One of the most asked questions about the dining on the Disney Dream is “Is Remy worth the $75 per person surcharge”. Just for all of you wondering this question, I decided to “bite the bullet” and experience both Remy and Palo on the Maiden voyage and this sailing we are currently on.
We went to Remy on the second night of our Maiden Voyage sailing. This was also Pirate Night. We had dinner at 7:50 pm so allowing for even 2 ½ hours would get us out in plenty of time to see the fireworks.
We checked in for our dinner at the reception desk outside of Palo, Remy and Meridian. The door to Remy was closed, but shortly opened and we were led in. My first impression was “this is very elegant”. It was quiet and felt very formal, though we never felt underdressed with slacks and a blouse for me and a sport coat for my husband. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. There were two others there that night who saw me arrive, but didn’t feel comfortable calling out my name so I would see them. I don’t suggest this is a bad thing, just trying to give an impression about how the feel of the room was.
It was cozy inside of Remy. I had walked in the room earlier on the cruise during the day, but the feeling you got in the room that night was so different. The special champagne cocktail was prepared tableside and served to us all. A bread tray was brought to us by another server and we selected our bread which was placed on our bread plate by the server. A bread basket was not left on the table but there wasn’t any problem getting additional bread if desired.
We were given a little morsel from the kitchen. It was a deep fried tomato consommé. I cannot figure out how you bread and deep fry a liquid, without it getting mushy, but they did it. I could have easily eaten a bowl-full of these, though we just received one each.
We had a choice of a set menu – Saveur or Gout – or we could order A la carte. There was a wine pairing available for an extra $99 per person to go with either of these menus. My husband chose the Gout menu. I went a la carte. As a result, I had one less course than he did.
Our next course was of course Ratatouille. This was very yummy and was served with an olive oil ice cream. Wow! I have never had something so decadent. I then had an Alaskan King Crab appetizer. The presentation on this dish was fantastic! My next selection was the sea bass. Wow, that’s all I can say about this one.
We ordered a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape to accompany the next course – Australian Wagyu beef. The sauce that accompanied this cut of meat was better than anything I can remember in recent memories. The beef was outstanding! I had a sip of wine when I started with the beef and it paired very well together. Before I knew it though, I had eaten all of my entrée and hadn’t had any more wine, it was just that good alone!
Next we had a cheese course. There was goat cheese, gouda, two kinds of blue cheese, two kinds of gruyere cheese, and brie. We each had a little of each. After the cheese it was time for dessert and here was the only “problem” with the meal. It wasn’t truly a problem however. I ordered a fantastic half bottle of wine. It was wonderful! But when my dessert came, the wine was too sweet for the dessert which was a lemon crème dessert. The lemon dessert was so tart, but also sweet which made it liven up my taste buds. I set the wine aside until the dessert was done and then finished the wine after dinner.
After dessert, we received another dessert. Chocolates, caramels, tartlets, elephant ears, homemade marshmallows and lollypops were served. This was a nice ending, though not expected. I noticed sometime during dessert that there was a reflection on the glass. Upon further pondering, we realized this was the fireworks! It was nearly 11:00 pm!
It was finally time for the check. Since we had been told that the $75 fee does not include gratuity, we added on a gratuity. With service charge, gratuity and wine, our price came to just over $300. We didn’t leave the restaurant hungry, but I would say we were satisfied. I didn’t feel stuffed, I felt good. As we left the room I mused “I wonder if there are openings in here on our next sailing?”
After another day or so, however, I realized that $75 a person is a lot of money so I decided we shouldn’t do this on our last cruise. Still unsure if the extra charge was worth it however.
Last night we dined at Palo. We had a fabulous server – Julia from Germany. We immediately thought that Remy was going to have a hard time matching up with Palo.
Palo’s menu was very familiar with a few new additions. Here we could also order as much as we’d like. We started with a couple cocktails from Meridian. The Antipasti is different than on the Magic and the Wonder. A cart was brought over to us and the platter was prepared tableside. There were some new selections and we settled on a bit of everything – fennel, eggplant, pepper, Parmesan cheese, beef and parma ham. A bread selection was placed on the table as well.
We ordered a four cheese pizza, Sicilian Pesto shrimp, braised beef ravioli to share and the sea bass and tenderloin. Everything was wonderful and I quickly filled up. After the main course, I needed to get up for a minute or two so that I wouldn’t feel so full. It was at this point that I made my decision.
Remy is absolutely worth the $75 per person service charge! Both venues were fabulous in their own ways but with Palo I felt more at home, warm and filled up. At Remy, I felt elegant, tried some incredible tastes and left feeling satisfied. I don’t know if I will book Remy each time I sail on the Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy when she comes out in 2012, but I will continue to book Palo each time. Remy will be reserved for special occasions. Keep in mind I cruise more often than most. If I was cruising one week a year, I would absolutely want to go to Remy each and every time.
Thank you Disney Cruise Line for giving us two uniquely different yet equally exceptional venues for us adults to enjoy while on this amazing vessel.