We ate brunch at PALO (post about this coming soon), but I wanted to try Remy, too. Since we only had 4 days and wanted to experience other dining on the ship, I saw the dessert experience as a great opportunity...we love dessert! So, I booked this for my husband, my mother-in-law, and myself. We were greeted by a friendly staff and all guests were escorted to their assigned tables. Before we were presented with the desserts, Stephane from France, explained some unique characteristics about the restaurant. No details were left out when creating Remy. While you're seated, you might not notice the designs without having them pointed out, but if you look carefully, you might find the famous rat from Ratatouille who adores food and dreams of becoming a chef himself. Can you see him?
He also explained how the six course dessert experience would unfold. The Remy Executive Chef, Benoit from France, would explain the history of the desserts prepared. There was a suggested wine pairing with the desserts that could be added on, too. Then, we would get to try the delicious creations.
Monsieur Benoit started off discussing the Pina Colada. As the desserts were presented each time, the Cast Members in Remy all simultaneously would place the dessert on the table. As everyone at the table tasted, we shared thoughts. Some loved the chocolate treats, some liked the berry ones, and others enjoyed them all. This one was light and fluffy. Fresh coconut slivers and lime zest were placed on top and at the bottom of the glass were pineapple pieces. YUM!
The Framboise, which is French for raspberry, was next on the menu. As you can see, this sweet berry is featured on this delectable treasure. I think it might have been my favorite. Everything you see is edible...even the flower petals. Raspberries and I believe a type of cheese were alternating between two crisp wafers with jam. On top, there were more raspberries and berry syrup. It was accompanied by sorbet.
The third dessert we got to sample was called Pomme, which is French for apple. I know I said that the raspberry one was the one I enjoyed the most, but it might have been a tie. This one was also fantastic! Apples, meringue, and other sweet ingredients were combined to make this. It seriously tastes as good as it looks.
Next we tried Croustillant Agrume Noisette. This translates to crispy citrus hazelnut. While I am a fan of oranges, I'm not a lover of all citrus fruits, and this one had grapefruit, so it wasn't a hit with me. The pastry shell was filled with assorted citrus fruit, so I guess it is most comparable to a fruit tart. I believe there is hazelnut on the bottom which did pair nicely with the fruit and pastry.
Our second to last dessert was called Louis XV. This has a nut based wafer-like bottom topped with a chocolate mousse and is completely covered in chocolate ganache. The gold leaf pieces on top are also edible. It was rich, and I'm confident most chocolate lovers will call it divine.
Our final treat was called Chocolat Menthe which was a light, minty chocolate frozen dessert. Once again, it was finished with edible gold leaf pieces. It was the perfect end to all of the items we tried.
The experience concluded with a parting gift. Macarons were packaged "to go" for all of us. We enjoyed sharing these with the children. Overall, it was something I'm glad we tried and got to do together. The price was around $60 per person, so if the above sounds like something you would be interested in, check it out. It is held on a day at sea and space will be limited.
After talking with several other Fairytale Journeys agents, I heard about an experience that I was excited to try called Mixology (even the name sounded fun)! It's one of the beverage tasting seminars on board. There are several options in addition to the Mixology class: beer, wine, champagne, and bourbon tastings and more. For only $20, I signed up through my Disney Cruise Line account by booking the activity. On board, a ticket was left at my stateroom and on Day 4, I was ready to learn how to create popular cocktails. It was held in the Meridian Lounge between PALO and Remy. Leading the group was Nur from the Phillipines, and we enjoyed every minute learning from him.
I sat at a table with two couples on either side of me, and we had a blast talking, mixing, and drinking together. We were taught throughout about measuring the alcohol, muddling, and shaking up everything properly. He even gave us some helpful hints like how to whip up a good sour mix for margaritas when having a party.
Up first was the Cranberry Cosmopolitan. This drink included vodka, Peach Schnapps, and cranberry juice. Before each drink was made, Nur explained the process. Then, we were provided with glasses and ingredients to mix our own. He and another Cast Member supervised and assisted anyone who needed help. A citrus squeezer was used to put some lime juice into the cocktail shaker. The alcohol and cranberry juice was added to the cup along with ice. The glass was used to help shake it up. The drink was strained into a martini glass.
