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Disney Dream Live Review

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My wife typically does the reviews but I decided to take over the review for this cruise.  We are a family of three traveling with two families of four.  This is our first Disney Cruise.  We have been on 10 other cruises (NCL, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival).  We have liked the other cruise lines with NCL being our favorite for a variety of reasons including:  My time dining, The Haven, and other “freestyle cruising” options.  We are curious to see how Disney compares.

 

When we left our home in North Central WV it was 18 degrees, needles to say we were excited to get to Orlando to enjoy some warmer weather. Prior to the cruise we stayed at the Four Seasons Resort on the Disney property.   We enjoyed the resort.  The service was excellent and the pool area was one of the best I have seen at any hotel property.

 

This morning, the 11 of us loaded up in a large van at the hotel and were dropped off at the cruise terminal after about an hour ride.  The cruise terminal was not busy this morning.  At the time only The Dream and one other ship were in port.  Soon after we got here the NCL Gem docked next to us.  

 

It was a prettey efficient drop off process, the porters quickly took our bags and we were off to the line to go through the metal detectors.  This line was pretty long, however, a cruise line employee came up to our group and said, “how would you like to go to a shorter line?”  I was worried it would be some type of trick, but she was right.  There was no line on the other side of the building.  We quickly went through the metal detectors and then we on to get our ship cards.  As soon as we got our ship cards it was time for us to board.  It was a quick and easy boarding process.  The exact opposite of what we experienced going out of NYC on the escape earlier this year.

 

There is a cool ship model in the terminal where you can get a picture with Mickey.  We elected to skip this so we could go ahead and get on the ship.  

 

Overall Check-in experience on a scale of 1-10:  I would give it a 9.  It was quick, efficient, the employees were friendly, and the large ship model was really cool.

 

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Once we made it on the ship we went to Cabanas Buffet for lunch.  The experience was not any different than any other ship.  The food was typical ship buffet food.  Some people say they think it is of higher quality compared to other cruise lines.  I found it to be about the same.  Almost everything we had was decent to good.  

 

The lunch buffet on any ship is crowded the first day, however we  found a place to sit.  There was plenty of seating outside by the pool deck as well as outside behind the buffet on the stern of the ship.  

 

I didnt like the set-up of the buffet, it was in a horseshoe shape with the same food on both sides.  Itwas similar to the Carnival Breeze and can allow for longer lines and congestion.  I prefer spaced out stations like on NCL Jewel class ships.  There are two main doors in and out of the buffet, however doors on one side were locked.  This caused backups both ways going and out of the buffet.  The buffet also closes after a certain time, which was frustrating when we were trying to get our daughter a snack.  There are pizza, hot dogs, etc available to eat towards the front of the ship.  

 

Overall Buffet experience:  5-6 out of 10.  Nothing special, food was average.  Poor set up.  Deducted a point for not being open all day.  

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After lunch we heard down to check out our room.  We were in a family veranda room.  There is more than enough room for the 3 of us.  I also liked the set by splitting the bathroom into two different rooms.  One with a sink and toilet and the other with a sink and shower/bath.  There was plenty of storage or all of our things.

 

Our daughter still sleeps in a crib, but I’d you were traveling with older kids the couch pulls out into a bed and there is also a Pullman bed in the ceiling.   

 

Our daughter took a nap while I unpacked. My wife explored the ship with her friends and won a $75.00 spa credit!  

 

Overall room experience on a scale of 1-10:  In comparing this room to all other regular balcony rooms I would give this room a 9-10.  It seems bigger than most regular state rooms, I like how their is a curtain to divide the room, there are a ton of shows/movies on the TV, The A/C works great, plenty of storage, and the set up of the two bathrooms is great!  

 

The WiFi isn’t allowing me to upload pictures right now, I’ll have to do that later. Sorry.  

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About the time we finished packing it was time for muster drill.  This went by quickly. In this drill you had to go outside to where your lifeboat is located.  It is a little different than some of the cruises we have been on recently where you would go to the theater or MDR for your muster drill.

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Loving the review. Curious to know more about the NCL buffet, since we've only sailed Princess, Carnival and Cunard other than DCL. You should have seen the buffet before it became Cabanas. It's a big improvement. The old buffet was simply a two-sided queue. You enter, push your tray along and exit out the back. No stations like it is now.

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It makes perfect sense for the muster drill to be held at the actual location where you should go in an actual emergency. Seconds count in those situations, and all passengers should be familiar with their evacuation station, rather than having everybody make a mad rush to the theater or MDR where their briefing was held.

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Great review so far, I hope you have been enjoying the cruise.  FYI the muster stations are (of course) different for everyone so some do get to go to a theatre or other indoor area, but others are outside.

 

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Sorry for the delay in posting.   Thought I would have more time to post on the ship. We just got off this morning and I will do my best to finish it over the next few days.

