We just returned from Disney Dream cruise with our twin Granddaughters who will be eight next month. Third Disney trip with Grandchildren as individual "Grandma/Grandpa" trips that include pre nights at the Grand Floridian and Magic Kingdom; first two were on the Wonder. We realize that five years from first trip to this one we have noticeably less "steam" and patience for that matter.
The Dream is considerably larger and we noticed it did make a difference. Actually thought the smaller ship had some attributes lost on the larger ship. Far more children and all vying for Character time. We were is a 5C mid ship on Deck five. Very nice cabin with a few added small features we enjoyed. More storage and closet space, split baths were a tad larger, loved the self closing drawers. Did miss the 24/7 Disney movie channel on the in cabin TV. Previously, that was a nice feature just before bedtime. Cabin steward very attentive but we have had better in the past.
All dining rooms very nice. My favorite, of course, was the Royal but have to say the new technology in Animator's Palette was unbelievable. Very cool! Design of the buffet vast improvement over the Wonder for traffic. Food so-so, but the food on Disney is not the draw. We did not partake of Palo or Remy.
Pool area phenomenal! Jumbotron screen runs Disney movie features or cartons continuously. Nemo's water play area a big draw for kids as was the water tube. Afraid we did not want to assume the "liability" for our girls so did not let them do that. However there is a small tubular slide next to the Mickey pool they did love.
We did the beach day excursion to Atlantis that was pricey but the Aquarium, especially the sharks, was a hit with the girls not to mention the beach. On Castaway Cay did the floats/inner tube rentals for the day and fed the stingrays. These are no fear gals; their older brother wouldn't do that one! We were very sorry to see Disney has removed the Phantom Ship that sat in the cove. Obviously it served no purpose other than the visual; but missed seeing it there.
Enrolled the girls in the youth program where Disney excels. More high tech. We enrolled them on line and just had to get their bracelets at terminal check in. The space dedicated to Oceanier's Lab and Club is extensive. The electronic device on the bracelet let's them in where they go to a special hand washing station. Girls loved the whole experience. Each cabin is equipped with two walkie talkies for the program to contact you if there is an issue or the kids "want out". Improvement over the old pager system on the Wonder.
We did all three evening shows and all were exceptional. The Golden Mickey Awards shouldn't be missed. Pirates Deck Party a hit as usual. The Villains was okay but a little of a disappointment after the Golden Mickey's. The Pirates Party is one area where the smaller ship was a little better. All the characters were out with all the kids and the size of the Dream makes it a bit more mayhem. They premiered Timothy Green on board and we enjoyed that.
Guess you can see why we are exhausted not to mention JetBlue Orlando to Austin picking up checked baggage and re checking in for United flight back to Tucson connecting in IAH. Home at midnight. Am happy to respond to any specific questions. Think I need a week in a spa.............
Our kids and grandkids sail the Disney ships often. They all love them. My wife and I have only done one Disney cruise (without kids), the Magic in the Med. We thoroughly enjoyed the ship and the itinerary. It was great to hear "When you wish upon a star" on the ships horns as we were sailing away from Malta. Also very few kids on that cruise. We'll always look fondly on that cruise and itinerary. My wife got to visit the Italian town where her grandmother was raised.
Currently, we are booked on the Statendam in November for a 42-day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale sailing to Aruba, through the Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii, the Polynesisan Islands and disembarking in San Diego. It's our first cruise on HAL, and I hope we won't be disappointed as there are lots of sea days. We're going to places that are on our bucket list. We'll write a review when we return.