Trip log, day four. At Sea.
4-Night Halloween on the High Seas Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral
October 29, 2015t
Day 4 – Personal Navigator
The final day of the cruise began in a similar fashion with Emily going to the gym. The only really change from our typical morning routine this cruise was that Isabelle and I brought our breakfast back from Cabanas to eat on our verandah.
Emily and I had brunch reservations at Remy just before noon. We did not have any plans for the morning so we finished the rest of ‘A Goofy Movie’ on demand until we decided to play Midship Detective Agency.
The Muppets – The Case of the Stolen Show which was added to the Disney Dream’s Midship Detective Agency during dry dock including Pepe’s answering machine!
Previously, The Muppets version of the game was exclusive to the Disney Fantasy.
Surprising for a sea day, not many people were playing Midship. We finished The Case of the Stolen Show in the Vista Gallery much sooner than we anticipated.
While in the gallery, I noticed a some of the new co-branded Disney Cruise Line – Star Wars collectables on display and available for purchase.
We made our way to 687 so Isabelle could participate in the tile coaster making craft and play some board games until it was time to get ready for brunch. Isabelle said she’d be ok to wait for lunch and see what they had in the Oceaneer Clab. She headed off while we changed and then headed up to Remy. Even if you do not eat at Remy, try to find a time to peek in and take a look at the wine selection. Aside from the Château Cheval Blanc 1947, there is a selection of bottles from the Lasseter Family Winery featuring labels inspired from the Pixar films signed by John Lasseter.
Brunch started with the included glass of Taittinger and freshly sliced Jamón Ibérico.
Ratatouille was offered for the guests who did not want the cured ham like Emily. Luckily, a few extras were prepared and I was able to have both. This was my first time trying Ratatouille and it was delicious. I almost wish we could have this all the time as starter for Remy Brunch.
We both chose to add on the Champagne paring to our Remy Brunch. The Champagne pairing includes three true Champagnes (not sparkling wines) for an extra $30. This brings the total for Remy Brunch up from $55 to $85 per person.
The bread service (a truffled brioche) was delivered and our first Champagne, the Taittinger Prestive Cuvée Rosé NV was poured.
The second course was a flavorful Spinach Risotto topped with thinly sliced root vegetables and edible flowers.
The third course today was Lobster wrapped in sliced mangos, topped with a generous portion of caviar and more edible flowers.
Due to my shellfish allergy, I was presented with mouth watering dumplings (that’s fancy for gnocchi, after all this a fancy French restaurant). The onions were out of this world with robust flavor and a nice crunch.
Our next Champagne arrived, the Pommery Pop in the easily transported 100ml gold bottle.
The POP was paired with our fourth course, the Flétan (halibut) served on a pomme de terre (potato cream) accented by a flavorful thai citrus reduction framing the edge. This is out of this world.
Our fifth and final course arrived. Berkshire pork medallions served on a cannelloni bean cream with a crisp of Jamón Ibérico and an artichoke.
Since Emily requested no pork, she was presented with chicken on a bed of vegetables topped with an chicken reduction & topped off with an artichoke.
Our fourth and final Champagne was poured, the Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial & it was paired with our dessert, the Paris Brest served with a side of Hazelnut ice cream.
You can never escape Remy with just one dessert. To go with our after brunch coffee, we were served a tray of canelé.
We picked up Isabelle only to find out she didn’t eat lunch as all they offered in the Oceaneer Clab were corn dogs. I used our Wave Phone to call room service and order the all hands on deck cheese plate to tide Isabelle over and I was told it would be about 40-45 minutes so we thought it would be a good time to stop in the Disney Vacation Planning Center.
When we arrived at the new Disney Vacation Planning Center to buy a voucher for a future sailing, the place was packed with a waiting list going. The waiting list is pretty well designed. You check in using one of the tablets. Your name is displayed in the order you arrived on the TV in the corner. Additionally, when it is your turn you will be paged via your Wave Phone. With approximately 15 other people ahead of us, we decided just to go back to the room and wait for the page. Within six minutes, room service had already attempted to deliver the cheese plate & rather than leaving it in the stateroom they left a note on the door to call when we wanted it delivered. I felt bad because no-one was in the room when the first delivery attempt was made, but we were still had at 34 minutes to go based on the estimated time for delivery when I called.
About 45 minutes later give or take, we received the page from the Disney Vacation Planning Center on our wave phones. When we arrived, it was kind of awkward trying to figure out what to do. Thankfully, one of the Cast Members working the DVC desk had a free minute and said just to walk up to one of the rebooking agents and tell them you were paged. Basically, it almost operates like a Fast Pass. You return when paged then wait for the current guest to finish then it is your turn. In a matter of no more than 2 minutes, we successfully purchased a voucher for a future cruise.
