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Old 28 Jan 19, 08:32 PM  
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Scruffette
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Newlyweds in the Caribbean: Curse of the DLXDDP - Day 4 - Day at sea

Newlyweds in the Caribbean: Curse of the DLXDDP - Day 4

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Sunday 2nd September

Day at sea

We woke up this morning at 8.40, ready for our first sea day. (Read : a day full of eating and drinking)



I did have a moment when I woke up during the night, really confused as to where I was. When I worked out a minute or so later that I was on the Fantasy, I rolled over and went straight back to sleep, quite content!

This morning we had our Palo brunch booked for 10am. We had a leisurely get ready and made ourselves presentable.

This was the view from our verandah this morning. I like waking up in the middle of nowhere.



We were ready a bit early (unheard of for me!) so we took a walk around the pool deck. It was very quiet out as it was grey and a bit drizzly this morning. The slippery deck was a bit of a challenge in heels and a maxi dress!

We did have a few drizzly weather moments on the cruise, but the weather was beautiful on our port days when we needed it to be.

Just before 10am we made our way over to Palo on deck 12. As we approached the check in desk they greeted us by name. I’m not sure if this was impressive or creepy.





We met our server, Borys from the Ukraine. He was excellent, as have been all the Palo servers we’ve had. He got the line just right between having conversation with us and asking questions about our trip, without being too intrusive.

This was our table, with the perfect ocean view (even if it was a bit grey).



They put as in the table closest to the buffet. It’s like they knew us or something…

Borys brought us a menu and took our drinks orders. We were offered either a mimosa or a glass of prosecco (no kir royale offered this time). 10am drinks – start as you mean to go on! Obviously we chose the prosecco – no watering down my alcohol with orange juice! Borys also made some suggestions on the menu.




Borys then took us for a tour of the savoury buffet and breakfast/pastry items and talked us through the many options. His advice, which we agreed with, was not too fill up too much on the pastries and muffins which are quite bready and save plenty of room for everything else.

Here is my first plate:




Working from the centre clockwise (trying to remember as best I can)… meatballs, which were warm, caprese, smoked salmon, shrimp, scallop, artichoke, arrancini, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, aged parmesan (I can’t remember how old, but apparently very old for parmesan), prosciutto and blue cheese. I’m not sure what the dish in the middle was, looks like maybe pastry and mushroom?

The two stars of the show for me were the arrancini and the mozerella in the caprese. The mozerella really melted in your mouth and was nicer than mozerella I’ve had in Italy. Borys said it was because it was buffalo mozerella. I did miss the smoked salmon mousse that they had last time I ate at Palo.

Here’s Ollie’s plate. Very similar, but the addition of a mini stuffed pepper which he enjoyed.



On Borys’ recommendation, Ollie went for the tomato soup to start. He made a point that it was all made with fresh tomatoes.

Here is the heirloom tomato and basil soup – served with grape tomatoes and virgin olive oil.



I tried a bit and it was a very nice, but still just a tomato soup at the end of the day.

While Ollie had this I had one of the warm sticky buns. This was the only breakfast type item I had, but it really was delicious.



I then had the Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breast -
topped with a San Marzano Tomato Basil Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese, served on a creamy Arborio Rice Risotto



A creature of habit, I picked the same as last time. It was delicious like I remembered.

Ollie had the Lasagna Bolognaise. The was no description on the menu, as presumably people know what a lasagna is.



However, this wasn’t just any lasagne - the mince was half veal half pork. I don’t know if it was this combination that made the difference, but Ollie declared that this was the nicest lasagna he had ever eaten. Being sceptical, I tried a bit and did have to agree with him. Obviously, I then had to try another bit just to make sure.

We also fancied trying a pasta dish, so got one to share - Artichoke Ravioli - with Morel Mushrooms, Meyer Lemon, shaved Pecorino Romano and Broccolini Pesto



This was also nice, but not as strong as the other two dishes.

Look –the sky is brightening up!



We then both got another savoury plate, but they were very small…

Mine – One of the stuffed mini peppers that I didn’t try before and that heavenly mozerella. Another server did offer to carry my plate back to the table for me. I did decline, we were only about 10 metres away from the buffet!



Ollie’s plate



As we were thinking about dessert, we ordered a bellini. I think these are good value at $4 each.



I took a snap of this booth, which is where we ended up having dinner a few days later.



I also liked this light feature.



