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Old 01-01-2011, 01:03 PM   #211
TotallyAngelic
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Stunning sunset photos in Key West .... brings back memories of my wonderful honeymoon spent there.

Love your Palo experience .. we had Sylvester too ... he was amazing
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:56 PM   #212
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Great trip report so far. I love Key West, I think it is the most fun and varied stop on a Caribbean cruise. Your pictures are bringing back great memories of our days there! The Halloween events on board also look like so much fun. Looking forward to more, Karyn
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:45 PM   #213
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I can see our heads in Morganmom's picture of the Halloween deck party! I always think that is so funny...to see us from another persons perspective.

I can testify to the panna cotta dessert at Palo's...it was fantastic. I ordered that and Mike ordered the souflee, so I was still able to have both. Your right, though, I had to force myself to eat being beyond stuffed by that point.

I wish I had known the adult costume contest would have allowed kids to be there. Allison was a cat, Michael was a dog and Mike and I were dressed as Animal Control Officers complete with uniform shirts, badges, patches and even a capture net! I'm not sure too many people got it, but we thought it was funny. Our costumes definitely would have made no sense at all if the kids were not there with us as "accessories".

The photos of Sarah in Flounder's with Chip and Dale are great!
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:49 PM   #214
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Great report.

My 9year old DD agrees with you daugter on the lab, for the same reason, too many 6 year olds running around.
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:53 AM   #215
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Subbing...can't wait to hear more!! We leave on the Western Feb. 5th for our first Disney cruise!!!
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:57 PM   #216
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Another great update!

I think this was our best Palo dinner yet! After how "not so great" the quality of the food was in 2008 I wasn't expecting much. This renewed my faith in Palo.

Karaoke was a nice finish to our Halloween. I can't believe we had it in us to do this. I was exhausted by this point.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:29 PM   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taraandmike View Post
great update! We love the polenta mushrrom appetizer at Palo too! We always get that wonderful souffle also, we will definatley have to follow in your footsteps and bring back two for our children, this year my oldest daughter is old enough to go to Palo so our other two will especially be jealous of this. I do have to admit I love the Panna Cotta it is just so light after so much food!
Oh definitely bring souffles back with you, you will be doing it until the younger two are 18 as well...LOL!

Quote:
Love the picture of Sarah just playing with Dale, like it is an everyday thing. It was wonderful she had that special one one one interaction with those characters.
I know, I had no idea characters stopped by Flounders for the little ones like that. What a special touch!

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Originally Posted by TotallyAngelic View Post
Stunning sunset photos in Key West .... brings back memories of my wonderful honeymoon spent there.
Oh it was so gorgeous!! Got some really fantastic sunrise shots the next day too....er well Ron did, not me...no WAY was I getting up that early!

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Love your Palo experience .. we had Sylvester too ... he was amazing
Oh yes, wonderful!!! Can't say enough about the terrific service we had.

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Originally Posted by akluss View Post
Great trip report so far. I love Key West, I think it is the most fun and varied stop on a Caribbean cruise. Your pictures are bringing back great memories of our days there! The Halloween events on board also look like so much fun. Looking forward to more, Karyn
Thanks! ITA about KW! I do wish we had been able to at least check out the Deck Party and DCL ToT but the festive atmosphere was all over the ship. I had to laugh, we saw them stripping down the Halloween decorations before it was even midnight on Halloween. LOL. Its over, done...get it out of here....

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Originally Posted by JKSWonder View Post
I can see our heads in Morganmom's picture of the Halloween deck party! I always think that is so funny...to see us from another persons perspective.
Yeah, that's funny! I found a video on youtube from our cruise but there are not a lot of crowd type shots. Didn't find ourselves or anyone I recognized. But I was hoping! Then again there are the pictures I'm dreading finding myself in like in Cayman and Cozumel...those unaware swimsuit shots can be baaaad!

Quote:
I can testify to the panna cotta dessert at Palo's...it was fantastic. I ordered that and Mike ordered the souflee, so I was still able to have both. Your right, though, I had to force myself to eat being beyond stuffed by that point.
Me too!!!

