Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Day 4- Missing the boat & the Enchanted Garden

We got back to the ship at somewhere between 3:30 and 4 and were famished!  We’d missed lunch so after we changed out of our swimsuits we went up to Flo’s V8 Cafe and got some snacks.  We sat and ate in the adult section near the adult pool and noticed that the ship was moving.   With a ship that large there are no jack rabbit starts but you can look out at the island sky lineDSC_5654 and tell you’re moving.  About 30 minutes later we stopped. That was strange!  There are usually no quick stops and starts!  We went to look over the side of the deck and saw why we stopped!   Down below was a tender boat FULL of people trying to get on the ship!  They almost missed the boat!  DSC_5651  There were 2 other boats just like it chasing after the Fantasy!

We went back to our room and took a nap then got ready for dinner.   Quick tip before we head to dinner.  The hair dryer on the Fantasy is fabulous! DSC_5659  The hair dryers on the Magic and Wonder are pretty awful so I was worried about having to pack a hair dryer and taking up all that suitcase room, but these are fantastic!  Note in the picture a bottle of Scentsy Room Spray.   A MUST pack item.  Disney staterooms are nice and large, but they are still in close quarters with the bathrooms so air freshener can become important.  IMG_3315  In this picture you can also see my makeup mirror and in the makeup mirror you can see that I was highlighting the items on the Navigator that we wanted to do that night.  Tuck a highlighter in your bag, it’s very helpful!

Dinner tonight was at the Enchanted Garden.DSC_5676  This is a beautiful restaurant.  My only complaint is that the tables are too close together.  We were sitting just the 2 of us at a 4 top table and the empty chairs at our table kept getting bumped by passengers as well as the waitstaff.  Good thing there wasn’t anyone sitting there!DSC_5660DSC_5662.  CSP and I both chose the same appetizer, the lobster ravioli.DSC_5663 SO yummy!  Then CSP had the Ahi tuna stack with avocadoDSC_5664.  Disney chefs do such a nice job with presentation.  So pretty!  I had a yummy salad- spinach and raspberry. DSC_5666CSP had an asparagus soup that he really liked.   DSC_5665 We both chose the same entree.  Scallops and sea bass on risotto with peas and fava beans and a sweet chili sauce. DSC_5667 I’d never had fava beans before (only heard about them from the Silence of the Lambs), so I was a little wary.  But OMG this was one of my favorite dishes of the cruise!  I’m not the biggest fish fan in the world either but this sea bass just melted in your mouth!

The ceiling in the Enchanted Garden changes from white to pink to midnight blue during the course of your dinner. DSC_5673 The light flowers bloom throughout the night as well.  DSC_5674 So pretty! For dessert I chose the bananas Foster sundae DSC_5668while CSP created his own sundaeDSC_5669. There is a fountain in the middle of the Enchanted Garden. DSC_5671 DSC_5672  There are special booths in the middle of the restaurant. DSC_5675 And gorgeous lighting everywhere. DSC_5677

While we were enjoying our dessert the head waiter ,Witt, came by to check on us.  He tapped me on the shoulder and said “Ma’am, ketchup?”  I turned to look at him just as he squeezed a ketchup bottle at me and ketchup came flying out of the bottle at me.  I screamed!  But it turns out it was a trick bottle like this one.images-1 So funny!

I forgot to mention something about the excursion to Stingray City.  When we came back from our port adventure there was a tent set up on the dock with Disney Cruise Line workers handing out cold water and small iced down towels.  It was so nice!  CSP loved being able to wipe down his sweaty head on a hot afternoon!

After dinner we went back to our room where we found our latest towel animal- a cute turtle. DSC_5680 We had stateroom 5546 DSC_5678.  The doors to your stateroom are metal so you can decorate them with magnets (no tape).  We watched an episode of Castle, turned our clocks back an hour and went to sleep.

