Archive for November, 2010

Disney Dream Youth Programs For Family Cruisers

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Disney Dream has plenty of big spaces for kids to have fun.

Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship Disney Dream has plenty of space dedicated to actively engage children in Disney-themed youth programs. Family cruisers will encounter almost an entire deck created just for kids.

Youth programs on Disney Dream:

  • It’s A Small World Nursery
  • Disney’s Oceaneer Club
  • Disney’s Oceaneer Lab
  • Edge
  • Vibe

It’s A Small World Nursery

Serving infants and toddlers ages 3 months to 3 years

Disney Dream's It's A Small World Nursery

Family cruisers who want to take advantage of the nursery must pre-reserve space either on the ship or ahead of time online. It’s a Small World Nursery is available at an additional charge of $6 per hour.

The nursery is designed to help small children feel comfortable and to make parents feel confident when leaving their little ones. Upon entering the nursery, parents and children can meet and interact with counselors in the “acclimation zone” so kids can adjust to the nursery.

Parents wishing to check on their children, without disturbing them, can glimpse into the nursery’s main play area through a one-way window. Trained youth counselors play with children, change diapers and feed kids. There is a separate nap room in the nursery where sleepy babies can rest, allowing parents to hang out and relax.

Parent advisory for children ages 3 – 10

Children between the ages of 3 and 10 will choose youth programming in Disney’s Oceaneer Club or Disney’s Oceaneer Lab based on interest instead of age. While some activities are recommended for certain age groups, participation is based on a child’s interest level and maturity — not age. As a result of this, siblings and friends can play together without restriction.

Disney’s Oceaneer Club

Kids ages 3 – 10 have plenty of options to stimulate creative play

Disney Dream's Oceaneer Club

There are four themed play areas in Disney’s Oceaneer Club on Disney Dream:

  • Andy’s Room is about playing with characters from the animated Disney Pixar “Toy Story” films. Children can rearrange features on Mr. Potato Head, crawl through the coiled body of Slinky Dog and get behind the wheel of an oversize, remote-controlled racecar.
  • Explorer Pod is inspired by the Disney Pixar animated film “Finding Nemo.” The bright-blue-and-yellow submarine in the center of the room is the centerpiece in this space. Inside the submarine, children can explore and play games at 16 interactive computer stations. Outside of the sub, there are eight computer stations.
  • Monster’s Academy is a interactive space inspired by the Disney-Pixar film “Monsters Inc.” The centerpiece is a play structure designed for climbing. In addition there are computers integrated into the walls featuring games. There are also props for playing dress up.
  • Pixie Hollow is a dedicated space celebrating Tinker Bell and her fairy friends. A pixie tree stands in the room, its branches extending overhead with hundreds of fairy lights twinkling among the leaves and hummingbird-sized fairy houses hanging from the boughs. This setting is perfect for crafts, or dress up in fanciful costumes.

Disney’s Oceaneer Lab

Children ages 3 – 10 will explore and discover

Animator's Studion in Disney Dream's Oceaneer Club

Disney’s Oceaneer Lab has two main areas where children engage in activities:

  • Animator’s Studio offers young family cruisers a place to learn computer animation. Children can use their imagination to create original, hand-drawn art or learn how to sketch their favorite Disney character. With the help of a counselor and an animation simulator, kids can bring to life computer-animated characters.
  • Sound Studio is designed for children who appreciate and are inspired by music. Kids create their own original tunes using special song-making software. After composing their music and lyrics, they can record their song. The Sound Studio also has listening and music download stations featuring top hits.

Edge

Tweens ages 11 through 13 can hang inside the Forward Funnel on Deck 13

Where was Disney Dream when I was growing up? Edge is so cool that if I could pass as a tween, I would hang out here all day.

At first look, it seems like tweens have a place to hang out, watch television, listen to music, play videogames, surf the Internet, partake in various activities and make new friends. Look deeper and discover a high-tech space designed to help facilitate interaction between tweens.

High-tech touches like notebook computer stations allow tweens to play games and access the onboard social media application exclusively for them. On this “blog spot,” tweens can communicate with each other during the cruise by leaving messages, comments and posting photos and videos.

Along one wall of the club is a massive video wall that can be used for gaming, movies or television viewing. Stretching more than 18 feet long and nearly five feet tall, the state-of-the-art video wall can be utilized as one giant screen or separated into smaller individual screens.

A lighted dance floor – and multi-colored ceiling lights above that mirror the floor – make the perfect stage for a dance party.

Another hi-tech highlight is green-screen technology, which provides backgrounds for creating fun videos and acting as a screen for lively karaoke parties.

