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Old 02-27-2013, 08:38 PM   #16
kalel29
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The treasure of "Family Time" is worth far more than any gold Captain Jack finds...

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Old 02-28-2013, 10:41 AM   #17
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Can't help it~there is something about Ed...kinda like the Gary Sinise thing...
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Very much enjoying your report (again!) Thanks for sharing
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:16 PM   #18
DonDuck707
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looking forward to another update
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:41 PM   #19
OrcaPotter
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Day 3

-----------**Thanks to those of you following and reading!**------------

Now, you can toss me into the camp who loves Castaway Cay. That was one aspect of our first DCL cruise last year that we raved incessantly to everyone about for the entire year up until this one. Naturally, all of our newbies (perhaps maybe not Grandpa) were stoked as well.

My parents, however, when we last left off, had stayed up until 2 or so AM to watch us leave Nassau. So, I slept well that night without the dulcet sounds of snores! It took them a little longer to get up that morning, so when room service arrived, both of us were still dreaming.

My tip for you, and I may have already given it, but consider this a reminder for myself: If you want room service to arrive in the later half of the window, choose the next window. Both cruises, they arrived promptly at the beginning of the window on the dot. I think for Alaska, we'll choose the 8 AM arrival for non-port days.

We had already arrived at Castaway Cay. The day was just as beautiful as it was last year--although perhaps a tiny bit warmer. As result, I didn't take any new photos of the island from our room. We got ready for the beach and this time, had breakfast in Enchanted Garden.

Here's another tip for those with wheelchairs/ECV's: The restaurants are JAMMED with tables and the walkways are very narrow with 90 degree angles. The ECV couldn't make it, and we struggled every time we tried. I took charge in EG of driving the ECV back out and bringing it in when needed because there is absolutely no place to put it or drive it in far.

Now, I'm a huge fan of Mickey waffles. I sincerely believe they are made with magic and pixie dust, because they just taste awesome to me. Anything Mickey shaped tends to be. Cabanas seems inconsistent with having them available (last year, they were only out once; this year, I never saw them). I was disappointed when we get to EG's buffet only for me not to find them. But I see people with them! Like a kid, I bounced around trying to find them, but they kept running out. The line I got out of replaced their stock just as I left. I had to get back into line.

Soon, we were finished and on our way out. We walked passed all the photo ops, and decided to skip the tram and walk to the beaches. It felt good to stretch out our legs and actually walk. I was still kinda feeling the effects of my stomach issue, so it really helped to exercise.

Up until this point, I had not really bothered with character photos. I was not willing to wait in the long lines. And compared to last year, the lines were definitely longer. However, we lucked out at Mount Rustmore when Mickey had a shockingly short line. We decided to wait. Only, he was leaving, only to be replaced by Minnie--we didn't mind.


I lied. We snapped a quick obligatory aft photo.


Then, we browsed the little gift shop--I decided what I would be getting before we left. Dixie went ahead and bought a few things, Kris bought a hat, and Manda debated on buying a castle sand bucket. She ended up passing, but I think she still should have gotten it. Problem is, there is so much relaxing and fun potential on this island that it really seems like a day is not long enough to do it all. I can understand why folks go nuts over the double-dips.

Last year, my parents and I went on an epic quest to find Serenity Bay. Perhaps the only thing that needs clarifying is that the tram stop to take you to SB is the Pelican Point stop. There is no sign that says, "Tram to Serenity Bay" and the map is confusing because it marks the drop-off stop, not the pick-up. So, we ended up wandering everywhere last year and never realized that Pelican Point is where we had to go. After a lot of the same walking and wandering this year, we eventually figured this out. The other dilemma? Would they be able to transport my grandfather's scooter? The answer is yes. And a big shoutout to the folks who sat in the handicap family section, causing us all to split up.

Finally, we were on our way to adult nirvana! Dad was very keen on having his photo taken with the Donald plane:


We grabbed Grandpa a sand wheelchair just in case, and it took 2 of us to push him up and over onto the beach. It was just as beautiful as expected, and not crowded--but of course all the hammocks were taken or piled with people's stuff. I cannot understand why folks cannot share these public things. Bring your own hammock if you want to keep it all day.

