This past January I did a first – sailing on the Maiden Voyage of Disney Cruise Lines newest ship, Disney Dream. Disney aficionados eagerly awaited the cruise, as well as the addition to the fleet and I doubt any were disappointed.
Like her older sisters, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, the Disney Dream was built in the classic ocean liner style only much larger, 130,000 ton compared to 83,000 ton. Also like her sisters, she offers impeccable service, outstanding entertainment, delicious food and a wonderful staff (or as they are referred to by Disney, “cast members”). Unlike her sisters, Disney Dream offers guests some new features, best described as “wow”. First and most obvious is the 765 foot-long Aqua Duck water coaster that spans four decks and zooms around the top of the ship as high powered water jets push guests sitting on a little raft through the sometimes translucent and sometimes enclosed tubing at speeds of 20 feet per second. One thrilling section swings 13 feet out over the side of the ship with the ocean some 150 feet below. Another feature is directed to the inside cabins. Inside cabins can be quite boring, but on this ship these cabins have an innovative virtual porthole which shows real-time, high-definition video of what’s happening just outside the ship. For those wanting higher end features, there is a Concierge area for suite guests or those in adjoining balcony staterooms. The enclosed Concierge Lounge offers complimentary food and beverage items, a large screen TV and exclusive access to a private sun deck. Along with all of the new, are the many tried and true features such as rotational dining – same wait staff and table mates but a different restaurant nightly, complimentary 24-hour coffee, tea and soda station, complimentary 24-hour room service and split baths in the cabins – one with sink and tub/shower, the other with sink and toilet.
Disney prides itself in offering something for everyone – excellent, well-supervised and age appropriate (3-4, 5-7, and 8-12) children’s programs, tween (11-12) and teen (13-17) activities, young adult/college age activities and areas, activities and programs (galley tour, wine tasting, cooking demonstrations, etc.) just for the adults. The adult only spa on all 3 ships is awesome! None of the Disney ships have a casino and I don’t believe it makes any difference to the majority of guests. If you think Disney cruises and just for families with children, you are so wrong. I’ve sailed Disney numerous times – some with 4 children (ages 7-18) and some with only adults – any every cruise has been fantastic.
Disney offers 3,4 and a few 5 night cruises to the Bahamas and their private island, Castaway Cay, 7 night alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises, 7,10 and 11 night Mediterranean Cruises and new this year, 7 night Alaskan cruises. The future holds a lot more new itineraries as the 4th of the lines fleet, Disney Fantasy, sets sail in the spring of 2012. The Maiden Voyage, a 7 night Western Caribbean itinerary sailing on March 31, 2012 still has balcony staterooms available!