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Disney Dream Cruise Ship Concierge Cabin 12506 Review
Okay, friends. I feel I owe this post a trusty ‘ol Mama Cheaps disclaimer, because there’s nothing “cheap” about this post’s content! LOL!
If you are Mama CHEAPS, WHY do you spend money on expensive STUFF, like Starbucks? Disney trips? Organic this and that? The Answer: The answer is that Mama Cheaps knows that by saving money on the things she HAS to buy, she frees up money to spend on things that she WANTS to buy!! 95% of my kids’ wardrobes come from consignment sales, we budget grocery shop at ALDI, we meal plan, we play the coupon game at CVS. In doing all of these things and more on a consistent basis, we DO free up more money to spend on some of life’s “wants” that are clearly not “needs.” :)
New for 2015 we have actually started a formal vacation budget because we realize that our love for traveling isn’t going to dissipate anytime soon. We now put money away every month to save for our next trip. This lets us be proactive about our trip expenses – paying them before the trip instead of paying it off after getting home. I’m not going to kid you – sometimes it’s not easy putting that money away. But come trip time, we’re always happy that we planned head!
After that nice wordy intro, let’s get to that post, shall we? In February 2015 we went on a 3-night Bahamas cruise on the Disney Dream. We sailed from Port Canaveral, FL with stops in Nassau and Castaway Cay. I will write a whole big post with pictures and details of the cruise itself. This post is actually helping to lay the groundwork for my overall cruise review post.
This year we went big. We booked Concierge level service via Cabin 12506, a one-bedroom suite. We knew that with two kids (one still in a Pack ‘n Play), the more space, the better. Suites are often a way to get more spacious accommodations on a ship. Because we were only on a short, 3 night cruise AND we sailed during off-peak season (late February), our rate was lower. As I mentioned above, we budgeted for this trip and paid it off a little at a time.
Last year we had a balcony stateroom on the Disney Magic. We had a blast and knew it would not be the last Disney Cruise we went on. Also during that trip, we had the chance to chat with fellow cruisers, several who were staying in the Concierge suites. Every single one of them said that the service was unbelievable and worth the money. So we started saving our pennies to try it out ourselves.
First, let me give you a tour of this amazing cabin. Cabin 12506 sits forward, starboard (towards the front of the ship, on the righthand side). A unique quality of this cabin is that it sits on the bump-out on the front of the Dream. The result is a larger balcony than most of the other suites and cabins on board. We enjoyed our big balcony throughout our stay!
Walking into the cabin you are greeted with a key card holder and a temperature control panel on the wall. You must stick a key card (all cards will work, even the kids’ cards) in the holder. This activates the lights and electronics in your cabin. Seems like a great way to cut down on wasted electricity, but make sure you grab that card on your way out of your room!
When you enter the cabin, you find yourself in a decent sized hallway. (Decent by cruise ship standards!) On the right are a small bathroom and two closets. On the left is ANOTHER closet. Storage space is abundant in this suite!
Straight ahead is the living room and office area. The living room features a couch (that can pull out to a bed) and several chairs.
Here are the (2 of 3) closets and bathroom that you pass as you walk down the hallway to get to the living room space.
Then here is the office spot adjacent to the living room. You can see that there is a bed that pulls down from the wall. This is where Lily slept each night and we set up Landon’s Pack ‘n Play next to her bed. Not pictured but to the left is actually a door that adjoins this suite to the cabin next door – a great option if you have a bigger party/family.
Off of the living room is door one (you have two) to the extended balcony. Here’s that extra large balcony that I mentioned above.
On the other side of the living room area is a dining room. This table was awesome for many reasons – but one of the best is that it qualifies you for in-room dining services. As a Disney Cruiser, you have access to 24 hour room service no matter what category cabin you stay in.
HOWEVER. If you stay in a room or suite with a dining room/table area, you can request to dine IN YOUR ROOM for any meal. You get to order off the hot food menu (if it’s dinnertime you can order a full service dinner from one of the three dining rotation restaurants on the ship). You can also order dinner from Palo (one of two upscale dining experiences on the Dream). We enjoyed room service breakfast one morning and it was an incredible perk! No need to fight the buffet crowds upstairs. The table was beautifully set before our eyes and the food was delicious. We enjoyed our breakfast as we watched our ship dock into the port!
On the final night of our cruise, we were EXHAUSTED. The days spent at Disney Parks before we sailed were catching up with us, not to mention we were sunbaked from spending that whole day on the beach at Castaway Cay. Landon was ready for bed. Lily wanted to go to kids’ club. Bob and I were trying to pack our luggage since we were disembarking the next morning.
So instead of skipping our dining room meal that night, we ordered in. And it was delightful!
Carrying on with our tour!
So like I said, next to the living room area is the dining room area. There are doors that close around the bedroom next to the dining room. There is also a curtain that can be closed between the office area and the living room area.
