Feb 20, 2012





Remy, a dining experience


We woke up refreshed and ready for another day’s adventures. The first adventure of the day was testing the shower. Tom braved it first. He had a nice and long shower while I studied the Personal Navigator and sat out on the veranda. Then it was my time to experience our new shower. Tom explained how the water mixing worked, as I always have a problem without my glasses and then I turned on the water, got the temperate right and put on the rainforest. It was heavenly, I could have easily stayed in there all day, but we had other things planned. So after watching the ship pull into Nassau we headed to deck 3 to the Royal Palace for breakfast.

We signed in at the podium, after having wiped our hands and were then taken to our table. It took a while until a server came by to hand us a menu and take our drinks orders, but we didn’t mind at all. Tom ordered some coffee and I ordered some tea. They brought a wooden box and I got to select my tea. Then I was served some hot water. Another server came around with a huge tray of pastries and Tom took a Cinnamon Bun, which he really enjoyed. We then ordered our breakfast. As always I went for the Mornin' Tug Boat, fresh blend of strawberries, bananas, almonds, raisin granola and low-fat yogurt, while Tom ordered his favourite, the Swiss Bircher Muesli, Muesli with raisins, shredded apples and yogurt.

It was nice to just sit there and enjoy the starters. Right after we had finished them the table was cleared and our main courses arrived. Tom had the The Big Breakfast, a large filled omelet on savory toast with grilled tomatoes, bacon and baked beans topped with caramelized onions, which is one of his favourites. My choice of the morning were 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. We both were in breakfast heaven and cleared our plates. After tipping our servers we walked over to the elevator and went up to deck 12.

After a little while we returned to our stateroom. It was great to see that there were a lot of new gifts in our extender and we took them all inside and had a good look at them. We took a few photos from our veranda and then we got ready to walk into Nassau. Around 10 we got off the ship, walked along the pier and over to the immigration building. We walked back to where the old Bacardi store had been to find that it was still closed and by the looks of it, it will stay closed. We then walked across the street to check out a few shops and walked along the main road, checking out some of the shops.

Unfortunately most of them carry just cheap souvenirs, so we were just window shopping. It was fun to watch the policeman in his little “hut” in the middle of the road. These things are on wheels and ever so often the policeman would reposition himself. We walked a little further down the road and finally turned into one of the side streets. Our next stop was the Bacardi shop which is now close to the Strawmarket. Tom had a good look around, but did not find anything he particularly liked, so we decided to try the Tortuga Rum Company.

But before that, we wanted to try and get on the internet. We knew there was a Starbucks right close by, so this is where we were headed. We found Starbucks, there were lots of people with computers and we picked up that you had to pay for it, but never mind. We both ordered a Caramel Cappuccino, paid for the internet and headed upstairs to find a seat. We sipped our coffee and Tom tried to connect to the internet, but it would not work. Everyone else who tried to connect wasn’t successful either, so after a while Tom went down to the counter and asked about what we were doing wrong.

Turns out that they had a problem with the internet and they refunded guests who had paid for it. We sipped a little more of our coffee before we dumped the rest and headed out into the streets again. Tom was sure he had seen a sign of an internet café and so we started looking out for it. Low and behold a street further on there was really a sign. We walked up the side street and found the internet café, but it didn’t look trustworthy at all, so we made a move on. We went all around the block one more time and then headed over towards the Tortuga Rum Company. They offer some rums Tom really likes and so we decided to stock up on the ones he was running low at, at home.

