Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by tweis, Jun 4, 2013.
Loved your trip report! Thanks for sharing all of your pictures!
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Thanks! I still have a little bit left to finish it up.
Thanks for being so detailed so far on your Palo dinner. Love that you are including the menu & pictures. We are going to try to get reservations there for our Dec. trip. Looks like we need to plan to eat very light that day. So much food!! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your Palo dinner & the rest of your cruise!
Thanks for reading We loved our meal in Palo and plan to have dinner and brunch on our next cruise. Definitely eat light, I was so regretting those chicken tenders that I had earlier.
Just started reading this today and can't wait to finish. I'm only on page 1. signing on to keep updated.
Now for our main course their was no hesitation, we both knew that we wanted the tenderloin. It comes with a red wine sauce or a gorgonzola sauce. Berny brought out both sauces with the dish and asked if I would like for her to pour some of each on my plate. I was tempted, but I'm allergic to penicillin and sometimes experience a reaction if I eat bleu/gorgonzola cheese. I asked only for the red wine sauce and DH had excused himself for a visit to the men's room so Berny left both sauces for him to try. DH is not a fan of bleu/gorgonzola so I knew he wouldn't want it on his tenderloin but he did "dip" a bite of it in the gorgonzola and declared it "ok". He enjoyed the red wine sauce and poured it on his tenderloin. We ordered our meat medium and it came out perfectly cooked and was melt in your mouth tender. I highly recommend it if you are a red meat eater. There were lots of fish options that sounded good but I couldn't pass up the tenderloin.
From the internet
The main course menu options from DCL's website:
Fagioli Alla Veneziana
Venetian Peperonata Vegetable and Bean Casserole
Grilled Sea Scallops with Borlotti Beans and Pancetta Served with a Tomato Sauce
Rombo al Finocchio Pan seared Turbot on Fingerling Potatoes, Porcini, Pancetta and Fennel with Walnut Butter
Branzino in Cartoccio Sea Bass Papillote with Spaghetti Vegetables and Ginger Orange Glaze
Grilled Tuna Piemonte Truffle-infused Potato Risotto with Garlic marinated Artichokes and a Tarragon Veal Jus
Pan seared Calves Liver Mele e Cipolle On Polenta Cake with Caramelized Apples and Onions, garnished with air dried Prosciutto
Fagotti di Petto di Pollo con Ricotta e Basilico -Baked Chicken Breast filled with Ricotta, Basil, and Red Peppers served with Pinot Grigio Reduction
Osso Buco di Vitello -Slow roasted centre cut Veal Shank with Gremolata and Risotto Milanese
Oregano and Parmesan Crusted Rack of Lamb With Sangiovese Roasted Shallots, Olive Oil baked Roma Tomatoes, Potato Pave, and Herb Jus
* Our Beef Tenderloin "Palo" Served with Palo Signature Barolo Red Wine Sauce or Gorgonzola Sauce
At some point during the meal, I can't remember when exactly, we were given this to cleanse our palate. It was a lemon sorbet with blue berries and I really liked it. It was more of a dessert to me. Very tart and tangy.
From the internet
I ate less than half of my tenderloin because I was so full. I didn't think I could hold another bite. I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but I actually took my belt off and had DH put it in his pocket. DH somehow managed to eat every last bite of his tenderloin.
Now it was time for the famous chocolate souflee. I was so stuffed that I knew I wasn't going to be able to enjoy it but I had to atleast try it. The souflee is brought out with vanilla and chocolate sauce and a scoop of vanilla gelato. It was piping hot and soooo delicious. I managed maybe 3 bites. DH somehow devoured his and actually took a bite or 2 of mine!! So now those pants that didn't fit "right" on the cruise don't fit at all!!!
From the internet
Berny also brought out something very similar to this.
From the internet
Ours was slightly different as the berries were drizzled in chocolate and the red sauce. I'm not sure what it was but it was so good. It had the vanilla bean panna cotta with a strawberry basil sorbet and the stick of chocolate like in the picture. I had a bite of the panna cotta simply to try it and it was very creamy. I really enjoyed the strawberry basil sorbet and managed a couple of small bites of it. DH ate the chocolate stick and said it was very good chocolate. How he managed to eat yet MORE chocolate is beyond me. I enjoyed the berries drizzled with both sauces. Very light and refreshing. Berny also presented us with a plate that had "Happy Anniversary" written in chocolate. It was so sweet and I wish I had a photo of it.
