June 21, 2024


Ep. 435 - Members Only: The Disney Vacation Club 7-Night Mediterranean Cruise

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 435 - Members Only: The Disney Vacation Club 7-Night Mediterranean Cruise
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 435 - Members Only: The Disney Vacation Club 7-Night Mediterranean Cruise

Jun 21 2024 | 01:17:58


Show Notes

Chris is back to share his experience sailing the 2024 Disney Vacation Club (DVC)Disney Cruise Line member cruise - a 7-night Mediterranean cruise on the Disney Dream. Come here about Chris' experience in the many amazing ports including Barcelona, Livorno, Rome, Naples and Palermo. From amazing Pizza to incredible sights, Chris had some incredible experiences to share. He also highlights some of the unique offerings and gifts onboard, including the premier of his friends' documentary about "A Goofy Movie" - called "Not Just a Goof." Chris also experienced Remy for the first time and we couldn't wait to hear his thoughts. All that and more on this weeks episode.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: It's all branded Monaco. As if Mickey went to Monaco. But we went to Palermo. [00:00:06] Speaker B: Close enough. [00:00:07] Speaker C: Yeah, Mickey went to Monaco. They said nothing about you going to Monaco. Welcome back, everybody, to this week's episode of the DC L duo podcast, brought to you by my path, unwinding travel. And Sam, I'm going to lead off with a review. Get it out of the way so we can get right into this show because it's an exciting show that we have today. So this week's review comes from. It's the Miller fam who writes great podcast for DCL. Fans really enjoy listening to Brian, Samantha and their guests share about their Disney cruise experiences. The hosts do an amazing job of helping their guests tell their stories. Thanks for creating this show and making this a fun and friendly space to talk about what we enjoy. Disney Cruising. And that comes from Chris Miller, who signed. Signed his review. That's a rare thing for people to sign the review, not just username. So thank you, Chris, for that fabulous, fabulous review. And thank you to all of you out there who've left us reviews. For reference, we were still working through the reviews from July of 2023. So if you've left us a review recently, it's coming, but it's gonna be a little while. So it's just that we didn't start. [00:01:17] Speaker B: Reading them when they first started coming in. It didn't occur to us. And now we came up with the idea to read the five star reviews on the air, and so now we're having to catch up because we have so many. And I love that. [00:01:26] Speaker C: Well, I was reading them, but I was reading at the end of the show, and I felt like that does a disservice to people who took the time to do the reviews. So we're putting them up at the top now. Sam, get our guest intro. Chris is back, one of our favorites. And. And he's got a hell of a cruise for us to talk about. So. Yeah. [00:01:41] Speaker B: Oh, my goodness. Yes. So for those who you have to know, this guest, he's been on our show several times before. It's been a while, but we are so happy to welcome Chris Kidder back to the show. Welcome another Chris. We had a review from a Chris, and now we've got Chris Kidder on the show. Welcome, Chris. [00:01:57] Speaker A: Thank you so much, Sam and Brian, for having me again. [00:02:00] Speaker B: Yeah, we're excited. You know, this cruise that you went on, I'm just gonna preview for the audience is like a super unique because it was a Europe cruise, but it was also the DVC member cruise. But before we get talking about this unique sailing, we've gotta get people to know your. Your cruise creds. You have. You've been on a lot, a lot of cruises, both Disney and non Disney. We know you went on the icon of the seas, Royal Caribbean recently. You've been on several royal ships as well. Tell folks, like, a summary. Cause you have a lot of cruising history. Tell folks what you've sailed on if you know how many sailings you've done at this point. [00:02:43] Speaker A: Yeah. So this was my 6th Disney cruise. My very first one back in 2016 was on the dream. So it was very nice to get back on the dream. Cruising the Mediterranean. I had basically been on the magic and the wonder for the past five cruises, sailing Marvel Day at sea, I did very merry time. I've done the Halloween on the high seas. So I've actually really never done a normal Disney cruise work. [00:03:09] Speaker B: All of yours are like theme sailings. [00:03:12] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I've been on norwegian cruise line, and then I've been on two royal caribbean cruises, navigator of the Seas out here in Los Angeles, and then most recently went with a bunch of friends on the maiden voyage of Icon of the seas, the world's largest cruise ship, which was an absolutely incredible cruise. So it was fun to get back on a Disney cruise after a couple years of sailing on other ships. [00:03:35] Speaker B: Awesome. Love it. And for those who don't know, Chris, Chris actually worked on the creation of Alani. And so we have a great episode in our back catalog, talking to Chris about what it was like to work on that project and how awesome Alani is. And, of course, we talked some tips for Alani as well in that episode. But that's one of my favorites going back in the catalog. So, Chris, this is a. I previewed this as a DVC sailing in Europe. Tell us why. And did you book this cruise in particular? Was it the attraction of just going to Europe on a Disney cruise line ship? Was it the DVC member sailing aspect, a combination, or did it just happen to work out the dates or something like that? [00:04:20] Speaker A: Yeah. So I think, like, after listening to so many podcasts of people who have gone on mediterranean cruises, greek isle cruises, Norway, my dream was to go on a european cruise at some point, and I would love to do it with Disney. I was very fortunate. I had two very good friends of mine, Eric and Chris, who made a documentary about a movie, a goofy movie that was released back in the mid nineties. And so they did a documentary about this kind of the making of the film. Disney found out about it and wanted to premiere it on the ship as part of the DVC member cruise. So each one of them, they were invited to come on the cruise and sort of present that to the audience. They got to bring a plus one along with them. Unfortunately, my best friend, who's also named is Chris. His wife is pregnant and could not travel, so I got to be the lucky plus one to go stand in. [00:05:19] Speaker B: For his pregnant wife. [00:05:20] Speaker A: Yeah, I sent in for the pregnant wife and got to go to Europe and hang out for a few days in Barcelona beforehand and then go on the DBC member cruise with them. And I had not seen the film, so this was my first time actually getting to see the film with everyone in the Walt Disney theater. [00:05:37] Speaker B: That is so cool. I didn't realize your friends were the ones who made that documentary. I've been seeing, you know, stuff about it online and of course haven't seen it yet, but yeah, that's like. That's so cool. I didn't know that. Well, you'll have to introduce us to your friends. Cause I'm a huge powerline fan. Let me just put that out there. I love it. Okay, well, so this cruise kind of is like, it happens, stands for you tell us for the planning and whatnot. You are a gold cruiser. So that would have been your booking window. I don't know if your friends that you're with had higher status than you to book things earlier, but was it difficult to, you know, book any kind of, like, onboard excursions? I'm sure you probably had some stuff that they, you know, if your friends needed help with setting up for their presentations, you might have stayed on board for some of that stuff, but, yeah. Did you have to. Do you have any difficulty with booking any kind of excursions or on board experiences that you wanted to do? [00:06:35] Speaker A: Not really. You know, we. We ended up booking or we got booked on the cruise maybe about 60 days out. So most of the booking windows had opened up. The excursions, you know, most of them were open by then. All of the dining and activities. We actually didn't have an issue trying to book excursions. We only did one specific excursion where we went into Rome, the other ports. We chose to mostly kind of do stuff on our own and then booking stuff on the ship itself. We were able to book both a Remy dinner and a palo brunch fairly easily, I think with the seven night itinerary and several sea days and a lot of availability to be able to do those dining experiences. It made it a little bit easier. Once we got on the ship, we actually found out it was just a little bit over half full. There were about 2300 guests on the ship for the dream. That holds about 4000 people. That's a very comfortable size of, you know, the number of people that are on the ship. So it made getting into the different presentations and getting activities and stuff very easy. I mean, we had no issues at all. There were a few, I think, specific excursions, port eight, you know, port excursions that were sold out already, kind of more of the popular ones, but there was plenty available that you could choose to literally up until you got on the ship. [00:07:55] Speaker B: That's awesome. Well, Disney cruise Line might not think that's awesome as far as not being sold out or close to sold out, but from a passenger experience standpoint, having a, you know, only 50 or 60% full ship is like a dream. I mean, we know that from the restart post Covid, although at that time not all of the activities were up and running, whereas on this cruise, you know, you've got chock full of activities. [00:08:23] Speaker C: Well, I want to ask a question about. I guess I want to set this up too for listeners who may not be familiar. We've done several episodes on DVC member cruises before. You have to be a member to book the cruise. So that, that I think probably contributes to the 60% or the occupancy or however you want to call that. And so you don't have to use, if you're a DVC member out there and you're hearing this and you're like, oh, I've always wanted to book one of those. Do you have to use points on it? You don't. On the member cruises they let you pay in cash and keep your points, but you have to be a member in order to book on these charter sailings that Disney or Disney Vacation club has