Imagine you’re lounging seaside, drink in hand, and the waves are slowly lapping the shore. All of a sudden you hear tropical-themed Disney tunes and look up to see Mickey, Minnie and the whole gang dressed for the beach. No, you’re not back home in Orlando; you’re on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. And there’s only one way to get there – a Disney cruise.
The Disney Dream sets sail from Port Canaveral on three-, four- and five-night cruises with stops in Nassau and Castaway Cay. Since the cruise line shifted to a Friday afternoon departing schedule, this is an easy family getaway that doesn’t require too much time away from work or school.
The ship’s horn plays a prominent role on the voyage. When you’re watching the kids splash in Nemo’s Reef, playing a friendly game of putt-putt golf on Goofy’s Sports Deck, or zipping through the first-ever shipboard water coaster, the Aqua Duck, you will hear it sound in many ways. It can play the first musical line of “When You Wish Upon a Star,” plus several measures of “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me),” “It’s a Small World,” “Be Our Guest,” and “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.”
Unique to the Disney fleet, there are three family dining rooms on the Disney Dream – the Animator’s Palate, Royal Palace and Enchanted Garden – and you will get to experience them all as you sail. Each dining room has its own distinct menu but you will always see two familiar faces each evening because the service team goes through the rotation with you.
Animator’s Palate is a favorite on the family dining circuit. Bringing the magic of Disney animation right to the dinner table, scenes from favorite Disney and Disney-Pixar films line the walls and character sketches from those same movies adorn the shirts of the service team. Kids will be especially quiet as they wait for their meal to arrive because Nemo, Dory and other favorites from “Finding Nemo” come to life on the giant screens to chat with the crowd and play games.
While family fun is a given on a voyage of the Disney Dream, so is alone time for Mom and Dad. Drop children under 3 years old off at the It’s a Small World Nursery and kids ages 3-12 at the Disney’s Oceaneer Club. As they draw the force in the “Star Wars: Millenium Falcon” area or go high tech in a space dedicated to the Disney Infinity video game – both were added during a recent three-week dry dock of the Disney Dream – you can dine in one of two adults-only restaurants. Palo serves Italian classics and Remy features upscale French cuisine a la the Disney classic “Ratatouille.” Both restaurants feature private decks with amazing views. When dinner is done, head to The District for a sip of champagne at Pink, which is designed to look like the inside of a champagne bottle, or a beer and a sporting event at the 687 Pub.
This holiday season on the Disney Dream, celebrate with the family in a whole new way during Very Merrytime Cruises. During Thanksgiving voyages, enjoy a traditional feast as Mickey and Minnie, dressed in the classic garb, make table visits. NFL games will be broadcast live on the outdoor, jumbo LED screens near the family pool. As Christmas approaches, holiday-themed events include Winter Wonderland’s Ball with Santa and Mrs. Claus and a visit from the cast of “Frozen,” who bring a chilly snowfall to the ship’s atrium. You can also take part in caroling led by Disney characters, holiday story time beneath the three-deck-tall tree, and a Deck the Deck Holiday Party. At this tropical celebration, Disney favorites lead hula hooping contests and a game of limbo under oversized candy canes. Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Hanukkah services will be held each day from Dec. 6 to Dec. 14.
Between shows at Walt Disney Theatre; character meet and greets in the atrium; water adventures; a one-of-a-kind, at-sea fireworks display; and more, there is so much to take in during a voyage on the Disney Dream. It will keep you coming back again and again.