Here are the dessert options from DCL's website:
Limoncello-Light and refreshing way to end your evening made from Sorrento Lemons
Fior di Latte-Cioccolato Bianco e Grappa
Gianduia- Cioccolato Gianduia e Grappa Grappa
Palo's Homemade Tiramisù-Layered Coffee-infused Ladyfinger with Mascarpone Cheese
Panna Cotta with Strawberry-Basil Sorbet Custard with Macerated Berries
Chocolate Soufflé-With Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Sauce
Orange Soda Float with Vanilla Gelato -Amarena Cherries, Whipped Cream, and Honey Crunch
Pistachio Cake with Amaretto Cream and Hazelnut Meringue Layered Chiffon Cake glazed with Ganache
Zabaglione with Sangiovese-infused Berries Made with Marsala Wine and Biscotti Chips
No Sugar Added
Apple Crostata with Salted Caramel Sauce Sugar Dough, Braised Cinnamon Apples, and Whipped Cream
At this point Berny thanked us and said she hoped she had provided us with great service. She wished us a happy anniversary and told us that she would be bringing us a Scorpino (sp) which is pretty much a shot and is supposed to help your digestion she said. It looked very similar to this and included lemon sorbet, Calvados, and Prosecco. I had never heard this mentioned before so it came as a surprise when Berny brought them out.
From the internet
It was tart and very strong from the Calvados. We managed to get it all down though.
Berny also presented us with the check. Now before having eaten in Palo I couldn't understand why I was reading about people tipping what seemed like a large amount on a $40 meal. I've read people leaving $10 pp, $20 pp or more. Now after eating there and having absolutely excellent service and a ton of delicious food, I absolutely understand the higher tips. I would not have felt comfortable leaving a standard 18%-20% tip with the delicious food and excellent service that we had.
Thanks for reading Linda. I should be wrapping it up in the next day or so.
Really enjoying this report. Love that you made Woo Woos. I love them but drink it as a drink with ice, not a shot. Can't wait to read more.
Yes, I had so much fun making the Woo Woos. I had no idea that you could enjoy it as a drink instead of a shot. How do you make them? Same way but with more alcohol and cranberry juice? They were really tasty as a cold shot so I'm sure a full size drink would be great.
Thanks for reading.
After leaving Palo, I stopped by the ladies room. Wow! I thought the other restrooms on the ship were nice but this one was beautiful. They don't have paper towels they have a container of small individually rolled hand towels for you to use. Very nice and elegant. These are some of the other bathrooms on the ship. I don't have one of the bathroom outside of Palo and Remy.
DH and I were stuffed and headed back to our stateroom. We had told our serving team that we would come to Enchanted Garden tonight for appetizers or soup but that wasn't happening!! All of our paperwork had been delivered to our room so I decided to complete our survey. Our head server, Angel, had mentioned it to us last night but we did not receive the "excellent" speech that a lot of DISers talk about it. He asked that we complete it and to fill it out honestly. I thought that was great. No pressure at all from the servers. We had "excellent" service from our servers and our survey reflected it. We still needed to give our servers their tip envelopes but were not interested in eating. We called guest services to see what our options were. They said we could take them to our servers or drop them in the comments box. We didn't want to do the latter so we changed into comfortable clothing and headed to Enchanted Garden.
We were able to find Flavio and our dining manager but Angel was helping another family. Flavio volunteered to give Angel his envelope and we felt comfortable with that so we agreed. Flavio mentioned the survey that we would be getting and how he hoped they had served us well. I told him it was already taken care of and that they had treated us excellent. He was very pleased to hear this.
After leaving Enchanted Garden, we headed up to Shutter's just to see if there were any pictures in our folder. There were a couple but the ones that had been taken in Palo were not there yet and we had decided not to purchase any of the others. We decided to go visit the shops since this would be our last opportunity. We saw the "infamous" red pillow and I seriously can't believe how much it costs!!
After shopping for a bit we decided to head back to our room to get the rest of our things ready. Leliy had delivered luggage tags but we decided that we would do the express walk off. When doing this, you do not need to put your luggage out the night before. You take it with you to breakfast and as soon as customs clears the ship, you are free to debark. We wanted to be on the road and heading back to Georgia first thing so we thought this would be the best option for us.
