Once again after not enough sleep, I woke up early about 06:30am. I wish I could have slept in later as I knew that the following morning when we disembarked would be another early start. Today was our last full day onboard and we were going to be at sea for the whole day. A better description would be that we were going to floating around like a cork with minimal engine power close to Freeport for the majority of the day before finally heading back towards Port Canaveral in the evening.
Our breakfast this morning consisted of sitting back in bed with a cup of tea from a very busy Cabanas and finishing the rest of a packet of biscuits that we had with us. You could already tell it was going to be a busy day up on deck as nearly every sunlounger had a towel selfishly thrown over it to “reserve” it whilst everyone was in breakfast. I wish they would remove the towels from the beds when people do this as it is not fair on anyone else onboard.
The reason for our light breakfast was that we had a reservation for brunch at Palo at 10:30am which is one of the two adult-only upcharge restaurants onboard the Disney Dream. They only offer brunch on this one day on the four night cruises so it’s the only thing we had wanted to reserve when our booking window opened ninety days beforehand and I had a full choice of times when I made the booking.
As Palo also has a dress code, we had brought clothes with us especially for this one meal. I know some people hate dress codes but I like them and wish they would enforce them in other areas of the ship too. After getting ready, we walked the length of Deck 5 before using the aft elevators to get to Palo on Deck 12 so we could stay in the air conditioning and not get sweaty before we got there by going outside.
We arrived at Palo a few minutes early so were invited to wait in the Meridian Lounge between Palo and Remy. I think we waited less than two minutes before we were shown into the restaurant and sat at an amazing booth table facing the water. It was very quiet in Palo when we got there but started to get busy about an hour later when most of the tables filled up.
We were introduced to Simone who was going to be our amazing server for our brunch. He brought us both a glass of water with lemon before he offered us a Mimosa or a Prosecco – we both chose a Mimosa.
We were also both given menus which had only been introduced a few weeks before our cruise. They still had all the tables of cold food which you could help yourself to but now instead of some hot sample dishes sitting on the side for you to look at before you ordered, you have a menu of hot food items to choose from instead. I liked the menus and there is actually now more choice than before but sadly my beloved Grape and Gorgonzola Pizza which I fell in love with on my previous cruises was no more.
Simone gave us a full guided tour of all the tables of food before handing us a plate each for our first course. I started with some antipasti for my first plate before then having a seafood course. The food was once again beautiful and there is so much choice that you see something new each time you look.
I decided to order the Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Flatbread from the menu when my boyfriend mentioned to Simone that it was strange that the Grape and Gorgonzola Pizza had been taken off the menu given how popular it was. Then the most amazing thing happened when Simone said they could still make them as so many people were asking about them and not long after appeared with one fresh from the kitchen. I was absolutely speechless and incredibly thankful and enjoyed every bite. It still tasted just as good as I remembered – Simone offered to get me another pizza when I finished it but I was looking forward to dessert and needed to make sure I left some room for it.
For dessert I had a small plate of Chocolate Strawberries, Tiramisu, Panna Cotta and Champagne Berries – it was perfect and I’m so glad I left enough room to be able to enjoy it.
Once again Palo was absolutely amazing and completely worth every penny of the $30 per person charge to eat there. It will definitely be the first thing we book again on our next cruise without a doubt. The other thing we noticed is there is an outside deck between Palo and Meridian which again was very peaceful.
As we were leaving Palo, we heard an announcement to say that they would shortly be sounding all eight of the ship’s horns so we quickly walked up the stairs to Deck 13 and headed outside just as they started.
The pool areas were packed and it was very busy – it felt even busier to us after the peace and quiet of Palo. We used the aft elevators to get back to Deck 5 so walked past the lobby atrium on our way back to our stateroom where the Character Dance Party was just starting. We did not stay to watch as we’d already seen Mickey’s Mousequerade Party on our Nassau day but decided to get changed and explore the ship properly and try to walk our brunch off in the process.
