Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Day 8- Beer from around the world and our final dinner

After CSP’s wild ride on the AquaDuck we changed clothes back in our stateroom.  Snapped a quick pic of our view of Castaway Cay from our verandah. IMG_3375 Such gorgeous water!

We went to O’Gills pub on deck 4.  CSP had a ticket for a beer tasting.  I do not enjoy beer so tasting 5 of them does not sound like fun for me.  So I was just there as the photographer.  I was surprised at how many people were there considering we were still docked at Castaway Cay.  O’Gills is a very cool Irish pub. IMG_3378 I loved the little area where we sat for the tasting.IMG_3379  The bartender told us all about the history of beer as well as interesting facts about each beer they tasted. IMG_3377 Their beers went from light to dark.IMG_3380 Five 10 ounce beers for $15 is a great deal!  Plus you learn stuff.  Well, if you can remember it after drinking 5 beers in an hour!   He had Stella Artois, Sam Adams, Boddington’s Cream, Newcastle Brown, and Guiness. We really liked the peanut dispenser dishes they had in the pub. IMG_3381 No grubby fingers digging around for nuts.  It’s a French company who makes it though- Revol.  I’m on a mission to find these in the States.  So far I’ve only found a UK site that sells them for a reasonable price.

After the beer tasting we went back to the room and….sob…packed.

Then it was time for our last dinner of the cruise.  Back in the Enchanted Garden. By now our sunburns had really set in!  Check out CSP’s red face! DSC_6055  And my pitiful farmer’s burn! DSC_6056 Thank goodness I use good makeup so I could tone down my red lobstah forehead!

For his appetizers CSP chose the Trio of SalmonDSC_6061, and the sesame encrusted tunaDSC_6062.  I had a potato and goat cheese Napoleon. DSC_6060  We both chose Potato Leek soup but CSP also had the lobster bisque.  I think he was taking advantage of being able to order a million things for dinner one last time!  I had a cranberry salad.  Yum!

For our entrees CSP chose the Beef Wellington. DSC_6063 I chose the seafood linguini.  DSC_6064  I can’t shells in my food so CSP had Beef Wellington and clams plus asparagus! lol

CSP picked the dessert trio- Celebration Cake, chocolate decadence, and a cappuccino mousse tartlet DSC_6065 and I had the Celebration cake. DSC_6066

After dinner we went back to our room and found our last (sob) towel animal of the cruise. DSC_6067 A stingray!  CSP surprised me by bringing out the towel monkey!  He had been saving him in the closet. DSC_6068

If you’re wondering how I remember the names of all our dishes and all the details of our trip (especially after the Mixology class and wine in my cabin) I take notes.  I went to the Dollar Store and bought a multi pack of these tiny notebooks. photo  I slipped one in my wristlet (one just like this one) images-1with a pen and at every meal I would just jot down what we ordered.  I would take a few minuted throughout the day to write down things we did and saw.  My friend Lisa has a mind like a steel trap and can write up a trip blog 6 months later without missing a detail!  Me- I need help!  Hence the notebook.

But wait!  There’s more!

Next up…Pictures of the ship and Debarkation Day

Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Day 8- Castaway Cay!

One of the highlights of the cruise- Disney‘s private island Castaway Cay!   But before we get to that, I forgot to show you our towel animal from last night! DSC_6054

So, on Friday we woke up early and had breakfast at Cabanas buffet again.  We had already changed into our swim shirts and swim suits so after breakfast we went straight to the gangway to go ashore.  We should have put our sunscreen on in the room, but I thought- there’s always time for sunscreen.  That was a mistake!  By the way, I HIGHLY recommend swim shirts/rash guards for every member of the family.  I’m very fair and my swim shirt really protects me from the sun, but because it’s sort of like a swim suit it doesn’t get weighed down by the water like a regular tshirt would.

Big Bear is ready to go! IMG_3356  Waiting for the tram is a great opportunity to take a nice picture of the ship.  She’s a beauty! IMG_3355We took the tram IMG_3364to Serenity Bay,IMG_3357 the adult beach.  Tip- go early or you’ll be hoofing it to the far end of the beach to find your chairs.  There are plenty of chairs and umbrellas.  We found a great, shaded spot under the 4th yellow umbrella. IMG_3358  The view from my chair. IMG_3359  We were reading our books when we spotted the dashing Captain Jack Sparrow wandering down the beach.  IMG_3360Who knows where he came from! IMG_3361  He has the swagger of a pirate down pat!

