Embarkation went very smoothly. The line was constantly moving, and a cast member gave out forms to fill out in line to cut down on waiting time (have a working pen with you). Security screening was quick (get rid of liquids, port authority won’t let you in otherwise) and I was walking on board around noon. Disney goes out of their way to welcome you by announcing you onboard into the atrium. Super awesome. The attention to detail on this ship was to be expected given the incredibly high standards of Disney. The atrium was magnificent. Parts of Disney are blatantly Mickey (which is super fun and whimsical) while other parts (especially the adults sections of the ship) were more hidden Mickey style. The Dream has three main restaurants plus two specialty restaurants (Palo and Remy). I went to Remy the first night so I missed the Enchanted Garden, but did go to EG for breakfast. The restaurants are very well themed, and I think EG was my favorite themed restaurant. It was gorgeous. Disney rotates you to a different restaurant each night so you have a chance to see all of them. Your waiters go with you, so no worries. I did not try Palo (I regret not doing that brunch) but Remy was equivalent (to me) as Victoria and Albert’s. Men are required to wear a jacket, so that should tell you there is a dress code. No jeans. Ladies must wear a dress or pant suit. The food was delicious. I did my hardest to get through all seven courses but my stomach gave up. Alas. The beef wagu was superb. The waiters were knowledgeable and explained in detail what everything was. The regular restaurant waiters were awesome! One liked to play games with us and gave us puzzles to work out while we waited for our food. We had three waiters for our table and they were very knowledgeable and had great suggestions. They also know who you are immediately. They knew my name when I showed up for dinner the second night after being a no show the first night. My jaw dropped before I could tell them my name. They also loved to heckle each other, much to me and my fellow dinner companions’ amusement. Royal Table and Animator’s Palette were also well themed and I loved the food. I only ate at their buffet, Cabanas, a couple of times, but the food had a lot of variety and was very good. Juice and soda are free (unless you go to a specialty place), as is room service, unlimited soft serve ice cream, and the hotdog/pizza/hamburger places. Pizza was very good too. Next to Cabanas is Venelope’s, which is a dedicated former sweet shop. We’re talking Willy Wonka people!!!!! The most beautiful, glorious cupcakes, fudge, chocolate covered strawberries, lollipops, cake pops, gelato (they make elaborate sundaes!)...I was definitely the kid in the candy store. They have a good variety of kid friendly movies on their “funnel vision” and kids can watch movies while swimming in the pool. I loved their Aquaduck slide. They have a movie theater that shows free, first run movies, and another HUGE theater for their broadway caliber shows. Golden Mickey’s, Beauty and the Beast and Believe are what Disney’s excels at. Please do not miss these shows. While Disney does have two dinner seatings (if adults only I suggest taking the second seating), they also play the shows twice so both seatings have a chance to see them. They have miniature golf, a sports simulator, numerous Character Meet and Greets (you have to book ahead of time for the Princess characters or you won’t get a pic of them) and all sorts of activities. I grabbed a Rainforest spa pass and loved Senses. The heated lounge chairs overlooking the water was so relaxing, and I love their variety showers. I didn’t travel with kids, but did walk through for a tour. It’s a Small World is a nursery for the three and under’s. Reserve those ahead of time if you want adult time, as that’s the one kiddy place that books full the quickest. It’s also the only one that charges you $9/hour to watch your baby. The other kids’ clubs are the Oceaneers Club (which made me really jealous of the kids that got to play there), the Edge and the Vibe. The Vibe, for teenagers, have their own pool. Adults also have their own pool, jacuzzi, decks, deck chairs (of which there was more than enough for us) specialty coffee and drink places, excursions, shipboard activities, and the District, which holds a variety of pubs, champagne areas, clubs with live music, and so much. I literally was not wanting for anything. Disney thought of everyone!!! I was not the least bit bothered by the kids on board, and I encountered no drunken brawls or obnoxious people. The staff were incredibly friendly, polite, and excellent conversationalists. They were also strict enforcers of the “adult only” sections, so you were left with peace and quiet if you wanted to stay in those areas. Castaway Cay was the highlight of the trip, and just as well themed as the ship, right down to the cute bathrooms! They also have an adults only section that had hammocks, a bike rental (which was super relaxing biking all over the island) and a dedicated place to get some fruity coolers or beer. There’s also a BBQ place. Didn’t hang out in the family side, but they also had all of that, plus some fun snorkeling places