March 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Carter!

I really can't believe that my little guy is turning 4 today.  I know that time races by when you have kids but my God wasn't it just yesterday that that he came into this world?  With my oldest it does feel like he has been around almost 7 years, sometimes actually it feels like he has been around longer.  How can Carter actually be 4, he is still wearing 12-18 month clothes and he looks like he could pass for a two year old.  You always get this idea that your kid is not growing until someone makes a comment about how big he is getting, well with Carter I swear he has been the same size for the past three years.  He might not be growing in size but he really is starting to mature.  It wasn't too long ago that you could count on a Carter screaming fit of over 10 minutes at least once a day.  But those days are getting fewer and farther between thank God, but so are the little Carterisms.  You know those cute little words your kids say that you can never catch on camera but you will always remember.  Carter's were things like "Bingsay" and "Mony, pony, bony, sony,"  words that never made sense to anyone but him. He doesn't say things like that anymore and that's how I can tell he is getting to be a big kid.  Sure he still struggles with the nuances of the english language, but he is starting to get all the tenses down and slowly is learning his letters.  Part of me just wants him to stop right here and leave his learning where it is.  I like hearing him butcher our language but unfortunately I don't think society would accept him if he was 20 years old still saying "Bingsay" all the time.  I am sure it would be a huge hit with the ladies though!  

Carter is a little kid but its almost like he never had that baby time.  I am sure it's this way with a lot of second children, where they get immersed into the world of their older sibling.  There was no Barney or Sesame Street like Tyler had.  There was no progression from baby stuff to toddler stuff to big boy things.  It's as if he came out of the womb and went straight to Star Wars, it's what Tyler has liked since Carter was born.  Maybe thats part of the problem, I haven't seen him grow from a toy standpoint in almost three years!  Any parent of a child who likes Star Wars will tell you that this "phase" could last a long time.  I guess I should start realizing that on Carter's tenth birthday he will probably look exactly the same as he does now and be playing with all the same toys.

There will always be those moments that I will look at him and picture him in his 2T, yes he still wears that size, fleece pants, and his crocs and think about what an awesome kid he is.  This morning he asked me, if now that he was four did that mean he was getting bigger.  I told him, yes he was getting bigger, but he will never get too big.  My little guy will always be my little guy.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


March 23, 2011


As someone whose main way of connecting to the outside world is through the written word, my blog means a lot to me.  Its humbling that there are people out there that would take the time to read what I have to say.  When I started up this blog it was initially a way to let people know that kids are crazy, not just mine.  I have had feedback from people letting me know that the stories I have been sharing are much like what they are going through as parents.  Its nice to know that we are not alone in what we deal with as parents, dads and moms.

I have surprisingly had thousands of visitors at my site, mostly because of some reviews that I have posted about the Disney Dream cruise ship.  I know those people come to my site mainly for that reason but many of them have taken the time discover who I am and the OTHER stories that I have shared.  I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that has taken the time to browse through my site.  Way more people have read my blog than I ever expected.

I am entered in a contest to find the 25 best Daddy Blogs.  If I were to be put on this list I would then be up there with other authors such as Chekov, Shakespeare, Tolstoy and Dr. Seuss.  Please take a second to vote for me in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Daddy Blogs.  There is nothing to sign up for and it literally will take a few seconds to cast a vote, which I would hope is for me.  Just click on the image below and you will be taken taken to the page where you can show your love.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


A Word to Mom

OK moms I have officially had it with you. You think you are so cool with your little heart shaped pancakes and your ability to match your kids socks. Well I am here to say that you are not all that you are cracked up to be. A recent Dadlogic study found that a full 93% of stay at home moms do the weekly grocery shopping. What the lazy other 7% are doing I have no idea, but I will tell you I thank them for staying home.
During a recent visit to the grocery store I found scenes like this all over the parking lot. Since I did not see one man in the store, aside from the guys stocking shelves, I have to assume that women are too lazy to put the shopping cart in their little corral. Nothing gets me more annoyed than having to slalom around these things to find a parking space.
The spaces are for cars not shopping carts. I don't want to see them on the curb and I certainly don't want to see them next to where I finally am able to park my car.
It's utter laziness by you moms. Oh but you can get away with it because you are shopping for little Jimmy and his sister Sally. If they don't get their Poptarts the world will end. Why do they even bother having a little area to park the carts if moms are not going to put the carts there?
See the one cart in this picture, that is mine. My cart is not taking up space in the parking lot and is certainly not bumping into peoples cars. The same Dadlogic study found out that 98% of all the stupid little dents on your vehicle are caused by shopping carts that run astray at the grocery store. That is a pretty high percentage and one the you moms should be ashamed of.

