The Rainforest on the Disney Dream and Fantasy
A Disney Cruise Line Spa Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 01-02-2014
When we first stepped aboard the Disney Dream, there were so many things I wanted to see.
One of the things at the top of the list was the Tropical Rainforest area on the new Dream class ships.
Disney Fantasy - Tropical Rainforest
Inside the Tropical Rainforest on the Fantasy.
The Rainforest, for anyone who's not aware, is (and I'm quoting here from the wonderful PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call) a "thermal suite" with facilities such as a sauna, steam room, special showers, and heated loungers. However, as anyone who’s been to the Rainforest on the Magic Class ships will know, this is a private area that’s very much hidden away, with no windows to the outside world. In a way, it makes perfect sense, as it's a refuge away from the stresses of everyday life. Things are very different on the Dream, and Fantasy, and rightly so, as they're more modern ships, and Disney have taken the opportunity to build on the success of their Rainforest hideaway.
On the newer ships, the Rainforest is hardly hidden away any longer. The first thing you notice the second you enter is the daylight streaming in from the windows to the world outside. A very welcome addition to this Rainforest are two hot tubs in a balcony area outside, which is mainly protected from the elements with floor to ceiling windows. Cleverly, there are sections that are open, which is something worth keeping in mind if you do run into rain during your cruise.
Of course, I couldn't wait to get into the Rainforest's hot tubs, particularly as they give you the opportunity to just sit there, relax, and watch the world outside go by. As big as these things are, the optimum number of people in these is probably just a couple of you, as they’ve been designed for you to sit at one end or the other, with a raised bit in the middle, just perfect for extending your legs over.
If Rainforest hot tubs are full, there's another place to watch as you cruise along, and that's the hot tiled loungers in the room inside. These felt much warmer than on the Magic and Wonder, which was a pleasant discovery, as that had been a disappointment on our previous cruises on those ships. With an increased number of passengers on board, they've expanded the number of these, although be warned, it's still possible that they'll all be occupied, especially on at sea days, which is one of the most popular times for people to visit the Rainforest.
One thing I will say that we saw a lot on our most recent cruise on the Fantasy was the practice of "saving" your seat. There's no hard or fast rule about this from Disney, but from my personal point of view, there’s nothing more frustrating for the rest of us. Fair enough if you just head back to the changing room to collect something, and you’re gone for a couple of minutes, but that’s not we witnessed, with people gone for upwards of 20 minutes.
Head inside from the room with the loungers in, and you’ll find the showers, all of which are different. Once again, these have been plussed up from the Magic Class ships. Each shower has different settings in it, and the only clue you get as to what’s coming next are the names given to each, which means there’s a certain sense of anticipation and wonder when you try them for the first time. Admittedly, the names do give you a clue. With the cool mist experience shower, you can (rightly!) guess that Siberian nights will be cold, but in the water fun shower, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Atlantic Ocean option was warmer than I thought it would be.
When you try them for the first time, you need to be fully in the shower, as the button to start them is right inside, so prepare yourself! On more than one occasion, we heard shrieks from people, some of delight, and some of shock…. Each setting uses different parts of the showerhead, and the experience can include light, and sound effects, such as bird noise. I swear that they also put scents into some of them, as I could sense eucalyptus, and lavender in some of them, so it’s a completely encompassing experience, and very different to anything I’ve experienced before anywhere else. One thing to bear in mind is that if you do wear contact lenses, like me, you can get soaked under some of the options, so keep a towel nearby for your face.
Disney Dream - Rainforest
Hot tubs with a view in the Rainforest.
Near to the showers are three other facilities. The first is the caldacium, which is something I hadn’t come across before our cruises on the Dream and Fantasy, but it’s essentially a really fierce steam room, and I mean fierce!
Next door is a hamam or Turkish Bath, which is a more gentle steam room, meaning I could spend longer in here, but this also comes with a health warning. I quickly learnt you need to bring a towel in with you, as the seating in here is too hot to sit on without one.
The final facility of the three is the laconium, which has floor to ceiling windows, looking outside, so if you head here on a port day, you can get some lovely views of the place you’re visiting. One of my favourite memories of our cruise on the Fantasy is visiting the laconium on the day we were in St. Thomas.
One thing we found on all our visits to the Rainforest during both cruises is that the hot stone chairs are definitely the main attraction here. They’re always popular, along with the hot tubs, but it wasn’t unusual for us to be on our own in the caldacium, hamam or laconium, while there was rarely a wait for the various showers.
The Rainforest is open every day of the cruise, although there’s an open afternoon on the first day on board, but you can use it later on that day. We always buy a pass for the whole of our cruise, and find it excellent value, as we’re in there most days, even if it's only for a half an hour. A daily pass is $16, but you can get deals if you go for a length of cruise pass, and if both of you sign up. Is the Rainforest worth it? For us, definitely. It's a chance to escape into a quiet, adult only environment, completely switch off, and now with the way they're laid out on the Dream and the Fantasy, just sit and watch the world go by, which is a huge improvement on the Magic Class ships.
Updated 01-02-2014 - Article #1040
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
Want to know more about Disney Cruise Line?
Sign up to get our free weekly newsletter with the latest news and updates on Disney Cruise Line and a 20% discount coupon.
You are in good company -- we have more than 50,000 subscribers!