been doing. Like they did a charter sailing on the wish after she first came out there. I think they've got. I think they have announced one for the treasure. Yes, they've announced one for the treasure, I'm pretty sure. And then they're doing a charter sailing to Lighthouse Point. For those like charter sailings where they're trying to give members early access to new experiences, they are requiring that at least one member in the stateroom book on points. You have to be a member. You have to use points for at least one member in the stateroom. Uh, the super secret trick that I think we've given before on the show is pay for the first two adults in the stateroom, if you're traveling as a party of three, and then the third person is a discounted rate and it's fewer points, and use your points on the third or the fourth passenger. So I just want to set that up so people understood when we're talking about this. This isn't like a cruise. You can go out and just book. You have to be a DVC member first. [00:09:43] Speaker A: So, yeah, I think the unique thing about this one particular cruise, it was we left May 18, so middle of May, there's a lot of schools that are still in session. You had to travel all the way over to Barcelona to get on this cruise. We had heard there were under 200 kids on the ship as well, so there were not a lot of kind of that ocean era, you know, there's just not a lot of kids either on that ship. So I think a lot of the staterooms, although most of the staterooms were probably full, it had maybe two adults in each one of those rooms. [00:10:14] Speaker B: Yeah, that's a really good point. And one thing, just one caveat or clarification of something Brian mentioned, not everyone in the stateroom has to be a member. You just have. Just the primary guest needs to be a member. So. Yeah, so, for example, technically speaking, Nathan, our son, is not a DVC member. He doesn't own it. Brian and I jointly own our DVC, but only one of us would have to be sailing. [00:10:38] Speaker C: The member has to book. The member has to book. And also, I would say if you're a DVC member, make sure you're checking. Cause DVC is constantly changing, like, the mix of benefits based on whether you bought direct or resale. So just always check before you plan to book one of these that you're still eligible to book it. But moving on, I wanna move on from the rules and restrictions of this cruise. Chris, I'm gonna start with. We're gonna talk about some of the specific unique, like, member things here in a second. But I gotta start with the ports, man. Cause your instagram was blowing up with some amazing pictures of foods and ports. [00:11:07] Speaker B: Pizza everywhere. [00:11:08] Speaker C: I want to hear about the ports and what you got up to in the ports, because it looks like you did a lot of stuff, you know, to your earlier comment on your own. Like, you guys just kind of got off and did things. And so where was your first port of call and what did you get up to? [00:11:21] Speaker A: Yeah, so we. So we started in Barcelona. The cruise started in Barcelona. We got there about five days early. So, you know, great acclimation to european time. You know, we're being living on the west coast. We're 9 hours behind. So it was a great time to just get to explore floor Barcelona. We went to all of the different gaudi, you know, houses and churches and whatnot, went through the gothic district, ate incredible paella and churros and tons of street market food. It is a. If you, if you're going to Europe, Barcelona is a very easy city to get around. Walking, taking the metro, very inexpensive, and there are great hotel options all around the city that are very close to the port. So very much highly recommend if you're going to Europe, uh, spend some time in Barcelona before you get on your cruise. So our four ports that we. So we had two sea days and then four port stops. We stopped in Livorno, which was our, our first port stop. That is the kind of port stop for Florence and for Pisa and for the Tuscany region. So a lot of people got on buses that day and then spent the next hour to 2 hours getting to one of those locations. We decided because Florence and Rome were back to back days and were both days where you would take very long bus rides to get to the attractions that you would do for the day that we really wanted to do just one of those days and not really wear ourselves out. So we spent the day in Livorno, just walking around the little seaside town. It was a great, cute little italian town. We got espresso, you know, espresso in the morning at this cool little italian bar. We walked along the seashore. We went to one of the old italian forts from World War Two that was bond and explored that. And then we had just a great kind of lunch at this little restaurant right by the shore. Went to Italy for pasta, got basically pasta in every pasta or pizza in every location, and just had incredible pasta there because they're closer to the shore. I kept looking for spaghetti and meatballs, which they don't really have a lot of. It's a lot of spaghetti and lobster or spaghetti and clam for muscle, which is fresh and delicious. And trying to find these places, I think a lot of people are like, oh, we got to do a ton of research and whatnot. We were able to just use our phones over there, able to connect internationally over there. And so we did a lot of research on there. Just looking at kind of Google reviews and seeing where are the hot places that have lots of reviews and high ratings, because if a lot of people have reviewed it, it's probably a pretty good place to go. And we were not failed in any of those places. So Laverna was a great kind of first stop for a port. My friends had their premiere of their documentary that night, so we needed to be back on the ship a little early as well. So it made that sort of kind of four hour bus ride to and from Florence, plus an eight hour day in Florence, just kind of, it wasn't tenable for us. So that's why we stayed in the port city, which was, which was a lot of fun. [00:14:29] Speaker B: So I think that's a smart decision, though, because, you know, traveling in Europe, it can be exhausting with those long days in the heat, in particular, obviously, in Italy and in Spain, it's. It's warm this time of year. [00:14:42] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:14:42] Speaker B: And so, you know, those long touring days and walking days outside, if you can kind of pick your battles as far as, like. Yeah, you might not really be able to explore, all of you. Well, you can't hit, obviously, everything big in Florence or everything big in Rome in one day each. So picking, particularly if you've been there or you plan to go back, I think it's a really smart, smart strategy. [00:15:04] Speaker A: Yep. [00:15:04] Speaker C: How did you, uh, how did you plan for this? Cause it's if. If I heard you correctly, at the top of the show, and correct me, you did a lot of stuff kind of on your own. And so, like, what resources did you use to sort of find things to do and. Yeah, talk. Talk people through, because I think a lot of people book those Disney excursions for comfort. But if you're adventurous, there's a lot you can do on your own and be perfectly fine to get back to the ship on time. So, like, how did you. How did you find this stuff? [00:15:28] Speaker A: Yeah, so our biggest resource was really just going on Google and typing in top sightseeing places, top restaurants. We knew particular foods that we wanted to try in each one of the cities. So looking for those top, kind of highly rated cannoli places, pizza places, arancini places. [00:15:51] Speaker B: It'S all about the food. It's all about the food. [00:15:53] Speaker A: We needed gelato. Where's the best gelato place in Rome? You can do a lot of research. And then we simply took those different places along with all the different sightseeing places, and we put them into a Google. Into a Google map and just saved all of those places. So as we were walking around the city, we had that on our map, and we knew that we knew particular places that were close by. We also looked. I actually did some research on adventures by Disney's website and looked at these different locations because they obviously have great dining locations that they go to, sightseeing things that they do, obviously, hotels and whatnot. You know, those are going to be really good and very popular and highly rated places. So I did some research on that as well. And then most of these you can find sort of like how to spend 8 hours or a day in port. There's a lot of people who have written great walking guides to these different cities and just kind of reading through those and figuring out I'm, you know, the things that you're interested in. I love seeing art. I love seeing more nature stuff. I want to. I want to see all the beautiful churches and gothic places in these different cities. And so just mapping all of that out in a Google map, having that at our fingertips. So as we were walking around, it was like, oh, hey, right around the corner there's this great gelato place, or, oh, there's this really cool church that, that you may not know that is right around the corner from you. But once you've mapped all that out and done all of that, I think it comes in really handy. Also, I think, like any cruise, the Facebook group is super popular. People are putting a lot of information in there and giving sort of their plans of here's what I think I'm going to do for the day in this city or that city. So taking recommendations from that is a great option as well. [00:17:35] Speaker B: Awesome. [00:17:36] Speaker A: And I think, just remember, you're on a cruise vacation. You're not on a land vacation. You're getting into port at 07:00 a.m. you've got to leave at 07:00 p.m. there often is some travel time to get to these locations, so you're not going to be able to do everything. You can't go to Rome and literally do ten things in a day. There's just. That's just impossible. So have one or two things that you really want to do. Focus on those. Let the rest of that just sort of fill in the the day as you go along, if you have time for it. And, you know, if you set yourself up with that expectation, I think you're going to have an incredible vacation, which is. Which is what I did. [00:18:13] Speaker B: Awesome. Well, your second port was, I'm going to butcher the name. Citadel. [00:18:18] Speaker A: Rome. [00:18:18] Speaker B: