Disney Dream – Review of 3-Night Bahamas Itinerary Part 2
This is the second part of my review of the Disney Dream 3-night Bahamas Itinerary and cruise. If you missed Part 1, read it HERE.
Day 2 – Nassau
We pulled in to Nassau in the early morning around 8am and it was a gorgeous day. The last time we were in Nassau, I didn’t get off the ship nor did the kids. This time, we decided to take a shore excursion. We decided to book the Seaworld Explorer Semi-Submarine. It was only a short walk down the pier to reach the boat to take us out to the semi-submarine.
After boarding the semi-submarine, we went down a few steep steps in to the bottom of the boat and sat on fold down seats beside a window. Before long, we were moving a short distance out to the reef and the crew fed the fish once we were in the reef to bring them up to the boat. They also told us what type of fish we were seeing. The kids loved it. The windows were extremely scratched so that made it hard to take any decent pictures. After we had gone through 2 different locations, they took us back to the starting point and we were moved up to the main deck of the boat and waited for our ride to pick us up and take us back to the port. When we returned to port, we then proceeded to “run the gauntlet” of the Nassau port to get back to the ship.
When I say “run the gauntlet”, I mean we had to move through all of these people wanting to sell us thing, get us to take excursions, and wanting me to let them braid my daughter’s hair. It was a little unsettling to be walking through it with my children, but we walked quickly.
We decided after lunch to head to the pool area. This is where I noticed how crowded the ship was. There wasn’t a chair anywhere around the pools that we could get. I know that a lot of people don’t get off the ship in Nassau and it was noticeable! It was crowded on deck.
Dinner this night was at Royal Palace and it was really nice and good. Our serving team was great, yet the service was slow again. They did have light up glasses for sale for Pirate Night. After dinner, the kids went to the club and we wandered around the shops. We didn’t go to the early Pirate party on deck but did go to the Fireworks at 10:30 and it was a tad breezy and cool on deck that night.
Day 3 – Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay, Disney’s Private Island, is BEAUTIFUL! I love this stop even though I’m not really a beach person but I love this stop as it is relaxing and we take the approach of not scheduling a single thing. In fact, this time we did something different. We decided to stay on the ship in the morning and we let the kids ride the AquaDuck with hardly a line. There were plenty of chairs and it was calm and relaxing at the pool area. We then had lunch on the ship at Cabanas, which I can say was MUCH better than the cook out on the island. We left the ship at about 1:30 and headed to the family beach area. We found that a lot of people had already left and headed back to the ship so we had plenty of chairs to sit in and even some floaty tubes were left on the beach that the kids used, so we didn’t have to pay to rent them. It was warmer but not unbearable. We enjoyed the beach for a few hours and then headed back onboard to get ready for our last dinner at Animators Palette.
Animators Palette was a great experience. The kids loved the show with Crush. This however was the slowest dining experience we had on the ship. The kids didn’t get their meals until we had been there for 45 minutes which was unusual to say the least. Not sure what happened that night to make things so incredibly slow.
After dinner, we headed back to the room and packed up the bags to put them outside that evening to pick up to take off the ship. It is always sad the last night because you know it is almost over.
I have to congratulate Disney on this aspect. Debarkation is so incredibly EASY when you get back to Port Canaveral. You have breakfast at the restaurant you had dinner at the night prior. You see your serving team one last time and you must be at breakfast at the time you are told so that you are out of the cabin and ready to get off the ship. Take everything with you when you leave the cabin as you won’t be returning. After a short breakfast, we were told the ship had been cleared and we could walk off when finished. We walked off, went down to the luggage area, grabbed a porter, and had our bags and were through customs in 10 minutes. No joke! It took us 15 minutes to get off the ship and to the car and ready to leave the port area.
I enjoyed the Disney Dream. It was neat to see all the “new” things on the ship, but I have to say it was BIG. Being that I have sailed on the Magic and Wonder in the past, I think I almost prefer the smaller ships and we did book on board for next year to sail again on the Magic for 7 nights to the Western Caribbean. Short 3-night or 4-night cruises are a great introduction to cruising, especially with children. The first cruise we did with kids was a 3-night on the Wonder. We then went on a 7-night a few years later.
Disney is one of the more expensive cruise lines out there. I have sailed on Carnival in the past without kids. I have thought about trying other lines, but once you factor in the nickel and diming the other lines do for everything (sodas: free on Disney, Alcohol: Can bring your own onboard and drink it without having to sneak on Disney, etc), the price winds up being more comparable. Plus, you can count on the quality of the Kids Clubs on Disney and for those children under 3, you have a nursery with great staff to take care of your little one and give you a break! Disney just can’t be beat in my opinion.