The Disney Dream — It Actually IS A Dream Come True…

by Janice

Happily ever after…

Parenting is no fairytale. Neither is marriage.

Life is complicated and messy. And very, very tiring.

I realize I have a blessed life. Compared to so many in the world, and throughout history especially, I have nothing about which to complain. But still, many days I am so stressed out and exhausted I feel like falling on the floor and having a tantrum fit for a three year old.

The truth is — I want a little bit of fairytale. I want to enjoy my family and my charmed life in a vacuum of perfection, where everything is EASY and BEAUTIFUL.

The Dream that DOES come TRUE!

The Disney Dream -- Disney Cruise Line

The Disney Dream -- Disney Cruise Line

So, there is a reason that every time I am chatting with fellow parents about traveling with kids I tell them, “If you can make it happen, TAKE A DISNEY CRUISE!!!”

I understand that for many of us, money is tight and vacations that involve more than a tank of gas and a bag of Doritos are sometimes just not in the family budget.

But, if you have been able to tuck away enough dollars to treat your family to the vacation of a lifetime and you are wondering what vacation that should be… then I implore you to pack your bags and set sail on a Disney Cruise!!!

Our Family’s Happy Place

Yes, there are still some sibling squabbles and familial stresses, but when our family boards a Disney Cruise ship, (we have been blessed to go on two short trips for 5 Minutes for Mom,) we enter our family’s “happy place.”

In fact, there is no place on earth, or sea, that could be better designed for our family — especially the new Disney Dream!

The Disney Dream has EVERYTHING our family loves — all in one place!

Disney Dream - Mickey’s Pool and Pool Deck - Disney Cruise Line

Disney Dream Pool Deck featuring Mickey's Pool - photo DCL

In fact, because everything is right on ship, with no driving, parking or bus rides necessary, we can cram SO much fun into one day!

Disney Dream - Deck Party with Mickey

Disney Dream - Deck Party with Mickey - photo Janice Croze

Disney Dream - Janice and Olivia at Castaway Cay

Disney Dream - Janice and Olivia at Castaway Cay - photo Jackson Croze

Jackson riding the Pelican Plunge at Castaway Cay

Jackson riding the Pelican Plunge at Castaway Cay - photo Janice Croze

Disney Dream - Good-Night Hug from Pluto

Disney Dream - Good-Night Hug from Pluto - photo Janice Croze

From fabulous food, incredible entertainment, great pools and water play, awesome kids clubs, fantastic nightlife, and gorgeous beaches — the Disney Dream is PERFECT for EVERY member of our family.

The Disney Dream is Disney Luxury at Every Turn

Inside the Disney Dream - Atrium Lobby

Inside the Disney Dream - Atrium Lobby - photo DCL

Everything Disney does must be magical. The experience must make guests feel like they are truly in their own fairytale, where happy endings belong to everyone.

I always marvel at how The Walt Disney Company is able to communicate this message of superior customer service to all of their “cast members.” Whether at the parks or in their hotels or at sea, the Disney “cast members” seem to understand that they are ALL part of the show, delivering the “royal” experience to their guests.

But nowhere is this magical experience more apparent than on the Disney Cruise Line. It is like you step aboard and you enter an alternate universe where magic does exist, problems do disappear, and your happiness is guaranteed.

Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah

Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah - photo DCL

Even the staterooms are gorgeous, calling you into peaceful rest and enjoyment. They aren’t the crammed, claustrophobic staterooms one imagines aboard cruise ships, rooms you merely sleep in and try to escape as quickly as possible.

Standard Inside Stateroom

Disney Dream Standard Inside Stateroom - photo DCL

No, the Disney Cruise Line has managed to make even their standard inside staterooms unique and comforting, including a fun “live action” porthole showing views from the sea and Disney characters dropping in for visits.

The Best Kids and Youth Clubs EVER!

Considering Disney is THE expert in entertaining children, the Disney Cruise Line has come through in Disney style with the most incredible kids and youth activities and clubs imaginable.

My nine year old and three year old LOVED the Oceaneer’s Lab and Club — it was a feat to drag them away they had so much fun there. If only daycare or school could be as wonderful as the kids clubs aboard the Disney Cruise Line!

And my husband and I love that we can enjoy some time together, while knowing that our kids are having a blast and not missing us! (That alone time for parents is one of my favorite parts of the Disney Cruises!!!)

Disney’s Oceaneer Lab – Magic PlayFloor

Disney’s Oceaneer Lab – Magic PlayFloor - photo DCL

Disney’s Oceaneer Club – Pixie Hollow

Disney’s Oceaneer Club – Pixie Hollow - photo DCL

And don’t worry if you have tweens or teens — they will be having the time of their lives too in the super cool teen and tweens clubs.

Disney Dream - Tween Club - Edge

Disney Dream - Tween Club - Edge - photo DCL

Disney Dream Teen Club - Vibe (Interior)

Disney Dream Teen Club - Vibe (Interior) - photo DCL

And YES — the World’s First Water Coaster at SEA!

The one thing that was missing from the Disney experience at sea before the Disney Dream was the rush of riding a coaster. But now, with the Disney Dream, we can have the adrenalin kick of a roller coaster — while flying over the ocean.

