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All the Chocolate!

Rumor has it that National Chocolate Day recently donned our calendars. Upon learning this news, I knew I had to share pictures of my favorite Disney chocolaty treats.

Shall we?

Let’s start with this beauty from Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Quick Service, The Mara. Is it a cookie? Is it a cake? You decide. But I can tell you this…it’s delicious.

These next few treats are found aboard DCL. The gorgeous butterfly topped cupcakes can be found at Vanellopes on the Disney Dream, and the others on your evening dining rotation!

Let’s not forget the classic Mickey bar! This one is from DCL but you can find them almost anywhere at Disney.

The France Pavilion, in Epcot, is perhaps one of the most delightful places to search for all things Chocolate. This tarte is no exception! I think it deserves all the heart eyes. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

One more for DCL. Perhaps my favorite chocolaty treat on board, the chocolate martini.

Speaking of drinks, how about this Christmas cookie shot from the Grand Californian Hotel, at Disneyland? Chocolate chip cookie “glass” with a peppermint rim, filled to the brim with chocolate milk. Also comes with Rumchata, if that’s your jam.

A few more fabulous chocolate treats from Disneyland. The brownie cupcake from Holly Jolly Bakery, and the chocolate chip cookie sundae from Clarabelle’s! Ahhh I can just taste these.

And last, but certainly never least, the Grey Stuff. Shown here on the VIP Snacks tour around Magic Kingdom, this can also be found at Be Our Guest.

Have you tried the Grey Stuff? It’s delicious! Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes!

Drop a comment below with YOUR favorite chocolate Disney dessert!

Remy Brunch, Aboard Disney Cruise Line

Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have an adult only restaurant on board called Remy, and let me just say…only Disney could pull off an incredibly beautiful restaurant based on a rat.

That’s right! Remy, from Ratatouille, is the inspo for this gorgeous restaurant at sea. You can find him in all the details!

On my last sailing on the Dream, we stopped by to confirm our reservation and were given a lovely tour by Susan, a Cast Member who hosts guests in both Remy and Palo, Disney’s other onboard Adult-Only Dining Experience.

First stop is always gushing over the two most expensive bottles on board, one valued at 25K and one at 14K! Can you imagine? Both of these are featured and referenced in Ratatouille!

Remy had two dedicated private dining locations. One in their massive wine room and the other in room that looks like it’s straight out of a French Castle! Lo and behold, when we arrived to Remy for our meal, Susan set us up on this very room, the Gusteau Room, which was such a huge treat and act of thoughtfulness that only Disney can do!

We were greeted by, and attended to, by several different waitstaff. Each were experts about different parts of the brunch. We were offered a complimentary glass of champagne to start with options of continuing the champagne pairings with each of the courses, or every few courses.

Bread and butters were served alongside a tiny dish of Fleur de Sel…so divine! The butters were Kale, regular and Pepper. All were delicious and creamy! Not much beats a really good plain butter to me, but the pepper was probably my favorite.

A menu was waiting on the table for us, boasting each of the six courses offered, and you can see the champagne offerings mentioned before as well.

Courses included ham, asparagus and caviar, lobster, wagayue beef, chicken, and a vanilla cream dessert.

Each course was thoughtfully designed and curated by both Chefs at Remy, weaving layers, textures and flavors together you could never have imagined would work!

It’s hard to say which was my favorite, but the chicken dish was probably at the top for me!

At the end of our culinary journey, the Chef sent out an extra dessert if tiny cakes filled with vanilla and sugar. They were so light and fluffy and perfect!

I definitely recommend this experience and will do this again. The cost is $75 per person, and this does include gratuity. Note that if you choose to have still or sparkling water, this is also an additional cost and subject to an additional gratuity.

Let us know if you’ve dined at Remy, or if this is on your to do list for your next sailing! And don’t forget to look for all those amazing details that Disney does so well!

Thanks for reading!

Virgin Voyages: An Adult Only Cruise Line

VV_Logo_CMYK_Smallscale.pdfVirgin_Voyages_Scarlet_Lady_546684

 

Wait, Laura is excited about a Cruise Line other than DCL?

