This was our “at sea” day, where there are no stops, so all activities are onboard. Just as in the parks, there are so many things to see and do that you’d never get to everything on one cruise. We attempted to sleep in, and we purposefully skipped breakfast because we had brunch scheduled at Palo. While I admittedly was not excited to dress up in the middle of the morning to go gorge myself on food, it was worth it. This food was remarkable. And plentiful. I have a qualm about calling it “brunch” at 12:30pm, as that’s straight late lunch, nothing “br” about it. However, it included a free glass of champagne so, sure! *Editor’s Note: I’ll Brunch whenever I damn well please* The menu is enough food to choose from, but there were tables and tables of seafood, appetizers, desserts, breakfast foods, breads, cheeses…those were apparently to try while our menu selections were prepared. An absolutely ridiculous amount of food. I did my best to try things I don’t get often or hadn’t tried before, but even one tiny serving of so many foods made for a full plate. The parmesan-crusted chicken served over risotto was freaking phenomenal, and the calzone that we split was the most authentic I’ve ever tasted outside of Venice. This was appropriate, as Palo was designed to be reminiscent of Italy, and many decorations are direct from a tiny shop in Venice. (Although I suspect they make more than enough cash off of the Disney commissions, and might not be so “tiny” anymore.)
We had to kind of speed through the end of our meal because there was a tour starting up at 2pm. Luckily it began inside Palo, so we simply walked to the entrance of the restaurant and joined in. This was a tour that walked us all over the ship explaining many of the details that the Imagineers put into their designs of the ship. This was without a doubt awesome. I was proud I had noticed more than a few of the details and knew random, somewhat trivial knowledge on some of the topics. After all, what kind of a Disnerd would I be if I didn’t know the importance a certain transatlantic cruise held for the Disney family back in the day?
One thing I was sad I hadn’t made time for yet was the AquaDunk. This is a tubelike waterslide that literally goes off the side of the ship, over the ocean, and deposits you right back onboard deck 10. It’s too fast to really notice where you are, but it was AMAZING. To ride, you lean back as a door closes around you (seriously, if you’re claustrophobic, maybe it’s not for you because it’s a damn glass coffin), and then the bottom drops out and you flush down and out. After our tour was over, this was next on my must-do list. My favorite part was that the CM was well-versed in my reference of “Pull the lever, Kronk! Wrong lever!”. What a great ride!
The final night’s stage performance was enough on its own to make someone need to bring their family along. If you get teary-eyed at the fireworks at the castle, for example, bring your tissues to this. It’s all the Disney feels, for sure. Definitely a fantastic send-off to end the cruise. We handed out another Mickey key to a Cast Member “earning his ears” and it was a highlight seeing his reaction. We also brought with us a card we had received inviting us to an exclusive meet and greet. This was left at our stateroom, and was a little bit of a mystery. Melanie and I struck up a conversation with the cruise director after the stage show as she somehow knew his boss (?!), and he noticed our invitation. He told us we were very special and someone really noticed us. Seemed odd but exciting, trying to speculate even further since we didn’t know what it was from the get-go.
Our dinner on the final night was at Lumiere’s, which is a French-style restaurant -this should be obvious- and the menu did not disappoint. A popular topic of conversation was whether we were going to try escargot. I’ve had it before (not terrible) so I had no reason to join in the taste test. It was another delicious meal, and I finally remembered to order a damn Mickey bar for dessert! They are available on the kids’ menu (which we obviously didn’t see), by request, and on the room service menu, but we just never remembered. *By the way, room service food is included in the cost of the cruise, too, but there is a recommendation that guests tip the steward delivering the food. We enjoyed dessert but totally bailed out pretty quickly at the end, because we had a special event to attend.
We showed up at the appointed time and place, and multiple CMs we had seen throughout the cruise waved at us and ushered us into a lounge, where we were told to wait a few minutes. The people in this lounge were: a family of two parents and a small child, another guy alone, and the two of us. So, six people. About 2 minutes later, in came (at LEAST) 28 characters. TWENTY-EIGHT. Just coming around to meet us and chat! Commence Disnerd mode, level: expert.
They were so fun and engaging. Then entered some of the Entertainment team and handlers. It all clicked into place, somehow we had made an impression on some awesome people! It turns out that the character handler we had met on Day 1 thought the “plank” signing was notable enough on its own, but he was very impressed with how much fun the MO5KC was having and that we had our own “club”(Moms Of 5 Kids Club... for the people in the back) . This was hands down my most favorite part of the entire trip. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard. We didn’t have anyone sign anything or even take TOO many pictures, but we so enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere with all of these people who worked so hard. After about 20 minutes, we left to watch the final goodbye show in the atrium, where the characters do a formal send off and “see ya real soon”. They actually spread out all over and people can come get signatures and visit. So much magic on the Magic, how could I not want to come back?
Earlier in the evening, we had packed up, taking advantage of the luggage service by placing our bags outside the room before heading out. We kept just our day bag in the room; much less to pay attention to the next morning. Thank goodness because this was a little bit of a cluster. We cleared our room and headed down to Lumiere’s for breakfast. There was an option for a buffet breakfast, but we wanted to see our tablemates again and our fun wait staff. Breakfast was fast and furious, but still delicious and fun. The line to leave the ship and head to customs rivaled a busy park day’s attraction line, but thankfully we spent so much time walking to the back of the line, it was finally moving by the time we were at the end. Customs was pretty quick and we were back to the parking garage in minutes. Another amazing trip in the books. Time to plan the next one!
Final tip: Book early (like a year + in advance) for best prices, unless you live in FL and can go at the drop of a hat, last minute trips are less costly. Planning can be a fun way to keep the excitement alive.
Thanks for reading! Which day was your favorite? Let us know in the comment section or on your favorite social media platform.