Yes, I was one of the lucky media peeps invited to the Inaugural Christening Cruise of Disney Cruise Line’s newest and largest ship, the Disney Dream. (Have I said how much I LOVE my job lately?) I’ve added a full review of the ship here, but beware, it is long and barely scratches the surface of the ocean of wonder that the Disney Dream provides.
The Christening of the Disney Dream Cruise Ship
The magic started with a bang as the Disney Dream was christened on a beautiful sunny morning at Port Canaveral, Florida. After receiving the red carpet treatment, we found our seats with a perfect view of the multimedia stage and the majestic Disney Dream.
A true Dream Girl, Jennifer Hudson was the Disney Dream’s Godmother. Her career originally started on Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder ship.
This was the first time of many over the next week, my eyes filled with tears. As a Disney newbie, I had never witnessed the depth of the Disney magic. An elaborate cast of Disney characters performed numerous heart-warming acts that had me smiling and crying the entire time.
You can watch the highlights from the Disney Dream Christening to see for yourself.
Disney Dream: Designing a Dream Ship
From the moment the crew greeted us personally off the gangway, we knew we were stepping into whimsical luxury.
A dazzling chandelier glistens overhead in the expansive, three-deck atrium lobby on the Disney Dream. Descending more than 13 feet from the ceiling, and spanning more than 22 feet in width, the illuminated masterpiece sparkles with thousands of hand-crafted crystal beads. Reminiscent of early 20th century transatlantic ocean liners, contemporary design and Art Deco style grace the grand lobby to exude splendor and sophistication throughout. (Gene Duncan, photographer)
The rich details and the decorative touches are absolutely remarkable, and sometimes very subtle. For example, Disney Cruise Line was granted special permission from the US Coast Guard to have yellow lifeboats instead of the regulation orange just to remain authentic to the colour palette with reference to Mickey’s shoes. Something you might never notice, but Disney notices Everything.
Disney Dream: Staterooms
Our family stayed in a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah. As this was my first time on a cruise as an adult, I was surprised how large the rooms were.
There was lots of storage space in our room, the beds were divinely comfortable AND there was a perfect separation of shower/bath/sink in one room and sink/toilet in another. At night, the curtain between queen bed and kids bunks hid the light from my (very brief) evening reading.
Our host was incredibly personable, she wanted to get to know our family’s needs and brought down the bunk bed each night. Incredible service and comfort.
Disney Dream: Making Communication a Dream
Each stateroom comes with (2) Wave Phones (additional units can be rented if needed) that enable you to make phone calls and send texts to others aboard the ship.
The phones also offered a way for the cast members to reach us if there was an emergency with our children while they were in the Oceaneer Club.
Disney Dream: Dining Options
As my son says…
*Side note: Gotta say, I’m totally impressed my son knows the AquaDuck swings 12 feet off the side of the ship. How does he know that? Sure, he watches me work, but does he retain Everything? Wowza! (Proud mom moment, back to regular programming…)
Our first night, we indulged at the highly interactive Animator’s Palate where the Disney Imagineers have pushed the technology envelope and brought the animation to life. With over 100 screens in the restaurant, each guest becomes immersed in the undersea world of Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Nemo”, complete with our surfer-dude Talking Turtle host — Crush. Truly amazing technology that interacts with the guests right down to knowing names. WOW.
Our second evening, we enjoyed a whimisical dinner at the Enchanted Garden restaurant. Here, our server shared his own dream-come-true story. He was from Jamaica and he had been trying to apply to work for Disney Cruise lines for 3 years. He was overjoyed that his dream had finally come true and here he was working on the majestic Disney Dream.
Disney Dream: Disney Live Entertainment
Again, as a newbie, I had no idea what to expect in a Disney production. More smiles and tears of wonder.
The first day, we took in the Golden Mickey’s in the extravagant Walt Disney Theatre.
The story is about a stage manager who must take take over the show from the Master of Ceremonies who has become ill. She learns to overcome her stage fright as the story travels through various animated Disney films such as Tanlged, The Lion King, One Hundred and One Dalmatians and more. The lesson of believing in your dreams (and yourself) is woven throughout the story. (This softy was sniffing through the whole thing.)
