interiors are below. The space on the left includes a sink, vanity and toilet. On the right a sink, vanity, tub & shower. It also has a full length mirror on it's door. My husband was wishing they were one large room instead of two small ones, but I liked it this way.

Balcony View

Since our room was toward the back of the ship, high up, and since the boat is so large we didn't feel much movement in our room. The first night I could feel us moving a bit, but by the second night I couldn't notice it anymore. I'm someone who gets very motion sick. This one one of the reasons we chose a 3 night cruise. I was worried about seasickness. I took one Bonine tablet a day and was fine the whole trip. I never felt sick on board. The only negative thing about our room location was the walking distance. The corridors are LONG and we were almost at the very back of the ship.

Dinners on the Disney Dream

One of my favorite things about the cruise was the dinners. :)

There are three main restaurants that you rotate through during your stay. Each with a different theme. You have the same table number and servers, and sit with the same guests each night. I was worried about having the same servers at first since there was a little language barrier when we met. The staff comes from all over the world and some have stronger accents than others, and some aren't as comfortable with English. My husband is gluten free and explaining that to someone who's first language is Spanish was interesting. I had no reason to worry though. Our serving team was wonderful and so sweet. I looked forward to seeing them each night. Alex Perdomo was our Assistant Server. He always had fun puzzles and tricks to show the kids, and he always had a smile on his face. Zdravko Hucika was our Server and he was always ready with recommendations. If you couldn't decide between two items he'd bring you both. :) He was a lot of fun too. They both got the hang of my husband's dietary needs and took great care of him.

The first night we ate at Enchanted Garden. This restaurant is on Deck 2, Midship, and the design is meant to remind you of picturesque gardens of Versailles, France. With the green and floral theme I expected Princess Tiana to walk by (there were no characters at the meal). The Enchanted Garden serves "Market-inspired Continental" cuisine. I had the North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli for an appetizer, a Romaine Wedge salad, Grilled NY Strip Steak, and a Banana Foster Sundae for dessert. You can look over the menu at

The second night we had dinner at Royal Palace. This restaurant is on Deck 3, Midship. They serve French-inspired continental cuisine. It's a beautiful restaurant with marble floors and sparkling chandeliers. The most elegant of the 3 and fit for any princess. Alex had gluten-free bread ready for my husband without being asked. I chose Belle's French Onion Soup, Baked Farm-Raised Organic Chicken Breast (my favorite main dish of the trip), and a Strawberry Shortcake Sundae. has this menu as well.

The last night we were in Animator's Palate on Deck 3, Aft. This had the most relaxed atmosphere of the three restaurants and was the only one with entertainment during dinner. The Finding Nemo gang, led by Crush, makes appearances on screens all around the space. He interacts with the guests too. It's a fun dinner for the younger ones. Animator's Palate offers "contemporary Pacific Rim cuisine with an American flair". I had the Wild Mushroom Risotto and Porcini Twist (my favorite appetizer of the trip), Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup, and Lemon-thyme Marinated Organic Chicken Breast. I couldn't decide on a dessert so I got both the Sweet Temptations and the Cookies and Cream Sundae. Again, you can look over the menu at

Shows on the Disney Dream

My second favorite thing about the cruise was the shows. Every night there was a different Broadway style stage show in the ship's Walt Disney Theatre, Decks 3 & 4, Forward. There are two performances a day and you go to a certain show based on your family's mealtime. Folks who eat dinner at the first seating (5:45) go to the 8:30 pm show. This was our schedule and I like it this way. Those who eat dinner at the second seating (8:15) see the show first at 6:15.

Doors open 30 minutes before the show begins so get down there early if you want your pick of seats.

Thursday night we saw The Golden Mickeys. It's an awards ceremony/musical revue honoring different Disney characters for awards in categories of heroism, friendship, romance and more. There's also an interactive preshow for Red Carpet arrivals with young cruise guests getting interviewed just outside the theater with a live video feed showing inside.

Friday night we saw Villains Tonight. I thought this was on the cheesy side but my daughter liked it best. Hades, the villain from the movie Hercules, is the main character in the show. Worried about losing control of the Underworld, he visits the most powerful Disney Villains to help him regain his evilness.

Saturday night we saw Disney's Believe. This was my favorite of the 3. It's the story of Dr. Cornelius Greenaway, a botanist who is completely focused on his work, and his daughter Sophia who's birthday wish is for her father to believe all things magical. Familiar characters include Tinkerbell, Genie from Aladdin, Mary Poppins and more.

A Walt Disney Theatre Panorama

Planning Your Days

While on board there are SO many things happening at any hour of the day that it can be hard to choose, or even keep them all straight. There will be more that you miss, than you can experience. To help you decide and plan your day you receive a Personal Navigator for each day of your cruise. In this 6 page flyer you'll find family, adult, and youth activities, movies, deck events, character greetings, and port times all listed. There's even a TV Guide style insert breaking up everything by category and time.