Next, we made a something and I'm not sure what it was. Lesson learned is if you're seated near the back, it might be hard to hear when instructions are given. This included 3 lime wedges, agave nectar, some ice, and either vodka or rum. I also learned later from others who took a different Mixology class that not all classes are the same, so I couldn't get the recipe from one of them. This drink is the first one where we used the black tool above and had to muddle, or press, the limes together with the agave nectar. He explained that this helps release the flavors of the fruit into the drink. Ice was added and then it was topped with a white alcohol. It kind of reminded me of a margarita, but slightly different.
After that, we learned how to make a Mai Tai. Since I couldn't hear for the last one, I started taking pictures of the bottles. This one used Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum and Disarronno Originale Amaretto. The amaretto and rum were mixed with fruit juice (orange/pineapple combo). A splash of rum was poured on the top.
Our next drink involved more muddling. We made a Raspberry Mojito, and I didn't think I would care for it (I'm not a Mojito fan). This one used three lime wedges, three raspberries, Bacardi Black Raspberry Rum, some raspberry syrup, mint leaves, and soda. The syrup, lime wedges, raspberries, and mint leaves were muddled in the glass. Ice and rum were added. This was topped off with soda. We used a straw to mix this one together for the finished product.
Our class was finished off with a shot called a B-52. In this drink, it's layered. First, Kahlua is added. Very carefully Bailey's is added next. The shot is completed with Grand Marnier by pouring slowly over a spoon so that it sits right on top. Sadly, I did not get to try this one but he made one for me to take a picture of. Right after this class, I had another new activity to try on the Dream...a dessert experience at Remy (stay tuned for more about this).
Overall, the experience was wonderful. Nur did an excellent job explaining everything to everyone participating. Some in the group were a little tipsy at the end, so I would say they made the most of their $20 investment in the class. If you enjoy mixed drinks, I highly suggest you check this out if you can. ENJOY!!!
One of the things you can book on board is a meet and greet session with either princesses or Frozen characters. I chose to book this for both. On the day of the event, my family decided not to go with me, so I looked for little girls nearby who didn't have tickets but seemed to want to meet the princesses and gave them away. I felt like I sprinkled some pixie dust on their vacation. They truly seemed happy.
When it was time to meet the princesses, I met Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Tiana. I can't believe I'm admitting this, but at the time, I had only seen one of their movies! I still need to watch The Princess and the Frog. When it was time to meet Rapunzel, I admitted to her that I hadn't watched her movie yet. Without missing a beat, she replied, "That's okay. I haven't seen your movie yet either! You watch my movie and I'll watch yours. Then, when we meet again, we can talk about them!" It was in that moment that she officially became my favorite princess. She also put together a great video for me to share.
Cinderella and Tiana were both also sweet. They both took pictures and recorded a message for me. I enjoyed getting to meet them!
A short while later, I had tickets for the Frozen Gathering. It took required tickets, and again, my family did not want to join me. Once again, I looked for a child who was interested in meeting the characters but who didn't have a ticket. I gifted some more to another family, and they were excited for the opportunity. When I finally made it to the lounge, it was covered in snow. It definitely looked FROZEN! I thought I would meet both Anna and Elsa, but Anna was not there on that day, but Olaf was! It was fun listening to the music and taken pictures with them. If you get a chance, you should book your tickets in advance. They tend to sell out, so if you were not able to get some, be sure to ask at Guest Services when you're on board the ship.
After spending all day on Castaway Cay, we came back to find pirate bandanas on our bed waiting for us. It was pirate night! Many families dress up. My family did not. My husband and his children also decided to skip out on the pirate dinner that night to go watch Spider-Man: Homecoming (we had decided that we would skip it at the theater to watch it on the ship). My mother-in-law and I ate at Enchanted Garden again that night, but this time, the menu was pirate themed.
At one point, I wasn't sure which entree I wanted to try, so our server brought out both! We were able to try different desserts, too. We definitely left stuffed!
Afterwards, our kids went off to hang out in Vibe and my mother-in-law headed up to the cabin to rest. My husband and I decided to watch the magic show before the fireworks. A little before that started, Jack Sparrow was in D Lounge, so I decided to grab another picture with him. Of course he remembered me! The pirate show and fireworks are done exclusively on Disney Cruise Line. When it's finished, you'll find cast members on deck with a crowd of people having a great time dancing along to popular hits.
As the night wound down, we headed back to our stateroom to find the sweetest towel animal. Check it all out in the video below, and if you're looking to find out more about a Disney cruise, I would love to help your family enjoy a magical time on one of their ships.
