Good cruise for the family. Areas for improvement.
Disney Dream Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas
Review summaryWe took this cruise in June of 2016. The top drop down menu on this website did not give me the option to select June 2016. Let me start by saying this cruise exceeded my expectations. The entire Disney Cruise Line (DCL) staff was focused on making sure that our family had a great time. Day 1 (Sunday) – We flew from Memphis to Orlando on Sunday and we arrived around 5:30 pm. We rented a car from Budget car rental and picked it up at the Orlando airport. The rental was around $100 for a one way rental. After we picked up the car, we decided to get dinner in Orlando before heading to our hotel in Cape Canavera. After dinner, we drove to our hotel. The hotel was packed when we arrived on Sunday evening because so many were preparing for cruises the next day. Suggestion: Plan to arrive the day before your cruise just in case of flight delays. We stayed at the Country Inn and Suites in Cape Canevaral and it is a nice family hotel. This hotel is nothing fancy but it’s definitely good for a night before a cruise. Day 2 (Monday) We woke up early to get the free breakfast at the hotel. I then dropped the family off along with our luggage at Port Canaveral around 10:45. There were a lot of cars at the port and it took about 15 minutes to get them dropped off. I then headed back to drop the rental car off at Budget in Cape Canaveral. I dropped the car off but it took a while for the shuttle to get me back to the Port. They wait until the shuttle is full before heading to the port. I didn’t get back to the port until 11:50 and our boarding time was 10:45! Suggestion: If you are renting a car, drop your family off at the port as early as possible because the lines are long and there are bus and van shuttles all over. You need to plan for an hour to drop them off and to get back to the port. I caught up with the family and we completed our DCL checkin. It was really fast with no hassles. They take a group photo of your entire family when you check in for the DCL and they will give each of you a “Key to the World” which is a card that grants you access to the ship. We boarded the ship and I was really surprised at the welcome that Disney gave us. They said our family name on the loud speaker as we entered the ship and greeted us with an applause! After boarding the ship, we immediately headed to the youth activities area to get the armbands for our kids which would give the access to the youth rooms. Did you know there are over 1,300 employees working on the Disney Dream? The staff was all over the place to answer our questions and to provide to us with directions. We then went to the Cabanas buffet for lunch and it was good. The kids ate the usual chicken tenders and fries. There are 2 pools on the main deck 11 and they were packed when we arrived. My son wanted to ride the aquaduck so we got in line and it took us 45 – 50 minutes. Suggestion: if the line is long at the aquaduck, come back later. There were times when the line was less than 8 – 10 minutes long. Day 3 ( Tuesday) We arrived at the Nassau Bahamas port at 9:30. We exited the ship to walk around. Nassau is a tourist attraction and you have to be prepared. Suggestion: Be sure to take plenty of cash with you because you will need it because most places do not accept credit cards. To take a tour for my wife and 3 kids was $100. We went to Atlantis in Nassau and it is like $40 per person for a day pass. We ended up going to the beach in Nassau which turned out to be nice. Warning: There are a lot people in Nassau that depend on the tourist dollars so be prepared to be bombarded with people selling everything from seashells to kids toys. If you have been to Nassau before, I personally recommend spending this day on the ship because you will have the pool and the aquaduck to yourself for the most part. Dinner: Day 4 We traveled to the Disney Castaway Cay private island and it was beautiful. We were one of the first to get off the ship and get to the Castaway beach to reserve our chairs. If you want a seat on the beach, get off the shop as soon as possible. Be prepared to debark as soon as they announce it on the intercom. If you wait, it will be crowded and you will not be able to find a seat on the beach. We had already preordered rental bikes for the 5 of us. I strongly recommend that you do this. The trail is beautiful and there’s a couple of places along the trail where you can stop and take pictures. The bike trails is paved so even my 7 year old enjoyed it. If I could do it again, I probably would wait until I got to the island to rent the bikes because it was cheaper to rent them onsite and there are tons of bikes so you won’t have to worry about a bike not being available. I wish Disney would abandon the stop in the Bahamas and give us more time on the Disney Castaway Cay. Just not enough time on the island. It started thundering and we were unable to swim for about an hour or so. Lunch at Castaway Cay was really good. They had plenty of good food including barbecue everything to the foods that the kids love. It rained on us for about an hour or so at Castaway Cay but there are games under covered pavilions and the kids were able to place pool, table tennis, and basketball under a covered pavilion. We rented the snorkeling gear