Part 2! Yahoo! And with that, we are already one exclamation point over our one-exclamation-point-per-post limit!
Guest rooms on the Disney Cruise Line are scheduled to be ready at 1:30pm. Until then, guests arriving earlier tend to hang out on one of the top decks, lounging at the pool, eating at the Cabanas lunch buffet, or acting like Josh by repeating, “Is it time yet? Is it time yet? Is it time yet?” while you try to get your tan on. If you prefer to stay inside, the bars and public areas should be open and welcoming.
ROPE DROP! Out of our way, kid.
Our room on the Dream was 9078, category 4A, which is a Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah. Stateroom categories range from 4A-11C in addition to the three Concierge categories (R – Royal Suite with Verandah, T – Concierge 1-Bedroom Suite with Verandah, and V – Concierge Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah). A higher number in these categories indicates a larger room and its corresponding letter indicates which deck the stateroom will be located (A being on the higher decks, E on the lower ones).
This room measures 299 square feet including the verandah and can theoretically sleep 5. Take into account that like most cruise lines, Disney includes the square footage of the balcony in its single measurement. The queen size bed is raised about 1 1/2 feet off the ground for convenient luggage storage.
A cleverly disguised “bunk bed.” The couch converts to a twin-sized bed and the other bed is hidden in the ceiling, which your Stateroom Host/Hostess will pull down nightly while you enjoy dinner, should you need it. The ladder is stored in the closet. Also seen here are the curtains that you can pull together to separate the sleep area from the couch area for extra privacy at night. It also keeps some of that bright Bahamian sunshine out.
One last sleeping area, a Murphy bed that can be pulled down at night as well.
Across from the couch/Murphy bed is the TV, a desk and vanity, and an abundance of drawers and cabinet space.
The televisions on the Dream and Fantasy have virtually every single Disney movie EVER available on demand. Disney movies currently in theaters and those that have been released on DVD recently are shown at set times in one of the theaters.
And if you’re not up for going to the theater for the nightly show, they play them on one of the channels in the staterooms as well.
Here’s what will be waiting for you on your desk.
The blue book on the left is full of important cruise info…
…including the absolutely indispensable Room Service Menu. Everything on this menu is complimentary, apart from the Snacks, and Wines & Beverages Packages. Your service staff always appreciate a tip. While soda is free in the dining rooms and upper decks, there is a charge when room service brings a can to your door. Conversely, bars charge $1.95 for juice, while it’s free from room service. If anything is unclear, just call and ask.
Since Nassau was our first port of call, this Nassau Shopping Map was also left for us on the desk. So thoughtful.
If you booked any excursions in any of the ports, those tickets will be waiting for you as well.
Dinner tickets will let you know your dining rotation, your seating time (5:45 for early seating, 8:15 for late seating), and your assigned table number.
Inside one of the drawers is a hair dryer, which includes diffuser and concentrator attachments. These can also be found on the Magic and the Fantasy, but the Wonder still has the old bulky ones attached to the wall in the bathroom as of early January. This might have changed during its dry dock late last month.
Lastly, the Wave Phone.
This would be pretty useful for families but we did not get much use out of them as I don’t let Josh out of my sight.
The alarm clock sits on one of the nightstands and can be used as a music player and charger for the iPhone 4 and older iPods. It is not able to accommodate the iPhone 5 unless you bring an adapter, and even then I’m not sure that it would fit.
The phone sits on the other nightstand. There are no designated buttons for Guest Services, Room Service, etc., but you can dial 0 for a full menu of extension numbers for anyone you might need to call from your stateroom. Just press “1″ to connect to your trusty room service steward.
The coffee table also opens for more storage.
The fridge is directly underneath the TV.
The verandah was very comfortable with two people. If you have adjoining rooms, you can adjust that white wall and pull it back to make one long verandah. If you do not, be ready to get friendly with your next door neighbors because you will hear every word they have to say.
