Disney Vacations is well known for delivering service and their Concierge experience on Disney Cruise Line is no exception! Just when you think cruising can’t get any better, you’re wrong. For Fall break my family and I experienced magic on board the Disney Dream. Here’s my review!
Disney Cruise Concierge
We booked our cruise almost a year in advance so we had several room options to choose from. We decided to go with the Concierge Ocean view room since it offered more service options along with some great amenities. We thought it would be a great value.
Once we completed our reservation Disney mailed our cruise documents to our home. It included everything we needed to know about our cruise, documents we needed, forms that need to be complete, and our personal luggage tags. As Concierge guest, we were also given a special number to call for questions and assistance we had prior to our cruise. I took advantage of this service when I needed to confirm our excursion that sold out and when I wanted to include our friends to our dining table. The Concierge service team were able to confirm all of these things.
Our departure was from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It’s about 30 minutes east of Disney World. The Kennedy Space Center is also very close and we were able to fit it into our vacation. (Read more about our Kennedy Space Center trip here.) Disney offers transportation from the Orlando Airport to the cruise terminal, but since we arrived a day earlier we rented a car. We parked our car at one of the lots in Cape Canaveral. Parking cost us about $40 for the weekend. Disney Cruise’s parking lot is much closer and doesn’t require a shuttle but it costs much more.
When we arrived at the cruise terminal we were escorted to check-in area reserved for Concierge guest. Guest staying in standard staterooms must select their arrival time, but as Concierge passengers we were able to board the ship as soon as we arrived. The check-in process went smooth since we had all of our forms completed before we arrived. We were expedited through the lines to board the ship. We haven’t even made it to our rooms yet and my husband and I both commented on the value of the service by not waiting in long lines.
The Concierge rooms are priced a few hundred dollars more per night than standard rooms. They are limited and sell out rather quickly. All of the Concierge rooms are located on higher deck levels and are accessible to dining and entertainment. Our stateroom included a Queen bed, a double pull out sofa bed, an upper berth twin sized bed, and plenty of built in space for storage. There is a bathroom with a sink and toilet and a second bathroom with sink and half bath (shower in side small circular tub).
The Concierge level stateroom hallways are covered in high polished woodgrain with gold trim detail adding a flair of sophistication. The furnishings inside these staterooms are also an upgrade to the standard rooms. Egyptian cotton linens, Sealy Premium Plush Euro-top mattresses and premium bath towels completes this luxury package.
Immediately upon boarding we had access to the Concierge exclusive club room. The club room is where they host happy hour every night and set out an assortment of freshly made sandwiches, snacks, and desserts. Bare in mind that cocktails any where else on the ship will cost you extra, even at dinner. The Club Room gives you access to a private deck for sunbathing and it’s also where they have a private character meet and greet.
The best part about the Concierge service is the personalized attention you get while your on board. These attendants are accessible 24 hours a day. Upon our arrival we met with our attendant and he gave us a customized itinerary that included our dinner reservations, excursions, and showtimes. This helped us to keep track of things while we were cruising. Disney Cruise Line delivers a daily activities newsletter to every guest room, but this itinerary allowed us to focus on what we wanted to experience. He also made some really good recommendations based on the ages of our children.
Our kids were so happy to be on their very first Disney Cruise. The ship’s design is mainly Art Deco. There is one of a kind Disney art pieces intricately place throughout the ship. Since we were so close to Halloween there were Jack’o lanterns hanging every where. The Dream hosted a Halloween costume party with trick or treating, games, and live music.
There’s a celebration almost every night. Fireworks, Pirate Night, Dance Parties, character meet-ups, we barely spent time in our room. There was even a live full Disney production in the theater every evening. Lights, music, special effects, and costumes. I think I was more entertained than my kids.
Disney has a way of making you feel like a kid again!
The Oceaneers Club is where the kids hang out so parents can relax. It’s open until midnight. I repeat, It’s open until midnight. My kids took one look inside and didn’t want to leave. Yay for me! It is a very large interactive space. The Oceaneer Club is well organized and secure. Adults are only allowed inside if they are picking up so I couldn’t take any photos. All kids registered for the Oceaneers Club receive a Magic Band they wear on their wrist. It contains important information for you child including medical and dietary needs. Parents must setup a password to pickup their child and the forms are completed at check in.
