Thinking of booking a Disney Dream Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah but not sure whether it is worth the splurge? We stayed in one last week and loved the skillful design, split bathroom concept ample storage, and bed options. To help you decide; here is a complete review of our oceanview stateroom plus a few useful tips for parents traveling with autism.
DISCLOSURE: I attended the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at a discounted rate, and during Disney SMMC 2018 received promotional items. However, all opinions are my own.
In this article
- About the ship
- Stateroom decor and layout
- Bed options
- Cabin amenities
- TV programming
- The split bathroom
- Door decorations
- Final Thoughts
About the ship
With its gross tonnage of 129,690 and 1,250 cabins, the Disney Dream made her maiden voyage on January 26, 2011. Its current itineraries include Nassau, The Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. The ship features six regular categories staterooms and suites from inside to deluxe family oceanview ones.
Tip: Want to feel like a real VIP? You can splurge and book a cabin in one of three concierge categories that provide access to upgraded amenities, the exclusive concierge club, and outdoor deck area.
As the adage says, it is all about the location! Our cabin 9038 on Deck 9, was in the forward section of the ship.Deck nine was a good fit for my son with autism who is noise sensitive. Cushioned above by Deck 10 it was still close to the outdoor activities and buffet on Deck 11.
For me, the higher deck offered less swaying (I get seasick at times) as well as better photography vantage points. Furthermore, I appreciated the proximity to the elevators after nursing a prior foot injury.
Tip: When booking your cabin scrutinize the deck plans.If you need a quiet room avoid cabins below or above public areas.
Since we traveled as a large group from the Walt Disney resort we all stayed at during the conference, we arrived onboard by 11:30 am.Like other cruise lines, Disney’s guest rooms aren’t ready before 1:30 pm, so we lounged at the pool and lunch while waiting.
Tip: When you first enter the ship there’s a line of crew members announcing your name and clapping. If your child is noise sensitive, you can ask to skip the welcome. Should you need a quiet spot to regroup after boarding; opt to have lunch at the sit-down restaurant instead of the more noisy and crowded buffet.
The deluxe family oceanview cabin with verandah on the Disney Dream measures almost 300 square feet (including verandah) and can sleep a family of four.
Our cabin decorated in hues of blues tans and burgundy had an elegant art-deco vibe.The furniture pieces were made from different types of woods ranging from maple to cherry color while the carpet was a nautical shade of petrol blue. The bathrooms mostly white tile with splashes of blue and red looked spiffy with their stainless steel sinks.
Tip: Disney fans will love all the unique Disney touches that can be found all over the cabin. You will see wall paintings displaying Disney ships, Mickey bedspread, Mickey drawer pulls and even lampshades showing different Disney parks around the world.
The rectangularly shaped cabin is well designed making use of every inch available. The central space is relatively large and can be divided into two areas by a full-length curtain when parents want some privacy.
The ‘ parent bedroom area’ contains a queen-sized bed raised about 1 1/2 feet off the ground for convenient luggage storage. Since this is a raised platform bed, it cannot be split into two twins like on other ships. We loved the soft bed linens and blankets.
The ‘kids’ bedroom’ has an opening sofa that is a sofa by day and a bed by night. Sounds like a hassle? No worries. The cabin steward closes the bed in the morning and opens it by night. Did I mention our son declared it as uber comfortable?
Tip: The cabin does have a fourth bed, a pull-down bed accessed via a ladder. What makes it fun is that it comes with a celestial scene covering the entire ceiling above the bed- perfect for younger ones. And no worries, the cruise line has special rails to block kids from falling down.
Because of the tight space, the two side night stands are quite small. You will find the alarm clock/ music player on the left side and a slightly bulky phone on the right side one.
Tip: Look out for a hidden outlet under the alarm clock and do try the wake-up call system featuring none Mickey wishing you a magical day!
Seating for everyone
Seating a rare commodity on some ships is ample in this cabin. Between the plush velvet sofa, vanity chair, ottoman and two verandah chairs there’s plenty of spots to regroup.
