Trip Report Marriage is a DREAM!

Hi and welcome to our honeymoon TR! :joyfull: Most of you know me by now, but I'll do some quick introductions for any newcomers!

I'm Brittany and this is my husband (EEK! ๐Ÿ˜), Dylan. We are from Pennsylvania, but moved to Florida 2 years ago for jobs, sunshine, and Disney! We are teachers in the same district.. I teach 1st grade and Dylan teaches high school (US History and AP US History), but when we first moved here Dylan worked full time at the Disney Palm & Magnolia golf courses. He still works there part time, mostly to maintain his golf and Disney CM perks. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We got engaged in the Magic Kingdom just before moving to FL, and it was only fitting that our wedding be Disney themed as well. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the most perfect day ever!
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Prior to moving to FL, I always imagined that my honeymoon would be at WDW. That didn't make much sense seeing as we can go whenever we want, so we thought, "Why not a Disney cruise?" It got us away, I could get my Disney fix, and most importantly, we could RELAX! A little while after we had made that decision, we discovered that Dylan gets a discounted rate on cruises... I'm talking 50% off discounts. :oops: Disney offers these discounts to CM's in an effort to fill the staterooms that weren't booked by regular guests. We couldn't believe it, but we were thrilled! The only drawback is that to get the discounted rate, we would have to wait until the last minute to book, which meant we wouldn't know anything about our destination, length of cruise, which ship, sail dates, NADA until it was nearly time to sail. We officially booked our cruise about a month before our sail date. So where are we going?

July 7-12, 2019
Disney Dream
5-Day Cruise: Nassau, 2 stops at Castaway Cay, and a day at sea


We arrived at Port Canaveral around 1pm for our 1:45pm boarding time. There were CM's stationed at each "checkpoint" to guide us and tell us where to go next.. everybody was super friendly and helpful and it was an extremely smooth process! We were advised by friends over in the DCL forum to just park at the port since it was our first cruise and we wouldn't save that much money by parking elsewhere. The convenience of parking at the port did prove to be worth the price!

Helloooooo beautiful!
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We entered the terminal at got in line for check in. We had a bit of a wait, but there were a ton of CM's working at the desk and they were pretty efficient at moving guests through the line. Soon we were all checked in and sent to board the ship immediately!

We asked an older woman in front of us to take our picture here, and she seemed very annoyed by the request. She also did a poor job of actually capturing what we wanted a picture of. ๐Ÿ™„ I tried not to let it bother me, but I wasn't completely successful lol. I would just like to think that if I saw a young couple wearing shirts indicating that they were on their honeymoon, I would be eager to put my own needs aside for just a few moments to capture an important memory for them. It's not a huge deal, we still have the picture.. but I was still bothered.
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I decided to say "Hakuna Matata" and move on... we were about to go on a Disney cruise! :joyfull: We continued along and stopped for our pre-boarding picture. We decided against paying for the expensive photo package.. I feel as if this is probably frowned upon but I took pictures of all of the PhotoPass pictures on my phone. :angelic:

A quick sidebar about the cruise PhotoPass - There are large bookshelves on Deck 4 of the ship that contain folders disguised as books. You scan your Key to the World card and it tells you what color, character, and number your photos can be found in and then you locate that "book" on the shelf. For example, ours was yellow Donald Duck 16. Inside the books, you'll find printed copies of all of the PP pictures you've had taken in varying sizes. We were a little confused about this for a few reasons. Isn't it a waste of money to print pictures for people that didn't purchase the package? And how do they prevent people who didn't purchase the pictures from taking them anyway? These are the questions that haunt me! Lol.

Another thing about cruise PP - the CM's will not take pictures on your phone. We asked at Castaway and she said that she's not allowed, so we had to have another guest take it for us. I thought that this was super odd considering the PP photographers at WDW are able to take pictures on phones? The character attendants were able to take pictures at meet and greets, but the photographers would not.
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Anyway, moving on! We walked onto the ship and were announced as the Reinsel family. ๐Ÿฅฐ I don't think I'll ever get tired of hearing that! We stepped into the atrium and though it was stunning, I was surprised at how small it was! I pictured it being much more grand, but it was beautiful all the same!
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We stopped to say hello to Donald before continuing on to explore the rest of the ship!
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blreinsel

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Tuesday, July 9 cont.

