There’s only one person everyone wants to meet on a Disney cruise, and that’s not the captain. From the moment passengers board through a Mickey Mouse-shaped portal to be greeted by the world’s most famous rodent, there’s no mistaking who the VIP is on this ship.
The Disney Dream is one of four Disney ships, with a fifth to follow this summer. It’s modeled after the transatlantic ocean liners of the 1930s, but its Art Deco elegance has a distinct Disney twist. The ship’s horn will sound the first seven notes of When You Wish Upon A Star before each announcement, also marking our departure from Disney’s dedicated cruise ship terminal in Port Canaveral. Florida.
Like Disney’s theme parks, it’s a sophisticated operation designed to charm the whole family. Plus, a cruise is the perfect way to unwind from roller coaster fatigue and let the magic last a little longer after a trip to Orlando’s Disney World, an hour away.
Siobhan Grogan boards Disney Dream in Port Canaveral, Florida. “It’s modeled after the transatlantic ocean liners of the 1930s,” she reveals
Above is the Disney Dream Atrium. The cruise ship is one of four Disney ships, with a fifth expected this summer
Pictured is the upper deck of Disney Dream with a large screen showing Disney movies non-stop
“Cruising is the perfect way to kick off roller coaster fatigue and let the magic last a little longer after a trip to Orlando’s Disney World,” says Siobhan. Above is the ship’s ‘Vibe’ Teen Club
Time at sea focuses on the upper deck pool with its all-you-can-eat ice cream station, Goofy-themed miniature golf course, lush candy store, and big screen showing non-stop Disney movies during the Well deserved parents sipping cocktails in peace.
The star attraction is a brilliant “water coaster” that sends riders whizzing down 765-foot tubes on an inflatable raft, including 13-foot over the side of the ship and down a four-deck drop.
The biggest surprise, however, is the discovery that adults aren’t a side issue, so it really is possible to relax – a glass of champagne in hand.
AquaDuck, pictured, is a brilliant “water coaster” that sends riders zooming down 765-foot tubes on an inflatable raft
“Adults aren’t an afterthought, so it’s really possible to relax,” says Siobhan of the ship. Pictured is the Disney Dream pink champagne bar
Pictured is the Adults Only District Lounge. Adults on board can also indulge in cognac tastings and cabaret shows
Pictured is the adults-only Quiet Cove pool with comfortable sun loungers and a hot tub
The deluxe family cabin with sea view on board. “Like Disney’s theme parks, it’s a sophisticated operation designed to charm the whole family,” says Siobhan of the ship
Pictured is the Roy O Disney Suite – one of two ‘Royal Suites’ on board. According to Siobhan, the cruise ship’s Art Deco elegance has “a definite Disney twist.”
There’s an adults-only pool with comfy sun loungers and a hot tub, an all-pink champagne bar, a pub and nightclub, a spa, and even cognac tastings and cabaret shows.
Two fine dining restaurants — one Italian and one French — are adults-only and would delight any foodie in search of a Michelin star, with exquisite plates of Wagyu beef and lobster, impeccable white-glove service, and exquisite wine lists.
Even with kids in tow, the ship’s three other a la carte restaurants are surprisingly sophisticated — passengers are assigned the same waiters everywhere, so favorite beverages are served as soon as they’re seated.
Upstairs is the French-inspired Remy restaurant, where guests enjoy impeccable white-glove service and a fine wine list
Pictured is Palo – one of the ship’s fine dining restaurants which “would delight any foodie in search of a Michelin star”.
A seared tuna steak dish at Disney Dream’s Palo restaurant
Unsurprisingly, it’s the entertainment that really makes this cruise a Disney hoopla, with hilarious dance parties under the stars and shows worthy of the West End.
With so much to do on board, not all passengers choose to disembark at the first port, Nassau in the Bahamas, which offers water park excursions, scuba diving, and glass-bottom boat tours.
The second stop – Castaway Cay – is a different story. Originally known as Gorda Cay, it was once a favorite spot for pirates and smugglers.
Siobhan’s Cruise Docks in Nassau, Bahamas (pictured), where excursions include water park trips and scuba diving
Above is Disney Dream docked in Castaway Cay. Originally known as Gorda Cay, the island was made Disney’s private island in 1998
According to Siobhan, Mickey Mouse roams Castaway Cay in a brightly colored Hawaiian-themed shirt as if to check on the young (and old) all right.
It became Disney’s private island in 1998 and was used as a filming location for some of the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
It’s only three miles long, with three powdery white beaches. In true Disney fashion, everything has been thought of: hammocks and umbrellas for lounging, plenty of snorkel gear and bikes, a shaded splash park for toddlers, and a hangout for teens. There is also a quiet adult-only beach.
A lavish beach barbecue—with unlimited ice cream, of course—is included, while the island’s post office sends postcards home with a coveted Castaway Cay postmark.
Even Mickey himself roams the beach in a bright Hawaiian shirt, as if to make sure the young (and old) are all right.
Disney Cruise Line is offering four nights on the Disney Dream from Southampton in 2023 from £851 per person full board, based on two adults and two children (aged three to nine) sharing a deluxe veranda cabin (disneycruise.co.uk).