Disney's private island, Castaway Cay (pronounced KEY), wins awards for good reason! When you sail with Disney Cruise Line and your itinerary brings you to one or more Caribbean islands, Castaway Cay is a port stop on many itineraries. You'll love every minute of your stay here.
Having heard that it's possible to get off the ship prior to other passengers if participating in the Castaway Cay 5K, I knew that was what I wanted to try. I've completed several Disney half marathon events, so I figured this would be fun to try. On board, I registered with Guest Services. This is not something you can do before boarding the ship, but make sure you sign up when you set sail. There is no charge for this event.
Tickets for this will be printed and left at your stateroom for you to bring to the meeting destination (check your ticket). We met on Deck 4/AFT in Evolution at 8:00 a.m. Children under 10 are not able to participate, but parents may bring younger children to Scuttles Cove where they will be supervised by Cast Members who they may already be familiar with from the kids clubs.
Make sure to bring your Key to the World Card (I forgot mine and had to go back for it) and your passport. For whatever reason, I didn't think they would need it since it was their private island. I was wrong...don't be like me! =)
When everyone checks in and receive their bib and safety pins, they will provide you with some information about the course. Let me share, it is hot out there. Drink water before, during, and after the event. Even if you walk the entire thing, stay hydrated! There are areas where there is little to no shade. Since everyone was not on time from our group, or maybe because so many registered, they actually announced that guests on board could disembark onto the island. So much for my plan!
I met the sweet Ku family there and we stuck together from start to finish! I was grateful for their company and more thankful that we are still friends today. Once off the ship, we all walked to the starting point. The view of the island was beautiful along the way.
Once you are at the start line, be sure to drink the water they have there. Grab a cup or two. There will be a cooler on the course, but there may not be cups left, so make sure to grab some here.
When you start off, there will be a cluster of people. If you want to walk, stay towards the back of the pack. If you'd like to compete and try to get one of the top times, make your way towards the front.
There will be signs along the way showing you where to go. Follow the group, and you'll be pointed in the right direction. Be careful as you go because some passengers who are off of the ship may have rented bicycles and they may be traveling on the path too. It's definitely a neat way to see parts of the island that you might not otherwise explore.
At the end, you receive your medal! It's not metal but more of a rubberized material, but it's still a fun souvenir. How many people do you know who have run a 5K race on an island? There will be photographers near the finish line to take photos, too. The ONLY place to get Castaway Cay souvenirs is on the island, so be sure to get a t-shirt, towel, vinyl sticker for your car, etc. if you'd like something while there.
You may use your Key to the World Card to charge back to your room. The only thing you can NOT charge is if you'd like to mail a postcard from the post office on the island. They only take cash for the stamp. That said, the post office was closed on the day we went, so I was told to bring my post card to Guest Services on board, and they made sure to mail it (it's postmarked from Castaway Cay, too - it was brought to the post office on a day when they were there and it was open).
I enjoyed checking out the rest of the island. For my first visit, I did not book any excursions because I wanted to take photos. My family enjoyed some things though. My mother-in-law relaxed under a palm tree and we made sure there was plenty of cold water in a cooler. My bonus daughter went on the Wild Side Teen Adventure, and she said she enjoyed herself. My husband and bonus son decided to try parasailing. I took some photos with characters on the island (Mickey, Pluto, and Captain Jack Sparrow). We all enjoyed BBQ food for lunch at Cookies Too before heading back onto the ship.
I hung around when they went back on board to see if I could grab a few more shots. Lucky for me, I ran into two sweet ladies, Betty and Brenda, who invited me to come check out their cabana. Curious to know what it was like, I went with them, and I was grateful they allowed me to take some photos to share. We didn't get a chance to book a cabana since they go quickly when reservations can be made (based on your Castaway Club level or concierge staterooms). After spending some time with them, I would LOVE to get one in the future! I'll also need to check out the BBQ at Serenity Bay (18+ only) next time I'm there.
Overall, there is so much to love about Castaway Cay. I'm confident that you will also fall in love with this private island. There are so many things to see and do with your family or on your own. It has something for everyone!
On this day, we remember those who have died during service in the United States Armed Forces. I am grateful to the men and women who have paid the ultimate price while protecting our country as they fought to defend the rights and freedom of our citizens. These fallen soldiers are truly my heroes, and I took time today to remember and honor these selfless individuals.