The second day brought another magical performance, “Disney Believe”, which is a new show created just for the Disney Dream. This show really hit a chord with me. It is about a workaholic father, Dr. Greenaway who doesn’t have time for his daughter, Sophia on her birthday. And all she wants is for him to believe in magic. So she makes a wish for her father to believe. Sure enough, the genie from Aladdin appears. Robin Williams would be proud of this dude’s performance. Really fantastic.
The Genie takes Dr. Greenaway on a a journey with many of Disney’s beloved characters, such as Cinderella, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, Rafiki and more. You can guess how the story ends up, he believes and his priorities are set straight.
In both broadway-style stage shows, the theatrics and technology is terrific complete with 3D imaging, animation and pizzaz. Blown. Away.
Disney Dream: Adult Entertainment
Not that kind of entertainment, people! However, I will say my husband quite enjoyed the dancers on stage at Evolution. Yes, yes, so did I, very talented indeed.
On board, you will find a complete section called The District set aside for adults only. We decided to drop the kids off at Oceaneer Club and go check out the action.
Our first stop was Evolution, a trendy dance club that features cabaret style entertainment and pumping tunes. Next up was Pink, a classy, quiet champagne bar. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take in all the nightclubs, but walking through them during they day, they looked very dreamy.
Disney Dream: Kid’s Entertainment
We all know that no one does kid’s entertainment like Disney, and they have certainly delivered here on the Dream with the Oceaneer’s Club. Both our kids (Boy-8 & Girl-6) LOVED it. The Dream also features the Vibe and the Edge for the older kids and the Small World Nursery for the babes.
The kid’s club is always a top concern for many traveling parents. The Disney Dream sets THE standard for kid’s clubs where everything is interactive, engaging and FUN. Areas are divided into various spaces such as Andy’s room, Monsters Academy, Explorer Pod, Pixie Hollow, Animator’s Studio and more. They can go back and forth between areas whenever they like. Also, they can eat here. So if mom and dad want a peaceful meal on their own, they’re covered. View all Youth Clubs aboard the Disney Dream >>
Another super cool activity for the kids is the Midship Detective Agency game. Essentially, you are asked to solve the mystery of missing paintings.
Kids are given a detective package with a card that when held up to paintings around the ship reveal magical codes. We only had time for this after it was closed, but this really had the kids intrigued. Guess we’ll have to go back!
Disney Dream: On Deck
Remember, this trip was a media preview cruise, so there were cameras and microphones (and celebrities) scattered everywhere. Yes, I saw Whoopie, but I missed out on the devastatingly handsome John Stamos. *sigh*.
There are three pools (1 for kids, 1 for families and one for adults) as well as a water play area for the tots and Mickey’s Pool Slide. Goofy Sports Deck offers miniature golf, virtual sports simulators, sports courts and more. I didn’t have time to make it up here, although I am really wishing I would have.
Food and drinks on deck are easily accessible and delicious. Nutrition is Everything in the hot sun.
The deck was constantly buzzing with action day and night. During the day, a large screen rolls Disney animations while the night comes alive with fireworks at sea.
Confession. This was my FAVE part of the trip. It happened to rain during the “Buccaneer Blast”, a fireworks show choreographed to songs from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie and “Peter Pan”, but the rain certainly did not stop the show. Especially for the little ones. Watching my daughter dance her little heart out in the rain with the pirates — yes, you guessed it, made me get all teary — again.
Disney Dream: Summary
As I mentioned, I have not been on a cruise since I was a young child, so I was not sure what to expect. But it truly was spectacular. Cruising has become our family’s preference for future vacations, and Disney Cruise Lines has set the bar incredibly high for service, entertainment, value and experience. We created family memories that will be cherished for a lifetime aboard the Disney Dream.
This post would not be complete without a gigantic nod to the Disney Parks Canada team who managed the Canadian media portion of the Disney Dream Inaugural Cruise: Angela Saclamacis, Jo-Anne Wallace, Laura Haughey as well as Marlie Morrison. The talent, passion and work ethic of these incredible woman inspire and amaze me. The extra effort they put in at every stage of the event made our experience that more remarkable. My deepest gratitude goes out to each one of these women for creating an experience of a lifetime. Thank you.
Psst — there’s also a gorgeous spa, which I had no time to attend but really, really wanted to! There’s a theme here. Clearly I need to go back. Soon. Who’s in?