April 2, 2015





Kicking back and enjoying the day


Today started with sleeping in. Our port of call today was Cozumel and we did not have anything planned, so there was nothing that pushed us out of bed. Around 9am we finally got up and ready to head down to breakfast. But before we were on our way down we headed to the laundry room to make good use of our FE gift or detergent and drier sheets. We filled one of the washing machines with our laundry and turned it on. There was a digital timer on the machine and we had more than enough time to go down for breakfast. For a change we went to Cariocas today.

We were obviously late as there were more people leaving than coming, but nevertheless we were taken to a table in the middle of the restaurant and a server quickly came to ask what we wanted to drink. Tom ordered some coffee and I just asked for orange juice and some ice water before we walked over to the buffet. We both started out with a fruit plate, pineapple and oranges and a croissant and some jam for myself and watermelon and pineapple and a chocolate croissant for Tom. The fruit were all fresh and tasty, but both, the croissant and chocolate croissant did not taste as fresh as we are used to. Once we had cleaned our plates, we went back to fill another plate with more hearty choices. I had my plate loaded with scrambled eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes, mushrooms and some grilled tomatoes, while Tom’s plate had the same fare I had had plus added hash browns and baked beans. Again the complaint about the food was the same, once you got it on the table and were ready to eat, the food was only lukewarm. But for once we did not mind. The scrambled eggs and potatoes lacked a bit of salt, but that was easily corrected. Breakfast done we walked right back to the laundry room and waited for about 2 minutes until it was done, then reloaded the laundry into a drier, stuck in the drier sheets and turned it on. And back to our room we went. Our stateroom host was busily working in one of the rooms but told us that our room was ready – and it really was. He was just an awesome stateroom host and got rewarded daily with sweet treats.

 The ship had already docked in Cozumel and we sat on the veranda and watched the lifeboats doing a drill, which was quite interesting. Soon it was time to retrieve our laundry and hang it back into the wardrobe. Next we picked up our Fish Extender gift bag and headed out to deliver more gifts and once we were back we freshened up a bit and then headed to Lumiere’s for lunch. We were taken to table at the side of the restaurant and our server quickly introduced himself and his assistant server and they took our drinks order of Diet Cokes. A bread basket filled with slices of baguette and dinner rolls was placed on the table together with a small plate of pre packaged butter.

This was a different menu to the one we had had the day before and Tom ordered the Herb Marinated Salmon served with Honey Mustard Dressing while I ordered the Shrimp Cocktail. Both were very nice and since the restaurant was fairly empty the servers were on hand all the time and even engaged in a little chat about where they were from and how long they had been with DCL. Once we had finished our starters we were quickly served our main courses. Tom had ordered the Steak Frites, a grain fed Sirloin Steak, served with a grilled tomato, French Fries and herbed butter. I had ordered the Captain’s Cobb Salad, which was not finely diced but everything was cut into rather big pieces and the server poured the dressing onto it. Both main courses were very nice. We both had decided on the same dessert, the Apple Strudel, which we had watched being made the day before. This time the Apple Strudel was served with custard and vanilla ice cream. Again, it did not taste like the apple strudel we are used to, but Disney’s version was quite nice as well. Once we had finished our lunch we thanked our servers with a little tip and then left the restaurant. And after a short stop in our stateroom we got ready to get off the ship. We had been to Cozumel on a previous cruise and it wasn’t our favourite port of call, but we needed to get some Coke and wanted to look around a bit, so by early afternoon we got off the ship. It hit us how hot it was, but we braved the heat and headed into town.

When you get off the ship you end up in kind of a mall and we walked around and looked at the souvenirs. We even had a peak into one of the liquor stores and decided to come back for a special tequila if we didn’t find anything else somewhere in town. Then we headed towards the beach promenade. We walked along the shop front, as we wanted to head down to Del Sol, but we soon crossed over to the other side of the street, as all those merchants pulling you into their shop really got to us. So we leisurely strolled down the promenade on the less busy side and finally we made it to Del Sol. Unfortunately there was nothing that really peeked our interest, so we decided to head back to the pier area.

We spotted a Pandora shop and walked over to ask if they had any Cozumel specific beads and they had a pendant, which we had a look at and then finally bought. Within an hour we had made it back to the pier and we walked on a little as we knew there was a “Mega” store, a mall that had a large grocery store on the second floor. We walked through the store, remembering the last time we had been there, when we had been hunting for Nutella for our Palo server. This time we were just browsing through and picked up an item or two. We finally bought some Diet Coke and some Mexican chips to try and take back to our stateroom. Shopping done so far we walked back the short distance to the Pier Mall and Tom went to have a closer look at the Tequilas they had to sell.

He finally found one he liked and I had picked up two bars of chocolate which were high on cocoa content and we headed towards the register. Got in line, waited for a bit and then it was our turn and luck was on our side, as the bottle of Tequila Tom had bought came with two souvenir shot glasses. Everyone loves free gifts and so do we. Loaded with bags we made our way back to the ship. It was nice being greeted with a cold towel and a cool drink at the gangway. And soon we were back in the air conditioned environment of the ship. We walked right to our stateroom, unpacked our new goods and had a shower. Feeling refreshed, we headed to the Cove Café for an afternoon treat.