Being in the funnel provides great views of the pool and Disney Dream’s water coaster. AquaDuck winds through the forward funnel of the ship. Three portholes in the tween club provide silhouetted views of AquaDuck riders as they zoom through the tunnel.

For those family cruising tweens that have saved their allowance, there is a Tween menu of spa services just for them at Chill Spa. Tweens have their own space in the spa where they can enjoy special services including facials, massages, body treatments, manicures, pedicures and more.

Vibe

Teens between the ages of 14 to 17 have nearly 9,000-square-feet to enjoy their cruise

Vibe: Disney Dream Teen Club

Teens have Deck 5 forward to enjoy their specially designed indoor and outdoor teen club. Access to Vibe is by special “teen-only” swipe card.

Modular, movable furniture and cushy chairs are plentiful and invite teens to kick back in style. Teen family cruisers have a fountain bar stocked with refreshments such as soda, juice, smoothies and coffee drinks (coffee drinks for a 14 year old?)

A media room serves as the central gathering space with video gaming and movie watching on a 103-inch LCD screen with digital surround sound. Teen cruisers have access to technology to create and edit videos using the latest computer software. Also, teens can access the onboard social media application at one of several computer stations in the lounge or via their own WiFi-enabled laptop.

In the dance club area, aspiring DJs can try their hand at spinning and mixing tracks. A lighted, multi-color dance floor and video wall set the stage for dance parties. On a separate stage, teens can take the spotlight during talent shows, karaoke contests and dance competitions.

Exterior of Vibe Teen Club on Disney Dream

Outside, teens have their own private deck area with two wading pools and plenty of chairs to lounge. Additional water features include fountains, pop jets and misters for cooling off. For recreation, teens can play deck games such as ping-pong, foosball and other favorites.

Want to learn more about Disney Dream?

Disney Dream Dining Options For Family Cruisers

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Family cruisers on Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship Disney Dream will have plenty of options when it comes to answering the question, “What’s for dinner?”

A salute to wonderful dining on Disney Dream

Disney Dream offers multiple dining venues:

  • three main restaurants
  • two adults-only specialty restaurants
  • and several casual dining options

Family cruisers will have the chance to dine in all the main restaurants during their cruise vacations. Disney has a unique rotation dining system where guests have dinner at several different themed restaurants over the duration of their cruises. For convenience, be sure to specify dining time when you book your cruise.

On Disney Dream, dinner seating time determines which evening show cruisers will have tickets for. Main dining is scheduled for 6 p.m. and most likely tickets to the 9 p.m. show will be issued unless the earlier 5 p.m. show is requested. Second dining is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. and cruisers will have tickets to the 7 p.m. show but can request the 5 p.m. show.

Main Dining Restaurants

Animator’s Palate

Be ready to interact with Crush the talking turtle from “Finding Nemo”

Animator's Palate will feature interaction with Crush from "Finding Nemo"

Family cruisers will enjoy updates to this popular Disney Cruise Line themed restaurant. Dinner in Animator’s Palate will feature a newly developed show, unique to Disney Dream.

The fun starts after passengers place their food orders. The restaurant starts morphing from a lively animation studio into an interactive dining experience hosted by Crush from “Finding Nemo.”

The exciting thing here is that Crush is capable of having a real conversation. His body language actually changes as if he were, a real talking turtle (this is Disney, and yes it could happen.)

During the transformation of the room, lights dim, walls open and more than a hundred 103-inch HD monitors come into view. Bubbles appear, and everyone is immersed in an undersea world, complete with coral and fish swimming by.

Another fun thing to be on the lookout for are hidden suggestions of Mickey Mouse. Overall the color scheme of red, black, and yellow reminds diners of Mickey Mouse. Also, the chairs in Animator’s Palate are cleverly designed with details like two yellow buttons to suggest Mickey’s famous pants.

In another colorful detail, the ceiling – the artist’s palate of the restaurant’s name – is “painted” in light by fiber-optic brushes that form part of the décor.

Royal Palace

Celebrating the Disney Princesses

Disney Dream Royal Palace Restaurant

Royal Palace is a Main Dining restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The decor is inspired by classic Disney Princess films: “Cinderella,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Sleeping Beauty.”

With a hand-blown chandelier made of glass slippers and essential elements from classic Disney fairy tales such as royal crests, roses and tiaras, this themed restaurant will wake your inner-Princess.

Royal Palace offers a 4-course dinner, serving a seasonal menu of classic culinary faavorites.

