The Disney Dream – Fabulous Food, Fun Times, and Great Comfort

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The Disney Dream - Fabulous Food, Fun Times, and Great Comfort

Amazing food and lots of fun are what every customer expects when booking a cruise vacation. However, when booking a voyage with “The Mouse,” the bar is raised even higher. As a Castaway Gold Member (this was my third sailing with Captain Mickey), it was no different. I was hoping to find, once more, perfect service, fun, and magic. At the same time, I was also eager to discover the latest enhancements to the ship.

Decor on the 4,000-passenger Disney Dream is warm, featuring an elegant Art Deco interior design. A beautiful glass chandelier decorated with 24-karat gold, and a total of 88,680 Swarovski crystal beads dominates the atrium.

State Room - The Disney Dream - Fabulous Food, Fun Times, and Great Comfort

State Room – The Disney Dream

Comfort – A Home Away from Home

My spacious stateroom came with a queen bed, a sitting area complete with a sleeping sofa, a 22″ LCD flat-screen TV, a desk, and a private verandah. There was plenty of closet space, and I loved the fact that I could store all of my luggage under the bed.

Lots of electric outlets, an iPod docking station, a hair dryer, an in-room safe, a refrigerator, and individual climate control added to my personal comfort.

Having one bathroom with a vanity, sink, shower, and tub, plus a half bathroom with a vanity, sink, and toilet was an additional bonus. To top it all, there were plenty of Elemis bath and shower products.

My favorite hangout, however, was the verandah equipped with comfy patio furniture. I started each morning watching the sunrise over the ocean while enjoying an early breakfast, courtesy of the free room service offered on all Disney cruises.

Fabulous Food – Exceptional Dining Experiences

Throughout the cruise guests rotate to another restaurant each night. Each dining venue provides a uniquely themed experience. The servers accompany you, providing familiar, friendly, and personalized service.

Animator’s Palate serves Pacific Rim flavors and is the liveliest, read family friendly, restaurant. Crush, the sea turtle from Finding Nemo, appears on multiple screens and interacts with guests throughout the meal.

Animators Palate main dish Ginger-Teriyaki dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin

Animators Palate main dish Ginger-Teriyaki dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin

Enchanted Garden is a casual restaurant inspired by the gardens of Versailles, featuring a seasonal menu of market-fresh ingredients.

The Royal Palace, a casual yet elegant restaurant, serves continental cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Cabanas serves buffet-style food and is a perfect casual alternative if you are pressed for time. I was amazed at the quality and diversity of the food at Cabanas. My favorite meal there was lunch on embarkation day. There was plenty of seafood and my all-time favorite, lamb shops. Trust me, they are simply delicious. (You can find the Cabanas Marinated Lamb Chops recipe at the end of this article!)

Palo and Remy – Cranking it up a Notch

Adults 18 and up can dine at Palo ($30 surcharge), a premier restaurant featuring modern Italian cuisine, and Remy ($85 surcharge), an exquisite, French-inspired gourmet restaurant.

I did not have a chance to experience Remy, but I did dine at Palo. The food was superb, but the service lacked luster.

While I welcome the concept of adult-only dining, I do not think that it is a necessity on a Disney cruise. I can only reiterate that each meal I had at one of the assigned restaurants (Animator’s Palate, Royal Palace, and Secret Garden) was amazing, and so were the waiters, anticipating any possible request I had.

Millennium Falcon - The Disney Dream - Fabulous Food, Fun Times, and Great Comfort

Millennium Falcon – The Disney Dream

Fun Times on the Enhanced Disney Dream

The Disney Dream, after an extensive upgrade, has emerged with lots of new features for kids and adults. Winning the prize for the coolest enhancement ever is, of course, the new play area inside the Oceaneer Club, where you’ll find the Millennium Falcon a console equipped with more than 1,000 LED lights, plus hundreds of buttons, switches, and special effects. It is the centerpiece of a recreational area for kids ages 3-12, where aspiring Jedis can pilot the pride of Han Solo, learn the ways of the Force, partake in role-playing, and enjoy high-tech interactive games based on Disney Infinity video games.

Andy's Room - The Disney Dream - Fabulous Food, Fun Times, and Great Comfort

Andy’s Room

The younger set will be more comfortable in Andy’s Room, a colorful bedroom where the world of Disney·Pixar’s Toy Story comes to life, or at Pixie Hollow, a whimsical space that transports children to the magical world of Tinker Bell.

Kids Skipping Meals to Join the Rebel Alliance!

Danny Handke, the Creative Designer Lead of the new Star Wars-themed space, told me at a media event that kids are so enthralled with the new play area that they do not want to leave. Some are even skipping meals for a chance to go to a galaxy far, far away. During an open house for adults, I got to see what it is all about. When my time was up, I, too, experienced the pain of letting go (pun intended). David Handke’s remark about kids skipping meals made me curious, so I double-checked with Thomas Praxmarer, the Hotel Director, to ask if he had seen any decline in kids attending sit-down meals. The answer was a resounding “yes.”