After returning to the ship, we dropped our stuff off in the room and decided to go spend some time in the Rainforest. We stopped for a few pictures along the way. I meant to come back to try this shot in different lighting, but we never ended up doing it.
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We spent about an hour in the Rainforest - I read on a lounge chair and Dylan spent most of the time in the saunas and showers.
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After leaving the spa, we went to the upper deck and alternated between the lounge chairs and adult splash pad.
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Soon, it was time to head back to the room to get cleaned up for the evening's activities. We decided to grab some sweet treats for the walk back to the room. Dylan got a free cone from the machine, but I stopped at Vanellope's. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I got a scoop of Candy Explosion and a scoop of Chocolate Covered Strawberry. They were both very good and it was only $5, which I thought was a decent value. Again, I meant to get back there to try some other things before the end of the week, but I didn't make it there. Next time. :joyfull:
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A few pictures of Nassau before we left port.
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We popped into some shops briefly before heading to dinner. I found these adorable boys that I'm still sad I didn't end up buying. ๐Ÿ˜
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blreinsel

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday, July 9 cont.

I was really looking forward to dinner tonight because I had read so many great things about Animator's Palate! It was a beautiful evening at sea. :)
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There was so much to see as soon as we walked in the door, and I really wished that I had gotten to walk around the restaurant to look at all of the details.
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Even the menus were amazing!
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We started with some bread before ordering our appetizers.
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blreinsel

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday, July 9 cont.

Dylan had the Smoked Salmon Tartar with Dill, Capers, Onions, Pickles, and Horseradish Cream.
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I had the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes - Pasta purses filled with truffle-scented cheese and coated with a delicate champagne sauce. This was THE BEST thing that I ate all week long. I still think about these frequently and I would do just about anything to be able to eat them whenever I want. ๐Ÿ˜‹ I actually considered just ordering more and that being my meal.
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I also had the Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup with bacon bits and chives. It was pretty good, but truthfully nothing could compare to the first dish lol.
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For entrees, Dylan had the Ginger Teriyaki Dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin served on Wasabi mashed potatoes with bok choy and a tamarind barbecue reduction.
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I had the Pennete Bolognese - Pennete pasta mixed with a rich bolognese sauce garnished with shaved parmesan reggiano and toasted garlic ciabatta. It was... fine. I honestly didn't eat much of it and was disappointed that I had chosen it. I wasn't hungry enough to order another dish and figured I'd make up for it with dessert. ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Speaking of dessert...
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We ordered 3 to share, starting with the Lemon Icebox Pie.
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Cookies n' Cream sundae
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Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake - They were all pretty good, but nothing that really stood out.
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Overall, the meal was good but wasn't a huge standout aside from my appetizer. The appeal here is definitely the special effects and decor. We enjoyed watching Crush and actually got to interact with him for a few minutes; he made Dylan tell me that he loved me in his best whale voice. :hilarious: Our servers, Jude and Marta, really came alive tonight and it was obvious that they were starting to get comfortable with all of us. The following night was pirate night and Marta told the table that she and Jude wouldn't be there for dinner. Jude immediately was like "what? Yes we will?" Marta yelled at him and told him that he was supposed to play along and had ruined her joke. ๐Ÿ˜‚ We told them that we actually wouldn't be at dinner the following night because we had reservations, and Marta told us that although she and Jude would be dressed as pirates, Dylan and I should try the "dressy pirate" look instead so we weren't turned away from dinner. :joyfull:
 

blreinsel

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday, July 9 cont.