We thought about going to trivia but it started kind of late and we would need to get up very early to be ready to get off the ship by 7:00 so we enjoyed some time on our verandah for the last time before heading to bed.
We set our alarm for 5:45 because we wanted to be able to disembark as soon as customs cleared the ship. We got up and had our shower and made sure everything was packed. We double checked the safe to make sure we had removed everything. We checked our fish and our bill still had not arrived. I wanted to have our bill before we disembarked just to make certain all the charges were right.
This was the view from our verandah this morning. Freedom of the Seas.
A quick note about express disembarkation. We had been watching the channel the day before that explains the process and what you need to do in order to utilize it. The instructions were that you needed to call guest services to get on the list, do not put your luggage out the night before, walk off when the ship is cleared. We called guest services and she said we were fine since we were paying with a credit/debit card. Guests paying in cash can not do the express walk off or atleast not until they have paid their account in full. She stated that they tried to get the bill to the guests doing the express quicker so that they could make certain everything is correct.
We hung around our room a little longer than we wanted and still no bill. We finally decided we would head to Cabanas and check back before we disembarked. On our way, we met our hostess, Leliy, and asked her about our bill. She had a stack of them and gave us ours. We also told her we had beer left that we didn't want to carry back because it would get hot, could we leave it in our fridge. She said she would take care of it. We told her that she could have it if she would like. She thanked us and said ok. Now as to whether she can keep it or not, I don't know. I hope she can if she wants it.
Our bill was surprisingly low with everything that we had did on this trip. We did have $50 OBC from Dreams Unlimited and I had applied a gift card at the beginning of the trip to cover the gratuities so that helped. Palo and Mixology are complete bargains in my opinion and we would definitely do both again.
We headed to Cabanas to have breakfast one last time. They didn't have as large a selection as they had the previous mornings but they still had plenty. Our server from Palo, Berny, was working in Cabanas this morning and she wished us safe travels. She called us by name which to me is just awesome customer service. I know we had only met her the night before, but the fact that she did remember and took the time to discuss our trip home really goes to show that there are some awesome CMs on the ships.
After finishing our breakfast, it was around 7:00, the ship had been cleared. We headed down to the atrium to disembark. There was a line but it was moving very quickly. The same CMs that had lined up just a few days before and welcomed us onboard were now wishing us a safe trip home and waving with the white Mickey hands. We headed back through the walkway and had our KTTW cards scanned showing we had disembarked the ship. Then we quickly made our way through the terminal to the customs counter. Here we presented our passports and our completed declarations form that we had received the night before. It was quick and painless and we made our way out of the terminal and to our car. We got everything loaded and pulled around to the exit and paid $60 for parking our car at the terminal. We were pulling out of the Port at around 7:15 which was great because we had about an 8 hour drive ahead of us. Our trip was over but we had a wonderful time.
My report is finished but I will be following up with some final thoughts and tips. Thanks to everyone that followed along.
I will also try to scan my navigators over the next couple of days for anyone that might like to see them.
Great report! What alcohol did you bring? I am trying to decide on beer or wine for our trip!
We brought beer and we also brought vodka for mixing drinks. It was nice to be able to have a drink in our room but we also bought quite a few drinks of the day but they were very reasonable in price.
Have a great cruise.
I think we will bring a 6 pack of beer for the hubby and maybe some spiced rum for moi! We shall see!
Thanks for explaining about express disembarkation. I had never heard of that before now. Sounds painless & a pretty simple. Thanks including the process in your trip report. Really enjoyed reading your report!
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
The express walk off is so simple and I would definitely do it again.
We just got back from a family vacation in Tennessee so I haven't been able to scan my navigators yet.
Final thoughts and my answers to questions that I see a lot on the forum:
Is DCL a good choice for adults traveling without kids: In my opinion, yes, it is a good choice. We had a wonderful cruise and enjoyed visiting all the adult only areas on the ship that we had not been able to visit before. The only possible downside is that there is not a ton of stuff going on during the day for adults. It is mostly exercise/yoga type things. Luckily, we just wanted to relax on our cruise so it worked out great.
