Enchanted Garden, Royal Palace, Animator’s Palate – Disney DREAM Cruise Ship

March 9, 2012

After going on a 14-day Transatlantic Disney cruise in 2010, we were hooked. For our second Disney cruise, we chose the 3-night Bahamian cruise (from February 2-5, 2012) with stops in Nassau and Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island) on the Disney Dream just so we could try out the “new” ship. Our cruise left from Port Canaveral, Florida, which meant we flew from San Diego to Orlando on February 1st, spent the night, and then the next day took a 45-minute shuttle from our hotel to the port.

When we arrived at the port, the check-in process was so smooth. Porters greeted our shuttle and took our luggage. We went through security with only a minimal wait. Then to get our cruise cards, we were directed to the Silver Castaway line (for those who are repeat Disney cruisers) and went right up to the counter, no wait. After we got all of our cruise cards, we walked onto the ship, got changed into swimsuits and off to ride the AquaDuck!!

Disney Dream boasts 14 towering decks, a ship length of 1,115 feet and a maximum width of 125 feet, the 130,000-ton vessel includes 1,250 staterooms and has the capacity to comfortably accommodate 4,000 passengers—along with the over 1,458 Crew Members.

The AquaDuck, water coaster, circles the entire Deck 12 of the ship. This photo shows where you get in line to ride the AquaDuck.

That’s Harlen and Alani riding the AquaDuck.

The AquaDuck at night is pretty spectacular. There is also a giant screen where movies are shown all day until midnight when the AquaDuck and pools close. Harlen and I went on the AquaDuck at night…no lines!

The AquaDuck was a huge factor in our decision to vacation on the Disney Dream. The older Disney ships, the Magic and the Wonder, do not have the AquaDuck. The newest ship to the Disney fleet, the Fantasy, does have the AquaDuck and that’s the ship for our next Disney Cruise vacation booked for December 2013.

For this trip, we had one interior room for my mom, Alani and Rigel.

That’s my mom, Lucia, in the interior room with one queen size bed and one convertible sofa

The interior room has a digital screen port hole that displays what a real port hole would show. Best part…you can turn it off.

Harlen and I had a separate room with a balcony. Yes, thanks to my mom…it was a REAL vacation for us.

Harlen and I stayed in this room with a queen bed and separate area with sofa. Beyond the second curtain is the balcony. That is a towel monkey hanging from the ceiling, thanks to the crew.

The food on the Disney Dream was pretty good at the three restaurants that are part of the included dining aboard the ship. Each of the three nights, we rotated to a different dining room and our dining servers followed us. One night was at the Enchanted Garden.

Enchanted Garden dining room

Alani ordered the slow roasted prime rib from the adult menu. Of course, she ate every bite.

Rigel ordered the burger and fries from the kids’ menu. He ate most of it.

For dessert each night, Rigel ordered the Mickey ice cream bar. It was his favorite.

Because we rotated to a new restaurant each night, the menu was different based on the theme of the restaurant. The Enchanted Garden offered “market-inspired continental” cuisine. That night, I ate seafood.

For my appetizer, I ate the Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower.

For dinner, I had the Pan Seared Sea Bass with saffron and fennel risotto with a sweet chili glaze. It was delicious.

For dessert, I ordered a sampling of sweets. Totally decadent!

For breakfast, we chose to eat at the Royal Palace dining room, inspired by Disney fairy tales and serves French-inspired cuisine.

Royal Palace dining room

Alani’s Mickey waffle, pancake and scrambled eggs

This was my breakfast – Eggs Benedict and sausage

Even on a short cruise, there is a lot to do on the ship for both adults and children. During the day, we had the option to visit the port city. Our first port was Nassau in the Bahamas. The kids wanted to go to the kids’ Oceaneer Club and Lab rather than get off the ship with us. At the Club and Lab, Alani and Rigel could choose to participate in the organized activities (like bake cookies, make flubber, scavenger hunt, etc.) or explore, create and play in either the Club or Lab. Thanks to the Club and Lab, Harlen and I enjoyed an amazing meal at Palo by ourselves the second night on the ship (more about that in a separate post).

Andy’s room (from Toy Story) found in the Kids’ Oceaneer Club

Rigel with Mike in the Monsters, Inc. portal at the Oceaneer Club.

Alani in the Pixie Hollow portal at the Oceaneer Club playing computer games

Our second port was Castaway Cay which we had visited on our last Disney cruise. This time the kids wanted to rent bikes and ride around the island. It was fun to cruise around exploring the island as a family.

Castaway Cay – it was overcast and drizzly the day we were at the island

After Castaway Cay, which was also our last night on the ship, we ate at the Animator’s Palate dining room. This dining room is inspired by Disney animation and is filled with items found in an animator’s studio. Alani and Rigel ate the kids’ meals each night which consisted of a fruit salad appetizer, cheeseburger or macaroni and cheese, and Mickey ice cream bar for Rigel and strawberry ice cream for Alani.

Our family at Animator’s Palate the last night of our 3-night cruise.

Harlen and I had reservations that night at Remy, an adult exclusive restaurant. Overall, the food in the three dining rooms and other eateries is good, but the dishes at Palo and Remy are exceptional and much more memorable (worthy of a separate post).

We have gone on other cruise lines with our children. By far, Disney cruises are the BEST for our family. Why? I could go on and on. For one, the embarkation and disembarkation processes are orderly with short or no lines, which was not our experience with other cruise companies. The shipboard and port activities offered are plentiful for all ages as well as the opportunities to just do nothing and relax.  Days were filled with high quality family time as well as alone time to do what we each wanted to do. When traveling with kids, we leave Disney cruises feeling relaxed, refreshed and rested…a real vacation for all.

We already booked our next Disney cruise, a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise in December 2013. Because we booked the next cruise while on the ship, we received a 10% discount, reduced deposit, and shipboard credit for that next cruise.

The kids were asked to give their rating for the overall vacation and the Disney Dream got TWO THUMBS up from both kids. I would agree with them and look forward to our next Disney vacation.

Alani gives two thumbs up for the overall Disney Dream vacation.

Rigel also gives two thumbs up!

Now for something completely different…The Restroom Review.

It’s Disney and they have a reputation for hyper cleanliness. The restrooms on the ship definitely live up to that reputation. It’s another reason I am such a fan of Disney ships…the super clean bathrooms.

In each stateroom, there is a separate room with sink and bath tub.

In every stateroom, there are two bathrooms – one with bath tub and sink and another with a toilet and sink. This is another example of Disney’s attention to detail and added convenience.

The other bathroom with toilet and sink in each stateroom.

This is a restroom (noticed how uber clean it is) is located near the Disney Theater where we watched Broadway-like shows every evening.

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