Disney Dream Cruise
This article is written from cruises before Covid so please note I am sure many things will have changed once they are up and running again!
This is information from trips we took on a Disney 4 night 5 day Disney Dream Cruise in April 2018 and Thanksgiving Merry Christmas Cruise Nov 2019. For the first DCL, I did not know what to expect. I had been on a 7 day western Caribbean cruise, and a 14 day European cruise with other cruise lines. This trip was a birthday cruise for my son who turned 8 on boarding day. My mother was with us and she is slightly handicapped and uses a cane.
Before any trip I research and never found a full on review, a NY times one came out close to our trip. Our ship was 91 percent full and I am sure there were 3,000 different views of the trip from our ship. This review will be from my families point of view, I tell the highs and the lows. It is a long review but took me months to research much of this info and what we learned from out trips! . I was glad I knew a lot of this ahead of time as I didn't learn a lot of it on the trip. Example, many did not know about free room service.
If you fly to the cruise, I always recommend flying a day early. I have know many to miss their cruise from cancelled flights.
Make sure to do online check in online.
First off, I love Disney! I married someone who is not a fan, but that has not stopped my love for it, so we left him at home! Lol I had read many amazing reviews and was so excited for this trip. So when I state a few things that didn't meet what we expected, it is not to be mean, but just give an honest view of our trip. Remember our boat was almost full too! A friend boarded the same cruise as we got off and had many more magical experiences. Everything can’t always be perfect. We were lucky and had amazing weather and I will take that over the few non magical experiences. I noticed a few people on my cruise wrote on Disney FB pages about the same things, so I was not alone. Again, we all have different servers just like we all have different personalities. Some are amazing! Some are fine! One of you can take this same cruise and have a totally different experience so just remember that. I think the true magic is just getting to go! We love it and can't wait to go on another!
Cruises usually are announced about a 1 year and a half before the sail date. If you can purchase your cruise on that day to get the best price. They also give Florida Residents and Military Discounts. If it is your second cruise or more you can call before this date, depending on the number of cruises you have taken and book a little earlier.
How do I pick a cruise?
Many things come into play here, price, how many days, where do you want to see? Pick the one that is right for you. We chose this one as some friends of ours were going on. After you book it, I believe you pay 20 percent down, you will have to pay it all by your PIF date. For first timers it was 75 days before the cruise at midnight. This is when you will also book excursions and on board activities. I believe second time cruisers is 90 days and then 125 for the next level. We used a Disney TA .
You can pick first or second seating. If you want first and it is full you can get on the wait list when you first get on the boat. The second dining will come and take your kids from you if you want and take them to kids club. It seems to be a slower pace meal as the first one filled rushed. If you get assigned first dining get on teh wait list. If they do not move you when you get on go to Enchanted and see fit hey can work some Disney magic for you. Luckily they did for us our second cruise and moved us to first.
Using a Disney TA you have to book everything through them, but there are perks, ours gave us a $100 on board credit, she got us an amazing Handicap room for us, and booked my excursions at midnight of the first day we can book for us. You also give her your charge card info to pay for the trip, some people worried when a TA asked for it, so know they will . Costco also sells these cruise ships and you get Costco gift cards for roughly $450.
What kind of room should I book?
We wanted mid ship, near elevators, with a veranda and handicapped accessible. A HA room has only one large bathroom while most rooms have 2 bathrooms. One with a shower and toilet and one with just a toilet. My mom loves morning coffee overlooking the sea so a balcony was a must for her. Dream 9176, 5150 has huge verandas, 6192 has shaded large balcony.
For our second cruise that we booked the week of we had a 7a room. I am claustrophobic. It is the smallest room with a navigator balcony, meaning some views are blocked. At the doc we got to pay a upgrade fee to a 4a which was a little larger and a normal balcony. So worth it for me!!
After you book your trip try to find your cruise fb page for your cruise. Search the date and name of the ship and see what pops up. This was very helpful to get info from past travelers and to get to know others before the cruise.
You never know who you will run into in the elevator
For us this is a no brainer. On my very first cruise my mom was in the ship hospital the whole cruise. You do not know when are where you will get sick or hurt. For my son and I it was $235 for both of us to be fully covered. My mom was on a separate plan since she lives in a different household. Hers was $285 due to her age. They also base it on the total cost of the trip. It covered us from door to door. It also covered us to cancel the trip if any of us got sick. Make sure when you get insurance to ask what it covers. For us to be life flighted out, if we canceled due to anyone being sick and get 100 percent back were musts. We used TravelGuard and my brother has used them many times in his abroad traveling. To us it was worth the money to have peace of mind if something happened. For the second cruise is was $176 for the most expensive Disney plan.
Wave Phones are in each room It is made to call others on board. Ours never seemed to work the first cruise. This cruise I made sure to learn how and make sure they work. Keep them charged in the one charger in your room. We rotated them each day.
Each phone has a number your cabin number and a 1 or a 2 You can see it on the phone. You can call other cabins if you know their cabin number and add a 1 or 2. These worked great. You can use them on Castaway Cay too!
Disney Cruise app
Download before you go, it will do nothing til you get on board but put in the reservation number to get your account ready. Then when on board go to airplane mode, and dcl guest wifi keep this the whole trip. You then get a text number through the app get one for everyone you know and you can text. Note some texts came like 20 min later so it was not always 100 percent but did work good. This is only on the boat, no islands and mine did not work on Cay. You have to look in app to see if you have a text, it does not alert you.
