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It’s Embarkation Day (sung to the “It’s Coronation Day” song from Frozen) - Tuesday, August 1, 2023

FTC Disclosure: Through business relationships with our suppliers, some may provide complimentary or discounted access to their locations and products to provide hands-on experiences to better assist my clients.




Hi all. It’s Kara. I’ll get started and Gayle can chime in.


We were both awake once in the middle of the night again but each went back to sleep. All in all this has been one of the easiest transitions we’ve had to Europe in terms of sleep/wake schedules.


We got up and got ready so we could be downstairs by 10am to catch a Viggo which is a Denmark ride share system. We decided to do ride share instead of taxi for the cost savings - which was abundant. The Viggo driver arrived quickly, and then had to drive in reverse for quite a ways to get out of hotel parking lot due to the bus that was dropping off returning cruisers to our hotel. Gayle: The hotel lobby was chaos this morning. There were people both returning back from the prior Disney cruise as well as an Adventures by Disney.


We followed much the same route in our ride share that we took when we were on the trains yesterday so it was nice to have some reference points as we rode along. We arrived at the port about 30 minutes after leaving the hotel.


As we were trying to figure out where to drop our bags, Gayle turned to me and said, “I miss Miami” which is a somewhat snarky experience to one of our worst boarding experiences in history. For me the two ended in a full on tie but Copenhagen is definitely at the bottom of our cruise port experiences.


Gayle’s Note about the Copenhagen Terminal: Like many cruise ports, this one is mainly for industrial shipping, not vacationing guests. When we arrived, we were directed to just drop our luggage in a LONG line with countless others. Most notably was that every single human was being held outside. There was a tent with Port Arrival Time (PAT) signs, but already the lines extended far beyond the tent. Hallelujah that it wasn’t raining, as there was clearly no plan for that!




We had an 11:30 - 11:45am port arrival time (PAT). At 11:30am they still hadn’t moved the Concierge or 11:00 or 11:15am arrivals into the terminal. Uh oh. We were finally inside around 11:50am. Once inside, the check in process went very smoothly (since we accomplished everything in advance online) and we were seated to wait on our Group 6 boarding group.


As we waited, I noted that we must be embarking the ship on the Deck 1 Forward gangway, which was correct. This is the first time we’ve ever embarked the ship in this area. This meant the boarding groups were VERY small so our Group 6 boarding group here was probably equivalent to a Group 2 in Orlando.


We were announced and somehow navigated all of the stairs and elevators up to Cabanas (11 Aft) to eat lunch. We’ve done seated lunch a couple of times but I prefer the buffet style of Cabanas - and the peel and eat shrimp. Gayle: We know these ships inside and out. Once we entered Deck 1, we had a plan for getting to lunch, but inexplicably we were told that we had to use the Forward elevators and were not permitted to trek through the ship to use either the Midship or Aft elevators/stairs. This had never happened previously and made no sense whatsoever.


We hung out in Cabanas until our room was ready and even played a hand of Monopoly Deal at our table before heading to our room.





At our room, we quickly met Tony (Indonesia), our stateroom host. Tony was very apologetic in advance about how long the bags would take (for reasons we would soon understand). Thankfully, we had planned ahead and put our dinner clothes in our day bags!


Gayle: We chilled in our room for a bit and decided to take advantage of mostly empty spaces (as people board and head to lunch) to grab some photos. I first headed to my fave, Vanellope’s Sweet Shop to introduce myself, as I visit the equivalent on the Disney Fantasy nearly every day. However, with a lackluster staff and absent our favorite desserts, we immediately knew future visits would be rare. (Actually we never returned again throughout the cruise!)





Next, in order to best serve my travel clients, I always make sure to grab photos of the Youth Clubs - specifically the Oceaneer Club, Oceaneer Lab, and nursery - since I don’t travel with younglings. As it started getting busy and adrenaline fading, we headed back to our stateroom.





Kara: Gayle’s bag arrived before we headed to our muster drill at 4pm, so she unpacked while I sat on the verandah and enjoyed the cool breeze. To say I packed all wrong for this trip is an understatement. I brought way, way too many warm clothes. Gayle: I have to admit I did too, which is saying something for someone who is always cold!


