Disney Magic to the Bahamas?? Day 7

Our last day of vacation!  Sigh.

Day 7  October 5 Monday

O’hana!

We woke up and got dressed for breakfast.  But this was no ordinary breakfast!  Today we were having breakfast at O’hana at the Polynesian Resort.  Amy made all the arrangements.  We drove over (CSP’s foot wouldn’t allow us to take the boat/monorail) and sat down to wait for our reservation.  We were chatting about our drive home was going to be affected by Hurricane Joaquin and I mentioned that my friend and travel agent Lisa sent me some information about highway closures.  Just then this lady says “Excuse me, who is your travel agent?”  I said “Lisa Reese”, and she said “I work with her”!  It really is a small world after all!  'Ohana

Our buzzer went off and we were seated and breakfast was served.  Scrambled eggs, potatoes, Mickey waffles, sausage, biscuits, fruit and bacon are served family style.  Not too far into breakfast and Mickey appeared! 'Ohana Then Lilo, Pluto,'Ohana and finally….my favorite…STITCH!!!! 'Ohana I’d never met him even after all my Disney cruises! 'Ohana He signed a painting Amy & Kevin gave us and was so sweet and careful about it.  I was so excited!!!  Especially when I found out that besides the cruises ‘Ohana is the only place you can meet Stitch now!'Ohana

Once breakfast was over CSP rested in the lobby while I bought a couple things in the gift shop.  Then it was back to the room to pack, say our goodbyes and hit the road!

We left about noonish and our route was fine up until when we were supposed to take I-26 from I-95 to Columbia. 70 miles of I-95 and large parts of I-26 were closed due to flooding from Hurricane Joaquin!  CSP, being super safety conscious and conservative, wanted to drive to Atlanta then home from there- adding another 8 hours to our drive!  I said no way.  I just knew I couldn’t do it.  We were up late last night and there was no way I could drive 14-16 hours home.  So we took 95 up to just below Savannah.  Then I cut over on 16.  I pulled over onto an exit and studied the map then took 119 North through South Carolina to Columbia.  We passed through the funniest little towns on this 2 lane highway.  Norway, Denmark, Sweden, etc!  They all were really just wide spots in the road but they all had a Dollar General!

Once we were on 77 North I felt better, but then that’s when we saw evidence of the flooding.  There were exits closed where the entire interchange was under water.  Spooky.  And then we needed gas.  I tried exit after exit but all the gas stations, restaurants etc. were closed.  So creepy!  We finally found a gas station about 40 miles north of Columbia.  We filled up there and made it home by 11 pm!  Only 2 hours longer than normal!  The pugs were so excited to see us!  And we were thrilled to see them too.  Too bad they don’t allow pugs on the Disney cruise ships!

Disney Magic to the Bahamas?? Day 6

Day 6 Sunday October 4

Miami!

We woke up at 6am to dress and pack last minute things and we were out in the lobby about 7 am.  We decided to skip breakfast on the ship (it’s not the buffet, it’s a sit down and ours wouldn’t have been until 9 ish) so we handled our own luggage and walked off the ship about 7:30 am.  We got in our cars and CSP & I followed Amy & Kevin as we tried to make our way out of Miami.

We made a turn and there was a rail road crossing with the lights going and the bars down.  So we waited.  And waited. No train. Then a taxi behind me started honking its horn.  What was I to do?  I was trapped!  All the sudden this guy got out of his van.  His friend drove the van through the bars.  Van Dude then calmly walked over to a tree and ripped off a branch.  He walked back to the rail road crossing bar and held it up over his head with the branch, all the while EATING A SANDWICH.  That must have been one good sandwich!  It was hilarious!  But we got through!  And on the road to Orlando.

Florida has a million toll roads and turnpikes and it cost us $20 to drive from Miami to Orlando.  Yikes!  Luckily they also have these travel plazas in the middle of the highway so you can access it from both directions.  You can get gas and food.  We stopped at one about an hour outside of Miami and got bagels and gas then made our way to Orlando.

Orlando!

