So, I thought it was me selecting the wrong template the first time, but hell no…after trying a second time, it did the same thing.
What now? Well, I then tried using PowerShell to provision the New Site Collection and indicating the CMSPUBLISHING#0 and BLANKINTERNET#0 neither worked
To get past this, I ended up still creating the Site Collection via the admin web interface, just NOT selecting a template and instead selected the <Select template later…> option.
Hit OK. Once site is created go to the URL and the template picker shows up, select Publishing Portal template, hit OK.