Borys bought us a ‘happy honeymoon’ plate which was lovely.



I never know if you’re meant to eat the chocolate on these or not?

Borys talked us through the dessert buffet and reminded us to use the zero calorie spoons they have. I wish!

This is my first plate – I love that all the desserts are small so I can try lots of them.



Anything chocolate is also my favourite. I really enjoyed the panacotta at the back as well.

Ollie’s plate



I didn’t realise there were different types of fruit tarts, so Ollie let me swap my raspberry for his strawberry.

We also got these two to share (as my plate was a bit full). The champagne jelly was surprisingly light and tasty!



We settled up for our drinks and a tip for Borys.

We had a wander round the pool deck (maybe more of a waddle) as it had brightened up now and then went back to the room to change into something a bit more casual for our mixology class at 1pm.

We pre-booked this online during online check in. The facebook group for the cruise did arrange a mixology class, but they could only book this on port days. We declined this as the times weren’t convenient, but had no problem booking during online check in. There were a few classes still available when we booked (although we did get up at 5am to online check in).

Mixology was in the Meridan lounge, on deck 12 next to Palo. I was originally sad that the class wasn’t in Skyline, but I did like the meridian lounge.

The only downside was that one of the smokers decks was off the bar, so we did have some random people walking through the class.


All set up.

We made 5 cocktails. Ollie volunteered first, but was dissapointed all he had to do was open a prosecco bottle and pour into 5 glasses. As you can imagine from the amount of prosecco we drink, he is an expert prosecco opener! The cast member running the class was impressed how quickly he opened the bottle – clearly lots of practice!

The prosecco was mixed with St Germain, an elderflower liqueur.



We toasted the start of the class and kept the cork. We collect these, write something on them and put them in a (very) large ikea vase. It’s getting quite full now…

I went next and made a mai tai.





This was rum based and they got us to count out the rum. Mine seemed to be coming out very quickly so there wasn’t as much room for the fruit juice. I enjoyed this, but I do like a rum based cocktail.

Next was a fruit mojito. We’re quite partial to a mojito and even have our own muddler at home.



This was a passionfruit, pomegranate and prosecco drink (I think, this was number 4 so let’s be pleased I can remember this much…)



My drinks were starting to pile up at this point. I needed to get a move on!



Ollie really liked the pomegranate liquor and I managed to get him a bottle for Christmas.



The last drink was a B52. This is Bailey’s mixed with Kahlua, and we also had this at a mixology class two years ago. I really dislike coffee, so I’m not a fan of this. However, no drink gets left behind. At least it’s a shot so I can drink it quickly…



That was it, 5 drinks in about 45 minutes. They seemed to be going very quickly as they had another class coming up.

We had about 15 minutes to finish our drinks and spent some time chatting to an American chap, who was on his own. Turns out he left his kids and wife and came along to this class! We spoke about different parts of America and our Med Disney cruise. Lots of Americans seemed intrigued about this cruise.

The class was $20. This is the second mixology class we’ve done and I think this is really good value.

I originally wasn’t sure that Palo brunch and mixology on the same day was a good idea. However, it was probably quite sensible to eat plenty before drinking lots!

I quickly popped to the toilets outside Palo, and as they were empty, felt the need to take a picture to show that you get individual towels to dry your hands (blame the mixology class). Very fancy!



My cruising top tip – use these toilets on deck 12. The toilets on deck 11 by Cabanas are always busy and not as nice. Go one floor up and use these instead!

We had princess gathering tickets booked for 2.15pm, so made our way to the lobby atrium (also booked during online check in).

Sometimes I can find meeting face characters a bit awkward, but having had a few drinks meant I was just the right level of chatty to meet them.

Four princesses were out – Belle, Cinderella, Tiana and Ariel. Belle was lovely and asked if Ollie was my Beast. The Cinderella was a little less Stepford than in the parks, but I feel like the older princesses don’t have as much content to play around with. Tiana was the best interaction and was trying to set up Lottie with Ollie’s brother. Ariel was sweet and asked if my pearl earrings had come from a clam.

This is such an efficient way to meet all the princesses in one go!

After the meet and greet we headed up to the pool deck to grab some drinks and then back to the stateroom for a nap. It’s exhausting doing nothing but eat or drink all day!



Loved these portholes!



Ollie, being the perfect new husband, went up to the pool deck and bought me back chicken tenders which I ate on the verandah after my nap! I also had a chicken ceaser wrap. They were also offering buffalo chicken tenders, which had a bit of a kick, which Ollie went for.