We made it to Walt Disney World and the Wilderness Lodge! MNSSHP It’s so nice!  We were staying in one of the 2 bedroom villas there.  The lobby was just gorgeous!  We checked in then went to our villa and got settled in and took a wee nap. MNSSHP CSP got about 45 minutes in but I only got about 20.

We woke up and freshened up and got dressed for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! IMG_0141 Amy had matching orange shirts made for all 4 of us with our names on them.  CSP won’t wear anything with his real name on it so his says CSP!  Ha! MNSSHP Amy had LED light up necklaces for us all (here’s my get up) MNSSHP and for us girls she had tiny witches hat headbands. MNSSHP So cute!  Please disregard the deranged look on my face!  I was excited!

We took a boat over to the Magic Kingdom MNSSHP and got checked in just in time for our dinner reservations at Tony’s (the Lady and the Tramp restaurant).  We were all hungry as that breakfast stop was a long time ago!   We had a great dinner then took the train over MNSSHP to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  CSP & I haven’t been to the parks since 1999 so we were thrilled to get to ride some rides.  And God bless Amy because she got us fast passes so we wouldn’t have to wait in line.  Just standing on CSP’s foot is harder than actually walking.  Getting on and off rides proved challenging with his big boot.  But the staff was great and very accommodating.  For instance on the Haunted Mansion you have to hop into your Doom Buggy from a moving walkway.  Well they slowed it down for us so CSP could get in and out without killing himself.  We rode Pirates of the Caribbean and even It’s a Small World. MNSSHP

The weather was perfect!  It started out cloudy, then it drizzled, then the temperature dropped to nice and cool and the drizzle stopped.  It was awesome! MNSSHP

The Magic Kingdom was all decked out for Halloween! MNSSHP It looked so cool all lit up at night!

Before we went on this trip I polled all my Facebook friends about whether or not I should take my big DSLR camera or just my iPhone.  Thankfully I was convinced to just take my phone.  I got great pictures and didn’t have to worry about lugging around a big camera!  It helped that just a couple days before we left I was able to get the iPhone 6S which has a 12 megapixel camera.  I was pretty impressed with its performance!

After riding our rides it was time for the parade.  Amy got us the Happy Hallowishes Dessert Premium Package.  So at 8 pm we went to the Town Square and had preferred viewing areas all roped off for the parade.MNSSHP  Prime spots! MNSSHP The parade was awesome! MNSSHP I know this pic is blurry but it is of the Gravediggers, who were so great and I kind of know one of them because he’s my friend Leah’s brother! MNSSHP Baloo the Bear came over and kissed my hand and another character (I can’t believe I can’t remember which one!!!) high fived me!  MNSSHP MNSSHP MNSSHPWe even got to see the Headless Horseman on a gorgeous, giant black horse. MNSSHP

After the parade we were led through a back stage area over to the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant MNSSHP for a dessert party.  There was a lovely dessert buffet with Halloween themed desserts.  IMG_0123 So tasty!  Then at 10 the Hallowishes fireworks show MNSSHP began and we had perfect seats for it. MNSSHP Once the fireworks show was over we made our way back over to the front of Cinderella’s castle for the Sanderson Sister’s Show. MNSSHP It was super cute!  By now poor CSP was really hurting.  And silly boy wore a short sock under his boot thinking it would be cooler.  Well instead of being cool it allowed his boot to rub his leg raw!  So we decided to call it a night and headed back to the docks to take the boat back to the Wilderness Lodge.

When we got back to our villa there was a big Halloween sign on our door.  We opened the door and found the entire common room had been decorated!  There was a flickering candelabra, spiderwebs everywhere, luminaries all over, candy, and of course a huge Mickey Mouse on the coffee table!  It was SO cool!  And I totally forgot to take pictures of it all!  I was so tired from our long, but amazing day, and I was just in awe of it and so surprised!

We enjoyed the decorations for a little while then went to bed.  We had to be up early in the morning!

Disney Magic to the Bahamas?? Day 5

Day 5 Saturday October 3

Day at Sea!