For older kids there are several hangout spots on the ship that offer activities and entertainment. Arcades, lounges, and night clubs are just a few designed specifically for older children and teens. There is also an area just for the younger cruisers called It’s a Small World-Nursery. I didn’t get a chance to visit there either because mine were too old.
The two main pool areas on board the Disney Dream are a little smaller than I expected but it was still loads of fun. The Aqua Duck on board the Disney Dream is an humongous water tube slide that wraps around one third of the upper deck. This fast moving thrill ride makes up for the tight pool area. My son was five and he was able to ride this with his dad. There’s a large screen on the pool deck that shows Disney movies and cartoons day and night.
There’s so much entertainment for kids on board the ship that you would assume they forgot about us. Right? Wrong! A full service spa with sauna and steam room, fitness center with coaches, several lounges and bars, and an adult only swimming pool. We hung out late at one of the night clubs while the kids were in the Oceaneers Club. There was a Newlywed Game that evening and we had a really good laugh. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy myself on our cruise as much. I dedicated this trip to my family. It was such a pleasant surprise to have so many moments of joy, laughter, and tranquility on board the Disney Dream.
Disney doesn’t place a limit on your food options at any of the restaurants on board the Disney Dream, so if you’re a foodie than you will love Palo!
Adults can also dine alone at one of their premium restaurants. I was a little skeptical about paying extra money for dinner. I’m so glad we decided to give it a try because it exceeded our expectations! Palo is a fine Italian restaurant moderately priced at $10 per person. It is well worth your time especially if you consider yourself a foodie. It has a completely different menu than what they have at the other inclusive restaurants. Also, please note that I don’t eat meat or dairy, only fish and there were plenty of vegetarian menu items on board the ship for me to choose from.
The attire at Palo is semi formal and men must wear slacks. Palo’s dinner, wine, and dessert menu is much like a full size restaurant’s menu. In fact I had a hard time believing that we were still on board the ship. I ordered the Risotto Di Mar and also had a sample of the desserts. We were very satisfied with our food.
Our cruise included stops in Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay. The weather at both of these ports averages 85 degrees. There are many excursions to choose from at both of these ports. As Concierge guest we were able to book our adventure 125 days in advance. I recommend that you book your selection as early as possible. Some of the popular activities sell out fast.
Our first port was Nassau. The cruise offers several Nassau and Atlantis on Paradise Island excursions including a day at the beach. The Dolphin experience at Atlantis was at the top of our list. This was our first time experiencing Atlantis and to say it simply, it is Grand. The Dolphin experience includes access to some exclusive parts of the resort and roundtrip transportation. We spent about 45 minutes to an hour in the water with the dolphins. It is organized by trainers and the kids loved it.
The next day we docked at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. My husband ran the Disney 5k Castaway Cay Run before breakfast. He loved it but he said it was hot. Since he got off the boat early he was able to secure our beach chairs and umbrellas. The cruise include access to beach chairs and umbrellas but it’s first come first serve on some of the really nice spots.
There are lots of excursions on Castaway Cay including snorkeling, fishing, kayaking and more water activities. They prepare a full meal for you so there is no need to go back on board to eat. They have tube floats, snorkel gear, and bicycle rentals. There is also a kids center on the island if you choose to take an adult swim or jog around the island.
If you want an even more exclusive experience, be sure to rent a beach cabana on Castaway Cay. They sell out very quickly so you have to book this far in advance. The cabanas are located on a seclude part of the island far away from the crowds. They offer all the amenities you need and want for a lazy quiet afternoon on the beach.
On the last evening we were asked to leave our luggage outside of our door so they can clear customs. Because we were Concierge guest, we could leave the ship as early as we wanted. We decided to sleep in a little late since we were all so tired. A full breakfast was served early in the morning in the dining room but we just ate a few pastries from the Concierge’s club room.
Our 3 day cruise quickly came to an end. We were all very sad we had to leave. It all went by so fast. Good thing we had plans to continue our vacation to Disney World. This helped us to transition our kids off the boat.
Saying goodbye to the Dream was not easy. The Concierge service was much more than we anticipated and made our voyage that much more magical. I overheard an Disney attendant talking about their Concierge guest and how they are mostly frequent cruisers. He also said that most all new Concierge guest always return. So true Disney Dream, so true.
Want to learn more about the Disney Cruise? Read my Disney Cruise Tips Frequent Cruisers Don’t Want You to know.