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!!
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.
Harlen and I had a separate room with a balcony. Yes, thanks to my mom…it was a REAL vacation for us.
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.
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 breakfast, we chose to eat at the Royal Palace dining room, inspired by Disney fairy tales and serves French-inspired cuisine.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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.