Yes, Rome, which is where everybody goes to Rome from. I think you mentioned at the top of the show, this is where you actually did book a Disney excursion because it is a long travel from the port to Rome. And then making sure you get back in time and all of that. So tell us what you all booked for Rome? [00:18:36] Speaker A: Yeah, so we booked the, essentially Rome on your own tour, which is essentially you're paying for a tour bus to take you from the port to Rome. You get dropped off right by the Vatican, and then from there you're sort of set off for the next 7 hours to just allow yourself to do whatever you want to do in Rome. I will say, you know, I think, like I said, you're in port for six to 810 hours in these cities, so there isn't a lot of time. So if you're trying to do like, the Vatican and you've got, even if you have tickets and a reservation to get in, it takes a lot of time to get through a line, get through security, actually experience what you want to do and then exit that. We talked with a family who went to the Vatican that day. We had gotten, you know, we actually didn't get to Rome until almost 1030 that morning because there was a lot of traffic by the time they got in at eleven, did all of their stuff, got out at 02:00 that only really left them with a couple hours to grab lunch and do a little bit of walking around. And then we were back on the bus at 415, so just be mindful of that. So, so we had all, Eric, Tracy, myself and my friend Chris had all been to Rome before. We had done all of the sightseeing, which really allowed us to just kind of take a leisurely walking tour through the city. So we started at Vatican City and walked around that, which was great to get to see again. We walked through the kind of along the river and through, over to the pantheon and to the Trevi fountain. We did some shopping along the way. We were looking for some jewelry and for some new baby clothes for a pregnant mom who is at home. And then we ended up over at the Coliseum around lunchtime. We found a great place to eat, Cafe Martini, which literally you sit. It's one of the adventures by Disney places that they go to when they're in Rome. You've got an incredible view of the coliseum, incredible pasta, and very inexpensive. I will say I was kind of surprised, thinking, oh, I'm gonna pay 30, 40, $50 for a meal, and you sit down and pasta is ten or $12 and it's incredible. I was very surprised at that. But we just had a leisurely day walking around, then found some gelato on our way back and did some more shopping. And, I mean, I felt like we got to see a lot of Rome. You know, we walked, I think, 8 miles that day, which brings some great shoes. Do a little bit of walking before you go to Europe, because you're going to tire yourself out. And it was only in the mid seventies when we were there that day. I can imagine if you're there in July or August, it's going to be a lot more crowded and a lot more, a lot warmer. [00:21:07] Speaker C: I was going to ask about that, Chris, because you're going in May, which is, you know, kind of a shoulder season, I think, for the med. How was the weather overall on the cruise, and how are the crowds? Because that's been the thing that, as I've listened to and talked to people who've gone to the med, they're all going in the summer, and it sounds really hot and really crowded. So I'm interested to hear your experience. [00:21:27] Speaker A: I would go again in May in a heartbeat. Not most of these cities were not crowded at all, especially with the Paris Olympics that's coming up this summer. I'm sure Europe's gonna be a mess. The weather itself, we had a tiny bit of rain for a couple hours in Barcelona one day. Otherwise, it was basically low to mid seventies. The entire cruise in Barcelona, Barcelona and all the ports, the Mediterranean itself, I forget that we're not out on a giant ocean. You're in a protected sea there. It was like glass basically the entire time. You basically felt no movement on the ship. It was an incredible time to get to sail. [00:22:03] Speaker B: Love that. [00:22:03] Speaker C: I also have to compliment your friends. That is going to be one well dressed baby with italian fashion. Amazing. And I got to know this. Tell me, Cafe Martini serves a martini, because that would be. Yes, they are missing a sure bet. [00:22:17] Speaker A: Yeah. All right. [00:22:19] Speaker B: What was your third? Oh, sorry. [00:22:21] Speaker C: I also think it's a great call out. Chris, I'd be curious your thoughts on this. So you mentioned that you had been to Rome before. So you know, Sam and I have been to Italy. Visited Tuscany, Rome. Not Naples. We didn't make it. No, we did go to Naples. [00:22:32] Speaker B: We went through Naples. Because you went to Capri. [00:22:34] Speaker C: Yeah. And Venice. Do you think, based on the experience you had, sort of sailing the med, do you think it's a good way to visit these cities? Or would you say it's a good way to come back and experience these cities after you've spent some time? What's your thought on? Is this a good way to experience Italy and the Med for the first time? [00:22:52] Speaker B: For the first time, second time, or. [00:22:54] Speaker A: The first time I did Europe, I did a bus tour for a month where I drove from. We went from London all the way down to Italy and then back up, up through mainland Europe. [00:23:03] Speaker B: And did you do Kontiki? [00:23:05] Speaker A: I did Kontiki. [00:23:06] Speaker B: Me, too. [00:23:06] Speaker A: One of the college tours, you spend two to three nights in each city. You get a flavor for it. Personally, I do not think this is the best way to do Europe, especially if it's your first time. You are getting a very small amount of time in places like Rome, where you've had to have a 90 minutes to two hour bus ride to get into the city. So if you're like, I'm going to see the Vatican. I'm going to go to Pantheon and see the coliseum. That's impossible to do on a cruise vacation. You just don't have enough time. I don't even know if a private driver would be able to get you in and around the city and have enough time to really experience these places, go on a tour, listen for a couple hours, and really get yourself immersed in these different locations. I think it's a great taste of these cities to see if you would want to come back. I don't think if, you know, if you've never been to Europe, I would much more suggest pick a location, say, Italy. Travel by train all over the country. Spend several days in each one of the cities. There just isn't enough time to get kind of, to be able to see all of these different cities. [00:24:16] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:24:16] Speaker C: Yeah. That's how we, we did Italy by train. Although I train, we have a little saying around our house. Train Italia. [00:24:24] Speaker B: That said, with a rolling of the eyes. [00:24:26] Speaker C: Well, it's from an older woman, an older italian woman who was sitting in the train car next to us. And Sam and I were in that train car, and there was a young teenager who was on their cell phone being very loud, and she just, the older woman just said, ah, trinity. So. But, yes, I agree. We had a great time experiencing those cities. I think going back now on a cruise to be able to, like, you know, do what you did, just kind of walk around and experience the place. All right, well, next up on the, on the agenda here is Naples. And yes. [00:24:55] Speaker A: Oh, my gosh. This was probably the most, like, sought after place that I was very excited. There was a lot of hype. I had my friends views and cues, who have a YouTube channel, went to Naples last year on a cruise. They went to nine different pizza places and rated them all. [00:25:13] Speaker B: Oh, my gosh. [00:25:13] Speaker A: So I took the. We essentially Naples, which is great. You don't have to take a bus to get into the city. You literally dock right at the port there, and you can walk right off the ship into the city. So it made it very easy that day. We chose three pizza places to go and try for the day. I chose their top two pizza places, and then, which were amazing. I've never had fried pizza before, so fried, you know, they essentially take the pizza, they'll fry it on the outside. It was a ricotta and prosciutto pizza, which was absolutely delicious. Also, by the way, all these kind of pizza places are three or four euro for an entire pizza. You know, I don't think you can get even a slice at Costco for that anymore. So you're getting. And the. [00:26:00] Speaker B: But you can get a hot dog in a soda for only $1.50. [00:26:05] Speaker A: But the value that you get for this pizza, and this is not like it's just sitting out there and you take a slice and they are going to make it to order. They're going to put it into the wood fire oven and then serve it to you very hot. That's why they usually wrap it in paper, because it's served right out of the oven. Our favorite pizza place actually was in the movie eat, pray, love. It was pizzeria de Michel. Had the longest wait of the day. It was almost 45 minutes to get that pizza. It was also the most expensive pizza. I think it was 550 euro. So a couple euro more than the others, but literally probably the best pizza that we had. It was very funny because I posted it on instagram, and I got a million comments of people telling me that they have a location here in Long Beach, California. No way. I'm very excited to go try that because I'm not convinced that the same water and dough and everything that they have in Naples, Italy, is the same as Long Beach, California. Everyone loves it. [00:27:04] Speaker B: It's like, why the bagels in New York and New Jersey are better than the bagels here on the west coast, even if they use the exact same methods. It's not the same water, it's not the same air. It's like, there is a difference. So I'm with you. I bet it'll be really good pizza, but I bet it will be a step below what you experienced in Naples was a really. [00:27:25] Speaker A: It was one of those quintessential, I guess, to say, port cities that we stopped in. Tons of shopping streets, little cafes. We bought some jewelry there, some more clothes there. We got some gelato there. Aperol Spritz, by the way. I mean, I know that's a big thing now, here in the US, you can get people just walking around the street. They're €3. You can get a very large size aperol spritz for three euro over there, which just made it for a really, really fun