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Old 05-24-2012, 01:22 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post




Dole Whips or steaks are both acceptable as long as I don't have to stand in line for 2 hours with 8 hungry kids to receive them.
Picky, picky, picky. I suppose you actually want you hot food hot when its brought out too.
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:02 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Dole Whips or steaks are both acceptable as long as I don't have to stand in line for 2 hours with 8 hungry kids to receive them.
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Picky, picky, picky. I suppose you actually want you hot food hot when its brought out too.
The salad was good.
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:03 PM   #288
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Animator's Palate

Just how rough were the seas that night? Well, drawing on my (at the time) 24 minutes of sailing experience, I'd say they were about this rough:



That picture was taken out of our port hole just before we headed up to dinner. You're probably not clamoring for a closer look at our traveling partner, but I'm going to put up anyway. After all, it's not everyday that you run into a ship of this quality. Unless you work at a shipyard, dismantling vessels that are no longer deemed sea-worthy.



A quick check of the information printed on our room key said that our rotational dining tonight would take us to Animator's Pallet.



Who knew Disney was so literal with their restaurant names?

Bawhahahahaha! OK, on with the TR....



Animator's Palate is on Deck 3 Aft on the Dream, down a long hallway lined on one side with sketches and paintings of Disney characters and on the other with a seemingly endless array of portholes. Glancing out each one, the weather did not appear to be getting any better. We were still finding our sea legs after having spent the first couple of hours on the ship securely tied to the dock. There was some pitching, some rolling, and a bunch of back and forth movement. And that was just us trying to walk down the hallway!

We were met at the entrance of the restaurant by several cheery greeters handing out sanitizing wipes. They even had special collection bins strategically placed in the walls - obvious enough to see them, but discrete enough that they don't subtract from the theming.

Just beyond the hand wipe folks was two rows of servers, each lining one side of the entrance. The first ones in each row would take turns greeting a family and showing them to their table. The next server in line would step up and repeat the process with the next guest. Not only do you get welcomed to dinner by 30 or 40 people, but it turns out to be a very efficient way to get a lot of people seated very quickly.

One nice surprise when we got to the table? The kids both had personalized water cups sitting there waiting for them. Complete with a little Mickey head!



The decor of the restaurant is exactly as you would expect - an animator's workshop. Giant pencils and paint brushes served as pillars, cork boards filled with sketches and shelf after shelf of maquettes, books, and art supplies lined the walls.









Honestly, I could have wandered around that restaurant for hours just looking at all of the stuff they had in there! But I couldn't. Because I was hungry.

The whole restaurant is laid out almost in little pods of tables. Each one had several TV screens where we were greeted by the likes of Crush and his pals from Finding Nemo. Just like the Turtle Talk with Crush attraction at Epcot, Crush would interact with diners. And each pod was just isolated enough from the others so you'd only pay attention to your screen and not notice what was going on on other screens.




Crush wasn't always visiting with you, and when he was off at another area, random characters from Finding Nemo would swim by. Or in some cases, play volleyball with a puffer fish. Other times schools of silver fish would starting forming a picture, giving everyone a chance to guess it.



We were introduced to our server, Denis from Croatia, and our assistant server, Carmen from Spain. I forgot to take their picture, but I have one from the next night coming up soon. That's made possible by Disney's rotational dining. Each night you are assigned a different dining room, but your server, assistant server and head server (Ivo, also from Croatia) all go with you. Disney touts this a another touch of personalized service, but I didn't really buy into it at first. After all, they serve hundreds of people a night in two seatings, how much are they really going to "get to know you and your likes/dislikes" in that short amount of time? Answer: plenty. Or at least enough to fake like they do, which is all I really wanted.

So, we had the animations on the screen to distract us from the rocking of the ship, which had seemed to get worse, little by little, though out dinner. Speaking of dinner, you are presented with a menu sans prices. Why? It's all included in the cost of the cruise. Some things do cost extra - like wine or specialty drinks - but everything else is included. Can't decided between the chicken strips and the mac and cheese? Get both!



That's Evan's plate. And after what he had for lunch, I'm sure none of you are surprised, are you?

Madison ordered the steak, which Denis brought out and promptly began to cut up for her. As a parent, how did I feel about a person I'd known for all of 35 minutes cutting up my daughter's steak? Less work for me - he got an extra tip at the end of the cruise!



It was vacation, where most nutritional rules are bent or outright broken, but since each child's meal came with peas, we decreed that the kids must at least eat some of them.



This one's going to be a troublemaker, I can tell you that.


I don't recall what I had, but checking out the menu online, I would guess I had the Marinated Angus Beef Tenderloin. I would normally gone for the Grilled Pacific Black Cod, but think I would remember eating the "Yellow Split Pea Purée" that came with it.