We started at the front of Deck 13 before making our way along Deck 12. It was incredibly hot and bright out and the amount of saved sunloungers was still staggering – it also seemed to be all the ones in the shade (there are not that many) that were saved with no sign of anyone coming to use them. They really do need to sort this out. The line for the Aquaduck was also the longest I had seen it the whole cruise so I’m glad we did this on our Nassau and Castaway Cay days.
We made our way to Cabanas to get some photos of the brilliant Finding Nemo theming. There are the Mine Mine Mine seagulls everywhere as well as Nigel sitting at the entrance to Cabanas itself by the elevators. The only photo I wanted which was a large poster of Jacques the Shrimp saying “I heard they serve shrimp here” does not exist anymore as it was where the entrance to Vanellopes is now located.
I especially loved the sandcastles representing all the Disney Parks around the world as well as the clocks showing the local time in all the parks. Sadly there is no mention of Shanghai Disneyland at the moment which only recently opened.
We had a look inside Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats which was added to the Disney Dream last year. All the cakes, sweets, ice cream and gelato are offered at an extra charge but the prices were not bad at all. We were offered a sample of any of the ice creams but we were still full from brunch. We did however decide that we would treat ourselves to dessert here after dinner as it was open until 10:30pm.
We made our way down the decks stopping to look at all the enchanted art along the way. We also saw Pepe the King Prawn’s stateroom door on Deck 5. I’m not sure if I would want to stay in room 5150 which is located behind this door as all you would be able to hear is people knocking on the wall the entire cruise.
It was 2:00pm at this point and the lobby atrium was completely empty so this was definitely the best time to get photos of this area and all the Halloween decor including the Pumpkin Tree.
Another few details I noticed were the Mickey heads on the chandelier and the Enchanted Storybook Castle from Shanghai Disneyland on the map behind the Guest Services desk.
The round porthole windows located near the lobby atrium on Decks 3 and 4 also feature pumpkin faces and cobwebs.
After our early start and large brunch, we were both tired so decided to head back to the room to have a little nap. Waiting for us on our bed were our luggage tags which we would not be using as we were going to be doing Express Walk Off the following morning and carrying our own luggage off the ship.
After an hour or so, I went and got some tea for both of us. We made our way back to Deck 3 for one last look around the shops before they started to get busy. I ended up buying a t-shirt which I had been looking at throughout the cruise and knew I would only regret afterwards if I did not get it. I also asked for some more bubble wrap so I could properly pack the Christmas tree ornaments that I had bought to protect them on the flight home. We also picked up another US Customs form from Guest Services that we needed.
At this time, I also could not resist getting another one of my favourite cupcakes from the Vista Cafe. We sat there eating them and saw many of the Princesses walking around Decks 4 and 5 with hardly anyone with them.
When we got back to our room, we took a few minutes to start packing our bags ready for the next morning. Thankfully I can pack a suitcase in minutes so it did not take long at all. After getting ready for dinner, we decided to go up to Cove Cafe and get a nice coffee before heading outside. The ship had been barely moving all day but you could tell that we were starting to build up a little speed now to get back to Port Canaveral overnight. We could also see the same few ships that had been in our sight all day.
Another thing to note is that if you wanted to ride Aquaduck over and over then this would be your best time as there was no one in line. We also did not see the show on this night either – in fact the only time we had gone inside the Walt Disney Theatre was for the muster drill.
We decided we wanted to watch the lighting of the Pumpkin Tree from the same spot as a few days beforehand so we got there about thirty minutes before it was due to start at 7:00pm. I never mind arriving a little earlier to see things as I would always rather have a good spot and an uninterrupted view than arrive a few minutes before something is due to start and have a rubbish view or have to try and see between peoples heads – that’s definitely not fun.