Declining by degrees.
One of the great things about DCL is the split bathrooms in all of the rooms aside from the Standard Inside Staterooms. This is the first room with just a sink and a toilet.
The counter and shelves allow for a bit of storage in here, but not a huge amount. I brought a hanging toiletry bag and hung it on one of the hooks in the other bathroom.
The second bathroom has an additional sink and a shower. Some rooms will have a shower/tub combo.
Plenty of room in these showers though. They have both a handheld shower head and a rain shower head (not pictured because Josh is unprofessional). Josh Edit: Hunny! So rude!
For the sake of comparison, we will take a quick look at a Standard Inside Stateroom on the newly “reimagined” Magic.
This is more like a Hollywood Studios rope drop circa 2009.
We were assigned room 7123 this time, category 11A, which is a Standard Inside Stateroom (11) on one of the higher decks (A). One of the biggest benefits of being on a higher deck is the proximity to the buffet restaurant, pool decks, spa/fitness center, and sports area. You may also find that higher decks offer better views and some say they feel less rockiness higher up. On the other hand, being one floor underneath the top decks may bring additional noise.
At 184 square feet, the inside rooms are quite a bit tighter than a Deluxe Family with Verandah.
Doable with two people, but four or even three adults might be too cramped. Two adults and one child would personally be my limit. However, if you’re not planning on spending much time in the room or the price is significantly lower than a larger room and you’d rather spend that money elsewhere, it might be worth considering.
Our room did not have a pull-down bed, but some will. Every stateroom on the ship (except the category R and T suites) will have a sofa that converts to a bed.
Curtains to separate the bed from the living area.
Since this was our second cruise, we were considered Silver Castaway Club members and received our first Castaway Club gifts. Josh Edit: Holllllaaaaaaaa!!!!
Unfortunately, they will only give you one set of gifts per stateroom, even if there are more than one Club member staying in the room. Luckily Josh was generous enough to let me have them, provided I carry around his fifteen pounds of camera equipment in this tote bag. But he would have made me do that anyway. What a deal. While the welcome letter promises a backpack and “all the items inside it,” everyone on the ship received the grey tote bag.
Awwwww. A flexible magnetic white board and pen is included inside the tote. We also received two “silver” lanyards upon check-in at the terminal.
The desk/vanity is much shorter in length than the one in the verandah room, but still provides lots of storage and drawer space.
The room includes all of the same paperwork that was found on our first day on the Dream, and also has Wave phones waiting for you.
The refrigerator is more of a cooling box. We used our ice bucket to keep our champagne cold when it was opened for consumption.
Said champagne. #boozecruise
The phones were not replaced during the “reimagination” but they work fine and include the buttons to directly call whomever you’re trying to contact.
I will also point out that the staterooms on the Magic do not have alarm clocks (or any clocks for that matter) so if you’d like to know what time it is in your room, bring a watch, cell phone, or travel alarm clock.
The closet had plenty of room for the two of us, and includes a safe with a passcode you set for yourself (as does the Dream).
I brought more clothes than any human being would ever need for 2 weeks, let alone 5 days, but we were both provided with plenty of hangers.
There’s really no way around it, the bathroom was tiny.
The shower is almost uncomfortable. It’s very short and I can’t imagine a child over 4 being able to bathe in that teeny tub. The only shower head is a handheld one – no rain shower head. There was much more space in the shower on the Dream to put your shampoo, soap, etc. I had to balance my 3 little travel sized bottles on the ledges of this bathtub, but they did fit.
Old hairdryer in the bathroom.
New hairdryer in the desk drawer! Thank goodness.
One last thing to note about the inside rooms on the Magic and Wonder vs. the ones on the Dream and Fantasy is that the newer ships (Dream and Fantasy) have a “Magical Porthole,” which is an LCD flat-screen monitor that shows real-time views of the outside of the ship, streaming from live video being taken on your corresponding ship location (port or starboard).