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself” —Joseph Campbell
This morning, I remembered something witnessed at one of the Disney parks as a special tribute to honor U.S. veterans for their service, dedication, and sacrifices made. The Flag Retreat is an event done at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World daily.
On my trip to Disneyland this past March, it was the first time I witnessed it in person. To say that it is touching is an understatement. On a plaque right by Old Glory, Walt Disney himself is quoted saying, "Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America." At 5:00 p.m., the event begins promptly (be sure to check the daily schedule as this may change). During the Flag Retreat, the Disneyland Band performs and The Dapper Dans sing patriotic tunes. Each branch of the military is called up to the flagpole as its military song is played. The Color Guard/Disneyland Resort Security Honor Detail arrives and a special a special salute is given. This is immediately followed by the retiring of the flag for the night as it is lowered and folded.
This truly made me shed a few tears. It reminded me that our freedom is defended daily thanks to those men and women we were honoring on that day. They were able to stand beneath the flag they had sworn to protect while they saluted proudly. That said, it also reminded me of those who battled hard and didn't come home. My heart hurt for their families and friends. Like I said, I cried.
In honor of them all, I put together a video showing some photos and footage taken at the Flag Retreat ceremony. If you have a chance to witness this in person, you will be glad you did.
The experience is slightly different at the Magic Kingdom. While I have not yet attended it there, on a future visit, I have decided that it will be a mandatory part of my day's plan.
There, a veteran is selected earlier in the morning. He or she will participate in the ceremony at 5:00 p.m. (check the daily schedule for any time changes). Similar to what is done at Disneyland, the Philharmonic band plays and the Dapper Dans sing. At the end, the flag is presented to the Veteran of the Day and a short parade with the band takes place. In addition, the Veteran of the Day will receive a certificate and pin to commemorate the experience.
Thank you again to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard veterans for continuing to protect our nation.
Those who have fought and died are not be forgotten. Today is set aside to remind us of those sacrifices made. May they continue to rest in peace.
Thanks for bearing with me as I try to catch up from our cruise last summer. We're hoping to go again this summer on a different ship with a different itinerary, but another stop at Castaway Cay (more on this soon).
When we returned to the ship, I wish I could tell you that I remember what we did. I don't. If I had to guess, it probably involved getting ready for dinner and the show that evening. After a long day out and smelling like a fish in the sea, we needed to freshen up...that much I know!
Looking at our Key to the World card, we knew the next dining location was Enchanted Garden. We were eager to try out the food there while we talked with our dinner companions.
Just like the evening before, we enjoyed everything we tried! The food was delicious. Each night, you'll start with a bread service. Tonight was multi-grain and country current rolls with chickpea-garlic puree. The appetizers included: lobster ravioli, cucumber garden roll, Ahi tuna and avocado, and a smoked bacon wild mushroom tart. Immediately following were the soup (tomato or cream of asparagus) and salad (spinach and raspberry or Romaine wedge) options. For the main course, we had the following choices: sea scallops, pan seared bass (which was phenomenal), roasted chicken, pork tenderloin medallions, and slow roasted prime rib. Additionally, there were five vegetarian options and lighter offerings, too.
I'm all about dessert, but my pictures weren't the greatest. There was a variety of choices from ice cream sundaes to date pudding, a pecan tart, and the no sugar added treat was a lemon raspberry mousse.
Stuffed by another fabulous meal, we made our way to the Buena Vista Theater. At this point, we decided we enjoyed the seats on Deck 4 vs Deck 5 since you were closer to the stage. Obviously, the earlier you arrive, the better chance you'll have to choose the seat you want. On the first night, we arrived about 15 minutes early, and seats were mostly occupied. We're quick learners though, and we made sure to get there even earlier because "Villains Tonight" was a show we heard that others absolutely loved and we should not miss. It did not disappoint! With Hades from Hercules as the lead, the audience was hysterical from beginning to end. Sadly, this show is no longer playing, so you'll have to trust me when I say, it was a good one!
We spent some more time exploring the ship and were eager to head to bed. Day 3 was going to be spent at Castaway Cay (pronounced KEY)!!
On the second day of our cruise, we stopped in Nassau, Bahamas, and we had arranged an excursion to swim with the dolphins at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort. The weather still wasn't the greatest as the tropical storm was passing from the west to the east, so we experienced quite a bit of rain along with thunder/lightning that day.
