Jennifer, Cheryl and I recently had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Travel Agent Education Program for EarMarked agencies at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. We were engaged in five days of classroom training, many Resort Site Inspections, park tours, a Cirque du Soleil treat, and one very special day inspecting every little bit of one of Disney’s newest cruise ships, the Disney Dream!
The Dream, launched in 2011, and the Fantasy, launched in 2012, are sister ships which currently sail on three and four night voyages to the Bahamas (Dream) and seven night voyages to the Eastern and Western Caribbean (Fantasy) out of Port Canaveral, FL. All cruises include a stop at Disney’s fabulous private island, Castaway Cay!
We were able to view almost every single category of stateroom on the ship, which kept us hopping! The first thing you’ll notice about Disney Cruise Line’s staterooms is that they are larger than the industry average. Almost every category (except very few Standard Inside Staterooms) has highly-prized split baths with two sinks, allowing two people to get ready at the same time. Beds are raised off the floor to allow suitcase storage underneath the bed—genius! Bunks drop down from the ceiling with your steward’s assistance; you’ll never see that bed during the day. Even Inside Staterooms have Magical Portholes which give guests a video view of what is going on outside the ship!
We actually saw, and loved, a little-known stateroom category that is almost two staterooms in one. A family of up to five people could really spread out in this specific Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom. There aren’t very many of these treasures, so ask us about our favorite find when we talk to you about your cruise!
Many of our families have asked about—and stayed on—the Concierge Decks of the ship. There are so many advantages of staying on Decks 11 and 12 that we consider them a significant value. Whether you choose a Concierge Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah, a One Bedroom Suite with (huge!) Verandah, or the luxurious Concierge Royal Suite with Verandah, you will experience the ultimate in cruise service and luxury in these categories. You will have EARLY booking privileges with a pre-cruise Concierge for excursions, dining reservations at Palo and Remy, and kids’ clubs. A phone call will take care of it all! You will also enjoy a select, private cruise check-in area at port where you may board the ship any time you like and priority disembarking/embarking at every port and return to Port Canaveral. These are huge advantages! Onboard, you will find your deck at the top of the ship with a private lounge and sundeck reserved for Concierge guests. We were ready to set sail when we saw these rooms!
Another area that highly impressed us was Senses, the onboard Spa and Salon. It is gorgeous! We relaxed the moment we stepped into the area. Besides a huge fitness room, every spa treatment you can imagine, a relaxing sauna/steam/solarium, a beautiful salon to get you ready for your dinner date at Palo or Remy, Senses has Chill, something we had never seen on a ship. Chill is a spa specifically designed for teens. It was fabulous!
Speaking of teens, Disney has definitely thought of them with Vibe, a teen-only space featuring plenty of indoor and outdoor games, a soda shop, a sun deck and water area that we agreed our teens would enjoy. There was even a tween club, Edge, for kids aged 9-13. Of course Disney has world-renowned Kids Clubs on the ships! The Oceaneer Club and Lab were so cool. We moms especially loved the innovative and required hand-washing station at the entrance to each Club.
Of the three spectacular themed rotational dining restaurants every family experiences on the ship, we agreed that Enchanted Garden was our favorite. Oh, we loved the innovative and creative color-changing Animator’s Palate and the completely majestic Royal Palace, but the Enchanted Garden simply won us over by taking us to Disney’s interpretation of a day in the French countryside. We were fortunate enough to dine in one of the Dream’s lunch spots, Cabanas, and totally ate our fill at this delicious, varied buffet!
Palo and Remy are the Dream’s adults-only reservations-only restaurants. They are open for dinner and, at Palo, brunch. I have dined at Palo and can assure you the food and experience is divine. Each restaurant has a slight upcharge but they are well worth it!
We felt right at home in the District, the five-nightclub area that’s another adult space. The Walt Disney Theatre is the nightly home to world-class musical productions. Our guide told us that each show is in development for two-and-a-half years before performers actually take the stage! Disney wants everything to be perfect for guests. I love the way Disney engineered the ship to have spaces for adults, children and families! In fact, we learned that a significant number of Disney Cruise Line passengers are adults traveling without children. That speaks to the high level of quality and service passengers find on a Disney cruise!
The only thing missing from our day on the Dream was that it was just that—a short day instead of an actual vacation. We can’t wait to return with our bags and sunglasses to experience a Dream itinerary! Any of our knowledgeable FTM Travel agents would love to help you set sail aboard one of Disney’s four ships. If we’ve piqued your curiosity, contact us today!