Jude noticed me taking a picture of the walls outside of the dining room and ran over to take one of Dylan and I together. Disney service at its finest!
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Notice that I finally bought a lanyard to carry my Key to the World card and ID so I didn't have to dig it out of Dylan's wallet every time I needed it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was an easy splurge because I knew that I could use it for my ID at school too (which I have!), and future cruises as well. :joyfull:
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We stopped by our room briefly before heading to Evolution for the evening.
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We bumped into Tony on our way inside and I took the opportunity to grab a picture with my new favorite CM. :joyfull:
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Once the evening got started, Tony introduced us to another CM that would be helping out with the entertainment tonight - Zack! He asked Zack to share something interesting about himself with the audience, and it was clear that Tony had done this to him before. He shared that he used to be a member of the children's music group The Wiggles (Zack later told me that he was an understudy for one of the main Wiggles, but it was still super cool!) Tony called him "Zack the green Wiggle" the rest of the night/week. ๐Ÿ˜‚ He was constantly making jokes about Wiggles songs and even made him get up and sing one of them ("sing the one about the fruit salad or something like that").
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The first game of the evening was a scavenger hunt where Tony gave a clue and you had to find something in the room that matched the clue and bring it to him (for example, bring me something with Mickey Mouse on it). I forget what the actual clue was, but an older gentleman handed me his hat to take to Tony to get our point. When I took it to him, Tony told me that he was actually going to keep the hat because he liked it (it was covered in Disney pins). The man ended up running onto the stage and taking it off of Tony's table and told him he couldn't have it. :hilarious: That being said, Tony told me that I was disqualified because he wasn't able to keep the hat. For the rest of the game, every time I would run up with another item, he would say "I don't know why you keep trying to play, you were disqualified!" :joyfull:

The next part of the evening was a performance by JunNK (look them up on YouTube, they're amazing). They were super talented and entertaining to watch - I was a little disappointed that we had missed their first performance earlier in the week!
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There was one portion of the show that they brought a man up front with them and gave him a glass bottle to "play." They would cue him every time he was supposed to blow into it and he could NOT do it so the bottle made a sound. ๐Ÿ˜‚ It made the whole segment that much funnier! This was before they brought him onstage with them, but you get the idea!
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But my favorite part of the show?
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This poor guy. :hilarious: One of the members of JunNK came into the audience looking around for someone to "volunteer," and as soon as I saw him look at Dylan I knew he was doomed. :joyfull: He looked at me and said, "Why is it always me!?" as he was led onstage. ๐Ÿ˜‚ So many people (including Tony and some of the other CMs) commented throughout the evening about how Dylan was onstage as much as the people actually hired by Disney to entertain lol. He and the other guy chosen to go onstage had to learn an embarrassing dance to Baby Got Back and then perform it while JunNK played the music. I had tears from laughing so hard, but he did great! He really got into it and I appreciate that he's always such a good sport with stuff like this. :inlove:

Tony came back out following JunNK's performance for 80's music trivia. I had no interest in the trivia itself, but I wanted to stay solely for more of the Tony Show lol. He did not disappoint. This is a terrible picture, but he ran across the room and jumped onto the pole, wrapping his legs and arms around it claiming it as "his pole." :hilarious:
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We headed back to the room following trivia and got to bed so we were well rested for our second chance at Castaway Cay!
 

Mrhappyplace

Well-Known Member
Tuesday, July 9 cont.
There was so much to see as soon as we walked in the door, and I really wished that I had gotten to walk around the restaurant to look at all of the details.
Actually you can walk around the restaurants (and take pictures of course) when they aren't serving, something I found out while walking around in the late night/early morning hours on our first cruise. @myhappyplace's trip report if you want to see.

I had the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes - Pasta purses filled with truffle-scented cheese and coated with a delicate champagne sauce. This was THE BEST thing that I ate all week long. I still think about these frequently and I would do just about anything to be able to eat them whenever I want. ๐Ÿ˜‹ I actually considered just ordering more and that being my meal.

Definitely one of the best things I've had on any of our cruises. As my DW says below I once asked for a double order but for some reason it didn't taste as good to me that time, perhaps because it was a larger portion IDK.


DH has actually ordered a double portion of the pasta pursettes as his main course!! AP does have one of my fave desserts, the crunchy walnut cake.

You are only half right, it was still my app. :p
 

blreinsel

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
DH has actually ordered a double portion of the pasta pursettes as his main course!! AP does have one of my fave desserts, the crunchy walnut cake.

Honestly that's probably what I'll do next time. :hilarious: It's just SO good! Our servers raved about the walnut cake, but I'm not a big nuts person so it didn't appeal to me!

Actually you can walk around the restaurants (and take pictures of course) when they aren't serving, something I found out while walking around in the late night/early morning hours on our first cruise. @myhappyplace's trip report if you want to see.