It was raining today and that only makes it worse. Someone has to gather all these carts up and it certainly is not a mom. I know that you are in a hurry to get home and watch The View and bake a pie, but next time you are at the store do us all a favor and instead of buying that shamrock shaped sandwich cutter, take that time to get your cart out of the way.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


March 15, 2011

The Disney Dream... extended version Part 4, The Rooms

The accommodations on The Disney Dream are quite nice.  They are larger than that of other cruise lines that we've been on.  Other ships we've had to get adjoining staterooms to have enough room, but on the Disney ships we have never felt like we didn't have enough space.  We were lucky enough to have a Category 9b stateroom, in other words it was a Deluxe Oceanview stateroom.  One giant porthole was our connection to the outside world, letting us know in the morning that it was time to get up.  I shared this room with my wife and two boys and there was plenty of room.  If you are a family of four this room is just the right size, I mean all that you really do here is sleep and get dressed.  The thing that Disney does right with these rooms is that there is a bathtub.  So many other cruise lines give you this shower that really is the size of a phone booth, not taking into account that there are little kids onboard and parents need to give them a bath.  The shower area is separate from the toilet, making it convenient for two people to get ready at the same time.  Lets be honest the wife is going to need extra time for hair and makeup and the extra room gives her the freedom to get herself all dolled up.

These rooms can comfortably sleep 4 people with a bunk bed that comes out of the ceiling.  Every night the stateroom attendant would lower the top bunk down with the idea being someone would sleep there.  Now this wasn't the case with us as the boys like to sleep in the big bed, so who was on the bunk bed?  That's right, yours truly.  Carter did sleep up there the first night of our cruise and he seemed genuinely excited to do so.  That didn't last, although he did like hanging out up there.  If you are looking for a little privacy for you and the misses, this is not the room for you.  That being said I don't know if you are going to get that private time if you bring kids on the cruise.  Of course you could jump up a level or two and get yourself one of those Concierge Rooms.  They do have a separate bedroom that you can lock the door.  I was able to gets past security, the big gate that they have, and get some video of what a one bedroom suite looks like in that heavily fortressed area.

As for the gate I think that is the stupidest thing that I have ever seen.  There certainly could have been some other design, or maybe some sort of glass sliding door but this thing just looks pretty prison like, not that the people inside are prisoners by any stretch of the imagination.  I get the idea they don't want the average cruiser walking down these hallways, certainly you pay a price for the peacefulness of not having people walking the halls at all hours of the night, but seriously this is a horrible way of doing it.  This combined with that stupid concierge deck outside on the 13th level, I don't think that I would have been happy if I were to stay in these rooms.  I can only hope that when they are done building the Fantasy it won't have this thing on it.

The interior rooms were quite nice as well but were smaller than the Oceanview rooms.  One thing they do in these rooms that I have not seen anywhere else is the give you a fake port hole with a view outside.  It actually is quite cool as there is some sort of camera that is showing you exactly what it looks like outside.  It's almost as if every room on the boat has a view of the ocean.  Of course the view is not a full 180 degrees but at least you get something.
One final thing to note about the rooms is that each room comes with two wireless "wave phones."  Each room has two numbers, since we were in Room 2046, we had 20461 and 20462, that way you can call each other.  I really like this idea and I have not seen it on any other ship.  You no longer need to bring those stupid walkie talkies with you anymore.  Its really annoying seeing people try to yell at each other, you can hardly understand what anyone is saying half the time.  Anyway with these you have the ability to talk and text, so you now have no excuse to not be in direct contact with the little lady as you sit in the sports bar watching a basketball game and she is playing minigolf with the kids.  It's also a great way for the Kids Club to get in touch with you if they need to and they also work on the island.  Its just a great touch.