You might be wondering if you read that correctly, I mean you all know that I only sail Disney and after the many non Disney mishaps you are probably confused. I am going to explain why I am so VERY excited I am about Virgin Voyages and the Scarlet Lady.

One of the main reasons that I prefer to sail DCL to the other lines is the simple fact that it is all inclusive. There is NO up-selling of soda packages, you don’t board a ship to the constant up-selling crew members. No, there are no all you can drink alcohol packages, but that is a positive point for me. The other reasons I only sail DCL: I never feel like I am on a floating city, I don’t need to be on a ship with a billion people with a mall…I have a mall at home, I am not on vacation to shop. I am not a gambler either so I don’t need the casino. The stateroom needs to be bigger than my closet at home, I might only need it to get ready for the evening or sleep, but I do enjoy relaxing in it or my time on the verandah. I expect a certain level of service, I want to be treated like royalty, no matter how long I am sailing. For these reasons, let me introduce you to Virgin Voyages!

Scarlet Lady Flythrough

Adult Only:

The Scarlet Lady is a ship built for adults, just adults, you need to be 18 and older to sail on her. There aren’t very many cruise lines out there that are adult only, some boast adult only sailings, but Virgin Voyages is an adult only cruise line. She just started her Sea Trials this week and all have been successful!

The Scarlet Lady has a gym, spa, pool, athletic club on deck, cabanas on deck, over 20 restaurants, a theater, tons of clubs, bars, and even a tattoo parlor!

The Cabins:

State of the art cabin configuration
The Suites are beautifully equipped

Modern, yacht-inspired aesthetic and clever cabin technology make for more than just a space to live (or sleep). Transform your room at the touch of a button. Mood-matching lights, a configurable Seabed and in-cabin tech come together to make your life easier. Save the friction for the dance floor.

Each Sea Terrace (balcony) has a hammock to relax on, who wouldn’t want one of those?

The suites offer a mini bar, first round is on Richard, as well as an actual record player, marble bathrooms, and so much more.

Beach Club at Bimini: The Private Island

Beach Club at Bimini

The Beach Club at Bimini, located in the Bahamas, where do I even start, there is a pool, cabanas, hammocks in the ocean, food, drinks, a DJ, a bonfire, and a private area for those in the suites. Here are Richard’s words

Since Virgin has a private beach club experience in Bimini, Bahamas, we’d be crazy not to utilize it. But the only way in is on one of our Lady Ships.

See-through water and sandy white shores punctuate this geographically poetic port. And like any good haiku, it’s cloaked in seductive mystery. Besides having access to the islandโ€™s incredible biodiversity in marine life, boating, snorkeling and even historic shipwreck diving, sailors get exclusive access to The Beach Club โ€” Virgin’s private beach club experience. Peaceful mornings and restorative days or amplified afternoons at the DJ-led pool party โ€”our club is designed to answer whatever your specific mood is calling for. But regardless of your energy level, the bonfire finale will be nearly impossible to pass on.

This private island alone had me booked as soon as the bookings opened!

The sailings: Where does Virgin Voyages go and how long?

Virgin Voyages will boast 4 and 5 night sailings beginning April 2020. There are 4 main itineraries with a couple of special sailings thrown in.

Maiden Voyage and 2 Sneak a Peak sailings are still available and you can book those now! Take a look:

What’s Included:

EVERYTHING!!! There are over 20 restaurants, a gym, entertainment galore, clubs, gym, all included in your voyage fare. Richard is even including your gratuities and non alcoholic beverages. Why isn’t he including alcohol? He has found that most sailors don’t want to feel like they need to get their monies worth and drink themselves into oblivion.

” We want Sailors focused on the experience not the free drinks in the dreaded wedding and nightclub “crush””.

Virgin Voyages instead promises reasonable drink prices, I have seen the price list and it is less expensive than all other cruise lines let alone what we pay in NYC for a drink.