However, I did wake up with a really sore throat. I assumed that this was just because I was thirsty (possibly something to do with the 7 drinks before 2 pm) but turns out this was the start of me getting ill. I always seem to get ill on holiday 
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Old 28 Jan 19, 08:34 PM  
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It was formal night tonight, so we made ourselves presentable. I find there is a really wide range in what people wear on formal night, ranging from full on ball gowns to normal shorts and tshirts. We went somewhere in between. Ollie wore a short sleeved shirts and chinos. I wore a white lace short dress (had to re-use my hen do dress while I could still fit into it!).

We made it to the Captain’s reception about half way through. Ollie picked up this green cocktail (not sure what it was, probably rum based).



I got a glass of wine, as they had run out of the mystery green cocktail.

It was quite busy in the atrium, but I suppose that’s what free drinks does to people!

We bumped into two of our tablemates here and had a nice chat to them. They spent most of their day round the pool, and the cast member who they had been ordering their drinks from recommended the Captain’s reception to them – he said free drinks would be up their street!

We made our way into the theatre just before the 6.15pm showing of Wishes. Our table mates came with us and we sat on the balcony which was open.

They handed out programmes on the way into the theatre for each of the Disney shows which was a nice touch. However, I managed to leave it behind every time!

The show was about three high school friends before they head off to college. It was set in Disneyland in California, so referenced a lot of rides which was nice. The show was cute and featured a lot of Disney songs, including songs form Lion King, Tangled, The Little Mermaid and Mulan. Ollie wasn’t too impressed with the corny love story, but did enjoy the musical numbers.

Our table mates had to leave before the end as they had dinner at Remy.

After the show we had a quick look in the gift shop and starting eyeing up potential purchases.





We then joined the fairly lengthy queues to have formal photos taken – one on the staircase and one next to the Minnie statue. They do get you to pose a bit awkwardly in some of these shots and we’re not great at taking direction. What’s also annoying is they won’t take photos on your camera at these set ups. We did end up later purchasing one of these shots, as our only photo purchase from the trip.

After these photos, we spotted that Mickey was doing a meet and greet. Although we met Mickey last night, we wanted to get a shot in his formal captain whites.



Whilst waiting, I noticed there was no queue at the cruise re-booking desk, which is rare. I asked about a placeholder for our next cruise. We booked an Alaska cruise for 2019 on release, and the lady advised we would need to cancel and re-book if we wanted to use a placeholder. She gave me the price in both dollars and pounds.

At the time, I had it in my head that she quoted a more expensive price. However, when we got home I released it was about £50 cheaper with the 10% discount (as the cruise had gone up in price a bit since we booked) and we would get $200 onboard credit. So we cancelled and re-booked, ending up with a room about 2 doors up (we’ve just gone for an indoor stateroom this time, as the verandah rooms were shockingly expensive).

It was then dinner time, and tonight we were in Royal Court. Both couples on our table were at Remy tonight, so it was just the two of us.

This is the third time we’ve had this menu (at Royal Palace on the Dream and Lumiere’s on the Fantasy). However, I really like this French inspired menu, so that’s fine by me. I end up ordering pretty much the same things every time.



I love the ceiling in the restaurant.



We had a Warm Herb Brioche with an Olive Spread. I love these bread baskets.



To start, we both had the Breaded and deep fried brie - with an orange and cranberry chutney.



How can you not like deep fried cheese? This was a good portion size, as there was plenty of food to come! Ollie thought it could have been a bit warmer, but he’s not as much of a brie fan as me anyway.

Next we both had the French onion soup – with gruyere cheese crouton. More cheese! This was served piping hot which was good.



Now, for mains we might have ordered quite a few dishes, with a bit of encouragement from our servers! As our tablemates weren’t there, Ollie felt it was his duty to report back on all the dishes.

I went for the Crispy roasted duck breast – with cabbage, shallot, honey parsnip mash and a duck red wine jus.



I get this every time as duck isn’t often on a menu. When they took off the cover part of the duck was missing, so they had to go and get me another one. The duck was tasty and not too fatty, as duck can sometimes be.

Ollie went for Chauteaubriand roasted filet steak – roasted filet steak, crushed new potatoes with shallots, buttered green beans, red wine jus and a bernaise sauce on the side



He also wanted to try the Roasted rack of lamb medium – with dauphinoise potatoes, buttered brussell sprouts and a burgundy rosemary sauce



I had a bite of the steak, but I’m not really a lamb fan so didn’t try this. He preferred the lamb over the steak.