day. I know there's a lot to do in Naples as well. You can go down to Sorrento, you can go to the Amalfi coast, you can go to copper, you can go to Pompeii, Herculaneum. There's. I am very much probably the one city that I really would like to go back to and spend more time in, because there's just so much to do in and around that is Naples. And so hopefully either a trip there or at least another cruise vacation back there. [00:28:18] Speaker B: Amazing. [00:28:19] Speaker C: Yeah, nice. Well, next book was not Livorno Lermo, but this was an itinerary change because it was supposed to be ville, France. Yes, it was a little. [00:28:32] Speaker A: We were all talking about it on the cruise, so we happened to be there at the same time that the Monaco Grand Prix was happening. We were going to be porting very close to that and having to tender on there. The official reason given was that there were a lot of whales in the northern part of the Mediterranean, and cruise ships were having to slow down, and so they. They had to change the itinerary because they just wouldn't be able to make the times. I will say, as funny as that sounds, and you're like, they probably just didn't want to go to nice because they would get stuck in the grand Prix. We actually saw whales and they were breaching out of the water in the Mediterranean as we were leaving Barcelona, which was. I thought I'd have to go to Alaska to see that, but we saw that in the Med. It was absolutely incredible. And so there obviously is some truth to whales in the northern med, but, yeah, so we went to Palermo, Sicily. It was our last port stop. Famous. I was very excited about that. My friend Chris that I went with his family is actually from there. They live right outside the city, so they were able to give us lots of places to go and kind of sightsee and also a really great lunch recommendation if you've seen the godfather movies. They did, obviously, a lot of filming down there. We went to the famous opera house. [00:29:49] Speaker B: Oh, cool. [00:29:49] Speaker A: In the Godfather three, spoiler where someone gets shot. It is our orange balls. If you've heard of these arancini balls, these are the rice balls fried on the outside. With different fillings inside. We had our fill of those, which were amazing. We went to this amazing 17th century baroque church down there that had all of these marble kind of sculptures up in the ceiling. I kept wondering and hoping that none of them would. Would fall down on us, luckily. And they're very famous for their cannoli. Cannoli is very much southern Italy, especially down in Sicily. And so we had. We went and tried the cannoli, which was like, probably the best cannoli I've ever. I mean, it should be. You're in. You're in Italy, right? The best cannoli that you've ever had. And so, yeah, just spent another fun port day just walking around. It was interesting because we were running into different walking tours of the city that you could, you know, book through Disney cruise line. So as the different places that we were visiting, the cathedral, this church over here, this particular fountain, the godfather place, we would run into different Disney tour groups that were, you know, doing walking tours of the city as well. So. [00:30:59] Speaker B: That's so fun. That's awesome. Well, sounds like a. Sounds like some really great port stops. [00:31:04] Speaker A: Yeah, I will say, like the whole, you know, if you're going with a family, if you're booking this on your own, you're wanting to walk in these ports. I felt. We felt very safe in all five of the ports that we went to. Very easy to get around, you know, especially if you have, you know, your phone with you, you're able to walk all of these cities. There's lots of tours, tourists, especially during the summer, that are out and about, obviously, just be mindful, you know, of your belongings that you have on you. But we never felt unsafe at all in any of these cities. So that just kind of a reminder for everyone. [00:31:36] Speaker C: Just remember the big rule of thumb. Leave the gun, take the cannoli. So there you go. [00:31:40] Speaker B: I have to say, it might have been a little disappointing to not get to see the Monaco Grand Prix, but I'm not sure you'd want to be in Monaco. That would be Grand Prix, because getting around possible. I mean, it is a. It is a street race, and so they closed down the whole city, so. Yeah, it's not. Yeah, but then you could have seen, you know, Charles Leclerc win for Ferrari. And so that might have been great. [00:32:03] Speaker C: For everyone out there listening. Sam is now super into Formula one in a way I never expected when I first met her. So, like, if you want to have a conversation with her about Formula one, she will talk. [00:32:13] Speaker B: I'm into it. But I have to say it's. It was because of the Netflix. Netflix. It's because of the Netflix show, actually. Yeah, that's what got me into it, so. [00:32:21] Speaker C: All right, so great port stops. But there's another attraction on this cruise, which is back on board. All kinds of special things happening. I don't want to bury the lead any further because these cruises are known for just bestowing so many gifts on the people who come on board. And usually there are some pretty impressive gifts. And, you know, Chris, you've already said you've got your dining room table littered with them. So let's talk about some of the amazing things that the Disney vacation club gave out on board the cruise, because we were watching pictures roll through our Facebook group and online, and that's, like, some pretty cool stuff. [00:32:54] Speaker A: So, yeah, so this is their 21st member cruise that they have done. So they are not young at doing this. They are very well experienced, and I think they've put a lot of thought into the types of gifts that they give out. And especially having to then travel home with all of these gifts. They were very thoughtful in kind of the packaging and everything that they gave us. So, right when you get on the ship, everyone gets a really cool lanyard. This is really the first time that you find out. Inside the lanyard is a little booklet, and this is the first time that you actually find out all of the activities and events that are on the ship. It's a total surprise until you get to the port and you get handed your lanyard and you find out, here's all of the experiences I'm going to get to see over the next seven days. So, a really cool thing, when you get to your stateroom, there's this beautiful magazine that has different kind of pages on each one of the different presentations that you're going to see. I, obviously, it being my first member cruise, I didn't know. But everyone takes these around with them, and when they're at the different presentations, they get them signed by the different presenters and Broadway stars, which, like genius. I will hopefully remember that for a future member. So on the very first day when you got into the state room, they had this incredible Disney cruise line, and everything is branded Disney vacation club member cruise, which is awesome. This great backpack that has some packing cubes in it. And all of the gifts actually were able to fit inside this backpack, which was awesome. [00:34:32] Speaker C: One of the. For everyone listening, head over to YouTube because you can see this. Chris is showing us all this stuff on camera. We'll put this up on YouTube so you can see all this great stuff, but keep going, Chris. It does look like a great backpack. [00:34:42] Speaker A: It's a great backpack. [00:34:43] Speaker B: It reminds me of the adventures by Disney backpack that you get sent for an ABD, although it has more compartments on the inside and as you mentioned, has some packing cubes. It even has something that sort of. You can build it. I want to build it into a little, like, storage cube thing to use on the ship, I think. [00:35:03] Speaker A: Yep. Yeah. Very, very well designed. We all got a fanny pack, so I love it. You get off in port, you've got your vacation club member cruise branded Fanny pack that you could walk around in. Of course, what european or international travel would not be complete without a passport and other documents wallet that you could carry around all branded as well. There was also a two in one, essentially blanket and towel. It's sort of a thinner material that you could use if you're at the beach, lay out and you could lay on it. And then when you're ready, you know, to dry off, you could use it as a towel as well. It's not as thick as the kind of blankets that are on the Disney cruise line. Beds don't think it's like that thick. A little bit thinner material, but a great little two in one to have. We got a three in one charging port. So for everyone that has phones, you have your app, you know, your iwatch, and you have your earbuds. There is a really, really nice three in one charging kind of pad that you can use in your stateroom. [00:36:11] Speaker B: I love that. That's the. I'll be, I'll be honest. That's probably the gift that, and maybe the fanny pack are the gifts I'm probably most jealous of. [00:36:20] Speaker A: I used it while we were on the. I think they gave it to us on day three or four. And I was like, oh, this is great. I can use this, like, right now. We got this beautiful corkscle bottle, has the kind of the logo for this particular cruise. The happiest cruise that ever sailed the sea, I think, was one of the. [00:36:38] Speaker B: And it's very Mary. Mary Blair. [00:36:40] Speaker A: Mary Blair. It's a small world. Yes. [00:36:43] Speaker B: Yeah. I love that all the. I love that they did the artwork in that style, which I also love about the new hotel tower at Disneyland Hotel. It has that same motif. I love that they've continued with that Mary Blair look of things. [00:36:59] Speaker A: Yeah. And then I think the most surprising, we got back and I was like, what is this? We got every. Everyone in the stateroom gets a gift gift gets one of these. So if you have four people in your stateroom, you're getting four of each one of these gifts. We got wireless bluetooth, noise canceling headphones. Amazing is pretty amazing. It branded Disney vacation club member Cruise, Disney Hits, which was one of the concerts that they did on the show. This, I think I was like, wow, these are, you know, and they're. They work really well. Just, I mean, probably just as good as my boat headphones that I have. So this was a very, I think, kind