All in all the rooms on the Disney Cruises are better than those on other ships.  The standard rooms are always larger than those of their counterparts, which probably takes away from the size of the common areas on the ship.  I will say that my room had some annoying pump sound coming from Deck 1.  It was something that was making noise all night.  If you are a heavy sleeper it probably would not bother you, but I would avoid staying on Deck 2.  I liked the location otherwise as we were close to the midship elevators, the restaurants, and the gangway but the noise was something that just bothered me.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


March 14, 2011

The Case for The 'Cuse

This time of year is like Christmas, Hanukah, Easter, Kwanza, and the Fourth of July all rolled into one.  March Madness is what I wait for and dread at the same time every year.  I always pick Syracuse to with the National Title and so far I have been right once in my 37 years.  To be fair I have not been a fan since birth so I will say that I have been following them since I was 10.  So in 27 years I have correctly predicted a Syracuse University Basketball National Championship 3.7% of the time.  Those are unfortunately not very good numbers.  This year though that number will rise to 7.15% as I predict The Orange will be crowned 2011 NCAA Basketball Champions.


First lets start with the obvious, in 2003 Syracuse was the #3 seed in the East.  In 2011 they are again the #3 seed in the east, a pretty good place to start the comparison.  The last time the Syracuse lost to Uconn in the Big East Tournament was 2003.  This year, of course, they lost to UConn once again.  This is a very sore subject as I hate Uconn, but if we have to lose to them to win the National Championship, so be it.  In 2003 the Orange had one senior, Kueth Duany.  This years version also has only one senior, Rick Jackson.  The two are completely different players but both provided that much needed team leader.  In 2003 they had three Freshman contribute significant playing time, Gerry Macnamara, Billy Edelin, and of course Carmelo Anthony.  Now this years team has four freshman but I am only going to count Baye Moussa-Keita and Fab Melo as one guy, lets be honest they don't contribute enough to be considered two players.  That leaves C.J. Fair, and Dion Waiters as the two other Freshman.  So that makes three freshman.  Hmmm.  There was a lefty in 2003 that was quirky, Josh Pace.  This year we have Fair.  Both somewhat unorthodox players, but also guys that got the job done.  The big difference between the two teams was obviously Carmelo, but we won't get into that because that is not the basis of my comparison.

From a stats standpoint a couple of things stand out.  This year SU was second in the country in Blocked Shots per game.  In 2003 they were also #2 in that category.  I know, this is getting pretty eerie.  The Field Goal percentage defense is something that also stands out.  In 2003 SU's defense allowed opponents to shoot 39.0 percent from the field, this years squad allowed opponents to shoot 39.3 percent, pretty close numbers.  As we all know in 2003 Syracuse played there first round games in Boston, MA.  If you look at the distance from The Carrier Dome to the TD Garden it's 313 miles and you can drive there in around 5:15.  This year the opening round is in Cleveland and the distance from the Dome to Quicken Loans Arena is 335 miles and you can drive there in 5:34.  I will call this a wash because the people of Syracuse are a smart bunch who I am sure could get there faster and find a shorter way.  Both number one seeds in their bracket started with the letter "O."  Oklahoma in 2003 and Ohio St. this year.  Both of which are more known for their football teams.

Of course there is a possible matchup with a Roy Williams team should they advance and we all know who was the coach of the losing squad in the 2003 National Championship game.  Finally who is looming on the other side of the bracket?  None other than Kansas and we all know who SU won their only title against.  Is there any reason to actually play the tournament this year?  It all seems too similar to not happen again.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


March 11, 2011

Disney Dream Extended Review Part 3... Fine Dining.

In my last post I covered the everyday restaurants onboard the Disney Dream, and for most, those restaurants were more than enough to satisfy people's fancy needs.  However for those who want a little bit more there are two restaurants that offer fine dining at a price.  Palo, as most know, is the Northern Italian Restaurant and Remy is the gourmet French restaurant.  Palo is offered at an extra charge of $20 while Remy is an extra $75.  Most people know that the food in Palo is tremendous so coughing up the extra $20 is not a big deal.  I am sure there are a lot of people that are a little skeptical about what Remy offers for that extra price.  I will tell you that it is worth every penny.

