Disney Dream Maiden Voyage – Heading Home

by Lori Edelman
Guest Blogger

Leaving the Dream was sad, but you have to say so-long in order to plan, anticipate, and take that next wonderful Disney cruise!

Since we had the late dinner seating, we didn’t have to be out of our stateroom and at breakfast until 8:00am. Breakfast was in the same restaurant where you had dinner the evening before. In our case, that would be Animator’s Palate. Narrow aisle space made it challenging to get everyone seated along with their carry-on bags.

After eating and saying goodbye to our table-mates and our servers, we attempted to make our way off the ship. What we discovered was an incredibly long line of people and bags. Apparently, it was taking longer than planned for the ship to clear customs.

Eventually we disembarked and went downstairs in the terminal to locate our checked bags. That was pretty easy and then we got in line for Customs. Despite being very long, the line moved fairly quickly. Next up we boarded one of the DCL busses headed back to the airport.

Fortunately, our flights home were pretty uneventful. On one leg I was assigned to a seat in a row that no longer existed (change of equipment), but they found me a new spot without any problem. The hardest part of the entire trip for me came at the Portland airport. Mike and I were home, but it was time to say goodbye to Aaron as he had one more short hop back to Eugene and the University of Oregon. We had such a great time with him; I didn’t want it to end.

Now, we’ve been home for nearly a week and I can still say this was by far one of the very best Disney vacations we have ever had.

But, there is so much more to see and do!

Next trip we will take the time to play one of the “detective” games to see all that the different pieces of animated artwork can do.

Next trip we will visit more of the areas in the District. Evolution, Skyline, D Lounge.

Next trip I’d like to sneak a peek of a virtual porthole!

Next trip we will spend more time swimming in the Quiet Cove pool. In fact we will swim right up to the bar! Maybe we can warm up in one of the hot tubs on deck, too!

Next trip we will get a picture taken with Captain Mickey!

Next trip I’ll take a class at the Fitness Center!

Next trip we will have dinner at Palo; maybe even brunch and high tea!

Next time. I don’t know when we will get to travel again on the Disney Dream, but I do know that we will meet her sister ship, the Fantasy! We are booked on her maiden voyage scheduled to sail on March 31, 2012!!! (We will be 4 for 4 on Disney maiden voyages!)

See ya real soon! (I’m including some random photos from different days of our trip. Enjoy!)

Postscript from Michael

We’re home now.

As I drove in to work this morning they were playing Southern Cross (by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young) and I got a little sad. I love this song and it always makes me remember our cruises. Originally, Lori and I were planning to do back-to-back cruises for this maiden voyage and as I was driving in to work I was really wishing that I was waking up on the Dream getting ready for another day on the ship. On the other hand, instead of doing the back-to-back we took our 19 year-old son with us (who WANTED to go) and we all had a great time!

Lori and I have had a number of discussions along the lines of “what did you like best?” and “what did you like least?” and it has been difficult to answer these questions. The thing I liked the least was how when viewing the Disney Magic at Castaway Cay from the deck of the Dream, many people were referring to the Magic as old, beat up, and worse. The Disney Magic will always hold a special place in my heart and I think Disney continues to do a wonderful job in maintaining and enhancing the experience on the Magic for one and all. There is no need to belittle the older ships in order to make the newest one seem even more special. And, the Dream is special. It’s Disney’s first large ship and it has an elegance that no other cruise line can match. In fact, it is only matched by the Magic and Wonder.

I think my favorite restaurant is the Enchanted Garden — it is very bright and comfortable. My least favorite is Animator’s Palette which suffers from smaller aisles making it difficult for everyone to get in and out.

Cabana’s was also very nice, but for some reason Disney made this one of the few ways to get to and from Meridian, Palo and Remy. Having to walk through Cabana’s at a busy time to get to one of these other places can be a little frustrating.

The variety of places that make up Flo’s is great and it is nice to have them all grouped together. For lunches and snacks, these little food-court-like venues can’t be beat.

I really liked the variety of bars and hangouts. Meridian is a very pleasant place to have a drink and a cigar while overlooking the aft of the ship. Pink is a good place to hang with a group — especially if you are sitting in one of the clamshells that make it easy to hear everyone in your group. We visited Evolution and other places in The District but did not have enough time to spend in all of them. Something for our “To Do List”!

I wish I would have been able to get in to Palo — I think my son would have enjoyed it now that he is old enough. I know Lori and I would have loved it — we have many fond memories and stories of our experiences in Palo. We heard good things about Remy, but the $75 price tag seems a little prohibitive.

The coffee in all locations on the Dream was much better than what I remember from previous cruises -a huge plus!

I wish they would have played the horn more in general and more of the new tunes. I know that the horn can be a little overpowering on the Magic and Wonder, but even sitting near the funnel on the Dream the horn was not hard on my ears. I feel fortunate that I remembered to record the medley on my iPhone!

One final note – this was a Maiden Voyage with a lot of new crew and staff. There were really very few problems but Disney has set people’s expectations so high that little issues seem to be huge problems for some people. These people seemed to forget that this was a new ship with new crew and there would be mistakes and they were very vocal. Fortunately, most people seemed to understand.

Thank you for allowing us to share our experiences with you!

DCL Dream Bus

Sail away.jpg

Towel Mickey

Ships Photo

Mickey Blanket

Shutters new filing system

Kiss Goodnight

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7 Replies to “Disney Dream Maiden Voyage – Heading Home”

  1. At Laurie:
    I’ve never cruised in January, but we’ve taken 2 cruises (3-day & 4-day, both on the Wonder) in December, and we’re thin-blooded southerners. We found the weather delightfully balmy, and warmer than in Florida. The ocean water is a little cool when you first get in, but the pools were fine, and there’s always the hot tub! Bring a jacket or wrap for evenings. Don’t hesitate to go in January, the weather should be delightful! And you don’t have to worry about hurricanes.

  2. Thank you for your great blog and photo’s Lori, very nice to read all about the Dream! Its a bit like being on board. We’re looking forward to sail on the Dream one day….

    We also liked the comments of Michael, since I’m a big CSN fan I will never listen to Southern Cross in the same way.

    We cannot understand why people would give such comments on the Disney Magic, its such a beautiful ship, okay its smaller and older then the Dream but it still is lovely, she looks like the old elegant ocean liners and really makes you feel at home. We had such a great time at our Panama Canal cruise on the Disney Wonder that we booked both the Transatlantic cruises this year, eastbound and westbound, we like so much being on the Disney Magic, we cannot wait to sail, perhaps you can join us again?

    greetings from Rotterdam, your shipmates, Margriet & Ton

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! We have never been on a cruise before, and we are hoping to go on the Dream in 2012. We have to either go in January or April. Do you think January is “warm” enough to enjoy everything? I don’t want to have to wear a scarf on the AquaDuck…Thanks again for sharing! Can’t wait to hear about your trip on the Fantasy!

  4. Lori, I loved your blogs – you do a great job of taking us with you!

    I had to write in response to Michael’s comments on disparaging remarks about the Magic. I completely agree that it’s FAR from being old and beat up – I’ve always been impressed by how new and ship-shape everything has always been. To me it has always looked just about brand new – I wish Disney would keep their carpets, paint, furnishings etc. as immaculate at their resorts as they do on their cruise ships.

  5. Lori and Mike,

    Thank you so very much for sharing your “dream” cruise experience. It was charming and insightful and I will definately ask for the Edleman’s “mickey margarita” when next I cruise with Disney.

    Cheers!

    Lisa

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your vacation aboard the Disney Dream!

    I am even more excited for my honeymoon on this ship in June – it’ll be our first ever cruise too 🙂