Vanelloppe Sweets The Disney Dream - Fabulous Food, Fun Times, and Great Comfort

Vanelloppe Sweets

Time for Dessert – Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats Shop

Kids and grownups alike rally at the new Wreck It Ralph-themed Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats shop. The three-scoop, five-topping Von Schweetz’s Race Kart Sundae served in Vanellope’s very own race car is my favorite. I don’t know what I liked most – the employee religiously making the treat – or the excitement in the eyes of the kid watching him do so. If you are a Kitchen Sink fan, there is a larger version (eight-scoops, eight-toppings) served in a trophy cup.

What Else is New?

The Disney Dream is now home to a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, where young princesses and aspiring pirates can get makeovers. The space was lovely and offered costumes unique to Disney Cruise Line, such as a Captain Mickey uniform.

Shore Excursions and Spa Activities

Going off ship in Nassau is easy and, unless you want an escorted excursion, you are perfectly fine to just do your own thing. I am personally not interested in shopping for items I can get anywhere in the world, nor am I a fan of Atlantis. I walked around town and enjoyed taking in the scenery.

For Castaway Cay, I signed up for the 5K run, which is free and comes with a nifty medal. I have done quite a lot of Disney races, coast to coast; while I knew I could do it, I also knew it was going to be painful. Even though the race starts before any other offshore activity, remember: It’s hot, people!

Ninety-degrees and half an hour later, I collected the precious “bling” and enjoyed the adults-only beach and a fabulous barbecue.

Adult Beach at Castaway Cay - The Disney Dream - Fabulous Food, Fun Times, and Great Comfort

Adult Beach

When the ship is in a port of call, and you are not interested in going off ship, the greatest place to be is at the Senses Spa on Deck 11. Special packages are available on days the ship is in port, and there is certainly no overcrowding.

My favorite thing to do is to use the Rainforest Room. For as little as $16, you can enjoy a dry sauna, a hot steam room, scented showers, and heated loungers, as well as two hot tubs overlooking the sea. For an extra $11, you can purchase a Do-It-Yourself scrub. Choices are Vanilla Orange, Chocolate Peppermint, Lavender Herbal, or Tangerine.

New at the Senses Spa is the Senses Juice Bar, where you can enjoy healthy, made-to-order fruit and vegetable smoothies.

Adult Deck - The Disney Dream - Fabulous Food, Fun Times, and Great Comfort

Adult Deck – The Disney Dream

Also fun but for adults only is Quiet Cove on Deck 11, which offers a freshwater pool, jetted hot tubs overlooking the Ocean, and plenty of chaise longues for sunbathing. New on Deck 13 is Satellite Falls, where adults can soak up the sun in loungers or relax in the shade under a circular splash pool. I visited Satellite Falls several times, but it was never operational because high winds prevented the rain curtain from working properly.

So Much to Do

From Broadway-style shows to deck parties, there is something going on for everyone at all times. Keeping track of all the entertainment offered is an impossible task. Make sure to study the daily Navigator, a publication listing everything going on onboard. But most of all, relax and have fun!

For more information on how to book your next Disney Cruise, consult the company’s website or for discounts check out Cruise Direct..

With Minnie after 5K on Castaway Cay - The Disney Dream - Fabulous Food, Fun Times, and Great Comfort

With Minnie after 5K on Castaway Cay

Check out the Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2016, available January 5, 2016, for a complete review of all ships, activities, and port itineraries.

Cabanas’ Marinated Lamb Chops Recipe

Recipe courtesy dclnews.com

Ingredients:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
8 to 10 lamb chops
light olive oil, for cooking

Preparation:

  1. Whisk together oil, lemon zest and juice, oregano, cumin, and pepper in a shallow dish. Add garlic. Add lamb chops and turn to coat.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
  3. Remove chops from refrigerator and shake off excess marinade. Set aside.
  4. Heat a large grill pan or skillet over high heat. Brush pan lightly with oil. Add chops and cook 2 1/2 minutes per side for medium-rare.

The Disney Dream - Fabulous Food, Fun Times, and Great Comfort

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by Liliane Opsomer

Liliane J. Opsomer is the coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids. She is passionate about travel, Disney, and Hobbits. Liliane is a regular contributor to johnnyjet.com, themouseforless.com and Everett Potter’s Travel Report. She is also one of the photographers to The Color Companion to Walt Disney World – The Unofficial Guide. You can find Liliane in the theme parks several times each year, and once in a while sailing with The Mouse. Liliane resides in Birmingham, Alabama.



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