Disney Fantasy Halloween Cruise Trip Report
 

Day 6

November 1st 2012
Day at sea
For extensive pictures visit the photo galleries at the bottom of this page; you will need to click on the little orange and green tabs above the photos to view pictures from different parts of this day. There were too many pictures to display all on a single page.
 
This morning we slept in and enjoyed our comfortable stateroom.  We had breakfast at Cabanas again and returned to our room to relax on our verandah for a while before it was time to get dressed up for a brunch at Palo. We wore the same cloths that we packed for formal and semi-formal night. I had on a simple, full length dress that I had quickly bought at JCPenny after my youngest told me "mommy you look like a princess in that dress". My husband wore a pair of tan dress pants, a  long sleeved shirt & a tie. Nothing too fancy; Some people were dressed more formal and others were less so.
 
After eating our way around the ship we went to Palo more for the experience than the food. I wished I had room to eat everything in sight because it all looked so good. I was only able to eat a bowl of soup, some wonderful finger foods and of course a couple of desserts. Every bite I stuffed into my mouth was worth it.
 
After we ate our fill we questioned about whether or not the extra $20. a person for Palo brunch included a tip. We were told that a small amount included the tip and it was split between multiple cast members. They seemed a little uncomfortable talking with us about the tip, but we asked. How else were we to know if they were receiving the appropriate amount of tip for the service that they provided? So we did leave an extra tip at the end of our wonderful meal. Our server, Igor Sakota, even wrapped up a special plate of desserts just for our children to share in our stateroom. He placed 2 of everything on a plate and then wrapped it with foil in the shape of a swan. It was so beautiful that I just had to take a picture. The inside was no less spectacular in presentation and taste. YUM!  It tasted especially good when we got to eat it at a later time when our stomachs were half way empty.  Thanks Igor for your extra special efforts!
 
This is how I have been told that the Palo money is divided and this is why it is important to leave an extra tip at the end of the meal; I quote:
15 $ cover charge/ person is divided:
10$- cover the costs (food, galley, etc), goes to DCL (not the server)
1 $- goes to the Palo manager
4 $- divided among the 9 Palo servers (so your server gets $ 0.44)
They get 10% out of the 15% from their sales (as a stimulus) and forgive them, they have to recommend wines, food, after dinner drinks, etc... otherwise they don't belong there...
The Palo servers do not have a salary, they get tips: there's a line on the bill "additional gratuity" that is their income, there you can show your appretiation for their exceptional service. That is why they are there, leaving their homes and beloved ones and work non- stop for 6-7-8 months.
 
We got to speak with the head chef, Silvio Aragona, and found out that he was from Naples, Italy. My grandmother moved to the United States after marrying my grandfather in Naples, Italy. So we had some common ground. I told him how much I enjoyed the food and the beautiful atmosphere. He was planning to head back to Palo on the Dream. Palo on the Dream is his favorite because he opened that restaurant. I asked if I could take some pictures of him with the food for this report and he happily obliged. Then he returned with a signed copy of the Palo menu just for me. (((Happy Face))) I was thrilled, to say the least, and it made my vacation extra magical!!!
 
After our wonderful lunch we sprung the kids from the Oceaneer Lab and headed for a ride on the Aqua Duck.  I personally was a little unsure of riding it because I am not really a coaster fan.  I will ride the small coasters and actually screamed my way through Expedition Everest last week, but in general I am not a thrill ride lover.  They thought it was funny to take a picture of me being nervous while waiting in line to get on the Aqua Duck.
 
I will say that it was actually quite a pleasant ride.  The lines to ride were not horribly long and the ride was a gentle one.  The only thing that was the biggest shock to my system was the temperature of the water.  It felt like I was white water rafting in the Colorado Rockies when the water splashed up over my back.  We rode a second time because of the short lines.  I wish I could have taken some pictures of even video, but they don’t allow ANY cameras or other electronics on the Aqua Duck and they are quite strict about it actually.
 
After we had our fill of the frigid waters on the Aqua Duck we headed for the Aqua Lab.  The kids had a blast playing in all of the water.  Seeing what all of the different knobs did when they turned them.  There was so much water on the deck of the Aqua Lab that one little girl was using it as her own personal slip and slide.  I wish I could say that I was brave enough to shiver my way through the Aqua Lab, but I stayed behind to take pictures.  With the movement of the ship making it windy as well as chilly our kids didn’t last long before they were ready for some dry cloths and souvenirs shopping.
 
