Thursday, 27 January 2011

Sampling Some Dream Entertainment

OK, so we've checked out the ship, looked at the accommodations, been wowed by the Concierge level and sampled much of the cuisine and restaurant offerings. Now it's time to see what makes Disney Dream tick in terms of the onboard entertainment.

And the simple answer is - high quality shows. The not-so-simple answer is - an amazing array and variety of live productions, music and nightlife, WAY too much, in fact, for just a 3 or 4-day cruise (which will be the Dream's stick in trade).

The 1,340-seat Walt Disney Theatre is the main focal point for all the big production musical offerings, 3 Broadway-style (and quality) shows in a grand setting, with lashings of Disney style and some superb staging.

The 3 shows are The Golden Mickeys (an 'awards' type show that is basically a look at Disney's greatest hits, film and music-wise), Disney's Believe (another rollicking musical that incorporates more great well-known songs and set-pieces, including the Beauty and the Beast, and The Princess and The Frog, as well as The Genie from Aladdin and many other beloved Disney characters), and Villains Tonight (which we didn't get to see, unfortunately, but then there's only SO much you can squeeze into two days!).

The 3-level, art deco Theatre, with its orchestra and balcony seating, provides a beautiful setting for these big-production stagings, and there is usually an element of pre-show as well, utilising the big video screens either side of the huge stage.

More entertainment, this time of a cinematic and lecture-based kind, is on offer at the Buena Vista Theatre, which is basically identical to the versions on the Disney Magic and Wonder, while The D-Lounge adds a venue for family-style games and quizzes like Family Fusion and Anyone Can cook, and The District is the centre of the adults-only nightlife options.

This latter consists of five separate lounges and nighclubs offering a terrific variety of settings and moods for a grown-up evening out. The District Lounge is a piano bar casual pre or post-dinner drink; 687 is the ship's Sports Bar; Pink is a hugle stylised cocktail bar themed like being inside a bottle of pink champagne (if that isn't too bizarre); Skyline is one of the Dream's standout locations, a hugely imaginative bar/lounge that has six different famous cityscapes (that actively change every 15 minutes) as its backdrops through picture 'windows' behind the bar. It's the kind of thing that only Disney can do, and it's well worth seeing, if not staying for a cocktail or two (as even the menus are illuminated from within when you open them!); and Evolution is the high-energy dance club, a fairly large and dark disco that 'transforms' itself like a butterfly with plenty of light-induced imagery as guests are invoted to 'spread their wings' and party. This is also the venue for live comedy and cabaret acts.

The other big entertainment feature of note is the lively deck party vibe for both sailaway and final night on each cruise. Sailing Away is a fun, family-style party featuring Mickey and the gang to set the mood for the start of every cruise. For the grand final, there is a three-stage deck show that begins with the child-friendly Mickey's Pirates IN The Caribbean (with lots of character-induced fun and games; see pic above), the Buccaneer Blast (Disney's signature fireworks-at-sea show, a one-of-a-kind event that actually puts on a pyrotechnic extravaganza from the top decks of the ship) and Club Pirate, a show-cum-party finale, with Captain Jack Sparrow and a cast of villains making an entertaining appearance and giving way to on-deck dancing and general party amusements.

It all adds up to a truly mind-boggling array of rich and varied entertainment, certainly enough to keep the whole family (and especially mum and dad on their own, when it comes to The District area) amused for the full duration of any cruise. Once again, Disney Cruise Line has created something of a marvel.

The only drawback to my mind is - how are people going to fit it all in?!