Day 2 - we docked in Nassau a little before 9:00 in the morning. All aboard isn't until 2:00 am! It's a pretty short trip to Castaway Cay from here, though. It's been mostly cloudy today - there's been some sun, but also a few rain showers this afternoon. Here's a picture of the Dream in its home port of Nassau.
We had no excursions and nothing planned for the day, so it's been a nice relaxing day for us. After we finally got up we went to breakfast at Royal Palace - the menu looks amazingly like the one for Lumiere's on the Magic - except without the character names from Beauty and the Beast. The restaurant is very pretty - since it was daytime and not too busy I was able to take a lot of photos.
There's all kinds of "Princess" touches - one thing Lee noticed that I had missed is that all of the chairs have a symbol of one of the princesses carved on the back, like an apple, a slipper, or a rose.
After breakfast I joined the Midship Detective Agency to solve a case about stolen paintings. I thought the paintings were very clever - they were Disney renditions of famous "mousterpieces" like Duck with a Pearl Earring, The Blue Duck, Goofy Crossing the Delaware, Minnie Rising From the Ocean, the Goofy Cavalier...One of the clues was in the piece of "Minnie Lisa" enchanted art hanging in the Vista Gallery.
It's a great way to learn your way around the ship - the Detective Casebook contains a map of the locations of the 13 pieces of enchanted art that are part of the game - so you might have to visit just about every deck from 2-10. The detective badge card has a code on the other side that the artwork can "read", and then you use it to interact with the art - moving it side to side or forward and back, depending on whether you are trying to unscrew something or pop balloons, or sweep away dust, etc. Those types of actions often reveal a clue that gives you more information on who the identity of the perpetrator might be.
I had a lot of fun with it, and in the picture below you can see the suspect that I identified. There are currently two different cases to solve - I will probably try the other one later in the cruise.
Lee and I both went to a couple of sessions about the Disney Dream itself. The first one was "Making of a Dream", where Alyson, one of the cruise staff, talked about the history of the Disney Cruise Line, some of the differences between the Dream and the Magic/Wonder, and showed some videos of the construction. I didn't take any notes, but a few things I remember:
1. The Dream is 150 feet longer than the Magic/Wonder, and three decks higher.
2. Maximum passenger capacity is about 4100, as opposed to ~2000 on the Magic and Wonder.
3. There are 1500 crew members (representing 62 countries) on the Dream, and about 900 on the Magic/Wonder.
4. It takes one million dollars' worth of fuel to fill the fuel tanks.
5. The atrium area has hidden lights and speakers (behind the white panels under the Disney art friezes) so they can use the Atrium as an indoor stage for events like the Sailaway Party and Pirate Party that can't be held in the main pool area due to bad weather.
6. The Disney Magic and the Disney Dream are Art Deco in style, while the Disney Wonder and the upcoming Disney Fantasy are Art Nouveau.
7. People have asked about "behind-the-scenes" tours of the galleys, bridge, or engine room. They can't do those for security reason, but there are videos available of those areas on your stateroom TV: Push the MENU button, then Ship Tips, and you'll see the Bridge Tour, Engine Tour, and Behind the Scenes Galley Tour. They are each about three minutes long.
The second session was "Art of the Theme Ship", which was actually a tour around various areas of the Dream. It started in Meridian, which is the lounge between Palo and Remy on Deck 12 - and it's a challenge to get there if you don't know the ship pretty well. You must get there from the aft elevator or stairwell - there's no external access to it from deck 12. Sarah was our tour guide, and told us all kinds of fascinating things about the ship and pointed out lots of little details that you may or may not see, or know what they mean. For example, the little note clips outside each stateroom are shaped like either fish or seahorses - fish are on the port side, because "fish" has four letters like "port" does. For the other side, both "seahorse" and "starboard" begin with the same letter. In the elevator lobbies you can tell where you are by the main color of the carpet - gold for aft, blue for midship, and red for forward. In the hallway carpets, there are starfish, and their top point points forward. The maps in the carpet are also oriented forward.
She took us into Palo, which is even prettier on the Dream than on the other two ships.
And in Remy, Sarah pointed out that there are a number of "hidden Remys", like these on the back of the chairs.
It's a very elegant-looking restaurant.
Next we went down to Deck 5, where we found that the ceilings are lower there - that's because it's where all the kids' clubs are, and making the space a little smaller makes the kids feel a little more secure. That area is also the center of the ship and is the most stable with the least movement.
On Deck 4 went into "The District" to several of the clubs. In 687 she asked if we knew the significance of that name (I did, but I don't think anyone else knew). It was the hull number of the ship in the Meyer-Werft shipyard. It's considered bad luck to refer to a ship by its name before it's completed, so they call it by the hull number. When the keel was laid a coin was placed there, and a replica of the coin is in a case in 687.
She asked about the highest guest space on the ship - I thought this was the Aquaduck, which I think technically is "deck 15" at the top, but she said it's the Outlook on Deck 14. I went up there afterwards to take a look at it - it's intended for private events, apparently. The only way to get there is via the mid-ship elevator, and only one of the elevators goes up to deck 14. Really a nice comfortable space, though.
Tonight's show was Villains Tonight, which we saw on the Med cruise last year. This version was a little different - I think it's been polished a bit from what we saw before. It stars Hades, and in addition to Hades it features some of the less-well-known villains, like Yzma and Scar. But really, most of our favorites are in there - the Evil Queen, Maleficient,Ursula, Captain Hook, Jafar, and Cruella de Vil. The Hades character, like the Genie in Aladdin at DCA, seems to have lot more leeway for topical improvisational comedy, and he had some pretty funny lines. Though my favorite line was actually from Pain (or maybe it was Panic) - who in passing made mention of the font they use in the Underworld - Helvetica. (That slipped by a lot of people.) I think the show is a lot of fun, and we both enjoyed it.
After the show we went to Pink - the champagne bar. Since it was our first time there we HAD to try the Taittinger pink champagne that is made exclusively for the Dream. It came with a "verrine", which was a small dessert, kind of like a panna cotta, with a top layer of chocolate, mango or passion fruit (we had a choice and both got chocolate). It was tasty with the champagne, and the champagne itself was very nice - bubbly and dry, but not alcohol-y. They have a lot of interesting-looking champagne cocktails as well - we'll have to try some of those later. We really enjoyed talking to Steven, the bartender, too.
Dinner tonight was at Royal Palace. It was also Optional Dress Up night. We didn't bring formal clothes on this cruise, but brought something a little nicer to wear to Royal Palace, so it was good that those nights coincided! Dinner was pretty good - I'll have more on that in the food blog.
Tonight's towel animal is one I don't think we've had before - Tigger, meet Kermit. :-)
Castaway Cay tomorrow!
The previous post in this blog was Disney Dream - October 2011, Part 1.
The next post in this blog is Disney Dream - October 2011, Part 3.