The Navigator is in there, you can see your bill, hear things you want to do and it will send you alerts, it sends texts when my son was checked into and out of kid club and he could have them send me a text come get me. It will list your dinning and that nights menu.
You can pay for your trip with gift cards. Sam's club sells them cheaper than the value. If you have a Disney Visa you get Disney Reward money in the form of a gift card based on what you spend. I saved up gift cards I got for gifts and bought some through Sam’s Club to pay for my on board bill. It was nice to leave the ship with a $12 bill!! Did you know you can buy gifts cards to be sent via email? Great for grandparents to give as gifts. https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2UNHNM34UE710/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1 Here is the link for $500 for $484 at Sam's Club https://www.samsclub.com/sams/disney-500-ddp-egift-card/prod21428078.ip?xid=cat1003-jewe:carousel-entertainment:5
Before your trip you can order in room gifts ahead of time. https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/in-room-gifts-and-shopping/ You can do this on the website, but using a TA she had to actually purchase it for us. I did the Dorey room decorating package since we boarded on my sons birthday. It was $69. It came with a small pillow, a picture frame, nice fuzzy blanket, ceiling decorations, and mirror clings. I have posted pictures of it. They did have a birthday package but it came with a towel and we just don't need a towel and my son loves fuzzy blankets. They also have a navigator and Star Wars package. We also got 2 sets of 6 bottles of water ($10 each) , ok we only used one set. You can carry on your own water with you, but I didn't want the hassle. The water is fine to drink on the ship. We just mainly used for when we got off on islands.
You may want to bring an empty water bottle to fill up each day to carry with you. I brought one for each day, old ones we had and trashed them the next day. I would fill with ice each day too. I also read to get drink trays like at McDonalds to carry all your drinks back to the room. I purchased this to carry drinks back to the room. https://www.amazon.com/CarryAround-Coffee-Drink-Carrier-Holder/dp/B00UJD3D2K/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1523128111&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=drink+carrier+fodls+up If you bring your own bottle to fill up, you will have to use one of their disposable cups to fill up your bottle for sanitary reasons.
We each bought an adult We each bought an adult Rain Day Pass for the spa. ( $16 each ahead of sailing and I believe $27 a day on board.) They have these amazing showers you can use in the spa area, saunas and adult hot tub overlooking the sea and these amazing, did I mention amazing heated beds to lay on and overlooking the sea! You will wear your swimsuit as this is co-ed You can spend as long as you want here on your day and can go in and out all day. Your pass can be used any day but only one day. They do sell passes the length of your cruise. We used ours on our day at sea day so we had more time to enjoy it.
My sons birthday was on the day we boarded. We had to order his cake 3 days before we left, or earlier. I chose the most expensive one $50 as it looked like Mickey Mouse, but there are cheaper ones but look like normal cakes with just their name and Happy Birthday on it. We are on a Disney Cruise so I had to choose the Mickey one. You can have it delivered to the room or we did it to dinner. There are no candles for safety. A few wait stuff come to deliver it and sing Happy Birthday. Ours was big so we shared with the whole table and had plenty left. You can take the extra to your room. It comes in Vanilla or chocolate.
Laundry on Board
It’s $3 for wash and $3 for dry. You pay via your on board account. It’s $1 for detergent or dryer sheets. You can get an alert sent to your app when it is done. They also have drying cleaning type options on board for more money. There is a bag in your closet with the price list.
You can pay ahead your tips by calling Disney or your TA or you can pay them on your ship bill. They will give you envelopes the last night to give your servers. We had green slips saying we prepaid and then you add whatever you want. It said to give to your server or they will automatically get it. It is $48 a person, kids and infants included for mandatory tips. Then you tip on top of that as you feel fit. This was again the price for a 4 day cruise. We paid ahead just to make it easy for us.
You can book executions at midnight on your PIF date. If it is your first cruise you pay the rest of your bill by 75 days out and then can book at midnight. Silver level is 90, Gold 105, and Platinum. Concierge is 120. Please check as I heard they may change these days.
Make sure to check out the band items list. https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/faq/prohibited-items/list/
They have a great hair dryer in the top right drawer of the desk area. It has special plug you plug it in at the desk.
Pack like you normally do for a trip to a warm place with water and then I suggest the following:
An old gift card ( You have to have one in the outlet to keep the lights on, you can use your kTTW card, but many people shut the door and forget it.)
water camera We love our Go pro 7 I highly recommend it! If you get it get these 2 items too! Memory card and floating handle
Water Proof pouch for cell phone If you only buy one thing for the cruise this is it! We used these and kept id and money in pouch and your phone will float if you drop it in the water.
Light for bathroom I got this and loved it! https://www.rei.com/product/878228/black-diamond-moji-lantern
usb tower no extension cords allowed
Many people recommend air freshener for the bathroom
Disney Park Popcorn bucket for cheaper refills
Cash if you want to tip extra for servers
Sand toys- we brought old ones and left them there (they sell on the island)
Sea Lice for Castaway Cay during sea lice season
Water shoes you wear on land and in water
FE holder Etsy sells a ton but I felt they didn't hold all our items.People even commented how they loved ours.
