New cruise ships usually have a number of features that are exciting to talk about. Disney Cruise Line’s new ship, Disney Dream, debuted last week to reviews that included many of the ship’s new attractions. Here are some others that make Disney Dream as well as Disney Cruise Line different from others.
- Fastest Internet connection at sea. This is smokin-fast in all areas of the ship. I don’t know how they did it but all cruise lines need to adopt this technology.
- Free soft drinks. Coca-Cola products are free all the time, 24-hours a day. Disney is a premium product at a premium price. This is one reason why. Remarkably, we don’t see kids wasting that free soda with spilled cups all over the place.
- Cabin layout– This one has some of the best cabin layouts of any ship floating right now. A category 4 Deluxe Ocean view with Veranda is one of the most versatile layouts available. Accommodating up to five easily, two would be good also. It could sleep six if the cruise line would allow it with no problem, they don’t though. Think Princess mini-suite size-wise but a better layout and design.
- Rotating dining experience– Rather than going to the same dining room every night, you and your waiters rotate to a different one each night. It’s a different dining room every evening that adds depth to the overall dining experience.
- Clientele- A higher price combined with the sugar-sweet Disney programming begets a very nice, safe, group of on-board guests.Castaway Club members almost as rabidly in support of their cruise line as pin-collectors at Disney parks. You don’t want to be on an elevator with one of them if someone else says something negative about the line. A fight will ensue.
- No Casino– Like it or not, there’s no casino on this ship. Oddly, many people, convinced they can’t cruise without one, end up having a good time without their favorite games along for the ride. There is an arcade though, with all the latest games.
- Disney element– It’s everywhere. If you don’t love Disney characters, stay off this ship. You will just be miserable. If you like Disney characters, even a little, this is heaven. If you like Disney characters a lot, you will never want to sail another line ever again.
- Smokers– If you smoke and sail this ship, you will have a hard time finding someone to share your addiction with.These nice folks just don’t do it. Just quit? This is totally the line for you. No having to walk through smoke-filled areas to get someplace.
- Announcements– They don’t do many of them. No nagging to buy this or that, no unnecessary calls to one event or another.
- Daily newspaper– every ship and cruise line has one. This one is different. Out are a zillion things you don’t want to do. In are easy to read blocks of activities and events for different interests and age group. Leave the highlighter at home, you can use this at-a-glance.
- Private island– Castaway Cay is Disney turning an island into a theme park, complete with rides, trams to get around on, gift shops plus really good food. All other private islands pale by comparison. Really. They should build hotels here and let peoole stay a while. No wonder some sailings include two stops at the popular island.
- Buccaneer Blast– It’s fireworks at sea on every sailing. They’re the only ones that do it and they do a good job with it. This is not some bottle rockets and a few aerial bombs, this is a full-fledged musically-timed production. Again, doing it at sea adds an extra undeniable dose of magic that puts some land-based displays to shame.
- Crowd Control– Who knows more about moving thousands of people from place to place than Disney? They do it every day in the parks and have taken that know-how with them to sea.
All that plus super-star attraction the AquaDuck water coaster and you might expect a theme park at sea motif. No, that would be Oasis-class ships on Royal Caribbean. Here, Disney Imagineers have gone out of their way to avoid being called a floating theme park; quite successfully.
Photo: Chris Owen