Quote:
I wish I had known the adult costume contest would have allowed kids to be there. Allison was a cat, Michael was a dog and Mike and I were dressed as Animal Control Officers complete with uniform shirts, badges, patches and even a capture net! I'm not sure too many people got it, but we thought it was funny. Our costumes definitely would have made no sense at all if the kids were not there with us as "accessories".

The photos of Sarah in Flounder's with Chip and Dale are great!
That's right I remember thinking that was the cutest idea for costumes.. the animal control and the animals - wish I had seen ya'll dressed up!!!!


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Originally Posted by mkmommy View Post
Great report.

My 9year old DD agrees with you daugter on the lab, for the same reason, too many 6 year olds running around.
Thanks so much for reading!!! Yep, it's a shame...I did write about it on my comment card so hopefully DCL can look towards seeing what they can do in those regards.

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Originally Posted by erbrhenderson View Post
Subbing...can't wait to hear more!! We leave on the Western Feb. 5th for our first Disney cruise!!!
Awesome! You will be hooked for sure! Thanks so much for stopping by! Hopefully I'll have this TR complete before you leave for your trip, I need to get a move on!

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Originally Posted by livingis2me View Post
Another great update!

I think this was our best Palo dinner yet! After how "not so great" the quality of the food was in 2008 I wasn't expecting much. This renewed my faith in Palo.
Oh I agree. I don't think I have ever been so full!!!

Quote:
Karaoke was a nice finish to our Halloween. I can't believe we had it in us to do this. I was exhausted by this point.
I don't know how any of us did it!!
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:23 PM   #218
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Fantastic sunset pictures!

I agree with Palo, so much food! And the souffle, to DIE for!

Great karaoke by the girls!
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:00 PM   #219
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OK- I'm finally replying! I LOVE these pictures-

The first one, because I think it is so sweet how Savannah is being so motherly to her baby sister- I love the look on her face-



Then this one is soooooo adorable of Sarah!



And this one, because, well, it's just AWESOME!!! Your kids look GREAT in their costumes! It's actually really made better I think by the plain backround- it focuses more on them-


Brendan and Savannah really wanted to see this evenings’ variety show, which was a full length comedy performance by Alfred and Seymour. We hurried back to the rooms to get them out of the costumes and Ron took them down to the show. This was the evening where, after getting them seated in the theater he was heckled mercilessly by A&S as he left.

I totally remember when he got heckled!! He was runnin' up that aisle with his Ron-great-big-smile, but he just couldn't run fast enough! It's what made me be SURE we were on time for the adult show the next night!

Back in a minute to comment on the other post-
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:15 PM   #220
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I loved that the chef came out of that kitchen to take pictures with us! It was really funny!! I also wish I would have ordered that risotto, it looks outstanding! But really, where would I have put it? We were EXPLODING by the end of that meal!

I think it is hilarious that Sarah was hangin' out with Chip & Dale! I hope there is some way for her baby-brain to hold onto that memory! And how perfect that they had pictures for you. I give them a BIG for that one.

But the best in that post is the kareoke- first off, I can't BELIVE you had the energy for that after your VERY eventful day in Key west...second, Sarah is crackin' me up! Did Savannah mind? And third- please tell my young girlfriend, Savannah, she's a ROCKSTAR!! Great job carryin that tune!

Ok- I think I'm caught up now. Maybe I should do a little housework for a change...
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:05 PM   #221
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Food, Folks, and Fun! (Part 1)

We could not have asked for a more gorgeous greeting to the first day of November at sea:







The sea on fire:



Ron was up bright and early. Me… not so much. He was good and headed up to work out, or more accurately work off- some of dinner at Palo the night before in preparation of brunch at Palo this morning!

Ah, tranquility….



I enjoyed it while it lasted……




Here's what was on tap for the day around the Magic:










Ron took the kids up for breakfast. He recommends breakfast at Parrot Cay over Topsiders. It is less crowded, less crazy. Same food, not that he was eating…not this time. Unfortunately Parrot Key was out of the question because some lucky folks were enjoying their Island Jam Character Breakfast. So Topsiders it was. Meanwhile I showered and got ready for our brunch reservation.

