Overall Rating: Excellent
|Departed From:||Port Canaveral, FL|
|# of Nights:||3-4 Nights|
|Cabin Type:||Ocean View|
We returned on 5/15/14 from our 4 day cruise on the Dream (leaving Port Canaveral on 5/11). Our cruise experience (our 8th w/ Disney Cruise Line) was the best yet - and that's saying something! Our servers - Mihaly & Suwitra and Head Server Ali (our 2nd time with him!) were beyond accommodating - always 'right there' when needed and met our requests with a smile and went above and beyond our expectations! We watched them interact with other guests the same way - even so far as providing a couple chairs and making a 'dining room bed' complete with tablecloth blanket & napkin pillow for a child who was absolutely too tired to eat but too young to be away from his family while they ate. Just excellent guest service!!! Our meals were delicious, beautifully presented, and served at a comfortable pace.
Our stateroom host, Pornchai, was inobtrusive but always friendly and checking on our experiences each time we passed him. He always called us by name and was just a delight. Our room was always 'perfect' after his unseen visits while we were away. That was no small task as we were in and out of our room frequently, but he quickly learned our pattern! We couldn't have asked for or even imagined better service and hospitality. The stateroom (Cat. 8B, family oceanview) was spacious (especially for cruise standards) and our beds were very comfortable. We had a very large (approx. 5' diameter) porthole with beautiful ocean view. We were in stateroom 9500 - as far forward as you could get on deck 9. Our adult (6'4") son said he was quite comfortable on the murphy bed which during the day was out of sight and gave us much space in front of the porthole to watch the ships and activity on the ports of call.
We attended the Captain's Reception for Gold/Platinum Castaway Club members and relayed our delight with this crew to Captain Henry and his officers. Even the servers in the restaurants where we had lunch and breakfast would remember us (we always tip them extra as we know not many guests do this). James (our server for lunch at Royal Palace on Monday, 5/12) would seek us out elsewhere on the ship to see how things were going with us. All the crew members we met were friendly and engaging - even the maintenance crew performed their duties with a smile and cheery greeting.
We choose not to leave the ship in Nassau as the previous times we were there yielded no great deals, we don't enjoy spending money on things we don't 'need,' and it's a dirty, dangerous place. (My husband and son were being approached by a masked man who'd been watching them - and that was near the port in a designated shopping area. They 'hightailed' it back to the ship and didn't look back.) Castaway Cay (Disney's private island) has beautiful, safe and fantastic beaches and special activities for the children as well as families. There is also an adult beach (Serenity Bay) for those who prefer a quieter beach. The only people on the island are the few Disney Cast Members who live there and the crew and guests from the ship in port. The meals are all included and part of your fare - and very tasty! Admittedly, the past couple of cruises, I've chosen to stay on the ship where there are usually very few other guests - it's very quiet and I usually have the pool to myself. My son & husband went on the island to take pictures and then returned to ride the nearly deserted AquaDuck (could have ridden several times). Whether you go on the island or stay on the ship - there is no wrong choice - but if you've not been on the island - it's worth seeing at least 3-4x. There is also snokeling, cabana messages beachside, jet ski, and tour excursions as well...all run by Disney.
Although our previous 7 experiences with DCL (all on Magic & Wonder) were awesome, this cruise was yet again better than the previous - didn't think that could be possible! We've never cruised with any other cruiseline and can't imagine ever wanting to do such a thing.
The shows in the theater were excellent and entertaining. The other events (Bingo, cooking demos, special receptions) were wonderful as well. We choose Disney because we are "Disneyholics." They know how to please guests and keep it family friendly. We do not wish to be 'trapped' on a ship with people who drink excessively, use profanity, or where there are casinos. If you don't wish to be around children, there are definitely nice adult areas, but all are family friendly - just without children present.
We have no complaints and can't wait for our next cruise! My husband and I booked our 35th anniversary cruise next year (May, 2015 on the Dream).