First Day Aboard the Disney Dream!

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In my ongoing recap of our wonderful 4-night cruise aboard the Disney Dream, I last left off with our super-smooth embarkation. You can read all about that if you haven’t yet.

So what was the first thing we did when we boarded the ship? Well, we have our priorities. We went straight to the Aquaduck! I’d heard that the lines can get really long, but since we were aboard the ship by noon, we were among the first to ride, with only a handful of other kids and parents there.

It did not disappoint!

View of Deck 11 from Deck 12 Disney Dream

Decks 11 and 12 were practically empty!

According to Mini-MouseChow, Aquaduck is Awesome!!

So after riding a few more times, we sauntered over to Cabanas on Deck 11 for lunch. Cabanas is a HUGE buffet which circles Deck 11. There are two almost identical sides, and it’s really easy to get turned around and lost while moving through the buffet. If you start seeing the same stations you already passed, turn around. It’s themed with Finding Nemo characters, including a beautiful mosaic.

Cabanas sign

One side of Cabanas

The other side of Cabanas on the Disney Dream

The other side

Nemo Mosaic Disney Dream and Fantasy

Super cool mosaic

Seagulls Cabanas Disney Dream

Mine! (Watch your food!)

Buffet Stations Cabanas Disney Dream

A few of the many buffet stations. It’s not a line – just walk up.

Sushi at Cabanas Disney Dream

Sushi! (My kid’s favorite food.)

Crab claws Cabanas Disney Dream

Crab claws. Too much work if you ask me.

Chicken roulade Cabanas Disney Dream

Pretty good chicken roulade.

Roast beef carving station Disney Dream

A little heavy for lunch, but still good.

Desserts at Cabanas Disney Dream

There’s always room for Jello

Indoor dining room Cabanas Disney Dream

Should we sit indoors?

Heck no! We filled our plates and headed outside. I should mention how great Disney is about cleanliness, too. There was a cast member greeting us at the entrance to every restaurant with wipes for our hands. Then when taking our food outdoors, the doors opened automatically – no touching germ-y surfaces, and no jostling full trays of food. Perfect. We sat on the deck, and grabbed the drink of the day as the cast member passed by with a tray full.

Fruity drink Cabanas Disney Dream

Fruity drink is de rigueur.

While my husband and I hung out drinking our drinks and studying the Navigator (the daily itinerary of on-board activities) our kiddo left us to take a few more rides on the Aquaduck.

We had been told that we could get into our stateroom after 1:30pm, so at around that time we gathered up the kid and headed over to check it out. (Though she didn’t want to leave the pool area.)

We stopped for just a moment to savor one of the many comfy porthole seats on the way to our room.

Porthole Seating Disney Dream

Great spot for curling up with a book.

Then we started down the long corridor to our Deluxe Family Stateroom with Verandah,  stateroom 6112.

We loved our stateroom. It was really everything we could hope for. (My favorite part of this video is when Mini-Mousechow says, “And if we’re out here at the same time as our neighbors, we can say Hi!” and I say, “hmmm…” We are not alike in this way.)

There was plenty of storage for our bags under the bed, and the closets were very roomy. What’s not captured in the video was me telling my family to unpack and put everything away, both of them complaining, and me putting my foot down. It was a great thing to do and kept the room organized and tidy the whole time.

We also did use the over-door hanging organizer. I forgot to take a pic, but on the wall across from the bed there are three hooks on the wall. Our organizer came with three hooks as well, so we hung it on the wall hooks. It was perfect and I really do recommend it. Here’s the one we purchased from Amazon.

After we were all unpacked and changed out of our wet suits, we headed to the Sail Away party on Deck 11. This wasn’t our scene – I love the characters, but really it was just crowded and loud. Mini-MouseChow wanted to check out Edge, so we walked her over there, took a peek inside, and met the counselors. The entrance to Edge is located on Deck 12, conveniently close to the adult-only areas of the ship. We couldn’t pull our kid away from Edge once there, so we left her behind with her Wave Phone (which we’d practiced with in the room) and walked to the front of the ship to watch it pull out from the Port.

 

Edge on the Disney Dream and Fantasy

My daughter’s favorite place in the world

Edge Interior Disney Dream and Fantasy

Heaven for tweens ages 11 – 13

More about the adult areas in a later post.

We had the second dinner seating, so regrouped at around 7pm to change, and headed down to our first rotational dining restaurant, Enchanted Garden. I don’t have pics of food because I tried to wear my new contacts, which messed up my vision so badly I couldn’t read the menu or see what I was eating. (That was the last time I tried to wear the contacts. You might remember my ridiculously vain post from the day prior to our trip…) Anyway, here’s what Enchanted Garden looks like inside. My daughter loved it. I thought the lighting was too cool and made it feel sort of clinical.

Enchanted Garden Disney Dream and Fantasy

Enchanted Garden

Entrance to Enchanted Garden Disney Dream and Fantasy

Entering the Enchanted Garden

Enchanted Garden Dining Room Disney Dream and Fantasy

Wish we had one of the round banquettes.