After a few hours of lounging it was time for lunch.  Even though the map of Castaway Cay shows Cookie’s BBQ & Cookie’s Too, they also provide lunch just off the adult beach next to the bar.  It’s a buffet with burgers, hot dogs, mahi mahi, ribs, lots of sides, lots of wonderful fresh cut fruit, and even a couple of ice cream machines!

After lunch was another good time to put on sunscreen.  But by now I was ready to get in the water and that was the only thing on my mind. We were being entertained by some pelicans down the beach.  They were so fun to watch as they swooped through the air then slammed into the water to get their fish.  Not the most graceful of divers- they look like they are about to break their necks when they hit the water!  I couldn’t get the best picture of them because the only cameras I brought with me were my iPhone and the underwater camera.  But see that splash?  That’s a pelican. PICT0063

As you can tell from the pictures, it was a fairly overcast day.  It was still nice and warm and the water was very cool, but once you got used to it it was just fine.   My view of the beach from the water: PICT0055  See the building there between the umbrellas?  That’s where the restrooms, bar, and buffet are located.  Just steps away from paradise!

PICT0056  CSP came out in the water with me. PICT0054  The water is quite shallow for a looooong way out at Serenity Bay.  That’s the only thing I’d change about it if I could.  I wish it were more of a traditional beach where you can walk out like 50 yards and get to chest high water.  Plus it’s very rough on your feet.  Rocks? Coral?  Something.  But I suppose it’s good that Disney didn’t go in there and just tear stuff up too.  Regardless we still enjoy it very much.  PICT0061  And there’s the start of a VERY red forehead.  Here are some of the little tiny fish that were all around us in the water. PICT0065  You can see how shallow the water was right there.  Only a couple feet deep.

After we dried off we went back to the ship.  We had to get back in time for CSP’s 4:30 beer tasting.  I snapped a couple more pictures of the ship on the way back. IMG_3365    Here you can see Dumbo on the back of the ship painting the logo, just under the flag.  Click to enlarge.  IMG_3366And look who we ran into just outside the ship!  Stitch! IMG_3372 CSP jumped right in the short line to get a picture with him.   You can see how far out the AquaDuck juts out over the side of the ship. IMG_3367 Speaking of….

When we boarded the ship we had just enough time for CSP to ride the AquaDuck.  The line wasn’t all that long because people were still on Castaway Cay.  He was so excited!   The part you see in the video is when he passed Donald’s pool and Mickey’s Pool.  He especially loved going through the tunnels where the lights were all on.  Fun!

Next up….Beers from around the world and our final dinner!

Double digits baby!

We’re in the double digits now!  Less that 100 days til we cruise the new Disney ship the Fantasy!  We are SO excited!  I’ve actually talked CSP into doing an excursion on Grand Cayman.  This is a huge deal.  Instead of saying “Where are we visiting?” he says “How many times do I have to get off the ship”!!  So getting him to sign up for an organized excursion almost took an act of Congress!  We’re going to go see the Stingrays!   Maybe I shouldn’t have shown him this photo!   The only other place I can talk CSP into getting off the ship is Castaway Cay.  We’re also stopping in Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico but he’s convinced we’ll get kidnapped by a drug cartel if we step foot anywhere in Mexico.   He comes by the name Cap’n Safety Pants honestly!

 

Disney Magic- Day 8

Friday, February 3, 2o12    Castaway Cay

Today is the day we’ve been looking forward to all week!  Castaway Cay!  Castaway Cay is Disney‘s private island.  They have 3 separate beaches– the family beach, the sports beach, and the adults only beach called Serenity Bay.  Paradise I tell you!

We woke up early and had breakfast in our room.   Look at that view!  Just as we were about to put on our swim suits and SPF, a message came over the loud speaker.  It was the captain telling us they were having technical difficulties.  Boo!  So there was a 2 hour delay getting to the island.  One of the ships’ side thrusters (used instead of tug boats) was malfunctioning.  They got it running again and the next thing you know we were docked at Castaway Cay!

We got off the boat and went to wait for the tram.  On the way to the gangplank we ran into Donald.  Then CSP got stopped by Minnesota people who recognized the TC (Twin Cities) on his shirt and had to talk baseball! 

We walked over to the tram station.  On the way we passed the post office.   Chip and Dale were there!   We took the tram (even the tram route is pretty)  to Serenity Bay and got lunch(since it was so late now) before we picked out our chairs on the beach.  Lunch was a buffet and I didn’t take pictures.  But it was great!  Mahi mahi, ribs, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, lots of different salads, fruit, ice cream even!