Enchanted Garden

New to Disney Dream

Enchanted Garden on Disney Dream

Inspired by the gardens of Versailles in France, Enchanted Garden is a new theme restaurant. The Enchanted Garden restaurant offers a seasonal menu featuring market-fresh ingredients.

Enchanted Garden transforms itself from day to night during the dinning experience. Maximizing the use of lighting technology, the restaurant’s ceiling changes from a bright blue daytime color into the golden red of a setting sun, finally transforming into a nighttime constellation of twinkling stars.

Family cruisers will enjoy looking at suspended overhead custom-glass flower light fixtures that “bloom.” Decorative wall sconces transform into folding fans, wall paintings project a dusky illumination and the centerpiece fountain is flooded with shimmering light.

Enchanted Garden serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as a Main Dining restaurant.

Specialty Dining For Adults

Remy

Remy a French-Inspired Specialty Restaurant on Disney Dream

Remy is a French-inspired specialty restaurant for guests 18 years of age or older. The name of the restaurant is inspired from the star of the hit film, “Ratatouille.” Images of the character Remy will be hidden throughout the design.

Chef Arnaud Lallement from l’Assiette Champenoise, a Michelin two-star restaurant in France, and Chef Scott Hunnel from Walt Disney World’s signature restaurant Victoria & Albert’s are teaming up to create the new French-inspired menu.

Luxury touches await Remy patrons: tables are set with Frette linens, Riedel glassware, Christofle silverware, and china created exclusively for the restaurant.

For an extra charge, Remy offers a stellar wine list in addition to a wine pairing option. Elegant touches include a tableside trolley for international cheeses, decanting stations for wines, and an after-dinner coffee service.

Expect great food at Remy

Private Chef’s Table at Remy – For an even more memorable dining experience, Remy boasts a special Chef’s Table dining room where guests can enjoy a unique multi-course menu while interacting with the head chef. This special room features elegant, Ratatouille-inspired décor that includes bold red chairs and drapes, shimmering chandeliers and inviting scenes of Paris on the walls.

The Wine Room – Dine in a luxurious glass-walled room with marble flooring amid more than 900 bottles of wine, including a rare selection of Old World wines balanced with a solid selection of New World wines.

Reservations are required and can be made online or on Disney Dream. An additional charge of $75 per person is required to dine at Remy, in addition to the cost of wine and alcoholic beverages.

A dress code is enforced during dinner in Remy. Men must wear a jacket. Ladies can get by with a cocktail dress or similar, just no jeans, shorts, capri pants, sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes.

Palo

Disney Dream's Palo: Great food with a view

Palo, named after the signature long poles used by gondoliers in Venice, is a great place to take a break from the kids and enjoy some wonderful food, great ocean views and adult-time.

Palo is for adults 18 and over only, and reservations are required. This restaurant features outstanding Northern Italian cuisine prepared to order.

Reservations are required and can be made online or on the ship. When dining at Palo, guests will skip the regularly scheduled Main Dining restaurant. An additional charge of $20 per person is required to dine at Palo

Casual Dining

Cabanas

Similar in style to a high-end food court, food stations serve everything from sushi and pasta to desserts, Cabanas is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Food stations are designed to look like a seaside beach cabana topped with a colorful awning.

Family cruisers will enjoy the restaurant’s décor. Tables resemble clam shells, and there are Adirondack chairs, palm trees and beach umbrellas. Look for a 30-foot-long handcrafted mosaic depicting an underwater scene from the Disney Pixar animated film “Finding Nemo.”

At dinnertime, Cabanas is transformed into a table-service dining experience where dinner entrees are cooked to order in the show kitchen. Families will enjoy this casual alternative to dinner, especially if traveling with younger kids that have skipped their nap.

Flo’s Café

Flo’s Café is located near the Donald Family Pool on Deck 11. Themed to popular characters from the Disney Pixar film “Cars” – Luigi’s Pizza, Doc’s Grill and Fillmore’s Favorites – this quick-service option serves snacks such as burgers, chicken tenders, pizza, fresh fruit, salads and sandwich wraps.

Eye Scream, Frozone Treats

Frozen sweet treats are available from two quick-service venues conveniently located near the Donald Family Pool on Deck 11:

  • Eye Scream – inspired by the friendly, one-eyed monster Mike Wazowski from the Disney Pixar animated feature “Monsters, Inc.” – offers soft-serve ice cream with plenty of favorite sundae toppings.
  • Frozone Treats – named after the ice-creating superhero in the Disney Pixar movie “The Incredibles” – mixes delicious fruit smoothies.

