This is the story of how Disney ruined cruising for me. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed several cruises on various cruise lines and I thought they were quite good. After enjoying four days on the Disney Dream however, I realize I’ve been living a lie. Way to go Disney, now what am I supposed to do?
How will I live without the cake of the day delivered to my room free of charge? What other cruise line will whisk me away to a private island? Who else will welcome me and my family onboard with a personal announcement and applause? No one I tell you, and it’s almost too much to bear.
If you’ve been thinking about a Disney Cruise for your family, please heed my warning. You’ll simply never be able to go with another cruise company again. Here are just a few reasons why.
This might seem like the most boring of all categories to go with first, but trust me when I say you’ll appreciate it more than you could know on board. The Disney Dream, at six years old, looks like it just came from the shipyard—inside and out. At no place will you notice this more than when you’re pulled alongside those other cruise lines.
Take a minute when you’re on a Disney Cruise to notice all the work that is constantly happening, and appreciate that Disney appreciates you enough to make sure whether it’s their first cruise or the 1000th, you’re going to get the same standard of care and service. That is truly a feel good feeling.
I honestly was not expecting the food to be as good as it was on the Disney Dream but it was absolutely amazing at all the restaurants we ate at. I was pleasantly surprised to find gourmet fare in each of the sit-down restaurants. Honestly, just the fresh crab at Cabana’s for lunch is enough to make you weak in the knees. If you’re thinking you’ll have nothing but chicken nuggets for a week on a Disney cruise, you’re in for a treat.
For something really special be sure to check out Palo. My husband and I booked a meal at this adult-only restaurant one night as a treat for ourselves. It will cost you an additional $30 per person but it is worth every penny. If you’re wondering where my kids went, they hung out at Vibe, the teen club, with new friends. We were not missed.
My Dover Sole was the best I’ve ever had and my husband’s Filet Mignon could have been cut with a butter knife. My only complaint is that I didn’t have enough room to eat more onboard. Pack stretchy pants, you’re going to need them because saying no to the delicious food on this ship is impossible. Don’t worry you’ll be back to peanut butter and toast at home in no time. Re-entry is hard, oh so hard.
I usually skip out of shows on cruises because I find them super cheesy. I was advised by friends that Disney would change my mind and not to miss anything. I’m so glad I listened.
The production of Beauty and The Beast, onboard the Disney Dream, was produced especially for the ship. If you paid hundreds of dollars to see this show on Broadway, you would walk away raving about it and be glad you laid down the cash to see it. The best part though is you won’t find this version of Beauty and the Beast on Broadway (although I absolutely think they should consider it) and the show is included with your cruise.
The first run movies will also blow your mind. When we were checking in, Kim, our cast member behind the counter at Port Canaveral, told us that Black Panther was showing that night. Incredulous, I said, “But, how could that be? It just came out this weekend in theatres.” Looking me straight in the eyes with just a hint of a smile, she said, “Well, we do own the company.” Touché Kim, touché.
I doubt they called it the Disney Dream because of the comfortable beds, but I honestly can’t remember ever sleeping on a more comfortable bed on a cruise ship. Every night was like slipping into a cloud, and with the boat gently rocking, it was well, dreamy.
We stayed in a Deluxe Oceanview Verandah Stateroom, and there was nothing better than sitting on our verandah enjoying the view each day. It was a little tight for two adults and two teen girls, but kudos to our stateroom attendant, Santanu, who waded through countless beauty products scattered around the room, and magically returned our stateroom to pristine conditions daily. Hmmm, I wonder if Disney supplied him with Pixie Dust? Must look into that.
Remember that cake of the day I mentioned? Don’t forget to order it to your room daily, free of charge. Trust me on this.
If there was ever a place to get stranded, this would be the place to do it. With white sand beaches surrounded by turquoise waters, Castaway Cay is Disney’s own private island in the Bahamas, and is exclusively for their cruise guests.
I highly recommend booking the Castaway Cay Getaway Package that comes with a bike rental, a float rental, and snorkel equipment for the day. Try to do the bike tour first before it gets too hot; it’s also a great way to familiarize yourself with the island.
Another must-do while on the island is Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure. We absolutely loved this experience, and swimming with the gentle stingrays was beyond amazing. They are so graceful under water, and because space is limited in each time slot, you truly get time to enjoy it.
There is so much more that makes a Disney Cruise so special, and I plan on going back to do some more investigating. After all, no other cruise line will do now.
Find out why I think travelling to Disney with teens is the best here!
*photo credit for Beauty and The Beast Photo from Disney Cruise Line, Steven Diaz, photographer
*photo credit for Disney Dream Room, Disney Cruise Line, Matt Stroshane, photographer