Today, I’m here to lay to rest any notion that a vacation with Disney Cruise Line is for kids, only.
Adults can unwind at Quiet Cove, an adult-exclusive pool, offering tranquil solitude, ocean breezes and spectacular views. At night, you can delight in live music, cabaret shows, dance parties, karaoke and more at venues that cater exclusively to adults when the sun sets. You can even treat yourself to rejuvenating spa therapies, get a makeover or enjoy an invigorating workout – all in scenic, modern facilities.
And, you can savor fine, elegant French-inspired cuisine at Remy.
Cheers, husband! You make 40 look good. Our date night on board the Disney Fantasy was everything we were hoping for: time alone to reconnect as a couple, a chance to engage in uninterrupted adult conversation, and of course, the opportunity to savour the finest French fare.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that our meal at Remy was the best of our lives.
There are several factors that led to our enjoyment. First, and most importantly, was the knowledge that our children were well looked after, well entertained, and well into forgetting we existed! At Disney’s Oceaneer Club, our boys were immersed in character-driven performances, special storytelling sessions, larger-than-life playgrounds and cool interactive activities. Is it any wonder they were more than happy to give us space for a few hours?
And, knowing that they were in the trusted hands of Disney cast members went a long way to help us relax and enjoy the moment. No fighting traffic, no checking our watches. The boys were a phone call away, and we were in seventh heaven.
Second, we *really* needed a date night. In the eight years we’ve been married, we’d only managed to carve out about four rendezvous-sans-enfants. I think it’s a little funny we finally managed to ditch the kids… while in the middle of the western Atlantic ocean!
Before I share the details of our dining experience, I feel the need to add a disclaimer of sorts. The following photography is of lower quality than I’d like, simply because all photos were taken with no flash in a dimly lit restaurant. I am always very respectful of fellow diners, and a fine restaurant on board a premier cruise line is absolutely not the place to wield a DSLR. Hence, most of the photos were hastily taken in an effort to limit camera time. Thank goodness for photo editing software, which allowed me to brighten the pictures at home.
Our night began with a Champagne “Colette” Cocktail. The Colette is prepared table side and includes a touch of strawberry and mint leaf followed by a generous splash of Absolut Pears Vodka and Taittinger Champagne. Colette, of course, is named after Colette Tatou, the staff’s only female chef in Disney’s beloved Ratatouille. It is the perfect start to a romantic meal.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is fittingly reminiscent of a French bistro; dark wood, shimmering chandeliers, an exaggerated wine cellar, elegant dining decor and fanciful bronze and gold accents. At dinner, there is a hushed ambiance which further emphasizes the adults-only space.
My husband and I chose to experience six exquisite dishes from the restaurant’s seasonal menu. Now, if you were so inclined, you could also select from the Truffle Collection ($250 per person, featuring white Alba and black Périgord truffles) or Caviar Selections (1-ounce tin ranges from $99 to $360, featuring farm-raised varieties of Osetra and Sevruga caviars and served with specially selected Krug Grande Année Champagne). However, the basic (if you could ever call a Remy experience basic) tasting menu is truthfully quite sublime, and at $85 per person, I would recommend it as your first foray into specialty dining on board the Disney Fantasy.
“Sharing is caring.” Our waiter, David from Germany, repeated this mantra a few times. And, as it turns out, he was correct; aside from our amuse-bouche, a small sphere of deep-fried tomato soup pictured above, our remaining courses were all different, allowing us to sample and taste from each other’s plate. Hence, it’s not a stretch to say that we both savoured twelve different dishes during our six-course meal.
(As for the deep-fried tomato soup? It’s exactly as delicious as it sounds. A crisp crouton filled with an explosion of warm tomato goodness, served at just the perfect temperature.)
Following is just a sample of favourites from our dining experience at Remy.
Octopus with Ratatouille.
The traditional French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, once considered a “peasant’s food”, is topped with succulent octopus that melts in the mouth. The robust melange of flavours is delicately seasoned and presented with elegance; it’s a bold assertion to make, but I’m fairly certain the ratatouille steals the show.
Black Bass with Lentils and Carrot Coulis.
Flaky, subtly sweet sea bass surrounded by earthy lentils and mellow carrot coulis. The marriage of flavours is sophisticated and is certain to please seafood lovers. Of note is the generous portion – which curiously, left me wanting more.
Quail with Cardamom and Celery Root Puree.
A perfectly poached quail egg is just the beginning. Tender, grilled quail meat is served en roulade with a crisp, smoky crust that superbly complements the delicate interior. The celery root puree is light, comforting and begs to be scooped alongside the rich demi-glace.
Kobe Style Beef with Sauce Bordelaise.
The expression “cuts like butter” should be solely reserved for this dish. Kobe beef, celebrated for its exquisite marbling of fat throughout, is at its finest paired with aromatic Bordelaise sauce, a classic combination of dry red wine, bone marrow, butter and shallots.
The delectable plateau de fromages followed, offering a selection of fine cheeses. Of note, we enjoyed a delicately veined blue cheese, brie on cherry bread with a dollop of fruited jam, and tangy chèvre (goat’s milk cheese) that may have induced an audible moan of pleasure.
And then, dessert.
“Just think of it as the best Kit Kat you’ve ever had,” David said. He was correct.
Light, crispy wafers are covered in a bittersweet dark chocolate and finished with edible gold leaf. Two truffles balanced atop the sinful concoction, adding a touch of smooth richness and just the right contrast in textures. You were right, David. I’ll never look at Kit Kat the same way.
Just before leaving the restaurant, Executive Chef Patrick Albert popped by to introduce himself and was eager to hear about our dining experience. We appreciated the chance to chat with him and revel in his culinary excellence. Before he parted, he presented us with a lovely gift of handmade lollipops and chocolate dipped fruit for the boys (which I seriously contemplated hiding in my handbag) and a beautiful red rose for me. It was a special touch which, of course, exemplified the “Disney Difference”.
So, is Remy restaurant a “must-do” for adults? Certainly. Without a doubt. It was, as previously mentioned, likely the best dining experience I’ve had, and I wouldn’t hesitate to make reservations again when sailing with Disney Cruise Line.
If you’re trying to rationalize the $85 per person surcharge, I would break it down like this. Budget about $250 USD, plus gratuities, if you stick to the tasting menu and limit wine to two glasses per person. Now realistically, this is what I would spend for one night of fine dining, babysitting costs, plus parking and gas fees, back home! It’s essentially the equivalent of any “special occasion” date night experience, with the added value of a) being on vacation (you’re already relaxed and free from distractions), and b) knowing you don’t have to rush home to the kids (trust me, they’re in good hands at Disney’s Oceaneer Club).
Dining at Remy is like being transported to an authentic fine-dining restaurant in the City of Lights. It was one of the highlights of our Disney Fantasy cruise, and one I’m eager to replicate on a future sailing. Oh, and one final tidbit – after such a glorious meal, if you haven’t saved room for truffles… don’t worry, you can take them with you.
Remy is a French-inspired restaurant exclusive to the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream from Disney Cruise Line. Reservations are required and can be made online or on board the ship. C’est magnifique!