The other problem was there was a semi-steep incline from the water to the beach. And the sand was filled with broken shells. This made walking around a little tricky. We found a spot close to the walkway back to the tram and to the food, and immediately went to go evaluate just how cold the water was:








Dad thought this pelican was real until he got up close to it.

Just like last year, the water was FREEZING. But, we found that if we forced ourselves to stand in it long enough, we got used to it. This led to me and Myna spending the good part of an hour slowly wading out until we were crazy enough to dunk ourselves entirely in. The water was never more than waist high, that is, until the tide went out.

I found that I, ironically, spent most of my day in the water. It was just too beautiful. When I needed to warm up a bit, I grabbed Myna and we found a random hammock out in the middle of everything to lay in. But it was lunch time, so we stayed only about 15 minutes or so. Long enough for the rope to make indentations on my back, LOL.

My parents and I were a bit disappointed in the adult buffet. The variety wasn't as ... varied, as over at Cookies. We decided that the next time we're there (and I am determined there will be another next time), we'd go back to Cookies 2. I took it easy with eating, as my stomach STILL wasn't 100%. We all went back to the loungers, and Grandpa showed up with a clear tube for me! He thought I'd might enjoy it, and I found it was the perfect way to enjoy the water when cold! The clear plastic acted like a snorkel, and I could see everything under the water--which was awesome. The only problem? The wind kept blowing me past the rope barrier into the, I'm guessing, CM beach. He got one for Myna, too, and soon both of us were alternating between relaxing and panicking that we were blowing away.

It was time to go when the tide went completely out. To the point where you couldn't move the tube, and getting out of it was another challenge. Myna ended up cutting her foot on a rock, and the float rental CM was kind enough to get out her first aid kit to patch her up. We sadly made our way back to the ship, first getting a photo or two and the stuff I wanted from the gift shop (t-shirt, Tervis tumbler, pins). We then walked back to the ship to get ready for dinner and Pirate Night.








So, we get everyone dressed--meanwhile, taking the usual gorgeous photos of the island as we sail away:




Dinner that night was in Animator's Palate. Grandpa appeared fine as we made our way down. We even watched the sun set (literally) through the windows on deck 3. It was kinda eerie, because I've never seen the sun move. It literally sank in front of us. We entered the restaurant, only to be told our table was through the second entrance--which is a very unceremonious doorway into the back of the restaurant. Yet again, we were not seated by a screen. There'd be no Crush interaction for us (again).

This time, the head waiter took the scooter and parked it somewhere for us. Suddenly, Grandpa is complaining again. He's not hungry, he's tired, he doesn't feel good, etc. etc. Mom had to run back to the room to get his medication, which he forgot. He insisted it could wait, but I think she needed some "alone time". Our wait staff waited for her to return before taking our orders.

I don't remember what I had, but I know I took it easy again. Most of it was good, and Grandpa looked sour for the entire meal. I'm glad it didn't seem to dampen my friends' experience, but it bothered me that it took a toll on Mom.


After dinner, we did our first damages in the gift shops before the show. The show that night was a magician--who was pretty cool, but I wasn't completely blown away. Sitting next to a skeptic kinda does that to you, LOL. I'm pretty sure Grandpa joined us for that, but we took him up to bed before the fireworks. So, by the time we made it up to deck 12, it was jam packed. SO unlike last year, when we had no problems getting a spot close to the railing to see the stage show being there around the same time. It was so disappointing how crowded the ship felt this time. The fireworks, though, seemed more impressive this year.

Everybody split up after that. Dixie and Kris went back to the room (I think) and Myna and I went down to dance for Club Pirate. My parents went wandering around to the buffet. They showed up for a bit of dancing, though:




After the dancing, we went up to my favorite spot on the ship--all the way forward to deck 13 where the satellite bench is. We lay there as long as we could tolerate the cold wind, before calling it a night.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:55 PM   #20
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Enjoying your report. I think it is wonderful your grandpa went.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:14 PM   #21
jedijill
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Great report! Now I know why I don't travel with my family.

Jill in CO
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:28 AM   #22
OrcaPotter
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For those still following, sorry for the lack of update. I'm on spring break now, though, so I plan to finish this report this week. Thanks for reading!
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