Trip log, day three. sailing the shimmering Ionian Sea on our way to Greece.
8-Night Silver Anniversary at Sea Greek Isles Cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
June 14, 2023
Personal Navigator – Day 3
Our first of two sea days on this cruise is upon us as we are sailing between Naples and Mykonos in the Ionian Sea. We missed sailing through Strait of Messina; I don’t recall the time we passed through as the announcement was difficult to hear, but we should be able to check this out on our final sea day later in the cruise.
Today was a day to catch up from our travels to day and ready ourselves for the upcoming long port days exploring Greece. There were just a few things on our agenda for today, so I headed out for a leisurely morning stroll around the ship that turned into a photowalk after I realized most of the passengers were sleeping in today while Emily was at the gym. The atrium was the place to start before passengers start heading to Royal Palace for breakfast. The Dream’s atrium is adorned with 25th Anniversary banners and a substantial photo op in area opposite the stairs where the Halloween and Christmas trees are installed during seasonal sailings.
The Dream has some lovely artwork including this mural featuring a Disney Cruise ship at the docks with passengers and well-wishers behind the bar at Bon Voyage.
I met up with Emily after her time in the gym to get some coffee in the Cove Café. By this time, the ship was waking up with passengers seeking out caffeine.
Here is a look at the cigar menu and current offerings available in the Cove Café for the cigar aficionados.
With espresso in hand, we made our way to Cabanas. Each day they maintained an offering of eggs Benedict. Today, they had version of huevos rancheros as a special item.
The photo walk continued after breakfast into The District which has two primary entrances at the aft staircase/elevator lobby and a paparazzi themed main entrance as you walk aft from midship on the port side.
During the cruise, we became more and more drawn to District Lounge offering a more enjoyable environment compared to Bon Voyage. The lounge is primary built with a central walkway with entrances to Pink and 687 at each end of the bar with a seating area and stage on the opposite side of the walkway. The District Lounge is a mixed use space ranging from family trivia and crafts to live music in the evenings when the area transitions adult only at 9pm.
Pub 687 (often just referred to as 687) is named after the Disney Dream’s hull number assigned by Meyer Werft. The venue has potential to be a great sports bar with a big screen surround by other smaller tvs. Most of the time they were displaying the pub logo or used to show the PowerPoint presentation for trivia.
The design and look of the next venue has always been a favorite of mine, Pink Wine & Champagne Bar.
Skyline features a unique concept of an ever present evening city views with dynamic windows that rotate between select worldwide destinations. The concept has expanded to other venues around the fleet, such as on Hyperspace Lounge on the Disney Wish, and the in Paris at the Disney Hotel New York Skyline Bar.
Our final stop on The District tour and my photowalk was Evolution, for our first event of the day, the Castaway Club Reception for Gold, Platinum, and Pearl members.
Along with turn down service the previous evening, we were delivered the following letter inviting us to the Pearl, Platinum and Gold reception in Evolution.
As we entered Evolution, we were offered complimentary beverages as we took our seat to enjoy the violinist, Mariya Valkova, who was a treat to hear this entire cruise anytime she was playing around the ship.
The reception includes a period where some of the ship’s officers are walking around the room meeting with guests. After Mariya’s performance Disney Cruise Line’s “Silver Anniversary at Sea” music video was played on the screen behind the stage leading into the arrival of the Captains, Minnie and Mickey, who arrived on stage dancing to the song in their shimmering Silver Anniversary at Sea outfits.
Cruise director Lee followed welcoming Castaway Club members to the celebration mix and mingle before handing the microphone over to the Captain.
Captain Damir spoke to the group about the upcoming projects such as Disney’s new private destination on Euthertha, Lighthouse Point, and future deployments to Australia with the Disney Wonder, and eventually Singapore with “a Big One” referring to the yet to be renamed ship formerly known as the GLOBAL DREAM which Disney Cruise Line purchased last year.
Lee returned to the stage to provide an overview presentation on the Lighthouse Point project opening in just under a year, and a brief mention of the Treasure specifically speaking about the design of the Grand Hall, and then referenced soon to be the biggest ship in the fleet headed to Singapore.
Overall, the reception felt more like the classic receptions of the past before they were modified to behind the scenes looks at a Walt Disney Theatre production show. The newer behind the scenes versions have been occurring, and I believe our classic reception may be attributed of the recent Walt Disney Theater Cast changeover specific to the Disney Dream.
My hospitality skills were in need of a refresh; I am a professional napkin folder when it comes to the candle, and it’s my go-to trick at restaurants. We recently were out having dinner at a local restaurant and our server quickly removed the candle from the table joking to me, “don’t let the owner see this, he will make us do this on every table.” I’ve neglected the other folds. So, it was off to napping folding in D Lounge to sharpen hone my skills.
