Disney has moved its premiere cruise ship, the Disney Dream, from Port Canaveral east of Orlando to PortMiami — an hour closer for Palm Beach County families who want to hop on board a 130,000-ton vessel for four days.
But is this truly an escape for the whole family? In pure Disney fashion, it certainly tried to check every box.
It's not like Disney is new to this. The Dream has been operating for more than a decade. (Don't weep for central Florida; the new Disney Wish is scheduled to take its place.)
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From Miami, the Dream will head out weekly on three- and four-night excursions that stop in Nassau and Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas; and a five-night cruise that takes guests to Castaway Cay and Cozumel, Mexico.
As a parent and longtime Disney annual passholder, I was excited to check out the activities available to kids on the Disney Dream. Our family has never taken a Disney cruise, and this tour would be a good opportunity to see whether we would consider booking one in the future.
I also wanted to see what types of activities are available to adults onboard. Not all Disney Cruise Line guests bring kids with them, and many of those who do often take time to experience some of the adults-only activities. .
As we saw on our tour, there were many.
Fun for grown-ups: Spa services and sophisticated dining
One of our first stops was to The District on Deck 4.
The adults-only entertainment area hosts a variety of entertainment and dining venues, including District Lounge, a piano bar featuring entertainment and live music nightly; The Pink, a wine and champagne bar that was designed to look like the inside of a champagne bottle; Evolution, a club that offers dancing, games, karaoke, comedy and cabaret; and Pub 687, a sports lounge outfitted with flat-screen LCD TVs that show live broadcasts via satellite.
Other adults-only activities aboard the ship include dining, spa services, sunbathing and exercising.
The Disney Dream features two adults-only restaurants. Remy, a French specialty restaurant, serves brunch and dinner, and Palo features northern Italian food.
It wouldn't be a cruise ship without a variety of pools and whirlpool spas and Disney offers adults one of their own — Quiet Cove Pool for guests 18 and older, where guests can enjoy cocktails and other beverages.
Adults also can book spa treatments at Senses Spa & Salon. The salon, which provides beautiful ocean views, offers a variety of high-end salon services and treatments.
It also features a 2,500-square-foot-gym as well as complimentary group classes, including Pilates, yoga, aerobics, stretching and spinning.
The Dream has personal upkeep covered as well, with hair salon services, a barber shop and teeth whitening available in the Senses Spa.
Disney may invoke wonder in youngsters, but the folks running its cruises are clear they want to deliver fun and reprieve for all ages.
"Think about how busy we (adults) are," said Yolanda Cade, vice president of Communications for Disney Signature Experiences. "We hear from a lot of our guests that they haven't been to a movie in a long time. We show first-run movies onboard, which is very special.
"Oftentimes, some of our adults guests will go and have a nice dinner, or they'll go enjoy a movie or stroll around the deck. Maybe you don't have time for a wine tasting. You're going to be able to experience that here. You can also have your hair done, you can have a massage. You can have a great time."
That's not to say that kids have little to do onboard the Disney Dream.
In fact, it's quite the opposite.
And for the kids: Gaming, crafts and characters
Venues for children and teen-agers cover parts of three decks, with the largest located on Deck 5.
These include Disney's Oceaneer Club, Disney's Oceaneer Lab, and It's a Small World Nursery.
The Oceaneer Club, for ages 3-12, features multi-themed magical lands where kids can interact with Disney characters, work on craft projects, watch movies and play games.
Themed play spaces include Andy’s Room, with characters from Disney Pixar's "Toy Story"; Disney Infinity Game Room; Pixie Hollow, featuring characters from "Peter Pan"; and "Star Wars: Millennium Falcon."
The Oceaneer Club also features a Magic PlayFloor, an interactive floor composed of 32 high-definition displays.
It allows up to 32 kids — or 16 adults — to gather around the edges and interact with video games that unfold on the screens by using their feet or hands.
Reluctant to make a late jump into gaming? During our tour, Disney staffers led guests in a variety of games on the Magic PlayFloor. But guests were free to explore the various play spaces on their own.
I was impressed by all of them, and I expect my Disney-loving kids would agree.
Next door to Disney's Oceaneer Club is Disney's Oceaneer Lab, which is also open to kids ages 3-12.
An interactive space where youngsters can play games and perform experiments, it includes an animator's studio, craft studio, media room and Playmation area.
It's a Small World Nursery is available to infants and toddlers ages 6 months to 3 years. Activities include games, movies and crafts.
Also available to younger guests aboard the Disney Dream is the Edge, an activity center for tweens where they can watch movies, play games, enjoy arts and crafts and take part in ship-wide scavenger hunts.
The Vibe is a teen-exclusive space that features a high-tech media room, talent shows, karaoke contests, dance competitions and an outdoor sundeck.
For the whole family: Broadway, movie premieres on the high seas
There are plenty of other activities aboard the Disney Dream that can be enjoyed by both adults and kids.
Want a theater experience? Disney has that too at the Walt Disney Theatre on Decks 3 and 4, which showcases a production of "Beauty and the Beast," as well as variety acts and 3D movies.
"We offer Broadway-caliber theater," a Disney Cruise Line representative told me. "It's our bread and butter."
Don't worry about missing the theater premiere of a Disney movie while on this cruise: The ship's theater allows guests to attend a film's nationwide opening at the same time it debuts onshore.
We also stopped by Animator's Palate dining room. The 80-seat restaurant not only serves up meals that includes Pacific Island fare, Asian cooking and California cuisine, but also offers a unique dinner show starring Disney characters.
"I think the biggest thing about Disney Cruise Lines — and people are often surprised to know — is that there's something for everyone onboard our ships," Cade noted. "Truly, every member of the family has a great time. Our guests may think that being a Disney cruise, they can take their kids and they're going to have a great time. But the adults will have a great time too."
A cruise can range in price from just over $500 per person to more than $1,500 per person depending on the room, the length of the cruise and when you're traveling.
Though we've cruised before and my boys enjoy it. My daughter, now 24, has been the lone holdout. She's not a fan of the beach or pools and she's avoided cruises until now. But she's big into Star Wars and many other Disney titles. This time she said she may make an exception.
For information on Disney Cruise Lines excursions from Miami, visit disneycruise.disney.go.com/ports/miami-florida.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Disney Dream cruise moves to PortMiami, closer to Palm Beach County