Tip: Need extra space to store belongings? The ottoman that doubles up as a coffee table and nightstand opens!
Ample closet space
As part of its efficient use of space this cabin boasted two separate closets with quite a bit of hanging space, shelving even an electronic safe to store valuables.
Tip: Be aware that the closet doors and the bathroom doors open outwards into the entrance hall, so to avoid mishaps make sure they aren’t open at the same time.
Desk and vanity area amenities
The desk across from the sofa serves as a table and vanity area. It has additional drawers, cabinet space as well as outlets to juice your electronics. Since we packed our clothes in Ziploc bags, we ended up using these shelves and drawers most.Completing the amenities were a hair dryer in the left side drawer and an empty mini fridge under the TV–useful for storing medicines or snacks.
Tip: When you first enter your cabin make sure to look through the papers on the table. From tickets to pre-booked excursions to the cruise navigator, it should all be there.
The cabin comes with a 22 LCD TV that has a swivel arm to point it towards the bed or sofa.From new releases to golden oldies guests will love the on-demand selection of movies offered.
Tip: Missed the nightly live show? Disney’s got you covered! You can still watch it on your cabin TV!
The Wave Phone
When our kids were young, we used to bring our walkie-talkies onboard. Nowadays, Disney provides two complimentary wave phones to help families communicate better onboard and on Castaway Cay.Though it is a good system, the phones are somewhat bulky, and there is a $250 penalty if they get lost or damaged.
Tip: We chose to use the free texting provided by the Disney cruise line app to communicate onboard instead.
Verandahs and safety concerns
As I mentioned before our cabin came with a verandah!! When my son with autism was younger, I never booked a balcony cabin because I knew it wouldn’t be safe for him. Now that he is older, I finally feel more comfortable about staying in a balcony cabin.
For the record, the sliding door leading to the outside is quite heavy and has a top lock that isn’t easy to open. And on the outside, the metal rail bars are covered by a sheet of plexiglass making it impossible to climb thus adding an extra layer of protection for kids.
Tip: One of our son’s favorite things to do was sitting on the verandah (supervised, of course) to listen to the ship’s horn playing Disney tunes when leaving port.
The split bathroom
The cabin came with a split bathroom that made it easier to get ready every morning. The first bathroom featured a sink and a toilet while the second had a shower/tub combo and additional sink. Both doors came equipped with locks for privacy.
The bathroom also came with several other features we appreciated. Most noteworthy were the upscale Disney H2O toiletries that even included sunburn relief gel, the double clothesline and the abundance of under sink storage space.
Tip: While the dual shower heads ( fixed and handheld) are a great option for families turning them on and off did require a little practice. Make sure you turn it on to the perfect temperature before putting kids in the tub.
Disney is famous for fantastic service and the housekeeping on the ship was an excellent example of that. Our Cabin attendant Putu was attentive and was always around to respond to our needs.There’s nothing like a freshly made bed, towel animals, and nightly chocolates to make feel everyone special on vacation.
What you need to know about door decorations
Decorating the cabin door is pretty much a Disney cruise line right of passage. I suggest you do bring some magnet decorations for your door. In fact, it may prove useful to help your kid distinguish your cabin from others.With that said, don’t be tempted to stick anything on the doors with tape or glue as it may damage the door finish and you will be asked to pay for damages.
Tip: For extra fun join in on the fish extenders gift exchange. Started over a decade ago the fish extenders consist of mini hanging containers guests hang on the cabin entrance fish knob. Based on reciprocity families get to fill these containers up with small trinkets every night. If you wish to participate in a fish extender exchange you can read more about it here.
Though regretfully too short, our cruise on the Disney Dream was a memorable experience. Our Disney Dream Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah provided us with all the comfort and pampering we needed to relax and enjoy our vacation. Between the impeccable service and smart room design, it truly turned out to be a perfect sanctuary away from home.