“Why would you ever want to go on a Disney Cruise? It’s not like you have kids!”
I do. My inner child is just as important as any offspring that may crop up one day. So there! ;p What I love about DCL is the level of cleanliness, attention to detail, and programming organization. It completely appeals to my traveling aesthetic with regard to customer service expectations and personal comfort. Traveling with like-minded individuals, certainly made for one enjoyable journey on the high seas.
From adults only decks, restaurants and activities to accessible all-ages programming, DCL truly has thought of everything. The meticulously arranged Personal Navigator provides opportunity for all guests to customize their magical travel experience. Since I last cruised on the Dream, the DCL Navigator iPhone app launched, but I didn’t download it in time. Perhaps, if was for my benefit as I would have run my battery down in record time scrolling back and forth.
Our group had three staterooms with verandahs (and two rooms had adjoining doors). There is something slightly sitcom about being able to peek around the deck separators, but thankfully no compromising position were revealed! Initially, I was concerned about the deck furniture as my friend from my previous cruise experience mentioned the noise level. I believe we lucked out. Either that or we weren’t in the rooms long enough to take much notice. There are so many wonderful things to enjoy aboard the Dream, so after we enjoyed a pre-departure lunch at Enchanted Garden and dropped by our staterooms (for quick pre-departure drinks), we went exploring!
The Golden Mickeys, Villains Tonight, & Disney’s Believe (Decks 3 & 4; The Walt Disney Theatre)
You love the Mouse and Friends, Princesses, Heroes and Villains, right? Then when you aren’t in your assigned dinner seating, you best be sat in WDT enjoying these stage shows. The first night, we walked the red carpet at The Golden Mickeys and celebrated the wide scope of Disney in an awards show format. On night two, Hades had to round up his buddies to help him fill up his Evil-o-Meter, and we discover the love triangle between Hades, Maleficent, and The Evil Queen at Villains Tonight! Unless you’re utterly heartless and possess any semblance of a soul, Disney’s Believe will rock you. Yes, I’ve cried both times, and I am not ashamed. We dressed up prior to watching Believe, giving the evening a little extra magic. We opted to sit in the balcony, where it is far easier to find a group of six seats together (and fewer children disturbing the performance).
Match Your Mate at Evolution (Deck 4; The District)
The Newlywed Game for adult couples of all ages! We dropped by the show shortly after it started, but it didn’t stop us from having a great time. We ordered a round of drinks and sat along the monarch butterfly wall. There is nothing more amusing than listening to the participants answer innocent questions with quite outrageous answers. Naturally the gap between the newly engaged and the long-term married was hysterical. I now have a primer of the questions should I ever be subjected to that torture of airing my dirty laundry in public. Maybe when I’m old and gray, I can be the witty old bag with the zippy quips for answers.
Mixology at Skyline Lounge (Deck 4; The District; $15)
Alenka, our instructor, walked us through the basics of making four drinks: the Mojito, the Tequila Sunrise, the Cosmopolitan, & the B-52 Shot. Not only did she demonstrate and name the ingredients, but she also gave tips and tricks on assembly and presentation. The class was divided in groups, so as to provide more individualized attention and to maintain the laid-back atmosphere of the lounge. We opted for the corner booth adjacent to the bar, and it would become “our spot” later in the night when we returned for Martini O’Clock.
After each round, the bartender drew names for her demo drinks, and two lucky members of our party got to enjoy the full-sized versions! When it came to the layered shot, the bartender picked the best looking B-52, and another victory was had by our group! The class was an intimate group of about twelve, but we had a great time. The bartender and her assistant were well prepared, informative, and organized. I would definitely attend again. In the meantime, I need to hone my skills!
Beer Tasting at 687 Pub (Deck 4; The District; $15)
The seminar started late as the bartender was kind enough to wait for the stragglers. Unfortunately, it meant that several of us had to cut out early for our spa appointments. We started out with a little Blue Moon, one of my favorites. I was quite excited about getting to drink Red Stripe because it has been quite a while since I’ve enjoyed one. Alas, I didn’t get to enjoy my Stella or Guinness, but as they were beers I’ve enjoyed before, so wasn’t heartbroken in the least.
