Sharing a recap of our 7-night Mediterranean cruise (Italy and Greece) on the Disney Dream! This is not sponsored (I wish, lol), but I’m excited to share our experience.
They have a handy little trick when you’re on board a Disney cruise: you have the option to book a placeholder for a future cruise at a slight discount. This way, when you get off the ship, it’s slightly less depressing because you know you’ll be on another one soon. We got off the Disney Dream in Rome a few weeks ago, and already, we can’t wait for our next Disney cruise.
This was Disney cruise #4 (we’ve done Alaska, Bahamas, and Mexico), and it was our favorite one. It was a combination of the destinations plus the larger ship, which was a literal Dream.
(We also got to enjoy Rome on either side of our cruise! You can read about our Rome adventures here.)
7-night Disney Dream European cruise
We arrived at the Civitavecchia port via a private car that the hotel booked fo us, and it was the quickest and most seamless boarding experience. By 1:30pm, we were at the pool, watching the kiddos swim and drinking cocktails with friends. (A pro tip from one of our good friends: pack your swim gear in a tote bag and check everything else. Your room won’t be ready yet, so you can head straight to the pool. It’s the least busy it will be for the entire trip and after a couple of hours, your room will be ready with all of your luggage waiting for you outside the door.)
We had lunch from Cabanas (the buffet) and ate it by the pool, checked out our room, and then got changed for the Muster Drill, Sail-A-Wave party and dinner.
On Disney cruises, you’re on a dining rotation. You get the early (6pm) or late (8pm) seating, and alternate restaurants each evening. You can opt out of your more formal dining to have a quick bite or room service instead, but no matter what, your table will be waiting for you. You also have the same server and assistant server each night. We had the early seating, and dined at all of the major restaurants. The menus were all very similar to previous cruises and was the beautifully-plated Disney fare we love. 🙂
You can also order whatever you want. You can pick from their 4-course menu, or if you’d like, order two appetizers, two entrees, etc. In a Disney Cruise Facebook group, a suggestion was to ask the server to ask the cooks if they’d mind making a family-style meal from their home country. They said they’ve had the best Indian food and curries of their lives this way, along with naan and rice. We haven’t tried this yet – I feel bad that we’d be inconveniencing them – but I’ve been curious about trying it.
Our favorite is Animator’s Palate, which they have on all of the ships we’ve seen (Dream, Wonder, and Magic). You draw a person on your placemat, and during the meal, they have a *show* in which all of animations come to life on large screens throughout the restaurant, dancing to the music, and added to famous Disney scenes.
On this particular cruise, we stopped in Naples, Mykonos, Santorini, and Chania, and we had planned excursions in Naples and Mykonos. The rest of the time we enjoying exploring the ports on our own and living our best cruise lives on the ship.
Excursion 1: Positano, Sorrento, and Pompeii
This was about a 10-hour excursion, which was definitely a long one for the kiddos, but so worth it. Also, in the middle, we were treated to an epic 4-course meal with wine pairings, overlooking the ocean.
Positano is one of my favorite places in the entire world, so of course, I couldn’t wait to show the girls. I only wish that we had more time there! We had the chance to get a chocolate croissant and coffee, put our feet in the ocean (it was so warm and lovely), and do a little bit of shopping. (Highly recommend Luisa Positano! Liv and I each got dresses from there and they’re so gorgeous and unique.) It was probably a good thing that we were on limited time, because I wanted to buy everything. 😉
After Positano, we were back on the bus for a longer stop in Sorrento. It was my first time in Sorrento and while it had the Positano feel, it was a bit more bustling, especially on the main street. We shopped and walked around, grabbed a gelato, and then met with our tour group for an Italian meal that I’ll never forget.
This is where we had the famous zucchini pasta, along with chicken, salad, bread, and a chocolate hazelnut mousse dessert.
The meal was paired with sparkling wine, white wine, red wine, and a dessert wine. Pretty much everyone in our tour group snoozed for the entire ride to Pompeii.
