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View Full Version : 8/4 Magic--Day 7--Friday, Castaway Cay


miksicnarf
08-21-2001, 05:43 PM
The guys were slow getting up, as usual. We ordered coffee in the room, and Michael, Alex and I watched us dock from our verandah. We were on the starboard side (I think…I’m pretty sure…never did quite get that starboard/port thing straight) and had a great view of Castaway Cay as we backed in. Alex and I were scheduled to parasail at 11:20, so we got off first and took a Talkabout with us to let the guys know where we were. As we walked toward the tram, we passed Marge’s Barges and stopped to confirm that this was where we were to board the parasailing boat. It had to be well over 100° on the island, and we were melting by the time we got to the beach. I’m assuming it was a beach—all we actually saw were lounge chairs, one right against the other. I have never seen such a crowded beach in my life, and not a vacant chair in sight. After hiking what seemed like miles, we finally found two sand chairs stacked together, and we each dragged one to a spot that was probably in the middle of a narrow walkway between the rows of lounges but it was the only available spot to place the chairs and we absolutely couldn’t walk another step. Neither of us was very cheerful at this point. Alex immediately ran into the water, with no sunscreen, and I was too miserable to put up much of an argument. “Marge” had told us to be 15 minutes early for our parasailing gig, so we had to turn around and head right back there. The Talkabouts proved useless, as I got no response when trying to raise the guys although they later said they did have theirs on and were trying to reach us. I had hoped they’d be with us by now so I could leave my camera with them; now I didn’t know what to do. In retrospect I should have brought it with us to the boat, but I just didn’t know how the boat situation would be and was too dang hot to think straight. Luckily, I did bring a cable lock with me for just such circumstances, so I threaded the cable through the camera strap, the bag, and both chairs and locked the whole mess together. I wasn’t comfortable about leaving it unattended, but someone would have had to have been extremely motivated to steal it. I wasn’t sure we had enough time to wait for the tram, so Alex and I walked back to the boats where we met Michael and the boys. Michael asked where my camera was but I was just too hot and grumpy and upset to explain. I had some paperwork to fill out before we sailed, and by the time I’d finished that and calmed down a little the guys had walked off. I’d hoped Michael would be able to get some pictures of us parasailing, but oh well.
Neither Alex nor I had parasailed before, but both of us have always wanted to. After a short wait, we got on the boat with about 6 or 8 other folks, several of whom I recognized as fellow late-night Internet junkies from the Café. As I watched the first man go up, I thought oh no, what did I get myself into! It looked terrifying! But after watching a few others sail, smiling and waving from the air, I decided we’d live through it. Finally it was our turn. We were strapped into lifevests and harnesses that fit around our thighs—the boat driver cautioned us not to pull the harness up any higher or we’d get a massive wedgie :) Alex and I sailed together with the larger person (me) in the back, smaller in front. The takeoff was just as smooth as could be, and we began to float gently up, up and away. It was awesome, very different from what I’d imagined; I though we’d feel the speed of the boat but no, you just float calmly in the air. The harness is very secure and you don’t have to hold on, so once I got used to the feeling I started doing YMCA formations…hehehe. As we were reeled back in Gerard, the captain, let our toes dip into the water before we landed on our feet on the back of the boat. I highly recommend this experience—the sensation is incredible, and the view of the Magic and Castaway Cay below just makes it superlative. Back on the boat, one of our fellow parasailers, a woman from Wisconsin I believe, said she’d taken a few pictures of us and asked for our address so she could send them. That was so nice of her and much appreciated.
The parasailing experience had lifted not only our bodies but our spirits as well, so we were in a much better frame of mind as we took the tram back to the beach. We picked up our floats and made our way back to our chairs, where I was relieved to see my camera gear just as I’d left it…whew. We spotted Michael and the boys right away, floating in the water and we joined them…ahhh, relaxation at last! The water at CC was very nice, not quite as clear as Trunk Bay. Soon the guys were ready for lunch, but Alex and I floated a bit longer before joining them. Lunch was excellent—as on Trunk Bay I think it has a lot to do with that outdoor/exertion phenomenon…whatever, that goes on record as one of the best burgers of my life and appropriately enough, Jimmy Buffet’s Cheeseburger in Paradise was playing as we ate. It doesn’t get any better than this!
After eating, the boys were ready to head back to the ship and Michael wasn’t far behind them as he didn’t want to miss the big jackpot at the final bingo game, which was scheduled for 2:45 in the Walt Disney Theater, because such a big crowd was anticipated. No one had won the jackpot all week, and it was expected to be over $5000. I overheard lots of other people making plans to hurry back to purchase their bingo cards, and I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to leave CC early just to play bingo. It’s not like you have any great chance of winning. Oh well, fine with me if the crowd thins out!
