Day 7: 1st day at sea.

Today was our first sea day on the ship. Since we had brunch scheduled for 11am today we figured we'd just have a lazy morning and sleep in. Then I realized that I was officially old. Sleeping in for me is waking up at 7:30am. I later found out that my dad was up real early too. He was out walking the deck while my mom slept until 9:30am. It's really weird when your parent starts sleeping in later than you. Anyway. I woke up at 7:30am and had a semi relaxed time getting dressed and ready for Palo. I say semi relaxed because there is one part of cruise that I detest. For those who don't know me too well... I am a ironing freak. I iron everyday, everything I wear. I even iron jeans & sweatshirts. On the ship irons are "not allowed" in the stateroom. Most ships have laundry rooms that have an iron in them, Disney does. However, there is almost always a line AND if you're an ironing professional, like myself, the thought of using a communal iron is overwhelming. Not happening. The only other options for ironing on board is to send them out. The prices aren't bad. Pressing service is half the price of dry cleaning. The dry cleaning on board is really cheap too... compared to NY at least. Shirts for dry cleaning are $3.50 & pants are $4.25 so to get a shirt pressed would be $1.75. The only problem is that even if I sent my stuff out yesterday & even paid extra for rush it would not make it by my 11am Palo reservation. What did I do? I brought my own travel iron. Yup, I did & I have for all 8 of my cruises. I have never gotten in trouble for it & I've never even been spoken to about it, even when I leave it out for my stateroom host to see. Now if you ask uptight cruising enthusiasts they would be stoning be right now, but they need to relax just a tad. It's an iron, not a bomb. Seriously. I've had people freak out on me about bringing my travel iron (with auto shut off) on board because I'm endangering their lives because I am now a fire risk. Meanwhile these people bring onboard flat irons. News Flash: That is exactly the same technology... but actually it's like you're bring two irons on! Shocking, I know. They'll also bring curling irons AND they'll smoke on board. I'm getting the evil eye over a travel iron while they're bringing matches on board. Yeah, okay. The best part is when they go on & on about how they're on vacation and they don't care what people think when they see them on wrinkles. Yada, yada, yada. Yeah, I don't care what people think of me at all, I do, however, want the pictures that I spent $400 on to look wrinkle free! I digress.
So I proudly took out my travel iron and it's like Disney even planned on people ironing in their room. They have a coffee table that goes up & down kinda like an ironing board. I lay a towel on that & presto... comforts of home. So I ironed a bunch of my stuff & managed to not burn down the ship in the process. Can you believe it?? That's talent! Then I headed off to meet my parents on the top deck, deck 10 aft (back), for our amazing brunch. Our waiter from last night, don't ask me to remember how to spell his name, was at the door waiting for us. He brought us to our table and then fun began! Palo brunch is probably, no it is, the best meal I have ever eaten! It's amazing. Basically the appetizers and desserts are buffet and then you order your main course and pizzas. This isn't your TGI Fridays though. The appetizers are things like fresh crab legs & claws (already cracked open) mozzarella & tomatoes, caviar, cheeses, all kinds of antipasti, scallops, danishes, stolen bread, hot cinnamon bun, then a bunch of stuff that I wouldn't even know the name of or how to spell. Then they bring you a pizza. We had the pesto, sausage. It was to die for, The pizza crust is paper thin... actually more like cardstock, but you get the idea. Then we ordered our entree. It was brunch so there were breakfast entrees & lunch entrees. They had pancakes with fresh whipped cream in between each one, a frittata (an open faced omelet) & then three different types of eggs benedict. I forget the names I think one was eggs julienne & that one had spinach, then the regular one & then one with salmon. My dad order the regular eggs benedict- so predictable. Then on the lunch side there is my personal favorite & what both my mom & I ordered, chicken parmesan on a bed of parmesan polenta. To die for. There were also other options... veal something, tuna, another type of fish, a veggie lasagna I think. I don't know. I wasn't really paying attention. I remembered that chicken parmesan from when I had it 3 years ago before even walking in, so I wasn't really paying attention. After all that amazing food it was time to eat more & have dessert back up at the buffet. I'm not going to even try and list them all. The ones I had were amazing!  