” Our beverage program will feature the best prices on land and/or at sea, inclusive of gratuity, for the brands offered. We will always offer a single digit option inclusive of gratuity for bubbles, rose, white, red, house spirits and/or beer in every outlet. 70% of our wines by the glass are less than $15 versus 59% of the other premium cruise line, 46% of the urban restaurant and 57% of the boutique hotel. “

Personally, I hate being surrounded by a bunch of out of control, loud, drunk adults behaving like children, which is why I have always sailed Disney. (I realize how that sounds but that is the truth at 50+ years old, I do not need to vacation with unlimited alcohol packages and the results that they bring)

The Customer Service:

This will be comparable to Disney, this is Richard Branson’s company, his standards are high, he is building Virgin Voyages with sailors in mind. I do not think I will be disappointed at all, I need to be pampered.

The Virgin Voyages Promotion: HURRY IT ENDS ON 11/22!

Book with me before November 22nd and I will add an onboard credit for you!

Final Thoughts:

It is hard for me to step out of my comfort zone, I have been disappointed every time that I have. That said, I can’t help but be super excited to be sailing on the Scarlet Lady in October 2020! I believe that Virgin Voyages is going to be a Luxury Cruise Line that will offer the most amazing adult only vacations! Heck, there is even a tattoo parlor onboard!!! (maybe I will finally get my Tinkerbell tattoo:)

Interested in a Virgin Voyage? Contact me, your journey starts HERE! (Hurry, that promo ends in just a few days)

FTJbyLauraGreco /845-781-0315 or request a quote from our blog!

Disney Cruise Line, Concierge Style

Let’s talk about Disney Cruise Line…Concierge Style. Just when you think a Disney cruise can’t be more magical, guess again!

Let me tell you about the cruise I just took with my husband…that’s right…I took a Disney Cruise again…with my husband…no kids. We celebrated our 23rd anniversary in style. I booked the Concierge 1 bedroom Suite. It was MAGICAL!

This was the 4 night HOTHS Bahamian on the Disney Dream and if you haven’t sailed concierge and wonder if it is worth it, let me help you decide.

Your concierge services start prior to boarding, you receive an email and call from the team a few days before your booking window opens asking for your list of things you want to book; cabana on CC, spa treatment, Princess Gathering, Palo/Remy, Port Adventures, etc. you name it, they do it for you. All you have to do is check in. Keep in mind that you do have to be paid in full in order for them to do this.

Once you arrive at port, you go through security like everyone else but once through, you go to the concierge check in area to complete the process. Once you have the key to the world cards, you are escorted into the concierge waiting area. It is quiet and comfortable.

Concierge guests are the first to board so around noon, maybe a little before, the concierge hosts came in and told us that we were going to come through, tap onto the ship, take our boarding pictures, and start our vacation. This was so easy, I’m usually group 1 because I’m platinum but I have to fight the crowds to get to the entrance. NOT this time, this time we just walked in, took our picture, and were announced onto the ship within minutes. MAGICAL.

Once in the atrium we were given the choice to go to the concierge lounge or special seating at the royal palace for lunch. We chose the concierge lounge for cocktails and snacks before lunch. Our room was ready shortly after and we were able to enjoy lunch without our bags in tow.

  • The suite: 1 bedroom sleeps up to 5 guests
    • 2 full baths (1 with spa tub)
      Queen size bed in bedroom
      Full size pull out sofa bed
      Twin size Murphy bed
      2 closets
      1 walk in closet
      Dining room table
      Living room
      2 TVs
      1 TV in Master Bath mirror (no joke)
      Fridge
      2 sliders to balcony

  • Concierge Lounge:
    • Concierge Team located here
      Opened 6am-10pm
      Offers food and beverages all day
      Cocktails at no fee between 5pm-7pm
      Entrance to concierge sundeck through here

    Sun Deck:

    • Sunblock
    • Plush towels
    • Hot Tub
    • Cold beverages
    • Mister
    • Showers
    • Bathroom
    • Privacy
    • Entrance from Satellite Falls

    In concierge we had not 1 but 2 stateroom hosts, we wanted for nothing, I mean nothing. I have to say that I have cruised Disney many times and have never had a complaint about anything but concierge takes it to a different level. My husband sent his shoes to be shined at no cost but who thinks about this? They put out slippers and robes every night for us. Category 4C never came with slippers and robes. Lol!