Magnets for door-check etsy for cute ones. People decorate their doors to find theirs. I have even seen the battery operated lights around the door
Mickey Glow Necklaces These are great for the kids and to give for FE gifts
Matching shirts if you want them.
Disposable Masks I think would be easiest so you don't bring home dirty ones
Backpack or bag to take things off boat in
sweater or sweatshirt,
Bonine for sea sickness I also had my doc prescribe an behind the ear patch just encase. It was about $20 for one 3 day patch with insurance.
There is a small dorm size fridge in your room
Towels they have them by the pool and on Castaway Cay so you do not need to bring any.
There is no coffee maker in the room. The night before call down to room service and have coffee scheduled to be delivered to your room. I was very impressed how they were almost exactly to the minute on time delivering it.
They have a ironing board in each laundry room on each floor
They have one hair dryer in each room. In the Dream it had to be plugged into the designated outlet that is at teh deck, not the bathroom. There is a chair and mirror here.
Water Bottle- You may want to bring an empty water bottle to fill up each day to carry with you. I brought one for each day, old ones we had and trashed them the next day.
I purchased this to carry drinks back to the room.
If you bring your own bottle to fill up, you will have to use one of their disposable cups to fill up your bottle for sanitary reasons.
Make sure you have all your toiletry items They do sell them, but again over priced and a few items are hard to fine.
You can bring prepackaged food on board. The cruise has plenty of food and we took chip bags from cabanas to our room for snacks and off ship trips. No fruit or anything opened. A friend went with a young child and said she wished she had brought more bagged foods like goldfish for her son as she ended up having to buy them on the boat which was pricey. I would take a few cereal boxes from the breakfast bar for snacks for us, but my son was older so for little ones think about snacks to take on excursions too. Again must be sealed food.
We had medicine bottles opened and they were fine with that. They will have a fridge in your room. There is also a iron board somewhere on your deck and a laundry area. It will send an alert to your app when your laundry is done. autograph book/pen Patch prescribed from your doctor, sea bands, and Bonnie for seasickness. Take one hour before you board it days on the bottle.
First Aid kit
Here is a kit already made and cheaper then all my items, but I like specific ones, so I make my own kit.
Band Aid Large Water Proof Pad ( great to cover the whole knee)
I always suggest bringing your own medicines from home.
Bring Alcohol on board
From the website on 9/25/18 Disney Cruise Line Guests 21 years and older may bring a maximum of 2 bottles of unopened wine or champagne (no larger than 750 ml) or 6 beers (no larger than 12 ounces) on board at the beginning of the voyage and at each port of call. These beverages must be packed in carry-on (not checked) bags or luggage.
You may bring them or a case on board but they must be carry on. We ordered a 6 pack to be delivered to the room before we arrived so we did not have to carry them.
In your Fb group you will learn about FE or Fish Extender groups. This is optional. You sign up ahead for about 10 cabins. You get each other gifts. It can be a cabin gift or a gift for each person in the cabin. You do this only once during the cruise. You leave them at each others doors in FE hangers. (Make Sure to pack this in your carry on.) My son loved running to the room and seeing if there were gifts for him. You can spend as much you want or as little as you want. I did a set gift for moms and dads and the kids I looked at what character they liked and got them a small gift based on that. I will say since it was my son's birthday, so I did 2 groups. Delivering to all those rooms in the long halls on different floors did get tiring. I also had to bring a whole extra suitcase for all the gifts. We got adorable bags with our names on it, gift cards, T Shirts made with our names on them, cool Disney toys and more.
Guardian to take off boat if your family is in 2 rooms- if you are in another room then your child you must fill out a form from Disney to take them off the ship. Example: mom is in room 1 with 1 child and dad is in room 2 with 2 children. For mom to take the other two off the boat she and dad need to complete a form giving her permission even thought she is the real mom.
Check your actual cruise if they are needed We left from Port Canaveral and came back there so we did not have to have passports but I went ahead and got them anyway. If you need to be life flighted back to the US you need a passport! We had some issues coming back to the US so was glad we had passports. (I will explain at the end). They are easy to get and I loved having the ease of knowing I had it if needed. You do need a license or birth certificate for every person on our cruise. I also brought a form with me since I had our son and my husband was not with us. Some countries can ask for proof the father knows the son is abroad. We never had to use it but this is what It looked like and I had it notarized and brought a copy of my husband's passport with us.
Each person in the room can have their expenses charged to a card. Example my mom had hers put on her charge card via her room key and my son and I had all ours put on my card via our room key. We all were in the same room.
Minor Travel Consent Form
To Whom It May Concern: I, Parents Name, am the lawful custodial parent of: Child’s Full Name: Date of Birth: Place of Birth: US Passport Number: Date of Passport Issuance: Childs name has my consent to travel with parent or guardians name to visit place you are visiting and surrounding areas during the period of Dates . During that period, Guardian name also has my consent to make any medical decisions deemed necessary for Child in my or my wife, wife name absence. ______________________________________ Parent not traveling name and sign above Signed before me, this ________ of Date _______________________________________ Notary Public County, State My Commission Expires:
before I left I went to Verizon to get my international plan activated I was to get a text at each island and answer yes to it and then it would be $10 a day to use my normal plan. I could not get a text for it on any island. I ended up buying a data plan on the boat. While in port on the day you board, I used my regular plan. Right before we pulled out they told me to switch to airplane mode and then use DCL guest wifi. They gave me some miss information but I figured it out after a while. You need to go to dcl. make an account which you can share with your whole family in your room. Day one sign up and you get 50 mb free for the trip per room. That was about enough to post one pic on fb. I added the $40 plan and that gave me 350mb. I posted about 6 pictures each day on the 4 night cruise, let my emails download once a day (I read them offline) and I used it all up by the end of day 4.
