Ohana Means Family: The Disney Difference
Day 4, Part 1: Brunch on the HIGH Seas!
It was our first sea day and I was so excited to finally get to experience something I had been looking forward to since before we even booked our trip— Palo Brunch! Since this trip was booked on basically “free money” we wanted to take advantage and try Palo for both brunch and dinner. After salivating over everyone else’s reviews, pictures, and descriptions I was so ready for our turn!
Since our reservation was not until 10:30 we slept in a bit and took our time getting “dolled up” and ready for brunch. Though Palo’s dress code is not as strict as it is for dinner, ladies will still need to wear dresses or pantsuits and men will need to wear button down shirts and dress slacks. No jeans, shorts, capri’s, flip flops, etc.
We didn’t eat anything before we went in hopes that it would allow us to try as much as possible. Hindsight is 20/20 though and we probably should have ordered a small fruit plate or something to nibble on before hand because we were pretty hungry by the time we got there and seated (and it also would have probably helped me later on).
I loved Palo’s decor. From the Venetian masks on the walls, to the details in the lighting and the fresh roses on the table, it truly sets the tone for a romantic, relaxed, and enjoyable meal. We were introduced to our server, Jane from Estonia, who took our order for our drinks and then gave us a tour of the buffet. The buffet had four different sections.
In the center, there was a section that had a variety of breads, meats, cheeses, and fruit. There were also things like caprese salad, shrimp cocktail in non alcoholic bloody mary shoooters, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, and spreads (including caviar).
Behind that, there is a table of seafood. This included crab legs (precut), seared scallops, seared tuna, trout mousse, salmon mousse, and more shrimp cocktail. Dave really enjoyed the salmon and trout mousses, but I did not try them.
Over to the right there was a section of pastries including muffins, croissants, danishes, etc. Just at the left edge of the picture was the cinnamon rolls. Those were to die for (DON’T SKIP THOSE!!).
Over to the left was the main food options where there was a portion on display to help you make your choices (yes… more food on top of this wonderful buffet). Beyond that was the dessert buffet…. which I unfortunately did not make it to… more on that in a bit.
Here are the things I got from the buffet in my first plate:
The tuna in the bottom right hand corner was delicious. It was encrusted with a peppery spicy crust and seared. It was cooked perfectly and very tasty. The prosciutto, caviar (though I don’t have much to compare it to), and shrimp cocktail were also very good. I didn’t care for the scallop, but that’s mainly because I like my scallops hot and these were served cold.
At this point, I’d like to mention the beautiful view you get from Palo of the waves and the horizon:
Pretty isn’t it? So much so that you just can’t help but look out the window, even when the boat is rocking so much that the horizon keeps moving up and down in proportion to the guard rails on deck. This is where the brunch took a turn for the worst. I have been on 3 other cruises before, one of which the boat was rocking so much that you literally could not walk straight, and have never had the slightest bit of seasickness. I felt a little weird watching the horizon, so I decided to stop doing that and grab another plate:
This time I grabbed some pastries, breads, and cheeses. I was still feeling alright so I tried the cinnamon roll, delicious. Then our waitress came over to ask for our order for the main dishes. Although I had heard amazing things about the chicken parm, I couldn’t pass up the delicious looking rum raisin pancakes. Dave ordered the Eggs Julia and then we ordered a grape and gorgonzola pizza to share.
I tried the other pastries which were fine, but nothing spectacular and then moved on to try the gorgonzola and walnut bread. The minute I took a bite of it, I felt an immediate and intense wave of nausea. I think the cheese was just too potent for slight seasickness I was trying to subdue. I tried my best to swallow it and then excused myself to the bathroom. The maitre d’ held out his arm to escort me saying one of the most important parts of his job was to escort ladies to the rest room. It was very nice of him, but he was walking a little slow for my pace!
Luckily, I did not get sick, and just took a moment to put some cold water on my face and I felt ok. When I returned, our main dishes had arrived and since I was feeling better, I was determined to try those pancakes and enjoy the rest of my meal! I took a bite of my pancakes and the nausea returned. They were so good, but I wasn’t going to push it, so I stopped eating. The maitre d’ came over to see what was wrong with the meal, and I assured him it was the boat and not the food.
While Dave continued eating, I decided to go back to the room to take some seasickness medicine. Even though neither one of us had ever been seasick, we brought non-drowsy Bonine and are so glad we did! I went back up to make sure the tip and everything was taken care of and our waitress had brought over a glass of Ginger Ale and some crackers, very nice of her. Another nice lady who noticed, gave me a few peppermints saying the same thing happened to her on her last cruise.
Dave had no problem finishing his Eggs Julia (which he said were good but nothing to write home about) and the pizza (which he said was really good).
From there, I changed and went up on the top deck to get some fresh air, relax for a while, and drink my ginger ale. In the meantime, Dave took a nap and went to find the laundry to help us out after our upcoming excursion in Cozumel. By the time the funnel vision movie had ended I felt completely fine. Thank goodness for Bonine, from that point on I took it preemptively during the cruise and felt fine for most of the week.
Even though I got a bit seasick, Palo was well worth the $25 cover per person. The service was excellent and the food I was able to eat was wonderful. Just don’t make the same mistake I did, if you are at all seasick, take the medication immediately…. and maybe just avoid watching the horizon as the boat rocks. Other couples from our table and who we did some of the trivia/game shows with also ended up getting seasick for that very same reason!
Next Up: Mixology and Music Trivia!