The Master Bedroom sits next to the dining room area. It has a big queen sized bed, comfy mattress and a large flat screen tv. There are two big tvs in the suite (the 2nd one is in the living room area). And, as you can sort of see in this pic, there are even TVs in the MIRRORS in the bathrooms!!
The Master Bedroom has a master bath right next to it. This is the most luxurious bathroom I have ever been in on a cruise ship. Honestly, it’s nicer than MOST hotel room bathrooms that I have seen!
Beautiful jetted tub, shower with the most pampering rainfall showerhead I have ever had the pleasure of showering under.
The toilet was separated by a door and this bathroom also boasted dual sinks. Let’s not forget the TV in the mirror (there’s a pic of me putting on my makeup while watching Saving Mr. Banks, because, well, I could). AND OF COURSE, one of the best parts of a Disney Cruise in my opinion… THE PRODUCTS!! LOVE THEM!
Here is the view looking back at at the living room area from the master bedroom.
And here’s the view looking from the living room area back down the hallway to the cabin door.
This was our second Disney Cruise, and after you go on your first, you are considered a Castaway Club member. We received this awesome wet bag/tote bag on our bed upon boarding!
Another perk of Cabin 12506 as far as location on the ship goes, was that we could see the fireworks display right off our balcony! The kids were exhausted by the time 10 pm rolled around and we put Landon to bed. Lily put her pjs on and we took her outside to watch the fireworks. This was a quiet alternative to the Pirate Deck Party that happens right before the fireworks.
Moving right along! Let’s talk DISNEY CRUISE LINE CONCIERGE. What are some of the perks, services and amenities that you can enjoy?
It’s important to note – your concierge experience will vary by ship. The bigger ships (Dream, Fantasy) have a Concierge Lounge. This lounge is open from, I believe, 7 am to 10 pm daily and offers snacks, non-alcoholic drinks, 2 nightly (FREE) happy hours with top shelf liquor, a FULL SERVICE GUEST SERVICES desk run by your concierge staff. Take note of that last perk – no need to stand in line upstairs settling your balance, booking port excursions, etc. They can even secure tickets to character meet and greets and they can get those Disney Cruise Line autographs on items you bring to get signed!
On the smaller ships in the fleet (Magic, Wonder) there is no lounge and your Concierge staff brings amenities to you in your cabin. I can’t compare the two, as we did not cruise Concierge last year on the Magic, but I imagine each one has benefits and drawbacks.
Here are some pictures of the Disney Dream Concierge Lounge. This lounge is just a short walk from most concierge cabins and is located on Deck 12. You must swipe your cabin key card to gain access.
The Concierge Lounge had a $20,000 espresso machine in it. It made delicious lattes, cafe americanos, espressos, etc. You’d better believe I got my money’s worth out of this baby.
Throughout our cruise, we were treated to little surprises from our Concierge Staff. Everything from a big limited edition Disney lithograph print to a plate of cookies in our room to arcade gift cards for each kid.
We also enjoyed the happy hour each night and picked up drinks before dinner, taking them right into the restaurant with us.
One afternoon we had an exclusive private character meet and greet that was open only to Concierge guests. The kids got a kick out of meeting Pirate Daisy Duck!
You could most certainly argue that the “freebies” were not truly free – as you pay for Concierge level service. And I would agree with that observation. I’d also add that we LOVE the kind of service that Disney Concierge offers. We work hard, we’re on vacation, we want to be pampered…. and so we’re willing to work that cost into our budget.
I think that Conciege is something travelers have a “love it or leave it” attitude towards. Some travelers will go Concierge once and will think it was worth every penny, others will decide they can live without the perks and scrap it on the next trip.
Our opinion? We loved it. We thought it was totally worth it. It’s not just about the freebies. It was about the amenities that came with our suite (like in-room dining). It was the fact that we didn’t need to wait in a single line (my time has value!!) for guest services. Our Concierge team was able to take care of every need. We learned that Concierge cabins are always cleaned and ready for guests earlier than the rest of the ship. We were in our cabin with our luggage delivered within minutes of boarding the ship. Our Concierge staff told us that Concierge cabins are always ready by 12:30 pm.
We found that ship crew members looked for cruisers carrying Concierge level key cards and would go out of their way to assist those guests quicker. For example, as we boarded the ship, we had Landon in his stroller. We needed to get to Deck 12 and the elevator was a necessity. On embarkation day on any cruise ship it can be SUCH a pain to catch an empty or even semi-empty elevator because everyone is trying to go UP. Upon seeing our key cards, a crew member secured an elevator just for us.
Concierge and Platinum level cruisers are the very first passengers allowed to board the ship. We were still checking in at the port when they opened boarding for those passengers. So when we were ready to board, a crew member personally escorted us onto the ship, passing hundreds of fellow cruisers who were not Concierge/Platinum.
All of the lines that we DID NOT have to wait in thanks to Concierge privileges saved us SO MUCH TIME. Like I said before, my time has extreme value to me… ESPECIALLY on a short 3-night cruise when every second counts!
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