Want to learn more about Disney Dream?

Disney Dream For Family Cruisers

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Coming in January, Disney Dream

Family cruisers will love Disney Dream.

Award-winning service that has won Disney Cruise Line numerous mentions in the press for a cruise ship filled with industry firsts.

Special features on Disney Dream

Enchanted Art

Technology and animation features:

  • Animator’s Palate – new spin on a classic. Dinner in Animator’s Palate is a family cruise favorite. Disney Dream has re-imagined Animator’s Palate. Look for more use of color upon entry and then a room that transforms into a coral reef.
  • Magic Playfloor, For young cruisers, Disney’s Oceaneer Club (ages 3 -10) and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab (ages 3-10) will feature a Magic Playfloor. The interactive floor allows children to engage in group activities where their movements control the action. Disney Cruise Line youth counselors will use the Magic Playfloor during storytelling activities where children will fly over the streets of London with Peter Pan or ride the ocean waves with Crush.
  • Living Characters. Through the use of 103-inch screens, Living Characters will bring Disney character to life in Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab youth areas. The characters are programmed to interact with children in one-of-a-kind experiences.
  • Enchanted Art. LCD screens positioned around Disney Dream will feature art that comes to life. Designed to look like a framed piece of art, Enchanted art is equipped with motion detectors, which triggers an animated sequence. Guests may see new and different animations each time they come back and visit the Enchanted Art pieces.
  • Magical Porthole. Technology is behind the concept of the Virtual Portholes in all inside cabins. The “window” will show real-time views of what is happening outside the ship. The view corresponds to the stateroom location – with a view to port, starboard, forward or aft. Programmed to make an appearance are characters like Peach the starfish from the Disney•Pixar film “Finding Nemo,” the flying balloon house from “UP” or even Mickey Mouse.
  • AquaDuck. The AuqaDuck is the first water coaster at sea. Think  water slide, lazy river and a roller coaster combined into one. This will no doubt be a cruise highlight for adventure seekers on Disney Dream. Family cruisers can ride as a single or double on a raft that is propelled by Master Blaster hydro jets through a clear acrylic tube.

More staterooms to accommodate 4,000 guests

There are 8 stateroom categories on Disney Dream:

  • Concierge Suites
  • Concierge Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
  • Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
  • Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
  • Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom
  • Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom
  • Deluxe Inside Stateroom
  • Standard Inside Stateroom.

More than 80 percent of Disney Dream staterooms feature ocean views and most also include split bathrooms, another first in the cruise industry. Disney’s signature split bath and a half design is found in most of the staterooms except for 121 inside rooms. Families will be glad to know that 1,000 staterooms are connecting.

Bunk beds for the kids

All staterooms have a classic, yacht-like feel. Staterooms are equipped with an iPod docking station and 22-inch flat-screen television on a swivel arm. Parents will be happy that the closet doors swing instead of slide. Pull-down bunk beds are topped with a faintly-lighted sky scene. In my home, the fight is on for who gets to sleep in the top bunk.

More amenities for kids – Hello Nemo, goodbye Captain Hook

Hello Nemo!

My son (aged 6) is thrilled that Disney Cruise Line has decided to toss the popular Peter Pan villain Captain Hook, in favor of a more “happy” Nemo when it comes to designing the kids spaces on Disney Dream.

Disney has moved away from specific age groupings to interest areas. So instead of signing up for a youth program based solely on age, parents can choose a program based on what the child is interested in: either using one’s imagination or playing games and  performing educational experiments.

  • Disney’s Oceaneer Club (ages 3-10) is conducive for imaginative play. The Oceaneer Club’s central rotunda is its main gathering place and, at the same time, a portal to other “lands,” including Andy’s Room, Monster’s Academy, Pixie Hollow and Disney’s Explorer Pod.
  • Oceaneer Lab (for ages 3 – 10)  focuses on discovery and exploration, with workshops and an Animator’s Studio. In the Sound Studio, kids can create music by moving their hands across laser beams.
  • Babies welcome on Disney Dream. It’s a Small World Nursery on Disney Dream allows parents to sign up and pay for care by the hour. $6 per hour is a great value for a little break while on a family cruise.  Infants and toddlers ages 3 months to 3 years are welcome.
  • Tweens (11-13) get to enjoy a loft-style lounge called  Edge, housed inside the forward funnel.
  • Vibe is an indoor/outdoor teens-only lounge accessed by key-card (ages 14-17). Plenty of technology is housed in Vibe with a media room and dance club. Decor reminds me of a posh club.

Want to learn more about Disney Dream?