Review: Remy Champagne Brunch on the Disney Dream Cruise is a French Delight

Hi everyone!

This was our second time sailing on the Disney Dream cruise ship (the first being a quick 2 night media cruise in 2011). Instead of booking shore excursions for this trip, we chose to splurge at Remy for the champagne brunch, and Palo for dinner. We chose Remy for brunch since they don’t require a jacket for men as they do for dinner.

Our Remy and Palo reservations were on our door when we arrived onboard.

The official dress code for the Remy Champagne Brunch says that dress pants and a shirt are required for men. A jacket is optional for brunch (we didn’t see many). Woman’s attire is a dress or pantsuit. “No jeans, shorts, capri pants, sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes”. One female guest wore a white dress over a bathing suit and one man was in a t-shirt, which seemed too casual to me. For us, choosing what to wear for our meals took more consideration than nearly anything else regarding the cruise. We needn’t have worried, a collared shirt and slacks are perfectly fine at the Remy Champagne Brunch. And unlike my first time dining in Palo on the Disney Magic in 1998, jackets are not required for brunch or dinner. The regular dining rooms were also more casual than we’ve experienced in the past.

We took photos of Remy before the Disney Dream even set sail on the first day, and during a ship tour (which we highly recommend). It was fun to find all the details, including Chef Remy in the mirror! According to the Disney Cruise Line website,”Remy recalls fine dining in the south of France and features sophisticated styling”.

Remy was also in the back of our chairs.

During the ship tour, we were told that this gorgeous room in the back was a VIP area for groups or VIP’s, but otherwise it may be open and could be requested. We found out that during dinner it is open, but not during our brunch.

I love the city of Paris, and the skyline portraits are like looking out the window onto the city.

Chef Gusteau’s kitchen is depicted at the back of the room.

Charger plates and glasses are set on each table.

The lighting fixtures are gorgeous!

Chef Remy in Swavorski crystal presides over the main dining room.

Remy also is featured on this seat pattern and on a wall where wine is stored.

John Lasseter signed wines are in the wine case; they are not for sale.

Here is our video look at the restaurant from 2011, and I will replace it with a new video once Jeff has it ready. We also will be discussing our Remy Champagne Brunch experience on our Mousesteps Weekly show #89 this week, and I will add it here at that time.

Our brunch was at 11:30 a.m. We received glasses of champagne and plates of Jamon Iberico (cured ham) as we walked in the door. All guests arriving were ushered into this small room to hear Remy Executive Chef Cedrik Ollivault talk about what we would experience.

Remy Executive Chef Cedrik Ollivault was often visible, either greeting new guests to the experience or checking on guests.

The ham was cut on a classic slicer. Jeff tried his hand at cutting. I don’t eat ham, but tried it for flavor – it had a very different texture than what I have tried with ham previously…like if I put it on my tongue, it just might have melted by itself!

This brioche was one of the most delicious breads I’ve ever had! Very light and just a little crispy.

The bread plates feature Remy.

The Remy Brunch itself is $50.00 per person plus whatever gratuity guests choose to leave. We weren’t sure ahead of time if we’d add the champagne pairing for $25.00 each, but we thought it’d be a nice compliment to the meal. I think this was the first time I’ve ever purchased a wine/champagne pairing with any meal. 3 champagnes were included (and they tried to sell a bottle of Moet in a box to each table later, but we didn’t purchase it). I’ll mention here that I’m not a foodie by any stretch of the imagination, but a meal that we reviewed at the Don Cesar last year opened me up to trying new foods. I am still picky, but less so than anytime in my previous 47 years. That said, when the server asked if we had any dietary rescrictions, I not only mentioned that I was trying to avoid too much salt, but that I wasn’t really a seafood eater (there were several seafood items on the menu). I didn’t ask for any changes to be made, but our server Albert offered to replace the sea bass. I ended up with the Waygu beef that is usually only offered in the evening. So if you are a picky eater, don’t write Remy off – I tried everything else put in front of me, and Remy was more than happy to exchange one item without my requesting it.

The first course we tried was Gnocci Chili. This was delicious and melted in our mouths!

