25 disney cruise line silver anniversary sea window decoration disney dream bilbao

Sailing On The Disney Dream To Bilbao

This summer the Disney Dream headed to Europe for the very first time. Our very first Disney Cruise experience was on the Disney Dream in 2017. We booked a four-night Bahamian cruise, which didn’t go to plan as Ethan became ill with tonsillitis on our first night. So when we knew the Disney Dream was visiting Europe, we thought it would finally give us the perfect opportunity to explore the ship. We booked the Disney Dream to Bilbao cruise as being a four-night cruise it suited our budget. I would have loved to have sailed to Norway again but the seven-night cruise was out of our price range.

Sailing On The Disney Dream To Bilbao

We love sharing our Disney Cruise Line adventures on our blog. Make sure you visit our Disney Cruise Line Trips and Experiences post to read about all of our adventures at sea.

What Was It Like To Sail On The Disney Dream To Bilbao?

Cruising is now back to normal and all COVID restrictions have been lifted. As this was a cruise in the summer holidays and one of the more affordable ones we knew it would be busy. It was sailing at capacity so we knew the experience would be very different from our last seacation cruise. Our last cruise was also on the Disney Magic and the Disney Dream holds more people which would mean areas would be busier.

Queueing for characters was also manic on this cruise. Everyone wanted to meet them which made the queues long. So we didn’t queue to meet many. We were already prepared for this as it had been mentioned in Facebook groups. It wouldn’t have been fair to make Ethan queue for so long. And to be honest there is so much to do on the ship I wouldn’t want to waste time queueing.

What Did We Do on The Disney Dream?

We didn’t book any extra activities on this cruise. The only thing we did book was the princess gathering. This is a pre-bookable character meet and greet and we got the chance to meet Ariel, Tiana, Belle and Cinderella.

ethan little e jane cinderella princess gathering disney dream

We experienced all of the main dining rotation restaurants. They are very different from the restaurants on the Disney Magic. On that ship two out of the three restaurants put on a show at dinner. On the Dream, it is only Animator’s Palate that has a dinner show. As we were only on a four-night cruise we only got to experience talking to Crush and not the extra animation show. Little E was lucky enough to be chosen to chat with Crush.

monsters inc pixar display animators palate disney dream

We watched all the theatre shows. I was very excited to get the chance to watch Beauty and the Beast. It is my favourite Disney film and this production was based on the live-action film. It was amazing and I might have cried at points!

beauty beast mural royal palace disney dream

We went to the cinema. There were so many films we wanted to watch on this sailing but we just couldn’t fit them all in. We were able to watch Elemental and half of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. We wanted to watch Haunted Mansion but got our timings wrong and missed the start. This was a good thing as after now watching the film on Disney Plus I know the children wouldn’t have liked it.

janes hand holding drink day swimming pool disney dream bilbao

We had pool days! Making sure that the children had time to spend at the pool was a priority for us on this cruise. They normally have time in the pool but it is in between different activities. So they get an hour here and there. On this cruise, they had two full days where we sat on the top deck and they had fun in the pools.

Did We Experience Any ‘Firsts’ On The Disney Dream?

Because we didn’t really get to experience the Disney Dream on our first sailing there were many firsts for us on this trip. Our main highlights were

Enjoying Pirate Night

We have never really experienced a pirate night before. The Northern Europe sailings have a Frozen theme but this sailing had a Pirates In The Caribbean theme. This meant we got to watch the pirate show which looks like it has changed a lot since we were researching our very first Disney Cruise.

pirates in the caribbean deck party screen disney dream bilbao

Watching Fireworks At Sea

We finally got to see the fireworks at sea! This is normally part of the pirate celebrations but our fireworks were to celebrate Disney Cruise Lines’s 25th Anniversary. I love Disney fireworks so this was a must-do for us on this sailing.

25 disney cruise line silver anniversary sea screen disney dream bilbao

Riding The AquaDuck

We have been on the AquaDuck before but Little E was a toddler on our last Dream sailing so she got to ride it for the very first time on this sailing. She went on quite a few times, with us and with friends she made on the cruise. It was faster than I remember but the water was still as cold.

The AquaDuck Disney Cruise Ship Water Slide

Eating Sweet Treats From Vanellope’s

We treated ourselves to some cakes from Vanellope’s. We wanted to try some of the ice cream but we just ran out of time and space in our stomachs.

red rose topped chocolate cupcake vanellopes sweets treats disney dream bilbao

Celebrating Disney Cruise Lines’s 25th Anniversary

This year Disney Cruise Line celebrated its 25th Anniversary. This meant the characters got new outfits to wear and the ship was dressed in 25th Anniversary colours.

mickey mouse minnie mouse 25 disney cruise line silver anniversary sea outfits disney dream bilbao

We didn’t know these celebrations would be taking place until after we booked our cruise to Bilbao. It was nice that we got to experience them and we were even left a special print in our cabin to celebrate this milestone.

Did The Children Go To The Kids Clubs?

On this cruise, Ethan was too old for the Oceaneer clubs. He loves these clubs so I was a little worried that he would be bored in the evenings. Ethan could go to the Edge club but I wasn’t sure it would suit his needs. He did go in for one session and they were really good with him but he wasn’t bothered about going in again after that.

edge screens disney dream bilbao

Little E isn’t a big fan of the clubs. This always surprises me as I would have loved this club as a kid. She did go in them during our seacation sailing but she missed having Ethan with her this time. She spent a few hours there and made some friends but she preferred being with us or in the pool.

ethan little e sitting slinky dog toy story room oceaneer club disney dream bilbao

Did We Get Off The Dream In Bilbao?

I did look into the tours offered in Bilbao and some sparked my interest. The thing that put me off was that transfers were needed to get into Bilbao from the port. Ethan can get quite distressed if he doesn’t know what’s coming next. I didn’t think a tour with an hour coach transfer would be fair on him or us. So we decided that it would be best to stay on the ship and let the children have a pool day.

disney dream docked bilbao port

Darren did get off the ship to take some photos of her in the Bilbao port whilst we were on the top deck enjoying the warm weather.

What Was It Like Sailing Through The Bay of Biscay?

I must admit I was really worried about sailing through the Bay of Biscay. It is known for its rough waters and I do suffer from seasickness. I did suffer a bit on this cruise but it wasn’t the water that was rough. It was quite windy during our trip which caused the ship to rock. When we sailed home you could see the water moving in the pool. Not that many people noticed the movements but I do find I’m quite sensitive to it.

ethan looking out sea disney dream bilbao

Did We Enjoy Our Four-Night Sailing To Bilbao On The Disney Dream?

This Disney Cruise was a very different experience from the others we have been on. The ship was at capacity and there were lots of first-time cruisers all wanting to make the most of their trip. We have only ever seen long queues for characters on Disney cruises when they bring rare characters out. Every character on this cruise had a long queue. This did mean we had to adjust our expectations for our cruise experience but we still had a great time.

ethan little e sitting window seat disney dream bilbao

The children asked as soon as we got off when can we get back on. From this experience, we have decided that if we sail from the UK again we would want to book a seven-night cruise. Our Norway cruise holds such a special place in our hearts and I think the seven-night sailing gave us enough time to explore the ship without any stress.

We love sharing our Disney Cruise Line adventures on our blog. Make sure you visit our Disney Cruise Line Trips and Experiences post to read about all of our adventures at sea.

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