Evan's dessert was a chocolate cake/brownie thing. I only took the picture because of the Mickey head on the plate.



I do know that, upon the recommendation of both our server Denis and several people here on the DIS, I ordered the Cookie Sundae for dessert. It sure doesn't sound very fancy - just vanilla ice cream and a cookie - but it was fresh, high quality ice cream and a fresh baked cookie. MMmmmmmm...

During dinner, there was enough rocking of the ship that you could watch the water shift around in your glass. It made eating at bit difficult because your stomach was just a bit queasy, but you're putting so much delicious food into it anyway. Soooo much delicious food.

However, there was no vomiting - at least from our traveling party. Bambi's doctor told her that Dramamine was completely safe for the baby. In fact, it has the same medicine in it that doctors prescribe for morning sickness. She would take one each day, as did Madison. I think I took one or two over the course of the cruise but don't honestly remember. Evan - ye of the iron stomach - never took anything and never had an issue.






After we finished up dinner, we had a few minutes to stop back down at the stateroom and freshen up a bit before that night's show. When we got there, we found that the room was all made up for us for the night...



...and that we had some new stuff on the bed.



Since we're DVC members, we had a DVC flyer and a nice DVC keepsake/jewelry box to go along with some chocolates, the next day's Navigator and a towel....um....animal? I'm taking suggestions as to what you think it is.

You can see in this picture looking back at the door that there are two bathrooms - one with a toilet and sink, the other with a shower and sink. What an awesome idea!




The ceiling of the upper bunk was a stary night. Another cool touch!



And a close up of the pillow on the bed that tried it's hardest to fall into my suitcase every time it was open. Time after time it fell in, but I had to keep telling it "no, little pillow, you have to stay here and delight other guests on the next cruise."



Up Next: A lot of horrible photographs of the Golden Mickeys!
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:30 PM   #289
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I've never done DCL, but I'm already obsessed with Animator's Palate. Personalized water glasses? A great touch.

I love the picture of Madison with her peas, she's a clever little thing. You probably are in trouble...

I'm thinking that the towel animal might be a seal. What did you guys come up with?

I hope that the waters calmed, that would have been super weird to experience at dinner!
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:46 PM   #290
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
That picture was taken out of our port hole just before we headed up to dinner. You're probably not clamoring for a closer look at our traveling partner, but I'm going to put up anyway. After all, it's not everyday that you run into a ship of this quality. Unless you work at a shipyard, dismantling vessels that are no longer deemed sea-worthy.
Suddenly the premium you pay for a Disney Cruise doesn't seem like so much of a premium.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
Who knew Disney was so literal with their restaurant names?
Really? You took the time to google a picture of a pallet just for that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
There was some pitching, some rolling, and a bunch of back and forth movement. And that was just us trying to walk down the hallway!
Sounds like our first night as well. Walking like a drunken sailor and trying not to puke like one is a tall order.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
Just like the Turtle Talk with Crush attraction at Epcot, Crush would interact with diners. And each pod was just isolated enough from the others so you'd only pay attention to your screen and not notice what was going on on other screens.
Did your family get any special attention?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
Disney touts this a another touch of personalized service, but I didn't really buy into it at first. After all, they serve hundreds of people a night in two seatings, how much are they really going to "get to know you and your likes/dislikes" in that short amount of time? Answer: plenty. Or at least enough to fake like they do, which is all I really wanted.
These guys do a really good job. Can't beat Disney customer service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
That's Evan's plate. And after what he had for lunch, I'm sure none of you are surprised, are you?
Mind. Blown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
It was vacation, where most nutritional rules are bent or outright broken, but since each child's meal came with peas, we decreed that the kids must at least eat some of them.

This one's going to be a troublemaker, I can tell you that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
I would normally gone for the Grilled Pacific Black Cod, but think I would remember eating the "Yellow Split Pea Purée" that came with it.
Yeah, that sounds...appetizing. Is it like yellow snow, only melted?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
Since we're DVC members, we had a DVC flyer and a nice DVC keepsake/jewelry box to go along with some chocolates, the next day's Navigator and a towel....um....animal? I'm taking suggestions as to what you think it is.
Reject from the Yankee Candle store?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
The ceiling of the upper bunk was a stary night. Another cool touch!
Very cool!
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:03 PM   #291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
And there it is... the typical FreezinRafiki visual pun.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
There was some pitching, some rolling, and a bunch of back and forth movement. And that was just us trying to walk down the hallway!
You didn't just take a picture and keep walking when you saw Proud Mom, did you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
Honestly, I could have wandered around that restaurant for hours just looking at all of the stuff they had in there! But I couldn't. Because I was hungry.
Looks awesome. I don't know why they don't have something like this in Hollywood Studios. That would be a very popular restaurant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
As a parent, how did I feel about a person I'd known for all of 35 minutes cutting up my daughter's steak? Less work for me - he got an extra tip at the end of the cruise!
See, he already is good at faking like he knows what you like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
This one's going to be a troublemaker, I can tell you that.
She can't be any worse than her dad.


