By now you have seen TONS of coverage of the Disney Dream. For those of you who have been under a rock, or unplugged this week, the Dream is a spectacular new ship. It’s a $900 million venture, it will be the flagship for the Disney cruise line and it sails out of Port Canaveral. Last weekend my family and I got to do a special “Pre-Opening” cruise. I have lots to say about it.

First let me tell you that I have zero cruise experience. My bride of 17 years gets motion sickness when she looks at the ocean. Ergo, we long ago decided to never risk a vacation on a ship. This chance at a quick experience on the Dream was just too good to pass up. We decided to take the plunge and see if she could handle the motion on the ocean. She got the “patch” from her doctor, placed it behind her ear hours before boarding, and passed with flying colors. I tell you all this to get to the point that I have nothing to compare my time on the boat against. It very well could be that a vacation on the Disney Magic or Wonder would be just as nice…. but I doubt it.

The Dream IS a Dream. Getting on board was no problem. There were lines at the check in, but they moved. I didn’t put the clock on it. But it never bogged down. We were on in less than 20 minutes. I know this because I get tired of waiting pretty quickly. It was NOT a problem checking into the Dream.

As you walk aboard the host asks your name and then announces your arrival. I found it goofy (get it, goofy… like the dog? Nevermind) But my kiddos thought it was cool. And really, what else makes me happier than seeing them have a good time?

The rooms were EXCELLENT. Having never been on cruise I was not expecting much in the way of space. I found the Dream to feel spacious in the bedroom department. I’ve been jammed in smaller spaces in New York hotels. And remember, everything here is brand spanking new. We were on the 10th deck… so we were pretty high up. The room has a nice balcony. I spent a few hours there reading the new Pat Conroy book.  If you have ever been inside an Ikea store and looked at how Europeans use space then you can imagine how the German design of this boat is set up.

The bathrooms were big enough. Ours had a two room design that had a shower and sink on one side and then in the room beside it, the commode and another sink. It made for easy shower time while others dressed, did makeup, hit the facilities, etc. That arrangment can’t be overstated by a man with a wife and 3 (count ’em 3) daughters.

One of the big attractions on the Dream is the water slide/ride called the AquaDuck.  It circles the upper deck of the ship. They say it pushes you along at 18 feet per second. I guess it just might. But it’s gentle enough that kids of all ages, little kids, teens, adults, me, and even seniors were going time and time again. In all honesty, once was enough for me. But it is a don’t miss attraction.

Let’s talk food. The food was good.. and plentiful. I had been warned that being on a cruise would be like being on a floating Morrison’s Cafeteria. But this was WAY better. I loved the tomato and brie sandwich and the dinner we had a Palos on Saturday night was excellent. The lobster ravioli was one the best things I have ever eaten.. and I only had one piece. It was VERY rich. I’d recommend you get it only if you can share it with someone.

The coffee cafe on the 11th deck was very good. The coffee served with breakfast, not so much. But I tend to like my coffee super strong.  The breakfast buffet was wide-ranging with everything from typical eggs and sausage to cereals, chocolate croissants, and 4 kinds of pancakes. But the best thing about my eating experience had to be our server Depesh.

Depesh was AWESOME. Best service we have ever had anywhere. He was funny without being annoying. He knew the ins and outs of the cruise… told us what to expect. He scored me a side order of the beef to go along with my main dinner when I couldn’t pick between the two. And get this, on Sunday night he brought us two creme brulee desserts after we had the normal dessert in the Enchanted Garden. He remembered how much we loved them two nights before in the other restaurant. You can pretty much bet I’m gonna love any waiter who scores me extra creme brulee. Pray Depesh is your server when you cruise the Dream.

The Enchanted Garden was the location of our last dinner and breakfast on the Dream. It’s on deck 2. The sky changes color and setting from daypart to daypart. The lights look like huge open flowers. They close up at night like a tulip.

Enchanted Garden For Breakfast Monday Morning

 

Our day at Castaway Cay was great. Water is still too cold for our Florida blood but everything else was primo. I highly recommend the bicycle rentals for a ride around the island. Of course, it is an island in the Bahamas. How can you go wrong there?

One last thing, I got a special tour of the engine room. It was mind-blowing to see how the ship operates. The engine itself is a V-14. Seriously, it’s HUGE. Biggest pistons you have ever seen down there just churning away. Seven on one side and 7 on the other. It shook us like butter in a churn when we stepped on the platform around it. It was enough to make a country boy’s heart go pitter patter… but my wife said she really liked it too. I think it has universal appeal. And since it’s brand new, and it’s a German design (think BMW, Audi, Porsche) it’s all logical, and clean, clean, clean. I was not allowed to shoot pics in the engine room or I’d  show you how cool it is. It’s a restricted area. But it is a feat of engineering wonder.

So, to wrap it up, the Dream is an excellent ship. The cruise experience is wonderful. I highly recommend it if you have the means. Make your plans now. I have a feeling it’s going to be a VERY busy boat.

Oh, and one last thing. Save some cash for when you return. The parking garage does charge you for parking:-)

My total was 45 dollars for parking in the garage from Friday afternoon until Monday at 9 am. Hey, it’s Disney. If they charge you to park at their theme parks you can only imagine they are gonna charge you to park at the cruise line. And please believe, it has ALWAYS driven me nuts that they charge for parking. How do they expect us all to get to park…we haven’t mastered levitation yet? Of course my wife says that’s the Port Authority charging you, not Disney. Either way be ready to pay for parking.

Storms ahead. Right now it is some kinda pretty in Central Florida. Tons of sun and warm.

Latest Update

Overnight showers will move in from the NW…when you wake up tomorrow the radar will be tracking rain. As the day wears on the showers move from Orlando to the East. They will leave Brevard County late in the day. Track them on radar here:

Orange/Seminole

Hour by hour forecast is below.

Tomorrow

I’ll be in with a full report at 6, 7 and 11 tonight on Local 6.

See you then!

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