CSP and I picked out our chairs (there are hammocks too!).  I didn’t bring my good camera on the island so these are all iPhone pics, but not too shabby eh?  This was the view from my chair.   We went out into the cool water and swam and swam.  Or bobbed and floated!  There were some snorkelers nearby who warned us of giant starfish and stingrays.  We saw lots of fish and I was calling for a dolphin baby to come see me but no real wildlife.  UNTIL…we decided to go chill out on the beach.  We were really far out in the water and were doing the stingray shuffle as to not step on one.  I noticed some holes in the sand under our feet and pointed them out to CSP.  I reached down to see what it was just as CSP saw the tail.  It was a stingray!  CSP started yelling “Crocodile Hunter!” and tackled me to get out of the way of the tiny baby stingray who just wanted to hang out with me!   CSP is not a fan of wild animals.  We made our way back to our chairs.  CSP went and got us some cocktails.   We relaxed on our chairs for a while.  Reading books and I may have nodded off a bit.   We eventually noticed people making their way back to the ship so we packed up and hopped back on the tram.    Back on the ship we went up on deck to get some shots of the island. 

We went back to the room and packed up our luggage since this was our last night on the cruise. 😦    Then we got ready for dinner.  Dinner tonight was in Animator’s Palate.   We haven’t been to Animator’s Palate since the first night of the cruise.  CSP’s appetizer was a sesame seared tuna tartare.  So pretty!    He also had some sort of seafood mixture.  I can tell that’s shrimp and scallops and maybe salmon.  Not sure why I didn’t write this down.I had the chicken sate .    If you’re wondering how I remembered all the things we ate, I brought a tiny notebook and put it in my purse.  Then after we ordered I’d write down everything we ordered.  Just before bed I’d write down everything we did that day.  There’s no way I’d remember everything on my own!

We both had soup- CSP had lobster and crawfish bisque while I had potato leek soup.  Our entrees included orange roughy stuffed with crab for CSP and seafood pasta for me.  Lobster, scallops, shrimp and clams.  I put those clams on CSP’s plate immediately.  I can’t stand the idea of their shells touching my food!   Dessert was a yummy strawberry and creme cake called Celebration Cake for me and the trio for CSP.  It included chocolate mousse,a chocolate tart and a little celebration cake.    During dinner service there was a little show.  The man waving is Val, our waiter.  We love Val.  He’s from Romania and his wife works on the ship too.  There are over 55 countries represented in the dining staff alone!

After dinner we went back to our room and went right to bed because tomorrow we have to get up early for breakfast and debarkation!

2011, I think you’re gonna rock

2011 is going to be a big year for us.  On March 3 CSP & I will celebrate 10 years married.  On December 12 CSP will turn 40.  Between March & December we’ll have lots of other things going on as well I’m sure.  We’ve decided to celebrate those two milestones with a Disney Cruise in January 2012!  We’re so excited!  We booked the cruise in November with Lisa.  She’s a Disney travel agent (she’s also one of my favorite people) and she totally took care of us.  Got us the perfect room.  Then on CSP’s birthday his parents booked the cabin next to ours.  We haven’t taken a vacation with them before so it’s high time.  We are cruising on the Disney Magic.  When Lisa & Pete got married we cruised on the Disney Wonder.  It was so wonderful!  I can’t wait to experience another ship.  Cruising is my absolute favorite way to vacation.  If we could cruise to Vegas I’d totally do it.  I love the Disney ships most of all.  They are so beautiful!  This will be my 10th cruise and CSP’s 3rd.  It will be his parents’ first commercial cruise.  His dad did some cruising as a Vietnam vet but that’s not quite the same!  We booked rooms with balconies again.  We had a balcony room for Lisa & Pete’s wedding cruise in 2008 and it was wonderful.  Well worth the extra cost.  I went on a cruise in November 2009 on a Royal Caribbean ship and it just made me miss the Disney ship even more!

Our itinerary is exciting!  We are stopping at Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island),  Key West (CSP’s never been), Grand Cayman, and Cozumel.  We may stay on board in Cozumel if Mexico is still as dangerous then as it has been lately!  We don’t mind staying on board though- you get the pool to yourself!  Plus we have 2 full days at sea.  It’s a 7 night cruise- a real treat!

One of the most exciting aspects of this trip is who might be going with us… Continue reading