Poor Bambi

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
I do know that, upon the recommendation of both our server Denis and several people here on the DIS, I ordered the Cookie Sundae for dessert. It sure doesn't sound very fancy - just vanilla ice cream and a cookie - but it was fresh, high quality ice cream and a fresh baked cookie. MMmmmmmm...
No, there's no such thing as "just vanilla ice cream and a cookie." Can you really ever go wrong with a combination like that?
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:44 PM   #292
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Sorry to hear y'all had some rough seas the 1st night.

Animator's was our favorite restaurant. So yummy! I love that the waitstaff will cut your child's food for you. When our waiter did that on the 1st night, I tried to take the silverware from him so I could do it myself. But, he told me to eat & enjoy my meal, that I was on vacation too. I wish I could've taken him home with me.

I'm not even going to try to guess what that towel "animal" is.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:41 AM   #293
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Been lurking on your trip report for awhile. This one made me go read some of your other ones. Love them btw, you are hilarious and your kids are adorable. I also say the towel animal is a seal.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:19 AM   #294
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I'm so glad you enjoyed your dinner despite the rocking! Glad it didn't bother anyone in your party.

Thanks for taking the cool closeups of all the great touches in the restaurant. It really looks so cute in there and the kids probably loved it!
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:12 AM   #295
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When our waiter did that on the 1st night, I tried to take the silverware from him so I could do it myself. But, he told me to eat & enjoy my meal, that I was on vacation too. I wish I could've taken him home with me.
I did the same thing. I actually asked him if he wanted to come home with us. And the housekeeper, she was amazing as well.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:26 AM   #296
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I did the same thing. I actually asked him if he wanted to come home with us. And the housekeeper, she was amazing as well.
I'm glad to know I'm not the only who tried to do that.

Our housekeeper was great, too! The first night he came into our room to tell us about the amenities, etc. Our son wanted to show him his new toys so he sat on the floor with him and played. I have to say that I thought the Disney customer service outdid itself on the Dream.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:40 AM   #297
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Great update. I don't think Madison is going to be trouble....I just think she is very creative.

Sorry about the "rocking boat", but it looks as if everyone enjoyed their dinner. I love that they let you enjoy and helped cut the kids meal...very cool.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:38 AM   #298
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Wow, Barry. Great report!

In no particular order...

Great pics of the ship! Gotta show this to Molly when I get home! And maybe Jack to convince him to do a cruise...

for correctly using the word "irony"

for the magnets!

Five in that room would be a tough fit, wouldn't it? Welcome to the land of >4 person families...
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:01 PM   #299
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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I'm all caught up.

Where to start: Oh, the pallate. AWESOME.

Next: I second the +1 on the Spaceballs quote

The picture of the kids in the porthole was great! Do you know if all the staterooms have similar size windows, or if yours was a super-cool-Rafiki-special?

I agree about the photopass pictures. I'm tall, everyone else in my family is not (yet.) but they won't not shoot our feet. Seems silly.

So, Food IS included in the price of admission (minus specaility drinks?) Does beer count as a specialty drink? (I've never been on a cruise, so I'm asking).

And, the restaurants are buffets, but, are they unlimited? Meaning, can you always fine SOMETHING to eat somewhere on the boat, or are there set times to snarf grub, and otherwise, you're forking over $11 for a box of popcorn?

(and, it just occurred to me you're a guy writing a TR, not a travel agent....)

But, very entertaining so far. My DW said not terribly long ago, "hey, would you *want* to do a Disney Cruise?"

Thus, i'm trying to fill my head with as much cruise data as possible.

And i got hit in the head a bunch as a child, thus, i find your humor funny.

So, I'll try to keep up.

(and in case I didn't say it yet, congrats to Bambi (and you) on Ryder! And I'm jealous of the Dole Whip t-shirt)
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:05 PM   #300
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A girl, huh? Do you have any names picked out yet?
Yep, a little princess. And, yes, we do have a name...I think you might be partial to the middle name. Our princess will be Isabella Madison. (Family name on DH's side for first name, and I was born in Madison...and it's a nice name!)

Nice job on your door magnets, they look great!

The dining room looks pretty neat. Sounds like fun to have the character interaction on the screen (we love the Crush show at Epcot).

Love all the details in the rooms too. Sounds like intelligently laid-out bathrooms and that starry sky is really cool!
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