Feb 17, 2014





Champagne and Mickey Bars on the veranda


We were still suffering from the time change and were up pretty early. I was out on the veranda by 6am, when we were still cruising at a pretty nice speed. The sun was coming up and we were enjoying our vacation.

We took turns taking showers and when we heard something outside our stateroom door we went to take a peek and found our Fish Extender overflowing with gifts. Shortly before 8 we saw that we got close to Nassau and soon the ship turned around and docked into port. We all watched from our staterooms and when our DISfriends, who were staying in the stateroom beneath us were out on the veranda, we called down to play the fishing game again. We tied some chocolate bars onto some wool and sent it down the side of the ship. The girls really loved the game. We were out on the veranda until the ship was docked and then got ready to head down to the Royal Palace for breakfast.

There was no line at all to get in and after we had given them our stateroom number we were quickly led to a four top towards the middle of the restaurant. We took our seats and ordered some coffee and juice. We both didn’t feel like breakfast pastries and were ready to order once our server came by. We both ordered our favourite starters, the Swiss Bircher Muesli, Muesli with raisins, shredded apples and yogurt for Tom and the Mornin' Tug Boat, a fresh blend of strawberries, bananas, almonds, raisin granola and low-fat yogurt for myself. We had been a bit disappointed by those starters on the Fantasy, but here on the Dream they were as yummy as we had remembered them.

It did not take long until they were served and while we were still enjoying them a greeter showed a lady to the table next to us. We quickly greeted her, then went back to our starters and I thought that I had seen her before, but wasn’t sure and never gave it a second thought. The lady ordered, then our Main Courses were served, we both had opted for the same mains, the Traditional Eggs Benedict, Toasted English muffin with grilled Canadian bacon, served with poached egg topped with hollandaise sauce, grilled roma tomatoes and link sausages.

They were great and we kept chatting on what we would do lateron, when the lady at the next table asked if we frequented message boards. And while I told her that yes, we did, it dawned on me who she was and she introduced herself. She was Holly who I had been chatting with here on the boards. Needless to say that we had quite a bit to talk about and had a fun time over breakfast. We were still chatting after we had finished our Eggs Benedict when suddenly a plate was shuffed in front of Tom and myself and someone happily said, “MY guests.” It took us both a few moments to realize that our dining room server Mario was on duty at Royal Palace and had seen us sitting there. So he had gone and gotten us two fruit plates, which had sweet strawberries, juicy grapes and some Kiwi on it. We were so stunned that we both gobbled up the fruit without taking a photo. Thankfully I don’t like Kiwi, so at least we got a photo of that. Once breakfast was enjoyed we said our goodbyes to Holly, told her that we would at least see her at the Castaway Club reception and went back to our stateroom. Our stateroom host had already gotten the room ready and we quickly changed and got our bags and off we went to do some shopping in Nassau. We went down to deck 1, donned sunglasses and walked down the gangway. We slowly walked towards the customs house and right out the first door. It is so loud in there. Once we had left the customs building we headed toward the Main Street and did some serious window shopping.

A little later we reached the DelSol store and had a look inside. As always we found some things to buy, a neat little Princess shirt for my co-teacher’s daughter and a T-shirt for little George. Shopping in hand we headed towards the end of the street, crossed over and walked through a neat little plaza which led us to Senor Frogs and the street along the harbour. Next stop was the Bacardi Store along the way, Tom picked up a few flavoured rums, before we headed over to the Supermarket. We just browsed there, we had found some interesting spices on earlier cruises, but this time we left without any purchases. We just walked across the street and headed right for the Tortuga Rum Company, where we sampled some yum rum cake.

We browsed for a while before deciding on some more yummy rums, spices and rum cake. After paying our bill we there was one last stop, the off licence, where Tom got himself some beers to taste. I had brought my trusty London shopping bag, which was now filled nicely and we headed back to the ship. We quickly were inside the still noisy customs house, showed our passports and ship’s IDs and were walking towards the ship. It did not take long and we were walking up the gangway, sent our purchases through the scanner and went through the check and were on our way to our stateroom. It was now 12.30pm and we decided to leave all our stuff in the room and after freshening up, we headed down to the Royal Palace for lunch.

