CSP has been using his CPAP machine now for about a week and a half and to say our lives have changed would be an understatement! First of all, it is now QUIET in our room at night. Before there was all the snoring and groaning and grunting and talking and leg flailing and so on and so forth! Now it’s all blissful silence! And CSP is sleeping through the night! Before his CPAP he’d wake up throughout the night and make all kinds of noise getting up to go to the restroom or to watch tv etc. The other day he slept 7 hours and woke up feeling refreshed, saying he felt better than if he’d slept 12 hours before! It’s awesome! AND- no naps! He used to almost always take a daily nap, especially if he worked an early shift. And he’d fall asleep watching tv (especially sportsball). But no more! Amazing! He’s more productive around the house now because he has so much more energy. This CPAP is a Godsend I tell you! It took YEARS of me badgering him to go to the sleep doctor and finally I just made the appointment and forced him to go. Best decision ever!!!
Every 4 weeks I inject myself in each thigh with 150 mgs of Cosentyx to control my psoriasis. Before Cosentyx I was SO self conscious about my psoriasis. Big, red, itchy splotches covered my arms, legs, torso, scalp, everywhere! It was especially problematic in the summer when I’d be forced to wear short sleeves because of the heat. The looks I would get! But now I’m 100% clear! No more worrying about showing my arms in the summer! No more itching! Life is GOOD my friends! Now, the main reason I wanted to share this with you is to tell you that Cosentyx is SUPER expensive if you don’t have insurance or if your insurance doesn’t cover it. Like hundreds of dollars a month. My insurance covers it (right now, that can change) but my co-pay is $100 a month. But I pay $0 a month because Novartis (who makes Cosentyx) covers my co-pay!!! And they will probably do the same for you! They have a program called Covered Until You’re Covered that I was in for a year when my insurance didn’t cover Cosentyx. Novartis just sent me the drug for free! And now that my insurance does cover it, Novartis pays the co-pay. It’s amazing! So if you’re suffering from psoriasis like I was, check out Cosentyx from Novartis!!! By the way, this is not an ad or sponsored post. I get no compensation from Novartis. I’m just a very satisfied customer!!!
This morning we woke up extra early to get dressed and pack our last minute things. We do the express walk off to avoid standing in line at customs. That means you carry your own bags off the ship and you don’t have breakfast onboard. OMG! we had SO much stuff! I swear we didn’t get on the ship with that much stuff!!! We got off the ship and went through customs in record time. No lines at all!
We packed up the car and went to breakfast. CSP found a good prospect on Yelp so we went there. It’s called Southern Charm Cafe. Good thing we got there when we did (about 8:15am) because once we got seated, with no wait, a huge line appeared and people were waiting all out the door and down the sidewalk!
All the waitstaff wear t-shirts with cute sayings on the backs like “Raised on Sweet Tea” and “There’s Nothing Biscuits and Gravy Can’t Fix”. Well one of the servers’ shirts said “Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit!” CSP apparently had never heard that saying before (being from Minnesota and all). He laughed about that all the way home! Breakfast was really good. We decided to make that place our go to spot for post cruise breakfasts from here on out!
We hit the road for home and should have been home around 5:30 pm but somewhere in v rural SC on I 95 there was a HUGE accident. So Nigel, my phone’s navigator voice, rerouted us through this TINY town to bypass the wreck. That added about an hour onto our trip. We finally got home around 7 pm to some really excited pugs!
Now….to save our pennies for the next cruise!!!
Our 17th anniversary!!! So we’re back on the ship and CSP said he wanted to go swimming. Up to the pool we went. We weren’t there 20 minutes before these crazy high winds came out of nowhere! One poor crew member was running around trying to tie down all the cushions to the lounge chairs as they were flipping and flopping in the wind. No rain, mind you, just crazy wind. I was trying to hold down our towels and stuff when CSP’s pool slide shoes just took off! Thankfully a nice man retrieved them for me (as well as a lip gloss that had flown out of my wristlet) while I was yelling for CSP to get out of the pool. It was like a cartoon- CSP’s slides went flying again so he was chasing after them and I was wind wrestling with our towels while trying to get back inside. Crazy! But! Foreshadowing!
We went back to our room and did some packing then got showered and dressed for dinner. We were so sad! It was our last dinner of the trip! I filled out the tip envelopes and threw in some extra for Neil our room steward, Alit our server, and Kwan our assistant server. I put the envelopes in my wristlet and we headed off to Tiana’s Place for dinner and Mardi Gras! When we arrived at our table our normal clear water glasses had been replaced by cool colored glasses.