You can preorder before your cruise for a cheaper rate a photo package. I ordered the all digital photos for $199 before I left. They said if you were not happy they would refund your money. I am a picture hog, I take a million and am the sucker to buy one photo for $30. On this cruise we did not stand in line to meet characters and only have about 20 pictures taken total. Wherever we were we did not see many photographers or did not want to wait in the lines for the pictures. There were plenty of photogrpahers just happened to not be when we were in those areas. It has facial recognition to put all your pictures in your folder. If you have two rooms make sure one person from the paying room is in all photos or you have to pay half price for room two. On the boat I returned my photo package and got the 10 digital for $149 and since I had a Disney Visa I got a discount to $137. If you have kids who will do the character lines it will be worth it. For us this trip it just wasn’t. I suggest you buy ahead and then downgrade if needed. I do have to wait 7 days for the refund and had to repurchase the package on my room bill, but it saved me almost $70.
You must pay your balance by this date. At midnight on your PIF date, you can go online and book excursions and on board activities. If you really want something, book it at midnight that night. If you don’t get it you can try when you first get on board or keep checking back. They have cabanas on Castaway Cay that go fast. During this time you can fill out forms with your charge card you want to charge things to, list passport numbers, sign your kid up for kid club and create a secret word so when you pick up your child you must give it and your KTTTW card,. During online check in there is an area to choose a book to be sent to you with info. There are two options so I chose one for me and one for my mom. Get the more detailed book it had all our info in it and they will send to you via mail about 30 days before your trip. It will also have 2 luggage tags per person. My moms get sent to her house since she lives in a different house. You have until 3 days before your cruise to update into on your online account.
I highly recommend you get to Orlando or Port Canaveral the day before. Flights can be cancelled and traffic can be a nightmare. Disney has shuttles from Orlando. We stayed in Port Canaveral at the Residence Inn. It was so close to the ports, clean and you have free breakfasts. The road got closed to one lane the day we left so we were glad we were so close. There were shuttles coming to our hotel you could pay to get to the port. Our friends stayed at the airport Marriott and took the Disney shuttle.
We drove to the terminal A8. I dropped off my mom and son at the curb. A porter took the luggage ( don’t forget to tip them!) and they stood in line to get in. I parked at the garage across the street. By The time I parked and got to them we were almost in! It was $85 for a 4 night cruise and you pay by charge card then. We have a handicap parking pass and they did not have any handicap parking there. You pay when you park via credit card.
Parking at the terminal information : https://www.portcanaveral.com/Cruise/Directions-Parking You pull up and drop off luggage and family then you go and turn left and pay to park and walk over. Family can go through gate without you but each group would need a port check in form.
You can take a bus from Disney. It is $35 a person each way to the port and back to the hotel.
Some you can sign up for meet and greets online before your cruise, but don't worry they are plenty you just get in line for. A few days before the cruise they added a princess and Frozen one so check back.
is a fun game you get a map and a card and go around the ship and solve a mystery. https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/onboard-activities/midship-detective-agency/?fbclid=IwAR3Wtcjnl6TfBqtQHBE5zgYtAl3p5Ts_esxh5qWhKMl02MaD6x5EPJgQUpU
Check your Check your Navigator, a paper you get each day in your room with events on the boat and important info or the DCL app they will list each day who, when and where. The lines were long when we would pass them so be prepared to stand in line. They will have photographers there. You can go to guest services and ask for a Photo Scavenger Hunt sheet and go around the boat and look for the items. I think you have to ask at the desk for them now as they want you to find it on your phone.
Be sure to ask about his while on your cruise. You can put money down (was $250 when we went) and they you have 24 months to sail on cruise for a slight discount. This means if you book April 2 2020 you must sail by April 2 2022. You have 30 days to give them your TA name. You will get 10 percent off your next cruise this way. You can get the $250 if you do not take a cruise.