First thing that I will say is that the restaurant was not crowded at all.  I know that they want to keep the numbers down to maintain a more intimate atmosphere, but I do think that the price is something that is scaring people away.  I noticed many empty tables and we started our dinner at 7:30 and there was only one other couple in the restaurant went we left at 10:45.  Since this is such a new restaurant I think maybe the price should come down a little bit.  $150 for a couple plus a bottle of wine, and all of a sudden your bill is well over $200, thats way too much to ask of people that have already spent thousands on this cruise to begin with.  Then again they get people to pay a premium for booking shore excursions through the boat so they probably feel people will pay the price.  As for the $99 wine pairing, my wife thought that was for a couple, but alas its an extra C note PER PERSON.  This must be a place only for Concierge level folks.  Gentlemen will need a jacket to dine here, I used to bring a suit on these vacations but just started to think it was too much of a hassle to pack, plus with the mess kids make its really not worth it.  Have no fear though, if you do not have a jacket one will be provided for you.  So now that we have gotten all that out of the way lets get down to the dinner.

Before we could actually get our food of course we had to worry about our wine, the prices range from expensive, to ridiculously expensive.  There is one wine on the list that you might recognize from the movie but I don't think that bottle will ever be sold.  

Of course we are talking about the Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947.  As you will recall Ego orders that bottle to go with his meal when he reviews Gusteau's restaurant.  I would have no idea what that meant from watching the movie but it's apparently an expensive bottle of wine.  It's somewhat of a benchmark wine in that wine snobs will travel thousands of miles just to get a taste of it.    On the boat they have one bottle that you can consume for $25000.  I am sure that its fantastic, but at that price I could NEVER enjoy it.  It's a safe bet that that this bottle will be "on display" for years to come.  Disney, while they would love someone to spend that kind of money on a cruise, probably hopes that no one buys this because they are apparently hard to find.
The first course that we had on the evening was,  you guessed it, ratatouille.

It was a nice dish but not one that gave me flashbacks to my childhood, I honestly could have skipped this dish but as you can see this restaurant is keeping to a theme here.  It was just the first of many courses that we had.  You could have as many courses as you wanted with this meal but the more you eat, the longer the meal takes, and Kids Club does close at 1:00am.  There are many places that you can go to find the menu, including Disney's own website, so I will not bore you with everything that they have to offer.  There are a couple ways of ordering, the ridiculous wine pairing menu or the ala carte menu.  My wife and I chose the a la carte menu for obvious reasons.  Being able to pick and choose, even though they said they would offer a wine pairing for each course, is the way to go.  I can only imagine what the price would be if we strayed away from their suggestions.  Again there is no shame in ordering a bunch of different things, after the $75 cover charge there is no limit to what you can eat, so you might as well try everything.  As for myself, if you read any of my previous post on the other dining rooms, you will know that I am a beef and seafood kind of guy.  Everything they had was very much to my liking.

The first dish that I had was the Langoustines Royale.  I am sure that you have it in your head that this some giant Lobster tail, but this was a lobster plucked from some Norwegian midget lobster farm.  It was small but good.  And since I couldn't get enough Lobster I ordered that next, I probably should have ordered two.  In fact I should have ordered two of everything, the food was that good.  The Australian Wagyu was probably the best beef I had eaten in my life.  I don't know why I had never heard of it before this cruise but I remember thinking that it didn't even seem like beef, it was so tender there was no way that this could be something that I eat all the time.  When they say something is like butter I think that they had this dish in mind.  It was crazy good.  Chef Patrick came to our table and we asked him what his favorite dish was and he said it was the Declinaison Tomate, so of course if the chef recommends something we have to try it, and thank God we did.  There were three different variations of tomato dishes that were pretty good, but it was the fourth that was unbelievable.  It was the essence of tomato that came in a champagne flute that was the best of the bunch.  It no way tasted like it looked.  Apparently this takes two days to make mixing a bunch of tomatoes, oils, and spices and letting gravity takes its course through a cheese cloth.  The result was the smoothest tomato juice you will ever taste in your life.   Of course being a french restaurant they have to have some cheese course and I couldn't tell you what all the cheeses were but I don't like having cheese after my meal.  It doesn't change the fact that it was an awesome meal just a preference of mine.  We kind of flew through dessert as it was fireworks night and we were running late and we did not want to disappoint our kids.  Again this meal was long and it could have been much longer, should have been much longer thinking back because I want to try more food.  I guess I will save it for next time.

Fortunately from what I could tell there were no rats running around preparing this meal.  But honestly I wouldn't care if they did, it was that good.  You will find a lot of people that think differently about this restaurant, again its just personal preference.  For most people the regular restaurants are more than enough to satisfy their hunger.  I overheard one lady saying that there was just too much food and none of it was something that she liked.  Its going to be that way with a lot of people, you might love it or you might hate it.  No one knows your tastes more than you do.  I will tell you that I like to try different things and am usually never disappointed when I do, and this was a restaurant that I was certainly not disappointed in.  Anton Ego says it best when he reviews Gusteau's.