He picked up a few different bottles and we got two chocolate rum cakes and a carrier bag for me. Once we were done shopping we headed across the street to the grocery store to pick up some Diet Coke and a box of Crackers. Once our shopping there was completed we stopped at the off licence at the next corner to pick up a few more bottles of beer for Tom. Now that we had gotten everything we wanted to buy we slowly tracked back to the Customs House and when we had finally arrived I packed all our purchases in the Tesco’s bag I usually bring with me, so it is easier to carry everything on board. While we were still organizing our purchases I heard someone talking to us. First I didn’t pay much attention at all, because a lot of then vendors there are constantly trying to sell you something, but that was different. It turned out it were the DVC reps we had met the day before. They were friendly and bubbly and asked if we had liked yesterday’s present in our stateroom. Well, we were stumped as we hadn’t received any gift. And I jokingly added that we hadn’t even received at DVC magnet for our door. They were sure there was something wrong and maybe we had not been placed on their list and they urged us to come to their desk this afternoon. They also reminded us to bring our DVC bag for “trick or treating”, means pick up a daily DVC present. Their enthusiasm was catching and we promised to visit them. They went on their merry ways and we went towards customs. Once we were through customs we noticed that the room behind us was FULL of people with laptops on their knees. There was a bench and we took out Tom’s i-pad and tried to connect. It worked!!!

We were able to check our email and there was an email from Ron telling us that he was looking forward to meeting us at the California Grill and another one from the cat-hotel, mentioning that Pixie was doing well. I tried to get on the DCL site to price an upgrade from the stateroom category we had booked to the one we were in now and it worked on and off, but the Disney sites take a lot of time to load with good internet service and this one was poor. After about 20 minutes we gave up, packed our stuff together and headed towards the ship. The DREAM was in the middle between two other ships and when we approached her we were in awe at how majestic she looked compared to the other two, who were beautiful, but just not as beautiful as the DREAM.

We walked up the gangway, went through the security check and were back on board. We took the elevator up to deck 10, walked past all the staterooms towards ours, emptied the Fish Extender and were back home in our beautiful stateroom. We had about an hour’s time left to have lunch at Royal Palace, so after quickly freshening up we headed back down to the restaurant. After letting them know our stateroom number we were quickly walked to a table and handed a menu. We both ordered Diet Cokes and then started to sample the pieces of Baguette and Dinner rolls that were in a basket on the table. It didn’t take long and our order was taken and our starters were on the way. Tom had ordered the Vegetable Quesadillas, served with guacamole, sour cream and Pico de gallo, while I enjoyed the Ginger-infused Carrot Soup, with yogurt. Tom’s main course was the Glazed Meatloaf, with smashed yukon potatoes, buttered carrots, long beans and gravy, which he enjoyed a lot. I tried the Grilled Halibut with a tomato, olive and garlic sauce, served with saffron rice, which I subbed for mashed potatoes. Both main courses were very good, but we were both far too full for dessert, so after tipping our servers we left the dining room and headed back to our stateroom. We sat out on the veranda for a while enjoying the view and the weather, before we picked up our Fish Extender gifts for the day and made our round.

We were back after about 45 minutes and while we were done I had remembered that DCL offers free access to the DCL site, so I COULD check out if I could change our room assignments. Funnily enough the year before I had paid big bucks to use their internet mostly for their own sites and it was horrible, now that I was using their site for free it worked quite well. I checked out back to back and yippie, both times our favourite stateroom was available. I started changing the first one, paid the difference in fare and began to work on the second one when a window came up that told me that the booking would only be complete when I had it checked by an onboard sales agent. First I didn’t pay much attention, but then it got me worried. All the juggling around took a while and when I finally came to change our stateroom for the second leg of our back to back I couldn’t pull up the stateroom we needed. We were not sure if it was just a fluke, or if it had been sold in the meantime, but it would not show up. So nervously I changed the first reservation again and went back to the old stateroom assignment. With all the booking and changing a lot of time had passed and we took another break out on the veranda just to see one of the other ships pull out. It freed the beautiful view of the Atlantis and we stood and admired for quite some time, before we took our paperwork and notes and headed downstairs to the future sales desk.

There were a few people in line ahead of us, so we just stood, people watched and waited. Around 20 minutes later it was our turn and we started to bug the sales rep. First off I wanted the stateroom changed on our two summer cruises. The price for the double dip had hiked a lot, but we were sold by the round tub an larger room. The second one had just an insignificant price difference. Then we went to work on the Fantasy cruise in 2013. Again the price was just a little higher than what we already paid and it was easily settled. Our fourth cruise was a bit more tricky. I had booked it without any discount at all for our cruise next February. Now I had the sales rep check if it was cheaper to rebook with discount and on board credit.

