Disney Dream - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Disney Dream


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 422 out of 500

Accommodation: 159 out of 200

Food: 220 out of 400

Service: 293 out of 400

Entertainment: 91 out of 100

Cruise: 337 out of 400

Overall Score: 1522 out of 2000

Disney Dream Statistics

Size: Large Resort Ship

Tonnage: 129,690

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Disney Cruise Line

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9434254

Builder: Meyer Werft (Germany)

Original Cost: €600 million

Entered Service: Jan 2011

Registry: The Bahamas

Length (ft/m): 1,113.8/339.5

Beam (ft/m): 120.7/36.8

Draft (ft/m): 26.0/7.9

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (42,000kW)/2

Passenger Decks: 14

Total Crew: 1,458

Passengers (lower beds): 2,500

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 51.8

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 1.7

Cabins (total): 1,250

Size Range (sq ft/m): 169-1,781/15.7-165.5

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 901

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 37

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 volts

Elevators: 14

Casino (gaming tables): No

Slot Machines: No

Swimming Pools: 3

Hot Tubs (on deck): 4

Self-Service Launderette: No

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: No

Onboard currency: US$


The ultimate family-friendly floating theme park

Overview. Disney Dream is ideal for families with children or grandchildren. Couples and singles are also welcome, though there are few activities for couples in the daytime, but enough entertainment at night. You will, however, need to be a real Disney fan, as everything revolves around Disney characters and the family theme.

The Ship. Made of pieces of steel and pixie dust, the ships’ exterior is about 40 percent larger than the first two Disney ships, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. It also has two extra decks, although the design is similar - a tribute to the grand ocean liners of the 1930s. Like all Disney ships, there are two large funnels. The bows have handsome gold scrollwork more typically seen adorning yesteryear’s tall ships (the stern is reminiscent of one of those lovely Airstream trailers). The ship’s exterior colors are also those of Mickey himself: red, white, yellow, and black. The lifeboats are yellow, and not the normal orange, by special dispensation.

The biggest outdoor ‘wow’ factor is definitely going to be the AquaDuck, a 765ft (233m) shipboard ‘watercoaster’ spanning four decks in height - two-and-a-half times the length of a football field. It’s pure Disney, really splash-tastic, and beyond anything aboard any other cruise ship dedicated to family cruising.

Disney whimsy and Art Deco style are the hallmarks of the stunning interior decor, too. In the main three-deck-high lobby stands a bronze statue of none other than Admiral Donald (Duck). The decor is enhanced by original paintings, statues, and woodwork all bearing the characteristic Disney attention to detail.

Most public rooms have high ceilings, and the Art Deco theme of the old ocean liners or New York’s Radio City Music Hall has been tastefully carried out. Have a look at the stainless steel/pewter Disney detailing on the handrails and balustrades in the atrium lobby. Other facilities include a digital photo kiosk.

Grown-ups can inhabit their own area of the ship - away from the kids. Known as The District, it includes five different adults-only venues, including Evolution (a lounge with dance floor and bar), a cozy Skyline Lounge, Pink, 687 Lounge, and District Lounge. There’s also a centrally located Concierge Lounge, for occupants of accommodation designated as Concierge Class, all on Deck 12, plus a dedicated private sundeck for Concierge-class occupants.

Other venues include: Mickey’s Mainsail, Sea Treasure, Whitecaps, and Whozits and Whatsits (retail shops); District Bar, Pink Champagne Bar, Skyline Bar, Waves Bar, Bon Voyage, Meridian Bar, 687 (sports bar), Currents Bar, and Arr-cade. The best place for a quiet drink, however, is in the ship’s delightful Observation Bar.

During the winter, Disney Dream sails on three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas as part of a seven-night vacation package that includes a three- or four-day stay at a Walt Disney World resort hotel in Orlando; the cruise then forms the second half of the vacation. The ship calls at Castaway Cay, Disney’s excellent private beach island, whose facilities are constantly being enhanced. American Express cardholders get special treatment and extra goodies. Members of Disney’s Vacation Club can exchange points for cruises.

Gratuities are extra, and 15 percent is added to all bar/drinks purchases.

Families. Almost one entire deck is devoted to catering for children and teens. With names of places to play in like Animator’s Studio and Nemo’s, it’s no wonder that kids have a great time.