Definitely one of the best things I've had on any of our cruises. As my DW says below I once asked for a double order but for some reason it didn't taste as good to me that time, perhaps because it was a larger portion IDK.




You are only half right, it was still my app. :p

Your photos are stunning! You captured the beauty of the ship and the restaurants perfectly! Thank you so much for sharing your pictures and the tip. :joyfull:

LOL! Wouldn't want any of that food to go to waste. ;)
 

blreinsel

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wednesday, July 10

We slept in for a little while this morning and then headed to Cabanas for breakfast. I was loving getting to eat Mickey waffles everyday.. I literally only eat waffles when they're Mickey shaped. :joyfull:
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We disembarked and rode the trams to Serenity Bay. Remember those two spa vouchers we had gotten? It was time to cash in! :cool: We had booked a couples massage in a cabana! This isn't something that we would ever do, and really wasn't something we anticipated doing on this trip, but what better time than our honeymoon!? The cabana massages were actually less expensive than getting massages on the ship, so it was really a no brainer.
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Our massage lasted for 50 minutes and was incredible- being able to listen to the waves crash on the shore and truly relax was worth every single penny. We loved the entire experience and I'm really glad that we decided to do it. There was actually an issue with our bill (they tried to charge us more than the price we were given at Senses), so we had to get that fixed later. Lucky for us, we had kept the flyer that had the cabana massage prices on it, so they did honor that lower price.

After our massages, we walked around to Serenity Bay, grabbed some drinks, and went to claim some chairs for the rest of the day. It pains me to look at the pictures of this stunning island, just days after Dorian wreaked havoc on the Bahamas. Even so, I would love to be able to relax here on a regular basis. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ž
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We went to grab lunch at the BBQ place, which turned out to be subpar. I was really disappointed, both in the variety and the quality of the offerings themselves. Maybe it was because we didn't go until it was almost time for them to close up for the day, but I was really unimpressed. I had been looking forward to eating here, but it didn't do much for me. The only choices were burgers, hot dogs, or ribs (which I don't like anywhere). A random side note, the birds here were awful and very bold lol. I realize this isn't anybody's fault, but it's something to be aware of! If you aren't moving, they will take your food.. even if you're sitting right there. They are not afraid. :hilarious:
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We tried the mango and blueberry soft serve, and that was good!
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And then, just for #tonyfromspain, I had to try the chocolate chipssss cookies with ice cream! Now this, my friends, was delicious. Tony does not lie. When I showed him this picture that evening, he fell on the floor, completely overwhelmed by his excitement. :joyfull:
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We returned to our chairs and a CM came by shortly thereafter and took our drink orders. We alternated between relaxing on the chairs and sitting in the water for the rest of the afternoon. When we were in the water, there were these silver fish that kept swimming all around us and even right into our laps!

I was extremely reluctant to return to the ship, and we ended up being some of the last people on the beach (there were only about 10 of us total). I was bummed that the weather had been so yucky on our first day, but I was extremely grateful that we had this second, beautiful day. Castaway Cay is actually what dreams are made of. :inlove:
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One of my favorite pictures from the whole cruise. ๐Ÿฅฐ
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โคโคโค
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blreinsel

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wednesday, July 10 cont.

We headed back to the ship around 4pm to get cleaned up and ready for dinner. We also ordered some room service to hold us over until dinner.
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Room service was pretty quick and the food was good! The CM brought it right into our room and unwrapped/uncovered everything for us, so the service was great too!
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After we left the room, I poked around in the shops again for a little while. I loved both of these ear designs, but I resisted. :angelic:
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Dylan went to Senses to take care of the mistake on our bill from earlier, and I paused on the deck to watch the Pirate Night entertainment.
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blreinsel

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wednesday, July 10 cont.