CSP & I decided an early breakfast is a good idea so we were back at Cabanas at 7:30 am, even with losing an hour due to the time change.  Then it was back to the room for a nap.  I was tired as CSP didn’t get in until very late from his movie and he decided to shake my foot to wake me up and let me know he made it back.  We’re on a ship!  How far can you go?  Then I lost an hour on top of that so I was ready for my after breakfast nap.

We woke up and dressed and went up to Cabanas for lunch.  Here’s where I’m not a fan of buffets.  I love a good breakfast buffet but lunch and dinner I have a hard time.  I found some gnocchi and had a spoonful of that but that was it.  Meanwhile CSP was chowing down on some peel and eat shrimp. I love shrimp but I hate having to peel them.  It’s the prissy in me.  I thought I’d have time to grab something by the pool to eat like the schwarma, but next thing we knew it was almost 2 pm.

Time for Mixology!

We headed down to Keys bar.  There were about 30 of us who signed up for this class.  Each class is different in that you learn different drinks and techniques.  And it’s only $20 each!  You get 5 drinks for the $20, not bad considering your average cocktail on the ship runs about $8!  This is where I wished I had eaten more at lunch!  We made a Double Crown, Sea day Ratatouille Martini,Sea day Dr. Pepper (with beer),Sea day a B 52 shot,Sea day and a classic mojito.Sea day  I drank CSP’s martini and shot and gave him my mojito.  I like the flavored mojitos but am not crazy about the classic.

At the beginning of the class the bartender called up 4 of the men to do what he called a Taxi Cab. Sea day It was a shot of beer and then you’re supposed to drink the rest of your Corona as fast as you can, but the kicker is the bartender filled up the Coronas with Bacardi Limon!  And you’re supposed to do all this while standing on one foot.  Well CSP was called up to drink the Taxi Cab. Sea day All was fine until the one foot thing!  Kevin finished his cab the fastest!  We were having so much fun and had so many drinks to finish that when the class was over we just moved to party next door to O’Gill’s.

Jo, from the cruise staff, was in O’Gill’s hosting a pub quiz.  We signed up right away.  I love trivia.  Amy won!  She won 4 Disney Cruise Line baseball caps and gave CSP and I one each. Sea day Fun!

You might have noticed in some pictures I’m wearing a lanyard around my neck with a card in a plastic pouch.  I wanted to take a moment to explain the card.   It’s your Key To The World card and it acts as your room key and credit card while you’re on the ship.  You also present it to get on and off the ship. There’s a lot of information on this card.  Your name, the sail dates, the ship name, A for adult or C for child, what level Castaway Club member you are, your reservation number, dinner time, dining room rotation, table number, and the big letter is your muster station.

Then it was time to go back to the room to dress for dinner.  Our last dinner on the ship!  Tonight was in Carioca’s Sea day and it was a South American theme.  At the beginning of dinner at the large table next to us a man got down on one knee and proposed!  She said yes!  The room went wild!  It was SO loud all night.  We said our thank you’s and goodbyes to our wait staff.  They were so great!  Back to the room to pack. Sea day We didn’t get to sleep until almost 1 am!  Yikes!

Disney Magic to the Bahamas?? Day 4

Day 4 Friday October 2

Cozumel, Mexico!

Today CSP & I woke up super early to catch the breakfast buffet at a much less busy time.  It was so peaceful in Cabanas without the masses! After breakfast we went back to our room for a nap.  Nothing like an after breakfast nap!   We woke up and got dressed and went to Lumiere’s for lunch.  On the way we ran into Amy & Kevin who were on their way to a Tequila Tasting!  We decided not to get off the ship today as CSP’s foot was hurting him and we couldn’t afford a set back in his recovery.

At lunch Bianca from South Africa stopped by our table!  She was our server the 2 previous cruises on the Magic.  She remembered us!  It’s amazing to me that they can recognize a face out of the millions they see!  After lunch we went up to the pool deck and scored 2 of the coveted loungers in the shade. Cozumel There are only 8 of them and they are usually all taken by 8 am!  But it pays to stay on the ship when everyone else gets off!  I bought CSP and I some water shoes so we put those on and got in the hot tub.  He couldn’t go barefoot with his broken foot and needed some support. The whirlpool felt great on his poor feet.  Cozumel Our loungers were on the port side so we had front row seats to the pier when the skies opened up.  There was a huge rainstorm.  Remnants of Joaquin I’m sure. We spent the whole afternoon on the pool deck just lounging and getting in and out of the whirlpool.  Then it was time to get showered and dressed for dinner.