While Palo was fantastic, for a southern Italian chef cooking Northern Italian fare, I remember walking out of Remy feeling much more satisfied with what I had eaten.  There will be people that swear by Palo and not give the new guy a chance and that is fine, not all food is for everyone.  Some might not like it because its not Palo, it is the new guy.  In this case though, new definitely is better.

For more on the boat click here
For more on the restaurants on board click here
For more on the accommodations click here
For more on ports of call click here

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


March 10, 2011

The Women of Disney 10 - 1

So yesterday we started our list of Top 20 Disney babes.  There were too many to include in one post so I had to split it up.  While yesterdays women were hot, I think we will all agree that the TOP 10 are some of the finest women on the silver screen, animated or otherwise.

10. Rapunzel
I fear she might be a little young but hey she has that hair.  I know that men are suckers for hair, and that is a 'do that you could really get lost in.

9. Tinkerbell
I think that we all have this fantasy about a pixie and there is no better one than Tinkerbell.  She looks like a gymnast and she can fly which is an absolute bonus.  I would never kick her out of bed for spilling her pixie.

            8. Ariele
Again she is quite young I know, but aren't all these characters young?  Look at the audience of these movies.  I guess it's probably the clam shells, or the flowing red hair, or the fact she wants to be with us... up where we walk, up where we run.  You get the idea.

7. Pocahontas
I am a sucker for a lady that knows how to paddle a canoe, and the name alone!

6. Meg
I guess the only thing that would make us jealous of Hades, to have a life servant like this.  If I was Hercules, which I am obviously not, she would be my weakness as well.

5. Jasmine
Oh Princess Jasmine there is something about your enhanced eyes that makes me weak in the knees.  I know if I was Aladdin I would be rubbing the "lamp" all night to make the Genie appear.

4. Jane
I hadn't been introduced to Jane until very recently. At first I didn't like her, she seemed way to snobby all dressed up. But as the movie wore on she got a little more wild. If only they would have showed her more in her loin cloth.  Its enough to make any man go ape!

3. Esmeralda
I think it's the dark green eyes and the flowing black hair that make her stand out. Now only if she would perform some sort of witchcraft she might be higher on the list.  She has got to stop hanging out with that Hunchback though.

2. Belle
She is all class. There is something to be said about a girl that would choose someone like the Beast to be with. It gives hope to all men out there. Besides the name says it all, "BEAUTY and the Beast"

1. Sally
Let's face it, she's a Porsche with tattoos, who happens to be a lawyer. She's from Los Angeles.  She also owns a motel that I am sure you can get by the hour. You just have to get under her hood first.

So there you have it!  My TOP 20 animated Disney Babes.  I know some will cause controversy, you might think I have Belle too high, its just personal preference.  Everyone has an opinion that they are entitled to.  So who is in your TOP 10.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


The Disney Dream Extended Version Part 2... Dining

In a previous post about this new ship I discussed the boat itself.  Some of the design basics as well as some of the issues I had with the layout.  Today I am going to discuss something that everyone on a cruise loves, the food.  There are three sit down restaurants on board which most people know are called Animator's Palate, Enchanted Garden, and Royal Palace.  There are also two specialty restaurants on board that charge an extra fee for dining; Palo and Remy's, which I will get into in a later post.  There is also a buffet on the 11th deck called Cabanas, as well as another area near the pools where you can get hot dogs and pizza and the sort.  Fortunately for us we were on back to back cruises which allowed us to eat at each of the restaurants more than once.  Lets start our culinary adventure in the everyday sit down restaurants.

Animator's Palate 
I think that this is the restaurant that everyone is going to be talking about when they get off the boat.  They really did a great job of updating this classic restaurant that they have on the two older Disney Ships, the Magic and the Wonder. While those places are great in that they light up and all, the Dream takes it to a whole new level.  Dinner starts off with some simple animation and it turns into a full blown Finding Nemo adventure, with fish swimming all around from the Pixar classic.  From there it turns into Turtle Talk with Crush.  I still don't know how they do this as he was having a conversation with my wife and son, whom I could barely hear sitting across from me, but let me tell you it was simply amazing.
As far as the menu is concerned they serve the same thing in every restaurant every night.  The idea being of course that you are only on a three day cruise and eat in a different restaurant each night so you won't notice it anyway.  However on the four day cruise the same meal is served one night in all the restaurants.  That of course is Pirate Night.

