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Just Got Back from The Dream

CJR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello, we just got back after a cruise on the Disney Dream!

Despite the pandemic still being a live and well, I have to say I really enjoyed the cruise, arguably, it's the best we've had. Definitely, in terms of service, the best we've had.

Here are some notes.
1. Despite going to Castaway Cay twice, the cruise was not close to being at capacity - maybe even around half capacity. Low lines for nearly everything, especially for families with children. At most activities, we were able to walk right up to the front. Of course, that may change as word gets out. The busiest day was the sea day, of course. Still, no issues enjoying what we wanted at any point in time.
2. It looks like the dry dock still took place on the Disney Dream. The Cabanas logo bill board was removed and replaced with a hand washing station, which they do enforce. Another change we noticed is that the booths are gone from the Enchanted Garden. It makes for a much more open restaurant, which also received new carpeting. The fountain is still in the center and beautiful as ever.
3. The app has received some great upgrades and I hope they'll continue it (still no app ordering for room service). You can join a virtual queue to get off at Castaway Cay, for example. We joined the group about 9:30am and got to get off pretty much immediately. It's mostly just for the first few groups, it seems.
4. I did see them enforcing their facial coverings requirement. They are expected in public indoor areas and at a few outdoor areas at Castaway Cay (food, trams, merchandise areas).
5. No Golden Mickeys. Our cruise was four days, they did Believe on the first and last nights and Beauty and the Beast the middle two nights. The fireworks, which did not last more than five minutes, but were done twice (each of the middle two nights). No stage show prior to them going off and no longer Pirates themed, but music from animated movies. Also no See Ya Real Soon show, they did do a lot of photo opportunities though, just without the production aspect. Still lots of fun regardless.


Let me know if I can help with any questions from a guest perspective.
 

uncledude

New Member
How was the terminal and boarding experience? We're going on the Dream soon and wondering what to expect there, especially with the covid test at the site. How long was the wait between your assigned arrival time until you boarded the ship?
 

CJR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
How was the terminal and boarding experience? We're going on the Dream soon and wondering what to expect there, especially with the covid test at the site. How long was the wait between your assigned arrival time until you boarded the ship?

Great question, the wait can vary from party to party, I'm sure. They said 30 minutes to an hour to get the test results back. For us, it was probably about 35-40 minutes. Since we drove, we were in our car the whole time, but they do have a tent for people that arrive at the port through other means (like shuttles).

We arrived in our window, which was 11:30am-11:45am, I want to say we dropped our bags off around 11:40am, to give you an idea. We got stuck at the drawbridge coming into the port. Getting out our bags always takes a few minutes for us. Then we looped around the parking lot, paid for parking, and got directed into a spot where someone helped us with the covid test. Everyone was very friendly and positive. I want to say we were finished with everything around 11:55am. The time stamp to my email was 12:29pm.

After that, it was all very quick. We unloaded the rest of our stuff and walked over to the terminal. Check in is now downstairs before security. When you go up the escalator to the top, all the old check in counters are gone, just a few are left for things like booking port adventures and on board spending. It's also a great time to use the restrooms, which we did. Our group had already been called by the time we checked in, so everything moved pretty quickly for us. My first photo of the atrium was taken at 12:55pm.

So for us, about 35 minutes waiting on the email for our test results and then about 25 more minutes getting onto the ship. Keep in mind, some of that 25 minutes was optional stuff including a restroom break and photos, so we could have moved faster if we wanted to.
 

CJR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
One other thing. I know the Rainforest Room is popular. We did it on this cruise. It's very expensive, but if you have a larger party, it's not bad. $174 + 18% gratuity for a 1h 45m session, good for 1-10 people in your party. During your reserved time, you have exclusive access to the whole room including the showers, saunas, heated chairs, and hot tubs. It did appear to fill-up slots quickly, when we booked, we got the last one for our sea day and that was booked probably 3pm or so. Definitely visit the spa early if you want to reserve a time.

