Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cruising on the Disney Dream



SO I have to start off with a small confession. I never had the urge to cruise. Putting aside I've watched the Poseidon Adventure one too many times, I had some misconceptions about cruises. The first being they're boring. I figured eat and lay around-that was it. The second was that my impression of staterooms was akin to something you'd find small fish canned in. I just didn't get it, and so when John mentioned cruises, all I could think was please let him pick a ship that has LOTS & LOTS of port stops so I can get off that infernally boring boat.

As some of you may know, I just returned back from a Disney Agent Education Program last week. This is Disney's way of immersing you in a sea of information, experiences and Disney culture in an amazing 5 day adventure through resort, restaurants and in our case, a cruise ship. We were fortunate enough (or more likely Disney is just that good at planning) to be able to tour the Disney Dream cruise ship during our training program. And without a doubt I have been converted. As soon as I stepped off the ship-not boat-I called John and told him we're taking a cruise as soon as possible. So allow me to explain and show the things that caused my change of heart.
**Small aside-photography is not my gig, as you will see, plus there was so much to see and we were moving fast to get it all in, so please pardon my shoddy picture taking skills.

I am going to start with the ship itself. Whether you send away for the Disney Cruise Line DVD or watch a special on the DCL, you will often hear that in staring the DCL, Disney wanted to take the ships back to the Golden Age of cruising, and boy did they ever. Being a Disney product, I expected it to be amazing, but they took my expectations and blew them so far out of the stratosphere I pretty much am left with words like "WOW!" and "Oh my gosh!" and other eloquent phrases to express delight over this ship. The attention to detail, the quality & flat out beauty of the ship is breathtaking. As you can see by these pictures of the Atrium lobby and the art deco chandelier, Disney is looking to wow you the minute you walk on the ship.



Captured some Pixies in this pic ;)

As you move through the ship, you find yourself either saying to yourself or out loud "Oh wow look at this." many, many times. There are so many beautiful touches & details as well as Disney whimsy. One of my favorite examples of this is the animated art on the walls. Here's a quick example of that (pardon the poor photography):

video

Along with the not-so-common areas awesomeness, Disney raised the bar in staterooms as well. Larger than your average cruise line, Disney also redesigned bathrooms, and added cool little touches like magical portholes for inside staterooms. They also did a great job on designing handicap accessible rooms as well. 







Here is another another stateroom style:


There's Jerry-our honorary Pixie :)



The next place the Dream proved me wrong was on my assumption that there's nothing to do. From toddlers to adult, Disney has created numerous areas on the ship to keep you entertained, relaxed, well fed-you name it and Disney has already anticipated it and put it on the Dream.

Kids programs are broken into perfect little age groups. There is It's a Small World &  Flounders Reef Nursery for babies 3 months to 3 years old. Kids 3-9 can let their imaginations run wild in the Oceaneer Club. Tweens 10-13 have the Edge where they can surf the net, watch TV, play video games & listen to music. And Teens 14-17 can enjoy a safe club like atmosphere with other teens of their own age. Funny story told to us by one of the cast members on the ship, often when parents come to pick up the kids, the kids often run and hide because they are having so much fun. I can totally see why :) Here are some pictures of the different kids areas:








There are a variety of adults only nightclubs on the Dream, so when the kids are off having a blast at the kids clubs, parents can spend some time enjoying some adult entertainment in clubs Like Pink, Skyline, Evolution & Meridian to name a few.


 

In addition to Spas (including a teen only spa), pools, and water play areas, amazing dining options (both family and adult only choices), there is a theater where Broadway quality shows are performed throughout the course of the cruise, a full size movie theater which plays first run Disney movies. There are character experiences, games, and one of my favorite things completely exclusive to Disney Cruise Lines-nightly fireworks off the ship.






We've covered a lot of stuff, but I had to save the best for last. A new addition to Disney Cruise Line bag of magic-the Aqua Duck. A watercoaster on a cruise ship-only Disney. I really don't think much more needs to be said.



Sadly my pictures come from standing on the deck, but trust me I would have totally volunteered to give it a test run. Like I said-leave it to Disney.

So there it is, a long version of why I can't wait to try a Disney cruise. I actually could have easily made this a 3 part series I have such much good stuff to say about the Dream. If you have any questions about the Dream or Disney Cruise Line-feel free to drop me a line. Trust me you want to cruise on this ship :)

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