But first, Savannah had a 10:00 hair braiding appointment. We had made the appointment the very first afternoon onboard, and I strongly recommend if you want braids done to enjoy for the cruise that you make your appointment as early as possible, as the slots do fill up quickly





Although I arrived with her at least 5 minutes early, we could see that there was only one braider on duty and that she was running quite a bit behind. It was immediately apparent that we would have to leave Savannah to finish up her braids on her own or be late to brunch.


I kept myself amused while we waited by enjoying the view. Look at this photo Ron took; Check out this neat lighthouse at the tip of Cuba!!



It was more than a bit frustrating as we were there waiting, the braider kept getting interrupted by people wanting an appointment (or more accurately, wanting their hair braided not knowing it was by appointment only and that the day was completely booked), but yet every interruption caused a several minute pause so the braider would stop and retrieve the reservation book and answer questions, etc. Eventually I started answering questions for her and letting everyone know the day was fully booked before they could ask and distract her (although most of them did anyway).


Meanwhile Ron was taking Sarah to Flounder’s and Brendan was already off to the Edge.



It was getting dangerously close to my Brunch time and finally, about 10:20, Savannah was up in the chair. Usually you pay after getting the braids done, but since I had to get to Brunch, I paid in advance and Savannah was left with strict instructions to go to straight to the Lab afterwards, do not pass go, do not collect $200! She is very responsible and comfortable around the ship, so I wasn’t worried about her.


I was able to stay and watch long enough to get a couple of pictures of the process.






There are only a few styles to choose from (there is a book with examples of the different styles), but basically there is a whole head and a half head, with a couple of different ways the half head or headband style could be pulled back from the forehead. That’s it. She got to pick her color beads, and although I was hoping for something a little more subdued that might match her elegant formal wear, she chose bright blue, purple, and pink.

The cost was very reasonable (compared to what we paid for a similar hairstyle in Labadee); it was $20 for the half head/headband style. Tip is additional. Savannah loved her braids and though I liked the cute headband made of beads, she has very thin hair and the rubber bands securing the braids were so tight, it caused the bottom few braids to actually stick out from her head quite a bit, and the ponytails extending out from them stood up. We couldn’t get them to lay back at all. Just something to keep in mind, I don’t know if it is just how they do this particular style, if it was this particular braider’s technique, or if it was just Sav’s thin hair.


Once I was sure she was settled there, I headed up to meet Ron at Palo. Turns out he came by after me to see how the braiding was going.



Finally, he met me up at Palo, and we were shown to our “assigned” seat, the same table as the night before, and once again, smack dab in Dis central! Our neighbors today were Joanie and Sam who we had met prior to the cruise at Grills, and also Bill and Nicole, who had helped me hand out the lanyards:






Sylvester was our server again, which is just what we would have wanted. He showed us around the buffet tables, which we were pretty familiar with as this was not our first Palo brunch. Basically there is a table for savory breads, crackers and cheeses, a table for salad items and veggies, a table for cold meats and seafoods, a table for pastries and breakfast breads, and my personal favorite… the dessert table! There is also a display of examples of the cook to order entrees, both of breakfast and lunch entrees.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:21 PM   #222
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So enjoying riding along with you.

Cannot believe all of the work you did for the ToT for DISers. I'm sure the kids will remember it for years and years.

And finally, we're Key West rookies. What are the top 3 "must do's"?

Thanks!
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:21 PM   #223
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Food, Folks, & Fun (Part 2)

**Continued from previous post**

Words don’t do this elegant display of gluttony justice, so here are some photos. Warning! Do NOT view when hungry!!!



Yes, desserts first. See how the dessert table was still untouched? I ruined that right after this shot.









Salads to the left, some sort of seafood mousse to the right-in that ingenious mirrored display already perched on individual spoons.



More green stuff:



Cold deli meat selection, and on the far right shrimp cocktail shooters which Ron really liked:



Cook to order entrée selection, clockwise from bottom: Pastas of the day, Grilled Tilapia, Veal Saltimbocca, Chicken Parmesan:



Breakfast pastries and breads; see the sticky buns in the metal container? Yum!!!