at Castaway Cay but I must say this part didn’t go so good for us. We just couldn’t get out into the water far enough to really get to see anything. Day 5 We saw one of the Disney show’s in the theater and it was awesome. I advise you to make time to see at least one of the live shows. Aquaduck - the aquaduck is a cool ride but you’ve got to get in line at the right time. The first time we got in line, it took us over an hour to get on the ride. The second time we got in line there were not many people and it took us 20 minutes. Wait until the line goes down to get on this ride. If not, you will be waiting at least an hour. Animator’s Palate - We had dinner here on our last night and it was awesome. Our server went way out and did an awesome job. This was by far the best of all 3 dinner seatings. The atmosphere is better than the other dining halls and it was super exciting. Debarkation - If you choose the early dinner for your cruise, then you will be in group 1 which requires you to leave the ship early on the last morning. Since we ate in the late dinner time, we were able to sleep in a little longer and then go to breakfast. We didn’t know this until the last night. Unless you want to get off the ship really early in the morning, I suggest taking the late dinner option when selecting your dinner time for the cruise. If you select the early dinner option, you had to be at breakfast at 7 am and depart the ship around 7:45. If you take the late dinner option, you were assigned breakfast for 8 am and you could depart around 8:30. Character lines - the lines to see the characters are really long so pack a lot of patience and snacks. Our kids didn’t want to wait in the lines and were not really interested in the pictures with the characters. Cabana’s - we enjoyed the food at the Cabana’s buffet. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rank it a 7. It’s pretty much the same thing everyday so it does get a little boring. If you have a special diet like a do just let the cooks now and they will work up something for you. I don’t eat pork or beef so I requested turkey sausage each morning for breakfast and they would make it and bring it to me. Dinner - The food in the dining rooms was ok. On a scale of 1 to 10 i would rank it a 6. Just not enough variety for what I was looking for. It seems to be a lot of the same menu items each night with not enough of what you would expect to see for dinner. I’m a seafood lover and I didn’t salmon on either night. The kids ate chicken nuggets and fries every night but those had to be special ordered because they were not on the menu. Most evenings, we would leave the dining hall and go upstairs and grab something from the burger stand or quick dinner spots. Stateroom - our stateroom was really nice. It was 5 of us and we didn’t feel too crowded. Each of our 3 kids had their own bed. It’s really cool the way the beds are hidden in the rooms. Our Stateroom host, Conrado Martinez, was excellent. He took really good care of us and made the room sparkle every evening. He made it so nice that we really didn’t want to touch anything to mess it up because it was so clean. Server - Our server, Surya, was great. He didn’t an awesome job. He took really good care of us from the beginning to end. He always checked on us and wanted to make sure that our service was not just good but excellent. Survey - You will be given a survey at the end of the cruise and this survey is very important based on the comments that I received from the staff and servers. Some of them will go out of their way to make sure that you leave good comments. Be sure to fill out the survey and leave your comments. Tips - I strongly encourage you to wait until the last day to give your servers the tip card.If you give them the tip card the day before and they are not happy with your tip, you might not get the best service on the last day for breakfast. Again, wait until you leave and then give the server and assistants your tip card that shows how much you are tipping. Activities - The kids really enjoyed the ping pong tables and the full court basketball court that was on the ship. The only thing we did’t like was that the basketball court was often closed because of the ball that would bounce on the floorboard could interrupt dinner activities. The basketball court is only open for limited hours so please found out as soon as you enter the ship. The kids also enjoyed the onboard shuffleboard game. It was really fun. The onboard bingo games for the adults was also pretty cool! The kid clubs were awesome! The staff was great and our kids loved it. My 14 year old went to a club for the big kids and he said it was really cool. They had all of the video game consoles and some really cool activities and games. My 8 year old daughter and 10 year old son also enjoyed the club that they went to. They didn’t want to leave when we went to pick them up.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Tips - I strongly encourage you to wait until the last day to give your servers the tip card.If you give them the tip card the day before and they are not happy with your tip, you might not get the best service on the last day for breakfast. Again, wait until you leave and then give the server and assistants your tip card that shows how much you are tipping.
Ports of call
Port Canaveral, Florida Did not visit port