Checking in/DAY 1
We had a 10:45 PAT time the first time and had to wait on a full cruise, second time was a 2:00 PAT but they let us walk on when we got there at noon. . PAT is the time you can check in. It says they board at 12:30 but usually they board earlier. If you take the Disney bus and they have begun boarding you can get on when you get there. Port Arrival Time. You go through a gate and show ID for everyone over 18. You wait in line to get to security. Please note you can enter both sides of the building so it may pay to walk to other side. Here you will send carry ons through detectors and you will go through one, just like at airports. You can have as many carry ons as you can carry, but they have to fit through airport like scanners. Remember you will carry these around till 1:30. Then you go up an elevator or escalator. Here they tell you to get in line for first timers in one area or return customers to another area. We stood in line again, since we had an early time many people were in line. When it was our turn she again asked for IDs and took our pictures. She then gave us the KTTW card Key to the World Card. It is your room key, ID, tells you where you eat each night and where to go for a muster drill. She saw it was my sons bday and told him happy birthday and gave us his magic band for kids club. We were in line for almost an hour. A friend showed up at the end of the hour and she was done in 15 mins so you never know how long it will take. We then went to get in line for a picture with Minnie and a ship replica in the background. It was again a long line, my son and mother went to sit and had a snack we brought with us, but they do have bathrooms and vending machines near there. We then began to board at 11:15 We were group 5. They randomly pick a family of the day and they get to go first. They then called the groups quickly. It was now our turn!! We saw as we got near the line, the penny press machines so we got out our money we had ready (2 quarters and a penny) . There were 2 machines with 3 pennies each I believe. Then you show your key to the world card and group number card to get in the line. Then they check your KKTW card and go through the magically mickey head! They then scan your card and then you go to get a group picture with a cruise ship backdrop. You then walk to the boat and they announce your family name or whatever you want them to announce! Congrats you are now ready for your “Dream” trip. It was lunchtime now. You can go to Enchanted for a sit down meal or Cabanas on floor 11. It is a buffet that is about 5 stations! It had everything!! There are also soda machines for drinks here too. They have the juice you get at Tusker house It is called orange Guava passion fruit. One amazing thing about Disney is every time you enter a place to eat they have someone standing there with a wet wipe with hand sanitizer on it. You must do this. My son has very sensitive skin and he did fine with these. Now it's time to check out the pool. Most people board already in their swimwear. One thing I thought Disney could improve is there are 3 bathrooms for Cabanas and the pool area. This is a high traffic area each day and felt there should be more. The stalls were huge and easy to change clothes in. They have an attendant in there constantly cleaning it which was nice.
Be sure to check out the kids club before the muster drill. This is the only time they allow parents in to check it out. It is also fun to take your child and be able to show them around.
The first day they let parents into the Kids Club! So be sure to go check it out! The rest of the trip you can just drop off your child and come get them. At a certain age you can allow your child to check themselves out or you can sign for others in your group to get them. You will get an alert on your phone when they enter and leave. It is free for the 3yr old and up kids club. Under 3 you have to pay a fee.
There is a hot tub here, 2 pools, a water slide for younger kids and aquaduck the fun water slide! There is also a splash pad for those 8 and younger. They have towels in the brown stands so go grab one. Sometimes you will see people walking around with the towels to hand out. They have life vest for children there and there are plenty. Please note they can not have children in diapers in the pool. It was now 1:30 and this is when you can go to your room. Luggage they say would be there by 3, but ours was already there. This is also a good time to run to guest services to get an activity if you could not get them before the cruise such as meet and greets, excursions etc.
The spa will hard sell you for products but they do have specials and give aways on day 1. If you have a Disney Visa you get 20 percent off a massage if you do it on a day you are docked at a city.
Ice Cream-there is a free self serve ice cream area by the adult area. If you like toppings bring them from home as they only have the ice cream. You can ask for Mickey Bars at dinner even if they are not on the menu.
They do have an ice Cream shop on board with candy, Vanellopes. You have to pay for these. You can have it delivered to the dining room for a desert.
Boarding day is the only day you can get 50 mb of data for free ( connect to sea on wifi).
If you want an If you want an egg crate for the bed, you can ask for it on day one.
We chose to unpack and and get ready for the 4:00 munster drill. Look on your KTTW card and there is a letter. F was ours and we went to the theater for the drill. You did not have to bring your life jacket with you. You then scan your cards in and sit down. They do have a loud alarm so you may want to cover little ones ears or warn them ahead. It only lasts a minute. One child got very upset and they did let the mom walk them in the hall for a minute. After this you go upstairs to the pool on deck 11 We were lucky to have a space shuttle blast of right as we were leaving port. They have specialty drinks ready to sell you. I ran to the adult bar to get some virgin drinks for us as my son did not want a Frozen cup which they came in. It is located right behind the main stage past the elevator area. They then have a cute sail away party. They had a handicap section blocked off close to the stage for my mom which was nice. See a small video of it here: https://www.facebook.com/1493891320861059/videos/1985012918415561/ After this it was time to get ready for dinner.
We went to the We went to the Royal Palace the first night. It was very pretty in there. We were still in our matching shirts and felt fine in them or you could change. We meet our table mates. Sadly we had people we had children who could no behave. Eating mac and cheese with 2 knives, child escaping and people looking for him. It was always an interesting time. We were going to complain night 3 to move us but I think they got the clue as the kids were then always in kids club during dinner. We had heard amazing things about the wait staff. You have one waiter and one drink server. We had early dinner and always felt rushed. Our server seemed overworked and would always comment make sure to give me all excellent when you do a review. My son would ask him for a joke and he would say I'll be back, then forget it and he would ask again and he would leave to go to another table. My mother can not eat seeds. We told the waiter the first night and he would bring her items with seed in them We mentioned specifically strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers etc and every meal she was served one. We would say she can’t have and list the item and point to the seeds. We ended just removed the items from each dish but with her you have to worry did a seed fall off we did not see. This was disappointing as Disney is usually so good with these types of situations. We had friends on the boat who had amazing servers. So don’t let our service take away from Disney, but I am also realistic and read how amazing servers were and we just didn't get one. In the scheme of life, it's not that big a deal, but did let us down. At the second dinner seating they would come and ask what kids wanted to go to kid club and then take them if they wanted to go. I was glad we bought a birthday cake for him. When They delivered, it they sang to him. I was disappointed they don’t really do anything extra special for birthday kids. Not that we expected anything, but just felt like he would get a little extra something, even someone giving him a pin. After dinner there was a show, I went to put my son in the club, but at the last minute he decided not to, we went back to the room to finish unpacking and get ready for Day 2.
