24 January, 2011

Honest Review of a Preview Cruise

As I believe I mentioned before, Scott and I bought each other a 2-night preview cruise of the Disney Dream for Christmas.  The cruise was this past weekend, and we had SO much fun and ate SO much food and had SO many new experiences that nothing I could possibly type could possibly encompass it all.

The whole trip wasn't "OMG BEST VACATION EVERRRRR" by a long shot.  Our dining room servers were by far the worst I'd ever had. The assistant server was actually not bad, and would probably thrive if paired with a different partner, but the server barely spoke English, didn't introduce himself, didn't check on whether we liked everything, served me the wrong food enough times that it became comical (him: "your tuna" me: "those are beets." true story!), and literally dropped the food on the table and walked away without explaining the dish. The food was very hit and miss.  My entree on the first night was inedible, and Scott's was maybe the best thing he ate the entire weekend.  Our stateroom was missing a phone and an alarm clock.  There's a hair dryer in the bathroom, but the only outlet sized for the hair dryer was on the desk. We even had a bad service experience on Castaway Cay*.

That said, once the staff gets into the swing of things, I have no doubt that the cruising experience is going to be top-notch. 

The ship itself is exquisite, with chandeliers everywhere that sparkle like diamonds.  The art in the stairwells is beautiful, and varies from 20-foot paintings to production art from Pixar movies.  The ship also has "enchanted art," which are basically framed flat-panel screens that sense your presence and animate for a few seconds.  Walt Disney sketches Mickey Mouse, pirate ships fire cannons, and scenes from cartoons come to life.  I was absolutely enthralled, and kept pausing in front of them to watch them again and again.

The furniture in the public areas is modern and rich and beautiful. And comfortable, too. There were at least a half-dozen places I wished I had more time to sit with a good book. Alas, I had neither time nor book.  The theater and the movie theater are both beautiful, and the shows are spectacular.  There are even nightclubs where loud music and bright flashing lights have been replaced with softer tunes and puffy chairs.  And our stateroom, though a bit smaller than on the other Disney ships, was beautiful and bright with comfy furniture and plenty of storage space.

I would recommend a vacation on the Disney Dream to anyone. But not just yet. Give them six months to settle in before sailing off into the sunset.

*On Castaway, the seat literally broke off of Scott's rented bike on the farthest point on the trail from civilization, bruising his calf and scraping/bruising his stomach where he was nearly impaled by the handlebar. The only good news is that he fell forward onto the handles instead of down onto his testes. Once we walked back to the closest tram spot and rode the tram across the island, we went back to the bike rental shack where I told the worker that the bikes had been ditched. Scott asked about the location of first aid, and I asked for a refund.  He offered me another bike (no thank you) or a float rental (in January? bwahahaha), but said he couldn't give me my money back. I guess now I understand why they make you sign a release before renting!

1 comment:

wickedmess said...

Soft opening nearly always suck that's why they offer them at such a great discount. KUDOS to you for being such a great sport, I'm sure there are others who didn't get the point of the exercise.

I can't believe Castaway though, they aren't a new operation. I hope you wrote a letter pointing out the error of their ways. You paid them for a service and they didn't deliver. ("Um no, I'm not interested in another rental in my current injured and bleeding state. If you can't give me a full refund, how about half my cash instead, Sparky?") Did the guy even take a report of Mr. Parkhopper's injury? If not, he was poorly trained and you still needed to speak to a supervisor to document the incident.