Fountain in the Enchanted Garden Disney Dream and Fantasy

Cute fountain.

So that was our first day aboard the Disney Dream! Stay tuned for Day 2, in which we swim with Dolphins in Nassau.

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Disney Fantasy Christening Gala – Part 2 The Food!

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Yes, there has been a ton of coverage of the Disney Fantasy Christening Celebration from March 1, 2012. It was a star-studded evening, and the Fantasy is an amazingly beautiful ship. In fact, you can read my coverage here, in Part 1.

But I haven’t seen much about the food. And that’s a shame, because the food was VERY good. And as any cruiser knows, half of the fun of cruising is eating. (At least, that’s what I’ve been told.)  So here you go – a recap of what we ate, and how it was.

First up, we had a variety of passed hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail reception. Sorry for the blurry pics – I was juggling my purse, camera and champagne, while attempting to tweet live on my iPhone and taste the food. I could have used another three hands.

The highlight for me of the cocktail reception was the venison. It was lovely and medium rare. I think I ate four or five…

Venison on root veg puree with berry gelee

Smoked salmon with cream cheese and caviar

Gazpacho

After the evening’s amazing entertainment (have you read Part 1?), we moved into the Royal Court restaurant for dinner. Royal Court is a lovely space, with decor inspired by Disney Princesses and their Princes. The place setting set the tone:

Royal Court Place Setting

Then the bread was delivered – warm herbed brioche, with olive spread. The spread was a little too mild for my taste, but the bread was very nice.

Herbed brioche with olive spread

Next up, a trio of appetizers.. The menu descriptions were: (1 from Animator’s Palate) Smoked Salmon Tartare, Capers, Onions, and Micro Greens topped with American Black Caviar (2 from Royal Court) Iced Lobster and Jumbo Shrimp, White and Green Asparagus, Micro Greens, and Lemon Dill Dressing with Horseradish Cream, and (3 from Enchanted Garden) Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower with Crispy Noodles and Wasabi Dressing

Appetizer Trio

All three were very nicely done. I think my favorite was the lobster and shrimp, probably because I hadn’t had it already in the form of an hors d’oeuvre. Besides, I like how the asparagus is like a little arrow.

Moving on to the entrees, there was again a selection from three of the restaurants. Our table tried four of the five options – all but the vegan.

First, from Enchanted Garden, the Pan-Seared Sea Bass with a Mushroom Herb Risotto, sweet Onion Marmalade and garnished with a Potato Crisp.

Pan-Seared Sea Bass

The fish had a really nice seared crust, and the risotto was delicious. I’m not sure the textures were totally right together, and the risotto was a little thicker than I like, but that’s just splitting hairs.

I had the Crispy Roasted Duck Breast with braised Napa Cabbage, Potato Cake, and Pomegranate Jus from Animator’s Palate.

Crispy Duck from Animator's Palette

The duck was just fine, and I certainly ate it all! But it was a little overcooked, and just sort of boring. I loved the braised cabbage, though. Could have eaten a whole bowlful.

From Palo, one of the adult-only restaurants on the Fantasy (and the only one I didn’t get to tour), there was an Oregano and Parmesan Crusted Rack of Lamb with Sangiovese roasted Shallots, Olive Oil, baked Roma Tomatoes, Potato Torta and Herb Jus. My dining companion had this, and said it was absolutely delicious. Truth be told, I was sort of taking one for the team by ordering the duck, just to make sure we had a good selection of the food. But man, I really wanted this lamb.

Rack of Lamb from Palo

Finally, it wouldn’t be a cruise without surf and turf. It came in the form of the Royal Court Aged Angus Grilled Beef Tenderloin and Lobster Tail with sauteed Snow Peas and Marquis Potatoes with Cognac reduction. It looked divine, and my dining companions really enjoyed it.

Angus Beef Tenderloin and Lobster Tail

Moving on to dessert, again there were a trio from three restaurants. (1 from Animator’s Palate) Mini Lava Cake (2 from Royal Court) Tahitian Vanilla Creme Brulee and (3 from Enchanted Garden) Celebration Cake.

Dessert Trio

Frankly, this was the least-successful course. The two cakes were OK (but very boring), and the creme brulee was just not the right texture. The custard was not as soft as it should be, and the crust not as hard. It’s tough to do creme brulee properly at a large scale, particularly with such small cups. I don’t think they should have attempted it.

HOWEVER, here is where the Disney Fantasy service kicked in. Our table of Disney experts from Magic Carpet Travel Service asked our wonderful server if they had Mickey Bars. His answer? “Of course! How many would you like?” Oh, six please!

Disney service at its finest

The other tables were jealous. Mickey Bars suddenly began appearing at neighboring tables, to the delight of all.

Mickey Bars all in a row

So were we done eating? Nah. We headed to the Europa club district for the after-party, and found treats there as well. I hope these are still around for the regular cruise, and not just for the christening party. The salted caramel truffles were delish!

Treats at Europa

Chocolate dipped strawberries

Salted caramel truffle

I can’t wait to go back.