It was empty so we got a window table, looked through the menu and soon our order was put in. Tom had decided to try the Café Mocha, 1/3 Espresso and Chocolate, 2/3s Steamed Milk and topped with Whipped Cream. I had ordered my favourite, the Frozen Cappuccino, 1/3 Espresso blended with Vanilla ice cream and topped with Whipped Cream. Yummy. We sat and talked about our cruise experience so far and how nice and quiet it was while most people were on excursions. It took us quite a while to finish our drinks but finally we were ready to head back to our stateroom. When we arrived we found the light on the phone blinking, we had a message. So I picked up the receiver and learned that our galley tour had been cancelled.

There were some sick people on the cruise and they did not want to run any risks. Well, we can live with that. We sat on the veranda for a bit and before we knew it, it was time to get ready for a much earlier dinner tonight. Dinner at Palo. 5 to 6 we arrived at the restaurant and had to wait for 5 minutes together with two other couples before we were welcomed and led to a nice table by the window.

Our server was super friendly and let us have a minute to study the drinks menu while he went to get us some water. And we both really found something that interested us and that we wanted to try. Tom ordered the “Palo”, Absolute Pear Vodka, Limoncello, Alexander Grappa, Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice and Agave Nectar, while I wanted to try the “Limone Basilico”, Absolute Citron Vodka, Limoncello and Freshly Muddled Basil Leaves. And while Ritesh went to get our drinks we started to think about what to eat. Just a few minutes later he returned with two tiny cocktail shakers, shook them at the table and strained the drinks directly into our glasses. It was very impressive to watch him.

Drinks on the table Ritesh placed a basket of Pane Casalingo, Freshly Baked Bread from their Pizza Oven and then he started to fill a plate with Palo’s Cold Antipasti Specialties presented on their Antipasti Carrello, Prosciutto, Bresaola, Parmesan Reggiano, Marinated Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Grilled Red and Yellow Peppers and artichokes served with Rosemary Oils and Aged Balsamic Vinegar. We were in Antipasti heaven. Ritesh took our order and just came by to ask if we liked our Antipasti and if we needed some more. We had just finished our plate when our starters arrived. Tom had ordered his favourite, the Fritto di Calamari, Lightly-crusted Calamari served with Deep-friend Cherry Peppers which are to die for. My choice was a favourite as well, the Mozzarella and Plum Tomatoes, a Modern Interpretation of a Traditional dish. So after taking some photos we started to enjoy our delicious starters. The one thing about Palo is, that they pace you a bit and we had asked Ritesh not to hurry our food too much. So, it took a few minutes after we had finished our starters until we were served the Palate Cleanser, Lime Sorbet. This is one of the best sorbets I have ever had, tart, but not too tart, really refreshing.

Again, a few minutes later our main courses were served. Tom had ordered the Osso Bucco, Slow roasted centre cut Veal Shank with Gremolata and Risotto Milanese, which looked delicious with deep fried leek on top and I had stuck with my all time favourite main course at Palo, the Beef Tenderloin “Palo”, Topped with melted Gorgonzola Cheese. But Ritesh had another surprise for us. He wanted us to try the Lobster and Mascarpone Ravioli, with a light Truffle Beurre Blanc, which he placed in the middle with a huge smile. The food was delicious and we slowly enjoyed every single morsel of it. While we had still been eating Ritesh had asked if we needed the dessert menu or if we would go for the Chocolate Souffle. There was no need for a menu as we both opted for the soufflé. And it was perfectly timed as we had a few minutes to digest until our server came out with the wonderful Chocolate Souffle. He placed it in front of us and then proceeded to open it up and pour Vanilla and Chocolate Sauce into it. Sweet decadent and oh chocolate heaven. We had just enjoyed the first spoonful when Ritesh came back to our table and put another plate in the middle of the table.

He wanted us to try Palo’s Homemade Tiramisu, Layered coffee-infused Ladyfingers with Mascarpone Cheese. Dessert overload for both of us. Once we were done with everything we asked Ritesh for our bill, but he said that we could not leave just yet. He returned with another plate, which thankfully did not have any food on it, but it was a great birthday wish from the Palo team. It was so nice to see. Then he brought over the Limoncello and Prosecco topped with Lime Sorbet and finally our bill which had been “picked up” by  Mickey as this was one of our Platinum Castaway Club perks. We said our goodbyes and mentioned to Ritesh that we would be back for brunch the next day and would love to have him as our server again to which he gladly agreed.

Once we had left the restaurant we headed back to our stateroom where our stateroom host had already turned down the beds and left us another fun towel animal. Tonight was Pirate Night and there were lots of pirates all about, but we needed some time to chill before the fireworks, which were still about two hours away. We decided not to join the masses on the open decks right now, but to enjoy the night air and sit out on the veranda. Since we needed some ice for our Prosecco, Tom offered to go up and get two cups from the drinks station. He was gone for a really long time and when he came back he told me that today the whole drink area had been roped off, there had been a line and a cast member was serving the people. And since he was on his own most of the time it took forever for the line to move. We both were very surprised, as in all our cruises we had never experienced anything like it, but we did not give it much thought. The evening was nice and warm and we sat on the veranda, listening to the music and laughter from up above but we were pretty tired as well. So we just gave in and laid on the bed and watched some TV until the fireworks were about to start. We then walked outside and watched them from our veranda. Not all of it could be seen, but we could see enough and hear enough to have a good impression and we were able to just sit there and sip a drink. We finished our drinks and then just went right to bed. It had been another great day.