Everything that you need to know about cruising on the Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream, including food, activities, shows, and more.
I love all three of the Disney Cruise Line ships that I’ve been on, but I seem to spend the most time on the Disney Dream. It’s a beautiful ship with so many things for kids and adults to do. If you plan to cruise Dream, here is everything that you need to know, including things to do on the Disney Dream.
Disclosure: Affiliate links within. Purchasing and/or clicking on some of the links in this post may result in a commission paid to us at no additional expense to you. I recently was able to take my sixth cruise on the Disney Dream as part of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. While I paid for the celebration, I received perks and discounts. I’ve paid in full for my other sailings on the ship.
The Disney Dream is the third ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet – and the first of the larger ships (the other being the Disney Fantasy). It was brought into service in 2011 after a christening by Jennifer Hudson (who was once an entertainer aboard the Disney Wonder).
It offers 1,250 staterooms, and can accommodate up to 4,000 passengers. It definitely feels like a large ship – it takes a while to completely explore it. After six different sailings on the ship, I feel like there are still areas that I haven’t explored.
Staterooms on the Disney Dream
Our family usually books an oceanview stateroom with verandah. Those offer a king bed as well as a set of bunk beds. There are a variety of room types on the Disney Dream, including concierge rooms, verandah rooms, oceanview staterooms (with one or two porthole windows but no verandah), and inside rooms (that offer a “magical” porthole). Connecting staterooms are also available for larger groups.
Staterooms have a split bathroom (one room with sink and toilet and one room with shower/tub), a refrigerator, a closet, a safe, a hairdryer, and a television. Note that there are some rooms that only have one single bathroom. Rooms include H2O toiletries and generally have lots of space in various compartments for storing things. We always unpack right away and store our suitcases under the ship.
Irons are not available in the room, but there are laundry rooms on the ship with iron facilities. If I need to iron anything, I like to do that on the first day so I can just hang things up and not worry about them.
The beds on the ship are very comfortable – I find that I sleep so well on a cruise ship because of the light sway. Some rooms have bunk beds. For those, your stateroom attendant will pull down the bunk every evening and put it away in the morning. There are also rooms with trundle beds. Those rooms accommodate up to 5 passengers.
If you are wondering what stateroom on the Disney Dream to book, you should consider how much time you plan to spend in the room, and what you plan to do in the room. When we sail, I love to grab a cup of coffee and sit outside watching the waves. I also love watching the ship pull into port in the morning. Because of that, I’ve found that the verandah rooms are best for us.
If you don’t plan to spend much time in the room, an oceanview stateroom or an inside room may be a better option. It’s more economical, and you can always go on deck if you’d like to
Room location may also be important to you. I generally don’t care too much, but I don’t like being right below the pool, or too close to the elevators. When traveling with friends and no kids, I like to be above the adult-only sections.
Like on the other ships, passengers on the Disney Dream often like to decorate their doors with stateroom door magnets. It’s a great way to identify your door when walking down the halls. My kids love picking out magnets before we leave on vacation. We typically add these to our day bag so we can decorate as soon as we are able to access our room.
See our in-depth review of the staterooms on the Disney Dream here.
Restaurants on the Disney Dream
The Disney Dream offers the same unique rotational dining experience that the other Disney Cruise Line ships offer. There are three main restaurants on the Disney Dream – Animator’s Palate, Royal Palace, and Enchanted Garden. You’ll be assigned a specific rotation when you arrive at the port, and will have the same dining staff during your entire cruise. If you are on a four-day or five-day cruise, you’ll get assigned one or two restaurants twice. I have a child with food allergies, so I find it so helpful to have the same servers.
At Animator’s Palate, you’ll see a fun show featuring Finding Nemo’s crush. It’s the most lively of the restaurants, and is always my kids’ favorite. Royal Palace is the more upscale restaurant, featuring delicious French food (try the escargot appetizer). It seems more luxurious, but is still pretty casual. Enchanted Garden is absolutely beautiful – watch as the ceiling darkens from day to night during your dinner.
In addition to the three main restaurants, there are some quick serve options. Cabanas is the buffet restaurant that offers breakfast and lunch, in addition to the delicious evening buffet on Pirate Night. There is seating both indoors and outdoors. In addition, you can forgo your usual dining rotation and go to Cabanas on select nights. If it’s nice outside, I’d definitely recommend grabbing your breakfast and lunch and heading outside to eat. Cabanas is fully staffed, so if you need any assistance, or have food allergies, you’ll definitely find someone who can help.
There are other quick service locations that serve pizza, salads, and sandwiches. We sometimes want a quick snack and will grab a slice of pizza – especially if we have the second dinner seating.
