After three port days, it was a great feeling when I woke up just after 8:00am that we now had two sea days to enjoy before arriving back into Galveston. When I walked up to Deck 9 to get tea, the outside decks were still very empty at this time so I guessed everyone was having a lazy morning and a lay-in after a late evening the night before when the Pirates IN the Caribbean fireworks had taken place. We did not go for breakfast as we had Palo Brunch booked for 10:00am so instead we sat in bed with our tea relaxing until we had to get showered and dressed.
Just before 10:00am, we made our way up to Palo on Deck 10 Aft. I had made our brunch reservation exactly ninety days before the cruise (when the booking window opened for Silver Castaway Club members) and all times were available.
There is a dress code for Palo (which did not seem to be enforced too strictly at all on this cruise) and we both felt a little overdressed whilst walking there as a lot of people that we passed on the stairs and on Deck 9 outside of Cabanas were still in their matching Christmas pyjamas that they had been wearing for the entire cruise!
We were shown to the very same table where we had sat in Palo on our last cruise on the Disney Wonder back in 2013 and introduced to the amazing Roberto from Portugal who was going to be our server. Roberto brought us both a glass of water with lemon before offering us a complimentary Prosecco, Mimosa or Kir Royale. We also talked to Simone who had been our server in Palo the year before during our Halloween on the High Seas cruise on the Disney Dream. I had thought that I had seen him outside on deck the day before so it was a feeling of relief to know that I was not imagining things!
The Palo brunch menu had not changed since our previous visit so I asked Roberto if they could still make the amazing Grape and Gorgonzola Pizza that I had loved on all of our previous cruises and once again, it was not a problem – in fact, we saw several people asking for one too. I also ordered a small portion of the Artichoke Ravioli from the menu which I really wanted to try.
Roberto also took us both on a tour of all the food tables explaining everything in detail that was available. As always the food looked incredible and I could not wait to start eating. I made several visits as having several small plates of different items is definitely the way to go – I had an plate of antipasti before later having a seafood course as well as a cheese course. Everywhere you looked, there was more amazing food to tempt you.
My Grape and Gorgonzola Pizza was every bit as good as what I remembered however the Artichoke Ravioli was to absolutely die for – I have never tasted anything as beautiful as that dish before and my mouth is watering again thinking about it. The desserts in Palo are beautiful and as they are small, you are able to enjoy several of them – I had Tiramisu, Chocolate Strawberries, Panna Cotta, Champagne Berries and a Strawberry Tart and they were all delicious and a wonderful way to finish a meal.
To be able to take your time with your food in Palo is wonderful and there is definitely no need to rush in and out within an hour. We saw so many people pile up one plate high with everything in sight (including food items that should never be on the same plate together) before eating some of it and leaving. It seemed such a waste and an insult to the beautiful ingredients and food that had been prepared. Interestingly this is the only cruise we have been on where we have seen this happen.
We left Palo just after midday – two hours after we arrived. Brunch at Palo costs $30 per person and is worth every penny. Once again, it will be the first thing we book on our next cruise.
We went back to our room where we had been left our tip envelopes ready for the following day – a sure sign that your cruise is coming to an end. I also used this time to take some photos of our stateroom as I realised that I had not taken any at all since we boarded.
We were both looking forward to a lazy afternoon so we got a cup of tea from Deck 9 and made our way to the Quiet Cove area. However there was a large noisy group sat near us so we headed down to Deck 4. We grabbed two sun loungers and sat in the peace and quiet watching the world and the sea go by for the next few hours.
Chip and Dale were due out on Deck 3 in the lobby atrium at 4:00pm so we went inside to meet them. We had hoped they would be wearing their Christmas costumes but they were wearing their sailor outfits instead. We also met Sailor Daisy for the first time ever at 4:30pm on Deck 4 which made me very happy.
My boyfriend went to watch Thor: Ragnarok which was showing in 2D in the Buena Vista Theatre at 5:15pm whilst I decided to walk around the ship. It really was such a beautiful afternoon.
I decided to get a slice of pizza and a cup of tea to take back to our stateroom with me before I got ready for the rest of the evening. One thing that I had noticed during this cruise was that every pizza (except for one) in Pinnocchio’s Pizzeria was always pepperoni or another type of meat. There was never any choice except for the Daily Special (which would be vegetarian) and there was usually none of that one left each time so you would always have to wait for more to be cooked. We’d never noticed this on our previous cruises – I’m guessing Texans really love meat pizzas.
After having a shower and getting dressed, I headed down to the lobby atrium ready to meet Minnie who was due to be out at 7:15pm. As it was semi-formal night, I expected it to be busy but it was very quiet and there was only five people already waiting in line. However once the first showing of Disney Dreams finished in the Walt Disney Theatre, it became very busy.
On this night, there was also a number of people wearing fancy dress for some unknown reason which was fun to watch. I decided to wait (and carry on people watching) and get in line to meet Mickey and used the chat feature on the Disney Cruise Line app on my iPhone to let my boyfriend know where I was and he soon joined me in line once Thor: Ragnarok had finished.
Our dinner on this night was our second visit to the amazing Tiana’s Place for the Bayou Bash Mardi Gras parade. As soon as we sat down, we were each given some gold, purple and green beads to wear. Once again the Crawfish Crooners were on stage singing Whistle While You Work and Bear Necessities amongst many other songs and once again, I could have happily have listened to them all night – their version of Jambalaya on the Bayou was amazing!
For my dinner I ordered the Sautéed Gulf Shrimp and Grits and Mama Odie’s Creamy Tomato Soup to start followed by Eudora’s Artichoke Ravioli which was nice but not a patch on the artichoke ravioli I’d had in Palo earlier in the day. For my dessert I had the Lemon Raspberry Mousse Bombe.
Before dessert was served, Tiana and all the servers started the Bayou Bash parade around the dining room to the sounds of Going Down the Bayou, Dig a Little Deeper and Louis the alligator playing the trumpet. I know I said it before on my last blog post but I really loved Tiana’s Place so much. It is such a fun restaurant with an amazing atmosphere – it really made me want to book another cruise on the Disney Wonder just so I can go back there again!
Before we left the restaurant, Fitzroy told us that they were expecting the weather to be very bad the following day and that the crew had been told to make sure that items were secured and put away as the seas were expected to be very rough.
After leaving Tiana’s Place, we went to meet Sailor Goofy on Deck 4. We had been hoping he would be wearing his Santa costume as we missed him wearing it earlier in the day when we were having brunch in Palo. I did not mind though as I had met Santa Goofy at Hong Hong Disneyland the year before.
We made our way up to Deck 10 as we wanted to take some more photos of the ship at night. It was so quiet and peaceful, the weather was warm and the sea was calm – it felt strange after being told that the weather was going to turn bad in the next few hours.
After walking around the deck and taking some photos, we did our usual of getting a cup of tea to take back to our room. We had a towel Bat hanging from the curtain waiting for us as well as our final Personal Navigator for the cruise.
Before we fell asleep for the night, we both took a Dramamine tablet ready for the following day. We always carry them with us on each cruise just in case they are ever needed and we would know in a few hours if we would be grateful for them or not.
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