There was a bit of trivia that resulted in my winning a rather hefty can of Fosters. Unfortunately, the can simply took up mini-fridge real estate as it’s one of my least favorite beers. I would have preferred a draft of the ship’s namesake brew 687 or a choice of one of the multiple bottles on display at the bar. I’m a bit of a beer snoot in that respect.
Senses Spa & Salon (Oh yeah, there’s a fitness center, too…)
Last time I sailed, I hit the gym on Nassau day. This time around, I took a completely different approach. On Embarkation Day, our tribe attended the Spa Raffle at 15:00. Who doesn’t love free swag? Though we ended up empty handed, I walked out with an appointment for the Five Steps to Heaven and a three-day pass to The Rainforest ($16/day). If you do nothing else to pamper and treat yourself on the Dream, get the pass for the Rain Forest. There are three kinds of saunas (Hammam (steam bath), a Caldarium (steam room) and Laconium (dry sauna)), four aromatherapy showers (The Rainforest, Water Fun, Tropical Thunder, and Cool Mist) each of which had three unique combinations of lighting, temperature, and water pressure. I only selected the warm/hot ones after some trial and error. There are ten heated chaise lounges with reading lights and two open air hot tubs which overlook the water. Have I sold you yet?
Those attending the Spa Raffle were offered a discount on the Five Steps spa treatment. As winter flying wore me out more than I am willing to admit, I splurged and signed up. The hot stone massage and facial were the primary selling points, but pile on the foot massage, scalp massage, and body scrub, and there was no turning back. I dozed off midway, that’s how relaxing (and overworked) I had been. The only sticking point was the product pushing at the end with prices that would make anyone with a normal job blush. Thankfully, I walked away without a single extraneous purchase.
The AquaDuck (Deck 11 Mid)
This onboard water flume isn’t just for the little ones. The tube rafts accommodate up to two grown adults, unlike I was previously led to believe. We discovered the best time to tackle this was mid-morning on Castaway Cay day as the pool deck is virtually empty and the wait is only twenty minutes (instead of the normal 40-60 minute wait). The ride is quick and despite the clear tubing, the water is a little bracing, but I had fun. Keep you’re smile on for that hidden photo op!
Pelican Plunge (Castaway Cay)
This little treasure hangs out with all the cool kids at Pelican Point, so if you’re game for braving one of the family beaches, it’s a fun water slide that drops you into the sea! Miraculously, the line was short despite the gorgeous weather and Bahamian sunshine. Hang onto those sun glasses! The water is over five feet deep and love gobbling up expensive shades.
Pirate Night (Decks 11-12 Mid)
Arrrgh ya ready for some mischief on the high seas, Mateys?! This all ages event has two fun-filled dance parties: Mickey’s Pirates IN The Caribbean and Club Pirate Although, CP is still full of teacup pirates and their pirate parents, the mix of songs by the guest DJ are guaranteed to even get the shiest of land lubbers shaking their pirate booty. Oh, yeah, Captain Jack Sparrow lights up the night sky with a magic gauntlet and a boatload of fireworks. (Tip: The BEST viewing spot is Deck 12 on the right side of the stage; find the DJ and go up against the railing overlooking the water. You wont’ be disappointed!)
Wandering around the ship, we happened upon some character greetings which my friends were supportive of. I scored a photo with Cruise Goofy on our first night and Princess Ariel on the last night. Also, we dropped by the atrium staircase in our semi-formal wear and had some photos snapped by the Shutters photographers. My only regret was not stopping by to take a peek at their photos as it doesn’t load to my Disney Parks PhotoPass. Next time, I need to pack a fancy camera because there were several photo opportunities that simply didn’t come out well with my iPhone. I had a blast this time around, and I am so thankful these folks welcomed me into the mix!