I’ll start this page by reiterating just how impressed we are with the maintenance standards and show quality on Disney Cruise Line. This is right up there with Tokyo Disney Resort, and head and shoulders above Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
The cool thing about this as a Disney fan (at least I think so) is that a lot of this maintenance happens in plain view of guests. Most of it does occur at off hours, but if you’re up early for sunrise, you’ll encounter numerous maintenance crew members repainting, varnishing, and just cleaning the ship. It’s a neat ‘behind the scenes’ look at something that would usually occur after hours at the parks.
I don’t consider this ‘poor show’ because it’s out of necessity. The cruise ships have so little down time between cruises that, in order to maintain these standards, preventative refurbishment work necessarily must occur during cruises.
Honestly, I wouldn’t consider this ‘poor show’ if it occurred in plain sight at the parks. I think maintenance and upkeep send a message to guests of quality standards, and are also a signal for how to behave. If people see overflowing trash cans, they don’t hesitate about adding to mess. If they see Cast Members meticulously maintaining the environment, they behave similarly. I suppose you could call this a theme park corollary to the broken windows theory.
I thought it’d be appropriate to share my thoughts on the high level of maintenance on Disney Cruise Line to underscore how important this is to me as a guest, and also “offset” what might seem like an inordinate amount of quibbles I’ve shared in this cruise report. Quibbles I’ve made despite this being an exceptional cruise.
After getting back on the ship, we immediately started wandering around. Aside from Midship Detective Agency and a few efforts at photographing the sunset and sunrise, we hadn’t done much in the way of wandering.
These ships are beautiful environments, and part of what I enjoy about a Disney cruise is simply walking around the ship.
Disney Cruise Line doesn’t have quite the same luxury of space as the parks, so you see a lot of functional areas that it’s difficult to theme. Yet, they still look great and have a bygone ocean liner vibe to them.
Above is a perfect example of the regular maintenance aboard Disney Cruise Line. Maybe as a geek for this type of thing I’m unduly obsessed with it, but I love seeing this.
We were incredibly hungry, so we made a stop at Flo’s for some light items before dinner.
This ended up being our first, and only, okay meal on the Disney Dream.
I also had another round of ice cream. I haven’t shared every single time I had ice cream (and for some reason didn’t take photos), but I had a shockingly large number of them. It’s a good thing(?) soft serve is mostly made of chemicals and other stuff I’d rather not think about, because I probably would’ve gotten milk poisoning (the kind you get from too much milk too quickly, not the kind that comes from sick cows) were it primarily dairy.
After eating, we continued walking around the deck…
The sunset was once again a dud, but we still had a great time wandering the ship and enjoying the fading afternoon sunlight.
Yeah, I know I have a ton of photos of the funnels, but I just love the style. I really hope Disney Cruise Line never changes its logo. Its timeless and brilliant…just like the Disneyland logo, original (and current, again) Walt Disney World logo, and old Disney Vacation Club logo.
In fact, I cannot think of a single situation that Disney improved upon a logo with a redesign. It always seems to occur as an attempt by a new “leader” to “modernize.” (Air quotes in both cases.) This is fundamentally misguided; Disney is a classic company, not some hip startup.
All in all, it was an incredible day on Castaway Cay and back aboard the ship. It was also a really long day, but with this being our last night on the Disney Dream, we wanted to savor the experience as long as possible. We’ll be back with the final installment of this Disney Cruise Line report tomorrow, which will cover the rest of our final evening aboard the Disney Dream.
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What do you think of Castaway Cay? Where does it rank among the ports where Disney Cruise Line stops? Would you rather visit it, or a more culturally-rich, non-Disney port (or is a mix of both ideal)? Have you done the Castaway Cay 5K? Any thoughts on maintenance on the Disney Cruise Line or anything else we’ve covered in this cruise report? Any other tips to add or recommendations? If you have questions or thoughts, please share them below and we’ll try to respond!