We got to the back entrance, wiped our hands and went in and who should be waiting there? Our dining room server Mario! Needless to say that he made sure we were seated at one of his tables. The assistant server he was working with was from Germany and while ordering our drinks we had a nice and relaxed chat with her when she brought out a basket full of baguette and dinner rolls and some butter. But with Mario waiting in the wings we needed to have a good look at the menu first. It helped that we had eaten for lunch at Royal Palace a few times before and so we did not take long to finalize what we wanted for lunch. Tom ordered the Assorted Seafood Sampler with crab claws, shrimp, and marinated scallops, served with a lemon and olive oil dressing, which he enjoyed very much. I asked for the Vegetable Quesadillas, served with guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo. I had had it before and it was just as good as I remembered. Once we had finished our starters, Tom was served his soup, the Ginger-infused Carrot Soup, with yogurt.

Again, this was something we both had tried before and it was still as yummy as always. For his main course Tom had ordered something that was new for him, the Lemon Chicken Salad, Pan-seared chicken breast served on mixed greens with papaya and a coconut-lemon grass dressing. It was a generous portion and the chicken was nice and moist and went perfectly well with the dressing. I had opted for an old favourite of mine, the Grilled Halibut, with a tomato, olive and garlic sauce, served with herb saffron rice. I am not a huge fan of rice, so I asked if it could be substituted by mashed potatoes and my wish was granted. Needless to say that I just loved my lunch.

Mario would not let us leave without dessert, so we gave in and Tom ordered the Hot Chocolate Fudge Pudding, with vanilla sauce and I had the Key Lime Pie, Lime custard on graham cracker and a meringue topping. Both were yummy, but we were so stuffed. Lunch finally finished we headed back to our stateroom, picked up day 2’s Fish Extender gifts and went to hand them out. It felt good to be able to walk some of those calories from lunch off and the ship was nice and empty as well. It took us about an hour to hand out all the gifts for that day and when we got back to our stateroom we emptied out our fish extender as well. I have a habit of walking out onto the veranda every time I get back to the room and this time was no exception and funnily enough something looked odd. It took me a moment to realize that the connecting door to the next stateroom was open. That had never happened before and we tried to close it, but since it was not locked it would open up again and again. We finally placed the little table against it and it did stay put. Since the open divider really made me feel uncomfortable I went to look for our stateroom host.

It took me a few minutes to locate her and tell her what was wrong, but she didn’t seem to understand what I was talking about. So she followed me back to our stateroom. There we were able to show her and she used her “key” to close it. Once she had left we went outside onto the veranda again and made ourselves comfortable. Tom went to try his rums and I had a Diet Coke out of the fridge. After that Tom checked out the ship’s internet and we were pleased to see that they had an introductory rate for the packages. We picked the medium one, which gave us 300mb for 15$. Great rate, given that the regular rate for this package is $39! Now we found out that several DISboards member had indeed seen us sail out and that we had been clearly visible. We checked in with the cat hotel and some friends and while we were doing this, the divider door popped open again. No one was on the other veranda, so we knew something was wrong with the door. And while we still debated if we could fix it ourselves or should go and find our stateroom host again, there was a knock at our door. Our stateroom host was right there and handed us two packaged Coke bottles.

Little did we know than that they sell pretty well on ebay, but at the time we were just very pleased with the little gift. We showed her the open door again and she went out to find “another tool” to fix the door. She came back with a knife! And this time she fixed the door for good. It would not come open again. We continued to sit out on the veranda and took pics of ourselves, one of Tom to send to the cat hotel owner and one of me and the T-shirt I had gotten for little Klara, to send to my co-worker, who is on maternity leave. While we were still trying to send them to them there was another knock at that door and the sparkling wine we had gotten as our Platinum gift was delivered.

Not that we were hungry, but with the bubbly on the table we felt like ordering a little room service again. So I called and asked for Caesar Salad, Romaine Salad tossed in a creamy Parmesan dressing, served with croutons, the Crispy Chicken Tenders, served with fries and Barbecue Sauce and the Buffalo Chicken Wings, served with vegetable sticks and Honey Mustard Dip and some extra Ranch dressing. Plus we ordered Mickey Bars as well. And 20 minutes after we had ordered there was a knock at the door and our “nibbles” were delivered. We were on vacation, so we started with the dessert, the Mickey Bars first. Yeah, good choice, otherwise they might have melted away.

Mickey Bars finished we set the table, got some drinks and had a nice mid afternoon snack. Snacks finished and after cleaning our hands again (those Chicken wings sure are messy to eat) we sat out on the veranda and enjoyed some quiet time again. We ever so often got up and watched the masses return to their ships and then finally watched one of the other ships in port sail out. Shortly before 6pm we could see workers waiting for the ship to sail away and quite on time they untied the ropes and we were soon on our way out of the port. We stood on the veranda for quite some time until we headed back to our stateroom just in time for another knock at the door. A Cast Member was there, delivering the paper model of the Cabana we had rented for the next day. A little while later we headed down to the shops.

