Note: For those who are new to this blog, The Disney Files are a collection of stories about the Transatlantic Disney cruise I took from Europe to the U.S. between September 10th and September 24th, 2011. I hadn’t had my blog set up then to post in a more timely manner, so I’m slowly chipping away at them now while on the road.
This is our first of five days at sea before arriving in St. Maarten and officially marks my last departure from Europe before I officially start my ‘Round the World’ tour on January 16, 2012. I thought I might be a little melancholy at the whole symbolism of the sunset on my days in Europe, but really I had already had my emotional moments with leaving my friends in Amsterdam. Thus, I think I was prepared to bid adieu to my little continent for the next couple of years.
One of the highlights of today was meeting Seymour, one of the Comedians performing later on in the cruise. He color coordinates all of his outfits and looks like a 14 year old boy, but is in fact a fortysomething but that’s not neither here nor there. Aside from his terrible taste in adult beverages (Miami Vice? I nearly passed out from diabetic shock after one sip), he proved to be a vault of behind the scenes Disney information. My favorite bit was when he informed me that Mickey was actually a “little black girl”, a fact I considered later before tackling Mickey and smothering him with hugs.
Dinner at Palo: Sasha, I love you!
One of the great benefits of going on a cruise is the abundance and variety of food at your constant beckoning. I will say, sometimes the quality is lacking, but given that you get to go out to dinner every night with five start service, this slight imperfection can be easily overlooked. If that wasn’t enough, on the Disney Magic, there was also the option to dine at the even more upscale restaurant called Palo for a nominal fee of $20. Even if I am by myself, I still love getting dressed up for posh dinners. If I was allowed only one indulgence for the rest of my life, this would be the winner.
Upon being seated I felt like royalty and I almost cried when they brought out the appetizers, a charming spread of cheeses, prosciutto and roasted peppers – and this wasn’t even something I ordered, it was the standard Disney “Be Our Guest” welcome basket. After I was settled in, Sasha (and no, I’m not changing his name because Sasha is such an amazing name I deem it an injustice to do so) came sauntering over ready to woo my palette. After explaining that his main purpose this evening was to make sure my gastronomical experience was nothing short of blindingly orgasmic, the food marathon began. I made it a point to eat very slowly, not only to savor every bite but to extend the capacity of my stomach.
The first course was calamari with chili peppers. I was skeptical about ordering something as common as fried calamari but I also thought that this being such a more refined restaurant, the chef would likely put a creative spin to this tried and true classic. For my second course, I again tried something simple, white bean soup. I had never tried it before and I figured now was just as good a time as any. It was my least favorite of the dishes, but still a far cry from being a disappointment.
The third course is where the evening was brought up to the next level. I had a hard time between choosing a pasta dish of lobster and pappardelle and another with clams and mussels. Sasha’s adherence to the principle that the simplest solution is usually the right one quickly solved my dilemma. “I just add the clams and mussels to the lobster pappardelle dish. No problem.” When it arrived, I smiled and proceeded to pick up my fork, but Sasha motioned for me to wait. He then whipped out some utensils and began to de-shell my shellfish. I think after he left the table I whispered, “I love you.” I’m a sucker for over-the-top service in restaurants. My fourth course of lamb didn’t come with any special culinary show, but it was cooked to perfection for me and the wine pairing that Sasha chose was again a winner.
By the time dessert came around, I was starting to doubt whether or not I could continue. Even with my strategy of eating as slow as possible, I was still feeling overwhelmed with the quantity of food I was consuming. But being, this could very well be the last extraordinary meal I have for a very long time, I “manned” up and forged ahead. I ordered the chocolate and vanilla soufflé. How could I not? I never had it before and I didn’t want to let down, the legion of people on board telling me my life would not continue if I didn’t try it. It was the perfect ending to one of the most glorious dinners I ever had. Even if I was by myself, I still like to think that Sasha was my date. He was flattering, attentive, we had small talk, I batted my eyes. It fit the profile up until I got up from my seat and tried with the little bit of energy I had left, to suck in my gut and strut out of there as opposed to waddle. The whole irony of this experience of culinary delights was that I was writing my notes about dinner the next morning over a bowl of Fruit Loops.
The Disney Files
- Day 1 – Introduction & Barcelona
- Day 2 – At Sea
- Day 3 – Gibraltar
- Day 4 – At Sea
- Day 5 – Funchal, Madeira
- Day 7 – At Sea
- Days 8,9,10 – At Sea
- Day 11 – St. Maarten
- Day 12 – Tortola
- Days 13, 14 – Last Day at Sea & Castaway Cay
- Day 15 – The End