Prior to heading over to Atlantis, we took our excursion tickets provided by Disney Cruise Line and met at the designated time, down in the Buena Vista Theater. Upon checking-in, we were given stickers to meet up with the other group of people who were also scheduled to depart. A short while later, we were brought outside and met with a tour guide who checked our tickets and handed us wrist bands that needed to be worn for the dolphin experience and to use the water park area. They also gave instructions on where to get a meal for lunch that was included. Then, we boarded the shuttles that took us over to Atlantis.
From there, we were instructed where to meet the shuttles to return back to the port and the latest times we needed to leave to ensure we arrived back on time. Atlantis is HUGE, so make sure you are fully aware of the location to meet the drivers. Another guide walked us through the Atlantis resort and over to the Dolphin Cay area (it was not close by) where we were met by the dolphin trainers. They took us into a room where they explained what the experience would include and answered questions. Everyone was given a wet suit along with a souvenir mask/snorkel and directed where to put belongings in the lockers provided.
It was time to step into the water and meet our dolphin friends. Having never been in the water with a dolphin, we were excited to experience the deep water swim with these brilliant mammals.
There were several people visiting with different trainers and dolphins at the same time. We were introduced to the dolphin assigned to our small group and the trainer explained what we would experience. Everyone took a turn doing the different things mentioned by the trainers with the dolphins. Unfortunately, our session was interrupted by lightning. We were asked to leave the water until it was safe to return.
About 30 minutes to an hour later, we were able to resume our session. I opted to take some photos of the kids interacting with the dolphins instead.
Afterwards, we went to use the water park slides, but due to the storm nearby, all of the attractions were closed, so we ate and waited. The meal was a quick one with burgers and fries. We found some chairs to stay by. Eventually the areas opened up and so the kids went to look at the slides but ended up using the tubes in the lazy river area.
On the way back to the port, we stopped to admire the surrounding areas at the resort. It's a beautiful place to visit!
That evening at dinner, we compared our experience with the family who was dining with us. They too did a dolphin excursion, but they opted for the one at the Blue Lagoon. While we enjoyed our time with our Flipper friends, it sounded like their experience might have been a little more interactive than ours, and the cost was less too, so if we were to do this again, we would probably try out that one next time.
Yeah, I'm not the best at blogging, and this is something I'd like to work on for 2018. You see, instead of creating a resolution, I choose a word, and my word for 2018 is ADVENTURE! I'm starting the year off with a trip to Walt Disney World and a couple of months later, I head to the west coast to visit Disneyland.
My plan is to make blogging part of my adventure, so I figured I should start with the vacation I promised a few months ago. Get ready for an adventure on our very first Disney Cruise Line vacation aboard the Disney Dream with me! This post is only for Day 1 (Departure Day) and will be FILLED with information and pictures, so if you have questions about anything, send them my way. If you'd like to skip reading and see the highlights, scroll to the bottom of this post for a video sharing all I saw on Day 1.
Prior to departure day, we spent a couple of nights in Cape Canaveral, so we were close by when we arrived at Port Canaveral. It was easy to find the terminal and leaving our car rental at the parking garage was a breeze. Cast members greeted us at the curb to help us unload everything and shortly afterwards, passengers were allowed to check in.
Once we got inside, we were directed through security and upstairs to the check-in desks. The cast member quickly checked over all information for us, gave us our Key to the World cards, and then we waited a short while to board. While inside, there were opportunities to take photos with characters, look at a cross-section of the ship, mingle, we took some fun photos, and off to the side, we used the pressed penny machines. This is the only place where you will find them, so bring several quarters and pennies if you would like these as souvenirs.
When it's time to board, you will listen for the group you were assigned to at check-in. If you're lucky, you might even be the Family of the Day who gets some extra special goodies and lead the way for the rest of the passengers!
All aboard through the golden Mickey ears! Make sure you have your Key to the World card and your boarding number available to show the cast members.
The day we departed, July 31, 2017, a Tropical Storm popped up in the Gulf of Mexico from out of nowhere and was traveling across the state (west to east), so while the ship typically doesn't depart until around 5:00 p.m., we ended up heading out earlier so that we could get ahead and away from the storm. I'm someone who easily gets motion sick, but I took Bonine prior to boarding, and I honestly wasn't bothered by the higher winds and waves, and I didn't take any more the entire trip. A few others who hadn't taken motion sickness medicine did need some. The winds were strong, so some events were canceled.