Love the menus!
The frog plates were back.
So cute! Kwan gave us Mardi Gras beads! We had a fabulous dinner and we noticed that on our entree plates the frog was sporting a crown!
The band was back and so was Tiana. She sang and danced with all the kids again.
When it was dessert time Alit brought us out beignets with chocolate sauce, then he disappeared!
The beignets were really good but we could have shared a portion as they are filling!
The music started up again and Tiana led Louis and the Second Line through the dining room with kids (and grown ups too) following her dancing.
That’s when we spotted Alit and Kwan! They were part of the parade! There was even a limbo contest!
Once all the merriment died down (slightly), Alit and Kwan reappeared. For dessert CSP had ordered a 9 layer chantilly creme cake and I ordered the white chocolate bread pudding (OMG! so good!!!). We were enjoying our desserts when all the sudden Alit was there with ANOTHER dessert in hand! An anniversary cake! The little chocolate even says Happy Anniversary! He sang us a little song and gave us some sage advice. I gave him his tip envelope and he said “For my family” as he tucked it away in his pocket. GAH. I about cried when he said that and just wanted to give him everything we have. They work SO hard and are separated from their spouses and children for months and months at a time. But he never appeared without a giant smile and a spot on Mickey impersonation!
We gave Kwan her envelope and the one for the head server then it was time to go. We stopped to check out our photos in Shutters one last time and then stopped by the gift shop. On Castaway Cay CSP had stopped into the gift shop to buy a Castaway Cay magnet for our collection. While there he picked up 2 new Stitch pins for my lanyard as a surprise! Sweet! BUT one of the pins kept popping it’s back off and falling off my lanyard. So we stopped in the gift shop to see what could be done about that. Luckily they sell locking pin backs. Problem solved!
Now, I would be remiss if I came to the end of our cruise without mentioning one very special person, my friend Lisa. Lisa got us hooked on Disney cruises when we cruised the Wonder in 2008 as I was a bridesmaid in her wedding on Castaway Cay. Seriously, because we had a bad experience on a different cruise line in 1998 CSP said he was NEVER cruising again. Well I forced him onto the Wonder for Lisa’s wedding and by the end of it he said he would cruise, but ONLY Disney! Then a few years later Lisa started her dream job of being a travel agent who specializes in all things Disney! That girl knows everything from which rides to ride first at the parks to which rooms to book on the cruise ships to get the secret giant verandahs. Now, you can certainly book your cruise on your own but why would you? The price is the same whether you use a travel agent or not! I love knowing all I have to do is email Lisa about the cruise we want and everything is taken care of! I can rest assured there will be distilled water in our room for my CPAP machine, that we’ll be signed up for the 8 pm dinner rotation, etc. And if you’re wondering how Disney knew it was our anniversary? Lisa! So if you’re even just thinking that my cruise looked pretty fun and you’d sure like to cruise too…. email Lisa at Lisa@PixieandPirateDestinations.com and she will take SUCH good care of you!
Back to the cruise. When we were finished at the gift shop we went back to our room to finish packing and to fill out the comment card that was left in our room. The comment cards are super important so don’t skip them! It only takes a couple minutes. Then it was time for bed.
Well, so I thought. Remember all that wind I told you about? Our room was in the Forward section of the ship but I know Laci was feeling it in the Aft section where their room was too. We were rocking and rolling I tell you! It felt like we were on a little speed boat hitting those waves! The bathroom doors were opening and slamming shut. The closet doors were too! And through the whole thing CSP slept like a baby! I said an extra prayer that we make it back to Port Canaveral in one piece and went to sleep.
Castaway Cay Day!!! Our 17th anniversary!!! So, back to the island! While CSP was out riding his bike I read my book out on the mini sofa. All around the cabanas are trees and lush vegetation. Birds were flying everywhere! In and out of the cabana. Hummingbirds and sweet little tiny colorful birds. They were sure not scared of us! I was drinking a Sprite and a wee bird came and perched right on my can and helped himself to a drink! He wasn’t even a foot away from me! Then he must have gone and told his friends because within a few minutes there were tons of birds hanging around, drinking CSP’s Coke, eating CSP’s chips (!!!) and dive bombing us!See the bird on the left side of picture? Contrasted against the towel.