Pompeii was SO cool. It was fascinating to see such a well-preserved ancient city, in addition to the various aspects of life in Pompeii, like the bakery, bathhouses, etc. By this point, the kids were pretty tired, but they rallied! We learned a lot during the guided tour, and from here, it was only 45 minutes back to the cruise ship.
Excursion 2: Super Paradise Beach Day in Mykonos
This was our favorite excursion. Super Paradise Beach is a private beach club, with relaxing loungers, umbrellas, a full menu, and a peaceful beach with bright, turquoise waters. It’s also partially blocked from the intense winds that can affect Mykonos.
The funny thing was that our Naples excursion was so time-specific – we knew exactly when we needed to be back on the bus or at a certain meeting point- and for this beach excursion, the guide was like, “Eh. Have fun and I’ll let you know when we need to get ready to leave.”
We ended up being there for about 3 hours, which was the perfect amount of time. We all swam, the girls played in the sand and waves, and we proceeded to order half of the things on the menu.
(My fave Vuori suit)
A sandwich was included with our excursion, but I’m petty sure our Greek friends would disown us if we ate a turkey sandwich in their homeland.
Before we left, they gave us a list of everything to order while we were in Greece. The Pilot wrote down everything phonetically so we’d be able to pronounce it, like, “Gotta lotta booty yo.” I think we made them proud; we tried almost everything they suggested between our time in Mykonos and Chania. The food was out of this world incredible. So fresh, vibrant, and delicious. I highly, highly recommend the pastitsio, which is like a spaghetti lasagna with cheesy foam on top.
(We also had grilled octopus, salad, cooked garlicky greens, stuffed grape leaves, beef patties, and little doughnuts)
In Santorini, we didn’t end up doing much. It’s where you can see the famous white buildings with the blue domes in Oia, but it was so hot, and the kids were melting. It’s kind of an unusual port, too. You take a smaller tender boat to the base of the port, where you take a cable car up the steep hill to the town of Fira (lots of shopping and restaurants). You can also walk up stairs to the top, but there are 400+, which may not be realistic for small children or those with mobility difficulties. Our plan was to take the cable car UP, but walk down the stairs at the end of the day.
The cable car line tends to be extremely long, without much shade. The line was easily 200+ when we got there and moving very slowly. The girls were wearing their neck fans and we were constantly pouring water on them, and they were too hot, so we ended up heading back.
If you’re stopping in Santorini in mid-June or July, I’d recommend booking an excursion with motor coach transfer so you don’t have to deal with the cable car line. Or bring lots of water + an umbrella, or brave the stairs!
(I had an iced tea at the cafe at the bottom of the port. I mentioned this in a previous post, but the iced tea in Greece is INSANE. Whether it’s brewed in-house, or in a can, it’s truly something special. Many flavors are infused with lemongrass, ginger, or fruit, like cherry, and lightly sweet and refreshing. Who knew I’d dream about Greece iced tea forever and ever??)
The owner also brought us shots of ouza with our bill, ice creams for everyone, and sent us back to the ship with a giant piece of baklava to-go.
In Chania, we ended up exploring on our own, which was ideal. We followed a tour guide group into Old Town, which was lined with small shops, kiosks, restaurants, and a gorgeous view of the bay.
We bought souvenirs and jewelry, and had another legendary lunch + more of the best idea tea.
(The sardines were SO zesty and flavorful)
Disney Cruise Dream dining and activities
On the ship, we enjoyed all of the usual Disney cruise offerings: the live shows – Beauty and the Beast was phenomenal – movies, character greetings, Bingo, gym, kid’s club, swimming, endless ice cream cones and Mickey bars, whiskey tastings, and all of the wonderful restaurants.
The best part was that we traveled with friends. The girls had built-in buddies, and so did the adults 😉 It definitely makes the experience even more fun!
Disney really goes above and beyond when it comes to guest experience, cleanliness, and food quality. If you guys have any questions about the Disney cruise experience, please let me know!
(the best cruise ship magnets are on Etsy!)
So, tell me, friends: are you a cruise fan or not-so-much? Have you done a Disney cruise??
Trying to figure out which one we should do next!!
*All of the dresses in this post are from Nuuly! I’ve had hit and miss experiences with them, but the dresses for this trip were all great