DAY 2 Nassau, Atlantis Adventure
($198 adult, $142 child) We got up and ate breakfast at Cabanas. We had to be in the theater at 9:30 for our Atlantis Adventure. You need your ID and KTTW card to get on and off the boat. Make sure you have no unopened food with you. You can bring an open water bottle. You line up with your whole group They scan your card then have you sign a waiver. Please note, if mom is in room A with a child and dad is in room B and dad wants to take child off the boat, there is a special Disney waiver to sign. You wait in the theater. Strollers and handicapped can use another door so they do not have to do steps. Then they call the group again handicap and strollers take an elevator down to level 2. You then scan your KTTW card to get out. Do one adult first. Then the kids can scan. Then we got bracelets and waited till everyone got out. You then have a little walk to the bus It was a little hard for my mom as she was trying to keep up with the group. You get on these little buses and watch out because ones leaving will run you over if you don’t move. They pack the vans and you are off on a 15 min roughly ride to the Atlantis.
You can go on a slide through the shark tank!
You then get out at the Royal tower and they tell you what time the buses come back Ours were every half hour from 1:00 til 3:30 I think was the last one.
With our ticket you could do the water park, beach and aquarium. We hit the main pool first.
Found a place to get drinks, they only took charge cards, then the kids rode the shark slide and a few others. We then went to Dive In for our free lunch with the vouchers they gave us. It was for pizza, hot dog, chicken sandwich, or fried conch (everyone should try this) fries and a drink.
We then walked around the aquarium, hit the casino for a quick deposit and then took the bus back to the boat. You have to show your ID and KTTW card here.
They gave my mom and son a ride to the boat so they did not have to walk far if I did a Nassau survey. When you arrive at the boat they have wet wash clothes, punch, water or tea to drink, then you have to hand sanitizer and then show your KTTW card again and have your bags scanned. Then we went to our room to relax a little before dinner. To save money I have heard of people book a hotel stay at the Comfort Suites http://www.comfortsuitespi.com/ It is cheaper and you get full access to the Atlantis. The taxi ride there is approx $16. We chose to stay with Disney and pay for know if anything happened they could help.
They have a lazy river that is lots of fun adn takes about an hour to go all they way around!
I have heard people book rooms at other hotels such as Nassau British Hilton. You take a taxi there, check in and get the Atlantis water park tickets then check out and take taxi to Atlantis. It is cheaper but to us we wanted to save time and went through Disney.
We also heard that the Pirates of Nassau Museum is cool.
shops right near the boat
Dinner tonight was at Animators Palace. Kind of like Turtle Talk at Epcot. It was cool and loved the little butter knives in the shape of paint brushes.
After dinner we went to play Bingo. In your room they leave you a navigator so we made sure to pick the things we really wanted to do as you just can't do it all. We paid the $80 for Bingo with for 2 electric machines with 45 cards each on them, and 8 paper cards. There are cheaper ways to play. Kids can play too. Between each game they gave away spa experience. They lady next to us once twice and over $500!!
We then rushed to see the Believe show. It was great! Highly recommend it. Near the theater for plays and movies is a concession stand. Bring your Disney World buckets and get popcorn for $1.50 of course we forget ours in the room! So I did the $5 special of popcorn and a coke. Then it was time to go listen to the sea in out room.
Day 3 Castaway Cay
They should call this Paradise Island! Everything about it was amazing. You can get off at 8:30 and again make sure to have ID and KTTW. You go to deck 1 and we got there 8:25 and it was cramped to wait. They opened the doors and you have short walk to the trolley. There are a few pictures spots along the way so look for them. We got on the trolley to stop one.
My son and I did the Stingray experience ($56 adult $42 kid). You check in and get a vest and snorkel gear. You then meet the biologist who had lived there for 6 years He talks to you about Stingrays. Then you go in the water, I brought my iphone to take pictures. He then explains the sting rays will come up on ramp, you put the food on the Mickey plate and they go down the other ramp. We fed a few stingrays and even got to pet a pregnant one and feel the pup in her. Then you get to put on the snorkel gear and snorkel around with the stingrays. My son has a bad gag reflex so he had to take out the snorkel part. It was so cool.
You can use the ship wave phones here so make sure to bring them. Make sure to charge them the night before.
We loved snorkeling on Castaway Cay!
After this we went to the beach next to us and rented for $26 a water bike. I was worried as I had never done it and my son barely touched the pedals but it was easy and we had so much fun! It was now time to find grandma We asked staff where the next trolley stop was and they pointed right there, which was a long 10 min walk along the beach. We finally found her, ordered some drinks and it began to pour for about 15 mins. Once it cleared we rented an inner tube for $13 and floated into the ocean.
They do sell sand toys on the island
Pelicans Plunge is a great water slide here. There is also a great splash pad here and showers to rinse off the sand.