of shocking gift that I was like, wow, this was very, very well thought out. Great gifts. So these were the gifts that you got every day. When you got back to your room at night, when you got your towel, animal of the day, they had a magnet that was waiting for you. So this is the artwork that was exclusively done by Brett Iwin, who was the voice of Mickey Mousey, did an artwork piece for each one of the ports that we visited. So we got a magnet version of each one of the ports. And then at the end of the cruise, we actually got a poster size version of each one of the locations as well, which is really cool. I've not framed them yet, but these were exclusively done for this cruise as well. [00:38:23] Speaker B: So those are gorgeous. [00:38:24] Speaker A: Beautiful. Yes. Screen printed. Just gorgeous prints that were done. That was, I think, most of the gifts there, you know, if you're. If you remember to do which. This was my first vacation club cruise. I had never been on one. If you go to the DVC member desk every day, they have additional gifts that you can pick up, from hats and t shirts to luggage tags and pins. So people were picking those up throughout the cruise. [00:38:52] Speaker B: The hats. I saw a picture of the hat, one of the hats that they gave out. Super cool. They're not the regular DVC hats that you pick up at the resorts, which right now, I think are this, like. Like, really fun royal blue color that just say Disney vacation club. But the ones that were on board, they were like, kind of a baseball style. And they had that logo, again with the Mary Blair look. And it was. They're so cute. Just such a cute hat. That's another one. That's another one of the gifts I'll say I'm quite jealous of. [00:39:22] Speaker A: Yeah, I wish I would have known about that. [00:39:25] Speaker B: But at the DVC desk, it usually is limited to members because they'll actually scan your card to check to see if you're a DVC member. So if you're a guest of a member when you're sailing with a member, probably only the person who's the member is going to be able to get those gifts. But as Chris mentioned, everyone in the stateroom gets the daily gifts. I love the magnets. Look amazing. It sounds like there was a little bit of a misprint on one of them on the back. Did you notice that? [00:39:52] Speaker A: So I didn't know. So obviously we went to Palermo. We visited Palermo. I know the. The artwork that they gave us was for actually Monaco, because we were supposed to visit, so we did not. You know, I think because obviously you have to make. You have to make this before, you know, several. We actually have. It's all branded Monaco. As if Mickey went to Monaco. But we went to Palermo. [00:40:21] Speaker B: Close enough. [00:40:22] Speaker C: Mickey went to Monaco. They said nothing about you going to Monaco. He had a grand prix to win in that sport. Eraser of his. [00:40:30] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:40:31] Speaker B: Well, we've got to talk about some of the special events on board and special guests, I think, is really the key. Obviously, your friends were two of the special guests on board. [00:40:44] Speaker A: Yes. [00:40:46] Speaker B: To talk about their documentary about the goofy movie. Tell us what other kinds of special guests were on board to either perform or to give lectures and meet and greets and whatnot. [00:41:00] Speaker A: Yeah. So, yeah, so my friends were there for not just a goof. It was very fun because Don Hahn came out, did a little Q and a with them before the documentary. [00:41:08] Speaker B: Amazing. [00:41:09] Speaker A: Also before the documentary, Bill Farmer, who is the voice of goofy, came out with his real life son, Austin, and they sang one of the songs from a goofy movie live for the audience, which was absolutely incredible to get to see that sort of his. Obviously, his real life son did not play Max in the film, but it was fun to get to see him perform. That I will say one cool thing that they did throughout the cruise, every night in the dining room, along with. At each one of the. You had sort of your drink of the day. They were all branded towards one of these different presentations that you were seeing. I took the menu from Enchanted Garden the night that we had the goofy movie, because the. The dinner special that night was the Disney Vacation Club. The perfect bass, pan seared sea bass that was inspired by the. Not just a goof. They also had a drink that was inspired as well. So that was kind of fun to get to celebrate each one of these presentations both, you know, in kind of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks on deck and then also at dinner every night, the show. So the kind of cruise started off the first night was the young woman in the sea. They premiered that film a couple weeks ago on the ship, which was incredible to get to see that. The second night, we had sort of our Broadway stars show. So this is Ashley Brown, who was the original Mary Poppins on Broadway, Michael James Scott, who plays the genie, Kissy Simmons, who plays Nala, and then Josh Strickland, who was the original Tarzan on Broadway. They came out, they did some Q and A about their careers, and then performed as well in the Walt Disney Theater. Just absolutely amazing to get to see. We had during. So most of the presentations are done on the sea days because most of your sea day is full of presentations. And then each night in the theater, they showed both Beauty and the Beast and Disney's believe on the cruise. And then the other nights, they showed different Disney vacation club kind of member presentations. So we went to an inside out presentation that was done by the production designer, Jason Deemer, got to hear all about the making of the film. They did not show the complete film, but we got to see several scenes from the film, and I'm very excited to see that in a couple weeks. So Brett Iwin and Ryan March. Ryan March works at Disney Vacation Club. He helps sort of organize and put on this entire cruise. He and Brett just wrote a new children's book called Camp Mickey and Minnie. And so they talked about that children's book. And then they had Brett, who is the voice of Mickey Mouse, Caitlin, who is the voice of Minnie Mouse, and then Bill Farmer, who's the voice of Goofy, actually give a reading of the book, which was very, very fun to watch the voices of these characters, then read the book. And I will say the great thing about this member cruise. You have access to these people for seven days. You're on the cruise with them. You're seeing them at the pool deck, in the dining room. At these events. Everyone is so welcoming and so open. You can go up and talk with them, take pictures, get autographs. The access that you get is, I think, really special for a lot of people that come on this particular cruise. We went to the Disney films of Europe. So this was all about Walt's films in the kind of forties, fifties, and sixties that were filmed all throughout Europe. And so Leslie Iwerks, Tim O'Day, and Marcy Smothers talked us through probably 15 different films and showed us the real filming locations that you can go and visit from some of your favorite Disney films. They also showed us a really interesting, Walt actually came here to look at one of his family kind of castles and locations, and they showed us some behind the scenes, never before scenes, family footage, of Walt and his family on vacation, touring these different places, which was really neat to see because usually Walt is the filmmaker. He has the camera behind the camera. There were other people actually filming him while they were on this trip. So it was fun to get to see him act, interact with his wife and his daughters as they were walking around. We went to bean imagineering presentation that Leslie Iwerks and Tony Baxter gave sort of a behind the scenes look on the making of the imagineering story. And then Tony Baxter talked about the 30th anniversary recently at Disneyland Paris and what it was like to kind of design and build the Disneyland park here in Europe. Don Hahn presented a film documentary about westward Walt, which was all about Walt's formative years in the midwest before he moved to California when he was 22. That was very, very fascinating. And then we had sort of a. It was a battle of the member cruise star. So there were a couple nights where there was a host and the different Broadway stars and the different character voice actors came in and they did trivia meets, kind of karaoke meets, just all out craziness on stage to get to watch everyone perform. That was a really, really fun show to get to see. See those two and then the entire. [00:46:35] Speaker B: Susan Egan, by the way. [00:46:37] Speaker A: Susan Egan. Yes. Susan Egan was there, which was, you know, super. She has. She has an incredible. I don't know if I'm allowed to post it, but she has a five minute song about where are all the Disney mothers? What have happened to all the Disney mothers? She wrote this incredible song and performed it on the cruise. But getting to hear Bill Farmer, for. [00:46:59] Speaker B: Those who don't know, she's Belle. Okay, just to hear Belle. Yeah, sorry. [00:47:04] Speaker A: Getting to hear Bill Farmer, the voice of goofy, do karaoke and sing, you know, a whole new world. Or as goofy. It's very funny to hear him sing. The cruise ended with I like hearing. [00:47:19] Speaker B: Him sing into the unknown and sees the adventure on the wish. [00:47:27] Speaker C: Are you listening to our show because you want to make the most out of your next vacation? Great news. The fabulous team over at my path, unwinding travel can help guide you so you don't miss a thing. Their team of professional travel advisors are caring, knowledgeable and experienced. It's why we use them to book our own travel. Mypath unwinding travel is an authorized Disney vacation planner, which means they are recognized by Disney for their expertise and service. They have sailed on all the Disney ships, including in concierge, visited the theme parks, adventured with Disney, relaxed at Alani and so much more. Whether it's a Disney cruise, a theme park, vacation or adventures by Disney or if you are looking to expand beyond the mouse, mypath unwinding travel will elevate your next vacation planning experience. Even if you have already booked, reach out for a complimentary consultation to make your vacation even more magical. Ready to talk to the experts? Head over to