One part of shipboard life that took us a while to get used to was the non-dinner dining. Yes, there were options. Yes, we could pick whatever we wanted from those options. But which of the options did we like best? And how did they vary? That was the part that took adjusting to. We tended to breakfast in the Enchanted Garden, because it was the closest to our stateroom. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it was just a buffet breakfast. We never (until the final day, which is different anyway) went to the Royal Court for breakfast. It was the Enchanted Garden, Cabanas, or room service (on port days) for us for breakfast. Lunch was a little more varied: we made a bigger effort to try the different restaurants available. We even ate at the quick-service windows (overall named Flo’s, with different windows for different characters and food types) for one meal. That’s when I discovered they have cookies and pretzels there, nearly anytime I wanted them. (I’m glad we made this discovery toward the end of the trip. I’d have been in trouble otherwise.)
Dinners, on the other hand, were a lot of fun. Since Disney Cruise Line does assigned seating for dinner, there was no choice required. (Well, technically there was. You could eat at your assigned room & time, you could eat at the Cabanas buffet, or you could get room service. And that’s not taking Palo and Remy into account.) I particularly liked that our dining service team followed us from restaurant to restaurant as we rotated rooms. It was great to develop a relationship with them, and even better to have someone serving you who had a good guess as to your beverage preferences and such. By the end of the cruise, saying goodbye to our service team was a lot more difficult than I’d expected. I can’t imagine working in those positions and having to say goodbye to new friends every week for five or six months. One of the bartenders that we’d befriended said she hates Fridays, since that’s the last day she sees each set of guests. Our baristas in the Cove Café also were sorry to see us go.
me and Dave with our service team on the last day
Each of the dining rooms had their own charm. The Enchanted Garden was relatively calm, and simulated an outdoor dining area. The Royal Court was decorated in a formal style, with coaches similar to Cinderella’s pumpkin coach embossed on the china and mosaics of the different princesses on the walls. And the Animator’s Palette was an amazing show experience both of the nights we dined there: with one night being a larger-scale version of Turtle Talk With Crush (and you have never experienced Turtle Talk until you have watched Bob Gurr, self-proclaimed “old dude”, kiss Crush) and the second night featuring drawings the guests made before dinner coming to life with the help of Sorcerer Mickey, and dancing along with the music.
I tried to take a selfie with the sunset before our dinner at Remy. It didn't work, but the rest of the group had a great time laughing at us me.
The most amazing dinner we had onboard ship, though, was at Remy, hands down. My only regret about it was that we dined there on Day 3, when I was still being affected by the motion of the sea at dinner. There was one moment when I thought I was going to lose it, but luckily it passed quickly and I was fine.
The food, though, was much better than fine. It was SPECTACULAR. And when you combine the food with the impeccable service, it was quite probably the best meal I have ever had. Because we were dining at Remy with a large group (large enough that we split into the two private dining rooms), we were served a complementary champagne cocktail followed by a fixed menu. The menu consisted of a king crab trio, including caviar; black cod, with lentils, mussels, and saffron; quail served with figs and parsnips; Boeuf Wagyu on a spicy taco bed with lemon cream and guacamole; and a chocolate praline for dessert. And there were little surprises everywhere, like extra chocolate after dessert, and these amazing warm tomato bursty things before the meal. The experience was marvelous. And the result of not being able to choose my meal meant that I tried things I never had before, and never would have if they wasn’t served to me by the chef like that.
some of the spectacular food
On top of the great food and amazing service (we all got a kick out of how when domed plates were delivered, our main waiter would collect other servers to help him so that all the domes could be removed at once), we got an unexpected show with dinner. That night we were passing by a lightning storm, and those of us facing the window got to watch the lightning hit the sea and light up the night sky. It was lovely! And it rocked the boat just enough more than the engines usually did (Remy and Palo are located at the aft of the ship, above the engines, where the engine vibrations add to the motion of the sea and make my stomach even less happy — not my ideal location for a dining area) that the motion was obvious to other people, and not just me. Perversely, this made it easier for me to handle it. I think that the motion was more predictable at that point, but it could be just that I was adjusting anyway.
After dinner photo, with my Remy rose.
One more bit of amazing service at Remy: when I got up to use the restroom, our waiter materialized at my elbow, unasked, and proceeded to escort me. Just because. I was blown away.