One of the coolest things about climbing aboard the Disney Dream was finally getting to try out the Disney Cruise Line App. I found it enormously, super extremely helpful in making the trip go off without a hitch. I’ve outlined the functionality of the app below, and since I’ve never actually been on a cruise without the app, I asked Dan from At Disney Again to weigh in at the end on how the app changed his experience aboard Disney Cruise Lines. As always, you can click to embiggen any of the screenshots. They’re all from my iPhone 6.
Find Your Way Around
The app is loaded with location information as well as graphic maps of the ship … this was so invaluable for me because—though I studied the ship map beforehand—I had a bit of trouble finding my way around. Especially on the upper decks, where some levels are smaller or sectioned off.
Sure, there’s the Personal Navigator, and I for real read it every night before bed. But I didn’t want to carry the Navigator around with me everywhere, which is why the detailed information available in the app was so helpful as I moved from activity to activity. It was also helpful for spur-of-the-moment plans, like when we decided to visit the Onboard Sales Desk one evening … the app told us when they were open!
Not only does the app list the locations and hours for all of the quick service window, bars and the buffet, but it also has menus listed for all of the Main Dining Rooms. I loved being able to peruse the menu and start to think about what I might like for dinner …
This was a game changer. Each character meeting has its own page with location and hours AND a little heart icon (you can see it in the Captain’s Signing page above). Clicking the heart icon fills the activity in red and then—this is the best part—the app sends you a friendly little alert 15 minutes before the event begins. So you can decide if you’d rather head over to meet with Pirate Minnie or catch a showing of Villains Tonight.
Chat with Friends
I didn’t know about or expect this feature, but it turned out to be really cool once we were on board. When we separated, it was easy to reconnect and find each other, and we were able to keep in touch even as we enjoyed our own adventures. (Below, you can see I complained to Dan when a woman at the pool showed up wearing the same bathing suit as me. Pool foul!) I literally have no idea how we would have made the cruise work without being able to quickly, easily and effectively communicate with each other. (I know the old Communicators did this … but I mean, before them … how did anyone do it?)
Ports of Call
Each day we docked at a port, the app provided us with plenty of details about where we were and what there was to do there. It was a nice touch, and it also helped keep us connected with what was going on outside of our pre-arranged excursions, so we could hop on another activity or event if something ended early or in our un-planned time.
This was sad. I hated looking at the app and seeing that there were no planned events for Debarkation day. But it was extremely useful to have all the necessary information—including our breakfast assignment!–as we packed up and prepared to head back to dry land.
On to Dan’s thoughts …
I thought the app was just great! We didn’t have to waste time by sitting around and highlighting and trying to coordinate over the Navigator. And we didn’t have to carry the Navigator around and pull it out and unfold and read it if we found a character line was too long. We still relied on the Navigator, but the app made it a lot easier to make decisions on the fly, if something ended early or was too crowded. On my first cruise, I feel like sometimes I opted not to do anything at all because I forgot my Navigator or just didn’t feel like deciphering the timeline.
These days, when I open the DCL app, I see a fairly happy sight … even though I’m not still aboard the Dream.
Have you used the DCL app? Let me know what you thought in the comments!