mypathunwinding.com dclduo or email dclduoypathunwinding.com so they know we sent you their way. Thanks mypath unwinding for sponsoring todays show. Now back to the episode. [00:48:25] Speaker A: So the cruise ended with the Disney hits live show. So this was a show put on by Disney Concerts group. Susan Egan, who was the original belle on Broadway, she was Megurda and Hercules. Hercules. I was gonna say Tarzan. Hercules. They also had people who performed both on Broadway and the West End in this show as well. And they did this amazing sort of hour long show of the greatest Disney hits songs. The surprise at the end of the show was that we have obviously the original Bell from Broadway. Paige O'Hara, the original belle who voiced Belle in the film, came out on stage and they sang a duet, which I think just probably broke everyone in there. It was amazing. She had not performed in over ten years and so to get to see her perform alongside Susan Egan was just absolutely special and just a very special way to end out the cruise. [00:49:28] Speaker B: That's amazing that I would be in tears. I'd be, you know, just so special. [00:49:33] Speaker A: Yeah, it was. It really was. I mean, these are long days, action packed days. I think what they have learned is, you know, try to offer as many. Most of these offerings were minimum twice, some of them three or four times throughout the cruise. So there was a lot of flexibility in being able to kind of pick and choose you. You literally, I think, could go to everything if you planned it out right. Which was great. There were a few things that we didn't even make it to, but it really kind of pluses up those, those sea days. There is no relaxing on this cruise. I will say you need a vacation from the vacation club cruise. It is. It was a great seven day cruise with a lot of stuff packed in there and I think a lot. It's. I think it's a great value for what you get on this particular ship. [00:50:17] Speaker C: Yeah, I mean, value is definitely there in terms, just all the gifts, all the special stuff going on on board, some great port stops. I mean, it sounds like an amazing, amazing cruise. You kind of answered the question I was going to have, which is were you able to? Those ports can be intense. And then usually people use the sea days to kind of, like, recharge before the next port. But this sounds like really no downtime. You're just kind of constantly going. So, I mean, you could. [00:50:44] Speaker B: But then you could take those port days as down or those cds as downtime, but then you'll miss out on all of the, these special presentations and performances. And you might as well, in my opinion, just go on a regular sailing and not pay for the Disney member cruise sailing. So, you know, if you're, if you're going to miss out on all of those, I mean, I can understand skipping some of the events if there's some that don't interest you. But in general, I would. I would imagine I would be at, like every event I could. I could possibly be at because that's. That's why you go on these cruises. Yeah. Sounds amazing. [00:51:20] Speaker C: Chris, I think I saw. Did you and your friends manage a Remy dinner on board the dream? [00:51:24] Speaker B: Yes, you mentioned that. Yes. [00:51:26] Speaker A: This was my 6th Disney cruise, my second time on the dream. So I did not do Remy. I did Palo dinner, my first dream. But I had. So I had never been to Remy. I also had never had the elusive palo brunch. I was never able to book that. I don't know how we were able to book this one, but we had both Remy dinner and Paolo brunch on this cruise. Yeah, us. [00:51:50] Speaker B: Well, we got to know. What did you think? I mean, let's start with Paulo dinner or, sorry, Paulo brunch. Because that's something obviously, you've heard us talk about. You've heard other friends talk about. We obviously rave about the Apollo brunch. Did it live up to the hype? [00:52:05] Speaker A: Yeah. So here's the thing. I was worried going into it that it was like all breakfast food. I don't really want to eat a bunch of breakfast food. Like, I want the power dining, like, dinner experience. I want the italian food. I want the steaks. I want. I want that. And what's great about the menu, it's kind of almost split in half. You have a lot of the great breakfast items. I had incredible eggs Benedict. Probably the best eggs Benedict I've ever had. And there were multiple types, which was great. But as you know, you can get the lasagna, you can get the chicken parm. They are. I will say they are world famous now. Now, just as having just come from Italy and having on the ship, I. [00:52:47] Speaker B: Was worried about that because you're actually, like, comparing italian food to Apollo food, which is hard because Apollo is more americanized italian food, for sure, with a couple of things that are on the more authentic side. But I would say in general, it's a more american version of italian food. Yeah. [00:53:07] Speaker A: I think it lived up to the hype. I get why people love it. I will try on every cruise from now on to get a Palo brunch reservation. It's a great sea day activity. I mean, the food, the experience. I mean, one thing that I really enjoyed, and I think I forgot what it's like to go on a cruise because I usually have second dining. We had second dining on this cruise. It's at 08:30 p.m. the sun didn't go down till well after 09:00 every night. So when we were in the dining rooms, when we were in Remy or Palo, it's bright, you can see the ocean getting that experience. I just, I had, we had, I had not gotten to experience that in a long time. And it's really, really, it's that romantic thing that while you're on a cruise and you're sailing the ocean and you want to look out and see the sunset and see whales jumping out of the, you know, the mediterranean sea. Yeah. Pala brunch lived up to all the hype. I am a converter. [00:53:59] Speaker B: You're a convert. Love it. [00:54:01] Speaker C: Love it. And you never knew what you were missing with the buffet. So, you know. [00:54:04] Speaker B: Yeah, so it's fine. [00:54:06] Speaker A: They let you order as much food as you want. So I can't imagine, I don't know what else the buffet anymore. [00:54:12] Speaker B: They had arancini balls. [00:54:16] Speaker A: I think I'm fine that, I mean, it would have been interesting to compare the arancini. [00:54:22] Speaker C: Yeah. The big things the buffet had that the sit down doesn't. Aaron Cheney balls were a fan favorite. Caviar. They did have caviar out that people could get. [00:54:31] Speaker B: And all you can eat seafood there, you know, there. [00:54:34] Speaker C: And then they also, with the seafood. The seafood appetizer. [00:54:37] Speaker B: Yeah, the seafood appetizer. And you can ask for more. But it's, it was just like all available. And then there was a very large, I'm not a big dessert person, but there was a very large array of different, like, desserts that there. Some of them are now the desserts that are on the menu, but some of them are not. And so, yeah, there were lots of pastries and desserts. [00:54:59] Speaker C: The huge chafing dish of caramel covered. [00:55:01] Speaker B: Oh, yes. [00:55:02] Speaker C: Sticky buns. They've changed the sticky bun recipe now. [00:55:04] Speaker A: And so oh, yes, that's right. Yes. [00:55:08] Speaker C: Yes. So. But I think I agree with you. I think this sit down brunch and the table service is much nicer than the buffet, in my opinion. You can send all hate mail to dcldmail.com for that opinion. [00:55:19] Speaker B: We need to talk. Remy. [00:55:21] Speaker C: Remy, I guess. Remy. What did you think? [00:55:24] Speaker A: So, you know, it was interesting. I had just come off icon of the seas. I had been to their supper club, this three hour dining experience. It was dollar, 207 different courses. Lots of alcohol provided, good food. I think now that I have been to Remy, I realize what this elevated french dining menu and tasting menu, whatever you want to say is and how special it is and how great it is. Probably one of my favorite, if not my favorite. I have not been to enchante yet. I don't know that that would beat this. Because I loved everything on the menu that we had here at, at Remy. I love that they do not rush you through. We were there for 3 hours. I don't know if that's typical, but we were there for about three and a half. Well, just over. Yeah, almost three and a half hours, actually. We went from daylight to moonlight. The food was incredible. You kind of worry you're getting smaller. You've got a little, kind of king salmon. You've got the langoustine, you've got the meat, the wagyu beef. You're like, gosh, these are small little portions, but each one of them. And it was funny because I would take a picture of something and then I would be like, oh, yeah, that's right. She's gonna come with the sauce. She's gotta pour the sauce over everything. It comes with these really rich and delicious sauces that they provide on the side to really enhance the flavor of these different entrees. The food was phenomenal. I think we were a little delirious when we got to the cheese cart. And they brought the cheese cart out and she's like, would you like some cheese? And I'm thinking, oh, like, yeah, she'll just cut like a little, like, slice off one or two of them. She proceeded to go through all 14 different types of cheeses that they had and made us plates of cheese, which we basically just stared at because we were like, I don't know why we just ordered all this cheese. We've had so much to drink, so much to eat. We hadn't even got the dessert at that point. [00:57:24] Speaker B: Then you have like three dessert courses. [00:57:25] Speaker A: I don't even know what's happening. So I had told them that we were celebrating something special. My friends who had made this documentary. So I don't know if you've ever seen it, but they have these giant, like, silver. The egg. [00:57:38] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:57:39] Speaker A: And I think they brought out four different eggs with different tarts and cakes inside them that were not part of even the normal desserts that you get. And she just kept bringing these eggs out. And I was like, how are we gonna eat all this food? Our table is full of golden or silver eggs everywhere. Quite fun. I don't love chocolate, but I was like, I met Remy. I have to eat anything. Like, you have to at least taste it. I gotta taste it. It was absolutely incredible. And