When we made it back to the room we surprised them with their special dessert from Palo.  It was so nice of the people in Palo to send this back to the room for our kids.  It made us feel better about eating a meal without them.  Our oldest son was hungry because he didn’t like what they served in the Oceaneer Lab for lunch.  He said they brought around sandwiches and the sandwiches all had lettuce on them.  This kids thinks that anything green will kill him.  I was proud of him for eating some of it, but he was still hungry and didn’t ask if he could have a different choice or more food.  I’m not sure what they would have done if he had asked for something other than what they were serving or even seconds for that matter.  We’ll have to try it on a future vacation.
 
There was so much to do and see on the ship.  We didn’t go to any of the movies; we really had our heart set on seeing a prem-ear of Wreck It Ralph but we hadn’t heard a word about it pre-earing on the ship.  We had already seen Nemo in 3D and the Avengers.  We didn’t want to see Frankenweenie because it looked kind of sad and our family has dealt with a lot of lost pets this past year and we vacation to escape our unhappy thoughts, not to relive them.  So we shopped the afternoon away and time slipped quickly by.  Before we knew it, it was time to prepare for our semi-formal dinner in Animator’s Palate.
 
We all got ready and went a little early to join the long line of people waiting for family photos.  These were my very favorite photos of the entire trip.  I was so pleased that we waited to get them.
 
We ended up being a little bit late for dinner.  Waiting for us were special "Draw Your Own Character" placemats that we could draw a figure on.  They later picked up those placemats to prepare for the Animation Magic show.  After some of our meal had been served, the lights went down and the show started.  Our hand drawn characters appeared on the screen as Sorcerer Mickey magically led them around in sync with music from Fantasia Aladdin.  The animation show was enjoyable to watch and one of the most amazing things I have ever seen at a dinner show.  We did video the entire thing to share with everyone later.
 
I almost cried tears of joy as they returned the placemats with our artwork on them and even my youngest son’s placemat had an "Offical Disney Animator" seal on it.  He had heard that his artwork could be chosen previous to our visit here.  We did not have much time to complete our character and in his rush he had used too much marker and made a hole in the shoe on his character.  He was so sad because he just knew that his work would not be chosen.  Then when he saw his drawing come to life his little face lit up with his happy smile that goes through his entire body.  When he got his artwork back with the seal on it he was so happy that even I could feel it.  I was so proud of Disney for making magic for my little boy!
 
 
After dinner we headed right to the Walt Disney Theatre to watch the show Believe.  We got seats near the front and enjoyed the show overall.   I was a little disappointed that  they no longer allow photography of their shows.  In the past photography was allowed as long as no flash was used but I’m sure they have their reasons for not allowing it now.
 
After the show ended we got a big surprise.  Cast Members were handing out post card that said Wreck It Ralph would Prem-ear in the Walt Disney Theatre at midnight tonight.    It was also going to be playing during the day tomorrow, but we had a full day scheduled in Castaway Cay.  So we went to our room and changed into our pajamas.  We wandered and shopped a little more and got to the Walt Disney Theater at 11:00pm because we wanted to get good seats.  We waited in line outside the theatre and shared Halloween candy with those around us.  We told them that we were “reverse trick-or-treating” everyone.  We had way too much candy to haul back with us on the airline.
 
We were given 3D glasses on our way into the theatre and chose to sit in the balcony section.  We made the mistake of sitting in the front row of the balcony.  It was difficult to see over the railing especially for our children.  So we sort of sat on the edge of our seats and looked between the railing.  It was not the ideal situation but it worked and we enjoyed the movie.  When it was over we were all ready for a good night’s sleep before our final day spent in Castaway Cay tomorrow.
 
 
Documents
November 1st Personal Navigator
Photo Gallery
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Nervously waiting to ride the Aqua Duck

Playing in the Aqua Lab

 

Sprinting through the water in the Aqua Lab

 

 

 

Aqua Duck where it hangs over the side of the ship.

Family portrait on semi-formal night

The kids humor us with a portrait

Appetizer: Carmel Corn Soup

 

 

Animation Magic show in Animator’s Palate

Credits role of the guest animators

Animator’s Palate drawing

Animator’s Palate drawing official seal

 

Mickey cupcake dessert

 

 

Artwork in Animator’s Palate

 

 

 

Artwork in Animator’s Palate

Towel elephant at turn down along with our tipping envelopes and magic memories certificates for towel folding with our stateroom attendant.

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