And yes it definitely was. We are now paying even less than what we would have for the lesser category. It had taken quite some time and since the DVC counter was supposed to open in about 10 minutes we just stuck around, sat at the Vista Café and people watched in the atrium. It was just a short wait until the DVC reps arrived and we could try to solve our problem. Low and behold we were not on their list, so they handed us two DVC magnets, one with the old logo and one with the new one and handed us the present we should have gotten the night before. It was a nice wooden box with DVC lanyards in it.

Once everything was settled it was about time for us to get back to our stateroom to freshen up and get changed for our dinner at Remy. We had discussed this for quite some time and then finally decided to go for it. So Tom got into his suit and I changed into my outfit and off we went. We arrived about 10 minutes early and were asked to take a seat at Meridian until our table would be ready. I find that pretty funny, as all the tables are already decked out and they usually remove any extra plates once you are seated. It took them about 3 minutes to get ready and we were led into the restaurant. On the way in the hostess explained about some of the wines on display and about references to Remy, the movie. We were taken to a booth and then handed white napkins. Now this is another one of my pet peeves … black trousers and white napkins don’t go together, we both were wearing black/very dark grey. Our server was on hand right away and introduced himself as Mathieu. He left us to study the menu after he had given us a bit of a pep talk about it. We had vowed not to do the wine pairing, but then we just gave in and opted for the wine pairing. In the end we decided on each ordering one of the tasting menus. Once that was done an assistant server filled our glasses with water and offered some bread.

I opted for the French Baguette, while Tom had the Truffle Brioche. It was served with sweet French butter and Fleur de Sel. I was kind of hoping they would offer D’Isigny butter, but nope. And while we were waiting for our dining experience to begin, Mathieu prepared their signature cocktail, Collette, for us. He started by pouring a generous amout of pear vodka, then adding the garnish of blueberry, a cube of dried apricot and a small mint leave, before topping it up with Taittinger Champagne.  It was amazing watching him and an amazing taste. We were still discussing what we thought of the place when another assistant server came by to hand us our first amuse bouche. It was a small cube of something fried, with a liquid tomato filling.

 She presented it to us and we had to use our fingers to take it off her plate. We were advised to eat it whole, because of the liquid filling. Once you put it in your mouth and bit it, there was a burst of tomato flavour in your mouth. Very unusual and very nice though. And then it was time for the real Amuse Bouche – chunks of lobster in a spicy fish broth. It was nice, even though the broth was very thin, but I would have much more preferred it if the broth had been warm and not cold. And here comes the sommelier, he introduced himself and while I am still trying to figure out the accent, looking for his nametag, he mentions he is Swedish! Heck, a truly French restaurant with a Swedish sommelier. Tom had the French menu and I had ordered the American one, but that was to change lateron, and you’ll find out why. His first wine was a sparkling wine, the Taittinger Prestige Cuvee Rose NV, while I had the Michel Picart Vouvrat 08. They were both nice, but we still had to finish the Collette. And then it was time for our first course. Mathieu brought out the Langoustine Royale, Royal Norway Lobster with Nage Reduction and my first course was the Jambon Wrapped Shrimp, Iberico Ham Wrapped Florida shrimp with melon. Both dishes were very nice and went perfectly with the wine. Now here is my pet peeve with this restaurant. While we ate there were about 4 – 6 restaurant staff hovering over us and as soon as you put the fork down, they would whisk away your plate, refill your glass and put another plate in front of you.

Being from Europe, we take our time dining and this was far too hurried for me. Well, we had put our forks down and there went our plates, and new ones were placed in front of us and there was some more wine to taste. Tom’s wine was the Domain Louis Latour Pouilly Fuisse 09 and his second course was the Asperge Verte, Green Asparagus with black truffle and Vin Jaune Sauce. It came with a Poached Egg, shaved asparagus and champagne foam. We both tried all our courses and this one was just outstanding! It was so good, we could have made a whole meal of it! Now, my second wine was the Michel Redde Sancerre 08 and my second course was the Tomato Ratatouille, in Calamarata Pasta with Cuttlefish. Again a nice dish and while the Ratatouille was fine, I have had equally fine ones in regular restaurants.

