Magic-al Thanksgiving Cruise - Princesses and Palo

After a brief dip in the pool, Kylee and Chris started getting a little blue around the lips (the water in the pools is heated and warm, but Disney still cannot control the air temperature on deck, so it was a bit chilly for swimming).
Mickey Slide is great for the four and up crowd!
We headed back to 5020 and swapped the kids back into their play clothes. Chris bounced around in enthusiasm at the prospect of getting to go to the kids club for real. Kylee seemed less sure, but we promised we'd pick her up so she could meet the princesses in the atrium before lunch.
After we checked the kids into the club, Ben and I walked on deck four for a little then got prettied up in preparation for our brunch reservation. We were planning on lounging around for a bit, but the queue for the Princess Gathering already seemed to be getting daunting around 10:30.
I left Ben to hold our spot and scurried off to the club to retrieve my princess fan. She burst into tears on seeing me because she did not want to leave the Luau in the Oceaneer Club to go meet the princesses.
Let me give you a second to let that sink in.
She did not want to leave the Luau in the Oceaneer Club to go meet the PRINCESSES.
A bit of background: Kylee talked about nothing but meeting the princesses for the very first time from the minute she found out that we were going on this cruise. She liked imagining which princesses she might meet. She spends about half of her play time at home dressing up and playing princess. I don't think she's realized that it is different when she's on board or at the Disney store, as we already call her "Princess" at home. And yet whatever they were doing in the club wasn't worth leaving.
I got her into her Snow White dress and about halfway through meeting the lineup (Belle, Snow White, Tiana, Cinderella and Aurora) she calmed down enough to tell Tiana she was her favorite princess and get some cute pictures with Cinderella.
Asking how old she is (three)
 
Talking about their dresses
Princess Gatherings can draw quite the crowd.
The line wound its way most of the way down the deck toward the Promenade Lounge (later in the cruise, the lines weren't as crazy). Kylee insisted on heading right back to the clubs, we confirmed her lunch with the counselor at check in and scooted off to Palo. Palo is the adults only dining venue on the Disney ships. Ben and I loved brunch.
Sylvester, our server, walked us through the buffet and pointed out the vegan options for me (flatbreads with olive tapenade, salads, roast veggies, hummus, fruits and much more) and then seated me, assuring me that I could ask for anything and the chef would be thrilled to work something lovely for me. Ben got called by the Oceaneer Club staff during the buffet tour, as they were rechecking that Kylee's lunch special order was arranged (and asking that we not order peanut butter to the club for future requests). Sylvester stopped back by to present us with our complimentary champagne (we'd said we don't drink when he'd first offered, so he brought us nonalcoholic sparkling cider, which tasted bubbly and cold and apple-y)
He asked if Ben knew what hot dish he'd like, and he ordered the Grape Gorgonzola Pizza and I think the Chicken Parmegiana. I told Sylvester I'd try whatever the chef felt like making. He smiled and took to the kitchen with our orders. I picked at my flatbreads and artichokes and olives and fruit salad. All excellent food but they were completely forgotten with the arrival of a perfect spinach onion pizza.
Seriously delicious and crisp pizza that had with a lovely balance of flavors it was only interrupted by the arrival of this garlic slightly sweet pasta.
And these roast veggies lightly dressed in balsamic vinaigrette.
My main problem was which to put in my mouth first and I happily took tastes back and forth across my three options. I think the pizza was the best or at least it disappeared fastest. Ben loved his Grape Gorgonzola Pizza but the time I was able to refocus and remember to photograph it, this was all that was left:



He says it is indescribably weird and delicious and a must try. I think it ranked highest on his food all trip. Ben headed back to the buffet to load up on some pastry and dessert morsels.
Pretty nearly everything on the dessert and pastry buffets involves butter in some way or another, but Sylvester showed up with this:
Oh, my, goodness. Very slightly sweetened berry reduction on a warm pizza with a very light sprinkling of powdered sugar. I think it contained a tiny pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. I know I loved every bit of it. Before I'd made much headway, he returned with a little fun bonus dessert as well. Strawberry, Basil and Blackberries Sorbet.
Very Sweet. Very Good. Very Gone. And at this point I nearly started crying because I was full but still had two slices of the berry pizza left. Sylvester boxed it up and we headed off to collect the children for the afternoon.
This post is Part 4 of an Ongoing Trip Report Covering Our Thanksgiving Cruise 2012

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