Next up …Costa Maya and the Rainforest! IMG_3311

Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean – Day 4 Grand Cayman & Stingray City

CSP finally got sick just as I was starting to feel better.  Poor guy.  But he was a trooper!  We woke up early and had breakfast at Royal Court.  CSP had lox and bagels and eggs benedict. IMG_3309  I had a strawberry yogurt mix and eggs benedict. IMG_3310  Breakfast was over by 9 and we couldn’t meet up with our excursion group until 11:30.  CSP was feeling pretty crummy so we went back to the room so he could lay back down for a while.

At 11:30 we met up in the D Lounge with the rest of our excursion group.  We were given a sticker to wear (Aladdin), some towels, and we were able to buy water for the trip (Evian at not bad prices).  We got off the ship onto a tender boat thenPICT0002 off that boat to the pier and followed the lady with the Aladdin sign to our meeting place.  Once we were all accounted for we got on air conditioned busses.  In Grand Cayman they drive on the wrong side of the road so the ride to the canal to get on the tour boat was a wee bit scary!   The bus driver was eerily silent as he weaved through traffic then turned into a neighborhood!  I thought for sure we were all going to be sold or killed.  But all the sudden between 2 houses there was our boat!

The crew was very informative and told us all about stingrays on the 45 minute boat ride out to Stingray City.  Stingray City is a sandbar out in the middle of the ocean where stingrays have learned boats drop anchor and food.  Sure enough, as soon as we stopped the stingrays flocked to our area.  We were a little worried about the weather because it was pretty overcast when we got on the tour boat.  PICT0003  But by the time we made our way to Stingray City it had cleared up.   Now, I have to tell you something.  Before the cruise I bought an underwater digi cam underwater-digital-camera-ca8b_600.0000001306533762from Photojojo for just $35.   Being winter I didn’t have an opportunity to hop in the ocean or pool to play with the camera before we left.  The camera takes videos (no sound) as well as pictures.  Well apparently I was taking videos when I thought I was taking pictures.  So bear with me as you check out the following 10 seconds or less videos!  They are a little Blair Witchy, but I didn’t know I was filming!  Overall though I’m really pleased with the camera’s performance.  Best $35 I’ve spent on tech!

So, we pulled up to Stingray City and dropped anchor.  Everyone put on life vests and grabbed snorkel gear (if so desired).   We climbed down the ladder into the crystal clear, waist deep water.  The wind was whipping pretty good, causing some waves, but overall the conditions were perfect!   This is the tour boat: PICT0013 (1)  Here’s CSP looking for stingrays:PICT0014 (2) PICT0011 Here’s me looking for stingrays:PICT0009 You have to be careful and watch where you walk or you could step on one!  Here is a selfie that didn’t turn out so great because we clearly didn’t know how to use the camera! PICT0012 The three crew members of our tour boat were awesome.  They got down in the water with us and held stingrays for us to come pet.  Then they would transfer the stingray to you and let you hold it!  So fun!    Stingrays feel like giant mushrooms and are super sweet.  They rub all up on your legs and bump into you.  Like a bunch of sea puppies!   CSP even kissed one, a pregnant female!

There were a few other boats at Stingray City checking out the stingrays.   Here you can see the crowd of people checking out the stingrays:  We had a great time and got to spend about an hour out with the stingrays. Here’s a close up of CSP and a boy stingray:  The males are small and the females can get huge!  Like 5 feet across!    In this video you can see the chum bucket floating to attract the stingrays. They fill the buckets with chopped squid.  We didn’t feed the stingrays though because they can get over fed.  You can also see the boat captain & CSP handling a boy stingray.    Here are a couple more of CSP handling stingrays.  He became a pro!    Now, I have to tell you when I first booked this excursion CSP was all “I’m not getting off the boat!  Those things can kill you!  You risk your own life!”  But he listened to the crew’s stingray safety talk and was just in awe of the creatures.  Ask him now what was his favorite part of the whole cruise and he’ll tell you it was the stingrays!

Next up….Fantasy almost leaves without a BUNCH of passengers, and the Enchanted Garden

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!

 

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