There were two things we needed to find out. Was our friend Oxana still on board and working in the shops and would they sell the newest Dooney and Burke, DCL handbag design. It did not take long to find out that both questions could be answered with a YES. We had a nice long chat with Oxana, who even remembered our names and promised to be back with some sweets for her, then we headed to the other shop to pick up the handbag and two Minnie Mouse stoppers for my Camilia bracelet. After that we made a short stop at the DVC desk to pick our gift of the day and since they were such fun people and we had won that bag the day before we left them some chocolates as well.

We returned to our stateroom just in time to get changed for dinner. Today it would be at Royal Court and it meant that we had all three main meals of the day in the same restaurant. When we arrived at the restaurant, Mario was already waiting and led us to our table, which was the same one we had used for lunch. The assistant server came right by to fill our glasses with water, bring some Diet Coke and he placed the Warm Herb Brioche in our basket and put the Olive Spread on the table. Then we were handed the menus and started studying them. Having had a snack mid afternoon and a full lunch did not leave us very hungry, but Mario insisted we needed to have a full dinner. So Tom chose the Iced Lobster and Jumbo Shrimp, with Green Asparagus, Horseradish Cream and Dill Dressing. He gave his starter a whole hearted thumbs up. My choice was something new on the menu, since they had taken away the Cheese Souffle which I had loved so much. So I tried the Breaded and Deep Fried Brie, served with an Orange and Cranberry Chutney. I was a bit disappointed with it. Breaded and Deep fried cheese is something quite regular here and this starter had far too much breading, and was a bit on the tasteless side. It helped to have some of the chutney with it, but I am not sure I would order it again. We both skipped the soup and Tom had ordered the Crispy Roasted Duck Breast, with cabbage, bacon and shallots, Honey Parsnip puree and Duck Red wine jus. My choice had been the Chateaubriand Roasted Filet Steak, Roasted Filet Steak, crushed new potatoes with shallots, Buttered Green Beans and a Red Wine Jus. We were very happy with our choices once they came out.

But Mario had decided that we HAD TO try the Roasted Rack of Lamb Medium, with Dauphinoise Potatoes, Buttered Brussel Sprouts and a Claret Rosemary Sauce. All three were delicious, but WAY too much food and we were not able to clear any of our plates. When it was time for dessert we were both so full and told Mario that we were going to skip it. Well, he would not accept a NO, and he told me that I had to try the soufflé. Oh, well, so be it. Now it was Tom’s choice. He still opted for nothing, but Mario just would not have it. He promised to get Tom something he would like, if he told him his favourite colour. Tom chose green and we were looking forward what green dessert Mario was to wrap up. A few minutes later he came back and brought my soufflé.

Once it was set up he went back to his station and brought out Tom’s dessert, which he held behind his back until he had reached the table. And then he put the “green dessert” in front of him.It was ONE green Mickey sprinkle stuck to the bottom of the plate with a drop of chocolate. We were laughing so hard, I think we both cried from laughter. But he still had another dessert for Tom. He brought him a Banana Split! Not wanting to upset Mario Tom ate a few bites of it and it was really a nice and “lighter” dessert, but  still too much for him. And while we enjoyed our desserts we watched Mario having fun with some of his guests.

He again did magic tricks and helped celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. And then he came our way. He brought over a table cloth, which he draped all around Tom, then made him hold it in place, while he folded a crown out of a napkin and handed him a huge pepper mill, to finally crown him king of the table. I KNOW that by now we both laughed so hard that tears were running down my face. Once we had finally finished our meal we waited for Mario to be less busy as he had told us how much he had enjoyed the chocolate we had given him the day before over lunch and we had brought some more for him and his assistant server.

We handed him his treat and said our goodbyes, also informing him that we would not have dinner the next day in the Main Dining Room as we had a Palo reservation.He was not happy to NOT see us the next day, but we promised to be back the next day. We walked around the ship a bit and stopped in at the shops to give Oxana her daily chocolate share, watched the characters interact with the guests and finally returned to our stateroom. We got into more comfy clothes and stood out on the veranda watching the ship glide through the night. Tom was going to pour us a drink and I felt like having another room service treat. So at around 11pm we ordered some more Mickey Bars and once they had been delivered sat out on the veranda enjoying them. It was close to midnight when we finally went to bed.