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Our Magical DisneyDream Fairytale: Luxury Meets Family Fun at Sea

Our DisneyDream Story

Our Disney Cruise journey began early in the morning on Wednesday, as we boarded a bus with fellow travel writers to Port Canaveral. As we arrived at the port, the oohs and ahhhs were audible as we caught our first glimpse of this magnificient ship. We took our seats at the Christening Ceremony, where Disney dazzled us with live entertainment in true Disney style. The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger and executives shared their vision in creating the DisneyDream, Jennifer Hudson rocked the stage and a helicopter hoisted a giant bottle of champagne and cracked it on the bow of the ship, launching fireworks into the bright blue sky above.

Luxe Details in Grand Disney Style

We boarded the ship with a grand welcome and I quickly saw that this was going to be this luxury travel writer’s dream. I couldn’t take enough pictures to show the amazing details of the DisneyDream’s extraordinary design. Reminiscent of splendid ocean liners from the 1920s and 1930s, the stylish sophistication of the DisneyDream is apparent in every detail, and each area has a story to tell. In the grand entrance, an art deco-inspired chandelier, about 22 feet wide and descending a story-and-a-half from the ceiling, sparkles with thousands of hand-crafted crystal beads.  Every detail in every restaurant, bathroom, stateroom and public area is a work of art in the true spirit of Disney Imagineering.

Luxurious Staterooms

I love a beautiful hotel room, okay, no I am OBSESSED with beautiful hotel rooms. The DisneyDream staterooms were exceptional and totally exceeded my expectations. Featuring contemporary, art deco-inspired design, Eighty-eight percent of the 1,250 staterooms on the Disney Dream are outside rooms, and of those, 90 percent have a private verandah. We were blessed to have a verandah that greeted us in the morning with the turquoise waters of Castaway Cay. The inside staterooms are equally well-appointed and with virtual portholes that feature live camera views facing the direction of your room, every room has a view.  To add to its whimsy, 20 different Disney characters pop up at random to surprise guests in the portholes.  To accommodate larger families and groups traveling together, there are 500 connecting doors that adjoin staterooms. For groups wishing to sail in ultimate luxury, the Disney Dream provides adjacent, concierge-level accommodations for up to 25 guests with four suites and two staterooms – all joined by connecting doors. Perfect for extended families or groups of friends who travel together. The Concierge level is located on Deck 12 and features it’s own private entrance.

Disney playtime means date nights for Mom and Dad

With two kids under six, we don’t get a lot of date nights when we travel. Our youngest is not yet ready for kids club, and we are still a bit hesitant of in-room hotel childcare. Thanks to the killer Disney kids play areas,  mom and dad had a chance to relax and explore evenings for the FIRST TIME on a trip because our kids were BEGGING us to drop them off to play. Our six-year old kept asking, “Is it time for me to have my alone time yet?”  The DisneyDream’s Youth Clubs are filled with endless fun and activities for kids of all ages, favorite Disney stories and a magical sprinkling of pixie dust. Our kids had a blast in Disney’s Oceaneer Club, Disney’s Oceaneer Lab and It’s a Small World Nursery and it was heaven to enjoy some adult time knowing that they were just one deck away and in great hands.

The District: Mom and Dad Playtime

We dropped off the kids and hit the stairs for a night out, just one deck down. We had a blast in The District, relaxing, talking and enjoying some quiet adult time. At Pink we celebrated with a bit of bubbly, sampling delicious champagnes, sparkling wines and proseccos.  The lounge is like walking into a big pink champagne bottle – in fun Disney style, the famous pink elephants from the Disney animated classic “Dumbo” subtly adorn the menu and décor. We then went next door to Skyline, where we indulged in views of the evening Paris skyline. Skyline is a chic, cozy setting described as “metropolitan sky bar meets luxury high-rise penthouse. What makes it magical is the  seven 65-inch LCD screens depict a different city skyline each day. Skyline’s “windows to the world” are ever-changing as the spectacular city skylines transform from day to night, in real time as each day progresses. Next book a romantic dinner at Palo or Remy, two of the adults-only fine-dining restaurants that serve spectacular Northern Italian and French food and have an extensive (and delicious) wine list. We then capped off the night with a trip to the decktop bar to take in the night’s fireworks and spectacular moon and stars and a late night ride on the AquaDuck water-coaster perched high over the ocean off the side of the ship! What fun.

Ahhh, finally – the Spa

Finally, no HipTravelMama trip would be complete without a trip to the spa. Time was too short to experience it first-hand, but I popped up to take some pictures of the new Senses Spa & Salon, spanning Decks 11 and 12. Senses Spa & Salon on the DisneyDream provides tranquility, pampering and relaxation in a more than 16,000-square-foot ocean-view spa environment. Specialized areas include the Rainforest room to soak and steam your cares away – a Hamam (steam bath), a Caldarium (steam room) and Laconium (dry sauna). The Chill Spa is a beautiful tribute to our up-and-coming adults, dedicated to teens who want to relax and get pampered in style in their own space.

And did I mention we spent time with our toes in the white sand on our own private island, Castaway Cay in the Bahamas, sipped piña coladas and swam with sting rays during the day? Heavenly. More on our castaway experience coming soon.

Much more to come on tips for family cruising on the DisneyDream as well as our trip to Walt Disney World. If you are interested in learning more about our DisneyDream experience, email me at anne@hiptravelmama.com or leave us a comment below.

Want to explore more? Here are a few of my favorite resources on cruising:

CruiseCritic lets you explore staterooms and activities deck by deck.

CruiseBuzz offers great insight on cruising and is an extraordinary resource to follow on Twitter @cruisebuzz

A big thank you is in order to the entire Disney crew for an exceptional event with style and grace in every detail. We most certainly will be back!

More to come, but for now, Bon Voyage!

Note: our DisneyDream  experience was part of a press trip sponsored by Disney. The opinions in this post are mine and I was not required to write or express any opinion during or after my visit. In all honesty, this had to be one of the most magical Disney experiences we’ve had with our family and would recommend this cruise to readers, friends and family based on our experience. 

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The Disney Dream docks at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the tropical waters of the Bahamas, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests. In a setting of crystal-clear turquoise waters, powdery white-sand beaches and lush landscapes, the 1,000-acre island offers one-of-a-kind areas and activities for every member of the family. (David Roark, photographer)
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