06-11-2001, 10:41 AM
Well, it's morning and the ship doesn't seem to be moving. We're coming into Castaway Cay and we're moving, but very slowly. Even so far forward in the ship as we were, you can't feel the movement. We blew through the storm and it looks like a beautiful day. I thought I had read somewhere on the boards that we were allowed off around 8:15,so I got DS moving and I packed lotion,chapstick(don't forget about your lips,they get burned too),magazines,Navigator,hats and a couple of snacks from our "Shirley"baskets.Our TA had sent the DCL duffle to our cabin during boarding (what a great surprise!!)and I used that for towels and my own canvas beach bag for everything else.DH returned from his jog,changed and we were off. I have a hard time tolerating heat due to my still undiagnosed neurological problems and I figured that if I got on the beach early, I could take advantage of the cooler early morning air before it got really hot out. I also did not know what to expect in terms of umbrellas-how many were there? How far apart are they spaced(I can't walk alot,especially in sand).I'd been on these boards for 6 months, but you still don't know what's out there until you see it. I know everyone was saying how the lines form early, so get in line real early. We hopped in the elevator and I thought I pressed deck 2, but it turned out to be deck 1. The doors opened and a couple of cast members pounced all over us-saying we were way too early-we should go back to our cabin-we're not allowed on this deck-we don't belong there-etc.I felt compelled to blurt out how I pressed the wrong button and pressed #2 as quickly as I could to get out of there. DS asked if we just got in trouble- I said,no, but I felt as if we received an undeserved verbal thrashing for pushing the wrong button.We got off at deck 2 and there were only about 5 people there. I looked at my watch and it said 8:15 and surmised that my information wasn't accurate and we don't get off the ship that early. Within about 10 minutes that whole area in front of the elevators filled up and people were doing a little pushing. At 9, they opened the gang plank and the mass of humanity surged forward. They were waiting on land with towels,so we grabbed about 3 towels each and walked towards the tram area. You would think the tram would be there waiting, but it wasn't. It pulled up after a couple of minutes and we got on. There were people who chose not to wait for the tram and literally RAN towards the beach. People running,really.I was a little curious-what do they know that I don't?Why are they running? We passed most of them on the tram, got out and followed the signs to the beach. It was a short walk. Most of the beach was still empty as we must have been part of the first assault on the beach. I stopped to get a bearing on where we were. Not to far from the rental place-Gil's-not too far from the food place, not too far from the bathrooms,good let's look here for a spot. We saw 4 chaises(me, DH,friend Erica and DS and her son could duke it out over the last one,but DS chose the sand chair anyway). It was just to the left of the lifeguard chair and one row in from the water and most importantly,had an umbrella.We staked our claim. It was a rather calm process for us. But all around us, people are running and diving for chairs,bodies flying all over. DH(ex army captain) remarked on how it looked like a military assault,with people "taking the hill at any cost." We noticed that although filling up now, at first,when most of the beach was still empty,every hammock had a person in it. Every one!!!!(except for those waaaaay down the beach).We wondered how those people got there before everyone else. Did they go over the side at dawn,camoulflage clothes on,crawling up the beach on their stomachs to go unnoticed?HOW DID THEY GET THERE???Before EVERYONE else???It's a mystery to me. There were beach chairs enough for everyone. Those arriving in later beach assaults still got lounges, just not umbrellas and definitely not hammocks!The farther down you walked the better your chances of getting a place nearer the water and an umbrella and hammock.The area we were in definitely filled up first and quickly. DH headed over to Gils to get a tube and float while DS asked the lifeguard for two snorkeling vests(we have our own equipment).I lathered up DS and myself with a #50 lotion, even though it's all probably the same protection once you get past #30. DH,a retired HS principal, but still an active ocean lifeguard after nearly 40 years,started schmoozing with the other lifeguards while DS tested the water and pronounced it a little too cool for him, so DH went snorkeling and DS took that huge tube out. He had a ball with that tube. He loved it. I can't go into the water, because walking in the water causes me to use muscles that cause calf spasms,so believe it or not,I spent the day at CC and never went into the water. But it looked beautiful. At first, the only beings in the water were children, as the adults mentioned the cool temperature and we all know children don't have nerve endings,or so it seems, as the water temp. never bothers them.It's about 9:30, DS and DH are in the water and the sun is staring to peak out through the clouds-looks like it's gonna be a good day.