After the photographers take some family pictures, you enter the main lobby where you are greeted by several cast members who you'll see often during your time on the Dream. Looking around, you'll see the grand staircase and if you glance up, you'll notice the most beautiful chandelier, and while you will see characters, I felt like many Disney touches were elegant and more subtle than what you would find in the parks. See the Hidden Mickeys?
Once on board, make sure to connect your Navigator app on your phone while you're still in the port. This will help you stay connected with other family members on board.
We had one of the earlier port arrival times, so once on board, we decided to head up to Cabanas for the lunch buffet before it got too crowded. There were plenty of options available for even the pickiest eaters, and I was immediately impressed by the warm and friendly service.
Knowing that others were eating, I decided to sneak over to Vanellope's Sweets and Treats nearby. If you have a sweet tooth, you will LOVE it in here! Having eaten gelato in Italy, I was hesitant to try some, but it was delicious. The candy, gelato, and other sweet treats will cost extra, but it was worth it to me!
Afterwards, we headed to our cabin. We reserved two deluxe family oceanview staterooms with verandahs. The white wall between both outdoor areas can be removed if you ask your stateroom host/hostess. Here is a quick video of our room (cabin 10606) which is on the Starboard side of the ship. This side gave us a nice view of the coast as we departed and a great view of Castaway Cay when we were docked there. It's definitely something to consider when booking your room.
A few things you might not have seen clearly in the video are that Disney provides you some toiletries: soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. There is plenty of storage! Suitcases can slide under the beds, the footrest by the couch opens up, and lots of cabinets and drawers are located for you to put all of your belongings away. Additionally, you'll find a daily navigator placed on your bed, and if you have reserved tickets in advance, they are often found attached to the seahorse, fish, or starfish outside of your cabin door.
After checking out the cabin, it was time to walk around and check out other areas on the ship. I had my heart set on visiting the children's clubs because the only time you're able to visit them is during Open House on the first day and other select times during the cruise. If you miss the Open House, check your Navigator for others times when you may visit.
While heading to the clubs, I came across a desk that had a sign naming it the Midship Detective Agency. It's kind of like a scavenger hunt, and there are different mysteries that children can choose. They are given cards to use around the ship while solving clues. I thought it was a clever way to get people moving around on board! It's an activity that I saw children completing independently, but I also witnessed families working together on this.
The first location I stopped in is called "it's a small world nursery" and it's for the little ones. Children ages 3 months to 3 years are able to be checked into this area while parents enjoy some adult time on board. Note that there is a fee here and reservations are highly suggested. Looking around at the interior, you can see why it's called It's a Small World because you'll feel like your surrounded by familiar designs from the popular ride. Due to safety concerns, parents are not able to interact with their children inside. This made me feel as though they took extra precautions to prevent the infants and toddlers from being exposed to other guests. They did allow me to come in to take some photos since no children were enrolled in the program when I arrived.
Next, I headed over to Disney's Oceaneer Club and Lab where children ages 3-12 are having fun. If I were a kid, I can assure you that THIS is where you would find me! I'm only showing a few of the rooms available. There are several, so all kids will find something to love. I was kind of jealous that I didn't get to experience the fun (my kids are older) that I saw parents having while interacting with their young ones. When I entered, the cast members were having what appeared to be a dance party. Everyone was laughing, singing, and dancing along. So, I tiptoed over to Andy's Room, and you probably can figure out what I found there.
From there, I wandered over to the STAR WARS Millenium Falcon area. I've been watching those movies since I was a little girl. In fact, I owned the Death Star Space Station and had all of the action figures. I geeked out! If you're like me, or a fan of STAR WARS at all, it's a must see location when you are allowed inside.
After I got my STAR WARS fix, I continued to walk around and noticed they had so many different hands-on activities for the kids to do. There were arts and crafts, dance parties, tables where I they could do guided experiments with cast members, tables to eat, movies, video games, and so much more! I wouldn't hesitate to have put my child in here. The attitudes were positive and spunky. The children surrounding the Disney employees had smiles from ear to ear. They also had the coolest sanitation system that makes it FUN for kids to wash hands.
Here are some things to be aware of:
Around this time, it was time for the muster station safety drills. This is mandatory but you do not need to bring a life vest with you. Report to your assigned location. Look for the cast members holding the Mickey sign with your letter on it. Be sure to have your Key to the World card with you since they scan it to make sure all guests on board are accounted for.