Ollie convinced me to also order the Oven baked salmon royale – crummed with king smoked salmon and horseradish crust accompanied by sautéed swiss chard, truffled cauliflower puree and white wine buerre blanc



The only problem is I’m not a big horseradish fan. The salmon itself was very nice though, although my duck was the favourite.

I really liked the presentation of the dessert menus.





For dessert, I had (as I always do) the Grand Marnier soufflé – infused with fresh orange zest and served with grand marnier crème anglaise



I never turn down a soufflé!

Ollie has the Apple tarte tartin – caramelised baked apple served with vanilla ice cream.



The presentation wasn’t quite what I expected – the apple and the pastry seemed to be very separate! Despite being deconstructed, I tried a bit and thought it was very nice.

Again, our server Ana was great and made sure we were ok with all our table mates being elsewhere.

After dinner, we went to catch some on the adult entertainment. We took a seat in the Tube and caught then end of a music quiz – snippets. These shows are very funny to watch but I’m not sure I’d want to participate.

We ordered a cocktail of the day, just one to share which Ollie had most of as I was feeling vey full of liquid. Today’s drink was a Bahama Mama – light rum, dark rum, crème de banana, coconut rum, orange juice and pineapple juice.



We were sat near a door on high stools (that were not very comfy) and a guy came out the door and started chatting. I completely missed that he was Jeff Civillico and about to do his show!

The show was good fun, with lots of juggling and one trick involving four men sat on chairs, then removing the chairs and the men were still balanced.

After the show we had a quick walk of the pool deck, which I love doing late at night. They were rehearsing for the pirate show, which was interesting to watch.





Ollie also picked up some pepperoni pizza.



I also took some snaps of a completely empty cabanas.













I like the hand wash stations they now have, instead of just handing out hand wipes.



I also felt the need to take a picture of the floor in the lift.



Tonight’s towel animal, which was really cute.



And so ends a sea day I loved this sea day, it felt very decadent having a day full of eating and drinking. Despite having quite a lot of things scheduled in, it did feel relaxing (as sea days are meant to be!)

We were also really excited for our first port day tomorrow.

Day 5 – Cozumel, Mexico

Edited at 08:26 PM.
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Old 28 Jan 19, 09:32 PM  
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That sounds like a lovely day, lots of really tasty looking food and yummy sounding drinks too!
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Old 30 Jan 19, 08:43 PM  
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A brilliant day some great food and drink

Joan
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Old 31 Jan 19, 08:02 PM  
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The Palo brunch looks wonderful, I think California Grill could take some tips from them. Unfortunately, given how popular CG brunch is I can’t see any changes being made any time soon.

I love your playsuit, perfect for Palo, classy but not to fussy.

I agree about the older Princesses being a bit dull, Cinderella and Aurora are particularly bad, but Snow White has the ditzy little girl card to play so I usually find her a tad easier to chat to.

Dinner looks great, especially the salmon. I’m not a fan of horseradish either but I love everything else on the plate.

Today seemed heavenly, pure relaxation, just what cruises are for IMO.
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Old 3 Feb 19, 08:12 PM  
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Originally Posted by Palm trees View Post
That sounds like a lovely day, lots of really tasty looking food and yummy sounding drinks too!
Yes, pretty much all eating and drinking! Thanks for reading

Originally Posted by mick View Post
A brilliant day some great food and drink

Joan
Thanks for reading Definitely an indulgent day!

Originally Posted by collybird View Post
The Palo brunch looks wonderful, I think California Grill could take some tips from them. Unfortunately, given how popular CG brunch is I can’t see any changes being made any time soon.

I love your playsuit, perfect for Palo, classy but not to fussy.

I agree about the older Princesses being a bit dull, Cinderella and Aurora are particularly bad, but Snow White has the ditzy little girl card to play so I usually find her a tad easier to chat to.

Dinner looks great, especially the salmon. I’m not a fan of horseradish either but I love everything else on the plate.

Today seemed heavenly, pure relaxation, just what cruises are for IMO.
We're not always good at relaxing on holiday, so a sea day forces us to do this!

I think Rapunzel is my favourite princess to meet generally, she always makes jokes about frying pans!

Thanks for reading
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