CSP came back from biking and we took a couple of the low beach chairs down to sit in the water.
Our cabana is number 15, to the right of our yellow umbrella. To the left of the umbrella you can see the bin of floats & tubes.
The weather was AMAZING! 74* and a few tiny clouds in the sky. The water was pretty cool, but I like it cool. It wasn’t too cool for the cabana kids to be swimming and playing in it- they were having a great time! And the fish- lots of tiny fish swimming all around our feet and we even saw a huge white fish swim by.
Next thing we knew it was time for lunch. We walked down to Cookies Too BBQ and got a table. The tables are all under this big structure so you’re in the shade for lunch.
CSP went and got his food first. Kwan was there (our assistant server). She is SO sweet! She came right over to talk to me and kept asking could she go get my food. CSP came back and I went to the buffet to get my lunch. On the way back to the table 3, THREE different crew members asked to take my tray to the table! Finally a man just took it from me! I led him to our table and we had a nice lunch. They have all kinds of stuff for you to choose from. I had a spicy chicken sandwich, corn on the cob, and some potato salad. CSP had some mahi mahi and chicken and a bunch of other stuff I can’t quite remember. Kwan brought us some coconut and banana bread to try and it was lovely.
We walked back to the cabana
(coconuts in that tree!!!) after lunch and CSP had a wee nap. I chatted with our neighbors and read my book. We had another little wildlife visitor in the form of a curly tailed lizard. So cute! Before we knew it Glenn, the concierge guy, came by to tell us the island taxi would be by to pick us up at 3:30. The afternoon just FLEW by. I got my stuff together but CSP decided he would rather walk back to the ship on his own. He wanted to stop by the shops on the way to the ship. While I waited for the taxi I took a selfie and that’s when I realized I’d forgotten sunscreen on my face!!! Doh!
I looked like a tomato!!! Soon enough the golf cart came and I piled on with Laci & family. Here are some pictures CSP took on the way back to the ship.
I got back to our room at about 4. Soon after the phone rang. It was Guest Services looking for CSP! Is he there? No. When did you last see him? I left him in the cabana. What’s going on? Just have him call us ma’am.
OMG!!!! CSP is causing yet ANOTHER international incident! Click here to read about his first incident! A few moments later CSP walked through the door. I filled him in and called Guest Services. The lady who answered said “Oh yes, we’ve been looking for him. I’ll let the officer know.” WHAT?? Turns out that what happened was when I boarded the ship they logged in my Key To The World Card and I guess just assumed he was with me because they asked for just one KTTWC per stateroom. But then he didn’t tap his card in when going through security when I went through because he wasn’t with me. So I guess they thought I lost him somewhere between the security checkpoint and the ship!
All’s well that ends well! Next up: pool time, extreme winds, & Mardi Gras!!!
Stay tuned for Part 3!
Castaway Cay Day! Our 17th Anniversary!!! It’s a big day with lots to talk about and tons of pictures to share so I’m breaking it up into parts.
Last night when we entered our room we found an envelope. Inside was a map of Castaway Cay, a lot of information, and 2 wristbands for our CABANA!!!! Yep! I miraculously scored a cabana on the family beach (the best side in my opinion)! Gather round and I’ll tell you how it happened. Our new friends Laci and Rusty sailed concierge this cruise. Concierge gets first dibs on the cabanas and there are only 25 on the whole island! 21 on the Family Beach and 4 at Serenity Bay, the adult only beach. Well, Laci and Rusty ended up with 2 cabanas and they only needed one. So they offered up the 2nd cabana to our cruise group! So generous and nice!!! I plead our case, that it’s our 17th anniversary and we reeeeeaaaalllly wanted one and they let us have their spare! Woot!!! I mean, we still paid for it but just getting the cabana is a huge feat in itself so we are immensely grateful!
Fast forward to this morning. The golf cart island taxi was scheduled to pick us up at 9:30 am. Well you’re allowed to leave the ship for Castaway Cay at 8:30 am. So CSP said SEE YA and went on without us. He really enjoyed having the cabanas all to himself! He was the first of the cabana guests to arrive and instead of stopping to check in like he was supposed to… CSP just bypassed that altogether and walked straight to our cabana with the cabana crew members running behind him yelling “Sir! Sir!!!” because they are all about only letting the cabana guests into that area. OMG! CSP’s causing an international incident! Knucklehead!