Personally, I find this a more practical skill than towel folding, but who am I kidding, they are both cool. On the way out, we were presented the following handout with instructions on folding the various napkin styles of the Disney Dream.
We walked through Cabanas and spotted an Asian Station set up as well as a chicken pot pie special for the day. The pot pie was great for what it had, but was missing some ingredients such as carrots and peas.
After a light lunch at Cabanas, we walked around the pool deck for the first time this sailing. Passing through Flo’s Cafe, we spotted familiar quick service fare. My morning photowalk transitioned into an afternoon menu collection scavenger hunt.
Luigis was serving up familiar pizzas.
Tow Mater Grill had a selection of plant based specials to accompany the standard menu offerings.
Fillmore’s Favorites offered up a selection of salads, fruit bowls along with sandwiches and wraps.
Our early afternoon stroll on the upper decks ocnidunied to Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats, the Wreck-it Ralph themed sweets shop onboard. The menu displayed only listed one sundae, the big one, Ralph’s Family Challenge.
There were a selection of 25th Anniversary treats available for purchase at Vanellope’s including shimmering gelato.
This is old news, but the bulk candy area is now shelving for pre-packaged sweets.
Waves is a nice little area behind the funnel on the Dream. On the Fantasy, this area is a water play area called the AquaLab. This has been a fun area to hang out and meet up with people in the past, however, it could benefit from a shade canopy.
A cool aspect of sitting at Waves, is a neat view of the AquaDuck as it loops out over the port side of the ship.
The old Quacks pool deck retail location is now a popup bar. I’ve been told the sign was still up in March, and had already switched to a popup bar. So, between March and June the Quacks signage had been removed. It was nice to see the Moët & Chandon trunk is still in use, albeit without the various customizations. They also would only sell Moet Ice by the bottle, and not by the glass. If you wanted a single glass, you are directed to the Cove Bar.
The new look pool menu was all over the tables and near the bars on the upper decks.
Hey Wazowski, my celiac friends will are happy to hear you have gluten free ice cream cones available upon request. The self serve flavors available this afternoon were strawberry, banana, chocolate, and vanilla.
Frozone Treats was serving up the same menu as we’ve spotted in the past along with Dole Whip which can be upgraded to alcoholic.
One morning after working out, Emily went over to the the juice bar in Senses. She asked if it was possible to just get some protein powder shaken with water, but they did not have a way to ring it up so they could not honor her request, or presumably other custom requests that were not listed on the Senses Juice Bar menu.
Currents, as well as the Cove Bar, both had the same menus which are similar to the Signals menu on the classic ships, but different from the version offered on the Disney Wish.
The Disney Vacation Club desk has been relocated to the wall opposite guest services on deck 3 starboard.
At 12:45p, there was a character dance party held in the atrium with Captain Mickey, Captain Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto.
Vista Café had a selection of bottled beverages on display along with a selection of treats.
We headed over to Pub 687 for a trivia session which was already at standing room only. We ended up throwing in the towel when we fell behind since we wanted to make sure we arrived at our next planned event early to secure a seat.
On our way to the D Lounge for the 25th Anniversary Trivia, we stopped at the District Lounge to order the Silver Anniversary signature cocktail, Jubilee by the Sea. The drink includes the keepsake bookmark recipe card and the coaster.
The 25th Anniversary Trivia is heavy on the stage shows, including some dating back to 1998. We lost by a point to a person who was sailing on their first cruise… They attended a previous 25th Trivia and recalled the answers. Kudos to them for their honesty. All in all, it was a fun trivia session that did not require a doctorate in Disney Cruise Line history.
Tonight was formal night with our dinner rotation taking us to Royal Palace with the standard dinner menu.
Our serving team continued to be excellent. Our table was located off to the side in a quiet corner
While the service was excellent, the food overall was once again forgettable in terms of preparation and flavor. Sure, food is highly subjective, but there should be some level of wow factor for the price of these cruises.
For example, I would have never known there was horseradish in the salmon crust if it wasn’t mentioned on the menu and as expected, the fish was beyond well done.
I would take the Grand Marnier Soufflé any day of the week over the chocolate soufflé in Palo. However, if I would have known it was just going to be a basic vanilla soufflé served with vanilla sauce I would have passed on dessert. There was one thing they couldn’t mess up, the tried and true Mickey Bar.
Following dinner, we waited in line for a picture with the Captain as well as a family photo on the Disney Dream’s grand staircase.
The big excitement for the night was Silent DJ in Evolution. It was nice that this was a regular offering on the cruise during the early evening hours.
Our overall relaxing day was nearing an end, and so we retired to the stateroom.
Tomorrow, we finally get to explore Greece with the first of four consecutive port days starting with Mykonos!