Alex and I did a little shopping at She Sells…and Everything Else—we each got a t-shirt. Back at the beach we headed to the water with our floats…I stopped off first at the beverage raft and got a Konk Kooler. I got the biggest kick out of this—a CM pulling an inflatable rubber raft full of ice and drinks…wading through the water tooting a bicycle horn. Lying on my raft, sipping a Konk Kooler with the Magic in the background…again I had to wonder, does it get any better than this?
Apparently it does! All too soon we heard the announcement that it was time to clear the beach. We gathered up our stuff and trudged back toward the ship, bypassing the crowd waiting for the tram. There were some great photo opps along the way, with the ship in the background framed by palms on the beach so I’m glad we walked. We got back to an empty room, but the guys came in shortly—with $2750!!! Yep, Michael won the final bingo jackpot, which was $5500 but had to split with another woman. He said he’d gone alone to the theater and bought his cards, then while waiting decided to go get the boys to help him. Since Andrew had never been to bingo before, Michael rubbed his short, buzzed hair for luck and it sure worked. For a good while, he was the only claimant but just before they were ready to give him the whole $5500, the other winner called out so they split the pot. At first I didn’t believe them, since we’d fooled Andrew the day before I figured this was a payback…but the wad o’cash was real enough. What great luck!
Ritesh, the concierge manager, stopped by with a farewell gift—a photo of the ship and I think some other treat. I asked if he could possibly round up a set of trading cards for Alex—she’d been collecting them, but missed quite a few and lost a couple. Ritesh said he’d try but couldn’t make any promises…later that evening he and Ruth brought the set of cards :)
Alex and I went to the farewell variety show, which I thought was the best show of the cruise. The two comedians, Rich Purpura and Gary Delena were hysterical.
We all decided to skip the dining room—it would have been our third night in Parrot Cay. We ordered in from the Small World menu: Michael got several of the soft shell crab starters, which I think he liked; Mikey got salad and Alex and I got quesadillas. I think we got some combination of fettucine, prime rib and salmon entrees, and a few unremarkable desserts. I felt badly that Aleksander, Antonia and Sandra probably thought we were stiffing them, but we had their tips ready and planned to have Ruth deliver them if we didn’t see them ourselves. Although I’d read it isn’t customary to tip the concierge, Ruth had given us such outstanding service that Michael insisted on doing so. He called to ask her to come to our suite, but got her voice mail and left a message for her to call back. She never did, and we never saw her again so that was unfortunate for her.
Throughout the evening we were working on packing—what an unappealing chore. Maybe I could have asked Ruth and Ritesh to do it for us…hehehe. We managed to get everything packed away and out in the hall, where our bags were whisked away as fast as we put them out. I made a final foray to the gift shops, where I bought DCL mugs for my brother and my friend whom I’d be visiting after the cruise; our annual, traditional Disney Christmas ornament from Mickey’s Mates, and the t-shirt I’d had my eye on from Treasure Ketch. Surprisingly, it rang up for half-price :)
Michael went to ESPN to have a last drink and cigar with his buddies there. He was a minor celebrity onboard that last day, The Guy Who Won the Jackpot. When he got back, we struggled over the Customs form. We watched Jim the cruise director’s lecture on TV and read the instructions left in our room, and we’re not unintelligent people but still we weren’t very clear on what we were supposed to do. The amount and combinations of things we’d bought and places we’d bought them, compared against the allowances and restrictions given by Disney (there’s far less information on the Customs form itself) just didn’t quite make sense. I thought we should ask the Customs agent to be sure, but when we saw that we’d have to get up at 6:00 a.m. to do that we both said forget it, we’ll do the best we can and take our chances. Michael had been tipping Eulanda all week, and he gave her her grand finale tip envelope tonight so she was well taken care of. It was so sad knowing this was our last night on the ship, our last night in this beautiful suite. While we still had another week of vacation, there’d be no more room service, no more towel animals, no more bar rafts and worst of all, no more chocolate lava cake…

sandee
08-22-2001, 05:03 AM
Wow! What a great report. I loved each and every installment. Your eye for detail allowed me to experience what it would be like to have a suite and that was fun. I can see a lot of work went into this report and I thank you for sharing your vacation with us.

crazy for mic
08-23-2001, 11:36 PM
I loved your trip report. On our last cruise, we had the same problem with our waiter, so I understand how you feel. Question for you...the parasailing on Castaway Cay....Is there a height limit for it? My daughter, who will be 7 for our next cruise wants to go so badly and my husband wants to take her, but she is so tiny. I wouldn't want to get her hopes up. Also, Do you remember the price? Thanks for your help.:)

miksicnarf
08-24-2001, 02:07 AM
Crazy for Mic, glad you liked the report, thanks for your comments :) Unfortunately, the minimum age for parasailing is 8 and minimum weight is 90 lbs. If your daughter hits those dessert buffets like I did, she may be able to make the weight requirement but she'll still have to wait another year before she can fly. The cost is $70 per person, whether you go up alone or with a partner, and I'd say you're airborne about 5 minutes.