At 11:30 they start lunch, again you hand sanitize before you can eat. It was hot dogs, bbq chicken, burgers, chips, corn, coleslaw, potato salad and more, They also have soda machines here. It was like a big picnic in a covered area. After we went through a shop. We then hit the beach for some more fun. We started to get hot and tired so took the trolley back to the ship My son and I decided to stop at the snorkel area and had fun here. We brought our own gear so it was free but you have to wear their free yellow vest. You can rent gear here I believe it was $29 a person. You can see many sea lifes and they have a hidden Mickey out there! I did read there are local vendors between Pelican Plunge and Serenity Bay.
They have a stand for cute drinks!
Serenity Bay is an adult only area, so you can drop kids off at kid club at stop one on the trolley. They serve some amazing food for lunch there. You have to hop on a specific trolley to get to there. They take cash only. It was not close to time to leave so we gathered our stuff and waved goodbye to such an amazing place. I hope they put a hotel here one day! My son asked if we could move there! Back to the ship again you hand sanitize to get on and show your ID and KTTW card. They will scan your bags again too.
After dinner we got my son the $39 makeover at BBB. They do have more expensive ones where you can buy outfits. He got a sash, eye patch, a sword and they made his face up like a pirate in makeup.
We went to the room to change into our pirate gear as it was Pirate Night. You will be given a bandanna for each member. Make sure to wear it to dinner. They then have a special menu for Pirate Night. They also sell for $8 a blinking cup. I got one for my son.
We then went to the great Mickey Pirate show. Make sure to get there early It gets crowded.
After the Pirate show we went to see a magician, he was great. There was another Pirate of the Caribbean Show at 10:30 with fireworks but we were to tired. We watched the fireworks from our Balcony. Disney is the only cruise with fireworks at sea. We had a room Starboard side which was amazing. We saw Castaway Cay , Atlantis, and Fireworks all from our Balcony.
Day 4 Day at Sea
We booked before the cruise Remy for Brunch and massages. We got up and mom went to get a sit down breakfast which she loved. My son and I went to cabanas for breakfast.
We then went to the pool and the aqua duck which opened at 9 am. To do the aqua duck you need to be 54 inches to ride alone and at least 48 inches and 7 years old to ride it. I am extremely claustrophobic from a car accident so was very hesitant I had seen videos on youtube and knew it was 45 seconds long. My son really wanted to go so I went with him. It was so much fun! We then hung in the pool a few hours and watched a movie in the pool. Please note there are no swim diapers allowed in the main pools or aqua duck. So they need to be potty trained .
Mom went to the adult only pool located behind the main pool by a thin wall. A note pools are small and crowded so don't expect to really swim. There is Flo’s V8 near the adult pool area that serves burgers fries, pizza, and sandwiches It is free too. We then ordered room service for my son for lunch one of our favorite things to do - which was always less than 30 mins and great food! Did I mention it's FREE!! There are a few items you pay for like soda cans, but 99 percent is free. You can find on page 68 in the book in your desk drawer the menu. Our favorites were, small pizza, mac and cheese, blt, cheese plate, Mickey Bars, warm cookies and milk at bedtime, the pie of the day. Mom would put the door hanger our on our door each night and have coffee delivered to the room so she could have coffee on the balcony each day. She would ask for a croissant and bacon too. Make sure to tip!!
We then went to kids club for children 3-12. It is a huge area with lots of rooms to explore. Their magic band tells them where they are when you come to pick up your children . I asked for a note to be put I would be in Remys and at one time and then a massage encase they needed me for an emergency, but she said I'll just put you will come get him at 4:30. They can at age 8 have you sing off where the child can check themselves out. We chose to not do this. His friend met him there and they had a great time together for almost 5 hours. He said at one point his band died- it tracks what room they are in and they had to come get him and recharge it. I read on a fb page a parent went to get the kid and they said they were not there and they then found them in the club as his band died, so keep this in the back of your head if it ever happens to you. Make sure at the end of your trip you turn in the magic band or you will get charged $13 for it and it will not work in the parks. Kids club (ages 3 and up) is free and you do not have to sign up ahead of time. You can carry the wave phone from your room and they can call you on it if your child wants to leave. They can walk up to a cast member and say contact my mom. I learned this before the trip, no one mentioned the wave phone to me on the ship. If your child is under 3 they use the nursery and I heard you can only use it for 10 hours the whole cruise and you pay for this service.
We also found out after the fact that I could have a meal sent to the kids club for my child. They call the child's name and let them know the food is there, but they do not make them eat it or make them sit down. So my child this would not be good for as he would just play and not eat.
There is a kid club for 12 and up, but we did could not use it so I can not give information for that area.
If you decide to get a drink on the boat, note that all drinks come with a tip of 15% added to your bill for your drinks. You are always welcome to add more to that.
Mom, a friend and I did Remy brunch the French Adult only Restaurant. It was $60 a person for brunch and you can pay to add champagne to it. You and a group are taken to a chef table where we got a bit to eat and a glass of champagne. He went over all the courses and the history of some of the food. You stand for this part which was about 20 mins, but they graciously brought my mom a chair. We then went to our table. Everything here was white glove dining and amazing service!!! We had 5 courses. Some I did not like , just because I eat more like a child and they always offered what can we do to make it right, I explained it's just me and it was all amazing. This lunch lasted about 2 hours. I highly recommend it or Palo the Italian version.