It’s a Small World Nursery is for children aged from three months to three years. The Oceaneer Lab and Oceaneer Club both have an interactive play floor - a sort of down-to-earth Wii, where team actions translate to movement, a novel idea.

‘Edge’ is for 11-13-year-olds, a tween pad inside the forward funnel that’s a chill-out zone including karaoke with green-screen technology. ‘Vibe’ is for the real teens, an indoor/outdoor space for 14-17s that is almost 9,000 sq ft (830 sq m), accessed by a teen-only swipe card.

Accommodation. There are nine types of suites and cabins, but many more price grades, depending on the size and location of the accommodation.

Interior cabins have a virtual porthole that gives you the feeling that you are in an outside cabin. It’s done with high-definition cameras positioned on the outside decks to feed live video to each virtual porthole. You almost expect one or more Disney characters to pop by your porthole.

One feature that’s different to Disney Magic and Disney Wonder: all bathrooms have round tubs with a pull-down seat and hand-held shower hose - practically perfect for washing babies and small children. The bed frames have been elevated so that luggage can easily be stored underneath.

The largest accommodation can be found in the Concierge Royal Suite (1,781 sq ft/166 sq m, including balcony), with hot tub. It can sleep five and has one master bedroom with a large walk-in closet, a living room (with one additional pull-down wall double bed and one pull-down single bed), two bathrooms (one has two washbasins), dining room, media library, pantry, and wet bar, plus a large balcony. These suites are located in the best possible position in the ship, with great ocean views.

If you opt for one of the 21 Concierge Class suites, you’ll get higher quality bed linen (Frette 300-thread count Egyptian cotton), feather and down duvets, cotton bathrobe, and H2O Plus bath and spa products.

Dining. There are three main dining rooms, each with a different decor. Passengers rotate through all three, together with their regular waiter (server in Disney-speak).

Expect to see the surfer-dude sea turtle from Finding Nemo swimming around Animator’s Palate, making special appearances and interacting with passengers; the room transforms into a coral reef during dinner. It’s all about ‘foodertainment,’ which Disney does well, but the noise level can sometimes be a little intense.

Royal Palace has decor inspired by the classic Disney films Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty.

The Enchanted Garden is a whimsical main dining room inspired by the gardens of Versailles, and the lighting magically transforms from day to night (the central glass panel ceiling is almost covered in what can only be magical foliage).

Other dining options. Cabanas is open to all. At night, it becomes another restaurant where meals from the main dining room menu are available in an even more casual setting but with waiter service.

For something different, and as an escape from the big dining rooms, Remy is an upscale French restaurant with menus created by Michelin-starred French chef Arnaud Lallement from l’Assiette Champenoise, close to Reims in France, in conjunction with Scott Hunnel from Victoria & Albert’s at Walt Disney World. An extra-cost, reservations-only venue, it offers leisurely European-style dining - ideal for an evening out (without the kids, of course), but at $75 a head for dinner (plus wine) it’s not cheap. The design is rather ratty, too (think Disney’s Ratatouille); in fact, rats are everywhere in the ‘fine-dining’ venue - though not on your plate.

Palo is an Italian-cuisine themed adults-only restaurant, with à-la-carte items cooked to order. On days at sea, high tea is also served here, and there’s a cover charge.

Entertainment. Live shows are presented at the Walt Disney Theater, the ship’s 1,340-seat showlounge. It has a star-studded ceiling and proscenium arch stage.

Villains Tonight, which premiered in 2010 aboard Disney Dream and features the baddies in Disney’s films, is one of the shows being presented, along with other Disney favorites.

The Buena Vista Theater - which is not to be confused with the Walt Disney Theater - is the ship’s movie house, with 399 seats.

There’s live evening entertainment on deck including a Pirate Night, with visual and lighting effects, and live fireworks. Everyone’s favorite Disney characters will be on board in many different locations, so make sure you have your camera with you (there are lots of photo opportunities).

Spa/Fitness. Senses Spa and Salon has 17 treatment rooms and private outdoor verandahs. Rainforest features steam heat, misty showers, and hydrotherapy for relaxation. Teens can also have specially tailored spa treatments in their own chill-out zone.