For coffee lovers, you’ll want to check out the Cove cafe, which serves premium coffees. It’s only for adults, and can be a nice place to sit and read a book as you sip your coffee.
You can also get Dole Whips (both with and without alcohol) at Frozone Treats on Deck 11. Room service is available to order 24-hours a day, except for disembarkation day. At Castaway Cay, you’ll find two delicious BBQ restaurants on the family beach, as well as an adult-only BBQ restaurant at Serenity Bay. Servers from the ship travel out to the island to serve at these three locations.
For an additional fee, adults can choose to dine at Palo, the upscale Italian restaurant on board, or Remy, the upscale French restaurant. In addition, Palo’s often offers a brunch buffet on one day of the cruise. The brunch is absolutely delicious – I definitely recommend checking it out. If you want to eat at Palo, book it in advance so you’ll have your choice of times. The brunch especially is pretty popular and does book up.
Between Palo and Remy, you’ll find the Meridian bar, which offers alcoholic beverages in a bar with gorgeous views. I love grabbing a drink there before my meal at Palo. If you are cruising with kids, you’ll probably find that they are happy to spend time in the kids’ clubs while you are eating. My kids usually order room service and then head to the kids’ clubs.
Adult Areas on the Disney Dream
The kids clubs are so fantastic on the Disney Cruise Line, so you’ll probably have some opportunity to explore the ship without kids. My kids always love checking out the kids’ clubs, and we even have to convince them to leave. There are several adult-only areas and activities on the ship. The bars and clubs in the District section are adult-only in the evenings, and offer entertainment and game shows.
My favorite adult-only area of the ship is Satellite Falls, which has a small waterfall/pool, as well as many lounge chairs. When my kids are in the kids’ clubs, I always enjoy grabbing a book and reading in the quiet area. The ship also has a Senses Spa, which is a full-service spa offering lots of different services. For a treat, book a day pass for the Rainforest Room, where you can enjoy heated lounge chairs, two jacuzzis, a steam room, and much more.
Activities on the Disney Dream
There are so many things to do on the Disney Dream. You’ll even find that many guests don’t disembark at the Nassau port because they are having so much fun on the ship. My kids especially love the kids’ clubs. There are several options, depending on your kids’ ages, including a nursery, Oceaneer Club, Edge, and Vibe. There’s an open house that is held on the first day, so you can walk around and check things out with your kids.
There are also pools, the Aqualab splash area, and the famous AquaDuck – a watercoaster where you can travel in a tube around the ship. At the pool deck you’ll find the FunnelVision TV, which offers movies and shows throughout the day. You can also see first-run Disney movies in the theater. We usually skip the movies, however, because there is so much more to do. On longer sailings, my kids love sitting in the water watching a FunnelVision movie.
Families will enjoy the various game shows and activities offered in D Lounge throughout the day. For adults, there are some alcohol tasting classes that you can sign up for (additional fees apply). I’ve done a few of these and have always enjoyed them – my favorite is the wine tasting. You can sign up for these once you get on the ship.
There are also a variety of character greetings throughout the day – check the daily navigator or the Disney Cruise Line app for a full schedule. In addition, make sure that you check the navigator on the first day (it will be given to you at the port), because there are sometimes character greetings that require tickets (Anna and Elsa, for instance). These tickets are complimentary, but you have to get them (follow the directions listed in the navigator).
For those kids who love to dress up, there’s a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on board, which shifts to a Pirates League on Pirate Night.
Shows on the Disney Dream
There are three Broadway-style shows that you can see on the Disney Dream. Currently, these are the Golden Mickey’s, Beauty and the Beast, and Disney’s Believe. Read our review of Beauty and the Beast here. These are very high-quality shows, and can be great for kids. They generally run twice per night, and you’ll go to the showing that is opposite your dinner seating time.
Itineraries on the Disney Dream
Currently, the Disney Dream has three and four-day itineraries, with the occasional five-day itinerary. The ship stops at Nassau and Castaway Cay, and leaves from Port Canaveral (for the night before sailing, we recommend a stay at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport – Check prices and reviews here). A three-day Disney Dream cruise is a great first cruise, because you can really get a feel for whether or not cruising is for your family. It’s also the perfect option for a Disney Land and Sea vacation.
Other Things on the Disney Dream
In addition to everything we’ve also discussed, there are lots of other things you’ll find on the ship. These include a photo studio (where you can purchase the photos that are taken of you on the ship), a rebooking desk (book your next cruise while on board and you’ll get a discount), several shops, a port adventures desk, a port shopping desk, and so much more.
Check out this video for a quick tour of the Disney Dream.
Check out these additional Disney Cruise Line tips: