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TR: Last Trip of 2012 and First Trip of 2013 Pt. 7: Disney Dream, First Evening On Board (1/2/2013)
(version with pictures;
Lines through Terminal 8 at Port Canaveral were long but flowed quickly. We
had all of our paperwork in order well before getting to the desk, which
meant that we had our Keys To The World (seapass) in what seemed like record
time. Before boarding, there was the commensurate embarkation photo for
future cruise line revenue possibility, and then we were to board the ship.
With many lines, a glass of champagne or sparkling wine is handed out at
entry. Disney instead asks for the name of your party in a rushed setting,
then speaks it out on the atrium loudspeaker. Ours was a little muffled, but
they said it. I would have preferred the alcohol, I guess.
Much of the early part of sail away was spent in the cabin - we'd venture
out to the pool deck for V8 Cafe food and some of Mickey's Sail Away Party,
but that area was a bit busy for us and the show frankly ridiculous to be
attending. Watching us pass onlookers in Port Canaveral and see the Space
Coast shoreline disappear slowly on the horizon was far more relaxing and
almost necessary after dealing with the madness that was the always
purposeless muster drill.
In many public areas, much of the ship's Christmas decor was still present.
A large gingerbread house was set up over in one area, a cable stayed
Christmas tree towered two stories up, and garland was all over the place.
There was also decoration still throughout the buffet area up on deck 11.
This contrasted quite a bit with NCL, and how within a day or so all New
Years decoration was pulled from the Pearl and stored away when we sailed
them almost a year to the day prior.
Chosen for our seating was the later second dinner seating, which meant that
we'd be attending the first show. Opening night on the boat was Villains
Tonight, a song and dance spectacle based around Hades from Disney's
Hercules attempting to regain his evil mojo. Of the three shows we saw on
board, this was probably the least serious and most self-aware. There were
jokes towards a number of other Disney properties and even on Disney itself;
legit lulz were derived from a crack on John Carter. As would be the case
with a number of shows, there were transparent screens, really cool digital
projections, and even pyro mixed in to give the shows a spectacular
On our first night, dinner was served in Enchanted Garden down on deck 2.
There was some waiting involved getting to the entrance and being given our
table number on this evening, and as we pushed and shoved our way through
with the throngs, I only then realized that this scenario would be repeated
again at least twice more because of the rotational dining system. I really,
really hate that part of it. We were seated at table 33, a table of 6. Two
of the tablemates never showed up. We gave a decent effort at trying to
interact with the newlywed tablemates that did appear, and that went
nowhere. My wife ultimately compared them to the Dementors from Harry
Potter: they seemed to exist to suck the fun out of the experience with
horrible babble, zero sense of humor, and complaints about the menu items.
The husband was particularly striking on this, choosing only to eat the most
basic salad and the "everyday" steak entree and complaining about the hummus
like spread for the bread (which we enjoyed much of).\
My wife and I are a bit more adventurous, to say the least, and we went
after a variety of items. Her starter was the Thyme and Garlic Brioche
filled with various mushrooms, followed by the Heirloom Tomato Soup, and the
Glazed Portobello Mushroom entree. She found all to be quite tasty and had
zero complaints. I chose the Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower to start with,
followed also with the Tomato soup, and the carmelized Sea Scallops to
finish. The Scallops were good, the soup also quite tasty, but the Tuna and
Avocado Tower had a wildly insufficient amount of wasabi on the plate. I ran
out about 2/3 through, leaving the rest with what I thought was an essential
component. I suppose I could have sent the remainder back and asked for the
Lobster Ravioli starter instead, but I wasn't exactly starving when we had
started our meal. For dessert it was all about the Bananas Foster Sundae;
not as much rum taste as perhaps when I make it at home, but that could be
because I way over do that part.
To the uninitiated, it is important to discuss that the biggest aspect with
Disney's rotational dining is the differing themes of each venue. Enchanted
Garden is themed after a classic french formal garden, and the LED lighting
inside it changes from dusk to night time during the meal. It isn't
terrifically dramatic; in fact, my wife indicated that to her, the change
was so subtle that she barely noted the change at all. If not prompted to
look you might entirely miss it. Of course, most everyone on the ship knows
what is coming, and are ready to "ooh" and "ahh."
There were some options for more adult entertainment in the evening, but
were a bit tired from having been active all day and instead chose to head
to sleep and get ourselves ready for an exciting day at sea.
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