After this, I went to the Senses Spa located behind the adult pool area on deck 11, to redeem my rain pass. I really enjoyed the heated beds. They then came to get me for my massage. You fill out a quick form. They take you to the room and you enjoy your massage. I had heard about hard selling items at the end. They did recommend one item but I politely declined and that was it. They bring the check right there and already added 18 percent.
I then raced to kids club to get my son as he wanted to do the pin trading event at 4:30 We went with his pins we already had sorted that he wanted to trade adn you trade with officers and other guests. He really enjoyed this. I had bought a stash on amazon so they are cheaper then the $10-15 ones on the boat. We then rushed to do the detective game on floor 5. You sign up here adn get a card adn it tells you what to do. You go around the ship to find clues. My son loved the card that you show at certain pictures around the ship and make them come alive.
We then dressed for dinner. It was at Enchanted Palace. Make sure to check out the ceiling as it will change during dinner. This time my son got an adult meal as he loves Prime Rib! Did you know kids can order adult meals? Then we went to get a seat for Beauty and the Beast the play. We were honored to sit with Belles brother during the performance. It is my favorite Disney movie and the performance was amazing. After this we went to the room as you have to have luggage packed and ready in the hall by 10:30. We literally put one suitcase out and it was gone by the time I brought the next one out. You fill out information on the card with your name, address, and room number. Make sure you have a small bag to pack your clothes in and whatever you need that night. Don't forget to keep out an outfit for the next day and pj’s. Make sure you keep birth certificates, passports etc with you!
We found the adult area near the pool but the trip saw we can go up a deck to 12 and 13 and they have nice loungers with pillows for adults only. we enjoyed this while our son and friend did the ship detective.
They then had a They then had a Sail Away Party on deck 4.
Your luggage has to be put out at 8:30-10:30 They will take it off the ship for you. Then you just keep what you need for that night so have a bag for that. You can keep luggage with you but we don’t wat to drag it around.
There is a 10:15 party this night, you get a chance for pics with characters again.
Make sure you have all your IDs you need, passports, KTTW card for when you exit. You go back to the restaurant where you had dinner the night before for breakfast of to cabanas for breakfast. Then you can leave any time after 7 am from deck 3. We were to get a copy of our bill by 7 am in our room and we never did, So I went to go get a copy to double check our bill. I grabbed our digital thumb drive with our pictures from the cruise. Which is right next to wear you leave. You then wave goodbye to the staff who have on the cool mickey gloves. You then go to where you scan you KTTW card. When they scanned ours something flashed on the screen and security came to get us. They then said they had a few questions and we would then jump to the front of the line. They had already pulled all our luggage and the porter took it for us. There are porters there to help with luggage for free ( tips only) or you can take our own luggage. We then went to an area of customs where they asked for all our passports. Glad I had a passport for my son. They asked if I had had identity theft, which I had so they held my passport and gave back my sons and moms. Then the lady said has your mom had a medical procedure recently which she had as she was setting off their radiation detector. So then we had to give back her passport. We were then escorted to another area and we waited a while. He finally asked me a few questions and I was cleared. Then mom had to go through another scan and we had a note from the doctor confirming our story about the medical test. They then realized we were not a threat and let us go. The porter then walked our luggage to the car ( make sure you tip them!) We tipped extra as the poor guy had to wait with us for a while.
It was time to say so long to the Dream! My son is ready for his next cruise. On a scale of 1-10 he gave it a 100! I just “Wonder” how we can top such a “Fantasy” of a birthday and make more birthday “Magic” next year. I guess grandma made all his “Dreams” come true this birthday!
For More pictures of our cruise click here.
Port Canaveral :
We stayed at the Marriott Closest to the terminal
Places to eat near the boat
Fish Lips- great view of ships
Coco Beach Coconuts on the beach or check out the pier in Coco Beach to eat on.
If your boat is not full, there is a chance to purchase an upgrade still. Try to get to the port as early as you can. Check in like normal. Go straight to the Supervisors counter 31 and 31 at Port Canaveral. Ask if there are any upgrades available. Disney has a way to calculate the price to upgrade. If you want it, they will charge it to your on board account and be given new keys. The cruise should have your luggage changed to be sent to your new room. If it has not come by dinner always ask.
They just opened in June 2019 a Tiffany gift shop on board. https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2019/06/tiffany-co-opens-today-aboard-the-disney-dream/?fbclid=IwAR0uNJMvzeLYLjKpTT-dq3YS6LVTlkcm-HCvepqer9V4zkBe34P1MOWxKos
If you booked a port adventure and wish to cancel without a charge it must be done 3 days before you board.
Other fun facts:
Order coffee through room service the night before to be delivered at a certain time. I know some order it and have it delivered at night and it is still warm in the morning.
You can order food from another restaurant. Ex: you loved meal on day 1 you can order it at day 2 dinner. Pirate night is the only night they do not do this.
If you buy coffee at the coffee shop you can get a punch card. You can use it on other cruises.
Stateroom door on port side (left side of ship) have a fish The right have a seahorse.
The carpet has globes on them If the globe is the correct way you are facing forwards.
Stateroom door on port side (left side of ship) have a fish The right have a seahorse.
The carpet has globes on them If the globe is the correct way you are facing forwards.
The elevators go to decks, not floors.
Front of the ship is called forward, back is called aft and the middle part is called Mid Ship.
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