On Thursday, February 24, my family and I set sail aboard the Disney "Dream" for a cruise to Nassau and Castaway Cay for my oldest son's wedding. He and his bride were to be married on Disney's private island, Castaway Cay on Saturday, February 26th.
I really don't even know where to begin. I suppose I'll start with the good things first, although it's going to be a sadly short list.
My son and new daughter-in-law were married. She looked gorgeous in a breathtaking gown, and he looked so handsome I had trouble believing he sprang from my loins. I cried until I was soggy, happy tears for the both of them.
The best time I had on the cruise was sitting with my family for a few minutes here and there, enjoying the sea air.
That's it. That's all the good news I have.
From here, it only goes down hill.
Seriously, so many things went wrong on this cruise that I can barely remember all of them, so I'll stick to the highlights.
They are, in no particular order:
On Thursday night, my youngest son, a groomsman in the wedding, got a stomachache. Being a responsible person, he went to the ship's infirmary to see if he could get some medication so that he wouldn't be sick during the wedding, which was to take place on Saturday.
They quarantined him. Evidently, there was some sort of parasitic virus onboard, and even though the doctor concluded my son didn't have it, they quarantined him anyway, the equivalent of house arrest. He couldn't leave his cabin for twenty-four hours, missing meals and the entire day at Nassau. His roommate, however, was not moved to another cabin (although the ship had vacancies)and was free to come and go as he pleased, spreading whatever germs my son had around the ship. What sort of quarantine is that?
We saw a crew member (in the food court area, no less!) sit at a table in the guest area, sweating profusely and coughing. He laid his head down on the table, and didn't wipe or disinfect it when he left.
I guess only the guests are contagious. Not the crew.
My stepdaughter ordered a croissant at breakfast the last day. She was the last to be served, and her croissant never arrived. When she inquired after it, she was told by her waiter that the Board of Health had boarded the ship and they'd had to throw out all their breads. Really? Now you tell us, after the rest of the party had eaten your croissants?
Crew members fought with each other in the middle of the dining area, yelling back and forth.
There was no food presentation at all, and only two places to get food if you weren't going to the formal dinners. Both closed up shop early, leaving hungry passengers with no alternative but to order the awful -- and severely limited -- food from room service.
Most of the food on ship was atrocious. I couldn't eat any of my meal on Friday night because if was so awful, and I was never asked if I wanted something else, even though my plates went back to the kitchen in almost the same condition in which they were served.
There was only one smoking area on board the ship. It was tiny, inconvenient to reach, and without any cover at all, so those in the party who smoked had to do so under the hot sun.
Disney advertises fireworks every night, but only set them off once.
Time docked at ports of call were so short, you barely had any time to do anything.The ship left Nassau at 7pm and Castaway Cay at 5!
Crew members (with the exception of our server, Katrin, and head server, Kurt) were consistently rude and unhelpful. We met one woman who was nearly in tears because she was lost and couldn't find her cabin. She'd been searching for it for a half an hour, and no crew member she encountered would take her to it.
Now for some of the wedding horrors:
The Disney wedding planner my daughter-in-law originally had when she booked the wedding left midstream, and the replacement planner was so uninformed and useless that, no matter how many times my daughter-in-law tried to get information, she was given no specifics about the wedding ceremony until two weeks before we sailed!
The bride ordered breakfast for the groom and groomsmen to be delivered to the best man's cabin. She called the order in from her suite, but was very clear where the order was to be delivered. The order never arrived, because room service decided it was a prank. When the maid of honor called to find out what happened, the room service crew member yelled at her and told her it was her fault.
During the wedding ceremony, there was no runner for the bride to walk down. There was no cover for any of the guests (we had to sit under the broiling sun).
There was no one to direct the bridal party down the aisle.
The minister's mike didn't work for part of the ceremony.
The bride and groom made CDs of music they specifically wanted the DJ to play during the ceremony, but he didn't play a single song from either of them. This was especially hurtful, since the songs had deep meaning for both the bride and groom.
The bride and groom requested that the entire wedding party (there were 42 of us) be seated together during the formal dinners. This never happened the first or second night. On the night before the wedding, she made a point of seeking out the maitre 'd, and asking again that we be seated together, especially on Saturday since it was her wedding night. Despite assurances that this would happen, Disney again screwed up. the entire wedding party was seated together...except for the bride, groom, and attendants. They were seated four tables away from everyone else. The maitre 'd not only refused to help the bride and groom, he responded that it was "his dining room," meaning he could do anything he damn well pleased. This stiff-neck SOB then proceeded to shun the entire wedding party, never stopping at any of our tables to see if all was well with our meals.
Like I said, these are only the things I can remember off the top of my head.
I am most upset about how many times Disney dropped the ball on the wedding. This was a once in a lifetime thing for my son and daughter-in-law, and even though they are deliriously happy together, I know they were disappointed and frustrated on what should have been the happiest day of their lives.
Shame on you, Disney. You're all hype, and deliver nothing. Zilch. Nada.
My advice? Do NOT sail with Disney. I've cruised many times before, and this was by far the worst cruise I've ever set sail on.