The Disney Dream cruise ship has returned from its first cruise to the Caribbean. The Dream is the newest addition to Disney’s cruise line fleet and is larger then both the Magic and Wonder ships. The Dream’s first trip was for the media and other VIPs. Its next trip is a fundraiser. The ship will begin its normal cruising schedule on January 26th.
The Disney Dream has a number of new and innovative features not seen on any other cruise ship. For example, inside staterooms have a video porthole that shows the view from a camera mounted on the outside of the ship and has animated characters that float across it every once in a while. The ship also has the first water coaster at sea. The Aquaduck is a long enclosed waterslide that runs most of the length of the ship and is located 14 decks up. The Dream also has the first fireworks show at sea and a dive-in movie theater with some screens located underwater. Finally, the ship features “virtual art” on the walls where guests can interact with the art in various ways, either by talking with it (like with Crush in the Animators Palate restaurant) or by using cards to solve a m
Other features first introduced on the Disney Magic and Wonder return to the Dream. Those include the rotational-dining concept where passengers dine in a different themed resturant each night, with their server staff rotating with them. The Dream has 3 restaurants in its rotation, with 3 other restaurants availble to dine in. Most of the cabins also have a dual-bathroom setup that was introduced on the first ships. These bathrooms have a sink and toilet in one room and a sink and shower in the other. The Dream adds the twist in that the shower also doubles as a bathtub in most cabins- a feature not seen on many cruise ships. Disney designed the dual-bathroom concept with the idea that families will all be trying to get ready for events like dinner all at the same time.
Early reports from the ship by experts from the Cruise Critic website seem fairly positive. Their conclusion is that the ship will work very well for families, especially ones with kids or Disney addicts. Other cruisers who don’t fall into those catagories will still have a good time, but might not get as much out of the trip.
What remains to be seen is if people will pay the higher prices that Disney charges compared to other cruise lines. For example, a sample fare for a family of 4 in September starts at $2,000. The ship’s maiden voyage is sold out, and based on searches for cruises on the Disney cruise site, many other cruises are sold out or close to it. If Disney can maintain that momentum, then the ship should do well. The Dream is sailing 3, 4, and 5-night cruises out of Port Canaveral to its private island Castaway Cay and Nassau in the Bahamas.
Disney already has a fourth ship under construction, the Disney Fantasy, that should set sail next year. Beyond that, Disney hasn’t announced any other plans for building new ships yet.