Posted on Friday, April 20, 2012 by Peter Knego
Peter Knego’s double Disney Decked! series of posts with side-by-side (or, rather, top-to-bottom) looks at the similarities and differences between Disney Cruise Line’s twin, state-of-the-art megaships DISNEY DREAM and DISNEY FANTASY continues with the Spa, Specialty Restaurants, Buffet and other top deck interior spaces.
All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2011 and 2012 unless otherwise noted.
Located inboard of the suite accommodation on forward Deck 12 there are identical concierge lounges, right down to the violet and orange banded carpeting, on both ships.
Meridian Bar, Palo and Remy
A suite of adults-only, extra-tariff specialty restaurants tops the ship on aft Deck 12. Accessed via the Meridian Bar, Palo is on the starboard side and Remy is to port.
The Meridian Bar is virtually identical on both ships with its compass-point light fixtures, nautical artwork, leather seating and wood veneers.
On either side of Meridian, there are al fresco teak-lined terraces overlooking the stern.
On the starboard side, Palo, an Italian restaurant, is accessed via a red, white and blue striped entry topped with blown glass lighting.
The main section of Palo is very similar on both ships but a close look reveals that the FANTASY has beige versus the green upholstered seating on the DREAM.
The carpeting on both ships is identical in Palo.
The private dining areas on both ships are almost identical, save for the window on the left (thanks, Brad!) in the DREAM image and the arrangement of the decorative plates in the cabinets.
Remy is a very high-end and steeply priced French restaurant on the port side of Meridian on aft Deck 12. The venue takes its name and inspiration from the French restaurant in the movie “Ratatouile”.
The main seating area of Remy features a bank of booths and smoky orange Art Nouveau tulip lighting fixtures.
Inboard, there is a wine cellar with an alcove of seating.
Both ships have a special reserve wine list with extremely rare and pricey vintages.
The overall look of Remy’s on both ships is similar with autumnal colors, identical fixtures and rich wood tones.
But a close inspection reveals some subtle differences, such as carpet patterns and the seating booth detailing.
At the forward end of Remy’s (adjacent to the galley), there is a private dining space that is identical on both ships. Note the tufted carpeting…
The Senses Spa on both ships is an extensive complex located on forward Deck 11 that extends upwards with a handful of treatment rooms into the inboard portion of Deck 12. The reception and entrance is on the starboard side.
A waiting area adjacent to the reception desk has spectacular views of the sea. The decor — down to the soft fittings and even the artwork — on both ships is identical.
A large beauty salon is directly aft of the waiting area.
There is a barber shop inboard of the beauty salon.
Both ships even have a teeth whitening studio aft of the barber shop.
Considering Disney’s demographics, the gyms on both ships are a bit disappointing. On the plus side, there are plenty of cardio machines with a gorgeous view and even a small free weights area in addition to line of weight machines. But the combined aerobics, spinning and stretching area is an afterthought and totally inadequate, resulting in people stepping over each other or stretching between unused weight machines.
Separate changing areas, albeit with subtly different finishes, for both men and women are located inboard of the gym.
There is a relaxation area with heated mosaic-topped recliners.
Glass-enclosed terraces with Thalassotherapy spas buttress over the side of the ship.
These ships even have teen-only Chill Spas with some impressive butterfly mosaic detailing.
The rainforest may be the most comprehensive thermal suite at sea. Available to those getting regular spa treatments, day passes can be purchased at the spa reception.
Colorfully-tiled showers drench users in a variety of ways, from above and below, hot, cold, mistily, etc.
The terrazzo and mosaic detailing in the Senses Spa is quite impressive, flawlessly rendered by the Meyer Werft craftsmen.
Both ships have a Hamam (Turkish Bath)…
A Laconium sauna…
and a Caldarium steam room….
For the price of a short cruise, there are also Couples’ Treatment Villas with private Jacuzzi-equipped balconies and enough rose petals to furnish an episode of “The Bachelorette”.
And, last but not least, an elliptical, Persian-inspired relaxation area that utilizes gauze curtains and more of that nice leafy carpet from the reception waiting area.
On the DISNEY DREAM inaugural, the Cove Cafe was not accessible but I trust it is identical to that on the FANTASY. This handsome crescent-shaped space (think old Cunarder observation bar) is adjacent to the adults-only Quiet Cove Pool at the base of the funnel on Deck 11 and is nicely decorated with Macassar mahogany veneers that are offset by cool blues, pearly white and turquoise soft fittings.
Whozits and Whatzits
Whozits and Whatzits is a shop at the aft end of the midships Deck 11 vestibule with a porthole view of Donald’s family pool.
At the aft end of the family pool area, near the entrance to Cabanas casual restaurant, there is Nemo’s Reef, a “Finding Nemo”-themed toddlers’ water park with pop jets, bubblers and fountains.
Arrcade is off the starboard entrance to Cabanas and seems to be, other than the game machines, identical down to the carpeted “planking”.
Sand-and-Sea-themed Cabanas is the casual buffet style dining venue on aft Deck 11. Identical on both ships, it has a few decorative surprises, such as seagulls and kites above and carpeting that mimics a boardwalk beach.
Possibly my favorite of all the commissioned artworks on the ship are the undersea-themed mosaics on either side of the inboard bulkheads near the food stations. They are beautifully rendered and colorful, almost reminiscent of mosaics that once graced public spaces on ships like Matson’s LURLINE and even some noted Italian liners of the past.
The mosaics are identical on both ships and feature some spectacular detailing.
The faux palm-trimmed aft portion of cabanas has windows that look out onto an al fresco terrace at the stern of Deck 11.
Additional seating is available on the aft Cabanas terrace.
Vibe Teen Center (Deck 5)
Vibe Teen Center is located at the far forward end of Deck 5. Entry is via fiberoptic-enhanced, pulsating passageway straight out of a high-end Sci-Fi flick, where the colors constantly change.
Each has a soda bar that is pretty much identical, down to the zig zag wallpaper and colorful rubberized decking.
The adjoining lounge area, save for pillow arrangements, also seems identical between the two ships.
And, on the starboard side, the FANTASY’s Vibe Disco is also a doppelganger to that of the DREAM’s.
Both ships also have teen media rooms with enhanced artwork and identical fittings, pillows not withstanding.
And each ship cleverly utilizes the fo’c’sle, an area once reserved for docking gear or crew space for outdoor games, splashing and sunning.
And at the very tip of the fo’c’sle, one gets a view of the ships’ classically proportioned and yet futuristically styled superstructure, a welcome architectural relief from most modern ships’ slab facades.
End of DISNEY DREAM Versus DISNEY FANTASY Decked!, Part Two. Much more to come…
Special thanks: Martin Cox, Rob DiStefano, Jason Lasecki, Mike Masino, James McAuliffe