Here is the menu from Animator's Palate
Now as you can see by the menu there are many fantastic dishes, I can only judge them by what I got.  I started with the smoked salmon tartare both times I ate there, I just can't get enough salmon.  It's something I would eat everyday at home if I had it, and thankfully on the cruise I had it everyday.  I did notice I was a much better upstream swimmer by the end of the cruise.  I followed that with the curly endive salad which was good, I didn't want soup because I thought it just might put me over the top as far as getting fat was concerned.  It allowed me room for desert.  Since I was creature of habit I also ordered the Beef Tenderloin both times we ate here, which was also pretty good.  I honestly don't know what I had for desert though, I usually would eat some sort of cheesecake knowing what kind of fat pig that I am.  The bottom line is that this is a very cool restaurant, and while it might not have the best food on the boat it is certainly something that you are going to remember.

Enchanted Garden
Dining in Enchanted Garden was simply quite enchanting, at least for dinner.  Breakfast was an entirely different story.   The restaurant itself is quite nice it has a fountain in the middle with these sort of Mad Hatter tea cup like booths where at least some people got to dine.  We had a normal table, rectangular if you really want to know, nothing special but I only come to these places to eat the food.  Luckily for us, our room was right outside the entrance to this restaurant which made getting to real easy.

The Menu for Enchanted Garden
As you can probably guess I got the Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower to start.  The only thing that I like more than salmon is tuna so when in The Enchanted Garden do as the enchanted.  The spinach salad was good as it had pears mixed it it, which I thought was a nice combination.  As for the main course, since I was able to eat here twice on the seven days that we were onboard, I got the Scallops once and the Portobello Mushrooms another time.  I would have gotten Scallops twice, but who eats the same thing all the time?  I was very surprised by the mushrooms as I never thought that they could stand on their own as a main dish, but boy was I wrong, my wife practically ate my entire meal.  This is a cruise you know and you can order like ten entrees if you want to, but who wants to be THAT person.

One issue I had with Enchanted Garden though is the breakfast.  We went there one morning and they had a buffet which was basically the same that they had in Cabanas, only the lines moved horribly slow.  I would recommend NOT eating here for breakfast and go elsewhere, namely Cabanas on the 11th deck.

Royal Palace
I guess there are a lot of people that would consider Royal Palace to be the fanciest of all the restaurants.  What I will remember about this place is that the service was terrible for the most part on our four day cruise.  I don't know if it had to do with the showtime schedules as many people were staggering in here as late as 6:30.  I spoke with my server about the service issues here and he said that a lot of the staff was upset by the show schedule, it put a lot of pressure on them to get people their meal and have them out the door before the next seating comes in.  They do have pretty tight schedules so if you must arrive late, the least you could do is eat quick.  We didn't have the same issues on the following three day cruise as the show schedules were altered somewhat.

The Menu for Royal Palace

This would have been my favorite meal on the four day cruise had we not dined at Palo that night.  I absolutely love Escargot and the only place that I ever eat it is on a cruise.  That's why we try to do at least seven cruises a year.  The second time we ate here on the three day cruise I got the wild boar.  I figure there is no better place to try foods you would normally never eat than on a cruise, if you don't like it, you get something else.  I had boar once in Italy and it was awesome, I can't say that this dish lived up to that, but it was good.


Cabanas is the buffet onboard the Dream and the sign in front says all you need to know, "I heard they serve shrimp here!"  Boy do they ever.  Normally when we go on a cruise I see shrimp the first day and get all excited, only to never see them again.  The Dream must be a giant shrimping boat in disguise because they had shrimp all the time.  It was almost enough for me not to go on any shore excursions just so I could eat lunch here, but alas the family wants to get off the boat, so what am I to do?  Every time I ate here for lunch there was shrimp.

The breakfast was OK.  It was nothing that I ever got excited about as there was no omelet station, which you would normally see on a cruise ship.  It was done away with like shuffleboard.  My morning meal was fine.  If you like eggs, fruit, and the normal breakfast fare then this is the place to go.  Sadly there was no shrimp at breakfast, which would have made this place the BEST breakfast buffet in the world.