Once they determined that CSP was legit, a crew member gave him the grand tour of our cabana, #15! To get to our cabana you walk down this lush path. Our’s was right near the restrooms which is v v convenient!
Here it is!
When you walk in there’s a closet immediately to your right that holds a safe and some towels. Then there’s a counter top with a drink menu and a basket full of snacks. On the wall above the counter there’s the controls for music and there’s a button. Push the button and a cabana crew member will appear to help you! Under the counter are more towels, a garbage bin, and a mini fridge that’s stocked with water, soda, a fruit bowl, and chilled towels. V v fancy! To your left is the main living area. There’s a sofa, a couple chairs, some small tables, a bench, and a changing area. Keep walking forward and there are 2 chaise lounges and a mini sofa with a couple more tables. On one of the tables is a basket with sunscreen in it. Overhead is a sail cloth shade so you’re not in direct sunlight. Walk down the stairs and to the right is the shower and to the left is the hammock. Walk straight ahead and there’s the Caribbean sea and the private beach. Amazing! Just check out our views! Your own private world!
There are sand toys on your deck ( we gave ours to the Atkinson kids next door to play with.) Oh I forgot to mention that our next door neighbors were Laci & Rusty and family! Best neighbors ever! The cabana also comes with usage of bikes and snorkeling equipment, beach chairs, an umbrella, and a huge bin full of floats and inner tubes! Everything you could possibly need for a fabulous day at the beach!
I arrived at around 10am and found CSP snoozing on the hammock. He woke up and I slathered him with sunscreen then he was off to ride a bike around the island and up to the observation tower. Oh, how I wish in that moment I had remembered to slather my own face with the SPF 100 sunscreen I brought with me. CSP put sunscreen on my arms & neck and I did (most) of my legs. I missed one spot on the inside of each knee somehow. Burn, baby, burn. While CSP was out riding his bike I read more of my book “My Not So Perfect Life” by Sophie Kinsella. V cute beach read, perfect for this trip.
CSP came back from his bike ride and……
More later! Stay tuned for Part 2!
Sea Day!!! We slept in a little then got ready for brunch at Palo! Mladen was our server again.
We had a fabulous view for brunch and an even better meal. You start with a fun cocktail. CSP chose a mimosa and I got a bellini.
Brunch is a buffet set up in stations. Seafood, antipasti, cheese & bread, pastries, desserts. Also you order from the menu. They have EVERYTHING you could think of from benedicts to pizzas to the best chicken parmesan I’ve ever had.
While we were there this poor woman was at the dessert table and dropped a glass full of a fruit/champagne jello dessert. I saw the whole thing and it was like in a movie- slow motion! The glass fell onto another plate of desserts then flipped over flinging fruit everywhere. Then it hit ANOTHER plate of desserts, spun again and finally hit the floor. Glass and desserts and fruit everywhere! They basically had to shut down the dessert station for a half hour while they restocked everything. She was mortified, poor thing!
Pictured above is CSP’s dessert plate. Look at those cute °O° chocolates!!! When I went to get my dessert they were out of chocolate dipped strawberries. Mladen found out and brought some to me!
After brunch we somehow made it back to our room without requiring assistance! We both took a nice nap. We woke up and discovered there were no available chairs in the shade by the pool, so we decided to enjoy our verandah. I’m v fair skinned and can’t be in the sun but for a minute without burning to a crisp. Also I’m currently doing a psoriasis drug study and am not allowed to get a sunburn. So that’s why being in the shade is such a huge deal. We read our books, chatted, listened to the grandma next door curse, and watched the sun go down.
It was lovely!
Next thing we knew it was time to get ready for dinner. Tonight was semi- formal night and dinner was back at Animator’s Palate.
Tonight was drawing night! Everyone gets a big piece of paper with the form of a character on it. You also get a magic marker and use that marker to draw your own character. Then Disney animates the characters on screen with music and effects. Your character twists and turns and walks etc! So fun!
CSP’s is the green guy with SKOL shirt and my girl is green and blue girl with the star shirt. CSP’s green marker worked way better than my blue marker so I ended up two toned! You sign your work so then your name appears as an artist credit on the screen. It’s v cute! Kwan, our assistant server gave me an origami flower she made. So sweet!!!
After dinner we went back to the room to change into our swim suits and went up to the pool for some late night swimming.
Then it was time for bed!
Tomorrow- Castaway Cay and our 17th wedding anniversary!!!