We made our way upstairs to Deck 12 and soon we arrived at our dinner location for the night!
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We checked in and were asked to wait just a few minutes until our table was ready. We sat down at Meridian to wait, but chose to not order drinks. It was a really cool lounge!
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We didn't wait too long before being led inside to our table and were introduced to our server, Adolfo. He was WONDERFUL all evening and truly made our Palo experience top notch. He was so kind and polite, and explained all of our dishes to us in great detail. We had a table next to the windows, and the view was beautiful! I wish that we would have dined earlier so that we could have enjoyed this view for even longer.
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Adolfo started us off with some bread and antipasti. This was the first time we had ever eaten anything like this, so we felt very fancy lol. :joyfull: It was all delicious and we struggled to stop eating it so we didn't spoil our actual meal!
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We enjoyed our "snacks" while we perused the appetizer menu.
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I chose the Soft Potato Gnocchi (tossed in piennolo tomato sauce, garnished with kale and caramelized grape tomatoes). It was AMAZING!
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Dylan went with the Fresh Arugula Salad, which he thought was strange, but good lol.
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I believe that we got the palette cleanser between our appetizer and main course, and it was really tasty! Soon, our main dishes were being delivered to the table!
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blreinsel

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wednesday, July 10 cont.

For entrees, I went with the Grilled Prime Beef Tenderloin (with Pancetta potato, sautรฉed spinach, and a choice of Barolo Chinato wine sauce or Gorgonzola cheese sauce). This. Was. AMAZING. I ended up getting a little bit of both kinds of sauce, but I favored the wine sauce. I cannot say enough great things about this dish... it was incredible!
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Dylan had the Pappardelle con Aragosta (Pappardelle pasta tossed in lobster tarragon sauce with leeks, white truffle oil, and grilled lobster). He really enjoyed his dish as well!
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At some point during the meal, Adolfo had discovered that we were on our honeymoon, so he brought us this beautiful surprise while we waited for our dessert to arrive. ๐Ÿฅฐ
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He also brought us coffee to sip on while we waited, and it actually went perfectly with our desserts when they did arrive! We decided to go with one of each type of souffle to share and oh. my. goodness. They were both INCREDIBLE. We were soooo full, but we were forcing ourselves to keep eating because it was that good lol.
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As we were finishing our desserts, Adolfo returned to ask us if we drink alcohol. He soon returned with a shot glass full of some sort of yummy mixture for each of us lol. All I remember is that it had brandy in it... @lostpro9het may be able to help me out here?
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There was a photographer that came around at some point during the meal and took a picture of each table (this happened a few times during the week, and it was always awkward lol).
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We finished up our meal and Adolfo said that he would walk us out. On our way out, he asked if we planned to watch the fireworks and suggested that we watch them from the rooftop balcony next to Meridian. I've obviously never seen the show from the main stage, but I will say that this view was pretty good. And best of all? No people. ;)

Some subpar firework pictures for you. ๐Ÿ™ƒ
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After the show, we stopped for a picture outside of the restaurant before heading to our next destination for the evening.
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Some final thoughts on Palo... We absolutely LOVED it. The food was phenomenal and is a great value, given the quality and exclusivity of the restaurant. Although we didn't have any trouble with kids in the main dining rotation restaurants, it was still nice to dine completely sans kids for a night. The pacing of the meal was perfect and it didn't feel like we were there for nearly as long as we were. As I mentioned before, Adolfo was a fantastic server and truly made the evening a memorable one. We will 100% without a doubt return to Palo in the future. I can't recommend it enough!
 

blreinsel

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wednesday, July 10 cont.

We stopped by our room briefly before heading to Evolution to watch others embarrass themselves with karaoke. :joyfull: We chatted with Tony outside the lounge for a few minutes before going inside to claim our couch. The bartender called us by name and asked if we wanted our "usual." I was feeling pretty special at that point... though I'm not sure if being regulars at a bar/lounge is the best thing to be known for. :hilarious: Either way, it was nice to be recognized!

Today's Drink of the Day:
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Quite a few people got up and sang, making for a very entertaining evening! It was hilarious to listen to Tony comment on the performances... he did not hold back. ๐Ÿ˜‚ He told these poor boys that they sounded like his Texas Chicken and then made it squawk at them. :hilarious:
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We got the opportunity to stand and chat with Tony and Zach for a little while after the entertainment had ended for the evening and I had to grab a picture with "Zach the green Wiggle." :joyfull: If you're familiar with The Wiggles, this picture will make a lot more sense to you lol.
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We bid Tony and Zach farewell and headed back to our room to get ready for bed!
 

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