Five Things to Know About Disney Cruise Line's Dream Cruise Ship
World's Best 2016 Awards Rank: #4 Mega Cruise Ship
Best for: Families and Disney-philes
Sails: The Caribbean
At a Glance: A Travel + Leisure World’s Best winner, placing fourth in the Mega Cruise Ship category. With Broadway-level shows, water slides, and a long list of special-effects-heavy activities, Disney Dream knows how to have fun—and make sure that both kids and their parents stay entertained.
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There’s Plenty to Keep Kids Happy
Saying this ship is family-focused would be an understatement. On Disney Dream, the kid-centric activities are almost too many to count: There’s Pirate’s Night, when kids head to costume shop and salon Bippity Boppity Boutique to dress up like buccaneers for a pool-deck party featuring a fireworks and a pirate show. Do the Royal Court Royal Tea, where kids get to don swords and shields and tiaras and Disney princesses wander the room. And at the Oceaneer Club, kids 3-12 can hang out with Tinkerbell in the Pixie Room or helm the Millennium Falcon in a high-tech playroom built to replicate the interior of the ship. (There’s also a Small World Nursery for infants, Edge lounge for tweens 11-14, and Vibe for teens.) Bonus: most cabins onboard have an extra half bathroom, so adults can shower while the kids brush their teeth. Even inside staterooms have pullout couches; they also have “magical portholes”—really porthole-shaped screens—that show the scenery rolling by, plus a little animation for fun.
Adults Will Love It, Too
When grown-ups need a night out, they head to one of the ship’s two adults-only specialty restaurants. (Both have a cover charge.) Palo dishes up Northern Italian cuisine like butternut agnolotti and soft potato gnocchi piennolo in tomato sauce, and on sea days, it serves a decadent champagne brunch. The most lavish meals on the ship can be found at Remy: Order refined fare like smoked bison and pigeon pie with foie gras from the à la carte menu, or opt for the champagne brunch, five-course seasonal French tasting menu, or five-course dessert menu. After dinner, head to the adults-only District, the center of the ship’s nightlife. Sip bubbly at the Pink champagne and wine bar, catch a football game at Pub 687 sport bar, check out the views of famous cities through the faux windows at Skyline, listen to piano music at District Lounge, or sip artisanal cocktails at butterfly-themed Evolution night club.
The Restaurants Are Theatrical
Most ships have one main dining room. The Disney Dream has three, which passengers rotate through during the voyage. (You’ll have the same tablemates and waiter every night.) At Animator’s Palate, shows are projected on screens and art turns from black and white to color on the walls. During dinner at the Versailles-inspired Enchanted Garden, passengers order from a seasonal menu filled with dishes like lobster ravioli and marjoram-scented organic chicken. And at the Royal Palace, a columned homage to Disney’s princess films, the menu is filled with French fare like pomegranate-glazed duck breast and roasted wild boar tenderloin. Or check out the beach-themed buffet at Cabana’s, which has palm trees, rattan chairs, and outdoor seating.
There Are Waterslides
Like its sister ship Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream has an AquaCoaster, a 765-foot tube that twists and turns around the ship and, for one dizzying stretch, over the ocean. Passengers make the ride in a two-person raft and splash down in a lazy river. Kids looking for something more sedate can make for AquaLab’s wading pool to play amid the water geysers and pouring paint cans. Or they can head to Mickey’s Pool, flanked by the smaller Donald’s Pool and a one-deck-high slide held up by a giant Mickey arm. As for parents, they can take a break from the clamor at the adults-only Quiet Cove pool.
The Shows Are Spectacular
Disney knows how to put on a Broadway-level production. At the huge Walt Disney Theatre, passengers choose among Disney’s Wishes, The Golden Mickeys, and the special-effects-laden Villains Tonight, starring Ursula, Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook, and some seriously intricate costumes.