Two-View Cruise Review: Disney Dream's Service, Cabins and Amenities
Editor's Note: Media members were recently invited on to the Disney Dream to see the results of a drydock that had construction workers busy 24 hours a day for three weeks adding new additions such as the Star Wars-themed, tech-filled Millenium Falcon play area, the Disney Infinity interactive play room in the ship’s Oceaneer Club, a new “Wreck-It-Ralph”-inspired candy store and the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for epic pirate and princess makeovers.
TravelPulse was lucky enough to have two writers aboard, Jason Leppert and Tim Wood.
Jason is soon-to-be-married with no kids, who had his fiancée, Heidi, with him onboard. Tim is soon celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary and had his wife and two boys, T.J. (age 12) and Jake (age 6) on board.
The unique circumstance gave us the chance to do a review of the new additions and the overall ship from two polar perspectives. Here’s what we’re calling our Two-View Review. Today, we wrap up our three-part review of the ship with a look at the service, cabins and amenities aboard the Dream.
JASON: Disney is often grouped in with the standard cruise lines, likely because of their shared family-friendly natures, but the company can really best be classified as a premium offering. After all its dining, entertainment and particularly service are on a higher level for sure, approaching luxury lines at times.
It's not uncommon to be addressed by name, and even the custodial staff may ask if they can snap a photo for you. They are all smiles, too. Our experience with the dining and bar staff was equally top notch. Our servers were always ready to amaze us with a fun table-side magic trick (aka baffle us), and the service at the Pink champagne bar was also super friendly.
TIM: Second to none. Everywhere we went on the ship, we felt welcomed and special. One great touch is that your dining staff rotates to each new dining room with you each night. Our primary waiters were outstanding, catering to every need and doing magic and jokes to keep our kids laughing and entertained throughout the meals.
In complete agreement with Jason here. There were consistent small but worthy touches that made Disney stand out.
One such area was the photo gallery. On other ships, you have to sift through piles of prints from each day’s activities to find ones you want. With Disney, everything was in one place. Just touch your room card on the sensor and all your photos from anywhere during the cruise appear on screen for you to pick what you want to print. The ship uses facial recognition tech to help achieve this feat, and it is a game changer for savoring memories.
CABIN AND AMENITIES
JASON: Cabin accommodations are quite good on Disney as well. Split bathrooms with a sink and toilet in one compartment and a second sink and shower/tub combo in the other are great for families getting ready in a more private manner, and good for families and adults without children is an abundance of storage, way more, in fact, than we ever could have needed for three nights.
PHOTO: The interior of deluxe family oceanview stateroom 8600 on the Disney Dream. (photo by Tim Wood)
Our deluxe family oceanview stateroom with veranda (cabin number 5160) featured an impressively deep balcony with a shaded section and open area that extended to the farthest edge of the ship's width. Other cabins are shorter overall as the superstructure pinches in while it towers above. Bonus hardware such as two wash lines in the shower go a long way too.
Plus, extras like portable phones to use while onboard and ashore at Castaway Cay and even Mickey-head drawer pulls and a built-in nightlight are small but significant details that set Disney apart. Inside staterooms additionally feature Magical Portholes with digital views from outside the ship superimposed with animation.
TIM: Jason covered this well. It’s an impressive use of space. We had the deluxe family oceanview stateroom with veranda as well (cabin 8600).
A separate room for the toilet and the shower and vanity is a very smart touch for those who have kids and always hear the “I gotta go! Can I come in?” bark when you just get in the shower.
The water pressure was better in our cabin than it is on my house, no small feat for a 2,500-passenger, 128,690-ton ship. And the rain shower in the ceiling was, well, dreamy. I am not one to take long showers, but here, I could not resist.
Our queen bed was ultra comfortable, and the sliding curtain separating us from the kids’ sleeping area gave us some needed, end-of-the-day privacy. Our cabin steward came in each night to turn the couch area into bunk beds for the boys.
I was impressed by the speed of the Internet onboard but Disney, like too many cruise lines, are charging too much for an amenity that should be standard. I can’t specifically ding them for this. It’s a beef I have across the board.
And the ship’s Navigator app was also impressive (just make sure to download it before embarkation). It has a chat feature that allows you to talk to family and friends around the ship. The app itself does not use data, running off the ship’s intranet when your smartphone is in airplane mode.
JASON: There are many Disney differentiators ship-wide like meet-and-greets with the characters, but the one that is most important to me is just the Disney magic that permeates the immaculately maintained ship.
TIM: So many folks told me your kids will simply wish the cruise was longer. This was absolutely true. We haven’t even mentioned that we celebrated Halloween on ship. The chance to trick or treat at sea was an opportunity we could not pass up and Disney went all out to make it special for kids and adults alike.
The Disney philosophy is mightily present in this cruise ship. Luxury-level service and a commitment to innovation make this a ship you’ll want to see and never get off.
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