By then the wine started to kick in and the giggling started. I drank a lot of water with my meal as well as the wine which was actually very nice. Again, forks down and the plate magically, or not so magically disappeared. The sommelier came over to fill our new glasses and Tom had the Domaine Mont Redon, Chateau Neuf du Pape 08, while my glass was filled with the Domaine Vincent Girardin Chambolle Musignt 08. While Tom’s was a white wine, mine was a red. So I have to say I am not a huge friend of red wines, they make my mouth all puffy and I have a feeling as if it would leave some “fur” in my mouth. I carefully took a small sip and my mouth started to feel funny. I could feel my mouth and face show signs of “not liking it at all”. Tom noticed and since we were sharing anyway, we changed wines and started to confuse both the servers and the sommelier. So my main course then was the Sea Bass Atlantique, with Thai Sauce and Tom received the Duck Breast, Sausage and Confit with Strawberry Rhubarb Puree. Both dishes tasted very nice, but my piece of Bass was rather large and filled me up quite a bit. Again, as soon as we had finished eating our plates were removed and new wine was poured. Two reds this time!

I received the Chateau Bataillet 06 and Tom was poured the Chateau Gloria 03. Again I thought I had to try the wine, and this one made me gag! I had to put my hand over my mouth, it was as bad as that. So, I have discovered I cannot drink red wine – my body does not agree with it. The sommelier saw how I felt and hurried over to remove my glass and pour me some white wine. He showed it to me, but since I cannot copy from the menu, I have no idea what it was. But it was nice and crisp, not too sweet. Then we received our main courses. Tom’s was Australian Wagyu Tenderloin, with Braised Shortribs. The shortribs rested on a bed of beautifully scented mashed potatoes. It was a very nice main course and he enjoyed it very much.

I received the Poularde Rotie, with Sauce Albufera. It came with a cute little tiny portion of Veggies. Now, don’t get me wrong, this was wonderful, moist, with crisp skin, but it reminded me totally of Wienerwald, a Rotisserie Chicken Place that used to be all over Austria. Be that time I could seriously feel the alcohol and was starting to feel full. But again we still had dessert to conquer. Again the sommelier came with fresh glasses and started pouring. I am not a huge fine of dessert wines as they are far too sweet for my liking, but these went pretty well with our desserts. I had the Chateau Sudutraut, paired with Tanzanie Chocolate. Tom’s glass was filled with Chateau Doisy Vedrines 06 and his dessert was the Vacherine Framboise, Raspberry Flavours. Along with it we received a tray with homemade cookies, dark and milk chocolate an home made Marshmallows, along with another container that had sugar crusted puff pastry (we call them pigs ears) and some honey nut candy and chocolate fudge like candies. There were also two Lollies and they all were home-made. We sampled a little bit of everything, then finished off our desserts and finally the bill was placed on our table. We topped it up with a tip and were ready to leave when our server came over to hand me two long stemmed roses, a red one and a pink one. After thanking him we chatted on for a little more time before it was finally really time to leave. Back in our stateroom we found a note from Remy, thanking us for dining with them and a small box with four home made Chocolate treats.

But there was one more thing we wanted to do. Our server, Mathieu had told us that he wanted to ask his Austrian girlfriend to marry him, when she was going to visit him on the DREAM in a few weeks’ time. He planned to get married on Castaway Cay while she was on vacation and told us how he had planned it all out. We thought he deserved a little Austrian treat as well. So we walked back to our stateroom where a small glass vase was already waiting and filled a little goody bag for him and then just walked back upstairs, thanked him again and surprised him with his treat. He was stunned and even went back to write down a tea that he really loved and was only available in France, since we had talked about my obsession with good tea too!

It was fun to see the Maitre D come out, checking what was the matter and so we had a chance to tell him, how much we had enjoyed Mathieu’s company! Then it was back to our stateroom. We were too full to do anything and too tired, so we just filled out one of the Room Service breakfast requests, hung it on our door  and went to bed right away.