One major flaw in the Disney Vacation Planning Selling Every Disney Destination Under the Sun Center is the lack of a self service kiosk. Purchasing a voucher could have been done in a few seconds using one of the tablets in the room. For those familiar with the rebooking forms, you could fill out at your leisure and drop off… Well, those have been eliminated on the Disney Dream and guess what, it “sounds” like you will be seeing the Disney Destinations Sales Office deployed across the fleet. For the life of me, I do not understand why Disney Cruise Line is going to the Apple Store model (before the in app payment method was added) where it almost impossible at times to hand over large sums of money when you just want to make a purchase. Regardless, the tablets, the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App, and for giggles your own device’s mobile browser should all allow guests to rebook on board or purchase vouchers when they know what they want and do not need to be sold on a particular destination.
We returned to the stateroom and started to pack before it was time to head down to Evolution for the 5 PM Castaway Club reception. On recent cruises, these receptions have been packed, however on this sailing, not so much. Captain Henry did not mention the number or percentage of returning guests so I just going to estimate by the lanyard counts around the ship there were not many Gold cruisers on board and even less Platinum cruisers onboard. We had a special guest during the reception, Disney Cruise Line’s Senior VP of Operations, Anthony Connelly.
Mr. Connelly even took the time to chat with Isabelle about the enhancements to the Disney Magic and asked her what has been her favorite cruise so far considering she is now on her way to double platinum status.
Isabelle asked to play shuffle board after the reception. We started to walk around the promenade deck until we found an open shuffle board. Even though I had some good form, Isabelle took me to school. Just look at that focus as she prepares for her next shot.
On our way back to the room, we stopped into Pink again to see if they had a chance to iron out the price of the Moet & Chandon 2002 Grand Vintage champagne prices. As of the last sea day, you were unable to buy a glass or bottle & it was only available in the champagne trio. There had been no resolution to it not being in the POS system.
For our final dinner, we had a mix of items from room service and Flo’s before Isabelle and Emily hit up Officer Pin Trading near the gift shops.
Once again Tammy and her husband extended an invitation to check out her one-bedroom suite and the new outside concierge area on he Disney Dream. This was my first time seeing inside a concierge stateroom on a Dream class ship. I’m not sure I would know what to do with all the room. I’m sure I’d figure it out because I’d probably spend a good deal of time in one of these rooms.
During the Disney Dream’s dry dock, a hot tub was installed and a partial cover with what appeared to be forced air ducts were added to the concierge sun deck.
I guarantee the shade will make this area a popular spot for concierge guests going forward and I would suspect this is on the agenda for the Disney Fantasy. The hot tub is just icing on the cake.
Tonight was not only our last night of the cruise, but it was also a school night for Isabelle meaning an early bed time. Emily was awesome and finished packing and I skipped out to go see Ant-Man in the Buena Vista Theatre.
I am not sure why I didn’t find time this summer to go see Ant-Man, it was really good and I loved the tie-ins to the Avengers and the setup to an Ant-Man sequel. I wouldn’t mind seeing a prequel origin story for Ant-Man. Who knows Cameron Douglas could turn his life around like Robert Downey Jr and star as the young Hank Pym. Anyway, I enjoyed the film so much I pulled out my phone while I was waiting for the final final end credit scene and pre-ordered the blu-ray from Amazon.
Day 5 – Time to Say Goodbye
I woke up about 5:30 AM on our final morning as the Disney Dream’s thrusters came to life to maneuver into her berth at Port Canaveral. I quickly got ready and headed up to Cabanas to grab light continental breakfast for the family to enjoy as we finished getting ready to leave the ship via express walk off once the ship was cleared. Not a bad view before heading off to school.
While we were waiting for the ship to clear customs, we watched the opening of Ghost Busters on demand.
At about 7:20 AM, we made our way to the atrium to find out the ship had already been cleared. We either missed the announcement or it was not yet announced, but the ship was cleared and we were off. The customs officials working at Port Canaveral continue to be some of the best agents we’ve come across. They are always nice and friendly while still being professional.
Since Port Canaveral went back to collecting payment for parking upon arrival, there is no longer any delay leaving the parking lot. We were in the car and on the road by 7:40 AM.
We had just about an hour to get Isabelle to school, but there was an accident on 528 that closed the road which resulted in a significant detour, taking a 45 minute drive and making it over an hour and a half. We still managed to get her to school within the first hour of classes, then it was home for Em & I to work.
Overall, I would say I am impressed with the enhancements to the Disney Dream following her first ever dry dock. Disney Cruise Line really undersold what was going to be happening during dry dock and this resulting in many surprise discoveries during our 4-nights. The marquee changes to the Oceaneer Club were a hit with our daughter as well as the many kids we saw enjoying those spaces during the cruise. Concierge guests can now enjoy their time outside relaxing in the hot tub, catching some sun or just chatting under the new shaded seating. While DCL may have tightened up their guest carry on policy for alcohol, they at least addressed a key issue by expanding their beer offerings not just at 687, but around the ship. There was even a pumpkin bottle beer that my wife spotted available on the pool deck (Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin). The refillable beer mug is definitely back in play for this guy. Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats may make many question DCL’s motives, but I at least for now this is not cutting into the sweets and treats that have been offered around the ship for free. All in all, Disney Cruise Line undersold and over delivered the enhancements to the new Disney Dream. I am not just saying this because they gave us an extra $250 on board credit when they canceled our original post dry dock cruise, I was really impressed aside from my few rants.