This post is sponsored by Disney Cruise Line, yet all opinions are completely my own.
This past week we went on the vacation of a lifetime! We took a cruise on the Disney Cruise Line to Castaway Cay and to Nassau, Bahamas. Disney Cruises are truly 3 vacations in one. It is a majestic cruise vacation, the magic of all things Disney, and a tropical beach vacation all rolled into one. If you are looking for a review of Disney Cruises, or a review of the Disney Dream cruise ship, you have come to the right place. I am breaking down my absolute favorite features, perks, and tips for enjoying a Disney Cruise.
Let me just start by saying this…I have traveled on other cruises. There nothing even close to comparable to cruising on the Disney Dream. The staterooms feel magical in themselves. The enchantment from every Disney film, television show, and park I’ve experienced; is felt through every detail on the ship. Guests are emersed into all the best things about Disney.
We stayed in a Family Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with a Verandah. This room is gorgeous and more than enough space for our family of 5. There’s a queen bed, sitting area, bathrooms, closet space, desk, and a beautiful balcony. We spent lots of time on the balcony enjoying breathtaking views of the ocean.
In the evenings, when you return to your room, the living room area is transformed into 2 bunk beds, and another single bed. There is a sturdy curtain available to separate the 2 areas. This gives privacy also…great to have some separation between parents and children.
Best parts: There is available room service all day and night. My boys took advantage of this late at night, when we were ready for bed. Also, there are Disney movies on demand in your stateroom. Everything from Walt Disney Classics to modern Marvel Studios hits, there are movies you can watch at any time. This was especially great when our kids jumped out of bed, waking up earlier than my husband and I were ready to.
Sailing Away Party
When it is time to depart, you are in for a treat. On the deck, there is a full party, with food, drinks, dancing, and character appearances. The build up and excitement even made my husband and I feel like little kids ready to scream! My kids were dancing around, with complimentary ice cream cones in their hands having the times of their lives. It wass their first sighting of Mickey and Minnie, and we had a ball!
I am a major foodie, and all cruise ship food is just not created equal. Disney even takes the dining experience to a magical level. Their cuisine is of the highest quality, and each dinning experience immerses you into Disney culture. There are 3 main restaurants on the Disney Dream cruise ship, and each Disney ship features different dining experiences.
Every night you rotate dining, and can choose a dining time of 5:45pm or 8 pm. You will rotate through Animator’s Palate that features the artistic side of Disney. You can see sketches on how various characters were developed in popular movies, and get to interact with Crush from Finding Nemo while you eat.
Next, you have the Royal Palace. The details are just breathtakingly elegant. From the light fixtures made of Disney princess heels, to the table setting, and the table setup. This feels like dining in a palace from your favorite princess’ castle, and is the night where you can dress up in your best attire, and enjoy some delicious food.
Lastly, there is the Enchanted Garden. Which is bright and beautiful, and makes you feel like you are transported into a beautiful forest in France. Each restaurant has it’s own magic.
A MAJOR WIN is that if you or your child has food allergies, the ship is sooo accommodating. We ordered gluten-free Mickey waffles on many mornings. There are plenty of dairy-free options. With other serious allergies, the entire cast makes sure there is no cross-containmination, and ensures you still have many choices.
There are complimentary drinks, and ice cream throughout the ship, and many of the coffee shops on the Disney Dream offer a variety of desserts at no charge. There are also walk up grilles like Tow Mater’s Grill, and others featuring fresh burgers, hotdogs, pizza, and salads. If you want a ton of variety, there are amazing buffet options that offer everything from fresh seafood, salads, freshly sliced meats, and healthy options for every diet.
My kid’s also loved Venelope’s. This is such a fun candy store that is right out of a chapter of Wreck it Ralph. The boys all grabbed a fun new treat to try, and loved them all. My son even said it was the best cupcake he had ever tried.
There are two restaurants on the Disney Dream where you can choose to dine for an extra cost, and they are well worth it. We were able to experience Palo. This was truly the prettiest restaurant I have even stepped foot in. Also, it the best food I may have ever put in my mouth. I have heard many people say this and mistakenly chalked-it-up to over-exaggeration. Yes, it is that amazing! The whole dining experience transports guests to Italy for an authentic feast. Disney is very precise with every detail from Italian decor, to having the highest quality foods transported in for an amazing dining experience.
Disney Cruise Line does not offer babysitting. They offer amazing, interactive experiences for your children of every age. The security measures are of the highest standard, and left me with incredible peace of mind, as we dropped off each child to their designated areas.
The child areas all have games, crafts, character experiences, electronics, cooking classes, involved counselors, and tasty snacks. They will also serve your children a meal if you and your significant other want to take a night off just for you two.
I was so impressed by these amazing Kids Club areas throughout the Disney Dream. They truly gave my boys all the Magic of Disney World, and aren’t limited to a single room. They are more like entire decks. Our boys constantly asked us to go back. We almost had to beg them to spend family time together. This was a major win for us! The trip felt like it was 1/2 mommy + daddy time, and half family time = the perfect mix.