then they bring out the, you know, the fruit roll ups and the little bits of chocolate, and there's a tart thing. And we. It was just the service. [00:58:15] Speaker C: They bring you the box. They bring you the box at the end. Here's more. Here, take home with you. [00:58:19] Speaker A: And you're like, I like, oh, my goodness. The food was phenomenal. The service, I think, even probably better than the food. You are so well taken care of. It is so attended. It is so well presented and described to you. Because there's a lot of, you know, you know, as being someone who doesn't usually eat this type of food and get this type of experience. It was great to be taken through that experience over the course of the evening. Highly recommend it. It is a little bit pricier. I think it was about 130 or 35 for the dinner, but a very special experience. I would totally do that. Again. Again, yeah, yeah. [00:59:02] Speaker C: I would say, in my opinion, enchante does not beat it. Remy, I think, is one of the best. It's one of the best restaurants I've ever eaten at. On land or at sea. And we've gone to. We've gotten to some very high end restaurants. Yeah. [00:59:16] Speaker B: They're both impeccable, though. I mean, both enchanted and remy. [00:59:20] Speaker C: I prefer Remy. [00:59:21] Speaker B: Both impeccable. But I think Brian and I. Yeah, Brian. I both prefer the Remy experience to the Enchante experience. I don't know why exactly, but I. [00:59:29] Speaker C: Want to say feels a little more modern and minimalist and like. [00:59:35] Speaker B: Yeah, it's more of the decor in the atmosphere. It's not. The food is actually very similar. Sometimes you even get the same. Some of the same dishes. There's some crossover, particularly in the desserts. There's quite a bit of crossover. But one thing I wanted to mention about the service, you mentioned about how they describe everything to you. And I would say, like your wait staff they're like tour guides in addition to being, like, wait staff, because they are taking you on this journey of food and describing everything with precision and particularity. And so it's really a phenomenal experience in a colette. Plus, you get a colette, colette cocktail at the beginning. [01:00:13] Speaker C: One of the most amazing cocktails I ever had. [01:00:16] Speaker B: The Colette cocktail is included, but the wine pairings are not included. Add on the wine pairings, it's another hundred something dollars per person, if you want to. [01:00:25] Speaker A: Yeah. I think the thing I loved about Remy was we were at. We received it at a table, and I was angled just perfectly to look down the restaurant towards that kind of back room where you see the kitchen. And it just gave the illusion that I was eating in that restaurant, and you could see into the kitchen where the rats were making all of our food and they were going to bring it over. It was just the story, the theming, everything about that restaurant. I mean, they have perfected. I would love to try sail on the wish one day and try enchanted. [01:00:55] Speaker C: It's almost. It's almost. It's so understated that I feel like there was. I keep saying this, there are, like, little moments. I think they could have just gone just a little further with the theming. Like, I would love to see, like, a little Remy, like, at the window of the kitchen door, you know, kind of thing or something like that. [01:01:09] Speaker B: Or. Or do you want your waitstaff on roller skates? Do you want the sprint? I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. I love. I love that you had that experience yesterday. [01:01:20] Speaker C: Yeah. Well, Chris, is there anything that we missed about this sailing before I subject. [01:01:25] Speaker A: Which I know Sam would be probably remiss if we did all the shows, is I got to see Beauty and the beast for the very first time in the Walt Disney theater. [01:01:35] Speaker B: Chris, you're making my heart sing. [01:01:37] Speaker A: I have waited a very long time. I have been. I have not been on the wish, and I've not been on the fantasy, but I think I've seen basically most of. Most of what Disney cruise line has to offer from a stage show standard. I will say and agree. As much as I love tangled and as much as I love frozen, I think beauty and the Beast is the clear winner of all stage show presentations. It was flawless. It was just a fantastic. And this is after having seen Broadway performance, literally perform in the same theater the night before. I heard that from so many people on that ship, they were absolutely blown away by that performance. Beauty and the Beast, best stage show out there. [01:02:21] Speaker B: Exactly. I mean, I'm glad I've converted another person, or frankly, I didn't have to convert you. The dream converted you. But it is so flawless. It's from everything, though. It's not. I mean, the actors, the performers, they're wonderful. But it's also the way that they staged the show, the set design, the way the technology. Yeah, the way the technology integrates with the set. So when it doesn't have any technical glitches, because I've seen it once where it. Technical glitches. But it is just so. I mean, that's why it won awards. It has won awards because, bar none at sea, there is no better show. And it doesn't, and I agree with you, tangled and frozen are fantastic. And as far as performances go and storytelling go, they are on par, no question. But it's something about the way that they have taken. I think one of our other guests had said it like, it's sort of, they took the best things from the movie and the Broadway show. Well, the original movie, the live action movie and the Broadway show and put them into one and also made a shorter show, of course, because they do that at sea. And it. It's. It's just phenomenal. It's phenomenal. Phenomenal. Nothing better than that, in my opinion. All right, well, as Brian mentioned, it is that time in the show to subject you to my republican fire. So let's. [01:03:45] Speaker C: Well, wait, wait. I got to throw it over Sam, because you can't intro your own segment. All right, so it is. We have reached that point in the show, indeed, where it is time to hand you over to Sam for some arbitrary questions, some arbitrary rules and a dash of judgment or the round we know as rapid fire. So, Sam, take it away. [01:04:02] Speaker B: Thank you, Brian. So, Kristen, you've been on the show before. I'm going to jump right into some favorites, Disney Cruise line favorites. But I'm going to focus this on this cruise because I know that you've, you know, had other cruises under your belt, but at this point, I feel like we need to focus on this amazing european cruise. [01:04:19] Speaker A: Sure. [01:04:20] Speaker B: I want to start out with which one was your favorite Disney cruise member cruise gift? [01:04:25] Speaker A: Ooh. I think the three in one charging pad. It is something that you're going to use every single day. And I started using it. I think it was the only thing that I actually started using on the cruise itself, so. Love that. [01:04:39] Speaker B: Awesome. Awesome. Okay, since you already told us your favorite show was beauty and the beast on board, I'm gonna say setting aside beauty and the beast or setting aside sort of the main stage shows, what was your favorite of the presentations you got to see or, you know, it could be, you know, the Broadway singers, it could be one of the lectures or movies or whatnot, but any of the things that were sort of special for the member cruise, what was your favorite? [01:05:03] Speaker A: So, obviously, I went with my friends who made not just a goof. I saw the documentary showed premiered three times on, on the ship. I watched amazing, watched it three times. So highly recommend. If it ever makes it to Disney or out in the world one day, go and see that. So if I put that aside because I'm a little partial to that one. [01:05:24] Speaker B: Rightly so. Rightly so. [01:05:25] Speaker A: Yeah, it's rightly so. I loved the battle of the member cruise star show. It was just an irreverent, fun, sort of just jovial kind of hour and a half at night after, right before you go to bed, getting to see all the different Disney stars come together and just be themselves and kind of play a little bit in character, play a little bit out of character. It was a hilarious show. There was audience participation in it, so audience members got to participate with the various stars. I loved that. [01:05:59] Speaker B: Awesome. I love that. Cause they get to break the wall, right? That's a really. [01:06:03] Speaker A: They definitely broke the wall. See, Mickey and Minnie sort of fight at each other. Just kind of a funny thing to see. [01:06:12] Speaker B: That's awesome. All right, what was your favorite, actually, let's talk what your favorite adult bar space is on the dream now that you've gotten to spend some more time on her. [01:06:24] Speaker A: We found ourselves going to Meridian. We watched sail away, I think, from Palermo, Naples, and Rome, from, you know, those outdoor spaces. We would grab a drink and then go sit on the back of the ship as we left port. Each day, you know, the sun was just coming down. It was just absolutely gorgeous. Yeah. [01:06:50] Speaker B: Aperol spritz in hand. [01:06:51] Speaker A: Right in hand. And just watching, watching, watching the day go by. Yeah. [01:06:56] Speaker B: Love that. All right, what was your, your favorite rotational dining room restaurant? [01:07:02] Speaker A: Ooh. You know, we talked a lot about this. You know, having been on the Disney wonder back, and I believe it was October of 2021, it had been a little while. I think they were just kind of getting back into the flow of things. We were very impressed by the service and the food quality in all of the restaurants. I think we would all say that in, I think royal. I think it's royal palace is where we. Where we ate it. I feel like I was just there a week ago. I should remember the restaurant we went to three times. We absolutely loved, loved the food in there. Our wait staff was incredible. And the different menu options that they had over the course of those nights, I think were our favorite. [01:07:43] Speaker B: Love that. All right, what was your favorite port? [01:07:47] Speaker A: Favorite port, hands down, Naples. I think if we could have just docked in Naples for seven days and just gone off and done excursions every day there. I mean, I love pizza. The pizza lived