Water playground on Castaway Cay

DAY 4 — Like visiting Disney World, it is impossible to do all the ship has to offer on the new Disney Dream, whether you cruise for three days, four days, or even during the summer, on some five day itineraries.


Consider that besides all of the activities in the dedicated spaces for kids, tweens and teens there are some 150 activities around the ship on any four day cruise, says David Duffy, creative Director for entertainment and port adventures. That could range from a Pirate Party to a family game show in the D Lounge, lessons to make the towel animals the stewards leave every night, to a class in building paper airplanes, cooking demonstrations, daytime deck parities, night time family dance parties,  mini golf and basketball (along with virtual sports simulators and foosball) on Goofy’s Sports Deck G.  Then there’s also first-run 3-D movies, shows, an adult escape at The District—with five different venues for the over 18 set.  I loved the Skyline bar with its changing views of dramatic city skylines from New York to Hong Kong)


Whether you are a first time cruiser, a Disney cruise fan (some have cruised the line a dozen times or more), cruising with one child, or your extended family (at least 1/3 of cruisers will be), you will be hard pressed to do even half of what this ship has to offer—and that includes Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. “You can’t do it all,” laughs Duffy.


That includes sampling all the cuisine which on the preview cruise was surprisingly good.  Kids will especially love the newly designed Animator’s Palate restaurant, where more than 100 video monitors on the walls of the restaurant enable Crush, the favorite animated turtle, to interact with your kids.  Yes, he will know their names and whether they are celebrating a birthday as he “swims” from giant underwater “window”(the video screens) engaging you in real-time conversations. 


Consider that the new Disney Dream (www.disneydream.com) will be sailing three, four and during the summer, five days, with more than 150 activities over the course of a four day cruise, says David Duffy, who is the creative director for entertainment and port adventures—some 20 activities a day just in the D Lounge.


For that reason, suggests Erika Solano, who oversees youth programming, “Do some research and see what will work for your family. Don’t get overwhelmed by the offerings. Just relax and enjoy!”


That may be harder than you think with so many choices! Book your shore excursions and special dinners at Palo or the new French restaurant Remy ahead (assuming you can get a reservation!).  Book spa appointments and shore excursions too. The complimentary WAVE phones in your stateroom will make it easier to keep in touch with a tween or teen roaming the ship or on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private Bahamian island.


Speaking of Castaway Cay- your kids won’t want to leave here either.  Tom Staggs (he’s the chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts) says he practically had to drag his three young sons back to the ship. That’s because this place (assuming the sun is shining) is nirvana for kids whether they are little (they’ll love the water play area in Scuttle’s Cove with the new shooting jets), teens (they have their own beach), grade schoolers and tweens (they’ll love the new Pelican Plunge water slide, the huge play structure in the water and the basketball, pool and ping-pong games going on in a shaded area). Parents can sneak away for a break at the adults-only Serenity Bay beach or get a massage. You can all ride bikes, snorkel, get up close to sting rays, go parasailing, fishing or take a banana boat ride. Play beach volleyball or check out the nature trail. Book a private cabana for the day ($499 and they go fast!)  Did I mention the fresh BBQ lunch—chicken, fish, ribs or burgers?


The island is so big trams make continual rounds.  You can’t do it all here either—even if you are lucky enough to have two days on your cruise.


Just don’t forget your sunscreen.