Tonight’s dinner was back in Animator’s Palate Cozumel Cozumel and it was Pirate Night! Cozumel I love seeing all the people dressed up as pirates.

After dinner we went up to Deck 10 for the fireworks. Cozumel Cozumel We had great seats and Disney put on a fantastic show.  Cozumel Cozumel Then CSP & Kevin decided to go see Ant Man in the theatre.  Amy and I decided to retire to our cabins and hit the hay! Cozumel It was a really relaxing day!

Disney Magic to the Bahamas?? Day 3

Day 3  October 1

Key West!

Our ship was diverted to Key West for our first stop because of Hurricane Joaquin.  We were only allowed to be on the island from 8 am to 1:45 pm! Well, none of the fun bars open before 11 am and we’re respectable adults. 🙂  No one wants to take day drinking to the 10 am level!  So at 9 we ate breakfast at the buffet at Cabanas.  We got off the ship and took the shuttle to Downtown Key West. It was when I was packing my day bag for Key West that I realized I left my prescription AND regular sunglasses in my car!  Boo!  Thank goodness Amy had some cute ones in my goody bag!  Our first stop in KW was Ron Jon Surf Shop where I picked up some cute sunglasses so I’d have a backup pair.  Then we went to CSP’s favorite, Sloppy Joe’sKey West We hung out there for about an hour Key West then stopped into Irish Kevin’s so our Irish Kevin could buy a hat. On the way there I got sucked into one of those over priced lotion stores by the sales dude who was slathering sea salt scrub all over me.  Before I knew what was happening he was bagging up $80 scrub and lotion!  Luckily Amy came in and saved me!  I hate confrontation and I know Lotion Dude was not happy with me leaving empty handed!  Amy & Kevin had to stop into CVS so CSP and I grabbed drinks at Starbucks (we had been saving up our free drinks to use on this trip).  It was a brand new Starbucks which was mercifully air conditioned but there was no seating! So back outside we went.  CSP & I found some shade on some steps while we waited for Amy & Kevin.  Then it was on the tram back to the ship!  On the way back to the ship we saw tons of the famous Key West chickens. Key West I just love how they hang out everywhere!

Our time in Key West went way too fast!  We were changed into our swimwear and up on the pool deck by 2 pm! Key West We grabbed something to eat at the lite bites counters.  I tried chicken schwarma and it was so good!  CSP got a coke from the bar and they served it in these cool cans. Key West He LOVED the Coke on the ship because it was made with real sugar!  We hung out for a while at the pool and people watched until we realized the Vacation Planning Desk was open.  So we scooted down to deck 4 and got in line to book our future cruises.  If you book online you save 10% and get a handsome onboard credit!  We booked for October 2016 and a placeholder cruise (which is now February 2017) because the 2017 prices weren’t out at the time.

Back to O’Gill’s for another pre-dinner drink.  Amy & Kevin had gone back to their room instead of O’Gill’s (I think) but we were able to keep in touch via Disney’s cruise app which allows texting! Key West So cute and fun!  And free!  So many Disney emojis!

We went back to the room and showered and dressed for dinner. Key West CSP enjoyed a beer in his new coozie courtesy of Amy & Kevin while I got ready. Tonight’s dinner was in Animator’s Palate.  It was a Pacific Rim theme.  Here’s where things got a little wonky.  At the first dinner we noticed that some kids were running through the dining room.  That’s no good for SO many reasons. But tonight at dinner it got out of control when Amy was hit in the head by a flying paper airplane!  People!  I know it’s a Disney cruise but that’s no excuse to allow your children to go wild!  After dinner we went back to our rooms for bed. Key West By now we knew our final itinerary. And we had to set our clocks back an hour. Where to next??

Disney Magic Western Caribbean Day 3- Day at Sea!

