Friends...Mon, Day 4

Today we had our special Palo Brunch at 11:30am so we had a very relaxed morning sleeping in and for me, blogging. We got ourselves ready pretty quick and decided to head up to Palo a little early. They seated us right away. We had an American waiter, Dylan from Tennessee which was unusual. He was very nice and easy to talk to. He took us to the the buffet area and gave us the tour of all the amazing food, I felt that the selection on the Fantasy, while still very good, was not as much as on the older ships. Maybe it’s me, but I felt like there wasn’t as much variety. Nonetheless it was still to die for. We had all kinds of goodies. Matt even tried a seared Ahi Tuna steak and didn’t hate it. Matt is trying to get more into seafood. 

After the buffet selection of pastries, fresh berries and cream, shrimp, crab legs, scallops, artichoke hearts, caprese salad, cheeses, meats etc. we ordered our pizza to share. We went with half sausage and half blue cheese and grape. It was amazing. Next Matt had a cold strawberry soup that he loved. I didn’t want to waste my appetite, since my mom’s been making that soup for us since her first stay at the Grand Floridian where that soup originated. For our entrees, I of course had the to-die-for Chicken Parm, which I finally got the recipe for and Matt ordered the fritata. I had gone on and on about the chicken parm to him but he still decided to go with something else. After one bite of mine, he was blown away. He was disappointed he didn’t get the chicken parm and was already too full to order it. He made sure the waiter gave me the recipe.  After that it was time to head back up to the buffet for our dessert. The big hit for Matt was the Mango Panacotta, which I agree was very good, and my favorite was a Peanut Butter Cake (?) which was like a light fudge almost. It was amazing.  

After brunch we rolled ourselves back down to our room to change into shorts. We decided it was the perfect time for me to whip Matt’s butt at the mini golf on the top deck, and I did just that.  After that we headed to set Matt up with an appointment to try his hand at the sports simulators they also have up there. He’ll be doing that on Thursday at 2pm. Next we decided to put on our detective hats and try to figure out who stole the Muppets props for their big show. This is a new feature only on the new ships, where you search all over the ship for clues as to who stole the props. Each clue is received from a pieces of artwork throughout the ship that magically come to life when you hold your detective badge up to it. It was awesome, but exhausting! They have you walk all over the ship. Clues are on every deck and sometimes at multiple locations on some decks. We didn’t quite finish the game because we were headed to the movie theater to see Brave, which we had not seen before. We really enjoyed it and I was surprised the theater was packed. I figured everyone had already seen it and would want to be enjoying the sun. Once the movie was over, we went to finish our detective work. Apparently, there’s different versions so you can play again and again. We may try at it again since it really was a lot of fun. I mean it’s the Muppets. What’s not to love?!

Next up we headed to the room to get ready for tonight’s show, Wishes. We felt it was a little (a lot!) cheesy.  Still very well done and very impressive but it followed teens afraid to grow up and they go on this magical journey as their big wish. We did enjoy hearing some of the classic Disney movie songs that were a part of it, but next time we’d definitely skip it. After the show we went and sat on my favorite part of the ship, the Promenade and looked at the stars and watched an INCREDIBLE lightning show. We walked the whole deck and then decided to head to the sports bar to see if they’d be showing the Yankee’s game later. They were showing the Cardinals vs the Nationals game and they kept talking about the Yankees being in a rain delay, so there was hope, for Matt that he’d get to see the game after dinner. Yay!  We sat for a little bit watching the Nats game and a couple came to sit with us. The seemed interested in the Yankee game, so Matt asked the man who was his team, his answer, “You don’t want to know.” So my thoughtful husband said, “Oh, you’re a Mets fan?”. Ouch, Matt!! You couldn’t of just said another team first. I mean come on. Why when you speak to a suffering baseball fan, your thoughts automatically go to the Mets? The more painful part, he was right. The guy was a Met fan.  So we sat and talked about our pain. He was a partial season ticket holder in 2007, the year of the great collapse. I told him how my brother and I were full season ticket holders that year. We shared how we both were at some of the same memorable games that year, like when Lo Duca got ejected and flipped out throwing his gear onto the field  or when Glavin blew it for us in the first inning of the must-win last game of the season. Ugh.  Okay, enough of that, I’m on vacation! 

After that crushing conversation we headed (I whimpered) to dinner. Tonight we were eating in Animator’s Palate. Boy did they make big improvements to an already awesome restaurant. The interactive screens with crush talking to you as you eat, the fish swimming throughout it. Very cool. Since we hadn’t eaten here yet, we were being escorted to our table when the coolest thing so far happened. I literally walked right into the infamous, Ronaldo!!!!! Our assistant waiter for our two week transatlantic cruise in 2010 that my parents & I took, just before I met Matt. Renaldo was the highlight of our trip and he actually cried when we were saying goodbye to him on the final morning of the trip. He told us how we were so different from most guest and that he just felt happy whenever he was at our table. We used to stay late after dinner and hang out with him and a bunch of the other waitstaff. He was so funny. Everyone knew Ronaldo. So I was so excited to see him. Matt had no idea what was going on when he saw his extremely introverted wife scream, “Oh, my God!” and hug this waiter. I immediately introduced Matt and upon hearing his name, Matt knew exactly who he was. He recognized him from the pictures we took with him and all the stories I had told him. Ronaldo got all excited and asked if my parents were there & he was really disappointed that they weren’t. He even asked me twice.  We had been friends on facebook but he had to close his account and open a new one, so we lost contact. He spent the rest of the night coming over to our table and hanging out whenever he could. He even came and did a magic trick for us. On our trip he would surprise us each night with a lemon carving of some sort that got more impressive each night. One night we had two mice made out of lemons. He even introduced them to us and told us their life story.  So when he came over tonight he told us that he’s way past lemons and how that’s kids stuff and moved on to magic.  I asked him if he was still an assistant waiter and he said, “Yes, cause I like to talk and I’m not carrying trays around.”  So if you’re headed on the Fantasy request Ronaldo from the Philippines. You won’t be sorry. I couldn’t believe the odds of finding him on board and then he told me that he just got back on the same day as us from vacation. What are the odds?! So we hung out with Ronaldo catching up and then it was time to go see if Matt’s precious Yankees were on tv. We told Ronaldo we’d go to breakfast at Enchanted Garden tomorrow morning where he was working so he could serve us. 

We headed to O’Gills, the sports bar, and the only game being shown was the Jets game. Matt’s a Giants fan and apparently the Jets were going to get slaughtered in this game, so we headed up to the top deck to walk around and take in cruising at night. I love being on the top deck at night. They were showing the Jets game on “TunnelVision” the giant screen by the pool, so we sat for a little bit and watched since at that point the game was close. We sat for a bit and the longer I sat the more sleepy I was getting. Matt tried to keep me awake by getting up and going on another walk but it was too late, I was zombified. So we headed back to the room and watched The Muppet’s Treasure Island which I’ve never seen. I made it to the opening credits.  

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