(Since there is so much that encompasses a cruise, I’ve decided to break my review of the Dream into multiple reviews).
Nothing compares to traveling to a warm weather destination as a means of beating those “winter blues,” so the ideal thing would have to be booking a cruise to the Bahamas during the bleakness of winter. Thoughts of white, sandy beaches and crystal blue waters are fixated on the inside of the mind, and snow and frigid temperatures are unfortunately a daily constant on the outside, literally. When I came across an incredible rate on the Dream, the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, I knew it was kismet, since Disney tends to be more expensive when compared with other lines. Here is my review of the ship broken down into categories:
The ship: The Dream entered service just this year so everything found aboard is not only immaculate but also new. Disney spares no expense when it comes to detail, ranging from Enchanted Garden, one of the three rotational restaurants inspired after the gardens of Versailles, to the hidden Mickeys that are EVERYWHERE. Although some areas are more crowded than others, the ship is still massive enough to offer space for all its passengers.
The stateroom: We stayed in a deluxe oceanview stateroom with a veranda on the fifth deck. It featured a queen size bed (and yes it really was a queen and not just two twin beds strapped together which is the case on some other ships), a sofa bed (a benefit if traveling with small children), a desk with chair, a full length mirror (always a plus for the female demographic when wanting to appraise themselves before stepping out for the night), an LCD flat screen TV on a swivel arm (a wonderful feature as it allows you to watch TV comfortably from bed), and a heavy curtain separating the living area from the bed area (a privacy feature if desired). There were two bathrooms; one featured the shower/tub and a sink, the second was a half bath that had the toilet and sink. The stateroom was made up twice a day with everything always returning to a pristine state afterwards. We did have a problem with the drains in one of the bathroom sinks, but we alerted our steward and a couple of hours later when we returned, the sink was working fine again along with a note apologizing for any inconvenience the issue had caused. Our veranda was what is called a “whitewall veranda” which means it’s not the plexiglass kind so you couldn’t see the water while seated, but it truly wasn’t that big of a deal.
Recreational pursuits: Although D and I didn’t partake, the ship did feature an extensive gym along with a jogging track that is located on deck four. There are a total of three pools on the ship, one children’s (Mickey’s pool), one family (Donald’s pool), and one reserved exclusively for adults. (There is also Nemo’s Reef which is a pool for the baby, toddler demographic.) The family pool was crowded just about any time of the day. Although it would have been nice to swim in at as it offered prime viewing of the massive TV which screened Disney movies, the screaming, running kids deterred me. I did swim in the Quiet Cove pool (the one for adults) and my only complaint was that I wish it were larger. There is an area of it that features the swim up bar, so the actual deep, swimming portion of the pool is small in comparison. Also found in the adult area is a luxurious hot tub featuring clear glass windows on the bottom, allowing you to literally stare down into the depths of the water. The showcase of the Dream from a swimming perspective is undoubtedly Aqua Duck, a transparent tube water coaster, the first in the cruise industry. Riders are propelled at fast speeds through an acrylic tube up, down, around the side of the ship through a funnel and then, following a steep drop, into a lazy river. If you’ve tired of swimming, there is also a miniature golf course, table tennis, and a basketball court.