    Let’s talk about the elusive cabanas…again…platinum Castaway Club member here and my first Cabana. I can absolutely see what the fuss is about and they ARE worth every penny.

    We had Cabana #23 on Serenity Bay. I need this all the time. We took the tram to Pelican Bay (2nd stop) and then switched trams to Serenity Bay. Quick note that I had been there 3 weeks prior and it looked A LOT different as Dorian had left her mark. (We were the first passengers let off the ship on the 9/9 sailing)

    Once at Serenity Bay we checked in at the cabana check in and our concierge host was there to meet us. They put us on a golf cart and took us to the cabana. Paradise…it was a day in paradise.

    Cabanas:

    • Ceiling fan
    • Living area
    • Porch with seating
    • Floats
    • Hammock
    • Fresh water shower
    • Safe
    • Towels
    • Sunblock
    • Fridge filled with beverages
    • Cabana attendant

    Of course this cruise was filled with everything that I love about Disney cruising, tequila/margarita tasting, Palo Brunch, chocolate martinis, seeing my friends on board, like my dining team and Kerishia.

    Disembarking: This was the one thing, that while convenient, I didn’t love. As a concierge guest you have priority disembarkation. This means that from 7-8am the concierge hosts walk you off the ship. You must be out of your rooms by 8am which is standard. Why is this different than what I am used to and why didn’t I like it?

    You see, I don’t like leaving the ship. Let’s face it, who does? I usually get to the dining room for my farewell breakfast at 8am and leave the ship at 9ish. This time I was off the ship at 8am, I didn’t get to say goodbye to my friends Burak, Helsniki, and Eka, and I didn’t get my Route 66. Keep in mind, it was my choice to try this priority disembarkation but in the future I will go to my farewell breakfast.

    Is concierge worth the money?

    I say yes, yes it is. If you like the extra touches, if you want the cabana, if you love your own space on the ship, this is the way to go.

    Now will I be happy in January when I am in my home stateroom 7614 Cat 4C?? HECK YES!!! Disney service is amazing no matter what category you’re in, whether you are on a 2 night or 14 night sailing, concierge or not. This my friends is the Disney Difference!

    Have you sailed concierge? Do you want to? Check out my Facebook page for the live tour of my suite! http://www.facebook.com/ftjbylaura

    Website: http://www.fairytalejourneysbylaura.com

    Email: FTJbyLauraGreco@gmail.com

    Phone: (845) 781-0315

    My Favorite Things For Overseas Travel

    I’m an experienced overseas traveler, but last Christmas made my FIRST trip across the pond, with a tiny human (and my husband of course!). We had an amazing time, and as we prepare for our second international trip later this year, I thought I’d share some of our must-have’s!

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    First, THE STROLLER. We have this Summer 3D Lite from Amazon, in yellow. This color was being discontinued, so I was able to score one for around $40. As far as umbrella strollers go, this one is the JAM! So easy to fold and manage, especially if you only have one free hand. Clare is super comfy in it and we love the storage underneath.

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    Super easy to fold up on train rides, too!

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    Secondly–toiletries. Packing these things are like the worst!! I’ve honestly learned to just use what the hotel has when we arrive. Sometimes I will scour the small sized items in the Target or Walmart Travel Section. Sunscreen is for SURE one you’ll want to get before you leave. But here are few ways I’ve learned to pack them:

    Caboodle Cosmetics Case

    I. LOVE. THIS. THING. I can fit just what I need inside and slip it into my carry-on easily. No more digging around for chap-stick or lip gloss, I just pull this out and the mirror is SUPER handy to have inside!

    Also, this Bagail Flat Pack Toiletry Kitย is wonderful to have! I’d been eyeing one on eBags for ages, but this one is just a wonderful and half the cost. Saves so much awkward space! They come in lots of colors, too–mine is lavender.

    flatpack

     

    Last but not least, DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT YOUR POO-POURI. Amazon has these tiny travel-sized sprays for as little as $3.76! Be sure to stock up!

     

     

     

    What are your favorites that you travel with? Drop a comment below!