up to the hype of going to Italy and having real pizza. There is just so much to do in Naples and it's so diverse, from being on a boat to seeing architectural sites to walking around and having pizza and aperol spritz. A fantastic board. [01:08:14] Speaker B: Love that. All right, we got to talk Remy versus Paulo. Because now you've done, I mean, you haven't done Remy brunch, but I don't think you need to do Remy brunch to do the compare because you've done Paulo dinner. You can sort of head to head dinner to dinner. Compare them or just in general compare them. But, yeah, Remy versus Paulo, which one do you prefer? [01:08:35] Speaker A: Oh, I. [01:08:37] Speaker B: Not what you would recommend to somebody else because I think that's a different nest. That can different. Be a different answer depending upon who that person is. [01:08:44] Speaker A: I would pro, I still think Palo brunch or Paolo dinner is my favorite of all of them. I love that you can get a bit of italian. You get the steak mixed in. Yeah. I love that dinner. Remy, dinner was fantastic. I don't know that I would do it every time that I went back on the ship. I would love to do it again, but I would go to Palo like two or three nights on a seven night cruise if I could. [01:09:12] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get that. I think Remy is. I mean, we. I love Remy dinner, but I think Palo is a more often repeatable type thing. Not that you can't repeat, Remy, but I wouldn't go every cruise if I was cruising on the dream and the fantasy a lot. Right. I probably would go like every, every other. Yeah. Okay. Moving on to which ship is your favorite now? You haven't, you have been on, you know, the dream class and the magic class we mentioned. You haven't been on the wish yet, and now you've been on the icon. But you can't pick from Royal Caribbean. You have to pick from Disney because this is a Disney Cruise line focused podcast. So of the Disney ships, which one is your favorite? [01:09:58] Speaker A: I think it will always be the wonder. It was not my first ship. The dream was my very 1st. 1st ship. A lot of people, it's their first ship is their favorite. The dream was my first. It was great to be back on her there. I just, that adult pool deck on the wonder is just fantastic. I love Tiana's restaurant and animator's palette and the frozen show. I mean, there's just, it's a lot to love, I think the best of all the ships, I honestly think. I think the only thing which I wish, if they put it into dry dock, if they, they could put a meridian bar on the back of that ship and just block the view of Paolo, forget them. Just put it on the back of that ship. It would probably be the best ship of them all. Yeah. [01:10:42] Speaker B: I love that. I love that because we love Meridian as well. I think that's the best, the best bar across the fleet. With the rose coming in like maybe a close second on the wish is a fantastic bar as well. All right. Well, my last question for every rapid fire is your bucket list cruise. This was a bucket list cruise, so we're crossing this one off the bucket list. Chris, what is the bucket list still outstanding? It could be anywhere in the world on a Disney cruise line ship, and it doesn't even need to be someplace that Disney Cruise line currently goes. Where would you go? [01:11:17] Speaker A: I think that, I mean, for me it's going to be Alaska because I've not been there yet. I've obviously listened to so many of your guests experiences there. My parents went this last summer there and it sounded incredible. I would love to go up to Alaska, see the glaciers, see these mountains, just go experience Alaska for what it is. Just because it's like, how much longer are we going to be able to do this? It looks like an amazing and absolutely amazing. I will also say my second bucket list cruise is, and it has been really fun, you know, following along on the world cruise that would be, I mean, if I just had a year of my life with nothing to do, I would love to hop on a year world cruise because you get to see so much of it, which I think would be really fun to do as well. [01:12:07] Speaker B: So. [01:12:07] Speaker A: But Alaska, like, I've literally seen if I can somehow get there this summer or early fall because I would love to go up there. [01:12:15] Speaker B: Well, awesome. Well, if you don't get on this summer, you know, the duo is going to be on next summer. So at the end of the season next summer, so you can always try and hop on board then. [01:12:26] Speaker A: There you go. [01:12:27] Speaker C: There you go. Chris, I've got to ask one more question here. Usually I ask what's next? Which maybe I want to know the answer to that, too. But since you've sailed on Royal and Disney, and we've had so many debates in the recent months about royal Caribbean or Disney cruise line, icon of the seas looks pretty amazing. So where's your heart lie in terms of the cruise line that you're going to pick to sail more often? You think it's royal or you think it's Disney? [01:12:50] Speaker A: It's interesting. Coming into this, I was worried that having done, done Disney Cruise line and have, you know, right after the restart, I had a good experience, but it wasn't this overwhelming, amazing experience that I was used to pre Covid. Now, having been back on the dream, I was like, oh, we are firing on all cylinders. This is, we are back to what a Disney cruise line vacation is and should be. I would love to do as many more Disney cruises as I can. I think the only thing which I'm super excited to hear about all the lighthouse point cruises and that we're gonna get to hear about this coming month, as much as I love castaway, boy, that Royal Caribbean private island, I mean, just put a pool on castaway or lighthouse, and I think it would be a winner in my books. Being able to swim in a pool on a private island just beats it out a little bit more. Yeah. So that's probably a non answer, but no, it's fair. [01:13:49] Speaker C: It's fair. It's hard. It's. I mean, you can have. You can have two loves, right? And they're, I think they are, at the end of the day, two very different experiences. So you're very different picking your vacation. Yeah. So what is next, Chris? What's next for you? You got anything planned? [01:14:03] Speaker A: You know, it's crazy. I mean, having now been on two seven night cruises already this year, and it's may or, you know, June 1 today, I don't have any. Well, actually, I shouldn't say that. I have a short three night cruise planned on Royal Caribbean's navigator of the seas out of LA here. [01:14:17] Speaker B: Just a quick. [01:14:19] Speaker A: Having gone on icon of the season, we gambled a little bit. You win some money, they want to get you you back with some free casino cruises. So that's my next one. But I don't have any, anything else booked beyond that. I typically tend to book a little bit closer in. So that's really it. I'm going to Chicago in a couple weeks to celebrate my nephew's high school graduation. No cruises outside of the royal Caribbean one. But hopefully something. [01:14:48] Speaker B: Hopefully Alaska soon. [01:14:50] Speaker A: Hopefully Alaska. Yeah. Alaska. Yes. That would be awesome. [01:14:53] Speaker C: Well, Chris, as always, uh, we love having you on the show and hearing about your experiences. Uh, you know, let folks know because you, when you are out there traveling, you have some great Instagram posts. So, uh, let folks know how they can follow you. [01:15:07] Speaker A: Yeah, so my Instagram account is c and then kidder, my last name. So c kitter. You can find me on Instagram. I try to post, uh, mostly when I'm, yeah, out, out traveling the world. Um, and a little bit of work fun as well. So you can. [01:15:22] Speaker C: Yeah, well, your movie premiere photos. Your movie premiere photos are always fantastic. So. So. Well, Chris, thanks one more time for coming on the show. We just really, really appreciate it. [01:15:31] Speaker A: Awesome. [01:15:36] Speaker C: Well, thanks to everyone out there for listening this week. We really, really appreciate it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast. You can keep getting great content from us every week. In fact, twice a week we publish shows. So be sure to hit the subscribe button to get all of those great episodes. And if you want to watch us live, we have a live show now every week, Monday nights, 05:30 p.m. pacific 08:30 p.m. eastern over on YouTube.com dclduo. So be sure to head over and check that out. If you want to help support the show, be sure to hit those five stars on Apple podcasts. And if you leave us a written review, a five star written review, we will read it at the top of one of our main episodes. So please head over there and hit those five stars. Of course, you can also help support the show by supporting our fabulous show sponsor, mypath unwinding travel. If you want to book your next Disney vacation, head over to mypathunwinding.com dclduo or email [email protected] so they know we sent you their way. If you've got questions or you'd like to connect with us, the best way to do that is to head over to dclduo.com dot. It's got links to all of our things. Full catalog of the podcast episodes, including a searchable catalog for the podcast. Links off to our vlog, a link to our Etsy store where we sell some fun fan inspired magnets. Link to our Patreon if you'd like to help directly support the show each and every month, just head over to the website or patreon.com dclduo. Also, as a way for you to sign up for our substack newsletter that we're hoping to start really pumping out monthly here, at least on a few blog articles that we've written. So dclduo.com is the best way to connect with us. You can also, of course, email us at infocl doing or reach out to us on our voicemail line at 402-413-5590 that's 402-413-5590 the DCLjewo podcast is not affiliated with Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Company, or the Disney family of theme parks. The views expressed on the show are solely those of the individuals on the podcast and in no way reflect the views of the Disney Company or Disney Cruise line. If you have questions about a Disney Cruise or Disney vacation, please contact the great folks over at my path unwinding travel or Disney directly or your own travel agent. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time for another fabulous adventure with the DCL duo. Goodnight.

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