After Palo we rolled ourselves down to deck 3 aft for our special Disney Vacation Club Member Celebration. This ship holds 2,000 passengers, we're not full & we had 500 DVC members on board! So I guess we weren't the only ones who decided to go one this cruise for "free". At this "celebration" they have trivia for prizes, they tell you the deals they're offering if you add on more points and then we got to see a video of the newest DVC resort that is being built in Hawaii. The resort looks beautiful! I've been to the area they're building it and it's gorgeous! I can't wait for it to be done!      
After the DVC meet we headed back up to the room to change- we had to be in resort casual for Palo & didn't have the time to change before the DVC meet. After changing my mom & I headed to the Walt Disney Theater to see a pretty popular cast member do a talk. This guy is not just a cast member at Disney World, but a character illustrator. He's been drawing the characters for 30 years! You know the arch you go under once you are on Disney property? It had the fab 5. He drew all of those characters. He also has drawn every park map for the last 30 years. His name is Don "Ducky" Williams. He has to have the most amazing story of how he got the coveted job, starting with a letter to Walt when he was 10... & Walt actually wrote back! He still has the letter. Basically he told his story of becoming a cast member while drawing 16 different characters. At the end they raffled all 16 off. I of course did not win. Oh well.
After that we found my dad sleeping on a chair on the Promenade deck. We sent him to the movie theater to see Prince of Persia while my mom & I when to the future sales desk and booked a 4 day cruise on the brand new ship, the Disney Dream. We're going to sail out on October 23, 2011- my birthday! Booking onboard is always best because they give you all kinds of deals. By booking on board we only had to pay a $100 deposit versus $500. We also received onboard credit of $100 for this cruise & if I remember right some onboard credit for that cruise as well. It's a great deal and the bigger the cruise you book the more incentives you get. 
After that my mom & I attended the art auction. That's a fun experience even if you don't plan on buying anything. Next we headed back to our room to get ready for dinner & the show. Tonight is our first of 2 formal nights. To save on luggage (ha!) we rented my dad a tux on board. He looked so cute. We got all dolled up, went down & took some pictures, then went to the theater to see a b-way style show, Twice Charmed. It's a new take on the Cinderella story- what if both glass slippers broke. After the cute show we headed to see the pictures we had taken so far and I ordered the photo cd. 
Next it was on to dinner were we met our waiters. On the Disney ships there are three different main restaurants that you go to on a rotation at night. Each night you're in a different one but your waiters follow you. It's nice 'cause you get to know them. We have some fun waiters. We've been laughing non stop. Our head waiter (we call "Z" 'cause no one can pronounce his name) is really nice. Our assistant waiter is so much fun! His name is Renaldo and he has a laugh that is so funny. He could say something serious, but if he laughed after we'd all be hysterical! He's great! After our dinner we went up and changed and headed to the theater to see the ventriloquist do an adults only show. I thought he was funny when we saw him last night, but after tonight he has got to be the funniest comedian I have ever seen! Now I love comedians. My brother & I would go to tons of shows. We even saw Dane Cook at Caroline's in the city before he was known. We've seen a ton of comedians, but I have never laughed as hard AND been amazing by his talent so much! Youtube him or try and find his website- you won't be sorry. It was awesome. His name is Jimmy Tamley. He's from the UK. He was great and the best part was when his "puppet's" arm broke and the problem was it was a boxer and he was in the middle of a routine telling how he was boxing in a match. It was hysterical. Then as he's trying to continue with a boxer with only one arm working & then the puppet's shorts fell down. The whole place lost it including Jimmy Tamley. He was amazing on his feet. I think that's why I enjoyed him even more. He's truly funny- he doesn't just have a set, he can improvise amazingly. LOVED him! He has another show tonight but it's geared towards kids really and then he gets off the ship tomorrow. I'll be watching for him when I get home. 

A clip of Jimmy Tamley from our cruise...

After that it was time to call it a night. It was 12am and we have a tour with a meeting time of 7:30am tomorrow morning. We're going inside the Rock of Gibraltar!
Talk to you soon!

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