The first stop on the Disney Dream Bahamas Cruise is Nassau. Just looking down from the ship port gets you excited. It is a lively, and colorful city with the most perfect weather. All the buildings are colorful, and so are the people. When you step off the ship, there are tons of shops, opportunities to explore the island, as well as delicious and authentic food options.
We spent a few hours enjoying the island, getting some souvenirs and a yummy coconut drink. After this, we were all so excited to get back on the ship, and enjoy the rest of our cruise.
The Rainforest Room
The Rainforest Room at Senses Spa on the Disney Dream Cruise Ship is unbelievable. It was one of the most peaceful, and relaxing times my husband and I shared together. The Rainforest Room is filled with saunas, tropical rain fun showers, steam rooms, jacuzzi’s overlooking the ocean, and warm ceramic loungers that my husband fell asleep in. This was such a nice activity to unwind together. We picked up our kids refreshed, and excited for the evening ahead.
A.K.A the most beautiful place that was ever created on this Earth. But seriously, where did Disney find this ridiculously perfect island?! Only Disney. From the moment you get off the ship, you feel like your eyes are playing tricks on you, because it is just that stunning.
Only a small part of Castaway Cay is even civilized, which makes it that much more perfect. The only people there are those getting off the cruise ship you are on, and cast members working on the island. It’s so exclusive, and screams “RELAXATION.” The island has shops, bars, drink stations, childcare areas that are water parks on their own, adult only areas where you can’t even her a kid laugh, bike trails, water slides, excursions, character meet ups, and so much more.
The island has a 5 star BBQ during lunch hours that is 5 star all the way. Some of the best ribs we have ever had, fresh salads, hot dogs, chicken, hamburgers, desserts, fresh fruit, ice cream, and more. It is so delicious, and the scenery is so enjoyable.
My new dream in life is to live there. It is truly a blessing just to visit this island. You will not be disappointed.
Yep, they have built an entire theater on the ship that felt like we were at some spectacular theater in New York City. Every night we were on the Disney Dream we enjoyed a Broadway quality show. Disney does everything BIG and this includes their shows. Each member of our family had a different favorite. The messages and themes in the show were encouraging, the kids saw their favorite Disney characters, and sang to their favorite songs in the Golden Mickeys. We were in awe of how well they portrayed Beauty and The Beast, and Disney’s Believe was so inspirational and encouraging. It was a fantastic way to end our evenings.
The Pirate Party
If you want to go the extra mile, many families buy a variety of gear to dress up for this exciting night, but the ship also provides you with some fun bandanas to sport.
Pirate Night is on the deck later in the evening after the show. It is full with singalongs, an entertaining show, even an appearance from some of the Pirates of the Caribbean cast members. The best part is the party ends with a jaw-dropping firework show right off the boat. Fireworks in the middle of the ocean.. only Disney! HA! We were amazed. After the show, it turns into a family fun dance party that goes well into the night. You can grab a burger, some ice cream and dance the night away.
Adult Only Areas
It is amazing, how Disney Cruises can create a separate part of the ship, where you don’t even hear kids. There is so much to do if you are doing the Disney cruise as a couple with no kids or you just want a bit of a break. They have coffee shops, pubs, wine bars, night clubs, restaurants, pools and more…only for adults. Castaway Cay even has an adult only side of the beach that is as peaceful as life comes. The spa areas are also for adults only. This is a nice way to fully escape, and have some special time with your significant other.
Taking a Disney Cruise on the Disney Dream is seriously the best vacation we have taken as a family. It’s truly like booking 3 vacations in one. We made memories that will last for a lifetime.
To see our full detailed review, check out my YOUTUBE video HERE:
If your looking for more Disney related posts check out my trip to NYC with Adventures by Disney here!
Okay, so, I have an irrational fear of cruises, but you’re slowly changing that! This looks like so much fun!
This looks like an amazing cruise! Putting this on my bucket list for sure!
Heather @ US Japan Fam
Ohhhhhh my gosh this looks like the vacation of a lifetime!!! I hope to bring my 3 kiddos on a Disney Cruise sometime soon!! Thanks for sharing, such beautiful photos!
Carmen L Dolphin
That looked like a fantastic vacation! Wow!
This looks like such a fab family trip! I’ve never been on a cruise but I have been to the Bahamas and I LOVED it!
This looks like such an amazing time! Will have to pass this along to my husband. This may actually be more worthwhile then going to Disney Land.
This looks so amazing, I had no idea Disney featured such luxury for adults also. So glad your family was able to make such beautiful memories.
I am OBSESSED with Disney cruises, because of exactly what you mention. I get my tropical beaches, my husband gets his Disney magic, and we don’t have to worry about where we are going to eat and plan all of our excursions.