The new Disney Dream is quite elegant, reminiscent of the 1930’s, the ‘golden age of cruising

This morning Chet and I disembarked from the Disney Dream. This was really a very, very fast look at a fascinating ship. Here are some first impressions:

Art deco chandelier in the Atrium

This new ship is so elegant you would hardly know that this ship is designed for families with children. The design is mostly art deco, with lovely light fixtures, rich woods, sumptuous fabrics and many special touches. Yes, you will find the usual dashes of Disney whimsy…such as animated artwork, and Donald Duck’s rear protruding from the wall of a smokestack…but this ship really does remind me of the elegance and stateliness of Cunard.

Disney did not merely build a larger version of the Magic and Wonder. No, this ship is full of industry innovations, the most popular of which seems to be the Aquaduck, the first water rollercoaster at sea. Passengers ride a small raft through a clear tube that is longer than 2-1/2 football fields. And if you are on deck below, it is fun to watch the riders fly by above you. Expect lines for this one.

The new Disney bed is fixed in position

There are some interesting cabin innovations: Each stateroom is outfitted with one wood frame bed that is larger than a queen but smaller than a king…call it a Disney bed. It is higher than most cruise berths and wide open, allowing for plenty of storage underneath. These beds are fixed, they cannot be separated into two single berths. If two people traveling together do not wish to sleep in the same bed, then one will sleep in the single bed made from the large couch. (I suspect there will be complaints about this…stay tuned.)

Inside cabins feature animated portholes

Most cabins are also outfitted with a “top bunk” that folds down from the ceiling. Knowing that these are primarily used for children, Disney has put in special lighting, a glowing sky with Peter Pan and Wendy illuminated above them. The premise is this will comfort children and also provide a night light for them.

Disney whimsy

Also new are the animated portholes in all inside cabins. These three-foot “portholes” show a live feed from cameras on the outside of the ship, making passengers feel like they are actually in an outer cabin. But don’t be surprised if the Cat in the Hat steps into the scene! Expect these cabins to be quite popular with families. Leave it to Disney to figure out a way to make the least desirable cabins popular!

Next: Many upgrades for adults

Photos by Chet Janssens

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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One Response to The new Disney Dream is quite elegant, reminiscent of the 1930’s, the ‘golden age of cruising

  1. Carol Vinosn January 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    Thanks for the great post! Always love to read your updates on all the cruises…. take care.

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