I remember one of the first things that I was super curious about when we booked our Disney cruise was the accommodations on the ship. Because we were paying a premium for our vacation, I was really curious about all of the resort style qualities that the ship had to offer as well as the size, quality, and comfort of our cabin.
Originally, when we were booking and planning this vacation, our first thought was to book a stateroom with a veranda, that way we could sit outside and enjoy the sea breeze in the mornings and in the late afternoons, but the more we thought about it, we were kind of concerned safety-wise about our 6 year old daredevil. While I don’t think he would ever try to climb over the edge of the rail, I was still nervous and concerned about that possibility. Then a friend shared a little tip with me about the Category 8A Staterooms on Disney Cruise Line, and as soon as we saw the details, we were sure to book it, and we were VERY pleased with this setup.
On the Disney Dream & Disney Fantasy, there are a small quantity of these staterooms available. They are considered Deluxe Family Oceanview Staterooms and they offer two large portholes and a split floor plan. This means that there is typically a wall or a pole dividing the stateroom into two “rooms” – a bedroom and a sitting room to give a sense of a “suite” without being an actual suite. Their square footage is slightly larger than the other Deluxe Oceanview rooms, with approximately 320 SF vs. the 241 SF on the others. I think some of these come with bunks, but most only come with a sofa that converts into a twin bed, which was perfect for our little fella. These rooms have large closets along a wall and very large desk area as well for storage. There is a refrigerator, safe, etc. for storage, etc. It is worth noting, however, than unlike other cabins on the Dream, we DID NOT have a split bathroom. So we only had one toilet, one sink, one tub. Some of the other 8A cabins have showers only. We stayed in room 5020, which was forward on the ship and was one of the 8A cabins that had a privacy wall to divide the two areas. Other rooms in this category on the Dream are 6016, 6514, 5022,5050, and 5522. From what I gather, only decks 5 & 6 have these rooms and they are always either forward or aft on the ship…never centrally located. That is something to consider if you prefer to be centrally located on a cruise ship.
We found the room to be incredibly spacious and roomy and we never felt cramped or uncomfortable. In fact, we had friends come to visit us and even with them in our space, we didn’t feel overly cramped. The sitting area was actually great to just relax and look out of the window if you wanted (and if you wanted, you could even sit in the porthole!) There was lots of space to store our luggage under the large queen size bed (which was AMAZINGLY comfortable) and we had ample storage in the closets for our clothing and other incidentals. There was also a clothesline in the shower to hang our swimsuits to dry as well as really awesome toiletries provided that can only be found on DCL… and there were even a hidden Mickey in the bathroom! Every night, our stateroom attendant (who was awesome, Hi Mr. Tan!!!) would turn down our bed and also turn our sofa into a super comfy bed for our little guy, and it was a perfect setup for the week along with some super creative and fun towel and blanket animals! The chocolates were certainly a nice touch, as well!
While this stateroom was in the forward location of the boat, we did not encounter a ton of movement or discomfort in this location, Even on the one night where we had a little bit of rough seas, we did not noticed a ton of extra movement or sway… just a smidge, and that was easily remedied with some sea bands.
Also, someone really awesome did a youtube tour of our stateroom… so if you are interested in this category, you can also check this out!
While we didn’t spend tons of time in our stateroom, as there was tons to do on the cruise all day, it was nice to be able to relax in our stateroom without feeling like we were in a sardine can. When and if we cruise on DCL again, we will very likely try to get another Category 8A, because we loved it on this cruise!