Disney Dream Grand Staircase

Dream Stairs

The Grand Staircase of the Disney Dream cruise ship

The Grand Staircase of the Disney Dream connects the third and fourth decks in the ship’s Lobby Atrium, as seen during our 2018 Christmas Disney Cruise.

Late one evening during our cruise, we wandered by the Lobby Atrium of the Disney Dream, and I grabbed this photo of the Grand Staircase. It was a rather unusual view, because most any other time we had passed it during the day, there were people around. But as the evening was winding down, most of the people had gone elsewhere, most likely to their rooms for the night. You can see the piano player, Ed Kelley, still out there doing his thing at the grand piano behind the statue of Admiral Donald Duck, but he was one of the few people in the lobby at that time.

You can also see some of the Christmas decorations which filled the Lobby Atrium during our cruise. The railings were covered with lighted garland, and a Christmas tree was underneath the staircase. The large Christmas tree that filled the lobby was just out of the frame to the left of this photo. All of the decorations were a nice change from how we have seen the Disney Dream in the past.

Late in the Evening

We are not your stay-up-all-night kind of people. However, we do enjoy the late evenings on a Disney Cruise.

Because we usually have the late dinner seating, we are not quite ready to go to bed at 10:00 or so when dinner is finished. So we usually go for a walk around the ship somewhere to burn off a few of those calories that we consumed in a bigger meal than we are used to eating.

One of the benefits of these late nights are the more relaxed times without many people around. Disney Cruises have never felt overcrowded to me to begin with, but sometimes it is nicer to have an even smaller crowd for some things. While the days are fun, the nights are just a little more peaceful.

That goes for our lives as well. Sometimes it is great to be with large crowds, and sometimes it is good to be with just a few people. It really depends on the situation. You can often think more clearly with just a few people around than a large crowd. But for some events, you really enjoy the energy that a large crowd brings.

Different times call for different things. It is up to us to make the most of whatever situation we can.

Bible Verse

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles. - Luke 6:12-13

About the Photo

For this photo, I did not have my tripod with me, although it would have helped some. I did not want to keep up with it during dinner, so I left it in the room. Besides, this was not meant to be a photography walk, but rather just a walk with family and friends.

I did happen to have the 50mm f/1.8 prime lens on the camera, because I had used that lens in the low light of the restaurant at dinner. That helped, as I opened the aperture as wide as it would go for this photo.

I also increased the ISO slightly, but only to 640. That was not all that drastic, and it was not a high enough setting to add in lots of image noise.

Those two factors, with the camera in aperture priority mode, gave a shutter speed of 1/125 second, which is very manageable without a tripod.

My only complaint about the photo is not actually a problem with the photo itself. While I appreciate that the piano player was there, I did not like the intensity of the spotlight on him for photo purposes. I dialed down the highlights as much as possible to keep that area of the photo under control, and it is not that much of a distraction. But I would have liked the photo even better without that bright spot. No big deal, though.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 Lens
Date: December 17, 2018
Location: At Sea on the Disney Dream

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.