Day 6 – Thursday – Day at Sea
Nothing really happened in the morning. (Translation: Something probably happened, but I don’t remember it … or we slept in)
At 12:45, they were showing Planes in the Buena Vista Theater. Due to showtimes that didn’t work with our schedules, and generally mixed reviews, this was the first movie that they showed that we hadn’t actually seen in theaters. Before we went in to the movie, we stopped by the quick service place on the pool deck and got some food to take in with us. Chicken tenders, Mickey soft pretzels, and ice cream. (They say you can bring food into the theater, they don’t really want you bringing in ice cream, but we put it in a drink cup with a lid, and nobody knew the difference). By the way, if I haven’t already mentioned it, their chicken tenders are great.
Planes seemed a lot like Cars. Same animation style, similar basic plot. With Cars, at least, I felt some attachment to the characters at the end of the movie (nowhere near as much as with Toy Story, especially the 3rd Toy Story, but some attachment). Didn’t really feel that with Planes. All in all, it was a decent movie, but I’m kinda glad I didn’t pay to see it in theaters.
Right after the movie, we went to Royal Court (the restaurant), not to eat, but for a tour. My mom is very into cooking, and at dinner 2 nights ago, she had asked our headwaiter if it would be possible to get a tour of the kitchens. He said that he would look into it, and last night, he told us when, where, and whom to meet. We checked in with the person we were supposed to meet, and were introduced to one of the sous chefs, who would be leading our tour. (There were about 20 people on the tour)
The tour was very interesting. They told us that there were several kitchens on the ship, the largest 2 being the Deck 3 kitchen, which serves Animator’s Palate and Royal Court, and Deck 2, which serves Enchanted Grove. Cabanas has it’s own kitchen, as does the Quick Service (Flo’s V8 Cafe) on Deck 11 (their kitchen also serves room service). Palo and Remy (the 2 “upscale” restaurants on Deck 12) share one kitchen, but since they prepare 2 very different food styles (French vs Italian), it’s basically 2 different kitchens, in the same room.
They also explained how the meals are prepared. The appetizers and salads are pre-prepared, and can be brought out pretty quickly after ordering. I had thought that they would do the same thing with the entrees, because of the amount of people ordering almost at the same time. I was wrong. All the entrees are pretty much cooked to order. In the kitchen, there is a large white board, with each entree listed. The servers make tally marks for all their orders, and the chefs use the board to keep track of how many they need to make, and how many they have made already. At the end of the service period, they usually only have about 5-10 entrees left over (total … not 5 of each).
For cruisers with special dietary needs, there is a separate area within the kitchen that handles the food for them. The chefs in this area of the kitchen are hyper-vigilant about cross contamination, to the point that there’s even a separate set of dishes for the food allergy sufferers. They have their own grills, fryers, cookware, etc.
After the tour was over, we had some time to kill before the evening show and dinner. I don’t remember what we did with that time.
The show in the Walt Disney theater that night was called Disney’s Believe. It’s about a girl with a scientist father who is so wrapped up in his work that he forgets her birthday. She makes a wish, and *poof* … Here’s Genie! (and Merlin, Mary Poppins, Baloo, Pocohantas, Rafiki, Tiana, and a whole bunch more). Lots of songs from the movies, and of course, a happy ending. Very well done show. This show has won numerous awards from the Themed Entertainment Association, Cruise Critic, etc, and was probably my favorite show on board.
Dinner that night was (once again) at Animator’s Palate. For the 7 night cruises, you eat at each restaurant twice, and eat at your “pirate night” restaurant 3 times. Rather than repeating the Turtle Talk show from a few nights ago, this was a completely new (and awesome) dinner show. When we got to the restaurant, the table was set with markers, and a drawing sheet. The drawing sheet had an outline of a human, with instructions to “Draw inside the blue lines, keep the face looking forward, and please no letters, words, symbols, or numbers”. (I’ve attached a picture of the drawing sheet, so you can see what it looks like). When they came to take our order, they also collected our drawing sheets. During the meal, there were clips from various movies playing on the screens, and at one point, Mickey showed up on the screen and said that he’s working hard on the “grand finale”. We ate our food (couldn’t find the menu for tonight’s meal), and then after dessert, it was time for the show. All of our drawings had been scanned into the computer, and animated. The legs moved, the arms moved, the heads bopped along with the music. And, as if that wasn’t cool enough, then they had our characters interact with Mickey and the gang … giving Mickey a high five, etc. The whole show probably lasted 4 or 5 minutes. (The drawing sheets had our table numbers on them, so I assume that different screens throughout the room showed a different version of the show, so everyone could be sure to see their own drawings). The kids in the restaurant loved it, the parents thought it was cool, and the geeks like myself were absolutely blown away by the technology that must have gone into making it. (I’m pretty sure this show is only done on the Fantasy … I know we didn’t have it when I sailed on the Dream, but that was also only a 4 night cruise … Not sure about the Magic and Wonder, but I think I read somewhere that it’s unique to the Fantasy)
Can’t remember what we did after dinner. Looking at the navigator, I can’t see any events that we would have gone to, so we may have just walked around a bit and then gone to bed.