When we got to the lobby atrium, it was very quiet except for the stupidly long line at Guest Services. However not long afterwards, it got incredibly busy as people arrived to see the Pumpkin Tree as well as for some last character photos – the line to meet Mickey was crazy. Another thing that I found interesting was that unlike on the Magic and the Wonder, the Shutters photographers are out on the final night. The Shutters Gallery was also chaos with everyone wanting to look at or buy their photos last minute. Once again, we did not buy any photos as we got all of our character photos with our own cameras – in fact, I never even looked at my photos at Shutters. The prices they still charge are ridiculous and I have better things to spend my money on.
At 7:30pm, the caretaker arrived and shortly afterwards the Pumpkin Tree came to life and lit up to the sounds of This is Halloween from the Nightmare Before Christmas.
After dropping off our cameras back in our stateroom, we made our way to Animator’s Palate for our last dinner. There was a small line outside but we only waited a few minutes before we were seated. The restaurant was much bigger than on the Magic and the Wonder and themed completely differently. Tonight it was the Turtle Talk with Crush show. We did not have a table by one of the screens so we already knew that Crush would not talk to us as we were too far away.
For my starter I ordered the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes and the Creamy Butternut Squash Soup which were both as heavenly as I remembered. Crush had already appeared on the screens and welcomed everyone to Animator’s Palate. Whilst he talks to different areas of the restaurant, everyone else is kept entertained – I especially loved the fish playing ball with the pufferfish.
For my main course I ordered the Sesame Halloumi Parcels which I had also had on our last cruise and loved. However when my meal came out it was about four times the size that it was last time so I struggled to eat it as it was very filling. Odair was concerned that I had not eaten much of it but he did laugh when I showed him the photo of it on my phone from our last cruise so he could see the difference in size.
After we had finished our main courses, Crush finally appeared in our section of the restaurant but he only speaks to about two tables which sort of ruins the experience and expectation for every one else sat in that area. I definitely preferred the Black and White theme of Animator’s Palate on the Magic and Wonder and am sad that they do not have the Animation Magic show on the Dream yet.
Before leaving Animator’s Palate we thanked Odair, John and Mavis for looking after us so well during the cruise and handed them their tip envelopes – they were all amazing and again, we could not have asked for better. We also let them know that we would not be at breakfast the following morning as we would be disembarking early.
We had skipped dessert as our plan was to go to Vanellopes’s to get some ice cream to take with us to watch See Ya Real Soon. Sadly this did not happen at when we got back to the room to collect our cameras, my boyfriend was sick from something that he had just eaten at Animator’s Palate so the last thing he wanted at that point was any more food and just wanted to go to bed.
He knew how much I wanted to watch See Ya Real Soon so he insisted I go and watch it. It was not very busy at all – the balconies were especially quiet. I’m used to going to theme parks by myself often but after always watching the shows together throughout the three cruises we have now done, it was very strange to be by myself this time.
At 10:15pm, the characters appear in the lobby for the last time and you have about fifteen minutes to get any last minute photos before they say goodnight for the last time. I did not get any photos with them this time so just people watched. I was worried about my boyfriend but we were messaging each other using the chat feature on the DCL Navigator app on our iPhones so I knew he was okay and had gone to get us both a cup of tea ready for when I got back to the room.
Once See Ya Real Soon had finished, the lobby atrium emptied very quickly except for the long line which was still at Guest Services. As I had not taken any earlier, I spent a few minutes taking some photos of the lit up pumpkins on the Pumpkin Tree.
After getting back to the room and getting ready for bed, I spent a few minutes packing away the last of my things before getting into bed so I did not have to do anything in the morning. Our towel animal that night was an elephant which had been waiting on the bed for us along with the questionnaire asking about our time onboard.
I set my alarm ready for the morning as it was going to be another early start. Even though I had enjoyed my time onboard the Disney Dream, the four nights had just gone by too quick for me and it felt like there were so many things that we had not done as there simply was not the time.