Flo's V8 Cafe
The last place to tell you about is this little collection of fast service foods near the pool deck.  This is where you can get you normal assortment of pizza, hot dogs, burgers, and chicken fingers.  It does get quite crowded around lunch time, I guess these people didn't realize there was SHRIMP IN CABANAS!  I have heard complaints about the noise in this area and that the lines were too long but I have to say that I never experienced that.  It's not to say that it doesn't happen, just something that I never noticed.  I did like their wraps and tried to avoid everything else for all the reasons I have stated above.

You will never go hungry on this cruise, there is a lot of food to eat.  Something I do like about cruising is that there is a lot of food that IS healthy for you, if you are concerned about that.  You don't have to eat like a pig if you don't want to.  I have decided to split the dining experience into two posts as I would not feel right lumping Palo and Remy's in with these restaurants.  As I learned in Journalism School, don't bury the lead!  The lead of course in this would be Remy's.  I think a lot of people know what Palo is, or have at least heard how good it is, but I am sure that many of you are wondering if Remy's is worth the extra $75.  It's something I will get into in a later post.  In the meantime bon appetit!

For more on the Boat click here
For more on Fine Dining click here
For more on the accommodations click here
For more on Ports of call click here

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John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


March 9, 2011

The Women of Disney... 20 -11

Over the years Disney movies have produced some of the best looking animated characters on the silver screen. These are the women in my life, outside of my wife whom I don't see nearly as often. I thought it would be a good idea to rank these fine women and since there are so many over the years, 50 animated features and counting, we should have a list of 20. Now I have included Pixar movies and did not include Jessica Rabbit out of fairness to the rest of these fine babes. I mean seriously she has a great "personality." To be fair, I have not seen all of these women in action, so I can only go by stories that I have heard and pictures. Let's face it I am not going to sit down and watch ALL of the princess movies with my two boys. Without further ado, I bring you my TOP 20, at least 20 thru 11 anyway.

20. Princess Aurora(aka Sleeping Beauty)

I have never been impressed with this Disney Princess.  Up until a few weeks ago I didn't even know she had a name. Maybe she was a hot box of rocks back in the 50's or whenever this movie came out, but she needs an update. If I were her Prince Charming I would have left her asleep.

19. Princess Tiana

I don't see why Disney keeps shoving this princess down our throats. I mean on the last Disney Cruise I was on she was everywhere, and Rapunzel who I will get to, was no where to be found. I never saw the movie but I have to think that it was not in the same league as Tangled, and for that reason alone she is down this far on the list.

18. Minnie Mouse
How could a mouse be better looking than a princess? Maybe it's the polka dots.

17. Wendy
She's cute but I keep thinking that she is going to grow up, eventually, and be an old British hag.

16. Snow White
She is cute, yes, but after hanging out with a bunch of Dwarves for all that time I am sure that she has got to smell just a little bit.  And all the la-la-la stuff, yikes, so when it comes to being the fairest in the land, yeah not so much. Not as much anyway as #15

15. The Evil Queen
She was better looking than Snow White in an evil sexy kind of way. Lets face it, a guy is going to want to be with a someone dark and dangerous much more than they are going to want to be with Miss goody two shoes. Anyone that could kill you with a magic apple has to have a little something going for her.

14. Cinderella
I mean she looks great all dressed up at the ball, but I am afraid that has a lot to do with special effects.  I probably should have ranked her a little worse on this list but any woman that can clean a fireplace is alright with me.

13. Bo Peep
There is kind of a sweetness to her, or at least there should be, but if you ever saw Toy Story there is kind of a subtle sexiness to her.  She also has that big hook to keep you in line.  I mean she really gets Woody aroused... get your head out of the gutter, Sheriff Woody!

12. Mirage
It's too bad that jerk Syndrome was in her life. He really brought her down. That doesn't stop the fact she is hot, in a Pixar kind if way.

11. EVE
I know what you are thinking, she is a robot, but let me be straight about this, she is completely out of this world. She seems totally like someone that you could have a ton of fun with flying through space and all. I would totally let her evaluate my vegetation any day.

Tomorrow I will get to the TOP 10 in this grand list.  I know that it is hard to beat these 10 gorgeous women, there are certainly some favorites on THIS list, but trust me the best is yet to come!

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?