Next was the Lobster Cannelloni and Caviar. The cannelloni tasted like an extremely soft wrap, and this was the first time I have tried lobster in my life. I didn’t eat it all, but it actually was quite tasty.

Jeff says the piece of lobster with caviar was delicious. Remy serves fresh Maine lobster, we were told during a food demonstration (shown at the end of the article) that the lobsters are in tanks before the meal.

The Remy Champagne Experience is actually 4 champagnes – the glass received upon arrival, and then three more for $25.00 per person. The first champagne we received with our meal was Tattinger Brut Rose NV, and this was Pop Champagne Pommery ’06. Pop champagne is on the shelves at the Epcot France Pavilion, and we really enjoyed it. Apparently it was created to look more like soda, since alcohol isn’t always allowed to be enjoyed on the streets in France.

This is the Wagyu Beef I was served. It was soft, perfectly cooked and delicious.

Jeff says the Sea Bass was fantastic (but he liked my Waygu steak even more!)

The portions here look small, but they offer a big taste. This is the Veal with Potato. I had sworn off veal as a child until recently as I have tried to be more open to different foods. The veal was very tender.

Executive Chef Cedrik Ollivault stopped by our table and asked how our meal was (delicious!)

The food at Remy is like artwork on a plate. Everything almost looks too good to eat, and the dessert moreso than anything else. This is called Paris Brest, with hazelnut cream. I believe the ice cream was hazelnut as well. It was soooo good!

Once we had finished our desserts, a tray was brought out with more goodies to enjoy as a “thank you”.

We ordered coffee and tea to the table along with cubes of white and brown sugar. At this time, we were also figuring out how much gratuity to leave. I wish the Disney Cruise Line would either add in the gratuity or offer more guidance. When I first sailed the Disney Magic in 1998, I was told the $5.00 charge was the gratuity. The $50.00 here isn’t a gratuity, though they probably receive at least $5.00 (from what I understand, the Palo servers receive $4.00 or $5.00 per guest). I asked a hostess while at the Palo dinner the previous night what she suggested. She said to think of it like being in a similar restaurant off the ship and tipping based on that. I really believe that many guests don’t realize that their $25.00 – $75.00 isn’t mostly a tip to the server, and that should be spelled out better.

The Remy Champagne Brunch never felt too busy, though the dining room at one point was mostly full. This is an experience that guests should book as soon as they can once final payment is made on the cruise, but we cruised during off-season, and the experience was bookable onboard during the entire trip.

I had no idea what this stool was for until we took a tour – I wish more restaurants had a place to put a purse that wasn’t on the floor! Also, this was taken during non-dining hours, hence the flip-flops on whosever foot is in the photo. 🙂

Fresh roses were set on a table near the entrance to Remy.

There are so many gorgeous lighting fixtures!

Do we recommend the Remy Champagne Brunch – oui, oui, oui!  What we liked about the Remy Champagne Brunch vs. the Palo dinner was that it was during the daytime and we could enjoy the view while dining. During my first visit to Palo in 1998, I just remember being disappointed that I couldn’t see anything outside. The brunch had a more casual feel to it than I expected, but the food was some of the best we’ve ever had. This timeframe also allowed us to enjoy the dining room rotation in the evening. We switched our Palo reservation once onboard to dine during a second Artist Palate night (during Pirate night).

A few hours after our brunch, we stopped by a seminar to learn how to make lobster ravioli (a Palo specialty). We were suprised to see Executive Chef Ollivault from Remy, along with two other chefs. This was a free seminar, and only took about 20 minutes. It had been recommended by our tour guide a couple of days earlier.

A glass of Australian wine was served.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to make lobster ravioli – but we enjoyed the seminar and Jeff enjoyed the generous samples of the finished dish.

If you are sailing with the Disney Cruise Line, look out for the “Anyone Can Cook” seminars!

We didn’t expect to receive a second Remy experience that day! It was fun to hear their thoughts on food preparation. My favorite line of the day came from Executive Chef Ollivault – “I work for the rat and get paid by the Mouse”.