Savory breads and cheese selection:



Cook to order pizza station:



Sylvester started us off with the delicious complimentary champagne. I can never remember what it is, though we asked twice. It was sweet, yet tart with a scrumptious apple undertone. Very good! (There is also dry champagne to choose from if you prefer that)



We took a turn up at the buffet; I started with the delicious stollen bread (best with fresh whipped cream and berries) and …yes…a tiramisu. (Mom wasn’t cruising with us, so I could eat dessert first without guilt!) I was able to demonstrate proper presentation of the stolen to another group getting their tour around the tables. That was fun, I felt like an old pro!




Ron chose plenty of seafood: Tuna, crab, scallops, and a bit of asparagus:



Meanwhile our pizza was being prepared. We were intrigued by the Blue Cheese and Grape pizza, so that’s what we decided to order. I’m not a fan of blue cheese really, but I couldn’t taste it in this pizza. While this pizza was good, it just wasn’t really what I expected. I thought it would be tangy, tart, and savory. But it was very sweet! And almost bland, with a bitter aftertaste. It was good-just not exactly what I was expecting, nor really to my taste. Ron and I agreed we would have enjoyed another Margherita pizza more.




That’s the beauty of brunch, however- if you don’t like one thing, no worries…Hakuna Matata! Just go grab something else. A chocolate crème de pot, possibly? Ok, two.



After a very brief wait, Sylvester was out with our cook-to-order entrees. The food in Palo is just too delicious to pass up ordering a steaming hot freshly made delicacy, even with all of the temptation displayed around you on the buffet.

Ron was in the mood for Lunch and he selected the Chicken Parmesan. A juicy panko-coated chicken breast pan fried to perfection and covered in tangy marinara and a huge thick coat of fresh mozzarella and freshly grated parmesan.



I, on the other hand was in the mood for breakfast, and had been tempted by the tender, fluffy pecan stuffed pancakes. Three buttermilk pancakes with pecans, softy stacked with rich custard and topped with amber maple syrup and a dollop of fresh whipped cream. These were absolutely divine. A sweet tooth’s dream!



Sylvester also brought us out another bonus entrée, Veal Saltimbocca. This is something we would not have been inclined to order, however, as Sylvester stated, it is the house signature entrée. Tender slabs of seared veal served with prosciutto and a thick marsala sauce adorned with broccoli and grape tomatoes. I’m not a fan of veal, so I did not try it. Ron said it was good, tender with a rich flavor but veal is not to his taste either.





Now on to my favorite part of the meal! Dessert! My personal favorites from Palo brunch are represented right on this plate: (clockwise from top center) tiramisu, a cappucino mousse bon-bon (which tasted likechocolate ice cream coated in milk chocolate), a petit-four (layers of chocolate and vanilla cake) and the piece de resistance: the chocolate crème de pot (chocolate pudding, only thicker and more rich and decadent).



We also prepared the kids a small dessert plate and Sylvester brought us a pizza. I had managed to restrain myself considerably and today I did not roll out of Palo sick-full, just regular full-full. Overall we much preferred the 10:30 seating to the 11:30 we had last time, everything looked and tasted so fresh!



Now that we were stuffed, we headed out to enjoy the rest of the gorgeous day at sea and all that the Magic has to offer!

Up next: No shoes, no shirt, no problems!
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:59 PM   #224
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Looking at these photos, I think I just instantly gained back all the weight I lost that I had acquired on the cruise!

Unfortunately, we were not able to score a brunch reservation. Judy had offered us a spot when the private room suddenly became free and there was some space, but we were not able to take her up on the offer. Oh well....something to look forward to for the next cruise maybe!
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:19 PM   #225
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The Stollen Bread is my absolute FAVORITE! We leave in 25 days for our next trip but since we are doing B2B on the Dream, we did not get Palo brunch ressies. I have been thinking about that darn Stollen Bread for months and how sad it will be not having any this trip. My DH thinks maybe I can request a plate just of Stoleen Bread......what do you think? I can't imagine they will do it, but it is Disney after all!!!!
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