After Gayle unpacked, we headed to the Walt Disney Theatre to our muster station (station A). We waited in line to go in, got checked in, sat down and then waited another 40 minutes for everyone to get checked in and seated. Then we had to watch the video that had been playing all day on our stateroom television, which repeated the information our muster station leader had already told us. To say I’m annoyed that Disney reinstated full muster drills is an understatement. I get that they want you to go to your actual muster station but beyond that I don’t get why all the rest of it is being done. Their first corporate value is safety but you can’t make people stop looking at their phones and pay attention to information that could save their life in an emergency. Why punish those of us who do listen and pay attention?


Okay, mini rant concluded. Let’s move on with the day. We elevatored up to Deck 11 and then walked up to Deck 12 to watch the Sail Away party. There was a small nod to the Silver Anniversary at Sea in the Deck Party which was fun. As the party was going on, I wandered over to the rail to see the ship (I assumed) being untied. What I saw instead was bag after bag after bag still sitting in the building by the gate and being loaded one by one onto screening machines by CPB. When the Captain played the ship’s horn, we didn’t move a rotor! Gayle: It’s an understatement to say this is not normal SOP! Leaving late is not something Disney does, especially when it can sometimes result in additional port fees. Luckily our port for the next day wasn’t far away.





We headed back down to the room to get ready for dinner. When the Cruise Director came on she shared that the shops should be open around 6 or 7pm - meaning we weren’t pulling out of port until at least an hour later than originally planned! I was grateful since my bag still hadn’t shown up when we left for dinner.


Gayle: We have started reserving Palo on night 1. The first time we did this, out of courtesy, I wanted to let our dining room serving team know we wouldn’t be there that night - in Animator’s Palate, a menu that neither of us appreciates. Kara disagreed, but found that this goes a long way in beginning the process of building a good relationship with the service team. We did that and met our first female head server ever!!


Kara: Then we headed up to Palo. I wanted to grab a drink in Meridian before we got seated but as soon as I ordered my drink, our server Nicholas, came to retrieve us. We waited on my drink, closed out the bar tab and then headed to Palo. We had a lovely table overlooking…dirt. Very big piles of dirt. Definitely not the most picturesque port we’ve ever sailed out of.





We ordered our dinners (Caprese for Kara, Calamari for Gayle, Gnocchi to split and then Tagliatelle for each of us). Nicholas also indicated that the check had a new desssert - a deconstructed apple pie. I’ve not yet had a dessert in Palo that I liked so why not give it a try.


Dinner service as very slow. They clearly were not busy. We were in the restaurant well over 2 ½ hours. That’s not bad but it’s not our preference. Also, Gayle’s plate of pasta was chipped which is just bizarre in that restaurant where the charger plates they put on the table to start service are supposedly $200 a piece.


Overall, we both agreed the food quality was nowhere near the caliber of what we expect from Palo. My tomato was far from ripe and the amount of pesto on the plate was minimal and not applied decoratively in any way. Gayle’s calamari were chewier than normal and she said it was the worst cooked piece of lobster she’s ever had. The apple pie was good although it was served cold. Not bad - just surprising. Gayle’s Chocolate Soufflé was gummy so not their best work.


This isn’t the first time we’ve been disappointed in our overall food quality experience in Palo. It’s still a lovely evening and a delicious dinner but the food quality issues are becoming the norm rather than exception.





The show tonight was a ventriloquist so we were NOT interested in seeing him. I’ve watched ventriloquist shows on board before and been wholly unimpressed. Also, tomorrow night’s show is a juggler. Also, not really our jam.


After dinner we went down to stroll through the shops. Nothing of interest caught our eyes. We headed back to the room and - thank goodness - my bag was outside the door! So, I unpacked and we both got ready for bed. I also ran up to the drink station to grab ice and water. Now, as I type this, Gayle is settling in figuring out what is on on demand (no series which is weird) and I’m going to finish typing this and we’re both probably out pretty quickly as we have a full day tomorrow.


Disclaimer: I (Gayle) am a travel agent with Authorized Disney Travel Planner agency - Off to Neverland Travel. Contact me today for a no-obligation quote!


As to Disney artwork, logos, and properties: ©Disney | Ship Registry: The Bahamas | CST# 2090317-40 / Fla. Seller of Travel Ref. No. ST37203


Next up… Kiel, Germany


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