Feb 22, 2012





„You guys are on a very tight schedule!“


Our last full day on board and day at sea was here. We got up around seven and took showers, then got ready to leave for breakfast. The plan was to just have a snack for breakfast, as there was a whole lot of food ahead of us all day long. The night before Ana had told us that she would be at the Royal Palace all day long, so at around 8am we went down to the restaurant.

Since we were coming from the aft elevators we walked past the side entrance first and found her right there. She did not have a station, but was one of the hosts who walked people to their tables, so she asked the Cast Member who assigned the tables to place us at one of her husband’s tables. Then it was her turn to walk us there and seat us. She introduced us to Matija and off she went. Matija chatted with us for a while, then left us with the menu to decide on what we wanted. The assistant server came by to ask about our drinks and we both ordered an orange juice and coffee for Tom and hot tea for me. Matija then came to take our order and we had completely forgotten about just having a snack breakfast. We went all the way. Tom again ordered the Swiss Bircher Muesli, Muesli with raisins, shredded apples and yogurt while I had another yummy Mornin' Tug Boat, fresh blend of strawberries, bananas, almonds, raisin granola and low-fat yogurt. It didn’t take long until it was delivered to our table and we were happily munching away. While we were still eating another Cast member came by to ask us about our experience and if there was something that we thought needed fixing. Since he had mentioned Cabanas and if we knew that they offered a full buffet I just had to let him know that yes, we knew about the buffet, but that we had problems with the temperatures of the food.

He took notes of what we said and noted our stateroom as well. He then proceeded to the next table and their only complaint was toast that was not crispy enough! So most people seem to be pretty happy with the standard of the food, because the only “complaints” we heard were about VERY little things which would not make or break your experience. Once we were finally done with our starters, Matija was already waiting with our main courses. No question what I had ordered, my favourite, 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. Now, last summer I had not liked the sausage, it was a funny texture and a funny taste, but this year the sausages were just delicious! Tom had ordered The Express, Scrambled eggs, grilled ham, bacon, sausage. and hash browns. We dug in and after we had finished Matija came over for a little chat about his home country and them maybe coming to visit Austria, and most of all to talk about their upcoming vacation to Las Vegas and California.

After a while Matija had to go back to work as there were other people waiting to be served and we finished our meal, left a tip and went out the side door, to be able to say goodbye to Ana. We walked through the shops, and talked to some very nice cast members and our favourite cast member there, Debbie! She was excited as she was going back to England for a holiday a week after we returned and we talked about how they all missed some home cooked meals. That gave us an idea. While we did not have any homemade meals to share, we had some Austrian chocolate to share! So we walked back up to our stateroom, which was already serviced by then, picked up a few rolls of “Milketten”, individual little bite sized chocolates filled with strawberry, nougat or whole hazelnuts. Reward in hand we walked back to the store and handed out the candy to the cast members. They were very surprised, very happy and we got lots of hugs in return. Neither of the three girls in there was going to share and they all went to hide their goodies. It was past 10am when we returned to our stateroom to pick up the last of our Fish Extender gifts and went to hand them all out. Around 10.45 we  were done with it and ready to head to our next appointment.

This time we went to Evolutions for the Officer’s meet and greet they set up for Gold and Platinum Castaway Club members. We arrived there about 5 minutes before it was to officially start and who would be there to hand us a wipe, Andreas, the hotel director, who comes from Tyrol Austria, and who we had met on our last cruise. We both smiled and when we answered his greeting in German, he remembered us from the previous sailing. We exchanged a few  sentences and then we went to find a seat. Once seated we were offered a choice of drinks and we both decided on the sparkling wine. We had not even taken a sip when another cast member came by to offer us some canapees.

Tom had a Salami one and a Pate one and some melon. My choice was the Prosciutto wrapped green asparagus. They were so good. The officers had already started to interact with the guests and it was a family affair as there were only about 6 or 7 families there. The cruise director introduced the only cruiser who had been on ALL the sailings so far, Captain Mickey! He was ready to have his picture taken with the guests, but no one really walked up to him, so Mickey just visited all the tables. Next was Captain Gus. He introduced himself and talked about the ship, before he wished everyone a good time and started to make the rounds himself. It was fun to have all the attention from the officers and they even made a second round with the canapees.

This time Tom had the prosciutto and asperagus and I had a Salami and a Prosciutto one. Did I mention that they were yummy? Oh, and both of us got a second glass of the sparkling wine and a Chocolate Chip Cookie as well. Then, another cast member walked through and handed everyone a rice-crispy Mickey. At 11.25 the guests started to leave again and we joined them, as we had an 11.30 reservation at Palo. So back to our stateroom, Mickey rice-crispies were left in the room and off we went to Palo.

It was just two floors up, so we arrived there right on time. Again, Ann-Marie was there to greet us and we were asked to wait at Meridian again, but just when we had sat down they were ready and we were led into the restaurant. When we walked into the restaurant we saw our table mates Sarah and Garrett and Jimmy and Dania who were having brunch as well. We had a nice table at the window and Collette was right there to greet us. Once she had done her pep talk we were taken for a walk around the buffet where Collette explained all the different dishes. And while we were still listening to Collette Captain Gus, who was walking through Palo approached us and with a smile on his face, said, “You two are on a very tight schedule, aren’t you!”