Is a 3 night worth it: If we had travelled with our children, I don't know that a 3 night would have been a good choice because they would have wanted to participate in some of the activities and watch the shows and I just think everything would have felt rushed. We have a 7 night booked next year with the kids and I think the least we will ever do with them is a 4 night. I would certainly take another 3 night with just DH and I because we never felt rushed at all but we skipped the shows and really the only scheduled activity that we took part in was mixology and dinner. A 3 night is perfect for a quick getaway or added on to a trip.
Can I show up to the port earlier than my PAT: I see this one a lot. I would not recommend showing up much earlier than your selected PAT. We had an 11:00-11:30 PAT and got to the port shortly before 11:00 and were given boarding #3. Even if you show up earlier than your PAT your boarding # is directly linked with the PAT that you selected so you still have to wait for it to be called. Example- You select a 12:00 PAT and arrive at 11:00. Your boarding # will still be higher than those that had an earlier PAT and you will still have to wait to board so I really see no reason to arrive more than a few minutes before your assigned PAT because you will just be sitting around in a crowded terminal. Boarding does not start until around 11:30 and I think open boarding starts between 12:30-1:00.
Is Palo worth the additional $20 Per person: ABSOLUTELY! The fee is very small considering all the food that you receive and the quality of the meal. We will book Palo on all of our future cruises if possible and we are hoping to try brunch on our 7 night. I've read that others think it is not much better than what is served in the MDR and I respectfully disagree. Of course food is very subjective and while I loved my meal in Palo others may not.
Is service lacking on the DREAM: In my opinion, absolutely not. Of course I have only sailed on the Dream so I can't compare it to the other ships. I honestly think we received better service on our 3 night than we did on our 5 night and we had great service on our 5 night. Our servers were excellent this time and every CM we encountered was wonderful. We did not feel that disconnect that a lot of others complain about with the shorter cruises. We will continue to sail on the Dream every chance we get.
To be continued......
Parking at the port I did not like having to pay $60 for parking but I don't think we will do it any other way in the future. I can't tell you how convenient and quick it was having our car there and not having to wait for a shuttle. We tried a hotel with shuttle service in 2012 and found it "okay" but I like to be in charge of when I get to the port and how quickly I get on the road home. We may try one of the area hotel/motels that offer 40% off parking at the port to save money for our 7 night next year but then again, we really liked the Double Tree. We will see.....but either way we will be parking at the port.
Do we need trip insurance- Only you can decide if you and your family need trip insurance. We did NOT purchase insurance for this cruise since it was a relatively inexpensive trip. We did however get insurance for our 5 night last year and I purchased trip insurance through Travel Guard for our upcoming 7 night cruise. I wasn't as concerned about our 3 night but with our 7 night easily costing over $5000 before excursions/hotels/etc. I wasn't willing to risk not having it. I purchased it within 14 days of making our deposit onboard so that it would cover any pre-existing conditions. Also, with Travel Guard Gold, kids are free.
Is the food good on DCL- I see this ALOT. Food is very subjective and what I may like you may not. With that being said, I enjoy most of the food on DCL. I did not enjoy much of my lunch in Royal Palace but I absolutely love dinner in Royal Palace. I didn't care for the pasta pursettes in AP last year but loved them this year. I did not have the pirate menu on our 3 night but I did not enjoy it at all last year. It was by far my least favorite menu. Try something and if you don't care for it just get something else. Order as much or as little as you would like.
Mixology- We loved mixology and look forward to doing it again next year. The cost is $15 per person and in my opinion, it's a real bargain for the number of drinks that you get. We had lots of fun going behind the bar and mixing drinks. The bartender prepared us 4 drinks then we all had a shot plus "tastes" of 3 other drinks. I highly recommend this class. Lots of fun.
Bringing your own alcohol onboard-We brought more than we needed because we ended up buying quite a few of the drinks of the day instead of what we brought but we will still bring some on in the future. Since we don't fly it really isn't inconvenient for us. We brought the opened bottles of liquor home with us so yeah, it was worth if for us.
Your last two posts are awesome recaps! So informative for first time cruisers.
I have been sorta regretting that we are planning to park @ the port bc of the price for four days is expensive. But after reading about your express check out (don't think it's called that!) & being able to go straight to your car- not having to wait for a shuttle, or DCL transportation to take us back to WDW or stand in the rental car line the cost is now sounding totally worth it to me. Thanks for all your tips!!
I think I am most excited about Palo after your review.
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