For SoCalGal and I it’s been a magical couple of days experiencing the brand-new Disney Dream cruise ship on a two-night Christening Cruise junket with a port of call at Disney’s own Castaway Cay. We’re traveling with family members and a whole bunch of other travel media, travel agents and some lucky contest winners (I’m told, more than 3000 guests in all) on board this incredibly tricked-out ship that is home to some pretty amazing amenities and services.
We’ll detail much, much more in the coming days and weeks but I can confidently say that this ship has exceeded my expectations in terms of family entertainment. In just one example, the kids’ club is off-the-hook huge and so impressively technologically advanced. Dubbed “Oceaneer Club” and “Oceaneer Lab”, these two adjacent areas offer all sorts of different playspaces, including Andy’s Room — where kids can play and climb over the characters featured in the Toy Story movies — and Pixie’s Hollow for quieter crafts and dress-up. Video screens abound for playing all sorts of interactive Disney games. The 10- and 8-year-olds in our party had a ball playing games on the giant Magic Playfloor, where a kids’ club staffer (er, cast member) programmed jumping and dancing games that the kids played with their feet.
In still more technological advances, we found more huge screens in the Animator’s Palate restaurant, where cartoon characters interact with guests (they had us up and dancing at one point….) and there’s a nifty Midship Detective Agency interactive game kids can play, chasing down “suspects” on the ship. Framed “paintings” of Disney characters, and ships a la Pirates of the Caribbean’s Black Pearl, come alive for short scenes when people stand in front of them. The pixie dust, it seems, is everywhere.
But like I said, Jen and I will highlight some of our favorite amenities and services in coming weeks (as well as some things we’d like to see done a little differently on the ship). In the meantime, here are just a few of the hundreds of photos we’ve taken so far!