This is actually when we ended up leaving the port. It was funny because I asked the person assigned to our station when the ship would set sail, and I was told it wouldn't be for another couple of hours. That's when the ship started moving. Nobody knew why but the captain explained about the tropical storm and why we left early. Again, I was grateful that Disney was putting safety of guests first. In addition to certain activities being canceled, there were areas roped off that prevented guests from going into unsafe areas. Lots of the outdoor furniture was also tied down, and guests were encouraged to remain indoors until wind speeds died down. I was impressed with every aspect of how this unusual experience was handled.
After the drill was over and we were on our way, signaled by the Dream's horns (they are musical), I was able to check out more areas on the ship. Knowing there were going to be several shows during our sailing, I headed to Buena Vista Theater. This is the main theater where the night shows happen. This was also the location where we were asked to meet cast members prior to our excursions when we arrived in Nassau.
As big as the ship is, I did have some trouble finding the next club, VIBE. It's tucked away in the tip of the forward on Deck 5. Like I mentioned, our kids are older (14 & 16), so it was time to check out where they would be spending most of the time. Guests 14-17 are able to visit VIBE. While I was unable to go outside to check it out, there is a private pool area just for teens here, too. Inside, there are comfy places to hang out, video games, movies, and lots of scheduled activities. Parents are not allowed to interact with anyone checked into this club, so again, safety is a top concern. I'm thrilled to share that our kids made friends with others from around the country, said they had lots of fun with the different activities, and as soon as we arrived back home, they asked when we could go on another one. I was worried they wouldn't find it cool enough, but they did!
Since our 14 year old had a choice of clubs, I visited EDGE, too, which is in the center of the ship on Deck 14. Again, this area was filled with things that tweens (ages 11-14) love! Upon entering, kids were already interacting with one another while playing a video game. There were also cushions to lounge on, movies, board games, and plenty of other activities arranged for them daily.
Knowing that it was almost dinnertime, I was curious to see the exclusive adults-only restaurants, Remy and Palo. I'll share more about meals here later, but I got a glimpse into these two upscale dining locations, and boy were they gorgeous! One of the things that impressed me right from the beginning was that you'll find cast members from Italy in Palo and from France in Remy, so you know you are experiencing an authentic atmosphere and immersed in the culture.
As if my body could sense it was time to eat, I met back up with my family to head out for our first meal at sea. On your Key to the World Card, there is a spot that shows your dining rotation along with your table number and time to arrive. I was overly excited to learn that our first location was Animator's Palate!
When you enter, you'll notice animated drawings around the room. They start off mostly black and white. Throughout your meal, color arrives. Pay attention to your servers and you might notice their changes too.
While you're eating, you'll be entertained by Nemo and friends. Crush comes around to "talk" with the tables, and watch out, if you don't do what he says, he might single you out! It's all in good fun, and you will amazed throughout the meal.
Our family tried to get an assortment of items so I could share lots of options. We were seated with a lovely family. We were a party of 5 and they were a party of 3. They joined in the fun and pushed their plates in my direction, so I need to give a shout out to Bobbie, Jeff, and Sarah. Not only did we enjoy their company, but we got to compare stories throughout the trip. While some families may not like being seated with others they don't know, we welcomed it and hugged one another goodbye on our last night.
Since we had the earlier seating for dinner, we headed to see "The Golden Mickeys" in Walt Disney Theater. It was an upbeat show with singing, dancing, and GOLDEN MICKEYS! If you are interested in seeing any of the shows, the theater is located on Decks 3 & 4. If you'd prefer to be closer to the stage, head down to Deck 3, and be sure to arrive early. Seats filled up quickly!
Afterwards, I walked around to snap a few more photos around the Disney Dream that evening. It took time, but at that point, I was comfortable locating different events/destinations on board.
Every night before bed, our stateroom hostess, Nicole from the Bahamas, would leave blanket animals. She would also make sure both the couch bed and the wall bed were neatly opened up. We also received some sweet treats for our sweet dreams!
I'm about to start uploading the pictures from our Disney Cruise this summer on the Dream. Here's a quick snapshot to show you some of the fun, food, and festivities...enjoy! If you're ready to book, I'd love to help, so contact me today!
Disney has been a part of Cheryl's life since 1975. She is married, and she has a son and two bonus children. They live in Northwest Arkansas with their two dogs.