Last updated: 07:00 AM ET, Thu November 26 2015

7 Tips for Enjoying A Trip on Disney Dream

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Disney Cruise Line | Jason Leppert | November 26, 2015

7 Tips for Enjoying A Trip on Disney Dream

Photo by Jason Leppert

Not only did I have the wonderful opportunity to sail onboard Disney Cruise Line’s newly reimagined Disney Dream with my fiancée, I also had the chance to revisit the ship just weeks later with my parents as well. Now having sailed on the ship for seven evenings across a three- and a four-night sailing, I’ve compiled a list of tips to make the most of your experience on the magical vessel.

Book a Cabin on Deck 5 Forward or Aft

I was blown away by the generously sized balcony of our deluxe family oceanview stateroom with veranda (cabin 5160) near the stern of the ship on deck five. Most of the cabins onboard are situated on decks that pinch in from the overall width of the ship’s hull to minimize structural weight up high and maximize overall stability, but those on deck five forward and aft from the kids facilities and Buena Vista Theatre stretch across the full width of the ship for extra-long cabins that should be prized for their expanded real estate.

Ride the AquaDuck on Port Days 

One thing I noticed on both sailings is that no matter when you ride the popular AquaDuck water coaster, there is a longer line for it on the Disney Dream than on the Disney Fantasy. I suspect with a ship carrying the same amount of guests on half a week instead of the Fantasy’s full week, the line of interested riders is going to generally be twice as long. A solution: get in a shorter line on a port day when a large amount of passengers are ashore.

Don’t Worry About Waiting for the Walt Disney Theatre

The Walt Disney Theatre doesn’t open its doors for evening performances until 30 minutes prior to showtime. Those looking for the venue’s sweet spot – center just in front of the mixing board for optimal viewing and sound quality – might want to wait it out some, but for the rest of us, there is still plenty of decent seating available, even in the balcony, once the doors are open. Use that precious time to go shopping or enjoy a drink to the tune of great live music instead.

Arrive for Dinner at Your Designated Time

You might be seeing a recurring theme here, but I was shocked to see such a long line ahead of meal times at the ship’s signature rotational dining rooms prior to opening. Here there is no first-come-first-served policy for seats like at the theatre. Your table is reserved just for you, and, in the case of Animator’s Palate, Crush won’t start the conversation with patrons early, so there is no need to rush the doors. Simply arrive on time leisurely and enjoy all the moments ahead snapping a photo with a character and your family.

Mix It Up with Alternative Dining

Did you know that you can enjoy full-service dinner at three other restaurants besides the three rotational dining rooms? Chances are, especially for first-timers on a three-night cruise, you’ll want to experience the signature trio during the short sailing, but if you fancy a change of pace or you’re a frequent cruiser, you might want to try something different. While not complimentary and for adults only, Palo and Remy elevate the dining experience to new heights onboard. But if you’re looking for an alternative for the whole family, Cabanas offers full-service dinner with many of the same dishes from downstairs plus some other tasty standards.

Go to Brunch

What if you want to enjoy Remy, Palo and the three rotational dining rooms, you may ask? Well, if you take a four-night cruise including a sea day, brunch is now available at both specialty restaurants when not in port, and the remaining evening can be used to enjoy the venue not enjoyed for brunch. My recommendation: enjoy Palo for its extensive brunch and Remy for its extraordinary dinner.

Don’t Forget All the New Stuff

The Disney Dream just recently came out of a drydock refurbishment, and a number of new features were added that are worth checking out. Kids, and even adults during open house hours will want to explore the Star Wars and Disney Infinity additions to Disney’s Oceaneer Club, and families should scope out the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeover experience, the Funnel Puddle splash pool and the Midship Detective Agency scavenger hunt now featuring the Muppets. Adults will get to enjoy the Satellite Falls and Senses Juice Bar plus enhancements to The District. And lastly, all ages are sure to enjoy Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats (pictured in the header) for premium ice creams, sundaes and candies well worth the nominal fee.

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