Discovering a Disney cruise can be a grown-up affair with great restaurants, hot tubs, and a champagne bar.
There’s only one person everyone wants to meet on a Disney cruise, and it’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 question who’s the VIP on this ship.
The Disney Dream is one of four Disney ships, with a fifth planned for this summer. She is inspired by the transatlantic ocean liners of the 1930s, but her Art Deco elegance has a distinctly Disney twist. The ship’s horn sounds the first seven notes of When You Wish Upon A Star before each announcement, and also marks our departure from Disney’s exclusive cruise terminal in Port Canaveral, Florida.
Like the Disney theme parks, it’s a slick operation designed to delight the whole family. Plus, a cruise is the perfect way to recover from roller coaster fatigue and make the magic last a little longer after a trip to Disney World in Orlando, an hour away.
Siobhan Grogan boards the Disney Dream, pictured, in Port Canaveral, Florida. “It’s inspired by the transatlantic ocean liners of the 1930s,” she reveals.
Above is the Disney Dream atrium. The cruise is one of four Disney ships, with a fifth planned for this summer.
Pictured is the upper deck of the Disney Dream, with a large screen showing non-stop Disney movies.
“A cruise is the perfect way to recover from roller coaster fatigue and make the magic last a little longer after a trip to Disney World in Orlando,” says Siobhan. Upstairs is the ship’s ‘Vibe’ teen club.
Time at sea centers around the upper deck pool, with its all-you-can-eat ice cream station, Goofy-themed miniature golf course, luxurious candy store and big screen showing movies from Non-stop Disney while parents take a well-deserved sip. cocktails in peace
The main draw is a brilliant “water roller coaster” that takes passengers through 765 feet of tubes on an inflatable raft, including 13 feet from the side of the ship and down a four-story drop.
The biggest surprise, however, is discovering that adults are not an afterthought, so it really is possible to relax with a glass of champagne in hand.
AquaDuck, pictured, is a brilliant “water roller coaster” that whisks passengers through 765 feet of tubes on an inflatable raft.
“Grownups aren’t an afterthought, so it’s really possible to relax,” Siobhan says of the ship. Pictured is the Disney Dream pink champagne bar.
In the image, the District Lounge for adults only. Adults on board can also enjoy cognac tastings and cabaret shows.
Pictured is the adults-only Quiet Cove pool, complete with plush loungers and a Jacuzzi.
The Deluxe Family Ocean View Stateroom on board. “Like the Disney theme parks, it’s a slick operation designed to delight the whole family,” Siobhan says 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 “distinct Disney touch.”
There’s an adults-only pool with plush loungers and a Jacuzzi, a pink champagne bar, a pub and nightclub, a spa, and even cognac tastings and cabaret shows.
Two fine-dining restaurants, Italian and French, are reserved for adults and would thrill any Michelin-star-seeking foodie with exquisite wagyu beef and lobster dishes, impeccable service, and vintage 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 wherever they eat, ensuring that their favorite drinks appear the moment they sit down.
Upstairs is the French-inspired Remy restaurant, where diners enjoy impeccable white-glove service and vintage wine lists.
Pictured is Palo, one of the ship’s fine-dining restaurants, which “would thrill any food lover looking for a Michelin star.”
A plate of seared tuna steak at Palo restaurant in Disney Dream
Not surprisingly, it’s the entertainment that really brings the Disney dazzle to this cruise, with exuberant dance parties under the stars and shows worthy of the West End.
With so much to do on board, it’s telling that not all passengers choose to disembark at the first port of call, Nassau in the Bahamas, where excursions include water park tours, scuba diving and glass-bottom boat rides.
The second stop, Castaway Cay, is a different story. Originally known as Gorda Cay, it was once a popular spot for pirates and smugglers.
Siobhan’s cruise ship docks in Nassau in the Bahamas (pictured), where excursions include trips to water parks and scuba diving
Above is the Disney Dream docked at Castaway Cay. Originally known as Gorda Cay, the island was transformed into Disney’s private island in 1998.
According to Siobhan, Mickey Mouse wanders Castaway Cay in a bright Hawaiian-style shirt, as if checking that all is well with young (and old)
It was transformed into Disney’s private island in 1998 and was used as a filming location for some of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
It is only three miles long, with three beaches as white as icing sugar. In true Disney style, everything has been thought of: hammocks and umbrellas for lounging, plenty of snorkel gear and bikes, a shaded water park for toddlers, and a hangout area for teens. There is also a quiet beach for adults only.
A generous beach barbecue is included, with unlimited ice cream of course, while the island post office will send postcards home with a prized Castaway Cay postmark.
Even Mickey himself wanders the sands in a bright Hawaiian-style shirt, as if checking that all is well with young (and old).
Disney Cruise Line is offering four nights on the Disney Dream departing from Southampton in 2023 from £851 per person full board, based on two adults and two children (ages three to nine) sharing a Deluxe Veranda Stateroom (disneycruise.com).