 

Here are so so pics of the room and the muster drill 

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After muster drill, our daughter was tired so we went back to the room before dinner, so I can’t comment on the sail away show.  As we leave ports I have always enjoyed watchinf the Pilot go from the Cruise Ship to the Pilot Boat.  I’ve seen some daring jumps from the cruise ship to the pilot boat on several of our cruises.  Nothing too daring happened on this one though.  

 

Below are a few pictures as we headed out of the port on our way to Nassau.

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Dinner that evening was at Animator’s Palate.  We were introduced to our waiter, Kevin, and our assistant waiter, Yulia, as soon as we sat down.  They were great with our crew which consisted of 6 adults and 5 children.   I’ll be honest I am not always a big fan of food in MDRs on most cruise ships.  We like to frequent Cagneys or other type restaurants while cruising.

 

However, I will say the food at Animator’s Palate was excellent!  My wife and I both agreed this was the best MDR food we have had on a cruise.  My phone died prior to the food coming so unfortunately I do not have any pictures of it.   I cannot say enough good things about the food and service during this dinner.  

 

Oue tablw was not located next to a wall, but if you were lucky enough to be seated in certain  tables along the wall, Crush the turtle will come over and talk to you and your family.   I’m not sure how this works but it’s prettu cool.  

 

Overall Animator’s Palate experience:  on a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 9.5.  The food was very good and the service was excellent.  D3C8012D-CAFB-43B9-A4BD-A4195B36AC59.thumb.jpeg.f71e2d6ac2ba87f0388673790ab8a26d.jpeg

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On 12/11/2018 at 9:41 AM, gometros said:

Loving the review. Curious to know more about the NCL buffet, since we've only sailed Princess, Carnival and Cunard other than DCL. You should have seen the buffet before it became Cabanas. It's a big improvement. The old buffet was simply a two-sided queue. You enter, push your tray along and exit out the back. No stations like it is now.

Thank you for the nice comment.  I will try to complete the review in the next few days.  As far as NCL is concerned it just depends what ship you are on.  The Breakaway class ships are very similar to Cabanas in that there are stations but they run along a wall in a horseshoe shape.  On the Jewel class ships there are stations that are setup that you can walk all the way around and are in different places in the buffet area.  

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On 12/11/2018 at 11:34 AM, PopFla said:

It makes perfect sense for the muster drill to be held at the actual location where you should go in an actual emergency. Seconds count in those situations, and all passengers should be familiar with their evacuation station, rather than having everybody make a mad rush to the theater or MDR where their briefing was held.

I agree.  

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On 12/11/2018 at 12:39 PM, zencruisers said:

Enjoying the review and pictures. Thank you.

Thank you so much.  I will do my best to complete it in the next few days.

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On 12/12/2018 at 5:06 PM, kodesthemoose said:

Great review so far, I hope you have been enjoying the cruise.  FYI the muster stations are (of course) different for everyone so some do get to go to a theatre or other indoor area, but others are outside.

 

Thank you for your nice comments.   I’ll try and complete the review in the next few days.  

 

On 12/12/2018 at 6:54 PM, emjayel56 said:

What a thorough and enjoyable report... hope you are having fun

 

Thank you!  We had a great time with our friends on the trip.  We are relaxing in Orlando today before we head home tomorrow.   I will work to get the review finished ASAP.

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After dinner we went to the nightly show.  The show on the first night was titled, “The Golden Mickeys”. It was an awards type show that featured many classic songs from Disney movies.  It was really good.  The theater was nice with ample seating on the on the 3rd and 4th floor.  

 

One of of my favorite things about the show was the concession areas right before you come into the theater.  You can purchase popcorn, candy, beer, wine, bottled water, etc.   

 

Overall Experience at the Golden Mickey’s show:  On a scale of 1-10 I would give it a 10.  The theater is large with plenty of seating, I liked being able to purchase popcorn, and the show was excellent.

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We had a great first day on the ship.  Before reviewing the rest of our trip below are some pictures of the ship including the main pool deck, atrium, adult pool area, etc...

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Your pics are excellent!  Thank you for sharing.  I can't wait to hear how you feel overall about DCL especially compared to NCL (and especially to the Haven!) 

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1 hour ago, kodesthemoose said:

Your pics are excellent!  Thank you for sharing.  I can't wait to hear how you feel overall about DCL especially compared to NCL (and especially to the Haven!) 

Thank you for your kind comments!  I will definitely let you know how I think it compares to NCL and the Haven on NCL.

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RV We woke up early the next morning and hit up the breakfast buffet at Cabanas.  The breakfast buffet was disappointing.  I thought the quality of the food on the buffet was not very good compared to other buffets on other cruise lines.    However, a bad breakfast buffet is still better than a good day at work.

 

After breakfast it was time to get off the ship in Nassau.  I’ve been to Nassau 43-4 times and always enjoy it.  I know there are a lot of Nassau haters out there, but we’ve always had a good time checking out the Colonial Forts, going to the water park at Atlantis, going to a beach, and of course drinking a Kalik Beer(s) 😉 .

 

We typically see our on our own, but this time we booked an excursion through DCL to Blue Lagoon Island.  We met in one of the theaters and then made our way as a large group to the pier where we boarded our boat to the island.  

 

It was an approximately 30-40 minute boat ride to the island.  Along the way we got to look at a number of large yachts and homes at Paradise Island.  

 

We made it to the island where we were directed to a large beach with lounge chairs.  It was a little cold that day, but we had a great time.  We same in the Lagoon, had a few mixed drinks, and there was a lunch buffet included.  There were several other things you could do on the island, such as swim with dolphins, Segway tour, etc...

 

We left the island around 2:00 pm and returned to the straw market in the port area.  We bought some Kaliks and then finally did something we said we were going to do for years.  There is an administration building in the port where you can get your passport stamped.  I know it’s dorky, but we wanted to get a stamp in our daughters passport.  

 

From there it was back to the ship for dinner.  

 

Overall experience in Nassau:  On a scale of 1 - 10 I would give it an 8.5.  Sure Nassau isn’t as awesome as say Bermuda or St. Thomas but we still had fun.  If you’ve never been Blue Lagoon Island it is a fun place to check out.  

 

Below you will find pictures of exiting the ship, the Blue Lagoon Island boat, Blue Lagoon Island, and pictures of the stern of the Dream.

 

 

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After spending the day at Blue Lagoon Island and Nassau we ate dinner at Palo, which as you may or may not know is one of the for pay restaurants.  Palo has an Italian inspired menu.  When you arrive they give you a variety of cheese, meats, breads and vegetables to start with.  You can then order your starter, salad/soup, entree, and dessert.  

 

Ill be honest, I forgot to bring my phone.  I cannot remember what I ordered as a starter or salad.  For my entree, I ordered pasta and shrimp.  For dessert I had some type of apple tart, it wasn’t all that great.  

 

For the the most part everything was very good.  We felt it was worth the up charge.  When we have dined at up charge restaurants on other cruise lines we’ve felt like the service was not much better than the MDR.  The service was much better at at Palo than experiences we’ve had at Cagneys or LeBistro.  There was not any downtime.  The courses flowed one right into the other.  However, while the food was very good, it was not quite as good Cagneys or LiBistro.  I did think it was better than the steakhouse on Carnival and RCL.

 

Overall experience at Palo:  On a scale of 1-10 I would give it an 8.5.  The food was good (except for dessert, several of us said the desserts lacked sugar and taste) the service was excellent, overall a fun evening.  

 

As a a side note our daughter stayed in the onboard nursery while we attendned this dinner.   We were happy with the service the nursery provided.  

 

Tomorrow on to Castaway Cay and Pirate Night!!!!

 

 

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The day we first got on the ship we signed up for the Castaway Cay 5k run at guest services.  It seemed like a good idea at the time, however, when it came to the day of the run it did not see like a good idea that morning as we headed down to the starting line.  

 

Prior to the race, you will meet in one of the clubs in the back of the ship to receive your race number and go over the layout of the course.  From there you disembark as a group and walk approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile to the starting line.  We had a large group take part in the run on our ship, I don’t remember how many exactly but I believe they said it was around 300.  

 

The race starts in a cluster of buildings/stores.  From there you follow a road that zigs and zags until you take a left on the airplane runway.  You will continue down the runway until you take a right at the water station as you enter the “loop of doom.”  As you circle around this loop you will pass different things such as anchors and buoys that have been placed on the island.  As you exit the loop you again pass the water station and continue down the runway until you reach the beach.  At this point you turn around and follow the same route back to the start/finish line.  

 

As you cross the finish line there is a member of the cruise staff to hand out medals to finishers.  There is also a store to purchase Castaway Cay 5k T-shirt’s.  

 

After we finished we walked back to the ship to shower and get our daughter who was in the nursery.  

 

After we got back to the ship I was glad I ran the race, but I was jealous of everyone heading out the beach.  If I ever did this cruise again I would probably skip the race and just head to the beach.  However,  I think it is a fun thing to do one time.  It does not matter if you are runner, jogged, walker, etc...  there were all types of people who took part in the race.  It is more about having fun than posting the fastest time.  

 

Below are some pictures of the pre race activies, the pre-race briefing, the walk to the starting line, the starting line, sights from the race, a picture of the medals, etc...

 

Tomorrow I will try and review the time we spent at the beach at Castaway Cay as well as the BBQ lunch.  If I get real ambitious I will review Pirate night.  

 

Thanks again for taking king time to read my review!F85600C3-F471-453D-AD80-2EB7855FCF83.thumb.jpeg.96218c94b1012ef5ca8e7fb4d4318d30.jpeg

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WOW!!! Awesome Review! We were on the same cruise as you and you have a picture of animators and you got us in the photo. I'm wearing the Red Santa Hat and then you took a picture during the 5K run and snapped a picture of the anchor and you got my daughter in that Picture.....AWWWW. I absolutely loved the sailing. The weather On Castaway Cay couldn't have been any better. Thanks again for putting a smile on my face, especially while I'm sitting here at work.

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