We all laughed but the funniest thing was Collette’s face, as you could see, she had no idea what this was all about. We took a tour with the camera once she was finished explaining, then grabbed a plate and started filling it with wonderful goodies. And while we were filling our plates, there was another familiar voice. “Where ever there is good food, you’ll always find the Austrians!”, Andreas, the hotel director, who we had met just half an hour before, said. Again, laughter was in order and after a few sentences, Andreas left and we continued our walk around the buffet.

We returned to our table where our Prosecco was waiting for us. Tom ordered some coffee and I had some Hot Tea with our first plate. While we were still finishing it, Collette asked if we wanted to try some pizza and we decided on the Sun Dried Tomato and Goat’s Cheese Pizza. It was delivered about 5 minutes after we had finished our first plate. The pizza was delicious, but I was getting pretty full and I needed to save room for dessert, so when Collette asked about hot items, I had to pass. Tom tried the Chicken Parmesan, which came on a bed of risotto. I tried a few bites and it was wonderful. And then it was time for dessert. We both wanted to try the Sacher Cake, as it originates in our capital city, Vienna. But there were lots of other wonderful things to try as well. So we both filled a plate, and sat down to indulge in all those wonderful little concoctions. While we did so we happened to see Dania and Jimmy and I remembered that this was supposed to be their anniversary celebration. So we asked Collette if she could serve them two glasses of Champagne and she did! It was fun watching them when Collette went there to surprise them. It took a little more time to finish all the desserts, but we finally were ready to sign the bill and wobble back to our room. We had to take a little break and lie on the beds for a while after all that food.

By mid afternoon we started to empty the drawers and cupboards and packed up our stuff, putting the stuff for the next day into our carry ons, so we would not accidentally pack them. It took a bit of packing and repacking until we had all the stuff we had transported in three bags coming in, into the two bags, we wanted to fit it all in, going home. By 4pm we were done packing and ventured out again. We told each other that after this task we deserved a break and a treat, so we walked to the Vista Café and ordered a Cappuccino. You would think that since they have that nice seating area, they would bring it out in a real cup, but nope – Styrofoam cup! Coming from a country where coffee is celebrated, that kind of hurt.

Even though the coffee was nice and there was a lot of milkfoam on top, having to sip it from a plastic cup just doesn’t do it for me. And I won’t even mention how slow that cast member was.

After our coffee experience we walked past the DVC desk, and handed them some sweet treats as well, as they had been extremely welcoming all cruise. We picked up the last of their gifts, a wonderful Aulani print and then walked through the Vista Gallery to take another look at the beautiful pictures before we headed up to deck 11 again. There was a reason we did so. Last summer we had had the most delicious hot dogs on board and Tom had wanted to have one, but so far we hadn’t found the time. It was now or never, so now won. On the way there we watched a fun quiz on Funnelvision and took a few photos of the DREAM at night.

We then walked over to Tow Mater Grill and Tom got a Hot dog and fries. They have a nice condiments bar there and he loaded it up with lots of stuff. I tried the Hot dog and it was very nice, but I was still full from lunch, so I just nibbled a few of the fries. After enjoying the snack we decided to walk around the ship a bit more and take a few more photos. We made it to the Outlook Café, but it was closed for a private party, then walked to the Goofy’s Mini golf area. We visited Currents and the adult pool area and finally headed back to our stateroom to fill out the customer comment card.

It was fun walking around the ship in the evening, as most people seemed to either be at dinner or at one of the shows. It was getting towards our dinner time as well, so we headed back to our stateroom. At 8 we walked downstairs to the Royal Palace. Finally we all got to dine together again.

We talked to Robin, another DISboard member who was part of our Fish Extender and her lovely daughter Jenna, who mentioned how much she enjoyed the gum we had given her in the Fish Extender. In the meantime we all ordered our drinks and enjoyed the Warm herb brioche with an olive spread before our starters were served. Tom had ordered The Comtesse Du Barry's Soup, Rich velvety cauliflower cream, topped with salmon caviar croutons and I had ordered my favourite, the Double Baked Spinach Souffle, coated with a three cheese cream.

We all enjoyed our starters very much. Between courses we all chatted and had a lot of fun and then we received our main courses. Tom had the Double Cut Rack of Lamb with a Dijon Crust, with fine green beans, gratin potatoes and rosemary jus. I had the Roasted Wild Boar Tenderloin, Sweet carrot and onion potato cake with a red currant reduction, which Ana had recommended. Again, we all enjoyed our main courses. Next up was dessert. Again, Tom ordered his favourite, the Grand Marnier Souffle, infused with fresh orange zest and served with creme Anglaise. And I ordered something that I had enjoyed on a previous cruise as well, the Peanut Butter Mousse, dark chocolate infused with peanut butter, chiffon cake, and whipped cream. After we had all enjoyed dessert we had a little fun with our servers, pictures were taken and even Matija came over to be introduced to the rest of our table and then to say goodbye. We all had a little more packing to do and then put our luggage outside, so when they started preparing the tables for breakfast we knew it was about time to say goodbye and leave. Tom and I were tired and headed back to our stateroom, checked the room again, then packed our dinner clothes into the bags and put them outside.

We still had some drinks in the fridge and so we both grabbed one and sat outside on the veranda, going over the last four days. It had been a wonderful cruise and even though it had been packed with things to do we felt relaxed and happy. Around 11pm we called it a night and went to bed for the last sleep on board the Disney DREAM this cruise.