Also, no more standard muster drill. They encourage you to visit your life boat location after you board the ship, which you absolutely must do before 4pm, I believe. They'll go over the stuff with you. At 4pm, they will play the old message, but you can listen to it from anywhere on the ship. We were listening to it while soaking at Satellite Falls. So this kind of makes up for the delayed ship entry a bit.
 

uncledude

New Member
Great information, thank you very much! The Rainforest Room sounds rather interesting. My wife and I have been looking for something different to do on this cruise so we'll definitely check it out. We're looking forward to getting back on board and getting away for a few days!
 

Greenkai3000

Active Member
Lots of great information there. We are thinking about renting a car for the day , to go from MCO to port. I am wondering if it’s possible to pull in to get checked in, tested, and then return the rental car while we wait for our results. Quite confident and ambitious, I know. The alternative is to first return the car to the rental place then take a Lyft over to get checked in
and tested.

Does anyone know if both options are possible, or do they need to charge you to park your car to get checked in and tested.
 

Disstevefan1

Well-Known Member
Hello, we just got back after a cruise on the Disney Dream!

Despite the pandemic still being a live and well, I have to say I really enjoyed the cruise, arguably, it's the best we've had. Definitely, in terms of service, the best we've had.

Here are some notes.
1. Despite going to Castaway Cay twice, the cruise was not close to being at capacity - maybe even around half capacity. Low lines for nearly everything, especially for families with children. At most activities, we were able to walk right up to the front. Of course, that may change as word gets out. The busiest day was the sea day, of course. Still, no issues enjoying what we wanted at any point in time.
2. It looks like the dry dock still took place on the Disney Dream. The Cabanas logo bill board was removed and replaced with a hand washing station, which they do enforce. Another change we noticed is that the booths are gone from the Enchanted Garden. It makes for a much more open restaurant, which also received new carpeting. The fountain is still in the center and beautiful as ever.
3. The app has received some great upgrades and I hope they'll continue it (still no app ordering for room service). You can join a virtual queue to get off at Castaway Cay, for example. We joined the group about 9:30am and got to get off pretty much immediately. It's mostly just for the first few groups, it seems.
4. I did see them enforcing their facial coverings requirement. They are expected in public indoor areas and at a few outdoor areas at Castaway Cay (food, trams, merchandise areas).
5. No Golden Mickeys. Our cruise was four days, they did Believe on the first and last nights and Beauty and the Beast the middle two nights. The fireworks, which did not last more than five minutes, but were done twice (each of the middle two nights). No stage show prior to them going off and no longer Pirates themed, but music from animated movies. Also no See Ya Real Soon show, they did do a lot of photo opportunities though, just without the production aspect. Still lots of fun regardless.


Let me know if I can help with any questions from a guest perspective.
The cruise not being close to capacity is just like what folks experienced at first when WDW reopened. Cherish that. Before we know it, the cruise ships will be at capacity no matter what the gloom and doom folks say.
 

CJR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The cruise not being close to capacity is just like what folks experienced at first when WDW reopened. Cherish that. Before we know it, the cruise ships will be at capacity no matter what the gloom and doom folks say.

Absolutely, if you want to go on a cruise that feels low capacity, go soon. I think Disney is actually selling to about 80%, but they just aren't getting the demand right now. I have a feeling once children can get vaccinated and/or restrictions loosen due to declining cases, the ships will be back to feeling full again.

Especially come peak break periods when children can go without getting excused from school. Right now, it's probably a lot more difficult to get an approved absence when the only stop is Castaway Cay, for example.
 

CJR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Lots of great information there. We are thinking about renting a car for the day , to go from MCO to port. I am wondering if it’s possible to pull in to get checked in, tested, and then return the rental car while we wait for our results. Quite confident and ambitious, I know. The alternative is to first return the car to the rental place then take a Lyft over to get checked in
and tested.

Does anyone know if both options are possible, or do they need to charge you to park your car to get checked in and tested.

I believe that you technically could do that. I'm not sure where you would park though, since if you do what we did, you pay for parking at the port prior to the testing. That could be a pretty significant amount of money, depending how long your cruise is.

That said, they weren't watching us after the test. They had us drive up to the second level, but there was zero supervision - at least not any observed. Some people got out and stood around their cars while they waited, for example. No one said anything to them.

After you get your results back, you simply head to the check in area. There, they scan your bar code from your Port Arrival Form and that lets them know you are cleared to sail. I'm not sure how different it is if you get tested in the tent area.
 

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