Disney Dream's AquaDuck

Disney Dream's AquaDuck - photo DCL

Yes, the Aquaduck is as fun as Disney Cruise Lines promises! It is FABULOUS!!! Fast and exhilarating enough, but not too frightening for kids (over 48 inches.) It is perfect. I could ride it all day – and night! It is especially fun to ride at sunset or after dark.

AquaDuck at Night - photo by Janice Croze

AquaDuck at Night - photo Janice Croze

Broadway at Sea?!?

The Disney Cruise Line treats their guests to Broadway style – and quality! – shows every evening. The shows are some of my favorite parts of the cruise — and my daughter Olivia’s too.

Tarzan - during The Golden Mickeys - photo Janice Croze

Tarzan - during The Golden Mickeys - photo Janice Croze

The Golden Mickeys - photo by Janice Croze

The Golden Mickeys - photo Janice Croze

Olivia summed my feelings up perfectly when I turned to her after The Golden Mickeys and asked, “Did you love it?!?”

Her eyes still stuck on the stage, she breathed, “I want more…”

Sleeping Beauty - during Disneys Believe - photo by Janice Croze

Sleeping Beauty - during Disney's Believe - photo Janice Croze

Disneys Believe - photo Janice Croze

Disney's Believe - photo Janice Croze

Yes, the shows are stunning!!! I can’t rave about them enough. Love. Love. Love.

Don’t Fall Asleep Before the Fireworks!

Of course, the perfect Disney day ends with a party and fireworks — even at sea!

My Olivia didn’t make it to the fireworks. After a day packed with more than a year’s worth of fun, she surrendered to sleep at about 9:30pm. But Jackson was sure to make it to Club Pirate and the firework show Buccaneer Blast!

Disney Dream - Club Pirate - photo by Janice Croze

Disney Dream - Club Pirate - photo Janice Croze

Jackson at Club Pirate - photo Janice Croze

Jackson at Club Pirate - photo Janice Croze

Fireworks at Sea on the Disney Dream - photo Janice Croze

Fireworks at Sea on the Disney Dream - photo Janice Croze

It Really IS Vacation Perfection!

If you have ever met me in person, and the conversation has turned to traveling with kids, then you know that I am in love with Disney Cruise Line. Yes. IN LOVE!

If I could, I would take my family on a five or seven day cruise three times a year! Yes, it is a serious obsession.

Disney Cruise Line has taken all of the stress out of family vacations by meeting every family member’s needs perfectly.

And now, with the Disney Dream, perfect just got more perfect.

Written by Janice Croze, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom. Talk with me: @5minutesformom and

Thanks to Walt Disney World for including 5 Minutes for Mom on this media trip for The Disney Dream. Disney covered my expenses, (I covered my family’s,) but my opinions – and my love for Disney Cruise Line – is all my own!

Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina - February 15, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Oh my goodness, it looks like so much fun! It’s been my dream vacation for ages now and I hope someday to be able to do it. When I saw Jackson at Club Pirate, he looked so good I thought he was a young cast member! He’s growing up so fast, Janice!


2 Tarasview February 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

oh it sounds amazing… I would love to go on a Disney cruise someday!!


3 Jen February 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm

The more you write about the Disney Dream the more jealous I get. We booked our cruise last summer for this next summer, but had to cancel it when I got pregnant with #4. Although I’m super excited about the baby, I’m bummed to not get to go on the cruise with my family.


4 Heidi February 15, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Thanks so much for posting this, Janice. My Ian (4) has been watching a documentary on the Disney Cruise Line and it got the rest of us hooked too. Now, we’re dreaming of a Disney Cruise and trying to make it a reality for next year. They look like so much fun – enough so to make them worth the extra $.

I’m envious that you got invited to attend this media trip! What luck!


5 Nolie February 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm

The Disney Dream makes me want to get us passports and save up to experience it with my family.


6 Steph February 15, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Nolie, unless you’re going on a non-closed loop cruise, you don’t need a passport :) We just use our birth certificates! We just went on Disney Cruise #7 on the Dream 2 weeks ago and are going back for #8 on September 15th!


7 Nolie February 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm

I am Canadian.


8 Mikki February 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Looks like you all had an amazing time!!! How fun! I’m thinking they should have done Disney Social Media Moms on the Disney Dream.. LOL.


9 Debra Ferrie February 16, 2011 at 10:52 am

Fantastic article and pictures! I promised my kids that I will take them on this ship and the each time I get a large paycheck, some goes right in toward this vacation!
So excited to see it all in persona and experience more of the MAGIC!


10 christieo February 16, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I have long been LONGING to take one of these cruises, especially now that my littlest is 3 and I wouldn’t have a problem with him being in kid care on a cruise, and NOW I WANT TO GO MORE THAN EVER!!! It is everything and more that I’ve seen in the commecials! I live an hour from Orlando, now the next step is convincing the hubby!!


11 Parenting Girls February 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Oh, this looks amazingly fun! We are going to Disneyland in Florida for the first time in April (yes, it’s the first time for me too – FUN!) and I cannot wait :-) Cruise is next on the list! Thanks for the inspiration…


12 NYC SingleMom February 20, 2011 at 9:30 pm

wow is all I can say. saving for next year vacation


13 Stephanie March 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Wow. I want to go!

I am especially impressed by the size of the rooms. Tim & I went on a cruise for our honeymoon…and the rooms were teeny tiny (that was my one complaint).


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