and water slides. Disembarkation went smoothly. If you wish for them to take your luggage off the ship for you, you must leave your luggage outside your door by 10pm. Make sure you remember to set aside clothes to wear off the ship the next day or you’ll be walking off in your pajamas. They issue out colored tags so finding my stuff in customs was easy (that, and I had obscenely bright Disney luggage so my eyes found it immediately). Just so you know for breakfast getting off the ship, they’ll do final breakfast based on what your dinner seating was. If you were first seating, your breakfast will be earlier. Second dinner will have breakfast after 8am. I highly advise AGAINST booking a flight before 3pm. You will be super stressed out and rushed and may have to skip breakfast, as everyone is getting off the ship and you’ll still have to get your luggage through. I had accidentally booked their bus back to the airport when in fact I was going to WDW after pulling in, but they were able to put me on one of their buses with scarcely a wait. Also, you do have the option of dressing up for Pirate Night. The ship plays pirate movies and music, the crew dress up in pirate gear, including the characters, and the guests join in the fun. I brought a costume had and had a ton of fun. There’s a pirate show followed by fireworks followed by a deck party followed by another pirate buffet. As you can see from this incredibly long review (should have done a table of contents and chapters), I was incredibly impressed by my first Disney cruise! To hear the first seven notes of “when you wish join a star” play on the ship’s horn during the Sail-a-Wave party made me teary eyed. The ship also has a variety of other musical horns, and they’ll play them either in port. If you’re fortunate, maybe you’ll be treated to a horn battle with other ships. I went for my 40th birthday. I went solo. Still loved this cruise to death. Do not let anyone tell you that this ship is only for families with kids. This is false. If you love traveling on ships with high standards, attention to detail, and are young at heart, please give Disney a look. They blew my previous cruise lines away. WOW!!!!!! I put money down for a placeholder before I even finished my cruise.
I picked a room that was not an adjourning one since I wanted more sound proofing. I ended up near the stairs and elevators on deck 6, amidships. I did not hear foot traffic or elevators. My room was very quiet and I liked the proximity to the stairs. I don’t believe I ever took the elevator, since I knew I’d be doing a massive amount of eating. There was a ton of storage space under the bed. Could easily have for four suitcases under that bed. The bed was suuuuper soft. I loved it. There’s also a blackout curtain the divides the bed from the living room part of the cabin so if someone wanted to watch tv you won’t be keeping them awake with the light. The storage was ample and I had plenty of hangars in the two closets. The safe isn’t big enough to store a laptop, but I only brought my iPad so it didn’t matter. The little coffee table opens up to reveal more storage, and the cabinets were relatively deep. The balcony was very private and large. Unless you and your neighbor are hanging over the rails at the same time you can’t see each other. Balcony furniture was clean and in immaculate condition. The whole room was actually. What Disney does so well is they understand families. The bathrooms are split into two. One side was a sink, countertop, storage shelves for your makeup, shaving stuff, etc and toilet. The other one held the shower/tub combo, another sink and ample counter space and more shelves. I am 5’1 so I was able to straighten my knees in the tub for a bubble bath. An average adult may not enjoy the tub so much. Again I’m short so the height was never an issue with me, but if you’re upwards of 6’, you may have to lean your head in a bit, but I expect every cruise ship is like that. Ladies, they have a nice dark blue makeup washcloth so you don’t have to worry about wrecking the pristine white Mickey Mouse logo stamped towels, which are super soft by the way. So soft! They also use their H2O shampoo/conditioner/shower gel, so if you’re a fan of their disney toiletries you needn’t bring any of that with you. The room also comes equipped with a blow dryer so you don’t need to pack one. Power stripes will be confiscated so don’t bring one. Use one of those usb splitters instead. There is a fridge, but no freezer, so if you ordered room service and asked for their Mickey Mouse ice cream bars (yes, it’s a secret menu item!) and don’t eat it right away, it’ll melt. My room attendant was awesome!!! I loved the towel animals and Godiva chocolates he left every night, and after seeing I had placed my rinse I received from Remy in the bathroom sink, I found he had procured a vase for me, trimmed up the rose, and set it on the table by the couch. How thoughtful of him! The stateroom doors are also magnetic so I had ordered a bunch of Disney magnets and slapped them on my door. A lot of people do this, and it makes it fun seeing how everyone decorated their doors. Magnets only though. Anything else and they’ll be taken down.