We slept in a little after our big day yesterday in Key West so we didn’t get up until about 9:15am.  Slapped some clothes on really quickly and ran down to the Future Cruise Desk.  We were first in line.  Yay! We had already booked our 2016 cruise but we wanted to see if we could get a better deal including the on board credit.  We did!  So we saved a bit of $$ AND got $200 on board credit for Jan 2016.  Yay!

We went back to our room and dressed for brunch at Palo! DSC_0082There’s a debate on every cruise which is better?  Palo Brunch or Palo dinner?  I’ll take em both!  They are both amazing!  But let’s talk about brunch first. DSC_0095 Palo is the adult’s only restaurant on all the Disney ships.  It’s Italian and incredible.  You’re required to dress up, which I love.  We don’t get out to fine dining establishments that often so I like putting on the ritz a bit!  Although brunch is more casual than dinner, men are still required to wear nice pants (no shorts) and no flip flops.DSC_0083

Brunch is a buffet and then you can order things like pizza and chicken parmesan (the best chicken parm you’ll ever have) or eggs benedict from the kitchen.  Here’s CSP’s plate from the cold buffet.  DSC_0085 It truly is a seafood lover’s dream!  Mariana from Mexico was our server and we enjoyed her so much I went to the manager and asked to be seated with her at our dinner reservation later in the week.  Then I asked if there happened to be any openings for any of the other nights.  We lucked out and they had an opening for tonight!  But back to brunch.  You get a cocktail with your brunch.  CSP chose prosecco and I chose Kir Royale. DSC_0086 Mainly because I have a Buxom lipgloss with that name and I’ve always wondered about it.  It was pretty good, but I’m not a huge champagne fan.  Oh!  and the sticky buns!  You must try a sticky bun!  So good.

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One thing that impresses me with Palo is their attention to detail.  It can get warm with the sun coming through those big windows in Palo so look how they ice the tea!  With frozen tea!  No watered down tea!  Genius! DSC_0089

Now after brunch is the best part.  The sweet wee little desserts!

DSC_0092 This one is fruit and CHAMPAGNE JELLO BITS.  Again- genius!!!DSC_0094 DSC_0091 DSC_0090 DSC_0093They are all bite sized desserts so try them all!  Brunch lasts a good two hours!  When we were finished we headed back to the room.  I ran into a member of our cruise group delivering Fish Extender goodies.  It was fun meeting her and bonding over our Fish Extender experience.

CSP and I changed out of our nice clothes and went up on deck.  We found some chairs in the adult section called Quiet Cove and read/napped the afternoon away!

DSC_0096 I could see the AquaDunk tube sticking out over the ocean from my deck chair. DSC_0098

DSC_0097My view- not too shabby!  Next thing we knew it was time to shower and dress for dinner!

Back at Palo!

DSC_0099DSC_0102DSC_0100DSC_0107 Dinner service is very different from brunch.  Much more formal.  They wait on you hand and foot and treat you like royalty!  Dinner starts with anti-pasta.   DSC_0106 Artichokes, roasted peppers, olives, parmesan cheese, proscuitto, and cured beef.  Topped with flavored olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  The artichokes are just fantastic.  They also bring you a fancy bread basket with warm garlic pizza bread and bread sticks. DSC_0105

For my appetizer I chose pesto grilled shrimp. DSC_0109 CSP chose his favorite soup- cippino.  It is chock full of seafood.  Mussels, shrimp, scallops, the works! DSC_0108

Between appetizers and entrees they bring you an intermezzo- lemon sorbet to cleanse your palate.  DSC_0110

For our entrees we both chose risotto.  CSP got the Risotto di Mare (risotto of the sea) with all the same sea creatures as his cippino, just on creamy risotto instead of a broth. DSC_0111 Topped with zucchini strips.  I chose the Wild Mushroom risotto.

DSC_0112 CSP said his was incredible and I had a taste of his risotto- he was right!  Mine was super good too.  Very VERY mushroomy.  We split a half portion (3 pieces) of lobster & marscapone ravioli.  They make their own pasta in house!  SO creamy and tender.DSC_0113

Dessert time!  CSP chose the tiramisu.  How cute is his cookie spoon??DSC_0114 I chose the Panna Cotta with macerated berries. DSC_0115  The best custard I’ve ever had.  Unreal.