Our first day went like this:

  • get onboard and unpack
  • look over the 1st Personal Navigator
  • go to the mandatory boat drill
  • look around the boat a bit
  • daughter and husband rode the AquaDuck
  • change for dinner
  • eat at Enchanted Garden
  • watch The Golden Mickey's
  • plan the next day
  • watch Wreck-It Ralph in 3D in the movie theatre
  • bed at 12:30

Second day:

  • wake up and get ready
  • have an early lunch at Flo's V8 Cafe
  • head off-ship to Nassau where we shopped, went to the Pirates of Nassau museum, and got ice-cream
  • back on the boat
  • change for dinner
  • eat at the Royal Palace
  • watch Villains Tonight
  • daughter and husband rode the AquaDuck
  • on Deck 12 for Buccaneer Blast Fireworks
  • had a late night snack at Cabanas
  • bed at 11:30

Third day:

  • wake up and get ready
  • daughter, husband, and I rode the AquaDuck
  • head off-ship to Castaway Cay
  • had lunch at Cookie's BBQ
  • looked around and relaxed on the beach
  • back on the boat
  • went to Disney Animaton: Creating a Character in the D Lounge
  • change for dinner
  • eat at the Animator's Palate
  • watch Disney's Believe
  • bought souvenirs
  • packed what we could
  • bed at 11:30

Fourth day:

  • wake up and get ready
  • finished packing
  • had breakfast at Cabanas
  • stopped by Shutters to buy a family portrait
  • got in the very long line to disembark the ship
  • then we hit the road for a few days at Walt Disney World!

Explore the Disney Dream

Book Your Own Disney Dream Cruise

Disney Cruise Line packages from Magical Vacation Planner.

Castaway Cay

This page isn't about Castaway Cay in particular, but it was our second Port of Call and it is owned by Disney so I'll include this map of the island. Like the cruise ship there was a lot offered that we weren't able to do. The best part was relaxing and enjoying the beautiful weather. The water is cold in February though.

Disney Cruise Line Keepsakes

Mickey Mouse Pillow Plush - Disney Cruise line


Stuffed Mickey by day, pillow by night!
14" H x 18" W (excluding head)

Mickey Mouse
Disney Cruise Line Towel

100% cotton towel with DCL screen art.
34" x 64"

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    • profile image

      dilipchandra12 lm 4 years ago

      Wow great lens, its nice. I really enjoyed reading the same.

    • profile image

      MythYes 4 years ago

      I love Disney :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      wow... It's great

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Well done! Disney is a great cruise line! I use to work for one that was the two day cruise out of Palm Beach, Disney is probably one of the best bang for your buck when it comes to cruises!

    • profile image

      soaringsis 4 years ago

      Your cruise brings back wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Looks like you all had a great time. This is a very good lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • accfuller profile image

      accfuller 4 years ago

      What a great lens! This is one of my bucket list items. I gave you a squid-like and a g+1 ... :)

    • BowWowBear profile image

      BowWowBear 4 years ago

      I love Cruises! My wife and I did Alaska with Princess for our honeymoon and had the very best time! Thanks for sharing. You provided a very good idea of what to expect with Disney!

    • profile image

      ajmac 4 years ago

      I Been on this cruise the first year it came into service.You got all the information here.Good job in doing this lens.Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Years ago, I was in the hotel business. I remember well how Disney was considered to be the "gold standard" in the hospitality industry. We even used training videos to teach our employees The Disney Way. I've never been on a Disney cruise, but I'm not surprised to read that they do such a great job. Visiting this lens today makes me want to go on one of their cruises.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 4 years ago from Albany New York

      Excellent review and you really went over all aspects and was very thorough. My husband and I did a Disney Cruise without children. I did a lens on that for seniors. Congrats on the Front Page!

    • profile image

      adminvnip 4 years ago

      thank you so much for the lens, maybe one day i will try

    • AG 1984 profile image

      AG 1984 4 years ago

      Very nicely done . Enjoyed reading your lens!!!!

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 4 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      I've never been on a Disney cruise but I would love to take my grandchildren. What an awesome lens! Thanks for all the great info!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thank you so much for the pics, this is the room we are staying in when we cruise in october....

    • Christene-S profile image

      Christene-S 4 years ago

      @TheObjectivist: I don't have any statistics on that, but I trust the Disney brand more than any other.

    • TheObjectivist profile image

      TheObjectivist 4 years ago

      Nicely Done ! With all of the news over the past couple of years with disasters at sea - Are the Disney cruises that much safer than the rest? I still have some fears. Great Lense !

    • profile image

      pauleen_potter 4 years ago

      So far, I've cruised 4 times with Disney and I love it. And guess what, the last time I went there, was on the Disney Dream on the cruise prior to yours, the one from February 17th to 21st ^_^

    • criysto lm profile image

      criysto lm 4 years ago

      Great lens, I'm really hoping to be able to go one day!

    • WordChipper profile image

      WordChipper 4 years ago

      We've been on a few cruise vacations but never with Disney. Maybe next time.

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