But wait….it’s not over!  They bring out sgopino.  It’s a digestive aid frosty shot.  Really good actually.

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We walked (slowly) back to the room and changed into casual clothes. Then we went shopping!  It was Formal Night so everyone was busy with their dinners so the ship’s shops were empty.  Perfect timing!  We bought a t-shirt for CSP’s mom and one for his dad too to thank them for house and pug sitting.  We bought a 2015 magnet (we buy one on each cruise).  And then I spied a t-shirt with a sugar skull on it!  Just then CSP handed me a black Tervis tumbler.  I turned it around and it was perfect!!!

IMG_6444 HOW COOL IS THIS?!?!?  A Disney Cruise Line Tervis tumbler 24 oz with a SUGAR SKULL on it?!?!  It says “Cruisin’ It’s In My Bones”.  LOVE.   Once our purchases were made we high tailed it back to our room to go to sleep. When we got back to our room we had a new towel animal (a seal??) DSC_0117and some Fish Extender goodies. IMG_6385 Luckily our new friends the McC’s gave us a bag to use as our Fish Extender (more on this later I promise).

We have an early day tomorrow!

Up next….Grand Cayman!  Stingrays!  Mixology!

Disney Fantasy Western Caribbean Day 9- Odds & Ends, Breakfast & Dentures

Before we get to debarkation there are a couple areas of the ship I haven’t shown you yet.  Well, there are MANY areas of the ship you still haven’t seen but a week just isn’t enough time.  We still haven’t toured the kids’ clubs among other things, but there’s always next time!

Up at the very top of the ship is Goofy’s Sports Deck.  Want to play basketball?  Check! DSC_5807 Foosball?  Ok! DSC_5824 There is the CUTEST mini golf DSC_5813 at sea DSC_5816 you’ll ever see! DSC_5821DSC_5828  And great views of the poolsDSC_5779 (that poor squeegie guy.  All day long, back and forth he goes, his job NEVER ends!) and DSC_5818AquaDuck. DSC_5777  Plus there is a little water play area called Aqua Lab. DSC_5835 Very cute. DSC_5830  Cute clock up on the sports deck. DSC_5825

 

There’s a cool little bonus pool DSC_5757 you can dip your toes in if the other pools are too busy.  The adult pool is really neat with its cool water misterDSC_5761 and in pool bar

DSC_5767and different levels. DSC_5760

 

 

There are 2 theatres on the ship.  The Walt Disney Theatre where all the live shows are performed and the Buena Vista Theatre DSC_6081where they show movies. DSC_6080

 

 

Some random tips:

In every stateroom there is a safe.  I forgot to take a picture of it but to give you an idea how big it is, it held both our wallets, and my Nikon DSLR with attached lens and flash.  There was plenty of room to spare.  So if you bring an iPad or something along those lines, you have a safe place to store it.

In your room you will also find a mini fridge.  Not a beverage cooler like on the Magic and the Wonder, but a full on mini fridge.  You don’t need extra ice to cool down your drinks.

If you worry about getting sick while on a cruise this will make you feel better.  At every dining room before each meal there is someone there handing out antibacterial hand wipes.

We woke up early on Saturday, got dressed and had our Farewell Breakfast in the Enchanted Garden. IMG_3384  It was bittersweet.  We could have easily stayed another week but we were missing our pugs and family and friends.  After breakfast we collected our carry ons and made our way to the gangway to wait in the customs line. IMG_3386 We found our luggage easily, went through customs, and next thing you know we were in the parking lot!

The drive home was mostly uneventful.  Except…we stopped at McDonald’s somewhere along the way to go to the restroom.  I was waiting for the lady in front of me to finish with the sink.  She finally turned and looked at me while popping her dentures back in her mouth.  She had been cleaning them out in the sink.  I stepped up to the sink and about gagged because the sink was full of dirty denture water and bits of denture food!  GAG!!!

I’m so sad this trip blog is over.  Because that means our cruise is officially over.  SOB!  Luckily we’re already planning our next cruise!  Stay tuned!